1898, eh? Or 1899. I think we've been there before. A long time ago anyway.
But let's not quibble too much as this first extract sets the scene nicely: boys from the town's posher schools; a gymnasium on Braddons Hill Road; an army sergeant-major; bands playing at the relatively new Princess Gardens. The story has started but, curiously, the 1969 programme doesn't reveal that the words had been written many years previously.
Meanwhile back in the world of 1969 we are told "United's League gate average for the season is slightly under 8,500.....nobody can pretend the response is wonderful considering our attractive football and place among the division's front runners". Time for a collective deep breath.
But the League had apparently barred Friday and Saturday night kick-offs that season. That's something forgotten in the mists of time.
Some names in that Gillingham team: Bellotti and Green would end up spending many years of their lives in South Devon; Peach and Machin would go on to greater things.