Address: Hungerford, Berkshire. RG17 0AY
Telephone: 01488 683939
Pitch Size: To be advised
Club Nickname: The Crusaders
Year Ground Opened: 1886
Home Kit: White and Black
Bulpit Lane is a rather disjointed ground made up of several small stands (none of which dominate) plus a number of uncovered standing areas. The ground is small and functional but with few features of note other than the turnstiles and HTFC spelt out on the entrance gates. Nevertheless it occupies a pleasant position in a quiet corner of town next to the town's cricket pitch.
There is a pair of entrance turnstiles in the southwest corner which once negotiated give access to all parts of the stadium. The end nearest the entrance turnstiles, the Bulpit Lane End, houses the changing rooms and the catering/club bar, the brick buildings of which back on to this end. In front is a small walkway which is used as a flat standing area by fans and has no cover. To the left as you enter is the West Stand. This small covered seated stand, sits astride the half way line. The basic looking team dugouts are located to the front on each side of this stand. On either side of the West Stand are flat standing areas, although there is a small covered area towards the North End.
The North End of the ground is mainly taken up by the Ron Tarry Stand named after the current president of the club and former Hungerford Mayor. This is another small covered standing enclosure.The East side of the ground looks out over the ancient and very delightful Hungerford Common. Here cattle exercise their historic grazing rights and roam freely. This side looks similar to the West having a small covered seated stand straddling the halfway line, with flat standing areas to each side apart from a small covered area towards the Clubhouse End. In the North East corner of the ground is a large ugly looking radio mast which overlooks the stadium, whilst in the North West corner there is another smaller but equally as ugly radio mast. The ground has set of six thin floodlight pylons, four of which run down the West side of the ground, whilst there are two on the other side, flanking the East Stand. There is also a noticeable slope to the pitch that runs down from the North to the South end.
With promotion to the dizzy heights of National League South, the ground will I hope receive some extra tlc. befitting of a higher status. The 'small club' label is no longer appropriate. On match days there is plenty of catering dispensed from the catting hut near the club bar. There is unlikely to be any segregation so expect free and easy access to all parts of the ground.
There is a clubhouse inside the ground which welcomes visiting supporters. The nearest pub to the ground is the Borough Arms on the High Street, which is around a ten minute walk away. More or less across the road from the Borough Arms is a handy fish and chip shop. There are plenty of other pubs and eating establishments dotted further along the High Street. If arriving by train then just outside the station is a Fullers pub called the Railway Tavern. If you have a bit more time on your hands then at the end of the High Street over the river bridge and up on the right is the John O'Gaunt pub, which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
If you require hotel accommodation in Hungerford then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from the centre of Hungerford.
Access their Hungerford Hotels and Guest Houses pages.
Leave the M4 at junction 14 and take the A338 towards Hungerford. On entering Hungerford you will find a roundabout where you take the second exit towards the Town Centre and Marlborough (A4). At the next roundabout take the first exit continuing towards Marlborough and then at the next roundabout take the first exit towards Town Centre/Salisbury (A338). Continue straight on passing through the town centre and after about one mile turn left at the mini roundabout onto Priory Road (signposted Town Football Club). Then take the third left into Bulpit Lane. After going straight ahead at the crossroads you will reach the ground entrance on your left (by the children's playground). There is little parking available at the ground itself, but there is plenty of on street parking available in the local area.
Hungerford Railway Station is located around three quarters of a mile from Bulpit Lane or around a 15 minute walk. It is served by trains from London Paddington, which operates an hourly service on Saturday afternoons.
On leaving the train station walk up to the Railway Tavern pub. Turn left at the pub and at the top of the hill turn right then first left into Fairview Road. Continue up past Hungerford Primary School and the One Stop shop on your left, then take the second left into Bulpit Lane. The entrance to the ground is a short way down on the left.
Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.
Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.
Click on the trainline logo below:
Under 16's Free
Concessions apply to Over 60's, Students, the Disabled and serving members of the Armed Forces or Emergency Services (Valid ID may need to be shown for proof of status).
Official matchday programme £2.
Chippenham Town, Basingstoke Town, Maidenhead United and Oxford City.
1,363 v Leamington, May 2nd 2016
Southern Premier League Play Off Final
2015-2016: 149 (Southern Premier League)
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, then please e-mail me at: email@example.com and I'll update the guide.
Special thanks to Myles Munsey for providing the photos and information about Bulpit Lane Hungerford Town for this page.
Hungerford Town v Leamington
Southern Premier League Play-off Final 3.00pm
Monday May 2nd 2016, 3pm
Myles Munsey (Ground hopper)
Reasons for visit
Living only up the road so to speak, and with Hungerford close to making their own little bit of history, I had to be there. Football in West Berkshire has been in decline of late with local clubs Newbury and Thatcham not performing that well. I was really hoping that Hungerford could gain promotion as to see this little club, from a town once blighted by tragedy, reach Vanarama South and thus qualify for inclusion in this guide really would be quite something.
Hungerford Town is now easily the nearest club in the guide to my home town of Newbury, being just two stops along the Kennet Valley by train and a mere eight miles away. So close in fact that I could cycle there! The 13.10 train from Newbury had me there in ample time and from Hungerford station to the ground is about 20 minutes’ walk.
The Bulpit Lane football ground has a pleasant, relaxed feel to it being one of several at this level located at the edge of town in a quiet residential district. It stands alongside the town’s cricket ground and a children’s playground. Inside, the ground is a rather strange mixture of diminutive stands and tiny covered standing areas. There are covered, seated stands on both the east and west sides straddling the halfway line. The north side has a small covered (unseated) stand called the Ron Tarry stand named after the town’s mayor who held that position during the dreadful events of 1987. He is now the club’s president. The stands are basic and will need some TLC for the Vanarama South League one imagines, but on a wet afternoon they did a fine job of keeping me dry.
The Teams Line Up Before Kick Off
There is a slightly surreal aspect to Bulpit Lane overlooked as it is by bedroom windows. To the east, if you crane your neck over the wall, are open views of Hungerford Common where cattle uphold their ancient grazing rights and roam free. Two rather unattractive radio masts occupy this side of the ground.
On the south side where the sole entrance is through two turnstiles, are the club offices and changing rooms. It is uncovered standing room only here.
There was a well patronised club bar and next to that was Hungerford Town’s catering facility. Sample prices:
Tea, coffee, Bovril £1.50
Sausage and chips £2.50
Hot dog £2.50
Double burger £3.50
Double cheeseburger £4.50
On the west side of the ground an open doorway in a wooden fence led into someone’s back garden (is this some sort of private arrangement?), but overall the ground is well appointed and appropriate for the level of football it supports. It would be nice to see a bit more blue paint applied round the ground to reinforce identity and to eliminate a few of the drab bits.
Before the game
The corner store along Fairview Road provided enough sustenance before the game, and a pleasant seat on a bench along the path leading towards the cricket ground was the chosen location. I didn’t linger, as rain was in the air and this duly arrived just as I entered the ground.
I took up position on the east side in the covered stand. With a large following seats were scarce so I ended up at the back of the stand next to a reporter doing a broadcast for a Coventry radio station. He had an interesting looking clipboard full of stats and I had free commentary!
By the time the game started the rain was pelting down in earnest so I was glad of anywhere under cover. This wasn’t the cagey game I was expecting, neither was it especially eventful. The wet and windy squalls didn’t help and both teams struggled to put together much in the way of cohesive play. That said, it was entertaining enough, ramped up of course by the sense of anticipation. After 21 minutes a Leamington corner was only half-cleared and in the resulting melee Baker-Richardson powered the ball into the roof of the net to put the Brakes ahead. I had a sense of the game slipping away from the home side, that is a superb ball threaded through by Matt Day caught Leamington square and Stefan Brown’s assured finish on 64 minutes put Hungerford level. With their tails now very firmly up Hungerford looked the more likely and the magic moment arrived with just five minutes left. Garyn Prees’ well delivered corner was glanced home by Mike Jones and the place erupted. The 5 added minutes weren’t exactly popular but there were no more scares and Hungerford were promoted.
The Celebrations Begin On The Pitch
It was actually took a while to exit the ground owing to an exuberant crowd blocking the areas round the changing rooms and supporters club. Well you can’t blame them. But once out of the ground it was a gentle stroll down the hill to the railway station. The sun had come out again by then.
On the same day that Leicester City won the Premier League, Hungerford Town achieved their own little bit of history down in sleepy West Berkshire and will soon be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Oxford City. I was glad to have been there. The 1,363 attendance was around 10 times the norm. Extraordinary!
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