Providing the official Red Devil supporters transport to away games - We're back up and running

I was in two minds about travelling by coach. As I said to Pat on Saturday I thought it might be a closed shop/bit of a clique. Well I got that totally wrong. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming

Status of away travel

NEXT AWAY GAME – COME AND WATCH THE RED DEVILS ON THE ROAD

Our next away offering is the match at BRADFORD CITY on Saturday 29th January 2022 – with a 3.00pm kick off.

We are running a supporters coach departing from the stadium at 7.00pm -and cost is £20.00 incl the buffet lunch.  We have a buffet stop organised at the Red Lion, Todwick, about an hour from Bradford, just off the M1 at Junction 32. We will have a comfort/coffee stop at Watford Gap on the way. We aim to be at the pub for 11.30am and leave at 1.00pm.  On the return journey we will have a stop but will be at the drivers decision where.

COACH IS NOW FULL TO BRADFORD CITY

We are also taking bookings for the re-arranged Swindon game on the 1st February 2022 – with a 7.45pm kick off – see details below. 

 

 

Great News- Glenn Morris signs an extended contract for another year and an option to extend for another.

 

 

Morning All

It was extremely disappointing at Stevenage as the previous matches the team had played really well, but on this occasion the performance was sadly lacking, especially in midfield where we didn’t compete and failed to produce anything going forward. The only piece of quality was the equaliser from Tom Nichols when curling the ball into the far corner. Both goals conceded were poor and should have been avoided. We go again and this starts on Saturday with the visit of Tranmere Rovers.

From our side we had two great trips to and from the stadium with no traffic hold ups – we arrived early at the stadium and enjoyed a relaxing time in their bar – discussing the COVID situation with games being called off. The journey home we had to pull into the services as the driver needed a comfort break!!! – and 10 minutes later we were back on the road arriving at the PP stadium just after 11.30pm.

I had a phone call from the Northumberland Police on Monday afternoon asking if we had one of our coaches in South Shields on Sunday afternoon as it hit a car without stopping. When I explained that we don’t actually have any coaches he was a bit confused – when I explained that we were the travel organisers for Crawley Town FC and that we hired in our coaches from Premier Transport he was a bit amused and asked if we knew another company with GH – which at the time he rang I didn’t – but a bit of search on the internet found GH Watts in Leicester – maybe it was them, I don’t know. However, a few years ago we had another caller saying that our GH coach hit a parked car and that he wanted our insurance details – when I tried to explain that we didn’t have coaches he just hung up and we never heard from him again – an insurance scam!!!!. Maybe the incident on Sunday was another one trying it on – anyway we can confirm that we are in the clear of any traffic offences.

Carlisle United 1 Crawley Town 1

The Red Devils will rue the missed penalty in the second half when leading 1- 0 from Ashley Nadesan’s first half strike, but his strike from 12 yards went into orbit and didn’t even test the keeper – credit to Carlisle they didn’t give up and their goal in the 93rd minute gave them a point and the Red Devils must be thinking how they didn’t win the game – even after they equalised Reece Grego-Cox had a chance to win the game, but it wasn’t to be so the points were shared.

Caleb Watts our second loanee from Southampton made his debut in the second half, only to be replaced 20 minutes later when he seemed to have pulled hamstring, he was replaced by Archie Davies – shame for him as he showed plenty of skill and endeavour in the time he was on the pitch. He could now be side lined for 10 weeks depending on how serious it is and has returned to Southampton for treatment. We are having no luck at all with injuries, as soon as we get one back playing we get another player injured – Yems must be pulling his hair out – what he has left!!!!.

Our overnight excursion to Carlisle went off with good runs both ways, the Travelodge hotel and our evening in Penrith were as good as any other of our trips and we even went back to the Weatherspoon’s on Sunday morning for breakfast. However as we were about to depart from the PP Stadium we took a late decision that we would take my car as well when it was obvious that with 17 of us and with overnight bags it was going to be a bit tight. So 4 travelled in the car which gave more room on the minibus.  It’s more than likely that this will happen for our journeys Harrogate and Exeter City matches as well.

Exeter City overnight trip – The good news is that we have now located a hotel in Exeter for the game Tuesday 15th March and Wednesday 16th March – Again we are going to make a day of the travelling down leaving at 10.30am and find some where to stop for lunch on the way. The hotel is the Buckerell Lodge a couple of miles from the stadium.

For this trip being on a Tuesday evening we are again only taking the minibus – so we will not be doing a there and back on the day. We have 17 seats available if you want to book on for this trip.  We have reserved single and twin rooms at the hotel.

Cost for this trip is or a single room £90 and for a shared room is £70.00 – this includes the travel, hotel and breakfast on Wednesday morning before departing for home. We are now taking bookings for this trip and will need the £30.00 deposit when booking – we have to confirm all rooms by the end of February. I think we have fallen on our feet with this hotel as they provide the catering for the Football Club and have a Crawley supporter on their staff.

NEXT AWAY MATCHES – COVID PERMITTING

With the restrictions now being lifted for wearing masks etc – we are not insisting that you need to do anything different on the coaches, but if want to feel at ease and you want to keep wearing your mask then please carry on. Whatever you feel most comfortable with. What we still would re-iterate is that if you have any symptom then please do not travel on the coach. Should you subsequently get Covid within 3 days of travelling on the coach then please tell us so that we can contact others that travelled.

Saturday 29th January – BRADFORD CITY – 3.00pm Kick off. – 45 booked on for this trip – 8 seats remaining.

The supporters coach departs from the stadium at 7.00am we have now been able to organise a buffet stop after three attempts after we found out that the Dusty Miller had closed permanently – the first two in Barlborough both had functions already arranged so we have found another at the next M1 junction 31. – The Red Lion, Todwick – and we have also been able to sort out a buffet for this trip – Cost for this trip is £20.00. For this game we will only be taking the one coach and will have a standby list if full should anyone cancel. Match Tickets now on Sale at the club office.

FEBRUARY AWAY MATCHES – WE ARE NOW TAKING BOOKINGS FOR ALL THESE MATCHES

Tuesday 1st February 2022 – SWINDON – 7.45pm Kick off

Our re-arranged trip to Swindon is on Tuesday 1st February 2022 – 7.45 kick-off – it’s a 4.00pm departure from the stadium and our normal cost of £20.00. We hope to run the coach but will definitely run the minibus should we not get the numbers. Match tickets are now available at the club office.

Tuesday 8th February 2022 (overnight) – HARROGATE – 7.45pm kick off

– (Fully Booked) for this game we are only taking a minibus departing the stadium at 10.30am, we are going to make a day of it – we have booked at the Travelodge in Harrogate. We travel back on the Wednesday morning departing about 9.30am. Those who have not paid their deposit, Hotel Rooms now confirmed and paid for this overnight game. Following our Carlisle trip we have decided that we will only have 13 on the minibus and 4 will travel in my car due to the room needed for luggage and space to make the trip more comfortable.

Saturday 19th February 2022 – SALFORD CITY – 3.00pm Kick off

The coach departs from the stadium at 7.30am, we will organise a pub stop on the way to the game at the Kilton Inn, who have now actually contacted me about the stop. This is where we have previously stopped when travelling to Rochdale this season – we will update as soon as something has been arranged – Cost for this trip is £20.00. For this game we will only be taking the one coach and will have a standby list if full should anyone cancel.

If you have any queries or questions about our away travel then please ask. To book on any of these matches please contact either Alain or Patrick. We will confirm you booking as soon as we are able – if you have heard within 24 hours then send us an E mail or Text message.

Crawley Supporters and the Major’s Retreat 

Our first visit to the Majors Retreat was when it was called the Portcullis – was on Saturday 26th October 2006 having looked through my records, so many moons ago – we were then known as the Crawley Town Supporters Club and were looking to find a suitable stop on our way to Forest Green Rovers when we were playing in the Conference League, for those who are not into football it is a League below the top 92 clubs that they call the Football League. Anyway, we or I did my usual search on the internet to find somewhere about half an hour from the ground, usually a location just off the motorway. We found a pub in Tormarton which looked a suitable place to make contact. We went on Google maps to see the access and whether a coach could easily be accommodated.

Having done these searches I then contacted them initially by an Email which introduced ourselves, I can imagine at the time that when you see the words “Football Supporters” you immediately put the shutters up – but we received a reply from Viv saying that we would be welcome. We agreed the details during a telephone conversation and then sprung on them that we would like to provide a buffet for the travelling supporters and was that possible. Again we got a positive reply – all now sorted.

The day arrived and the coach with 53 supporters on board pulled up at midday to be greeted at the door by Roy who made sure the coach didn’t demolish anything while parking on the front and then welcomed each and every one of us into the pub. The next hour and a half was extremely good natured with everyone joining in the banter – even as we know now it was a pub that followed the oval ball rather than the round one – eh Viv. The ale – not sure whether “Pigs Ear” was being served then but whatever it was, it was going down very well.  The buffet provided was excellent and plentiful for all and if I remember correctly was on a covered snooker table in the back room. We departed for the game fed and watered and we seemed to have made a favourable impression on everyone that we were actually invited back whenever we were in the vicinity.

Since 2006, and since having gained promotion to the Football League in 2011 and changing our set up to GH Away Travel, we have been stopping off at the now called “Major’s Retreat” every season whether we were going to Forest Green Rovers, either Bristol Clubs or Newport County – yes, across the border into Wales – One season a couple of years ago we actually arrive with two full supporters coaches (Yes, they were both booked in) which did cause a bit of a problem in parking but it was soon sorted and everyone was served within 20 minutes of arriving with their first drink – amazing. We also arranged a stop one Sunday lunchtime when coming home from an overnight trip to Torquay which considering it was their busiest time we were again made very welcome – and a buffet was also provided for us.

We did have a couple of occasions that we were held up by traffic problems and arrived late – but thanks the staff were able to keep the buffet on simmer until we arrived – an hour late – again they worked wonders again for us even though these times it was a very short visit before moving onto the match. Sometime we wondered why we went to the games as occasionally were well beaten – should have stopped in the warm and cosy Major’s.

It must have been daunting on occasions for your locals when arriving to see a coach party and a football one at that in the pub, but I don’t think we have had any issues as they have joined in the conversations and many were intrigued how we actually found the Majors Retreat in the first place.

Our last visit was only a few weeks ago back in August 2021 when we played at Forest Green and despite the bad traffic when the M4 was closed and delayed arrival we were again treated extremely well – with Viv and Trevor both coming over to see us even though they had moved away and had finished pulling the pints behind the bar and Roy doing his walk around making sure everyone was ok, little did we know then that this would be our final visit. I can honestly say that we have had no bad feedback from all the time we have been visiting, the supporters have been extremely complimentary about the Majors Retreat every time we have visited.  I have now the mission to find another country pub to take the place of the Majors – it’s going to be a difficult act to follow.

So that was 15 years of visiting our supporters favourite venue, our grateful thanks go to Roy, Viv and Trevor and all your staff that have kept us all under control whilst in your presence.  You have always been very hospitable to us and we have really enjoyed our visits which will now sadly be missed – you will all live long in our memories and we will forever be thankful for your time and friendship you gave us – even if we did play with the wrong shaped ball.

On a personal memory, my wife and I travelled to the Uley Brewery to pick up a couple of boxes “Pigs Ear” for our end of season BBQ that we were organising for the following weekend – we just loved that Ale.  We always planned to stop off at the Majors Retreat for something to eat and have a break on the way home – when we arrived there was a large cherry picker parked at the front of the pub with someone trying to do something to one of the chimneys – we found out that there was a hole in the stack caused by the crows that had been pecking at the mortar and caused some bricks to fall out so that they were trying to repair it – guess who was up in the Cherry Picker – a youthful Roy!!!!.  We and Viv did have some laughs at his expense at the time – all good natured of course.

If you have any queries or questions about our away travel then please ask. To book on any of these matches please contact either Alain or Patrick. We will confirm you booking as soon as we are able – if you have heard within 24 hours then send us an E mail or Text message.

Watch videos of Crawley Town supporters

To book on any of our coaches please contact me either by – Phone 07771 792346 - E mail alain_harper@icloud.com