Counties - Media Guide to the Grounds (updated 2012)
Surrey (Kia Oval, Guildford and Whitgift School) by Marcus Hook
Kia Oval, Kennington, London
The ground is situated on the A202, near the junction where it the A3 just south of Vauxhall Bridge. It is also a five to ten-minute car journey drive from Victoria and Waterloo railway stations. By Underground - Take the Northern Line from the City or Central London to the Oval tube station. The main entrance to the ground is 150 metres on your left on leaving the station. The ground is also a ten-minute walk from Vauxhall tube station which is on the Victoria line.
By Rail - Take South West Trains to Vauxhall station, which is a short walk from the ground. The station is well served by trains from throughout Surrey and Hampshire as well as from Clapham Junction and Waterloo. Public transport from Vauxhall station: Buses to the Brit Oval (36, 436 and 185) run from the terminus just outside station, as indeed they do from outside Victoria station. Further away, the 36 and 436 also run from and to Paddington station.
There are a limited number of car parking spaces reserved for members of the fourth estate at the Vauxhall End of the ground. These must be booked in advance with Jon Surtees (07813-130331). If Jon cannot be contacted, try George Foster, Surrey's head of marketing and communications (07711-608721). On major match days one of the allocated car parks, at
Vauxhall School, is INSIDE the Congestion Charge zone, entry to which now costs £10 per day. The zone is in operation between 07:00 to 18:00, Mondays to Fridays.
The Sydney Pardon press box, which is on the first floor of the OCS Stand (access via the Debenture Holders’ entrance), holds up to 70 writers. The press box has four rows of banked seating with more available outside; which is just as well because visibility from within the press box at the Kia Oval is poor; hence it also being known as the Stevie Wonder press box. It is now possible to hear what is going on outside the press box. The knob for turning on the sound effects can be found at the end of the back row of seating on the left hand (as one faces the pitch). Wireless internet access is available on all match days.
Name and number of PA contact/local paper contact: The Press Association contact for Surrey is Mark Pennell (Kent & Sussex Sport). The local newspaper contacts are Marcus Hook (who freelances for the Surrey Mirror and the Croydon Advertiser, 07941-226694) and Richard Spiller (Surrey Advertiser, 07971-576698). Name of scorer (Rating out of 10 for helpfulness): 8/10. Surrey's 1st XI scorer is Keith Booth. The 2nd XI scorer is Jennifer Booth, Keith’s wife. Name of PR contact: Jon Surtees (for general matters, e.g. press releases, catering, scorecards, lockers etc. 07813-130331) and Mark Church (for end-of-the-day player interviews, 07703-603382).
Metal gym-style coin lockers, situated next to the press box toilets, are available to store items overnight. There is a tendency for the press box to be on the cold side, which means having to take a jumper with you even on a hot day. Also, if a corporate event is taking place in the OCS Stand on the day of a game, the public address feed into the press box will be turned off; thus denying the press the chance of hearing the dulcet tones of Brian Raine.
Food/drink arrangements in the press box: The press lounge is situated behind the press box. Tea, coffee and mineral water are available all day, and these are supplemented by pastries, on arrival, and sandwiches, crisps, soup and fresh fruit at lunch time. Local boozers for lunch time relief: The best pubs close to the Kia Oval are the Beehive (on the corner of Durham Road and Harleyford Road) at the Vauxhall End of the ground; while, at the Pavilion End, there are the Hanover Arms and the Greyhound, which are virtually next door to one another, in Kennington Road (from the main entrance, go to the Oval underground station and turn right). Local sandwich bars/delis/supermarkets: The closest supermarket is Tesco, which is a five-minute walk away, in Kennington Lane (from the Alec Stewart gates, head toward the gasholders, turn left into Vauxhall Street - where the no entry signs are - and at the end of there you will see Tesco on your right).
4 STARS: London Bridge Apartments, SE1 2RU (020-7378-4840); Novotel London Waterloo, SE1 7LS (020-7793-1010); Think Tower Bridge, SE1 3LF (020-7420-4956). 3 STARS: Belgrave Hotel, SW9 0JD (020-7793-0142); Comfort Inn London Vauxhall, SW8 1RN (020-7735-9494); Days Hotel Waterloo, SE1 7BJ (020-7922-1331); London City Hotel, SE1 1JX (020-7378-0415); Premier Inn London Tower Bridge, SE1 3LP (08702-38303).
Nearby greasy spoon: Kennington Lane Cafe, 383 Kennington Lane (020-7735-5833), close to the overground station at Vauxhall. Nearby curry house: Kennington Tandoori, 313 Kennington Road (020-7735-9247).
Leave the A3 at the main Guildford Town Centre exit. For those travelling west when they come off the A3, turn left at the bottom of the hill and then turn immediately right at the traffic lights, so that you are travelling west on Ladymead (A25). At the next set of lights bear left into Woodbridge Road (A322). Go straight over the roundabout, under the railway bridge and past the transport cafe and you will see the cricket ground on your right. By Rail - Take South West Trains to Guildford. As you come out of the railway station, cut left across the car park, cross Walnut Tree Close and go over the small bridge crossing the River Wey next to the entrance to Stevens & Bolton's offices at Bishop's Wharf. Once on the other side of the bridge, head toward the Crown Court in Bedford Road and carry on in the direction of Leas Road, which leads to Dapdune Wharf.
If you keep heading in that general direction you will eventually come to a lane at the end of a cul de sac. Turn right up the lane and you will find yourself at the main entrance.
Car parking at the Railway End can be accessed off Woodbridge Road - ring Jon Surtees (07813-130331) or George Foster (07711-608721) to get your name added to the list. The press tent is BASIC, with a limited amount of power sockets and no telecom facilities (unless they have been pre-booked with Jon). Space is also limited, because the tent is shared with the scorers, which has its advantages (the scoreboard at Guildford cannot be relied upon), and the PA announcer,
which has its disadvantages (sorry Brian!). Wifi access is not guaranteed, but, last season, a wifi facility was provided thanks to J.M.Finn & Co's sponsorship.
Food/drink arrangements in the press tent: At the back of the tent, tea, coffee and pastries are available on arrival. At lunch time brown paper bags are provided, one per person. These contain a sandwich, a packet of crisps, a Mars bar and an item of fruit. There is a very good (and reasonably priced) refreshments marquee on the main forecourt. Local boozers for lunch time relief: Nearby pubs include the Drummond (Woodbridge Road, GU1 4RF) and the Kings Head (Stoke Road, GU1 4JW). Not far from the railway station there's the George Abbot (High Street, GU2 4AB).
4 STARS: Asperion Hillside Hotel, GU3 3RF (01483-232051); Flexi-Lets@Printing House Square, GU1 4LF (01252-210533); Holiday Inn, GU2 7XZ (08704-009036); Radisson Edwardian, GU1 3DA (01483-792300). 3 STARS: Mandolay, GU1 2AF (01483-303030); Manor House Hotel & Spa, GU4 8SE (01483-222624); Premier Inn, Parkway, GU1 1UP (08715-278482); Premier Inn, Godalming,
GU7 3BX (08715-278466).
Nearby greasy spoon: Woodbridge Cafe, Woodbridge Road, GU1 4RN (01483 531453), next to the cricket ground. Restaurants worth a visit include: Café de Paris, 35 Castle St, GU1 3UQ (01483-534896), Cambio, 2-4 South Hill, GU1 3SY (01483-577702) and Rum Wong, 16-18 London Rd, GU1 2AF (01483-536092).
Whitgift School, South Croydon
Between 2003 and 2011, Whitgift School staged one of Surrey's County Championship matches and one of their List A one-day games. However, it is not being used in 2012, in spite of an existing staging agreement.
Whitgift School is next to the main Brighton Road (A235), which leads into and out of Croydon, just south of the town centre. Raman Subba Row an old boy of the school is usually on the ground to welcome you to South Croydon. The main entrance to the ground is in Nottingham Road. By Rail - Take Southern Trains to South Croydon. When you come out of the railway station, head straight on in the direction of St.Peter’s Church. When you reach St.Peter’s Road turn left. At the bottom of the hill turn right (at the mini roundabout next to the Croham Arms) into Ye Market. Walk past the Stag and Hounds pub and turn left into Bartlett Street. At the end of Bartlett, Whitgift School is diagonally opposite. Buses that go to South Croydon (Swan & Sugar Loaf pub) include the 60, 166, 312, 403, 407, 412 and the 466.
Car parking is within the school grounds accessed off Nottingham Road. Get your name added to the list, or you will be stung for £10.
The press tent is better than average with sufficient power and wifi access. Space can be limited, as the tent is shared with the scorers, the PA announcer. But, generally speaking, the press tent is one of the few places on the ground where the action can be viewed from behind the bowler’s arm.
Food/drink arrangements in the press tent: Tea, coffee and pastries are available on arrival and a fresh supply of tea and coffee is often supplied at lunch and at tea. Lunch is plentiful (just ask Mark Eklid of the Derby Telegraph) and, at tea, scones, jam and clotted cream is provided. Local boozers for lunch time relief: Of the numerous pubs in South Croydon, the Woodman (Upland Road, CR2 6RE) is a well kept secret. The Croham Arms (Croham Road, CR2 7PB), the Crown & Sceptre (Junction Road, CR2 6RB) and the Earl Of Eldon (Brighton Road, CR2 6EE) also have good reputations and are within easy reach of Whitgift School.
4 STARS: Croydon Park Hotel, CR9 5AA (020-8680-9200); Hallmark Hotel, CR9 4LT (020-8680-1999); Hampton by Hilton, CR0 2NB (020-8726-0200); Latitude Serviced Apartments, CR0 5BR (8688-5503). 3 STARS: Holiday Inn Express, CR0 1TS (08714-234828); Lansdowne Hotel, CR9 2BN (020-8681-3381); Jurys Inn, CRO 9XY (020- 8448-6000); Premier Inn, CR0 5RB (08715-278280).
Nearby greasy spoon: A&N Brothers Cafe, 6 Selsdon Road, CR2 6PW (020-8667-0012). Nearby curry house: Sangri, 265 High Street, CR0 1QH (020-8686-2626). On the main road (A235) that leads from South Croydon into the centre of Croydon, there are so many restaurants of various types, prices and styles to know it's difficult to know where to begin. The Boulevard (French & European, 020-8649-9990), in Selsdon Road, next door to the Folly, is within easy reach of Whitgift School. Little Bay (020-8649-9544), which is also very handy, in Selsdon Road, has established a good reputation for its food as well as its unique eating experience!
In South End you can take your pick from Bagattis (Italian), Bejing Cottage (Chinese), Bibi & Beppe (Italian), Jardin De Provence (French), Mae Ping (Thai), Paradise Island (Seafood) and Zizzis (Italian).