YORK CITY SOUTH
So Where Was Forest Green? - Just West Of Barnsley!!!! (Ray Goodearl)
Travelling from leafy Buckinghamshire to Forest Green meant a drastic alteration to ploughing up the motorways (M40, A43, M1, M18, A1, A64 is my normal route to home matches). A search on the net and a study of the road atlas gave a picturesque route through the Cotswolds, with only eleven miles on the motorway. An estimate of about 2 hours journey time meant leaving High Wycombe at about noon to arrive in time for a pint of the local beverage. Junction 5 of M40 to Oxford, then A roads to circumnavigate the city. No Richard Skilbeck to meet up with, he was competing in a cross country race for his running club. Under the A34, then onto the old A40, through Witney (famed for its blankets) and onto Burford. No brick buildings here as all constructed from Cotswold Stone. Old coaching inns abound, then a left hand turn onto the B (yes B!!!) 4425 for Cirencester. The Romans were prominent around here for road construction and for a B road this was straight and quick, framed with miles of dry stone walls.
Flashed through hamlet of Aldworth, past sign for Pancake Hill, then into Bibury, a pretty village with trout stream flowing gently through the centre, then roadsign for BARNSLEY. Barnsley!!!!!!!, can't be, skid to halt, check map, yes its BARNSLEY. Where are the old pits, workhouses, and Oakwell? None of those, just about 50 stone cottages, church, post office and one pub, serene and peaceful, such a contrast. Onto Cirencester, skirt around the town, onto the A419, glance in the mirror, and the lads from Portsmouth are 20 yards back, we've got us a convoy!! . Swing left, through village of Minchinhampton, past Golden Valley, Balls Green, we are on tiny meandering little C classified roads now, uphill and down dale into Nailsworth. Where can you put a football ground here as the stone houses are perched on the sides of severely steep hills?
Pity the pitch didn't match its name (The Lawn) it was like a ploughed field, worse than the one at Leigh RMI. All of us made very welcome in the club-house. Shame the result didn't match the truly very pleasant journey down.
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