First Astro experience

Discussion in 'General Hockey Chit-Chat' started by Peeb Rain, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Peeb Rain

    Peeb Rain FHF Newbie

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    I have been wracking my brain to remember the first astro I ever played on. I certainly remember going to Cardiff for White Knights and stepping on to the brand new Sophia Gardens lurid green astro. We didn't play on it but hit a few balls. Boy was that different! I then remember playing on a pitch in Hackney next to the old Lesney factory and also at Picketts Lock. Both of these are now history. I also joined my current club because they had a new astro. I stood at the top of the slope there one mid week day and told myself that I just had to join that club so that I could play on it. I kind of miss grass but how far have we come since then. Now we complain about substandard Astros which are a light year better than many of the grubby grass pitches we used to play on. I remember redgras, rubber (in South London somewhere)
    and on one trip down to Torbay - a car park!
     
  2. G

    G FHF All Time Great

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    Willesden 1986, just after the world cup was held there, unfortunately, playing football!!!

    First hockey on Astro? The newly laid sand based pitch at Highfields with sixth form college, so that must have been 1987/88 against Nottingham High School, I think...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. MKochar

    MKochar FHF Super Star

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    First experience of astro was playing at the North U11 finals at Prescott in Liverpool.
    We won the Yorkshire champs on the redgra at the Richard Dunn sports centre, so we asked the local bowls club if we could train on their 'lawn'.
    As i was a member of Welton/Hull in the newly formed National League, i remember treking from Hull to Newark (a 160 mile round trip) to watch Welton v Harborne as a home game!

    Next experience was going on a Slazenger hockey course at Bisham Abbey!
     
  4. careeman

    careeman FHF Super Star

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    Handy cross sports centre in High Wycombe for High Wycombe HC.

    Circa 1987/8.

    We had a special opening day when the first Sunday junior session was given access but as it opened in December or January, guess what......

    Yep. It was frozen solid.

    We played on it anyway and knew no different. Was still a revelation to most people.

    It's not there any more as the sport centre has been redeveloped and he pitch (I believe) located to John Hampden grammar school across he road.

    Like @MKochar I spent many a happy session on one of two original Bisham pitches soon after this experience.
     
  5. Ravennghorde

    Ravennghorde FHF All Time Great

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    Handy Cross was the coldest pitch I've known. The wind fair whistled across the motorway. Nice pitch at John Hampden except hard to hear the whistle over the road noise.
     
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  6. otss

    otss FHF Top Player

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    Southsea was the first one on the south coast - where the Islanders tournament was held.

    Playing West U21's - living in Dorset we had to travel to Cardiff for training sessions - that would have been about 1983
     
  7. careeman

    careeman FHF Super Star

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    Wasn't it just.

    There are quite a few cold astros up and down the land but HC still tops the list for me. It was so exposed and had no shelter whatsoever.
     
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  8. MKochar

    MKochar FHF Super Star

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    Clearly never played at Silksworth in Sunderland!
     
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  9. Mdevanshk

    Mdevanshk FHF Star Player

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    Hong Kong, September 1995 in Happy Valley
     
  10. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    I would offer Keith Park in Aberdeen. At the top of a hill about 1/2 mile in from the North Sea. Home of Aberdeen Uni. Nice enough place but rather bracing.
     
  11. peterwins

    peterwins FHF Legend

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    First time on astro was at Hofstra university on Long Island near nyc in 1979. The NFL NY Giants were training there for pre season but we got to use it on their day off. Also plated a league final on the roof of a four floor school in philly.

    First time in England was later that year at crystal palace in s mid week league that was held there under floodlights.

    Growing up, I remember when Cheshire county officers, now Chester, got. Redgra (sp?) pitch that seemed a wonderful alternative to winter mud, at least until the first time you fell on it!
     
  12. nemo

    nemo FHF All Time Great

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    Playing against Edinburgh uni when all weather blaze pitches were the norm abiding memory ..... taking a undercut pc strike to the love spuds
     
  13. Mustardears

    Mustardears FHF Starter

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    Do you remember the pitch at Bisham used to be the other way around back in the day?
     
  14. otss

    otss FHF Top Player

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    We played divisonal's first year that Silksworth was put down -they had planted some trees but they didn't do much to stop the wind coming straight off the north sea - you'd be hard pressed to find a colder place to play
     
  15. Hellsbells

    Hellsbells FHF All Time Great

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    Crystal Palace Sports Centre in the late 80s. Under floodlights, it felt really special!! It was some kind of mid week league way before astroturf was the norm.
     
  16. Inselaffen

    Inselaffen FHF All Time Great

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    Back in the big sand pit.
    but when you got a chance to play on a really nice grass pitch it was a pleasure. remember playing a few games on really good cricket outfields where it was better than most Astros at the time
     
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  17. Hellsbells

    Hellsbells FHF All Time Great

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    Yes like the Bank of England Sports Ground in Roehampton before they built on it. Hockey pitches like bowling greens
     
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  18. Emmo

    Emmo FHF Newbie

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    Woodside Sports Centre in Watford, very slow but compared to redgra, it was an absolute delight.
     
  19. Andy H

    Andy H FHF Starter

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    Agreed. That walk from the changing rooms down to the pitch in playing gear, aged 14, in December was undoubtedly the coldest I have ever been.
     
  20. otss

    otss FHF Top Player

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    That's luxury - back in the 80's they didn't have changing rooms - there was nothing there except two pitches and some very brave saplings !!

    The only plus of the week was the memory that the local girls didn't consider chill factors in their friday night going out attire - and whilst us southern softies were wrapped up to the nines they barely wore anything !!
     

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