Bridgwater Town – Ground Guide

bridgwater_400x400Are you all set for the relatively short ‘away day’ journey to Bridgwater Town on Saturday?

Here is some background information on the club and the ground itself from Talking Bull guest compiler David Moore-Tabb.

The Robins are in a hole, brought about mass resignations and sackings ‘on and off the park’ during the close season. This included the grounds-man, the main sponsor and even some of the bar staff. A new manager is in place together with a cheaply-assembled squad and the committee are trying but current results have seen the club drop to the foot of the Evo-Stik South & West table.

The 1984 version of the club has become more of a dead parrot than a phoenix. Sadly, this is nothing new in Bridgwater where a gallant few battle to keep the fifth Town club in business. Attempting to visit and gather ground information felt an uphill task for me but our needs are trivial by comparison.  We know what feeling your club slipping away feels like. Poor sods.  We can best help by turning up in big numbers and spending money. At 90 miles, ‘Bridgy’ are one of our nearer opponents – and it’s a decent ground too. There are no issues with capacity as there is room for around 2,500 fans.

btfcFairfax Park is as old as the club ie, 22 years. The old ground was apparently completely flattened and all the club history went with it with the sole exception of the metal goalposts which were retrieved. There are seats for 302 supporters in an ill-matching pair of low stands facing each other on the halfway line. Another 400+ can take advantage of covered terraces behind the goal, one with 4 steps accommodating up to 360 fans and a far smaller, shed-like structure for an extra 80.

The clubhouse is situated close to the turnstiles. There is a bar with seats and two TV’s and that’s all I know. Our ‘Disabulls’ have their own loo here accessible via a ramp and 3 allocated spaces in the main stand. We are in the South-West so naturally there are some egg-chasing hangers-on. Fairfax Park is situated between the Bridgwater RFC and Bridgwater College all weather pitches. Depressingly, jolly old rugger has the popular support in the town and as per usual they have a home match at the same time. Obviously!

For the Robins, 200 people is an exceptionally large gate. Even with the perennially irritating clash of fixtures with the neighbours (watch out for their loose balls), car parking ought to be OK. There are 70 spaces in an area next to the ground, 80 more along the access road and if needed 600 more at the College next door.

The nearest pubs are back on Bath Road. The Sportsman at no 73 looks closest, a friendly old boozer but with no real ale.  Boasting proper beer is the nearby New Market Hotel in Lower Bath Street, with guest beers lighting up their huge lounge. At the opposite end of Bath Street is the Cross Rifles with Old Speckled Hen and Doom Bar. Adherents of the mighty Spoons will not be deterred that their favourite brand is 0.8 miles away in the shape of the Carnival Inn (named after the town’s famous annual event) in St Mary’s Street. No shortage of real ale here plus Strongbow cider.

The Town itself looks decent enough with genuine history and has the pleasant River Parrett running through it, which may be worth a meander if you have the time.

By Road: (TA6 4TZ) 90 miles.  From M5 J24 – enter town on A38, follow signs for Glastonbury (A39). Fairfax Park is between Bridgwater College and Rugby Ground as you pass over the railway bridge.

By Train: More do-able than most from the Shire. Changes at Newport and Bristol, but it’ll take twice as long as driving there. The ground is 650 metres from the station, a little vexing as the line runs right past the stadium.

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