PCC TOUR

Touring History

The Ploughmans Annual Tour is the stuff of myth and legend. The biggest and, arguably, best social occasion of the year. Looked forward to in equal measures of excitement and trepidation. The tours started way back in the early 90s when venues such as Norfolk and the New Forest were sourced, cricket was played, fines were promulgated (and paid) and beer was imbibed in vast quantities. As the Club grew, so did the tour, and it has always been a great source of pride to the Club that tour has always been very inclusive. Not just a weekend away with the lads, Tour is open to everyone - wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, kids, pets and any other random hangers-on (and there's been plenty of those!)

One such Tour in the late-90's found Ploughmans CC in the beautiful Cotswold village of Fairford, and so it came to pass that The Bull Hotel carved out its own very special and utterly unique place in Ploughmans folklore. Along with the most agreeable landlord in the UK, the Cricket Club did its absolute utmost to ensure a good time was had by all and managed to achieve the rather dubious honour of being the hotel's second biggest weekend of each year behind an international air show! Over the years, The Bull's hospitality, patience and hardworking bar staff were tested to the very outer limits of what could be described as acceptable and decent but in the process secured the tag of 'spiritual home' to Ploughmans CC.

Sadly, after 11 years, PCC said goodbye to The Bull as the landlord moved onto pastures new but as one door closed, another one opened and the Ploughmans overseas tours were born. First, with an enormous tour of just over 50 people travelling to the Mediterranean island of Malta for some cricket and the sun, then quickly followed the following season by a tour to the Greek island of Corfu. Here, a Ploughmans side not only played on one of only two cricket pitches on a UNESCO World Heritage Site but also became the first touring side to actually beat a very strong Greek Select XI - a team which included several international cricketers. 2016 saw us take a year off from our travels as Bristol became our base for another outstanding (if incredibly weird) weekend but we've got the travel bug now and, after a long weekend of cricket in beautiful Croatia, we topped that in 2018 with a sensational weekend in rural Portugal where, amongst many firsts for the Club, we took part in our first ever day/night match. We're off again in 2019, this time to beautiful rural France.

2019 tour - France

Proposed dates

Thursday 6th - Monday 10th June 2019 inclusive
(these are the full dates, however, people can amend to suit their own schedules)

Proposed schedule

Thursday 6th June: Outbound flights to Bordeaux
Night out in Bordeaux
Overnight in Bordeaux

Friday 7th June: Ploughmans CC v Saint Aulaye CC in Chenaud (35 overs)
Evening meal post-match
Overnight in Marmande

Saturday 8th June: Ploughmans CC v Damazan CC in Damazan (35 overs)
Evening meal post-match
Overnight in Marmande

Sunday 9th June: Ploughmans CC v Stade Bretou CC in Eymet (35 overs)
End of Tour Dinner
Overnight in Marmande

Monday 10th June: Daytime agenda (still TBC)
Return flights to London from Bordeaux

 

Flight options

As with previous tours, the Club will be encouraging individuals towards certain flight options but these are by no means set in stone. Individuals can arrange flights to suit their own needs, even mixing and matching flights if you so desire. Going on the 'preferred' flights will mean transportation to/from airports will be provided within the overall cost. For anyone outside the preferred options, airport transfers may have to be covered by those people themselves. Unless, that is, individuals arrive/depart at such times that we're able to pick them up en route somewhere.

Bear in mind if you book other flights, the times vary wildly and you may require an early morning taxi or overnight in a Premier Inn, thus negating the difference in price. The 'preferred' flights just appear to be the most sensible option. We understand, however, if work commitments etc. mean you can’t do the whole tour. Fortunately, Bergerac airport is a decent arrival/departure point in terms of where we’re going to be, so if you are looking to travel in and out of France at different times to the main party, then Bergerac flights are what you need to source.

NB: All flights to be booked by individuals themselves. 'Ash Airways' may well be in operation again but flights are YOUR responsibility, not the club's. There is no point us doing a Group Booking as airlines always put a premium on those.

*

Flight options: (contd.)

'Preferred' Options

FROM/TO LONDON GATWICK

EASY JET

Departure date: 06/06/19

From: London Gatwick to Bordeaux (Direct)

Departure time: 15:55hrs

Arrival time: 18:35hrs

Return date: 10/06/19

To: Bordeaux to London Gatwick (Direct)

Departure time: 21:55

Arrival time: 22:30

Cost: £60pp* (based on no hold luggage)

*Flight costs are based on search done on 07/11/18. They are subject to change the longer people leave them!

NB: If unable to book on these exact flights, there are other options. Either with EasyJet on the same day or in and out of other airports.

 

Accommodation

Bordeaux – Thursday 6th June (1 night)
Hôtel Restaurant Campanile Bordeaux Gradignan
Allée des Demoiselles
33170 Gradignan
Bordeaux
France
T: +33 5 56 80 63 33
https://www.campanile.com/en/hotels/campanile-bordeaux-sud-gradignan-talence

If you require a single occupancy room that is obviously more but we may be able to "absorb" the cost and even it out for everyone once we know exact figures.

Marmande – Friday 7th – Monday 10th June (3 nights)
Hôtel Restaurant Campanile Marmande
D813 Ave. Francois Mitterand
47200 Marmande
France
T: +33 5 53 94 39 80
https://www.campanile.com/en/hotels/campanile-marmande

Cost of accommodation for full Tour: £180 per person
(allows for a handful of single occupancy rooms)

 

Transport

Unlike previous Tours, our hosts are unable to help with transport. Primarily because of the distance between each other and the distances we have to cover. France is a bloody big country!! Having said that, a quick Google Maps test suggests no single journey is more than 2hrs, with some around 30mins.

French public transport is woeful so the best way for us to undertake these journeys is by hiring our own Tour coach and driver (yes, a fun bus!). The finer details of this are still to be ironed out as we’re waiting on a few other quotes so the cost is a bit of a guesstimate. We think we’ve budgeted enough but this cost may increase per head slightly.

Expected cost of transport: £50 per person

 

The cricket

There are several cricket clubs in the area and they are all very friendly with each other. To the point where they are able to pool players, so none of the nonsense of PCC having to provide the oppo with players as we did in Croatia. Players are both local and ex-Pats and the standard varies but we will pick our teams accordingly to ensure a competitive match at each venue. The proposal is that we will play 3 x 35 over matches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Two of the grounds have synthetic wickets, still waiting to hear on the other one!

 

Tour Fees: £50 per person

This covers the cost of match day facilities, balls, kit bags (excess baggage), teas and refreshments during each match and a Tour polo shirt for everyone (and a few extras as gifts for our hosts).

 

Meals: £100 per person

We’re a little bit more self-sufficient here...

Breakfast – provided by hotels

Lunches – a lunch kitty will be required and it will probably require a trip to a local supermarché en route to games. Our hosts say lots of tourists arrive for games with a picnic, which they have before taking to the field.

Evening meals – at present, the plan is for our hosts to provide a post-match meal on Friday and Saturday and the cost is included. This leaves three other evening meals. One of which is the End of Tour Dinner – the plan for this, as usual, is we expect it to be held at a local restaurant and, hopefully, in the company of some of our hosts. The cost for this Dinner is included. The other two evening meals (Thu & Mon) will be the responsibility of each individual and paid for accordingly (i.e. not included in the price). This is partly because not everyone will be at the beginning and/or end of the tour.

 

TOTAL COST PER PERSON ON FULL TOUR = £380 + whatever your flights cost*

Which, if paid in 5 monthly instalments (Jan-May) = 72 per month. NB: Total balance must be paid in full to the Club before departure. Please also remember this is a price based on the full tour. The overall cost for full tour may well come down once final number of tourists is confirmed. We may also be able to run a snacks or drinks kitty if the exchange rate works in our favour – Brexit will determine that!

 

In a nutshell

For your money you get:

- Your B&B for 4 nights (cost obviously comes down if you stay less nights)
- Your transport in France
- Tour Fees (fees, facilities, match balls, refreshments, teas)
- Meals (well, nearly all of them)
- The much-coveted Tour polo shirt
- Cricket kit (pads, bats, etc.) provided by the Club. You just need to pack your whites and trainers.

Obviously, on top of this you will need to pay for your flights and budget for a certain amount of beer/extra food money.

Finally, the Club recommends that you take out your own travel insurance policy for the duration of the Tour.

So… Think about it for all of 5 seconds and then say yes!