Football in Bracknell
History & Nostalgia

Local knowledge: AFC Aldermaston’s tin bath and the things you did to get a game on

We had a cracking trip over to AFC Aldermaston on Saturday for the Atomics’ Uhlsport Hellenic League Division 1 East fixture with Finchampstead.

It was our first trip across to the club we’ve been covering from afar this season. Aside from being a bit of a jinx (the Atom Men haven’t won with an FiB presence), we found a warm welcome, good food and a tidy if slightly open to the elements ground within the walls of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment (AWRE) which dominates the landscape.

There are plans afoot to improve the ground, not least with seats donated from Bracknell Town and provide a better match day experience for visitors, but we’d certainly recommend a trip out there.

The teams come out for AFC Aldermaston vs Finchampstead.

The teams come out for AFC Aldermaston vs Finchampstead.

Now, on to the point of the latest Local Knowledge article. In the Atomics’ programme we spotted the following fantastic paragraph from the clubs history (which can also be read online here):

‘As the AWRE complex was still under construction when the club was established, the players used empty contractors’ huts as changing rooms – carrying the tin bath into whichever building was designated for that day’s football. The players were also responsible for the pitch, and would mow and mark out the pitch before the match started’.

It got us wondering about some of the things that used to go on at the clubs we cover to get games on, whether it’s from the modern day – Tom’s Sunday League team used to have to construct the goals before the game – or way back in the 1930’s when Hellenic League Tuffley Rovers operated out of an old railway carriage that doubled as a boot and shoe repair shop.

So we thought we’d ask you, our readers for your memories of football and the clubs you watched and played for back in the ‘good old days’.

What did you have to do to get games on as a team? Let us know in the comments below, via email to [email protected], twitter or facebook.  We’ll feature the responses in a follow for next week’s local knowledge.

Main image: Is not actually the Aldermaston tin bath, we borrowed it from this flickr group.

Tom Canning

Tom is the co-editor of FootballinBracknell. He has played at the lowest possible level of football. In real life Tom works for Trinity Mirror. Manager of Binfield Ladies in the Thames Valley Women's League.


  1. […] Binfield are also on the road, they head down to Gloucestershire to face Tuffley Rovers who sadly no longer change in a railway carriage. […]