Old Fred used to smoke like a chimney and coughed his way through a packet every game it seemed to me. I don't think I ever saw anyone so stressed as he was and he was frequently seen with his head in his hands. We had good crowds in those days and sold loads of tickets. As soon as the game started, we used to rush back to the supporters' hut and hand in our ticket stubs. The hut was like bedlam - all the jackpot ticket sellers were handing in their stubs, and crashing all the money they collected (mainly coins) onto the table. How on earth they ever got to count it all and place the stubs into the drum for the half time winners' announcement, I'll never know.
It was chaotic, more so because the team was doing well, or sometimes there was a big opponent in town, so all the ticket sellers were rushing into the hut and rushing out again to see the game from the back of the East Stand, where we could sit on the back ledge to see the game (there were never any vacant seats) and it was from there that we saw the likes of Spurs, Burnley etc - the Manchester Uniteds of the day.
After the game, we would go back to the hut and have a cup of tea. The players frequently went there too. Dave Dunmore always seemed to be relaxed. He was a nice chap. The hut was rather like a cafe. Very East End and you could always be assured of a warm welcome and good local conversation. It wasn't very big but, as O's fans, it was all we knew, so we didn't complain. I was still at school and quite young so it was a thrill to be close to the players. I would then rush home to my dad, an Orient fan for over 70 years to tell him.
Although it was all a long time ago, I have clear memories of that time. I reflected on it when Dan and I came down for the Leeds game in 2008-09. I thought the LOSC bar and facilities in the new ground were simply superb, a far cry from the 60's. So civilised, fresh and impressive. It's clearly the reason why it's always packed out.
For more of Alan's articles on his history with the O's, click here.
In his article on the history of the Supporters Club, David Dodd asked if any members had memories of the old cabin under the main stand which was the supporters' club hut many moons ago. Here’s one contribution from Alan Chandler, now resident in Solihull but a long time Orient supporter.
I recall in the 60's, especially 1961 - 62 and 62 - 63 seasons, I used to go in the ‘hut’ as I was a jackpot ticket seller for the supporters' club. We used to get into the ground free and what a task it was getting past the gate man in those days. He was a real jobsworth and we almost had to beg to get by him and collect our wad of tickets from the old chairman of LOSC, the one and only Freddie Dunne, before we went to our allotted part of the ground, right by the turnstiles and the fans flocked in, one after the other.