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'THE VALLEY PARTY' TWENTY YEARS ON - PART 3 - News video of the campaign



  • Thanks very much Aliwibble. So many memories, and time lends it all a different perspective, but seeing Roger interviewed in such a poxy location still hurts. A great deal's happened since then, mostly positive (including 3 successive wins there). Just strikes me that with all the uncertainty at the moment, we can't collectively allow things to get that desperate again.
    Falconwood station okay,i was at New Eltham station that day ,later went to the count with Kevin Fox 992 votes Valley Party.That was an enjoyable evening at the town hall,you must be old school.GOOD ON YOU.
    If we have to pull the same trick again i am up for it.

    At the moment the person i do feel for is Roger Alwen so much we have to thank him for and Mick Norris.
  • I had glamorous Woolwich Dockyard : - )
  • Was Living in Delafield rd at the time and remember The labour party candidate knocking on the door and telling me that if Charlton got back to the Valley it would be impossible to park,car insurance would go through the roof and the local area would become infested with hooligans,said i was only interested in voting valley party.
  • was the results not filmed or covered by the news

    there must have been something surely
  • [cite]Posted By: nth london addick[/cite]was the results not filmed or covered by the news

    there must have been something surely

    I suddenly realised why you think that. At the end of the Thames Reports clip, he promises they will show all the results. Lewis Coaches has got some footage covering the later meetings, but not from the day after. I'll ask Rick.

    And I'm back here but I can't bear to look at that other thread :-)
  • Dont blame you PA

    blooming talk of takeovers and knowlegde
  • Just after the two biddies are moaning about Charlton coming back, outside The Valley gates, it cuts to a group drinking and discussing the campaign in a lounge at Selhurst - thats me on the left of the picture in the grey suit...
  • Lol dont know about oldschool just feel old after watching that i was just getting ready to leave school where have those years gone. im a lot quieter now compared to then lol, but me brother NLA makes enough noise for both of us now. i remember all the photos of the count night in the mercury anyone got any of those to scan and put up ?
  • crikey, just seen the young Royston King...............anyone know what happen to him after Brentford?

    certainly brought back memories that!
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  • i want video footage as one younger than you old grunters news papers dont cut it for me
  • More than happy to add mine Prague as you suggest.....
    I wonder if any of the planning officers and council officials would be happy to meet up to discuss there views now.

    I doubt it somehow, in fact Charlton with there 'community footballing schemes and the excellent work that it has done in local schools and anti racist stance has been a tenplate for many clubs rightly so. Just the sort of thing that the Utopian Greenwich council strived but failed to achieve.

    I think Len Duval and others in later years regretted the council's attitude, or at least I hope they did, and the fears they had were misplaced.

    With the exception of the London Marathon cannot think of too many things that have brought a postive image to Charlton/Greenwich since!
  • aliwibble, thanks so much for posting that. As a foreigner, and a relative Johnny-come-lately (or "plastic" as you will), I really appreciate seeing that...although I certainly thought I knew the history, the context that seeing that piece provided is really fantastic.
  • Great memories ... really brought a tear to my eye and the pride back into what has latterly been a very deflated heart...

    Proof, if needed, that Charlton is not just a Football Club, but how much it is very much a part of our lives..

    Remember with pride those moments, those peolple ( including many volunteers behind the scenes ) .... and of course the dreams that became a reality ....

    RIp Kevin Fox
  • For someone who only really got told about this by his old man it is great footage to see.

    Thank you to everyone who was involved. I'd like to think if we were ever, god forbid, put in a situation like that again I would be involved in helping us.
  • I sent a copy of the video to one of the senior Planning Officers featured and he reckons that the Council did want the club back to the Valley but were surprised by the nature of the planning application and in particular the offices included. He has sent me quite a long email on the subject and I'll ask him if it's OK to put the content on here.
  • [cite]Posted By: dwb[/cite]I sent a copy of the video to one of the senior Planning Officers featured and he reckons that the Council did want the club back to the Valley but were surprised by the nature of the planning application and in particular the offices included. He has sent me quite a long email on the subject and I'll ask him if it's OK to put the content on here.

    Now that will be interesting, especially for Airman Brown and his book...
  • Can I just say thank you Prague Addick to you and your 2 Manc pals - I loved those ads and thought their look and content were fantastic (visually arresting, got the message across and got the tone just right).

    I still have a copy of the 'let's send the council to Croydon...' one and it still makes me laugh all those years later!

    Fantastic effort!
  • Richard - Did you ever trace the kid who featured in the adverts?
  • I have now spoken to my friend who to work at Greenwich Council Planning Department at the time of the Valley party movement and he has agreed for me to send the following...

    "Well that brings back memories - thanks for sending me the video. We (officers and councillors) were fully in support of Charlton coming back to The Valley. We welcomed their planning application and were ready to put it forward for approval when we discovered 'hidden' amongst the millions of plans submitted (which were I was lead to understand a replica of plans submitted for the QPR ground!) whole floors of offices and banquetting suites. We couldn't even attract offices to Woolwich let alone other centres - it really was a non-starter. We had no alternative but to draw this to the Committee's attention. If I recall I didn't recommend refusal - but I left them little alternative.

    I then spent a year negotiating with Mike Norris to get a sensible scheme which included the bowling alley proposal plus addressing major issues for local people such as car parking and no more things like pop concerts etc. With the benefit of hindsight perhaps we should have approached the situation differently (as we did to retain the University in the borough) but also with hindsight I am more and more convinced that the first application was a speculative one aimed merely at enhancing land values. You may recall even when the Committee were giving it the nod Mike Norris tried to retract by saying that a condition to close the bowling alley at 2 am rather than 3 am made the scheme unviable!! There were plenty of subsequent examples of other football grounds being seen as possible cash cows for their owners with football a secondary (if that) consideration. Fans were then (are still now?) treated as mere bums on seats and I think that both Roger and Mike were taken aback by the fans dedication. Roger grabbed it, Mike, I don't think, ever did. I recall turning out on Boxing Day in the snow with young fans to deliver letters about a new application to local residents - dedication on their part - Mike turned up and waved us on our way.

    I got on well with Rick Everitt despite his comments in the film. We phoned each other regularly to exchange views and to update each other. The Dave Higham and Sandra Hunt issue raised in the film were red herrings. Dave had no input at all in the decision. He told me at the outset that as a local resident and objector he would not become involved. Indeed there was no reason for him to be involved in the application anyway - he was a strategic transport planner dealing with other things. Sandra Hunt only had passing involvement, she never sought to influence me at all. To suggest that the planners were anti-football was a nonsense. We were, nearly all, football crazy and when staff went on strike they actually played Charlton supporters in a friendly.

    But yes we should have handled it differently. But it takes two to tango. Councillors were certainly taken back by The Valley Party - they did a very good job. And they were rewarded by a few years in the Premiership. Of course now (or at least when I was last around) the club and the Council are great buddies supporting each other in all sorts of endevours."
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  • Interesting response, and good on the council planning officer to offer an insight from there perspective.

    I knew someone from the planning officer who's name was Bob and this sounds about right.

    Of course the council could not attract offices.... couldn't even attract offices to Woolwich let alone other centres...... as my post stated they were almost anti business, remember Morgan Grampian, by the Sainsbury's, the Woolwich, Garretts,Cuffs, even the RACS, formed on socialist ideals originally were allowed to go.

    Take a walk down the centre of Woolwich these days, even the market is full of dodgy fake sellers, and the covered market well sorry not for me. Of course big departmental stores are a victim of retail buying patterns, and times change, but the cultural and attitude excellerated the movement for quick closure. Morgan Grampian or united newspapers moved to docklands with the help of the Docklands trust a body not dissimilar to the council,and funded.... ironic seeing they got paid to move, instead of being encouraged to stay!.

    Why was the Woolwich head office not encouraged to build locally instead of moving to Bexleyheath!.No room on the Arsenal site! come on Greenwich get a grip. Nowadays you rush into bed with any speculator !
    Not as if the yuppie flats are selling that well, one by the old Granada still half empty three years after being built!

    Local housing for local people afraid not!

    As my post originally stated a few councillors influenced the department, by drawing up a unitary plan! in other words it determined what could be there, then said you did not comply. The fact is that Charlton had the biggest ground in the country originally, well before the subsequent housing was built around it.!

    I agree it takes two to tango but the council originally walked off the dance floor, an attitude as the post suggests they regretted subsequently!
  • Whatever problems Greenwich Labour Party may have had before the election suddenly vanished the next morning.

    All over London the Labour vote was up, partly due to the poll tax but in Greenwich it went down. Labour HQ told Greenwich to get it sorted and suddenly allowences were being made and proper discussion taking place.
  • Power to the people!

    I remember the leader of the council losing it, and that was reported widely and must have been extremely embarassing for him...

    I do get the subtext of the planners words though - be wary of planning permission for various enterprises at your ground; it could end up being a very attractive proposition for speculative property developers masquerading as football saviours....quite a sobering thought!
  • [cite]Posted By: BDL[/cite]Richard - Did you ever trace the kid who featured in the adverts?

    No we never did, and we tried quite hard to find him. Maybe he's one of us here :-)
  • All credit to Fritz Henning for his response. Inevitably though, I've got some remarks on it.

    There was this feeling afterwards from the Council that we - the VP - somehow did a number on the Press, and the Council side didn't get a fair hearing.I pick up a hint of that in Fritz's comments. However the Thames programme -the jewel in the crown in terms of coverage - shows this to be simply denial. It is true that some journalists were inclined towards us. Peter Cordwell at the Mercury, Martin Thorpe at the Guardian, Capital Gold Sport. Basically sports journalists. To some extent, we could 'feed' them stuff, and while they would always check it out, they'd be inclined to run with it. Thames was a completely different matter. It was more than a month in research. The first moment I met Marcus Powell, the reporter, I realised that I'd better put aside my amateur attempts at being a spin doctor, and just answer all his questions. They then came back at the end of April with their cameras. But there was no clue what their take would be on the issue. When that programme went out we were sitting in the agency holding our breath for 11 long minutes.
    Now, a few months after the election I was busy in the agency writing an entry for an advertising competition to prove that advertising had been effective. As part of this exercise, I contacted all the journalists who'd covered us, including Marcus Powell, and for the first time he was friendly, as opposed to formidably professional.He told me that he had wanted to devote the whole 24 minutes to the story, but had failed to convince his editor. The point being, there was loads of stuff on the cutting room floor, but the thrust of the programme would not have changed. I don't know whether Thames offered Fritz the chance to go face-to-face as I did. But Marsh took up the offer. Was he straight and clear in his answers? Run the film and decide.
    As for Dave Highams being a red herring, well hold on a minute. There was a clear case of conflict of interest. Of course a council employee can hold a view. It's quite another thing to try to ensure that view wins through by stirring up local residents to oppose planning applications. Marsh was tackled on that in the interview, but his squeaky answer was allowed to stand because there was only 11 minutes.
    Finally, Marcus Powell told me something that made my blood run cold. He said "we checked you out, of course" I immediately started looking under my phone for bugs: -) but he was referring to the unattributable rumours put out from the council about who or what was 'behind" the Valley Party. One of the things that got lost on the cutting room floor was the question to me about why someone "from Surbiton" should be influencing an election in Greenwich. Quentin Marsh knew the answer. He and I were school class-mates. We'd been living 200 yards apart in Eltham Park, and our parents knew each other. Didn't stop him letting Walworth Road write letters portraying me as a mysterious outsider.
    Fritz is right in his conclusions. Yes it takes two to tango, and we have some misgivings about the tactics and perhaps the goals of Mike Norris (but not Roger Alwen). But when he says they could have handled things differently, has he, even now, fully understood the lesson? In February 1990, looking forward to the election , Simon Oelman said “ I don’t believe the issue of the Valley and Charlton returning there, is relevant” . The lesson is, that both Council officers and politicians work for and are accountable to us, the citizens. It always happens, regardless of political colour. The real achievement of the VP, which goes beyond Charlton, and is the reason why I'm busy telling Czechs about it, is that we held them to account.
  • Just to add to something Ken from Bexley mentioned up the thread - Rosie Barnes was elected in a by-election in Feb 1987 (and again at a general election a few months later), before that part of the Valley saga erupted. She was replaced by Nick Raynsford in June 1992.

    I can't help comparing the then-leader of Greenwich Council, who didn't do himself any favours in that film, with the current leader of Greenwich Council, who doesn't do himself many favours whenever he opens his mouth either.

    Deep down, I don't think the local Labour party has ever really learned the lessons of the saga - the Valley Party has been its only serious competition since the early 70s. While these days it sucks up to big business and the like, and is ostensibly pally with CAFC, Greenwich Council still prefers to tell people what to do, rather than the other way round. Any potential opponents can learn a lot from what the Valley Party did.
  • edited May 2010
    Brought a tear to my eye to see Mid_Life_Crisis's Dad, who passed away a couple of years ago, campaigning on the streets.
  • Blimey ... AlgarveAddick and Rick look young in that clip!
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