Here is the Talking Bull ‘Away Days’ Guide to Stratford Town brought to you by the ground guru himself, Simon Wright.
Once more into the midweek breach we go. Our good men and true are heading for Shakespeare country. Unfortunate that such a lovely venue is an evening event as lingering longer is recommended.
The Moodchimp Stadium (it’s an social intercourse app, before you ask) is based in Tiddington, on the edge of Stratford, around 1.5 miles from the town centre.With a sweeping drive off Knights Lane into their car park. Spectator accommodation is the bare minimum. A surprisingly small number of seats in the impressive main building are augmented by a small structure on the opposite touchline and a far from large covered area behind one goal. Elsewhere, there’s just a concrete path behind advertising hoardings from which to wear your heart on your sleeve. The all-time attendance record is just over 1,000.
The naked truth is that the Warwickshire club do struggle for support (averaging barely 200), indeed only Dunstable have a lower League average gate. But comparisons are odious. Expect to pay £10 adults for the performance, £6 concessions, kids £2 or free depending on age. Our flesh and blood Disabulls will be generally fine. Blue badge holders get a space on request and the concourse around the stand is all flat. There are a few steps to ascend to get into the seats.
The club car park is generously proportioned but is unlikely to be sufficient for our support. Knights Lane will be coned off so watch out for contingency car parking. In the past, Town have used the National Farming Union Social Club park which is further up Knights Lane. No toil or trouble here.
Is that a pub I see before me? The Baxi Bar is built into the impressive main building. Two Bees or not 2b? The modern mead options are best described as standard but, fair play, it does sport a coffee machine. For anyone travelling after work, the be all and end all is the Crown Inn at Tiddington is 10 minutes’ walk away in Main St, boasting 3 real ales and that Doombar stuff. Early arrivals can swoon over the auspicious town centre choice though many taverns demand a pound of flesh. Wear your heart on your sleeve at Stratford Alehouse in Greenhill Street, 400 metres from the train station. Finest meads and ciders including Dorothy Goodbody and Malvern’s Hogan’s Ciders. Have too much of a good thing at sticky bun early heaven Hobsons Pattiserie at the Minories (open until 5.30). Mums the word about dishes for the Gods.
By Road: 54 miles (CV37 7BZ) Through Worcester and follow A422 to Stratford. Cross Clopton Bridge and turn immediately left onto the B4086 towards Wellesbourne and continue for approximately 1 mile. After passing the NFU Building on your right, take the next right into Knights Lane. The ground is 800 metres on the right.
By train: Wild goose chase from the Shire. London Bulls have a direct train to Marylebone provided they pre-book a taxi and miss the end of the game. But all’s well that end well.
By Carriage: Visit Hereford Awaydays Facebook page. Brevity is the soul of wit.