‘On the Road’ with The Barmy Army!
Living on the edge of Ilkley Moor as I do, it’s a bit of a trek even to get in to The Rams Stadium for the home games, but over the years it’s become a habit I find hard to break. (And yes I admit that I have tried to break it… though thankfully I failed!) Away games can be even worse, though they do have one thing in their favour and that’s The Barmy Army Bus.
It’s not everybody’s cup of tea – an early start and a late finish, and more alcohol than I can handle these days, but for me the company makes it all worthwhile. Haven’t been much of a drinker for some years now if I’m being honest, so I’m not really sure why they put up with Sheila and I, but for some reason they do, and I’m glad of it. Not only do they have their own bus and their own flags, but they also have friends on every ground in the league, and Sunday’s trip up to Whitehaven was typical of the adventures they have when following their side.
Motorway service areas aside, our first stop on this trip was Last Orders in Penrith, hardly an appropriate name I felt, given the fact that only now was our day starting to get under way. Still we got a warm welcome there, and probably tarried a little too long before finally setting off for the match. Still we made it for the kick off… just… and got a good game for our trouble, even if we did lose a game I thought we could, and should, have won (
You’d be surprised just how long you can make a glass of Guinness last if you put your mind to it, but then I wanted to talk to the players – see how they felt the game had gone. Poorly was the general opinion, we made too many mistakes and paid for them, but that’s the game I guess.
Don’t ask me how long we stayed. The Army slaked it’s thirst, renewed old acquaintances and made new ones for the future while I chatted to the players, emptied my glass and finally hid away in the bus to make a start on the match report. At least, that was the excuse I used!
For some reason the return trips always seem to need more ‘comfort’ breaks, though on this trip we also needed to pay homage to ‘The Herdwick Tup’ at Cockermouth, (you’ll need to see the photo for an explanation of that one.) It’s strange how often the unexpected always seems to happen on these trips, and this stop gave us another one when a second bus pulled up at the roundabout to disgorge some of the Workington squad fresh from their victory at Keighley.
Of course we had the usual arguments and disagreements during the journey home, but it all ended with the usual ‘see you next week’ which in our case is a two day trip to Crusaders in North Wales.
Come on you Rams, we’ll definitely be looking for a win here.