Attention: Please take a moment to consider our terms and conditions before posting.

'THE VALLEY PARTY' TWENTY YEARS ON - Introduction and Contents List

At the time it was hailed as something very unique, but it is only in hindsight that it can be seen as one of the most pivotal moments in Charlton’s history, and a catalyst for the resurrection of our football club.

Twenty years ago, frustration amongst Charlton supporters that the Labour-run Greenwich Council were deliberately putting obstacles in the way to prevent the club returning to its spiritual home, had grown to such an extent that the supporters announced plans to form a political party at the forthcoming council elections.

The sole objective of The Valley Party was to see Charlton end its temporary residence at Selhurst Park and return to its Greenwich roots, and to put pressure on the councillors who objected to the move.

For many it was clear, the very existence of Charlton Athletic depended upon it as the club went through a slow, painful death ground-sharing with Crystal Palace. “Wherever we may roam, The Valley is our home….Show me the way to go home” the supporters used to sing, and the most organised and militant of those fans decided they were going to do whatever it took to ensure that happened.

valleypartybus.jpg

What was originally scoffed and dismissed by the council and other public groups, grew bigger, stronger and gained momentum. Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of the candidates and volunteers involved, it resulted in what has been classed as the greatest result ever recorded by a single-issue party.

Not only did it prove on a local level that the people of Greenwich wanted their football club back, it successfully brought Charlton’s plight and campaign to a far wider audience. And in the process, it helped unseat a number of the councillors who had proved most unhelpful to Charlton’s hopes of returning to The Valley.

Over the next few days, we will be publishing a series of article remembering, and celebrating, the 3rd May 1990, when 14,838 said YES !

valleyparty.jpg

There is an insightful interview with Simon Oelman, then Chair of the Planning Committee (and successfully unseated in the election), and we will be speaking to a number of the candidates and campaigners involved. We will see how the campaign was viewed from the club’s perspective, while there will also be a look at the advertising campaign that captured the imagination and ensured The Valley Party was taken as a serious entity. Finally, we’ll be looking at whether twenty years on, Charlton supporters could ever organise themselves to such an extent again.

But most importantly, we want to receive YOUR memories and anecdotes from this historic event.

PART ONE sees Steve Sutherland, then Commercial Manager of the club, share his thoughts and memories on the period surrounding the election, from the perspective of a club employee.

PART TWO is an interview with Simon Oelman, then Chair of the Planning Committee, as he reflects on the campaign from the Council perspective

PART THREE is a fascinating ten-minute video from the current affairs programme for the London region, Thames Reports, which highlighted the campaign


PART FOUR sees Richard Hunt give an insight into the brilliant poster campaign which helped transform the Valley Party presence

PART FIVE sees Peter Cordwell, then Sports Editor of The Mercury, give his memories of the role the local paper played in helping bring the club home.

PART SIX a number of the Valley Party campaigners share their memories on the events
«1

Comments

  • that was the last time i voted !!
    politics is too grown up for me , football is where it's at
  • Even Mrs TCE voted for The Valley party, just to get shot of me at weekends ; )
  • Thanks to all those involved - my first Charlton game was against Oxford in 1993 and without the efforts of the Valley Party my dad might've ended up taking me to Palace or the Spanners. Close escape there
  • Oh dear thats me in that pic with the Hi vis jacket on :(
  • Somebody has just posted some excellent pictures of the clearing of the Valley on FB. I think i might have spotted a young Off It in them.
  • [cite]Posted By: Curb_It[/cite]Somebody has just posted some excellent pictures of the clearing of the Valley on FB. I think i might have spotted a young Off It in them.

    Picture must've been taken with a very long lens - I was at home in Catford that day with man-flu.

    Me and the old man were going to go down the next week because we thought that would be when our help would be most needed. Didn't expect so many to turn up and get the job done in one go!
  • No there is a large album of charlton pictures. You werent at the Valley you were on a coach at the Anglo Italian cup? I might very well not be you tho.
  • This is something that makes me incredibly proud of my football club, and a piece of history that not many clubs will have. Luckily I was just about old enough to remember but my dad was involved and brings back some good memories. Thanks for running these threads.
  • [cite]Posted By: Curb_It[/cite]No there is a large album of charlton pictures. You werent at the Valley you were on a coach at the Anglo Italian cup? I might very well not be you tho.

    I'd be interested to see that. Any chance you could copy it and whisper it to me?
  • edited February 2012
    .
  • Sponsored links:


  • Can't get any of the links to work.
  • can we ressurect this thread, nearly 20 years since BTTV this year
  • edited September 2012
    @afkabartram any chance we can resurrect the links?

  • links now updated and working.

    Sadly all the images were attached to the old blog, so need to look into resurrecting them.
  • good man
  • I reckon we should mark this at the Brighton game, Valley party plus, on the pitch or something at half time? What do other Lifers think?
  • It makes me feel even older looking back on this for some reason. It still seems so fresh but is becoming ancient history!

    I cant recall any publication I have enjoyed reading more than VOTV btw.
  • I wonder if the writers would do an anniversary edition? Can anyone track them down?
  • links now updated and working.

    Sadly all the images were attached to the old blog, so need to look into resurrecting them.

    Any luck with the blog? 20 year anniversary arriving soon!
  • Barnie, how about a double decker bus tour from Selhurst, via Boleyn then on to the Valley before the Brighton match?
    Get the Trust to sponsor it, how much does a double decker cost ;)
  • Sponsored links:


  • That's a great idea who'd a thought of that?
  • Maybe @lewiscoaches do them?
  • razil said:

    Maybe @lewiscoaches do them?

    Funnily enough I contacted them yesterday to ask the very same question.
  • Fantastic idea, how's it coming on?
  • http://www.ensignbushire.com/wordpress/?page_id=214

    I would be willing to get quotes from this and other companies if that would be of help?
  • Just wonder if it would be allowed through blackwall tunnel?
  • Cd go on the ferry i guess
  • 108 is a single deck Bus.
Sign In or Register to comment.