Wednesday, 21 March 2018

A look back at our first visit to Carshalton

If you're coming over on the club day trip this weekend and wondering about how to while away the time until 3 o'clock, this is what happened the first time we went to Carshalton....

"Carshalton Athletic P Guernsey P

The day started well with the Llama Express bang on time and speeding towards Clapham Junction to collect GFC's only celebrity fan, 70s throwback Dirk Diggler. Nobody expected Dirk to make this trip but, at great expense to himself, he cancelled the housewives special shoot that had been arranged for months at the last minute so he could get his GFC fix.

On the way one or two mutterings came through the ether about a broken aeroplane but not a dickie bird of an announcement from the club so the Llama Express continued to thunder through past North West London's finest landmarks. Then just as we were pulling into platform 17 at Clapham Junction GFC's super efficient communications team stopped taking selfies for a moment and broke the news. The rumours were indeed true, there was to be no match.

A quick call to the Mark 2 Llama Express, on a stopover at St Pancras whilst the passengers took a much needed refreshment break (as one of them had travelled from Birmingham for the match) and a decision was made. We would continue on to Carshalton. Not before a brief diversion to the Falcon at the junction with Lavender Hill, however, where a distraught Diggler was revived with a soothing pint of Bath Ales Forest Hare. Very pleasant it was too.

Then a short train ride to Carshalton where we were due to meet up with the Mark 2 contingent. On alighting at Carshalton just before Noon we happened upon Septuagenarian GFC fan Chesham Jean, who'd set off from home at 8.30 to make the 12.45 kick off. Jean was visibly shocked when the Diggler broke the news about the match to her which made Dirk himself distraught once more.

So we headed off to the Windsor Castle for a soothing pint of Ringwood's Forty Niner (Guinness for Jean) to calm the moustachioed one's fraught nerves. Not long to wait until the Mark 2 Express disgorged it's passengers and we all settled down for a pint of Hopback's Summer Lightning (it was good).

Meanwhile we'd learnt of Leicestershire Ash having trucked through the night to reach the Midlands where he was just about to get on a train when he heard the news. He decided not to use his £76 rail ticket, choosing to take the odd restorative or two in his local. Dorset Tony didn't hear the news until he was about 8 miles short of Carshalton, so he turned around and trundled back to the land of the Knob. Still it meant a few hours off the cider which can only be a good thing once in a while.

Leaving Windsor Castle we entered the Racehorse where we all enjoyed a Dizzy Blonde (the Robinsons variety I hasten to add). I should probably also add that Jean went skipping back to the station after leaving the Windsor Castle. Amazing what Guinness can do to a 75 year old.

Sadly the route back to the station meant we had to pass the Hope. Run by the same chap that has the Traf in Merton and for some reason we couldn't walk on by. Two in there, taken in the garden out back enjoying a lovely bit of Autumn sun. Firstly Hopcraft's Citraic. Read the description on the pump clip and you think 'tropical fruit? Takes me back to vodka and Umbongo by the neck at the Cow's Horn all those years ago'. But no, one of the finest beers I've had in a long time.

We finished the afternoon with a pint of High Wire pale ale from the Magic Rock Brewery. One of the finest beers I've had in a long time.

So no football, which was a bit annoying at first to be honest, but a good day out nonetheless."

Looking back it was a bit of a quiet one compared to some we've had, like Spalding eh Bob....

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