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16 October 2014

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Frances Trinder: Home Ground

Home Ground

By Frances Trinder
September 2004,
A digital story from Who Do You Think You Are?

"It was exhilarating. Our football team - Queen's Park Rangers - had won promotion. Since 1980 we'd been there - every home match and family days. But I had no idea how my family history had played a part of this.

The family once lived in Shepherd's Bush and it was said that Great Aunt Beck had married well - could that be in a newspaper? Yes. I found that in 1899, she married Alfred Schneidau. But what's this? My heart leapt. The newspaper report also said her father - my great grandfather - was Vice President of Shepherd's Bush Football Club? The archives had photos and Great Uncle Aud, Beck's brother, was in the team.

Newspapers told their story - games - home, away and abroad - concerts and fetes. But in 1904 their pitch was sold for housing with only six months to find another. Club members dug deep for the 1500 needed - the price of three houses. There was some land behind Loftus Road - 3.5 acres used to dump clay, dug out for the London underground. They cleared, levelled, turfed and fenced. The covered stand and press box was moved and club members built a pavilion with five rooms and hot baths. The Loftus Road ground opened with a game on 22 October 1904.

Ten years later World War I was calling the boys to fight for their country. The ground was abandoned and the weeds returned.

But, in 1917 Queen's Park Rangers had to find a new ground and installed themselves at the Loftus Road Ground where they have remained ever since.

Now, as we sit in our seats and watch QPR, I can see clearly how it once was - the filled stand away to my left, the press box to my right and my great grandfather, smoking cigar, whisky in hand, watching the game from the pavilion. And Great Uncle Aud streaming up and down the wing with his tricky runs and curling shots into goal. I am so proud of them and this is their wonderful legacy to me."

Frances Trinder

Please tell us a little about yourself.
Born in London, living in Berkshire. I am 58, married with two adult children and one granddaughter. I work part-time as a clerk to school governors, and am a voluntary worker for the Prince's Trust. I enjoy researching family history and I am learning Italian.

What's your story about?
My recently discovered connection with my great grandparents, through a football ground now owned by Queen's Park Rangers. Gt. Grandfather was one of a committee who first acquired and developed the ground. 76 years later my family become QPR supporters and follow in the footsteps of my ancestors, unbeknown to us.

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
I am proud of what my grandparents and their family achieved, with the committee members of their football club. The story was forgotten. In its centenary year, the ground deserves to have its story told.

Any additional comments?
I had a wonderful week and this is a great opportunity for ordinary people to tell real stories.

Your comments

"I find this fascinating as your great aunt Becks is my great grandmother. We have photos of Rebecca Schneidau nee' Benton with my grandmother at our old house here in Devon." Deana from Devon.

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