Meeting outside the Supporters’ Club at 09:30 for a departure by 10:00, those taking part in the Orient Line will be taken back to the historic roots of our fine Club. Visiting Clapton and Hackney, various places of interest are included on the walk, including the site of the iconic Millfields Road stadium – which at one time was one of the finest football stadiums in the south of England, the Lea Bridge ground where the O’s shared with Lea Bridge Speedway team before moving to Brisbane Road in 1937, along with several sites of former Orient headquarters, including The Elderfield public house – one of two refreshment stops on the route!
The homes of two Clapton Orient star players, William Jonas and Fred ‘Spider’ Parker are also incorporated in this fascinating annual event – as far as it is known no other football club has a heritage trial walk. Supporters’ Club Deputy Chairman Steve Jenkins will lead the walk and give historical talks at the various locations connected with the O’s.
A large section of the Orient Line takes you back to the poignant past when Clapton Orient enlisted to serve King and Country, confirmation of the O’s service and sacrifice in the Great War is acknowledged with the commemorative plaque in Millfields Road, which states that the Prince of Wales attended a league match between Clapton Orient and Notts County on April 30 1921, as a mark of respect for the Orient’s proud example – this was the very first time a member of the royal family had attended a football league match. In total three commemorative plaques are included on the Orient Line walk which covers a circular route of around eight miles.
The Orient Line heritage trail was devised by local walk expert Len Banister in conjunction with Steve Jenkins and it would be great to see as many Leyton Orient supporters as possible take part in the walk. There is no cost to take part, although there will be an opportunity to purchase a souvenir guide booklet on the day. Ensure you wear comfortable footwear and also bring a waterproof in case of April showers, a snack to eat on the route would also be advisable.