29 March 2008

Where is Ebbsfleet?

"makes me a sort of Roman Abramovich or Thaksin Shinawatra without their billions, I suppose!...This is certainly a major achievement given that Ebbsfleet, as a place, does not exist!"

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog http://dw-perspectives.blogspot.com/2007/12/i-am-boss.html about Ebbsfleet United who were 'purchased' by the My Football Club phenomena whereby 29,000 members became part owner of the club. I am one of those 29,000 owners which makes me a sort of Roman Abramovich or Thaksin Shinawatra without their billions, I suppose!

Anyway, Ebbsfleet United have created club history, not by singing karaoke, but by reaching the FA Trophy final where they will play Torquay United (home to the fabled Basil Fawlty) at the 'new' Wembley. This is certainly a major achievement given that Ebbsfleet, as a place, does not exist! So who is this mysterious club that has the backing of 29,000 people including yours truly?

Ebbsfleet were known as Gravesend and Northfleet before changing their name. The idea behind the change was to 'fit in' with the rejuvenation of the area and the construction of the Ebbsfleet Eurostar railway connection. So there will be an 'Ebbsfleet' one day but it currently does not exist! To make matters even more foggy Ebbsfleet play in Northfleet which is a fair few miles away from the redevelopment area.

Gravesend is situated in North Kent on the banks of the River Thames. Despite having had a maritime history, especially as a port, it is now better known as the burial place of the Princess Pocahontas. Yes - the real Princess and not the fictional Walt Disney one. Only thing is the officials are not 100% certain where she is buried in the churchyard of St George's Church!

I suppose the other main item of note is that Gravesend and surrounding areas are home to a large population of Sikhs. In fact, about 10% of the population is Sikh. Needless to say all the local taxi drivers are of the same religion. The high level of Indians in the area has ensured a plethora of good curry houses. They are indeed much better than the fast food wares of McDonalds and the like.

Gravesend has musical culture as well. When Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was in the Russian army he was posted to Gravesend where he wrote part of his first symphony. Aside from this I cannot recall any other famous musician (not that I personally remember Rimsky-Korsakov as I am not THAT old!).

So there it is. A small snapshot of the area that I know really well. Oh, and by the way, Gravesend is not the end place for lots of graves from the middle ages either! I'll let you, the reader, Google that and find out the true meaning.

Finally, good luck to Liam Daish and the boys in the final v Torquay in May. Here's hoping for a victory - GO THE FLEET!

1 comment:

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