Farewell to Griffin Park, home of The Bees
Griffin Park has been the home of Brentford Football Club for 115 years. It is a typical London stadium, nestled between residential streets and terraced houses, but unique in being the only ground in the country with a pub on each corner. The stadium takes its name from one of the pubs, and is built on land donated by the Fuller’s brewery. In the early days the Griffin pub (top left in the picture) doubled as the changing rooms for the teams.
This painting was intended to mark the final home game of the season, on the 2nd May 2020, a match which has met the same fate as so many other events around the world as restrictions are put in place to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The view has as its central feature fans spilling out of the home stand on Ealing Road, with players on the pitch behind applauding the crowd. I have been careful to include all the little details, but have changed certain proportions to focus on the atmosphere and community spirit which is such a big part of matchdays at Griffin Park. The iconic bus stop is there, as are the four pubs. I made sketches and drawings of the fans and surrounding area after Brentford’s last home game, the wonderful 5-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday on the 7th March. Little did I know at the time that I would not be returning for the rest of the season, especially for the final home game, but at least my final memory was an emphatic win.
Since then The Bees have played at their shiny new Community Stadium not far from Griffin Park. Everyone behind the scenes has worked hard to ensure a smooth transition and to maintain the ‘local club’ ethos. I am looking forward to the walk to the stadium and watching games with my kids and fellow football fans. Stay tuned for a new painting in September!