Bedlington was an industrial town with an iron works and several coal mines. However in more recent times the town has undergone many changes, and is now more of a Dormitory town. Bedlington was bought by Cutheard, bishop of Durham, between 900 and 915, and although locally situated in the county of Northumberland became part of the county of Durham over which Bishop Walcher was granted royal rights by William the Conqueror. Bedlingtonshire was made part of Northumberland for civil purposes by acts of parliament in 1832 and 1844.
With Spurs having a Sunday lunchtime appointment at the Stadium of Light and GNER imposing engineering work on the east coast main line, an overnight stay in the North East facilitated a visit to a new venue.
The Northumberland town of Bedlington is easily accessible by frequent bus services from Newcastle (Haymarket Bus Station).The X31 service departs every 20 minutes and takes just less than half an hour to reach Bedlington. There is a very convenient bus stop close to the ground and for a Saturday afternoon fixture the 16.57 departure should not pose a problem post match. For £6.50 an explorernortheast rover ticket enables unlimited travel throughout the region stretching from Berwick in the North to Thirsk in the South.
There are a number of pubs in the town centre, we opted for the 'Northumberland Arms' which unlike that pretentious (recently renamed) venue in London N17 serves real ale in proper glasses with no bouncers on the door . Guest ales are regularly available at reasonable prices and I opted for Batemans. The Welfare Park ground is a tidy venue with plenty of cover dotted around. It has to be said though that the stench in the Portakabin toilets is not in keeping with the fine traditions of the Northern League and although the visiting Billingham Synthonia fan and I shared a joke on the subject, we both agreed that the clubhouse facilities would have been the better option.
Synthonia certainly tested the home side and dominated the early play. However it was the Terriers that scored the decisive goal against the run of play in the first half. The visitors also contrived to miss a penalty and this top of the table clash was won by the home team.
Burger with onions: £1.80
Fare: £6.50 (explorer ticket)