We are taking coach bookings for both the opening away matches at Oxford United on the 8th August and Cambridge United on the 22nd August – for both of these matches we depart the New Moon at 10.30am and have organised a buffet lunch en-route to the games. Fares for these matches are for Adults £15.00 and under 16’s £10.00 – we don’t have a membership so everyone pays the same fares.
Bookings for both of these coaches are going well, with new supporters who have not travelled with us previously booking on, so I have done an update for our new travellers as well as a reminder for the not so newbies.
We will again be using Crawley Luxury Coaches for the 22nd year, since we started as the former supporters club, travel club; this was before we started our independent supporter’s coaches when promoted into the football league.
Our aim is to run one supporters coaches to as many games as we can and as cost effective as we are able, sometimes due to numbers or costs it is not feasible, but we would endeavour to run a minibus or some of us will drive our cars when this occurs. We always leave at the stated time of departure, unless we get a phone call saying that you are running late and can we wait a few minutes, we have unfortunately left supporters behind, but they soon learnt to get to the coach early rather than miss it.
We do have toilet facilities on the coach and on the longer trips we try to have tea/coffee/soft drinks available.
We arrange our main stop at country pub rather than the expensive motorway services; these are generally a few minutes off the motorway and under an hour from the opponents ground. We will if time allows have a short comfort stop en-route to the pub, but we have at least an hour’s stop, usually more if the traffic conditions allow at the pub. We also put on a buffet lunch for supporters that travel with us and these are included in the fare - we have over the years managed to find some very good stops and the food provided is excellent. This season we have a few new ones to visit so hopefully these will be just as good. After the game, it’s straight back on the coach for the trip home. On the homeward bound journey, as required, we do use the motorway services as a short comfort break for the travellers, also so the driver can have a break and a coffee.
We also do the occasional overnight trip to the longer games – Carlisle United and Hartlepool United are the matches we have sorted so far. These are the games before Christmas with Hartlepool at the end of October and Carlisle at the end of November. Unfortunately the Morecambe and Plymouth matches are also in October and would prove to be an expensive had we tried to arrange overnights for all, especially the Tuesday night match in Morecambe, and only 4 days before Hartlepool. We are still sorting out the costs for the weekenders, but will do it as cheaply as we can, hopefully on a par with the previous overnight trips we have had.
We also have qualified first aiders on the coach should the need arise, but thankfully to date have not been required, but it is comforting to know they are on board.
Finally, we enjoy ourselves, it’s about the whole day and watching the football is part of it, we don’t expect the coach to be a morgue throughout the day – although on the really early starts it is known for most of the coach party to be asleep (except Kevin) – there are plenty of debates going on, both on the way up and especially about the game on the way back.
Like all football supporters coaches we have a couple of rules/guide lines that we must adhere to – the obvious ones are no smoking, alcohol or drugs are allowed on the coach – we have had spot checks by the police at a couple of grounds over the last couple of years and it’s good to report that we have had no problems. The one request though, is that we don’t upset our driver, we all know that Kevin’s temperamental at times, especially when the Kiwi’s and West Ham are playing, or I decide to take a scenic route that wasn’t actually planned.
Well that’s about it – if you are going to book on for either Oxford or Cambridge please don’t leave it to late, we have seats at the moment, if you have friends who want to travel please put them in touch with me and I will send them the details.
If you fancy a drink with us before our home matches we are in the New Moon from midday.
We are now talking to the hotels to get prices and accommodation availability for these matches – with Hartlepool United and Carlisle United as our first priority to sort.
Once we have the details we will publish them and you can start booking for these trips – If you want to put your names down initially before we have the final details then please do – the prices will be as competitive as we can.
As a reminder for these trips, anyone travelling under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.