By JJ - 1/9/03
September 1 2003
As we all know Twickenham is a fortress for the England Rugby Team but it is also 'The Home of Rugby' - sometimes described by fans as HQ. However, how many of us give a thought to those sterling men and women who look after our interests before, during and after the game.
Our very own JJ is a Steward at Twickenham and she has penned a few tips for us to bear in mind! These tips are for the seasoned fan who visits HQ regularly and also the virgin fan, (Hum pardon the expression, experiencing the occasion for the first time)!
Not sure I like the sound of my Vomitries being blocked - do you?
(A Stewards Viewpoint)
the obvious one – please leave enough time to actually get to the stadium. I
see endless numbers of spectators missing the first quarter of the game! It can
take at least 30 minutes to reach the stadium from the tube station, even on a
quiet day. And a point to note – the Stewards have been advised not to let you
enter the stadium during the singing of the national anthems!
Seat Numbers. Check your seat numbers and
orientate yourself within the stadium. It may sound unbelievable, but countless
times spectators approach me in the Lower East with tickets, say, for the Upper
West! And it can take 10-15 minutes to move from the Lower East to the Upper
West (and vice versa), so yet more of the game could be missed! You cannot
“cut” across the stadium so if you wish to move, you will have to exit and
walk all around the outside perimeter. Moreover, if there are problems with seat
numbers, then you will be advised to go to Rugby House which is outside of the
stadium complex completely and would normally take 20 minutes to get there and
Toilets! Fascinatingly, this is probably one of the
few places on earth where the queue for the Ladies toilet is usually shorter
than the queue for the Men’s toilet! Don’t try to leave to go to the toilet
until the half time interval, as that is when the massed hordes always decide to
go. There are plenty of toilets positioned within the stadium and it is quite
feasible to make a “quick trip” during a converted kick, or an injury break.
Orientate where the toilets are before you enter the stadium proper.
Bars. The bars are scheduled to open throughout the game, but
often you will find that it is only the bars on the ground floor that remain
open constantly. Therefore, if you are seated in the Middle or Upper tiers, you
will have a hike to get drinks. A maximum of FOUR drinks are allowed to be
carried in by each spectator. Please note that GLASS BOTTLES will be
Food. There are plenty of fast food outlets
within the complex, but the queues can be quite long if your timing is wrong. At
events such as the Middlesex Sevens, there will be less outlets and so longer
queues. Take a picnic!
Rubbish. As a security precaution, there are NO
rubbish bins within the stadium at Twickenham and so disposing of waste can be a
Vomitry. This is the name for the gangways that
lead in and out of the stadium proper. Many spectators attempt to “loiter”
in this area, perhaps because on their way out to buy food and drink.
I usually find that people start to leave to go to the loo etc, then suddenly
there's some exciting play about to take place, so they stop and turn around to
watch usually bumping into someone JUST coming back from the loos. The Stewards will move you on from this
area as it is a security issue if these vomitries are blocked.
even think about it, as anyone caught streaking will be escorted from
the stadium WITHOUT THEIR CLOTHES (a paper suit will be provided!). There is
also the possibility that your seat number will be checked, and you will be
denied access to Twickenham in the future!
Mobile Phones. Often they don’t work within
the stadium itself, so if you are relying on using a mobile phone to contact
someone else (to rendezvous with them for instance), then have a back-up just in
case. Meeting by the “Golden Lion” at the front of Twickenham is a favourite
Atmosphere. I think it is such a shame that a
great majority of spectators (usually 90%) don’t enter the stadium proper
until 5-10 minutes before kick-off as they are usually in the bars. They
certainly miss the build-up to the game, and I can’t help thinking that £50
to spend most of the time in a dark, smelly bar in Twickenham is a waste of
Leaving. Twickenham stadium can be emptied in 8
minutes – not so the surrounding car parks and external areas after a match!
THIS is the time when you should take advantage of the bars, and let the
majority of spectators sit in their cars for an hour or so. There is usually
Karaoke going on in, say, the Scrum Bar. ENJOY!