Firstly my apologies for – by my standards – the somewhat late appearance of my column today. This is due partly some technical difficulties and also to the 10 hour “magical Mystery Tour” endured by me and the coach passengers to Biggleswade !
I’d like to make my latest offering a “one-off” picTORial sTORy (amplification below) of the Tuesday trip to Bedfordshire. As the ediTOR, narraTOR and commentaTOR, I also take direcTORial licence in the content (and spelling) therein.
(TOR = “Townite On the Road”)
I firstly must thank the perpetraTORS of the TORtuous TORment that I suffered from “that photo”. Yes, I bear no animosity towards them whatsoever as there was never any “payback” intended. I may have TORn into them but it is hisTORy now. To them I owe gratitude for the inspiration given to enhance and enrich my column with photos. Although my words may paint pictures for you already, the inclusion of amateur personal camera snaps taken on the away-day will hopefully embellish your reading pleasure and take your enjoyment factor stratospheric ! I know that social media is the way to go for the “in crowd”, but it is a “no-go” for me and the STISA site is the place for me to be.
Whilst I am out of “writer block” territory, I must explain that my egotistical – yet self-effacing – “personna” is a mask for my shy, lonely, grouchy existence (for most of the year) as a meer mortal (and TORy) at “Toggie Towers” on the banks of the Avon. However, do not ever take me, or my apparent confident self-importance, seriously at all ……. as I most definitely don’t !! A most unsatisfacTORy perception to take. A sense of humour – very GSOH – is mandaTORy ! Any boredom or irritation is the price you must pay to be in my readership.
The coach “TOR” operaTOR
The lads’ tuTOR & menTOR (r) with the “The instrucTOR”(l)
The sTORm troopers (after the winning goal)
The “reporTOR”, the “statTORtition” and the “tweeTOR”
The long awaited story !
After the string of results that Town have produced this year, they now sit top of the bottom eight. This may have tainted the demeanour of the very few on board, who were there, yet again, for the normal tardy departure – this time for Bedfordshire – some 80 miles away. However, the recent loss of one or two favourites has been counter-balanced by two new signings, and one re-signing, by Carl. This same fixture one year and a day ago produced a seven goal match “suicide” by Town. Would it be rectified this time out ?
The tour took us to the A46, A45 and Coventry Eastern Bypass which was “choc-a-bloc” up to Binley Woods where we made our first of two stops at TGI’s. A 15 minute wait ensued there for 3 or 4 stragglers (blame it on the rush hour).Onto the M6 to pick up another three players just off the Rugby/Lutterworth exit and thereafter a good-paced,unhindered drive along the A14 and then A1. On arrival at Biggleswade, the good people of the parish had ensured that we see all of their town by means of road diversions. Undeterred we got to the Langford Road home of the Waders at 6.30pm.
As is normal on the rare midweek coach trips, there was no quiz from Mr. InquizitTOR, nor PredictTOR, although we missed the “PredicTOR InvigilaTOR” as he was on school commitments. His place as “on-pitch witchdocTOR” was taken by the returned Mark Bickley, but – happily for him and team – he was not needed to sprint on with the cold sponge !
The stadium is fronted by relatively new buildings, housing the changing rooms, admin. area and the spacious bar, sadly very devoid of most home fans both before and after the game. The official attendance for the game was a meagre 80 soles !
My pre-match walkabout from the entry corner immediately found the snack kiosk -commonly called the burger van. Yes, I did give my custom to chefs at half-time !
The main stand (i.e. seats !) covered the central expanse of the near-side but the rest of the pitch perimeter only found a small stand on the far side. There was no terracing at all, like DCS. The pitch appeared fine and flat.
As mentioned, the crowd was small and therefore atmosphere was non-existent. Townites described it as ghost town. Car travelling numbers were very low, making the “Blue Barmy Army” the smallest I can recall.
The match itself was on a very slow burner – to ignite only in the latter stages. It did seem that our suicidal tendencies had continued with a bizarre own goal to which most away fans resigned themselves as a sign of another defeat. However, the fighting spirit brought us a scrambled then a headed goal (both from series of corners) which allowed the Town finally to bring a bit of “savvie” to their game by using the proverbial corner-hugging routine. We saw it out ….. and were the cheers of joy or relief ?
After a happy post match drink, and some free hot sausage rolls, the coach party boarded and set off on our way at 10.30. After another detour and three-point turn in the town we found our way to the A1 and assumed a speedy return to Warwickshire. The Highways Agency had other ideas ! We soon encountered a “road closed” sign blocking th A1 and what followed was a disaster of diversions put in place. Somehow we, and other artics, cars etc, were shepherded into the village of Buckden in Huntingdonshire where a narrow river/canal bridge presented nigh-impossible progress possibilities for larger vehicles. Driver Paul, Carl and Adams senior and some concerned players alighted to assess the situation. Only after the brilliant directing and manoeuvring did we get by after over an hour’s delay. That was not the end of it ! We found ourselves back at the original diversion – not that far from Biggleswade ! Although by midnight now, I dosed off but I believe we came back via the A421 and M1 to do our second drop-off at TGI’s at 1.15am.
DCS saw the intrepid “coachers” alight at 1.45 am – a full 10 hours after departure.
Was it worth it, just for three points ? You bet it was !