The club was disbanded in 1923, but reformed as Barkingside Boys Guild FC a couple of years later. The team played on a pitch at Barkingside Recreation Ground for twenty five years before they moved to a new ground at Station Road, which later became Oakside and then Oakside Stadium.
In 1950 'The Side' progressed from local league football to the London League and then onto the Greater London League in 1964. A fire at Oakside meant a short spell at Woodford Avenue until the clubhouse was rebuilt in the early 1970's.
|A downloaded image of Oakside before redevelopment|
Many local honours were collected as Barkingside became founder members of the London Spartan League in 1976. In 1996 the league merged so The Side also became founder members of the Spartan South Midlands League.
In 1998 new owners took over the club with high ambition. Oakside was upgraded in the hope of higher grade football being staged. The league title was lifted for a second time, but promotion to the Isthmian League was denied. The club decided that they wished to move into the Essex Senior League, but the FA denied sideways moves across the football pyramid. To counteract this, The Side dropped out of senior football for one season before being accepted as new members in the Essex Senior League a year later.
The following season the club owners moved on mass to join an Isthmian League club. On departure they sold the lease of Oakside to Ford United FC, who would later become Redbridge FC. Jimmy Chapman, the Chairman at the time at Ford guaranteed Barkingside a permanent home at the ground and became the club President.
A new committee stabilised the club on and off the pitch over the next decade and they refurbished the clubhouse in the hope of attracting more members of the community down to the ground. Their hard work paid off as The Sky Blues finished as Essex Senior League runners up in 2012-13 and were promoted to the Isthmian League.
Barkingside under Matt Frew finished their first season back in the Isthmian League with a twentieth place finish to secure their survival. However, this relative success was tainted with the news that the club would have to move out of their Oakside home after a fall out with Redbridge after fifty six years in residence.
An agreement was made to move to the council owned Cricklefield Stadium to share with Ilford FC and the local athletics club. The team survived once again by the skin of their teeeth to secure their status. Frew departed and was replaced by Gus Gulfer.
Barkingside FC will play in the Isthmian League Division One North in the 2013-14 season.
Barkingside 1 Burnham Ramblers 3 (Monday 21st November 2011) Essex Senior League (att:89)
I was really looking forward to this evening's adventures for a few reasons. I had just done three consecutive twelve hour shifts over the weekend, my brother Nick was down on business and was going to the game, as was former colleague friend and Scarborough fan Steve Adamson who was down for a few days break in the metropolis.
The day started well as a colleague took me off my shift early at work, so I went home to relax and enjoy the climax of the enthralling South Africa v Australia Test Match while drifting off for a spell. I headed down to Westminster to meet Nick where we were going to have tea, but we had a change in plan and ended up eating on the move and having a pint and a catch up in The Feathers by St James Park station.
After a couple of packed tube rides we got out at Barkingside, where the floodlights were burning bright over the old tube station. Nick's first impression was, "bloody hell, we're in the back of beyond!" While that wasn't quite true, the area around the station was pretty rustic.
Oakside is infuriating as one side backs onto the railway, but to get to the turnstiles it's a good five minute walk down a couple of roads and over the bridge. If only there was an exit at both sides of the station. Nick kindly paid my £6 admission as my birthday present and we entered the very smart clubhouse. My brother was most impressed with his brief look at the ground and inside the rooms. His previous visit to a game with me had been to Hanwell Town, where the clubhouse offered much from a distance, but very little once inside. Oakside's offering had Sky TV, lovely clean toilets and even a small club shop set up on a table. If only they'd offered some proper beer. I had to make do with ice cold Greene King IPA on smoothflow. Why bar managers have bitter at the same temperature, and therefore the same taste as a McDonalds thick shake was a mystery to many a drinker.
Steve arrived after a nightmare of a journey. I had given him the correct directions, but had forgot to tell him he needed a Central line train to Hainault and that the line had two branches. He ended up going all the way to Epping and then back to Leytonstone. This caused his oyster card to fair because his journey had taken so long. To add to his woes, the bloke at the station said he'd need to go back to Leytonstone to get his card fixed, which was both wrong and unhelpful.
Steve mentioned that he'd been into Barkingside town centre and not seen one poster advertising the game and no locals knew where the ground was! He told the bloke on the gate about this who admitted they could probably do more to try and attract fans. We chewed the fat about football in general and Boro as well as our old cooleagues at the Post Office. He also said he was working with Colin Appleton, the former Scarborough and Leicester City hero about writing his biography.
|Nick and Steve enjoying their night out|
The home number nine had a ridiculously unjustified whinge at a decision right in front of us when we stood down the covered side. Steve soon put him right and we had fun for the rest of the game wondering whether we should give him some stick. I think his size and general physique put us off!
Another free kick into the Ramblers box was eventually finished off with a header that turned out be an own goal by Ross Wall to put Barkingside one up. This seemed to wake Burnham up, as they had one or two breaks with Wall showing a real deft touch at the right end of the pitch. Barkingside missed a real chance and then with half time approaching Burnham had a couple of well delivered corners, which should have been finished with a headed finish. The second one wasn't cleared properly and was eventually finished off by Wall to redeem his earlier faux pas. The referee blew for half time so the kick off couldn't even be taken to end the half even.
We'd had some decent grup before the break so we went back to the clubhouse for some refreshment and to get warmed up while watching the Spurs v Aston Villa game on the TV. Steve came back from the shop with a pile of programmes and fanzines, many of which had been given free on top of his purchase, which was a really nice touch.
After a spell we went to sit in the Main Stand. The two dug outs blocked out a bit of the view, but it was comfortable enough despite the thick mist coming down and making it colder by the minute. Ramblers still played on the break, only on a far more regular basis after the interval. They certainly looked the more likely to score because of the quality of their play. They went ahead with a real screamer from just inside the area from star man Wall to loud cheers from the twenty or so visiting supporters.
Barkingside continued to press, but couldn't find a way through. Ramblers broke away once again and an excellent finish from Martin Llewellyn rounded off another fine flowing move. This saw the exodus from the stand of around fifteen groundhoppers, including some familiar faces, who headed towards the corner by the exit.
The star to us of the last quarter of the game was an official running the line who was surely looking for some kind of award as 'Pedant of the Year'. I appreciate that match officials have a difficult job, but a little bit of common sense wouldn't do any harm. He warned the home bench as they had more than two people standing? They replied that he was wrong and there was three of them! The lino said that if there were, he'd report them! Later he caused a delay over a substitution regarding a players studs, which had Burgers assistants blood pressure going through the roof. We laughed at all of this, but there is a serious side.
It's all very well officials adhering to all these silly meaningless rules to please the assessors and the FA, but it's all very immaterial when they get a vital match changing decision wrong. No wonder coaches, managers and players lose it at times. I sometimes wonder if all officials either work as pen pushers or traffic wardens when not ruining what should be a fun day out.
There was no further action of note and the visitors headed home with three deserved points. Nick didn't think the standard of football was up to the same level at the Spartan South Midlands League game he'd seen earlier in the season, but I thought it hard to tell under the circumstances.
We headed back to the station just as a train was due. Steve got off at Mile End to change trains, so he could hopefully have a stress free journey home, while Nick and I headed for the Metropolitan line back to Kingsbury.