1993: Football losses, hotels and weekends away

Sunday 14th November 1993

My diary for that day plus some photos from our trips of the time.

wycombe-programme

It was a different Sunday as we went to Bath for the F.A. Cup game against Wycombe Wanderers. The match was all ticket and we were lucky to get two in the family enclosure. We stopped off on our way at the Crown in Marshfield for a Sunday roast. The beer was just about o.k. and the food similarly underwhelming. The pub is convenient because you don’t have to battle with the traffic and queues near the ground or in central Bath. We took the usual back route over Lansdown and down through Weston village, parking in the car park at the end of the Lower Bath Road. We couldn’t get tickets for next week’s game at Stockport as they only gave us 300 or so. The programme says no fans should travel to the game without one. It is a good job we have two seats in the main stand among the home fans then isn’t it? It’s not as if we would make a nuisance of ourselves should Rovers score. The Wycombe fans were full of themselves. They are a very happy-clappy set of fans, all scarves and bobble hats and decidedly non-league in attitude. All very nice and no doubt things will change as they get used to life in the league. No doubt also they would have brought more fans if the game wasn’t designated as all ticket. I am also sure Rovers would have nearer a 10 000 crowd if they could have sorted out a better arrangement of fans for the game. We should have won. Archie smacked one in from 30 yards but Parkin really gifted them a goal near the end. He cleared a routine back pass straight to their player who passed it to the back of the net in acres of space.

On the way back we saw plenty of Wycombe scarves in cars on the M4. It was good to get off and head off via Oxford to home. Back by 7, 30. Sorted bags for tomorrow and had an early night.

1993 was the first season we started doing regular weekends away.

Diaries for this year show the following away trips with hotels and pubs visited. I have dug out one photo from each trip to give a flavour of how we were doing more than just the game. I wasn’t yet into recording pubs or beers in photos. To be honest there wasn’t a lot of real choice, even as recently as 1993. Beers were almost always chosen from the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. We rarely stayed in the town in which the game was to be played.

Jan 9th Grimsby Away – Oaklands Hotel – same hotel as the team.

Pubs. Saxon Arms, Willy’s Bar in Cleethorpes.

outside-willys-in-cleethorpes

Fiona waiting for Willy’s to open in Cleethorpes.

Cleethorpes has always been a favourite town for me. It has absolutely no pretentions to be anything other than a simple seaside town for local tourists. Willy’s Bar was something very new at the time. It had its own shiny brewery on site and did simple food. We walked along the seafront on a cold January afternoon and even managed a game of crazy golf. For the record I won. This rarely happened because someone usually cheated.

Feb 24th Newcastle Away – Windsor Hotel in Whitley Bay

Pubs. Spread Eagle in York for a chip butty on way up.

 whitley-bay-hotel-view

View from hotel in Whitley Bay

I was up there again last year with Rose. We passed the hotel when going just around the corner to our alternative version on the seafront. Some things stand out about that trip. We had a midweek away game at Newcastle. Kevin Keegan was the new manager and they had a crowd of nigh on 30,000. We had taken M.I.L. with us on the trip and left her to a hotel meal while we went in to Newcastle for the game that somehow we drew 0-0.

Mar 27th Barnsley Away – Buckingham Hotel in Buxton

Pubs.Stanhope Arms in Dunford Bridge, Old Clubhouse.

 castleton-pic

 Doing tourist things in Castleton on the way home from a match

In this case the tourism was left to the Friday before when we did Buxton and then on the Sunday we went walking in Dovedale and, as shown in the photo, to Peverill Castle. I am not sure if I ever was seen without that Rovers scarf. I am also somewhat embarrassed to see the fat bloke in me manifested in trainers and track suit bottoms. I apologise now and forever more. I didn’t know what I thought I was doing.

May 1st Birmingham home – Lansdown Grove Hotel

Pubs. Old Green Tree, Old Farmhouse, Beehive,

 landsdown

 Our type of hotel

The hotel booking in Bath used the tokens collected from the Telegraph newspaper. We spent ages saving up for the half price weekends away at this hotel. They eventually saw us as regular visitors and booked the same very nice balcony-viewed room. It had a great location for crawling our way down into town but a terrible location for the late night drag back up at closing time.

Aug 21st Leyton Orient Home

Pubs. Crown Marshfield – The Pheasant.

marshfield_crown

The Crown

This wasn’t, and still isn’t, any great shakes for accommodation or beers. It is really handy though for a place just outside Bath.

Oct 16th Cardiff Away – Mount Sorrell Hotel Barry

Pubs. Borough Arms, Star at Dinas Powys,

mount-sorrel

 Not our sort of hotel.

If the Lansdown was brilliant, the Mount Sorrel experience certainly was not. They had a great looking pool, closed for the winter? The food was so bad we had to go out after dinner and get some beers and a pizza. Barry was in full party mode on this particular night in October. That involved locals dancing on the tables in the pub and puking over the cars parked in the car park shown in the photo, just below the window of our room that had to be open because there was no way to turn down the blast furnace of a heating system.

Nov 20th Stockport Away – Stannylands Hotel Wilmslow

Pubs. Ship, Olde Vic Edgeley hotel, The Bull Handforth

 rovers-return

 It had to be done. Didn’t it?

A Sunday morning tour of the Granada Studios. We have all done it haven’t we? A pint of Newton and Ridley’s? Betty’s Hot Pot? That scarf again but note the chinos. I suspect Fiona must have had a word.

We should have won this game but for Brian Parkin doing a Brian Parkin.

 For the record the programme notes I made show:-

Rovers

Parkin

Channing      Clark     Wright  Maddison

Sterling    Browning    Skinner      Archer

Taylor   Saunders

Subs

Tillson    Hardyman    Kelly

Scorers: Archer 25

Wycombe

 Hyde

Cousins     Creaser     Evans   Horton

Ryan     Langford    Hayrettin    Guppy

Carroll       Scott

Subs    Hutchinson for 9    Moussaddik

Scorers: Langford 34, Carroll 78

Referee: Mr M Pierce

Attendance 6,421

The screen Soccer you tube clips of the Wycombe game are here

In my opinion the family enclosure was probably the best place to watch the game at Twerton Park. The terrace was steeper than anywhere else and you had the away fans in the pen next door to create some atmosphere. That was the case until it rained. Then the experienced family enclosure member knew to position hi9mself under the tree that overhangs the back wall. Note the £4 ticket and the fact that at Bristol Rovers family only means being married and didn’t require any ankle biters as accessories. Also of note is the cute designation of Fiona having a ticket for a “lady”. She always appreciated that label in our season tickets.

Another point of record. We won 2-0 at Stockport a week later and we didn’t keep quiet. Nothing to worry about though as it appears about 300 or so Gasheads did the same as us and filled their main stand. Lee Archer’s goal was very well received by the home sections of the ground.

ON THIS DAY:-

1987       1sts Ampthill A W 19-7 2c

1993       Wycombe H 1-2

1997       Gillingham H 2-2

1998       Welling H 3-0

2008       Scunthorpe H 1-2

2009       Carlisle H 2-1

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