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Holker Street,
Saturday, February 6th 2010
V Luton Town, Blue Square Premier 3pm
Steve Bailey

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I have been looking forward to visiting this ground since 1969 – and I’m not joking!  When I was a young Luton fan we played Barrow in the old Division 3 and I had a map of where all the grounds were, looked at it and thought “that’s a long way, must go there one day”.  Being too young for away games then and with Barrow dropping out of the league soon after we’ve never played them again  … till now.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking:

The journey took a long long time – nearly 7 hours and 4 trains from my current home in Peterborough but I went up the day before and didn’t go back till the Sunday, meeting up with a few friends from different parts of the country who also made a long weekend of it.  The ground was easy to find as Holker Street is a long straight road from the station and the pub we drank in before the game.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Before the game we drank in the Duke of Edinburgh pub, lots of real ales, good food and highly recommended.  The local fans were very friendly - not that there was many of them in the pub mind.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

As I approached the ground I took a photo of the “away supporters this way” sign and a local fan joked “not much to take photos of here” to which we replied “you haven’t seen Kenilworth Road then have you?” Going in I handed my ticket (a modest affair, a little white strip more like a cardboard bus ticket) to the lady at the turnstile only for her to say “hang on to that” and ticked me off on the piece of paper using the low-tech five-bar gate counting system to record the away attendance!

The ground was as I expected although the seated stands on the sides were much larger than I thought they’d be.  A very neat old ground, all nicely painted in blue and white. We were actually housed in the Holker Street end rather than the Crossbar end stated in the Guide, presumably they use this end when a bigger away attendance is expected.  This is a fairly shallow open terrace and would not be good on a wet day!  Fortunately it was cold but dry so all was well.

               
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game was a hard fought 1-0 win to us coming from a late goal when a 0-0 draw seemed the likely outcome.  Atmosphere was not great as it’s an open end so hard to get any noise going and there was only 302 of us anyway, still the biggest away crowd at Barrow this season though.  Stewards were inconspicuous and don’t even recall seeing any police in the ground.  Toilets were of the pre-war variety with the addition of a plastic roof, bit like the ones at Altrincham and York, and should have a preservation order put them before they are ruined by modern fittings!  As the game wore on a fog descended and we could hardly see the other end – we joked of an abandonment after all our long journeys but the game lasted the distance.  
            
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Very easy, we were back in the pub again before we knew it!
             
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day on all counts and should we both still be in the Conference next season we all agreed to come again. 

 

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