Monday, 1 July 2013

A Message to The Onion Bag

Darkness comes to Blackfield & Langley.
The chimney at Fawley Power Station.
I've been having a Twitter conversation with my fellow blogger, Jerry from The Onion Bag, about whether it's worth him travelling to either Blackfield & Langley or Fawley next season specifically to take photos of football in front of the chimneys. As I'm incapable of having a conversation in 140 characters or less, I thought I'd put up a few pictures from both grounds so that he can make up his own mind...

The covered standing area at Blackfield & Langley.
The first five photos are from Blackfield & Langley's Gang Warily ground. As you can see, there are many chimneys and pylons around the ground, but the chimneys tend to be part-hidden by conifers. I think on a clear day, if one or two of them are smoking, then there could be some decent photos to be had. On the day I went, it was cloudy, and there was no smoke pouring out, so they weren't as spectacular as they could have been. It's a risk if you're travelling a long way.

More Fawley Oil Refinery chimneys.
On Google Street View, there was smoke coming out of one of the chimneys behind the ground until the latest update - I think it looked pretty good. However, on last year's update there is no smoke...

Also worth looking at, as ever, are Paul Paxford's photos from the ground. There are some here.

There are many pylons around the ground, emanating from Fawley Power Station. The one below is the closest. Again, if you want to travel a long way to take photos, this is what you can expect, pylon-wise:

The closest pylon to Gang Warily.
Fawley Oil Refinery again, this time from Fawley AFC.
Fawley's ground is further away from the chimneys, but you can still see them. However, I don't think they look quite so good in photos as they do just down the road at Blackfield & Langley. They're more like matchsticks (or Matchmakers...mmm, Matchmakers!).

Sitting only allowed.
These are the sort of photos you can expect to take at Fawley. There are more on my original report from the ground last autumn - the bottom two here just missed the cut (I usually post eight with each report - I think that's about right). I posted my favourite from the ground last week - the Bemerton players heading for the changing rooms, which are at the community centre complex on the main road, much closer to the refinery, and hence better for chimneys!

I don't think you can see pylons from Fawley's ground, as they skirt around the village of Holbury to the west.

And again, oil refinery chimneys from Fawley AFC.
In my opinion, the best scenic backdrop of all the grounds I've been to in Hampshire is at United Services Portsmouth - Spinnaker Tower is pretty impressive, as is the Lipstick Skyscraper (not its real name, apparently, but that's what everyone calls it). You can just about see HMS Victory from the ground as well (although you can't tell what it is from a photo - I tried, but it's just too far away to be able to see it properly).

Anyway, as I stated previously, make up your own mind if you think it's worthwhile travelling!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. That Onion bag character is a strange bloke ;) I second US Portsmouth although i must admit not too many nice backdrops in Hampshire

  3. OB: I've noted down your e-mail address, so you can delete your comment if you don't wish the rest of the world to see it! I'll contact you about meeting up next season when I get around to it.

    PP: I know, fancy wanting to take photos of chimneys! Lots of tree-lined grounds around here, but other than the Waterside clubs and USP, it's a bit of a struggle finding anything interesting to include in the background. I'll keep on trying though!

  4. Hehehe thanks Paul for the kind character reference ! :)