At the end of the 1900/01 season QPR were forced to move from the Kensal Rise Athletic Ground. Mainly through the efforts of Rangers’ director, Mr T. R. Eagle, the Club moved to a ground at the rear of St. Quintin Avenue, which was situated close to the ‘Latimer Arms’ pub.
The following article, which appeared in the Kilburn Times on 23rd August 1901, gives a fascinating insight into how the Club were preparing for the new season:
‘The Rangers’ new ground in Latimer-road will soon be ready to receive its crowds.
Upon visiting the ground yesterday with one of the directors, I found Mr Eagle and a large staff of workmen busy erecting the goalposts, turnstiles etc. The stands will not be complete for opening day.
I am afraid, but I am informed that arrangements are being made for the covering of the old stand and that two or three portable buildings will be erected for offices, dressing rooms, etc, the latter to contain baths with a plentiful supply of hot and cold water, and that everything will be done that is possible for the comfort of both the public and the players.
The parish steam roller has been upon the playing pitch, but I’m afraid it was not of much use, the ground being too hard for it to make any impression. Walking over it, I noticed two or three rough places, but I am told that Bowman, the old Stoke player, states that he has played on scores of worse grounds.
The centre of the pitch, however, is in splendid condition. One advantage the public will have will be that they can approach to within a couple of yards of the touch line.
No new player has been signed since my last notes upon the team. The whole of the players will commence strict training under Walters, the old reserve trainer on Monday next, but I am doubtful if this can be done upon the ground; perhaps they will avail themselves of the Paddington Rec. again until their own ground is ready.’
The article concluded with a letter from the Rangers’ secretary:
‘Sir, – Knowing that large numbers of your readers take an interest in the welfare of our club, may I appeal to them through your columns to render us assistance by putting in an appearance at our new ground in Latimer-road, Notting Hill, on Saturday afternoon next, prepared to lend a hand in assisting to get things in order to the fast approaching season.
I feel certain that many of our friends are willing to assist us, and now is their opportunity.
The season tickets will be on sale, and the purchase of them will greatly assist us at the present juncture.
Thanking you in anticipation for publishing the above. I remain, yours faithfully, G. H. Mousell.
In the opening game on 4th September (described as either a South Eastern League fixture or a friendly?) the Rangers went on to beat Grays United 1-0, Arthur King scored the goal.
There had been some on-going opposition to having a professional football club on their doorstep, but I had to smile when I read that a reporter had referred to some of the local residents as, ‘timid inhabitants of this part of the borough!’
Unfortunately local opponents did eventually get their way and at the end of the season Rangers were forced out and the Club moved back to Kensal Rise.
(Thanks to Colin Woodley & Gordon Macey for their assistance)