Barnet Football Club was formed in 1888 as an amateur organisation and they played at a ground in Queen’s Road until they disbanded in 1901 following an FA inquiry. A rival team, Barnet Avenue, took over the name in 1903. Another club, known as Alston Works FC, was also formed and played at Totteridge Lane until changing name to Barnet Alston FC in 1906. They moved to Underhill in 1907, merging with The Avenue to become Barnet & Alston in 1912 and plain Barnet FC from 1919.
During the Thirties, Barnet began to dominate the local amateur scene. The team were wearing the now moderately famous amber and black stripes, indicative of their nickname The Bees. The team won their first major honour, the FA Amateur Cup, by beating Bishop Auckland 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in 1946. The club progressed to senior amateur football by way of the Athenian and Isthmian Leagues, turning professional in 1965. Barnet gained admittance to the Alliance Premier League in 1979 as founder members.
In 1986 the Football League finally agreed to allow its bottom club to swap places with the Alliance champions when the latter became the Conference in 1986. Barnet finished runners-up three of their first four Conference seasons until a last-day win over Fisher Athletic finally landed the title, and promotion to the League, in 1991.
The London Borough of Barnet was formed by the amalgamation of the boroughs of Finchley and Hendon and the Urban Districts of Barnet, East Barnet and Friern Barnet.
As to the origins of the Barnet crest, the basis of it lies in the shield, not the coat of arms, of the former Urban District of Barnet. The chief with the roses is a reference to the Houses of York and Lancaster. The crossed swords refer to the climactic confrontation of the two parties, led respectively by King Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick, which took place at Hadley Green, Barnet, on Easter Sunday 14 April 1471. Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians and killed the Earl of Warwick. A commemorative obelisk was built at Hadley Highstone in 1740 at the spot where “Warwick the Kingmaker” was supposed to have fallen.
The large building in the original shield of Barnet Urban District is in fact a representation of the old Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, founded in 1573. There is controversy over the origins of two items depicted in the courtyard in front of the building. They may be gold coins as a reference to the well-known Barnet Fair. Chipping Barnet was founded around 1100 to take advantage of a new main road. It was granted a market in 1199, (chipping means market), and a fair in 1588. By the way, the fair became so famous that ‘Barnet’ became cockney rhyming slang for hair; Barnet Fair = Hair.
The two small items may also be small royal crowns, carved on each of the old gateposts outside the school. The gateposts are gone, but there are still two carved crowns set into the wall by the door. The “arms” used by the Urban District of Barnet seem never to have been properly granted or blazoned and therefore a coloured representation is non-existent.
Barnet’s logo does feature the original chief with the crossed swords and the two roses, but the large building from the shield has been replaced by a football and two corner flags in club colours, set on what may seem like a pitch but is in fact a reference to a hill. This hill, taken in turn from the arms of the Borough of Hendon, is also depicted in the shield of the present coat of arms of the Borough of Barnet and symbolises the origin of the name Hendon ‘at the high down’.