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The Golden age of Groundhopping


Ancient Wolf
Reserve Team Regular

Feb 10, 2013, 6:42 PM

Posts: 703
Location: Birmingham
Team(s): Middlesbrough and Norton and Stockton Ancients

Post #1 of 4 (5165 views)
The Golden age of Groundhopping Can't Post or Reply Privately

Does anyone have any thoughts on when their favourite era of groundhopping was?

I especially enjoyed the late 80s and early 90s.

Bill's Non-League traveller so we had pre-internet all the fixtures in one place.
Cheap day returns and NSE railcards on BR. Train fares seem to have increased well ahead of inflation. As have petrol prices.
As have admission prices at Football League and senior Non-league.
Far fewer postponements on health and safety grounds or pitch cut up prevention.
Sunday games in Welsh league, Western and SWL seemingly every week after January.

Man City Transfer Target!

Feb 11, 2013, 4:51 PM

Posts: 14497

Post #2 of 4 (5101 views)
Re: [Ancient Wolf] The Golden age of Groundhopping [In reply to] Can't Post or

The late 80's early 90's were great for the Western League, loads of Sunday games involving the Cornish clubs who stayed over. The league playing on most Bank Holidays quite often with staggered kick-offs.

Talking of staggered kick-offs we just don't seem to get so many these days. I know it gets harder to do 3 in a day the more grounds you do, but I struggle to get two in a day these days. Managed it on Easter Monday last year.

Another good time was when I was a lad and you had the Percil Vouchers on the trains, remember my parents went to a cash and carry in Wantage and brought 36 or 72 bars of soap, had half price train travel for ages on those, and I was clean. My mother had this thing about soap, the longer you left it the harder it got so the longer it lasted, it's a Scottish thing I think. My grandfather was Scottish and when he died he had loads of soap, same when my Aunt passed away my Uncle was giving out soap to the family for ages. In fact I would say for many years in our house their were always 40 or 50 bars of soap on a shelf.

Reserve Team Regular

Feb 11, 2013, 5:16 PM

Posts: 660
Location: Birmingham

Post #3 of 4 (5092 views)
Re: [acmold] The Golden age of Groundhopping [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I'd agree with the late 1980s. Going to Football League required careful planning due to the partial membership scheme in operation, while in non-League the prefab stands hadn't arrived yet (although there were a few Atcost grounds) so if a club wanted to put up a stand or cover it had to use some ingenuity or even a real architect. Also, clubs like Tamworth and Halesowen were fun to watch because they had large followings that often swamped small venues.

Man City Transfer Target!

Feb 13, 2013, 7:41 PM

Posts: 7067
Location: North London
Team(s): Oxford United / Groundhopper

Post #4 of 4 (4988 views)
Re: [aiwa] The Golden age of Groundhopping [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The cheap day returns were actually cut back to their present geographical level in the summer of 1985, when the misleadingly-named 'saver' ticket was introduced. Prior to this you could buy a day return to anywhere in the UK where, as the timetable book put it, it was possible to spend a "reasonable amount of time at the destination."

My own personal favourite season though, is 1983-84 as this was the first season in which I attended early evening kick-offs, starting with an FA Cup replay at Tunbridge Wells that kicked off at 5.30pm. Best of all, the good weather that season meant that I managed to watch a game on every Saturday from 6th August up to 12th May, including Xmas Eve. (1982-83 had seen me mess up one Saturday.)

(This post was edited by Chris1963 on Feb 13, 2013, 7:43 PM)


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