Brentford – Saturday 12th August 2017
Brentford – Saturday 12th August 2017
The fixture list was kind to us when our first away game was selected. Brentford remains a favourite for many of us because of the old fashioned terrace we are housed in. Supporters are tightly packed in below the low roof and the noise it kicks up is brilliant. This is how a lot of football fans want to watch football: shoulder to shoulder; swaying in time with the masses. Fans on a terrace become more of a single entity; a joyous and often furious mob and the atmosphere is far greater for it. And those celebrations… Not much in football compares to the sheer joy of the physical assault that follows. Bodies flying down steps and limbs pointing in all directions. It sounds unsafe and not fun for all but it’s fantastic for a lot of us. No, there is nothing quite like a terrace. It’s a shame they are such a rarity in the upper leagues now.
After the success of the QPR gathering we organised with the London Trickies group we couldn’t turn down an opportunity to do it again when we saw Brentford smiling at us on the second weekend of the new season. Within minutes of the fixtures bouncing through the planning began…
Once more we will look to organise ourselves onto trains down to the capital and to a pre-arranged meeting point with the London branch and others. It’s a simple idea but it’s quickly becoming a special part of following Forest away. We don’t need pubs that we’re told to go to, we find our own. We do our own thing and in huge numbers. A peaceful but passionate group determined to drink, sing and spur our team on all over the country.
The departure will be early from Nottingham and will see us in the chosen pub before 11am.
The itinerary, should you wish to join us (or avoid us!), is as follows:
Depart Nottingham: 07:45
Arrive Peterborough: 08:56
Depart Peterborough: 09:08
Arrive London Kings Cross: 10:12
See information below the main text for the best way to buy tickets to get them cheapest. As long as you can travel in a group of 4 you will have to pay a maximum of £28.31 but note that this does include buying the Peterborough – London return part in advance online.
Upon arrival into London we will head to The Old Station House in Chiswick. We clearly made a good impression at the pub before QPR (and spent a shit load!) as the owner is welcoming us again to another of his establishments. This one doesn’t have a jungle out the back like the Garden Bar but looks ruddy good all the same. You know the drill by now – we plan to fill it with Reds!
The pub is a very short walk from Chiswick rail station. This is the overground line and those heading from Kings Cross / St Pancras should head south on the Victoria line to Vauxhall where you can get a rail service to Chiswick.
Brentford Rail Station is just two stops along from Chiswick and is 5-10 minute walk to the ground.
For those who won’t be joining us at the Station House there are plenty of options closer to Griffin Park. The ground is probably most known for the fabled four pubs that sit on each corner of it. This isn’t technically the case anymore as at least one of them has closed, maybe two. Nevertheless they are usually crammed with home supporters and Forest fans are better served by heading a little further afield.
Last season we congregated in The Globe about a five minute walk from the ground. Incidentally it was Brentford last season where we first mooted the idea of some sort of Forest meet-up. It involved the first meeting with a couple of the guys from Bandy & Shinty. At that time in August 2016 both groups were fresh and starting down our respective paths towards world domination (more them than us!) but we have remained close since. Although I hear they turn nasty when you stop buying their excellent publication! The Globe pub is well placed for those heading in from South Ealing on the underground. It’s a 10-15 minute walk from there but there is a small place called Roddy’s Bar that’s decent enough for a quick pit stop if you get chance.
One little detail that we must point out is the house near the ground where the occupants set up a small gazebo on their front garden and flog hot dogs cooked in their kitchen. Quite how that came about I’m not sure but give it a try. It’s better and cheaper than the usual offerings. I can’t remember exactly which corner of the ground it’s near but those coming in from the South Ealing tube will probably pass it on the way to the away end.
Griffin Park shows a club who have been competing above their weight for a while now. And good on them. I gather plans are afoot to move in the not too distant future and, with that, another glorious old football ground will be lost. Despite my earlier gushing about the terrace, the away end concourse is far from pleasant. Mainly because there is never any beer on sale and the access in and out the back of the stand onto the tight, open concourse is always pandemonium right before the game and at half-time. Thinking about it, it’s probably for the best they don’t serve alcohol!
With it being the first away game and with it being the best away end in the league we will be aiming to get ourselves inside the ground early and start to create a racket. Obviously those who want to remain in the pub that little bit longer can do but it’d be great to have the place coming alive long before kick-off. Come 3pm it will no doubt be bouncing. Think about doing the same and keep it up throughout.
Come what may we will also return to the Station House after the game. Unfortunately the route we have chosen to get decent priced tickets does not allow us loads of time afterwards. We’ll be on the 19:34 service from Kings Cross as stated below:
Depart London Kings Cross: 19:34
Arrive Peterborough: 21:06
Depart Peterborough: 21:27
Arrive Nottingham: 22:32
We won’t ask that you join us; we’ll just simply say you should. We add a drop of organisation to put things in place and galvanise the support, sort of like lighting the blue touch paper. We’d all have a cracking day doing our own thing all over London but together in our hundreds taking over a little corner of West London is what we should be doing. It’s what we should always be doing.
“The miles I have travelled,
The money I have spent,
To see that Garibaldi Red from by the River Trent,
There’ll never be another way,
What a way to spend my day,
On the beer,
With the Reds,
The information below should be useful for those wishing to book themselves on the same trains but we’re happy to help if anyone needs it.
To get the best priced train tickets buy as a group of 4.
The Nottingham – Peterborough return leg is £23.60 but a group of 4 (or 3) will receive a third off when purchasing (and subsequently travelling) together. These can be purchased from the station ticket office in advance of the date or on the day.
For the Peterborough – London part of the journey travelling in a group of 4 also creates a saving. You can buy a Super Off Peak Day Return via http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/for just £50.00 for 4 people (£12.50 each). Note that on the trains specified the cost for one person travelling via a Super Off Peak Day Return is £18.90 per person. Please be warned that the Super Off Peak tickets must be purchased online in advance of the day.
Those without an Oyster Card or contactless card will also need to acquire a London Travelcard. These can be purchased in London but the queues are usually substantial so the best bet is to buy it as Nottingham before we depart.