Monday, September 14, 2015

Oakfield Open Day

The Oakfield Open Day on Sunday 13th September was an opportunity for visitors to see a typical Sunday on the Oakfield playing fields and its two large Pavilions.

There were at least 550 players of all ages engaged in their chosen team sports:
  • In the morning there was an OPCC U13 game and the football included a Young Parkonians U15 game; two Romford Youth games on full size pitches and two of their younger youth teams on a junior pitch. The Bealonions FC had 3 x 11 a side games; 1 x 9 v9 game; 2 x 7v7; and 1 x 5 a side game.
  • In the afternoon there was an OPCC adult game and two Hainault & Clayhall cricket matches; a Young Parkonians U13s football game as well as three Hornchurch Youth football games.
That’s 20 games fitted in during the day! There would have been a similar number on the Saturday. When cricket finishes at the end of September there will be more football pitches available and hence the number would be about the same right through the football season.
AND all this ignores other users such as Pavilion hall hirers and social members using the bar and other facilities!
It would be safe to say that the grass pitches on Oakfield and their associated facilities are used by over 1,000 people each weekend.
For the Open Day itself, in addition to the players there were around 200 people attending at some time during the day. Great success for a low profile, ‘ordinary’ weekend day on the ground. Run by the many volunteers of the extraordinary clubs who cherish the opportunities it provides to engage so many youngsters and the not so young in team sports and the social skills this develops for the social side of our community.

photo credit - Ron Jeffries

From left to right: – Harold Moth (ex Independent Councillor); Phil Postings; Mrs Heather Barlow (Bealonians FC); Cllr Paul Canal (Con Bridge Ward and Leader of the Conservative Group); Terry Barlow (Chairman, Bealonians FC); Cllr Keith Prince (Con Barkingside); Mike Barnes (President, OPCC and Trustee, Old Parkonians Association); Joyce Ryan (Con Fairlop); Chris Nutt (Chairman Oakfield Parkonians CC); Nicholas Hurst (Chairman, Frenford Clubs); Cllr Michelle Dunn (Con Wanstead and Dpty Leader of the Conservative Group); Cllr Karen Packer (Con Barkingside); Mrs Sheila Nutt (Life Member, Old Parkonians Association); Mrs Beryl Barnes (First Lady, OPCC); front, Pete Robbins (Old Park stalwart who drove himself up specially from Tiverton, Devon). Pete’s nickname is ‘The Cat’ owing to his prowess behind the stumps and between the goalposts. He deserves a special mention as someone who for over a decade looked over and after the ground, having previously lived in Forest Road.

People of note who attended but not in the photo included MP Wes Streeting (Ilford North) who is against housing on Oakfield and appeared to be very impressed by the splendidly organised full use of the ground and the high quality facilities in the clubhouses; Cllr Tom Sharpe (Fairlop), John Sharrock (Chairman, Barkingside 21) and Alan Howe (Secretary Barkingside 21) and the Chairman of the ICHS Oakfield Trust, Alan MacKenzie. It was also a delight to see Ron Jeffries making his first visit!

Visitors were also welcomed and shown around by Andy MacRae (Club Secretary, Bealonians) and Eddie Bow (Old Parkonians). We are grateful also to Waitrose who sponsored refreshments.

Chris Nutt


  1. well i never...i live local and drive past alot never once did i see any advertising for this one ????????

    1. It was on our eNotice Board and went out to the SOS mailing list + all Redbridge Councillors were invited.

  2. So no Labour councillors, then. Shame on them.

    1. Strictly speaking Wes Streeting is still a Labour councillor, although he was probably there in his capacity as an MP.
      Roy Emmett (Hainault) is excused as he was in Rekjavik but we don't know about the others ....