We left Ordsall at 17:30, just as our free parking expired, debating whether a tubby United fan could possibly make it from the park to the ground and back in 4 hours with a pint of IPA in the Matchstick Man on the way.

Google Maps said to take the A56 home, so we did, and I realised how little I’ve seen of Trafford in my 55 years.  I must remedy that now they’ve added a metro through the business park to the shops. There’s a ’50s Holt pub (the Melville) at Trafford Park.


We flew home, bar a stop for those £1 Swedish meatballs made of horse at Uttoxeter Services, and a 20 minutes leg stretch at Rothwell.

Caught it at its best

The Sheffield maintenance man who commended James on his stoicism under Covid should know that my eldest son has had a lifetime of not moaning when forced to put up with his father’s “nipping in for a half” and “just taking a few photos of closed pubs“. It will serve him well when he has to sit through pointless meeting on Zoom.

Rothwell makes its first appearance on this blog, after 4 years of fury that neighbouring Desborough got the retiredmartin write-up first.

It’s midway in size between Waterbeach and Histon, and known (if at all) for what was supposedly the busiest McDonalds in the country, providing the only burgers on the A14 for 100 miles.

McDonalds walkable through the town park but it’s closed so don’t bother

It’s a bit of a GBG desert west of Kettering these days,

GBG desert

despite (because) of the Rowell Charter offering 8 beers to 8 customers when it was in the Guide recently.  I thought it was a cracker, and the Chinese takeaway opposite wasn’t bad either.


Rothwell looks scruffy from the outside, but like Wellingborough has some gleaming golden stone that’s almost worth your diversion from Oundle or Raunds.

All roads lead to Holy Trinity

James noted the unusual graveyard arrangement; he may have been humouring me.


The little market place is dominated by the Market House,

Seems to house a charity shop these days

and a sad looking Woolpack (RIP), which was a bit like the Rifle Drum with cask in its GBG year (2012).

Classic “workingmens local” as per GBG 75

Quite a few pubs” said James, playing along, but in truth there’s only four, and a club or two, all bunched along the main drag.

In the manner of a Long Eaton or Spalding, I’ll bet they’re all worth a visit when you-know-what is over.

Blue Bell – Your Purity haven
Red Lion is upmarket as it sells coffee
Nice sign, no beer

Some decent restaurants for 7,000 odd (very odd) locals who can’t walk the mile to McDonalds, and a betting shop, and a little museum that I sense will struggle to match the enthusiasm of Desborough.

But do let me know if you find otherwise.

7 thoughts on “ROTHWELL IS GOLDEN

  1. It may have been unusually quiet in Rothwell when you visited, this is because the whole town is in mourning for the cancelled Rowell Charter Fair/Scuffle, which would have been rocking, rolling, and occasionally punching that week.

    Rothwell Cons is the scene of my greatest skittling achievement, an unlikely 7-1 win against an old and bitter rival (he admonished me for the crime of looking at him when in the woodyard of my home pub 😡), which helped the Friday ‘A’ team knock the home favourites out of the cup that year. sorry to mention it here but it needs recording ‘somewhere‘ for posterity.

    We like Rothwell, the charity shops are decent, and the Woolpack is/was good for a pint. The Cons is probably the top spot for a pint, but it’s the Cons…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pleasing little town, and I told my lad the Cons club looked the best bet but he wouldn’t let me take a photo.

      I was trying to think of a way of describing the satellite towns around Kettering as “lively” without implying you’d get knifed there., if you know what I mean.


      1. Very lively during the Charter Proclamation when the pubs open at 6am. local youths will have to wait a whole year or more to settle scores now…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That local stone certainly photographs well. I’ve been here twice pre-football, when the Hatters were forced to play in the non-league after the 30 points deduction in 2008/09. Met some of my mates from Dunstable in the Woolpack in August 2009 and then did the Blue Bell in August 2010 (why was it always Kettering away in August?). Then started doing pub photographs on Pubs Galore and had to go back and do them all over again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “bar a stop for those £1 Swedish meatballs made of horse at Uttoxeter Services” reminds me of the two course lunch for £10 we enjoyed in Uttoxeter’s Bank House Hotel this time last year.,

    Liked by 1 person

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