When we’re compiling a list of all the life experiences Old Lady Rona has robbed us of in the past 18 months, a Saturday afternoon watching The Lads charge towards promotion in the sunny surroundings of Bristol will surely be up there. Not only is Bristol one of the finest cities in this godforsaken land, it’s also one of the very few occasions where we can visit somewhere where the locals don’t point up at the sky every time they see a plane.
Bristol is one of the outliers on our travels within this scum bucket of a division, a place where you can actually enjoy and not want to leave the moment the final whistle has sounded. It’s far enough away to warrant an overnight stay and the hostelries dotted along the River Avon are more than happy to quench your thirst.
Alas, there will be none of that. Instead, we have the opportunity to listen to their exuberant matchday announcer shout “IT’S THREE O’CLOCK ON A SATURDAY AND I SMELL GAS” to an empty hotchpotch of a stadium, unless he’s been furloughed of course… which he most probably has.
And all of that… what? They’ve done what? Ah come on, not nice little Bristol Rovers? Ah for God’s sake, dear reader I regret to inform you that, sadly, Bristol Rovers have dispensed with the services of their matchday announcer*. Oh, and they’ve also got Joey Barton as manager, so that’ll be a big day for him.
How To Recreate the Memorial Stadium Experience?
First of all, take your TV/laptop/phone outside into the open air because you better believe there’s no roof at the Memorial Stadium. Now, rummage around in your back room or study and find just a collection of chairs that purposely don’t match. Point your TV at an angle where you can just about see it, and then place a large pole in front of you to obscure it even more.
And, don’t forget, match sure to bellow “IT’S THREE O’CLOCK ON A SATURDAY AND I SMELL GAS” as the players walk out.
Does This Place Have Any Good Brews?
You really are spoilt for choice if you wish to get blasted off a few beers of the Bristolian variety. The city is absolutely teeming with craft breweries – naturally, considering it’s absolute height of hipsterism – and while there is undoubtedly a lot to choose, Cans & Megabus gives its seal of approval to Left Handed Brewery.
Not only is it the brains behind one of Bristol’s best pubs – Small Bar – but it also has a range of delicious beverages including their West Coast Pils, Shifting Paradigms Hazy IPA and Cans & Megabus’ personal favourite, the 6.5% Back At The House Hazy IPA.
Did You Know?
Much like the Memorial Stadium, not a single person in Bristol owns their own furniture. A tradition stretching back to the city’s formation in 1045, Bristolians have long been plundering all houseware from neighbouring towns and villages. Sure enough, if you read the Domesday Book, you will see frequent references by William the Conqueror as to the thriftiness of the residents of Bristol.
* Cans & Megabus has no idea whether the Bristol Rovers announcer has indeed been placed on furlough or, in fact, sacked.