CONTINUED FROM ISSUE 164
|Dr. Philistine, with his sharp knives|
I re-arranged my weekend to go to the Ashbourne International Streetfest on Saturday18th June. Having had just enough sleep, I set off on the 29, running early, to Main Street, getting a Bakewell Pudding from the market, and some money from Nationwide Building Society. I walked up to The Green, in the hope of catching a bus, any bus, to Derby, encountering the crowds walking from watching the Women's Tour of Britain cycle race, just before. Two Y5s were posted on the information sign, a Skylink Loughborough and a Skylink Coalville. What actually turned up, at 1118, was the Zoom, ex-New Sawley, so it had obviously not got caught up in the Carnival parade. Pleased, I boarded it, though passengers for Briar Gate were not so lucky- one had been waiting 3/4 hour. The bus progressed rapidly to Derby, arriving at 1150, about 10 minutes late. We were passed by a Y5 and an Indigo, on the way. I had 1/2 an hour to visit the free toilet in the Eagle Market, and buy and consume a banana, before departing on the Swift, to Ashbourne. There was a brief hold-up, for roadworks, along the way, but otherwise, we got there quickly. I took a programme leaflet from one of the stewards, always handed out free, then sampled the facility behind Waitrose- very modern, very smart, so the closure of that at the bus station, is not such a tragedy, and arrived at Dig Street, in time to see the final part of Minnie Maniac's performance, in which three helpers carried her aloft. When she finished, I went in the Cheddar Gorge, a wonderful little food shop, and bought a large pork pie (£3.30), a medium Huntsman Pie (£2.65), and a brie and cranberry tart (£2.20), all looking absolutely yummy. I walked up to Victoria Square, and went in The Horns pub to look at the menu. There was a good selection of food available- I chose ham, eggs and chips, £4.05, from the Light Bites section. It was about 800 cals., with tomato sauce, and very tasty. I had a nice pint of Banks's Bitter (3.8%), with it, only £2.60, and ate at a table outside. The Wardens, a unique duo, were in the vicinity at the time. Victualled, I walked up into the Market Place, to look at the traders' stalls there. Food, as ever, was the principal focus of my interest, and my eyes lighted on Portuguese Nata tarts, a custard confection, and a famous feature of that country's cuisine, so I bought one, for £2. I passed Minnie Maniac on my way down to Dig Street for Dr. Philistine, who juggled with sharp knives, whilst balanced on a slack rope. As I stood there, water began splurging out from a drainpipe under the pavement, right where my rucsac was, &, a lady, who noticed it before I did, moved it quickly, for which I was grateful. Others, who were sat on the edge of the pavement, had to move, too. Then I went along to see the end of magician Paul Dabek's show- he produced a participant's signed £10 note from within a fresh banana - he could have fooled Penn and Teller. I caught the whole of Kenyan Juma Kuba's act- he balanced on two stacks of three narrow blocks on a raised table- very risky. I then had to make my way back to the bus station. As I did so Kiki Bittovabitsch was being wrapped in cling film, and the Swift was arriving. This took me quickly to the Morledge, where I had nearly 1/2 an hour to wait before the Zoom took me from Bay 2 all the way home. The weather was cloudy, with a little sun, so I did not suffer from fatigue, standing around a lot. A very pleasant day out, and a suitable replacement for Long Eaton Carnival.
To get all the weekend's beer festivals in, I had to go to the Lincoln one on Thursday 26th May. I set off for the railway station at 1/2 past 9, and got the London Midland X Country service to Nottingham. There, the East Midlands Trains' Leicester-Lincoln service soon arrived, and waited in the station for about 20 minutes. I sat on it reading the Long Eaton 50+ Forum communication, prior to the meeting next month. An early arrival at Lincoln Central gave me plenty of time to walk past the market hall, perusing the shops in the locality as I did so, and buying a local newspaper, to the Drill Hall, the venue for the event, which proved, on the return, to be only 8 minutes walk from the railway station. I could have stopped at the fish and chip shop/café, where the eponymous meal was £5.80, but opted to eat at the Drill Hall café, on my arrival, where I chose a mushroom and halloumi burger, £3.50 and about 600 cals. The bar had opened promptly at 12 midday, and, I am pleased to say, 1/3s were available. This enabled me to get through 9 different brews before the lunchtime session finished at 3 o'clock. Best drink was Tiny Rebel Cwtch (4.6%), Champion Beer of Britain 2015, though Barbourne Painted Lady Perry (5%) was pretty good too. I quaffed Shipstone's Original (3.8%). The Festival commemorated the centenary of the 1st tank in service, and special brew was Cathedral Heights Tritton Tank (4.3%), which I had with my burger. In the merchandise, a Castle Rock Brewery polo shirt, at only £6, took my fancy. I accidentally got a 1/2 of Nottingham Rock Mild (3.8%) for the price of a 1/3- the bar server said he got carried away. I noticed Ramsgate Brewery Gadd's No.7, brewed at Broadstairs, a place where I had many happy holidays in the '50s & '60s, so I had a drink of it. Still able to stand at the end of that, I walked back to the railway station, where my train was just arriving. Journey back was on-time, apart from a delay at Sheet Stores Junction, and I walked home.
I was on my computer 'til very late and only got 4 hours sleep, but I was up fairly early to get the through train to Newark. It was a beautiful morning, but this meant the sun shone directly at the ticket machine, so it was difficult to retrieve my ticket. I walked from Newark Castle station to the market place, where I purchased some baby plum tomatoes. I got a 1/2 pork pie from Sibley's the butchers, and progressed to the National Civil War Centre in Appleton Gate. I spent about an hour in there then walked to Riverside Park for the 21st Newark Beer Festival. There, I had difficulty finding somewhere to sit until someone pointed out a pile of chairs- I took one, and sat outside. By now the sun had substantially gone in, but it was pleasant. 1st task was to get some food into my stomach- I espied a burger stall from Fen Farm and I had a venison burger with Cote Hill Cheese, and onions, £4, and about 700 cals. That was delicious, and set me up well for the beer drinking to follow. As the previous day, I had 9 1/3s of different brews. Great Central Brewery of Leicester had two beers named after diesel locomotives there- I had Western (5.2%), a strong, malty ale, very nice. The Festival special brew, Maypole XXI Imperial Pale, was stronger, at 6%. The ciders were pleasant too- Sandford Orchards Ginger (4%) was very refreshing, and Westons Country Perry (4%) was very nice. Also worthy of mention was Lincoln Green (of Hucknall) Gin and Beer It (5%). I left when I had had enough, and walked the short distance to Castle station to catch the 1506 to Nottingham.
I had heard about the German Bierfest on Derby Market Place, and wanted to go along. So it was, I did on Saturday 28th May. Travelling to Main Street on the 29, I bought a Bakewell Pudding from the market. I got the Zoom from the Old Post Office, and this took me quickly to Derby, diverting via the Wyvern to avoid the traffic at the Pentagon. I went to Marks & Spencer, where I found out that, due to the complexity and stringency of deals, and the lack of transparency to the customer, many of the Sparks Card deals I had tried to participate in, I could not get. That will be subject to some conversation with them. I walked from there to the Market Place, where entrance to the German Bierfest was easy. I found a place to sit, in the shade, and ordered a currywurst with bread. This, I suppose, evidences the unification of cultures, and was fairly pleasant. It was £4.50, a bit expensive for such a small meal, and about 500 cals. I had a light beer- £2.50 for a 1/2 pint, followed by a dark (which seemed to be the only choices), same price. You could have a 1 & 1/2 pint stein for £6.99, or a 2 pint one for £9.50. I was not struck by the taste of the beer (despite the Reinheitsgebot, the German purity standard), contrasting with my experiences at Lincoln and Newark, in the previous two days. I could have gone to the AEC Society annual rally, at the Newark Showground, but, due to the lack of an advertised special bus service from Newark town centre, thought this was not practical. The Bierfest was pleasant enough, though, on a reasonably sunny day, and I would not be averse to going again. I caught the on-time Zoom to Grosvenor Avenue, and walked home from there. I could not watch the Giro d'Italia cycle race on Eurosport 2, as no satellite signal was being received, but, after a while, this was resolved, and I saw the later stages.
I went with the Matlock Railway Club to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway on Sunday 29th May. I was picked up opposite the Wilsthorpe Tavern at 9.5am. on a cloudy morning. It turned into a pleasant day, with much sun. Because of traffic congestion on the M5, the driver of the minibus opted to go via the M1, M69, and A46. We stopped at Leicester Forest East services for a loo break, where we encountered football fans from Barnsley, on their way to a match. It took a little over two hours from Long Eaton to reach Toddington station. I paid my £22 (senior) entry fee, and went across to the GWSR
|2-8-0 tank no. 4270 at Cheltenham Racecourse|
On getting back, there was just enough time for me to get on the booked goods train. This was hauled by 'Ivatt 2' 46521, from the Great Central Railway. We came back with 7812 'Erlestoke Manor', arriving back at Toddington on-time at 1430. Next run was with Manor 7820 2 Cheltenham Racecourse, during which I ate a piece of Sibley's pork pie, which I got from Newark on Thursday, returning double-headed with newly restored Merchant Navy Class 35006 'Peninsular and Oriental SN Co.', a very handsome engine, which has won an award, tender to tender with 2-8-0 goods engine 2807. I was just in-time, on my arrival back, to have a ride on the final run of the day on the NGNGR at 1645- this time I looked round the signal box. I was able to get a tuna baguette from the Flag & Whistle café, on return, which was closing shortly. I sat outside, in the shade, and enjoyed my meal. We departed shortly after 6 o'clock, travelling via the A46, M42, A446, A38, and A6, to Duffield, where we took the B5023 to Cromford, setting down at Wirksworth, thence A6 to Matlock station, where we had a loo stop. Back down the A6 to Ambergate, and A610 to Ripley (another set-down). Nuthall, A6002, Bilborough (set-down), A6007, A52, Bostocks Lane, B6002 to Wilsthorpe Tavern 2114, where I was relieved to walk home, very tired, which affected me, when I fell asleep in my chair, after Channel 4's Comedy Gala on C4+1, for 7 & 1/2 hrs. I had a much-needed 'day off' from the weekend's activities on Bank Holiday Monday. Big disappointment for me was the failure of my recording device, which WAS due to a faulty card. I missed being able to listen to many fine steam sounds at home, which was a huge blow to me.
C R Davis