Hereford Away 2009: Part 2 – Charminster, Spetisbury, Full Circles

Hereford Away 2009: Part 2 – Charminster, Spetisbury, Full Circles

I liked the district of Charminster in Bournemouth yet only lived there in my final month of living in the seaside town. I had my own room, with a window in Lowther Road on a short term loan. My landlady Naomi Osella knew I was off to Taiwan and let me have a months stay only. That morning I got up, quick cup of tea, all my Bournemouth stuff (shirt, scarf…) and my Northern Ireland flag and I picked up Austin and Tom. You can read part one of Hereford Away here. I had know Austin for 6 years but never picked him up from his parent’s house and I didn’t know where Tom lived. Yet all ran smooth, as I scooped the pair of them successfully, immediately getting on with Tom and connecting his iPod to my car stereo through a tape device I bought years ago. We were pumping it as we edged out of Poole, headed into beautiful Dorset countryside, passing many an unknown village or hamlet, one of which was Spetisbury. I only remembered that because in 2004 I dated a lady called Emma Halstead, who lived on Spetisbury Close in Bournemouth. Life had gone full circle on me again and scared the living daylights out of me that morning. Speaking of which, on arrival and passing through Spetisbury, it was now daylight.


Dan and Tom had been talking on the phone, Dan and Rich too had began their road trip, so we thought to synchronise breakfast and a piss stop. Rich and I somehow managed to meet up in our respective cars. In Rich’s car was Dan and Rich only. Patrick had pulled out. Haven’t seen him since that Shrewsbury match in February 2009 come to think of it…


As would be typical for the day, our first piss stop would be by a field of sheep and cows. While I was pissing tea, the boys had started on the cider and probably added apple juice back to a field that could grow the stuff. Not irony in the slightest. Just me being an eejit. (idiot). Shep (Chris Sheppard) was a season ticket holder and fellow Cherry nutcase, but he hadn’t been on this road trip due to work, nor had the two girls (Gemma and Corinne) who helped make Carlisle so crazy. Northern Ireland’s Gemma had by now returned to her homeland and given birth to a lovely baby: so that was a good enough excuse. Switzerland’s Corinne had her eyes on a new job and life north of London (which in credit crunch era was as good an excuse as you could find). So Richard and Tom replaced the two girls, while we put Patrick Hogan (once dubbed “Patrick Conditioner” by myself) as AWOL. Patrick once drank fabric conditioner and sellotaped his mouth. For no reason.


These photos were taken at the piss stop…


Somewhere in between all those places. Also at this piss stop we found a horrible slug by the roadside, so I picked it up with a tissue and put it on my windscreen to see how far we could drive before it fell off. It lasted about 20 minutes on there. It got a free ride to another place…we did get stuck behind a dumper, a bus and a milk float and were in traffic for a while, but the rest of the journey was running smoothly.


Next stop was for breakfast and cider at Bathway Services. At a petrol station which had a Little Chef. No, he wasn’t a small bloke, he was just a well branded commercial company that cooked stuff. Except we were “too early” for breakfast there. So much for “the earlybird catches the worm”. We instead settled for Ginster’s or the nearest we could get to a CORNISH pastie. I went for a hot cuppa too.


The lads settled for pasties, pies and cider. Even better than that – buying 4 tins of cider got you a free inflatable hat/beer cooler. That sewed an idea for the day “let’s do inflatable things” said Dan, attracting immediate puns in a sexual nature from myself and Austin, who had long since given up schoolboy humour for “spontaneous puns.” Same thing, I think you’ll find. As for a Northern Irish person blowing something up before 9am. Well in the 1980s, I’d have been one of the “Hereford Five”. No change there then.


The road trip continued as the sky pierced itself unevenly and in over generous sky blue to an overhead I had only know as rain in my six previous Septembers in the region. This was the final hurrah. I wasn’t my lively self as I recall. Driving adds to the strain of that, as well as jealously. They’re all having a beer change and I’m having a gear change…this was my punishment for missing all those matches…

From – Spetisbury

To – Somewhere North of Warminster yet south of Bath

Miles Travelled – 71.6 (only a estimate)

Key Song –


Videos – (will be added when I find them, if I still have them)

ROAD TRIP PART 1 – Spetisbury:

ROAD TRIP PART 2 – stuck behind a milk float:

ROAD TRIP PART 3 – slug on window:

ROAD TRIP PART 4 – Bathway Services: