Everything you need to know about Underhill...
The Ground: Underhill Stadium, Barnet Lane, Barnet, Herts EN5 2DN
Telephone: 0208 441 6932
Fax: 0208 447 0655
Club Colours: Amber & Black
Nickname: The Bees
Official Club Website: www.barnetfc.com
E Mail: email@example.com
Brief Directions By Road:
North from the M1
Leave the Motorway at its Junction 6a (M25) and get into the lane signposted M25 Dartford Crossing and M11 not to Heathrow and Watford. Exit the M25 at its Junction 23 (South Mimms Services and A1) down the slip road to the traffic lights.
North from the A1
Leave the A1M at its junction 1 (South Mimms and M25). Both routes now follow same directions. Onto the roundabout passing back underneath the M25 flyover and exiting the roundabout onto the A1081 (signposted Barnet). This road is known as the St Albans Road. Go over a roundabout and pass The Green Dragon pub on your right and then the Bridgedown Golf Course also on your right. When you reach the traffic lights with the Digital Village music shop to your right (junction with A1000) turn right into Barnet High Street. At the next set of lights alongside Barnet Church go straight on passing the Police Station on your left. At the next set of lights you will see High Barnet Underground also to your left. Carry on down the hill to find Barnet FC behind the Old Red Lion pub to your right.
West from the M4, M3 or M40
For ease I would advise that you get onto the M25 and onto its Junction 23 and follow the directions above but if you prefer the North Circular Road A406 as a route into London here goes.
Follow the A406 signposted A1 and Wembley passing the huge blue and yellow Ikea building to your left (alas, Wembley Stadium's twin towers used to be visible from this point now you have the beautiful arch adorning the new stadium) and then pass over the flyover (M1 below) and past Brent Cross Shopping Centre also to your left. Proceed on the A406 through two sets of lights and then keep left looking out for the slip road signposted Finchley and Barnet (Charter Way) and onto the A598. Proceed on this road passing Finchley Central Underground on your right and onto where this road joins the A1000 at The Tally Ho pub still signposted Barnet and Whetstone. Carry on through Whetstone passing Audi Whetstone and B and Q both on your left (The road is now known as The Great North Road). Over the traffic lights and past Marks & Spencer on your right. After approx. another mile you will see the Barnet Odeon to your left. Pass under the railway bridge to find Barnet FC behind the Old Red Lion pub immediately to your left.
East from M11 A12
Again for ease I would advise the M25 route but getting onto the North Circular A406 is an option. Follow the A406 until you reach the A1000 signposted Barnet and Finchley. Turn right onto this road known as North Finchley High Road past the Hollywood Bowl to your right. The floodlights just visible to your right belong to Wingate and Finchley FC. Proceed on this road following the signs of Whetstone and Barnet A1000 then take directions as above from the Tally Ho pub.
South from M23 A23 M2
The M25 option is honestly your best bet. However take your pick from the above.
In respect to our neighbours, Barnet FC urges supporters not to ignore the traffic cones outside the stadium on matchdays. You are likely to receive a ticket or a bright yellow clamp for your troubles. High Barnet London Underground station offers the best bet for £2.00 per car and this area is clearly signposted from each direction of Barnet Hill A1000. There is also a huge unmissable 'Underground' sign at the entrance. It is only 5 minutes walk down the hill to the ground but a it's a long leg sapping trek after a defeat I warn you.
Directions By Train:
The nearest British Rail station is New Barnet, which can be reached within about 20 minutes via a connection from London Kings Cross. Please avert your eyes while travelling out of Kings Cross as clearly visible to your right is the amazing sight that is the new Emirates Stadium and a little further on the wonderful listed buildings that are the East and West Stands that once was Highbury. Shortly to your left will be the magnificent and imposing sight of the Alexandra Palace. Out of New Barnet station turn right and then left into Station Road. 10 minutes walking will get you to the traffic lights opposite the Barnet Odeon Cinema. Turn right (A1000) passing under the railway bridge where the ground can be found behind the Old Red Lion pub on your left.
High Barnet Underground is 5 minutes walk away from Underhill and is the last station on the High Barnet Branch of the Northern Line. London Kings Cross also offers a direct connection to this line so you are spoilt for choice really. Turn left out of the station past the car park up the slope and left out onto Barnet Hill (A1000). An alleyway alongside the Old Red Lion pub will take you to the ground.
The 84, 384 or 107 buses run every 15 minutes or so from New Barnet to Underhill. Adult fare £2.00 Concessions £1.00.Other buses to pass Underhill include the 34, 263 and 307.
Where To Get A Decent Drink Locally:
Barnet is full of good pubs most to found in and around the High Street. Highly recommended are The Seabright Arms in Alston Road, The Weaver Bar which is a big supporter of the club and the Railway Tavern, which is just an Edwin Stein corner kick from New Barnet station.
The three pubs closest to the ground are the aforementioned Weaver Bar, on Greenhill Parade, Great North Road a minute's walk south of the Odeon Cinema, The Queens Arms Sports Bar, adjacent to the Odeon and The Old Red Lion, which virtually overlooks the ground. The Old Red is known as the "away" pub.
Where To Get A Bite To Eat Locally:
Other than the pubs detailed above there only a couple of places to eat close to the ground.
The Fresh Fry (take away and sit down) which is directly alongside the Odeon quite simply serves up a magnificent piece of fried fish, piping hot mushy peas and the perfect chip. This establishment is on a par with any other to be found around the country and believe me I have visited virtually all of your towns and sampled the fish and chips. However, the restaurant in Scarborough South Bay was rather splendid and takes some battering, sorry bettering, I will admit!
A pickled-gerkin's-length away you will find Jose's Cafe (and Delicatessen), 30 yards further south past the Odeon. It offers a vast range of generously filled fresh rolls and sandwiches plus a large selection of superb quick meals in the small dinning area.
Underhill has changed very little since the mid 1960's apart from the demise and wilful destruction (wink) of the much missed home fan stronghold 'West Bank' covered terrace (actually at the south end of the ground). Memories come flooding back of manic celebrations like the last minute winning own goal against Kettering Town, Andy Clark's thrash past a hapless Andy Pape against Enfailed, or the numerous ' Master In the Box' Nicky Evans perfect finishes or even Jimmy Greaves waltzing past flat footed defenders and blasting the ball into.................sorry, I got carried away there didn't I? This end of the ground now boasts a brand new modern 1,000 seater stand completed in January 2008 gloriously decorated with amber and black seating. The view from seat K50 is absolutely perfect!
To the left of the South Stand is the Main Stand. Built in 1964 it straddles the half way line and has seating for around 900. This structure houses the changing rooms together with The Silver Suite and at ground level, the tannoy room - hello Dick! Access to it is via the turnstiles at the Barnet Lane entrance. The view offered is very good with only a few seats having restricted visibility. It is very encouraging to report that the vocal support from the area of the Underhill Stadium improved beyond recognition last season and long may it continue.
Flanking the main stand to its right is the all seated Family Stand, a fully covered converted terrace for both home and away supporters. Years ago it was a very vociferous area in that it was a couple of strides from the old social club and used to get rather rowdy there during the 2nd half of a match.
To the left is the uncovered North West Terrace. I have heard many Bees fans refer to this area as The Moon such is the lack of atmosphere on matchdays and that many natives sulk if they can't stand exactly on their customary little piece of terrace. However the regular inhabitants who are Amber and Black through and through I wager, will beg to differ.
At the top end of the stadium is the North Terrace. This is the smallest area of the ground and is very narrow at one end as it runs parallel with the Westcombe Drive gardens behind it. Regulars on this terrace have witnessed the changing appearance of flowerbeds, and the addition of sheds or patios for years. They are separated from joining in with family bar-b-ques by a tall mesh fence, which also helps with saving the wildest shots from going into the odd fishpond. Edwin Stein managed to fire dozens of crosses and shots over the top of it. Alongside the North terrace is a small section of covered seating reserved for away fans, It is of a temporary nature but the view is obviously very good as the area has proved very popular with our visitors.
Opposite the main stand is the East Terrace. This area is fully covered with a raised section in the centre. During our Conference campaigns home fans were housed in the two northernmost sections while the third was allocated to away fans. For the 2006/7 season this was changed and the northern section is now for visiting supporters only with the fully segregated central and southern sections for home fans This has been the 'in' terrace since the loss of the 'West Bank' and the most vocal Bees fans are to be found here.
The latest editions to the ground are the new floodlight pylons which were erected during the summer of 2010. The original floodlighting system, although modernised occasionally, had been in place for over 45 years and I seem to remember were originally powered by gas! Anyway the new system has added another new focus to the stadium which can now be seen from quite a distance.
Yes, the pitch does slope rather alarmingly from North to South but it used to slope even more until the late 1980s. It is said that on a windy or rainy day in years gone by it was imperative to win the toss and play up the hill in the first half or suffer the consequences late in the game.
Matchday Magazine £3.00 edited by David Bloomfield in full glossy colour containing superb articles by the crème de la crème of local writing talent as well as James Castle.
A good-natured amicable club like us......never! However, Enfield were huge rivals in the early days of the APL/Gola/Conference and even further back in the black'n'white days of leather balls and silly shorts. There is still a massive anti Enfeild feeling amongst the more senior Bees fans but most of the younger ones cannot comprehend why we despise a club in the lower reaches of the non-league pyramid and whose supporters have formed an alter ego club in Enfailed Town. Some of you reading this will understand what I mean when I say that traditional rivalry between clubs is very difficult to extinguish isn't it?
Keep your eyes open everybody, as Barnet is an autograph hunters paradise with Emma Bunton spicing up her life up with a visit to Iceland on a Saturday morning. Elaine Paige and Paul Young busk outside the entrance to The Spires Shopping Precinct with (until recently) musical arrangements by Micky Most. Those of you with a little more culture might be interested to know that the great 19th century explorer David Livingstone, who invented the package tour holiday, lived a spears throw from the High Street. Author William Thackery, statistician James Castle and Novelist and Critic Sir Kingsley Amis both had all day passes at Barnet Library. Legendary comic Spike Milligan lived in a beautiful spired house close to Hadley Common and was a regular visit to the local pubs in Barnet usually 'Gooning' around with mate Peter Sellers who used to catch the 263 bus up from Finchley!
Overnight Stay Factor (OSF)
The Barnet fixture for the majority of visiting clubs this season (although I stress most strongly at this point Barnet is in Hertfordshire and we are not Cockneys) has to be the best opportunity to visit the greatest city in the world and the capital of England to experience all that it offers. The ground is 30 minutes from central London by tube or train and an hour by bus. It is steeped in history and architectural brilliance and encapsulates the definitive list of tourist attractions to visit - it doesn't get much better than this little lot does it? The Tower Of London, The Houses Of Parliament and Big Ben, Horseguards, St Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, The River Thames, The Planetarium, Harrods, Piccadilly Circus, Underhill.........this list is almost endless.
If you are looking to stay overnight look no further as we recommend The Hadley Hotel, 113, Hadley Road, Barnet. Telephone: 0208 449 0161. This pub/hotel is just a 10/15 walk from the ground or the High Barnet Underground station and perfect for Bed & Breakfast.
I will award an OSF factor of 10/10 if only because it is my game.
With thanks to Reckless for giving us his 'Guide to Underhill'