Is it odd to think that Boro’ and Bishop’s Stortford – to date – have been kept apart from each other in all but cup competition? Since we first met them in 1985, we’ve only come up against the Blues in a spattering of games you can split the Herts County Cup and Eastern Floodlight League – plus one early stage FA Cup tie. As we write this, Boro’ and the Blues haven’t played a ‘competitive’ fixture since March 1994. And that’s only if you’d describe the Eastern Floodlit League on those terms…?
Bishop’s Stortford: The Facts
Dunmow Road, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, CM23 5GZ
To think of the Blues as a club that dates back to 1874 is almost a surprise. Mind you, Boro’ were just late to the party. And even then we were picking up the pieces of a couple of failed clubs before us. Anyway, you’d find Stortford lolling around in local leagues to start with. It wasn’t until the 1920s they’d chance their arm at the expense of other teams from across the county. But the issue was the Hertfordshire County League had difficulties in continuing to exist. It disbanded twice before the decade was out.
After that, the Blues entered the Spartan League and saw it through until after World War Two. They’d be a founder member of the Delphian League in 1951; winning the title in 1955. Yet again, however, Stortford had found a league incapable of surviving. The Delphian disbanded and saw them enter the Athenian League; a competition they would ultimately win in 1970. This started a bit of a golden era for them too. The club were admitted to the Isthmian League in 1971 and won the FA Amateur Cup in 1974.
The Blues struggled to make a massive mark on the Isthmian League. The Premier Division was often made to look like hard work. But they were rewarded with a place in the new Conference South in 2003. It’s at this level that Stortford have stayed for the duration since (as of 2023). That said, it hasn’t been without the odd raised eyebrow. By virtue of their apparently grey geographic location, Stortford have been unlucky in being reassigned to Conference North on more than one occasion.
A quick look at a map shows you that, actually, there are worthier contenders to be mucked about like that.
How to get to Bishop’s Stortford – Travel Information – Distance: 25 miles
From Stevenage, the best option is to head towards Ware on the A602 and join the A10 north. After five miles, you will reach a roundabout on the outskirts of Standon; take the third exit for the A120.
Go through the traffic lights at Little Hadham until you reach Bishop’s Stortford. Take the first exit at the roundabout on the outskirts of the town to stay on the A120. Continue over the next roundabout too, before taking the third exit at the next for the A1250.
After 0.4 miles and opposite a golf course, there will be a right turn into Woodside Road. Take this, and follow it around to the right after 0.1 miles for the stadium.
The car park at Bishop’s Stortford costs £2 to use – but it fills up fast on a matchday. You may find a free alternative in parking on Woodside Road itself. Be on the look out for any restrictions, however.
Station: BISHOP’S STORTFORD
Services to: LONDON LIVERPOOL STREET, CAMBRIDGE
The ground is roughly 1.5 miles from the station and it takes about 35 minutes to walk. It should be possible to exit the station on the right hand side (not the main entrance) via a footbridge. Assuming you leave the station this way, walk up through a small car park on the right of the Three Tuns pub.
From here, go straight on up Warwick Road for 0.5 miles. At the end of the road, it’s a swift left-right combination; first for Haymeads Lane and then onto the A1250 Dunmow Road. Keep going along Dunmow Road, using the road signs to help if you need at the roundabout along the way.
After more than half a mile, take the left turn into Woodside Lane.
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