Our next away match is another trip to Manchester on 27 January, this time to play high-flying Sedgley Park who play at Park Lane, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 7DZ. By car take the M40, M42, M6 Toll and M6 to Bury New Rd/A56 in Whitefield. Take exit 17 from M60 turn on to Higher Lane A665 and on to Park Lane to the ground. By public transport, the best advice for this trip is to leave plenty of time! The train service between Euston and Manchester Piccadilly is not reliable, our return train from Sale was cancelled, as was the train before ours on the way out. If that happens you can use your ticket on the trains either side of yours. Fortunately it’s a frequent schedule, but if you want to avoid overcrowding it’s best to allow time to be able to board the train before yours if necessary. From the station you need to drop down to the Metro platforms and get the Bury tram, yellow line, to Whitefield Besses O’ the Barns, which is about a 25 minute ride, with trams every 12 minutes. From the tram stop, cross the main road and take Church Lane, turning left onto Higher Lane. Park Lane is the first turning on the right and the ground is a fair way along on the left. There is a pub just before the ground but the Sedgley clubhouse is cheaper and better. If you’re desperate to find another pub and running early, carry on past Park Lane and there’s a reasonable one a good way along on the right, but it makes for a long walk from there to the ground. Many pubs offer a dartboard, some have a skittles alley but this one boasts a Crown Bowls green!
As always, this information is given in good faith, but do check for yourself.
After that it’s away to Chinnor on Friday 9 February. The ground is at Kingsey Road, Thame, Oxon. OX9 3JL. By car from the M40 leave at either junction 7, 8 or 8a and head towards Thame. You will eventually come to a roundabout. Take the exit signposted Aylesbury (A418) and after 4 miles, you will come to another roundabout. Take the 3rd exit. The ground is about 1 mile along on the left, just before another roundabout. But NOTE: The entrance to the car park is just before a mini-roundabout – slow down just before the roundabout as it’s easy to drive past the entrance! By public transport, the station to book to is Haddenham and Thame Parkway, which is a fair way from the ground. There’s a cab office just outside the station, but it’s not guaranteed to have any taxis or even to be open, so don’t depend upon it. There’s a nearby bus stop at the main road from which you can get a frequent bus into the centre of Thame and it is about a mile walk from there to the ground. If you’ve not been before, Thame is quite an interesting old market town with some old coaching inns so you might want to arrive early – but it’s strictly London prices! Just outside the centre, and on the way to the ground, is the Cross Keys on the corner of East Street, which is a rare gem for real ale buffs and a bit cheaper than the ones in the centre. The Chinnor clubhouse is itself decent and friendly.