You are here: Home > Uncategorized > November 2020

November 2020

A second Lockdown from 9th November until 2nd December was ordered by the Tory Government, so precious few opportunities to see football matches in November, but compensated for by several walks of varying lengths, despite some typically seasonal weather!



Why I Love football

Why do you love football? 
What do you see in it? 
Why not watch another sport
Like Rugby, Golf, or Cricket? 

Well let me answer that my friend
And put your mind at rest
I love the beautiful game
Because it’s simply the best

No other sport is as exciting
No other comes anywhere near
Football can create passion
And lots of atmosphere

It is loved all around the world
Most children kick a football
Rich kids, and poor kids
small kids, and some very tall

A good football match is a joy to watch
That’s why thousands go to every game
When you get goals and lots of action
All the fans are so glad that they came

So yes my friend I do love football
It’s by far the number one sport for me
So while you’re watching Golf and Cricket
I’ll be watching Match of the Day, or Man U F.C. 

by Candy Simpson


Monday 2nd November 2020
Pitching-in Southern League Division 1 Central

Coleshill Town 2 Josh Willis 48, James Harrison 79,

Wantage Town 0
Referee:- Luis Martin. …………………………………………Official Attendance:- 247
Admission:- OMGDS £7.00 (£9)………………………………………Programme:- £1.50 
Chicken curry and chips:- £4.50
This was my third visit to Pack Meadow’s 3G Stadium in the last six weeks and it was, by a substantial distance, the coldest, definitely a chit billy! The hosts have struggled in the League this season with only two wins and six defeats on their eight game record. Tonight’s offering was lacklustre with neither team seeming able to drag themselves out of ennui, but, two second half strikes for Coleshill deservedly handed them the victory and the spoils. There was quite a coterie of hoppers present and we all bemoaned the forthcoming BoJo lockdown which starts on Thursday!


Tuesday 3rd November 2020
Thurlow-Nunn Eastern Counties League
Division 1 North

Norwich CBS 2 Valter Rocha 15, 60,

Diss Town 2 Joe Easton (go) 8, Kieran Hagan (pen) 21,
Referee:- Edward Frazer……………………………………………..Attendance:- 105
Admission:- £7.00. ……………………………………………………….Programme:- £1.50
Norwich CBS play at the Norfolk FA headquarters in Bowthorpe in Norwich. They started life more than a century ago as Norwich Union, became Spixworth when they lost their ground and had to relocate a dozen or so years ago, spent a season as AFC Norwich, before accepting funding from “County Building Supplies” which gives them their most up to date moniker. This season, having gained Eastern League status, they are struggling, with only one league win all season, but they were good value for their point on a sharp, cold night as they twice came from behind to gain the draw!


Wednesday 4th November 2020
East Midlands Counties League

Hucknall Town 5 Grant Ryan (pen) 5, (pen) 38, 53, Joe Butler 16, 72,

Kimberley MW 2 Isaac Stones 9, 45+1 (pen)
Referee:- Ian Dudley…………………………………………………….. Attendance:- 207
Admission:- £5.00. ……………………………………………………….Programme:- £2.00
It must be nearly twenty years since my last visit to Watnall Road. Then, the team were in the top division of The Northern Premier League. Ozymandias like, the mighty are fallen! This was a good match with two teams committed to attacking football and there could so easily have been many more goals! For the hosts, Grant Ryan smote a hat trick whilst Isaac Stones struck two for the visitors, there were three penalties and a rare sin-binning! A good way to round off the last three months, forty-two matches and nineteen new grounds. Will we see football before Christmas?


Saturday 7th November 2020

Blue skies with white sheets of cloud and a hazy glaze of mist in the far yonder, down Church Gap and across the fields (and the River Welland) to Thorpe-by-Water. The going was wet and soggy rather than heavy and muddy, as I climbed up to The Church of All Hallows in Seaton. From there, more fields on the way to Uppingham, crossing the branch line spur of railway that served the town with five trains a day from 1894 to 1960 (oddly, you could only get to and from Rugby and Market Harborough, there was no facility for an onward journey to Peterborough!). Through Bisbrooke, where The Spanish Circus Trailer once sat at trackside – but today, a new circus trailer appeared as I hobbled past! In Uppingham, the heritage trail was worth a glance – 27 pubs in the town in 1778 – as was the Church of St Peter and St Paul with its extended graveyard. On the way out of town, I met a black pig, and in Lyddington, the black lambs of Spring had turned to black sheep! The Welland was low at Gretton Weir and back in the village, the new houses at the foot of Clay Lane are developing apace. It was a walk of 11.76 miles and six stiles.

The bottom of Church Gap

The Church of All Hallows in Seaton

The Church of St Peter and Paul in Uppingham

Gretton weir

New building going on at the bottom of Clay Lane in Gretton


Monday 16th November 2020

It was chilly and sharp this morning and the ground heavy and saturated. Set out from Kings Wood, down to The Spread Eagle in Great Oakley and across to Oakley village and the church of St Michael, which only has one hand on its clock. Across fields soggy and claggy, (by-passing some young bullocks), under the arches of the railway line and the new(ish) Geddington road bypass to Little Oakley and the church of St Mary Magdalen. Onwards across the sodden sward to Newton and the old church which is now an educational field centre, but 400 years ago witnessed the massacre of 40 peasants by the local gentry. Back across the A43 dual carriageway and past the former Great Oakley Railway Station (the path from the village across the fields was flagged by the Midland Railway Company to make travel to the station easier), and then back to St Michael’s church and to Kings Wood. No stiles and 9.4 miles

The Spread Eagle in Great Oakley

Great Oakley Manor with the church of St Michael adjacent

St Michael’s Church clock with its only one hand!

The Church of St Mary Magdalen, Little Oakley

Newton Field Centre – formerly a church

Around 40 peasants were killed on 8th June 1607 protesting about the enclosure of land – which made the rich, richer and the poor, poorer, but also enhanced the cause of more efficient agriculture in England.

The site of the former Great Oakley Halt on the Midland Railway Line

It was quite a trek from Great Oakley to the station – or halt – and The Midland Railway installed these slabs to improve the walk between village and station.

Somehow … my Walkmeter switched itself off at Newton Field Centre and it was not until the other side of The A43 dual carriageway that I noticed and switched it back on, losing nearly a mile from the map!


Saturday 21st November 2020

A gloomy overcast morning – which gave way to a bright afternoon – as I set out down Church Gap with the brooding praesidium of St James’ Church looming to the rear. The River Welland was swollen and in Thorpe by Water, I espied a magnificent set of front gates! But, mainly, I was in search of the spur branch railway line (or what remained of it) from Seaton to Uppingham. Below Seaton, you could just make out the passenger footbridge of the old station amidst the bracken shrouding the track bed. The branch line went underneath the main Kettering to Leicester line, in between the eight arches of a viaduct beyond The Welland. The going was tough and challenging. A meat cleaver would have been handy or a scimitar or a cutlass. At one point a tractor had piled a mound across the track bed and then been abandoned. As I pressed on, the going became easier. Just outside Bisbrooke, the bridge across the road had been removed (apparently, the scene of a fatal bus crash in the 1970s). Only the foundations of the platform remained on Station Road in Uppingham. A beautiful tree enhanced the pathway out of the town, across to Lyddington and The Marquess of Exeter hostelry, until ….. at last … reaching Gretton Weir with the setting sun behind it. It had been a long trek (it took me nearly three hours to negotiate the four miles or so of the branch line track bed!). Seven stiles and 13.35 miles.

St James’ Church, Gretton, seen from down Church Gap

At the bottom of Church Gap, the signpost points the way across the fields to the railway embankment and onwards to Thorpe by Water

The River Welland

Elegant gateposts in Thorpe by Water

The track-bed of the former railway line from Rugby and Market Harborough to Stamford and Peterborough. The bridge in the background was the former footbridge joining the platforms at Seaton Station

A goods train crossing the small viaduct (eight arches) underneath which, the Uppingham branch line proceeds.

The view of the small viaduct from above.

After Bisbrooke, an abandoned tractor marked a spot where an attempt had been made to block the old track bed completely!

The road from Uppingham to Seaton passes over the Uppingham branch line at this point

It looks like somebody is trying to grow pot on top of this bridge! Below, is the side view of the bridge.

The foundations of this building on the Industrial Site at the end of Station Road in Uppingham are the original blocks from Uppingham Station Platform.

Uppingham – The Church of St Peter & Paul

What a sight greeted me as I began the walk out of Uppingham. This magnificent tree in full blossom, well, maybe shedding a few leaves on the path leading down out of the town towards Lyddington.

The Marquess of Exeter Hostelry in Lyddington

Sunset over Gretton Weir


Monday 23rd November 2020

The temperature was around freezing, setting off, with a hoar frost covering the grassed field across to The Brookfield Plantation and a watery sun presiding the scene … until all became darkness and gloom under the trees where the foetid pools looked ripe for slithering monsters, but it was the fleeting deer between the trees who were the only beings in sight. The view from the escarpment, once emerged from the plantation was sweeping and panoramic with even Nevill Holt visible on a crest in the far distance. St Leonard’s Church half way up Rockingham Hill, with its oddly shaped tower, is in genteel decline, but surrounded by the headstones of its illustrious past. The return route to Gretton was by the lower path, eventually emerging up Arnhill. Seven stiles and 8.29 miles

The Brookfield Plantation

A “pepperpot” which is an air vent to the railway tunnel deep below the plantation

A bush with sloes still in evidence so late in the season

The village of Caldecott as seen from the escarpment as you emerge from The Plantation

Rockingham Castle

The church of St Leonard in Rockingham. It is in need of extensive foundation work as there is evidence of slippage

Rockingham Castle battlements as seen from the churchyard

A brook flowing across the path (under a bridge) on the way back from Rockingham to Gretton


Thursday 26th November 2020

A Damascene sun shone brightly all day almost blotting out the first sighting of Kirby Hall (but not the rear view). Spotted and dappled clouds accompanied the mid morning sun but then were overtaken by high tufts of cirrus racing across the early afternoon sky. The autumnal harvest underfoot was frost layered and across the fields in Deene, the chocolate box houses positively radiated in the blinding sunlight. In the field at the end of the village, the tea-pot topped column had the legend: AMDG (Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam – to the greater glory of God) and was erected “sacred to the memory of their parents” in the year 2000. In. Bulwick, The Pickled Village Shop had re-opened after a catastrophic fire in early 2019 and a slab of fruit cake and coffee was very welcome, whilst across the road, the parish church of St Nicholas raised its steeple prayerfully to the heavens. The going was heavy and claggy on reaching Harringworth Lodge – greeted by a high flying heron and from there we took a route back along the escarpment which afforded magnificent views across the Welland Valley to Seaton. Meanwhile, lonely in a field, a solitary bull kept a watchful eye. Lovely walk, eleven stiles and 11.36 miles.

Kirby Hall almost blotted out by the bright sunlight!

Kirby Hall, a view from the rear with the blinding sun behind the camera!

Deene Farm

A.M.D.G. – Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam – To the Greater Glory of God

This monument is dedicated to the sacred memory of our parents AD 2000

“The Pickled Village” world renowned for its jams, pickles and preserves. It was burned down in a fire in January 2019 and has only recently re-opened.

Coffee tea and lovely fruit cake, too!

Fine cloud formation over Harringworth Lodge.

Harringworth Lodge

The village of Seaton – maybe 3/4 miles away across the Welland Valley


Saturday 28th November 2020

No sun – no moon – 
No morn – no noon – 
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member – 
No shade, no shine , no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds.

I couldn’t have put it better than Thomas Hood (1799-1845), and he couldn’t have described today any better! I strode out past The War Memorial across the fields to Thorpe by Water alongside The River Welland, silent and slow, climbing from there to Seaton, mist enshrouded and, just beyond, a flat-bed goods train was barely visible crossing the viaduct. In Morcott, a silent graveyard, but no nearby church and The White Horse Inn locked down. A windmill home on the way to Barrowden, where the village shop was open for coffee and a buttered scone and where the proprietor is the organist at our very own St James’ Church! The duck pond outside The Exeter Arms was eerily still and along The Jurassic Way, Turtle Bridge spanned The River Welland. High above Shotley, The Welland Viaduct was hardly visible and as for the sharpness of the view across the valley to Seaton, just two days ago, today … nothing, but the sheep in the forefront. A gloopy greeting upon return via the farmyard to Gretton! Eleven stiles and 16.54 miles.

The Welland Viaduct with a flatbed goods train crossing, but only just visible!

The graveyard at Morcott, but where is the church?

The now semi-derelict White Horse Inn, where Kate Redman and her former husband were once the proprietors. There is some talk of reviving the pub as part of a village development by The Burleigh Estate (who own the building). This would include some new build housing in the village. In a recent poll, there was a reasonable turnout (58%) and 94 residents were in favour and 72 against.


Turtle Bridge

The Welland Viaduct from high above Shotley

The view across the Welland Valley totally obscured by the mist!


Monday 30th November 2020

The last day of Autumn, bleak and dull with incipient rain which died away as the morning progressed. Down Church Gap and across field and rail as if to Thorpe-by-Water, but instead taking the track to Gretton Weir and then crossing the fields to Caldecott, the most southerly village in Rutland and where the clock tower of St John The Evangelist never strays beyond midday (or midnight)! Onwards towards Great Easton, but turning off instead to Rockingham, where the lord of the manor is in residence. Rockingham Hill was busy with traffic as we branched off towards The Brookfield Plantation and a misty view of Gretton, high on its hill. Inside the plantation, the pepper pot still breathes life into the rail tunnel below, beware the snakes and the stagnant pools and back across field and track to Gretton Village Hall. Eleven stiles (again) and 10.3 miles.

The Church of St John The Evangelist in Caldecott

Rockingham Castle

The view of Gretton from the escarpment

The ‘Pepperpot”


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • RSS