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July 2020

Anfield Ices

I have this little ice cream cart, it sits outside The Kop
You can see me every matchday wearing my Liverpool top
I call it Anfield Ices, the ice creams are really nice
They’re cool like our big centre half, Big Virg was worth his price.

Some cones they do get broken, in the bin they have to go
And in our trophy room this year, Four trophies are on show
The Premier League is ours this year, we’ve waited 30 years
But now it sits there, pride of place, just next to old “Big Ears”.

By Willie McLoskey



Sunday 5th July 2020

A Sunday stroll across to Thorpe by Water, the railway was in busy mode with several trains going up and down the line, whilst disinterested cows idly stood by. The Welland was looking lovely – except at Gretton Weir, where the water level was pretty low. Coming back up Arnhill, the huge new house being constructed was all quiet and on The Maltings, the sliding doors, so recently and expertly rejuvenated, looked a picture! Six stiles and 5.3 miles

An East Midland Trains service heading towards The Welland Viaduct, Oakham, Melton Mowbray and Leicester.

The River wetland at Thorpe-by-Water looking peaceful and serene!

In a field beside the River wetland, the herd of …… Charolai? graze peacefully in the morning sunshine on a blustery day!

The River Wetland at Gretton Weir, where the river is really low and struggles through the verdant pasture!

This new house, a work in progress on Arnhill Drive, is a fairly extensive mansion in large grounds!

The lady on The Maltings, who painted these doors very expertly, spent the entire day yesterday on the project



Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic

Up to and including 5th July 2020, 44,220 people in Great Britain have died from the virus. This is the worst performance by any country in Europe and, indeed, second only to America in the total number of deaths. The deaths per million, however puts the United Kingdom at the top of the worst performing pile and it is due in no small part to the ineffectiveness and ineptness of the British government who have consistently taken the wrong path.

At the outset, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, missed the first FIVE Cobra meetings to outline strategy to contain the epidemic. The government have largely ignored care homes, not provided sufficient and robust PPE (personal protection equipment), ceased testing right at the outbreak when testing should have been the most important factor in containment. Added to this, the government has been handing out crony contracts which have not always been effective in fighting the virus, instead of utilising the skill and experience of the NHS.

Finally, there is The Dominic Cummings factor. He it was who broke the rules set out by government and defied the Lockdown and sought to justify his actions. This led, in no small measure, to a feeling of contempt – if he can, I can and the dangerous precedent which led to Brighton beach being crowded when closely packed crowds were the last thing wanted mid pandemic.

Added to that, Boris Johnson has consistently denied the possibility of an enquiry into the conduct of the government during the pandemic, even though this might help with any future “spike” that may occur. It is no small wonder that we have the worst record in the world given this government’s inept and inefficient handling of the situation!



Hull City

Hull City: Boothferry Park, 22nd September 1955. If Hull City think that this season is going badly, they can look back to the dire days at the start of the 1955/56 campaign when they won one (2-1 at home to Lincoln City) and dew one (2-2 at home to eventual champions, Sheffield Wednesday) out of their opening thirteen games. They eventually came bottom of Division 2 with 26 points and were relegated to Division 3N. Three seasons later, they were runners up in the newly formed Division 3 and returned to Division 2 – but only for one brief season!

At the end of this season, Hull City were relegated once again from The Championship down to League 1. They came bottom on 45 points with Wigan Athletic, who had gone into administration and been docked 12 points, finishing in penultimate place on 47 points and also going down were Charlrton Athletic on 48 points, newly promoted last season from League 1.



Saturday 11th July 2020

At last, a cricket match this summer! Chorley played Littleborough from near Rochdale and the visitors elected to bat on winning the toss. It was, perhaps not the best decision as they were skitlled out for 97 in 36.3 overs with Andrew Flear the pick of the bowling with quite remarkable figures of 8-5-6-4. Chorley soon polished of the meagre target reaching 98 for 2 in 16.2 overs with Harry Barclay striking 54no and Joseph Tiffin 26no.

Chorley play at Windsor Park on Sandringham Road and their ground is a natural bowl. I have not been for many years, but I well remember the vast crowds that used to congregate and the hat being passed round for the collection for the “professional”!


  1. Z Perren c+b Flear 36
  2. T Townsend* LBW b Lee 18
  3. P Sutcliffe ct Moulton b Lee 0
  4. M Hernon+ ct Barclay+ b Lee 1
  5. A Willis st Barclay+ b Dhar 18
  6. L Eadsforth ct Barclay+ b Flear 1
  7. J Kershaw LBW b Flear 0
  8. J Whatmough ct Barclay+ b Barker 3
  9. H Chew b Flear 0
  10. W Sanford-Mitchell NOT OUT 6
  11. B Williamson ct Barclay+ b Johnson 2

Extras:- 1lb, 10w, 1nb 12

TOTAL (all out 36.3 overs) 97


Joe Barker 6-0-32-1

James Lee 8-2-27-3

Louis Johnson 6.3-2-10-1

Gaurav Dhar 8-0-21-1

Andy Flear 8-5-6-4


  1. Z Nirodi st Hernon+ b Kershaw 2
  2. H Barclay NOT OUT 54
  3. W. Moulton b Townsend 1
  4. J. Tiffin NOT OUT 26

Extras 1b, 1lb, 9w, 4nb 15

Total (for two wkts 16.2 overs) 98

DNB:- A Holdsworth, A Howarth, J Barker, G Dhar, J Lee, A Flear, L Johnson.


Travis Townsend 5-1-20-1

Joe Kershaw 4-0-17-1

Lewis Eadsforth 3-0-20-0

Ben Williamson 3-0-18-0

Joe Whatmough 1.2-0-10-0

Harrison Chew 1-0-11-0



Southport FC

Haig Avenue, Southport, 16th September 1971
Southport were founder members of The Football League Division 3 North in 1921. Their ground has a present capacity of 6,000, but I can remember matches in the 1960s with bigger attendances than that! (4th September 1967 FL Division 3 Southport 2 Colchester United 3 attendance:- 7,008 and two weeks later on 15th September 1967 FL Division 3 Southport 1 Oldham Athletic 0 attendance:- 7,701). I was quite lucky, because the paper shop on Sebastopol in Chorley was owned by Culshaws and I was often invited to go with the eldest son who was a keen Southport supporter! I saw my last league match there in April 1968 and I was not to return for forty-one years! Lovely old fashioned ground. Sadly, in 1978, Southport became the last club to be voted out of the league with Wigan Athletic taking their place.



Tuesday 14th July 2020

A Cycle Ride around Rutland Water

The powder grey firmament oozed occasional glimpses of sunlight as I took my hired bike for a run round Rutland Water, starting from Whitwell and going down past the music sculpture at Sykes Lane, across the dam wall and on to Normanton Church, half in and half out of the water. Onwards to Lyndon Top and Manton, where The Horse & Jockey hostelry was silent, but ready for action in a couple of hours at midday. The main railway line from Leicester to Peterborough passes under Manton. At Egleton (with a hard ‘e’), there is the church of St Edmund before setting out on the six mile traverse of The Hambleton Peninsular, with Normanton Church again visible at its point. After Hambleton, it is but a four mile ride back to Whitwell. A total of 23.69 miles in 3hours and 45 minutes (terrible!!!! Must do better next time!), not including a half-hour pit stop at Egleton Bird Sanctuary for coffee and kit-kat!

The view from Whitwell as I started off on my ride!

The iconic sculpture at Sykes Lane

“Just as most symphonies are not intended to be descriptive, so these works do not represent figures or objects”

The church at Normanton, half in and half out of the water! It is still in regular use as a wedding venue!

Plenty of sheep all round Rutland Water!

Burley House, high up on the hill (not to be confused with Burleigh House in Stamford, home of the horse trails).

The Peterborough to Leicester line just coming out of the tunnel that runs under Manton

St Edmunds Church, Egleton

Hamilton house on the isthmus which is now a conference centre, I believe.

The view of Normanton church from the edge of the Hamilton isthmus



Thursday 16th July 2020

Past the War Memorial and down Church Gap, across the fields where the crop is growing apace, to Thorpe by Water where the stone house with mullioned windows was a feature. Upwards to Seaton and the Church of All Hallows’ and then across the fields – broad beans, I think, this time – to Lyddington, past the football pitch and the remains of the monks’ fishponds where Friday fish were reared! Stopped for a small repast at The White Hart hostelry, soup and a couple of the inn’s own White Hart pale ale, and then back to Gretton via Gretton Weir and up Arnhill Road. Seven stiles and 10.23 miles.

The Green at Grettonwith the War Memorial

The wheat is growing apace across the railway line on the path to Thorpe by Water

The house with mullioned windows, a feature of Thorpe by Water

The Church of All Hallows, Seaton

The broad bean crop on the field walk from Seaton to Lyddington.

The football pitch at Lyddington (although, I’m not sure that Lyddington possess a competitive team!).

The monks fishponds, just about decipherable as hollows in the ground, with the church of St Andrew to the rear.

The Old White Hart, Lyddington



Saturday 18th July 2020

At last! It may only have been a 2nd XI fixture, but it was good to get back to competitive cricket at Thrapston today. The cricket ground shares with the football ground but today, the dug-outs and the goalposts were sidelined and a very entertaining contest between Thrapston 2nds and S&L Corby 2nds. The hosts inserted the visitors who racked up 100 all out in just 25.4 overs. In a pulsating second innings, the home side just held out to achieve the target for eight wickets down in 34.2 overs. Time for a jar!

The football side of the ground. Thrapston Town, formerly of The United Counties League, now play in The Northants Combination



Friday 24th July 2020

A gentle amble on a hot and humid morning round the Hambleton Isthmus which protrudes finger like into Rutland Water, with son Mike and grandchildren Freddie (10) and Tess (6). Afterwards we repaired to The White Hart in Lyddington for a sumptuous repast and a couple of pints of their very own Summer Ale. One stile and 5.7 miles.

Burley House

Son, Michael with daughter Tess and son, Freddie

Eddie and grandson, Freddie

Tess and granddad, Ed

There used to be a road, here, but the reservoir swallowed it up!



Sunday 26th July 2020

Rutland & District Cricket League Division 1
March Town 188 all out (37.2 overs)
Uffington 192 for 3 (36.1 overs)

Only my second umpiring match of the season, officiating with Alan Pearce at Uffington, deep, deep in the middle of nowhere near Stamford on the borders of Lincolnshire. It is probably the tiniest cricket field I have ever been to, with short boundaries on all sides! The hosts inserted the visitors who made a pretty good fist of their innings, reaching 186 for 7 off 35 overs but all out within a further fourteen balls for the addition of only two runs! Uffington took their time over the response, but eventually cruised to victory with twenty three balls remaining. Good match!

Thursday 30th July 2020
Gretton to Belton-in-Rutland (……..and back!)

The sun burned away the clouds early in the walk and the weather became hot humid and sultry. The River Welland was still as death and … past Lyddington, Uppingham loomed across the valley. Wardley Wood was quite soft in parts, followed by the approach to Wardley village and The Church of St Botolph. Across the A47 and onwards at last to Belton-in-Rutland. Back across the A47 to Allexton and the long grass covered road down to Stockerston with its neat cottages bordering closely the main road from Market Harborough to Uppingham. The Eyesbrook reservoir was serene, from there to Great Easton and the church of St Andrew (and a fine pint of Black Sheep in The Sun). Rockingham Castle was flying the flag and The Sondes Arms in the village was also open! The final three miles across the fields back to Gretton were very difficult – not due to the distance, but the heat and the humidity certainly took its toll. Twelve stiles and 23.61 miles

Thorpe by Water

It is already the season of the harvest!!!

The River Welland, still as death!

The small market town of Uppingham

The great swathe of a path cut through Wardley Wood

The Church of St Botolph in Wardley

Not a squire’s residence (although it may have been, once), but the entrance to some private flats in Bolton in Rutland!

Stockerston and the well maintained roadside cottages!

Across the Eyesbrook Reservoir to Stoke Dry

St Andrew’s Church in Great Easton

Rockingham Castle with the flag showing ‘in residence’.

“My faith in Glory”

The Sondes Arms, Rockingham

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