Holker Street is a traditional old looking ground that has been improved recently with the erecting of a roof over the Holker Street End. The ground is quite striking with the use of the team’s blue and white colours on the stands around the stadium. On one side is the colourful looking Brian Arrowsmith Stand, named after a former Barrow Manager and Player, who spent his entire career at the club. This is the main stand at the ground and is seated and covered. It has some supporting pillars along the front of the stand and runs for around half the length of the pitch. It is situated on the half way line and is raised above pitch level, meaning that you have to climb a small staircase to access it. The areas to either side of the stand are flat standing spaces.
On one side is the Popular Side Stand. This is a terrace which is covered towards the centre. The Crossbar Terrace (also known as the Steelworks End) at one of the stadium, is on one side, a small open terrace, whereas the other side is not really used for spectators. In fact, this area houses the Club Offices which tends to be detrimental to the overall look of the ground. Opposite is the larger Holker Street Terrace, which was recently an open area, but has now been covered with a roof. This end is split between home and away fans. The stadium has a set of tall modern floodlights, although the old classic looking floodlights that they replaced are still currently in place.
Away fans are mostly housed on one side of the Holker Street Terrace (towards the Brian Arrowsmith Stand) at one end of the ground. There is also some additional standing space available beside the Brian Arrowsmith Stand. Oddly the Club have elected to segregate supporters at that end by the use of a dividing fence which means that no visiting fans can stand directly behind the goal. During the Summer of 2020, a roof was erected over the whole of the Holker Street End, providing welcome cover for visiting supporters. This should also help boost the atmosphere inside the ground. In addition to this terraced area, a number of seats are made available to away fans in the covered Brian Arrowsmith Stand. Catering inside the ground is in the form of the obligatory burger van.
Holker Street Stadium seating plan:
The Club has its own club house bar called the ‘Crossbar’. This bar welcomes away supporters and has SKY and BT Sports television. Elaine Warden informs me; 'There is a pub next door to the ground called the Soccer Bar which is independent from the club and popular with visiting supporters as well as home fans.'
Leave the M6 at Junction 36 and take the A590 towards Barrow-in-Furness. As you enter the outskirts of Barrow you will pass a fire station on your right. You should now be able to see the floodlights of the stadium over on your left. Turn left into Wilkie Road and then right into Holker Street. Plenty of street parking is available.
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Barrow-in-Furness Railway Station is located just under a mile away from the Holker Street ground. It is served by trains from Lancaster and Carlisle. John Stafford informs me; 'emerge from the station and the small station entrance road leads directly onto Holker Street. Look right and you will be able to see the floodlights of the ground further up Holker Street itself.'
Rivals - Fleetwood Town
Travel: I'm a Sutton United fan based in Manchester which makes the Northern away matches easier for me. Two hours there and back, changing at Preston.
Refreshments: Due to train ticket prices, I turned up a whole two and a half hours before kick off giving me plenty of time for a walk around town and to find some food. Couldn't really find a sit down place other than McDonalds and ended settling for a Morrisons cafe as I'd had the idea of a Northern chippy in my head all day. In terms of the home fans, I haven't come across a more friendly bunch than Barrow. It was them who invited me into their club bar while I was stood outside waiting for the away turnstiles to open and you can tell the club means a great deal to the town.
Impressions: Holker Street is a really traditional ground with high walls. Same can be said for our terrace behind the goal which looked like something out of the flashback scenes from fever pitch.
Atmosphere: Due to the cancellation of the original fixture, the game was rearranged with short notice, and with Cumbria being so far away, Sutton only managed to bring 13 away fans along. None the less we remained in good voice. A burger and bovril was cheaper than a burger on its own at our place, and it was of great quality. Stewards were friendly but frankly must have felt unnecessary given how few of us were there and the burger van people were equally chatty and appreciated us trekking to the Lake District for a late kick off. It was a drab performance from Sutton and we were lucky to snatch a 1-1 draw.
Exit: I made a bit of a fool of myself, as the game ended some ten minutes before my train was due to leave meaning I had to sprint like a madman down a Cumbrian pavement only to make the train to Preston with two minutes to spare, and inevitably tripping up the stairs as I launched myself up them
Enjoy: Holker Street is a great old fashioned ground, with cheap ticket prices and a lovely bunch of fans.
Ground Name: Progression Solicitors Stadium
Capacity: 5,045 (1,000 Seated)
Address: Wilkie Road, Barrow-in-Furness, LA14 5UW
Main Tel No.: 01229 666010
Team Nickname: Bluebirds
Year Ground Opened: 1909