Post by str8outtahampton on Jun 21, 2011 9:08:41 GMT
Having re-read the title, it might look like Jose M's helicopter has been spotted landing on the Brit car park. Thankfully not (so far as I know).
I have a feeling the only way to put a new post on the "memories" board is to place it here first, and hope a technologically gifted young person will move it.
This is about two related things - difficult to know which is the more urgent and fascinating.
The first is general. I think there were trains chartered recently by SCFC for the semi and final, but in the "old days", British Rail used routinely to put on football specials for away games. The number of trains for a particular game was highly significant, and a good indicator of the size of the following. That number was often exaggerated. They were generally discontinued (in the 80s?), as a result of some or all of the following - vandalism, "hooliganism" at stations and between stations and grounds, expensive policing, and (I am guessing) the fact that more and more people owned cars and preferred to drive. But for a while there really was almost nothing more exciting than bowling up on Station Rd and boarding a train with 499 comrades. The excitement was perhaps eclipsed only when the train pulled into Leicester/ Coventry/Sheffield/Luton/etc, and the column was marched, chanting, through the town to the ground. The trip back to the station after the game was much more disorganised, and often slightly more hazardous.
In those days, the consumption of alcohol was not a problem. Or rather, it was a problem - which is why it was subsequently outlawed. Heady days as a teenager. Any memories?
The second is much more of a real anorak memory. For really big games (Hull away in the 1971 QF, and all the semis against Arsenal for example) several specials were put on. I imagine for the League Cup final it might have been 12 or 15 at least. In those cases, British Rail would colour-code the tickets. But they used really weird colours, including "Buff", "Lavender", "Claret" and "Indigo". I wonder if someone can tell me whether I've dreamed this...please tell me I haven't.
Thanks to admin and apologies for my technophobia.
Post by mamasidibescfc on Jun 21, 2011 9:23:15 GMT
I have only really sregularly followed stoke for the past 12 years so unfortunately, I cant confirm your memories.
I just wonder how i will feel about the way that i have experianced away days in another 20 years time? how will transport have changed for away matches then? surely the fun will have well and truely been squeezed out of it by even more over the top policing? or maybe it could go the other way?
Post by Mr_DaftBurger on Jun 26, 2011 13:46:08 GMT
The thing I remember most about 'Special' was that the return journey was usually made in darkness as all the light bulbs had usually been chucked at some poor unfortunates as we departed our destination station! It wasn't big and it wasn't clever! ;D
When I saw the title of this thread, my first thought was that it referred to the PMT football specials. Now I remember them ok. Always a crappy old double decker. Usually would only catch it on the way back home, seem to remember it went from back of the cemetery/ churchyard. Getting to the match was usually a leisurely walk from Cobridge with my mates, stopping at the Duke of Bridgewater in Etruria on the way, for a quick one or two. Sadly the Duke is now gone!
Cheap as chips, and the atmosphere buzzing as the train pulled in to wherever we were playing.
Cardiff was the one place I remember that the windows were smashed as we actually arrived. It was a treat normally reserved for the journey home. Same day that ‘The Three’were in The Cardiff paddock opposite all of us. They were climbing the fence to get out when the Sheepshaggers pulled one of them back in. The first Stoke lad who had climbed out literally went straight back in to help his mates.
I went loads of times on the special. The first one I bobbed school to go to Watford in the league cup 79 which was a big following. When you turned up at the station to buy your ticket, normally a few days before, you'd look on the back of the little cardboard ticket to see how many were sold. Somebody as already mentioned about alcohol, you'd take as many cans as you could carry, if you needed a shit you had to have one almost as soon as you got on the train as the bog roll was lobbed out the window with the cans and lightbulbs as you approached the destination. Great days.
This is a nice memory jogger My Dad used to work on the railways so for much of my earlier years supporting Stoke, he'd take me to all sorts of games on the service trains with free passes or quarter fares. In the late 60's early 70's this meant us being part of a very tiny away faction at far flung grounds and for some weird reason, we'd always end up in the 'home end'. With the advent of 'The football special' we started to experience more of the kind of things written above, which was pretty scary as a young lad but the buzz of turning up in such large numbers at a station in some strange town or city was amazing. Two of the 'specials' that stand out in my memory were arriving at Boothferry Park in Hull, where there was a platform alongside the ground and the second was the walk between the station and Elland Road at Leeds, where our huge army of followers was systematically picked off and divided by a hail of bricks in a battle somewhat resembling Zulu. The walk back to the station afterwards must have been the scariest time of my life as I had been parted from my mates and the only safe option of getting back alive seemed to be to get in amongst the biggest, meanest looking group of Leeds fans and hope that none of them spoke to me. I could even feel myself breathing in a Stokie accent
Being an owd un, I can remember in the late 60's on match day, meeting up in the Red Lion on Church Street about midday, then if we were playing one of the southern/London teams at around 2pm someone would come running in from the Wharf Tavern, around the corner in Wharf Street (now the D Road) saying that 'their' special was just coming in (you could see the rails from the Wharf). Drinks would be downed and the Red Lion emptied as everyone made their way to Glebe Street to give a warm welcome to our visitors.
yes, went on a few, Leicester away in the 79 promotion season I'm sure I was on special number 4, they blocked off one side of a dual carriageway to march us all down to the ground and back again, stragglers getting picked off ?
Post by benjaminbiscuit on May 18, 2020 13:06:23 GMT
We went to the semi final v Bolton on a special from Stoke it was the oldest longest train I’ve ever seen literally a wreck 1960,S carriages etc . 5 hours to London . But what a laugh the passengers christened it
Post by Caerwrangonpotter on May 23, 2020 16:33:41 GMT
I can remember a "footex" (as they were called in BR days) being put on for the game at St Andrews that ended in the riot. The train into Brum never went near New St, and was diverted via Camp Hill lines to that little used station at Bordesley. Unsurprisingly after the game, it was New St with a stick tight & be all right attitude for the train back to Stoke. Only other Footex was after a Man City game at Maine Rd, which the combined forces of BTP & GMP refused to let any Stoke fans on anything else other than the quickly assembled special back to The Potteries. Memorable for a) getting bricked at a signal near Levenshulme Station with Citeh fans on it.....b) getting bricked again at another red signal outside Stockport & c) A lot of pissed off Stokies getting off at Longport as Vale were at home that evening against Wolves I think
Not being from Stoke I never went on a special train but one reason that specials tailed off was that fans started making their own ways to away games, be that via the service train or unofficial coaches or very unofficial minibuses. Mainly for freedom of doing what they want that day, be that calling at pubs on way down or simply not being herded around like cattle by police. Hooligans also found it a better way of avoiding the old bill.
70s 80s on the special happy days from Midlands to Southampton, I remember coming back from Brizzle and the train kept stopping I think priority was given to service trains and some little scooter started bricking the train so loads jumped off and started throwing All the bricks from the tracks back never seen the little shits run so fast
Biggest brain fart of all time, coming from Worcester to see Stoke play Birmingham City early 90’s and the ticket bloke at New Street asked if we were going to the game. Yes says I, next thing we were sitting on the blues football special from Birmingham to Stoke. Memorable line ‘i wonder if there’s any Stokies on the train’ sticks in my mind. Didn’t risk putting my hand up. As does the tortuous 30 minute wait outside Stoke station while they sorted out the policing or platforms or something. Very, very uncomfortable. Still, got in in good time.