A KELMARSH DIVERSION

Oh, come on, sometimes I have to make these blog titles easy for you.

Having dropped Dad back after his day is Sheffield I eyed up a GBG tick on the way home. If you can guess it (announced later) on the map you win, er, nothing.

By the time Mum had made me a packed tea, packed breakfast and packed lunch I realised I was going to struggle to be in time to find a place for my campervan that was near an open pub and more importantly, FREE. Sure enough, the pub at Maidwell was closing at 8.30 as I approached.

Search for Sites came up with an intriguing option, that would leave me with an easy trip north the next morning;

This little patch of West Northants is little explored by the tourist or the Pub Man, and I arrived about half an hour too late for half of Phipps in the rain in Arthingthorpe.

But, parked up in the car park at Kelmarsh Tunnels (the highest orange motorhome sign on the map) I had a quiet night listening to LBC and nibbling those cookies foisted on me by Mum earlier.

At 04:37 a car parked up about 3 inches from me in an empty car park and went for a walk in the woods (euphemism), while I slept through another 3 hours before the dog walkers arrived.

Spookily, the car park is next to a disused Government fuel depot. It looked the sort of place Quosh would like to, er explore, but I’ve only got this report from 28 Days Later to go on.

The “tourist map” for the walk along the disused Northampton to Market Harborough line was scarcely less spooky.

This little known line was used by Northampton Town players to get from Sixfields to Market Harborough in the 1930s to enjoy the town’s craft beer bars. Ask Life After Football if you don’t believe me.

Today the Brampton Valley Way gets joggers, doggers, dog walkers and a few nature lovers by myself.

And the Kelmarsh Tunnel is a tourist attraction for the adventurous.

Fortify yourself before attempting the walk with a drink from the flask of coffee or bottle of Kopparberg.

Then head into the tunnel, a haven for this rare moth (Triphosa dubitata).

Triphosa dubitata.jpg

Reader, I chickened out. If Mrs RM had been with me, I might have been OK.

Speaking of dark places, I had a peep at tiny Arthingworth, where a cheery Midlander (yes, they do exist) was delivering baps, or Wi-Fi, or the Harborough Gazette on Sunday morning and we conspiratorially wished ill on Heacham (it’s a long story).

On my sole previous visit to Arthingworth in c.2003 the cosy Bulls Head, in its debut GBG year, had a power shortage which meant a candelit pub and pint of Adnams.

On judgement day, when St Roger assesses our claims to have completed the Guide, it is POSSIBLE ticks by candlelight will be discounted, just as half pints and Guinness will also be disqualified. But since the Bull’s Head is out of the GBG this year, I can live without fear.

18 thoughts on “A KELMARSH DIVERSION

  1. One of my least favourite Skittles away games the Bulls Head. Not only were the three real ales always resolutely brown and hopless, the damn skittles table was in a room so small it had to be squeezed into a corner with the throw on the diagonal. A melting pot of close observation and spicy barracking (from my own team). I never got the hang of it…

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      1. Oh, you know, 6X, Thwaites Bitter, Lancaster Bomber… Three dull beers offering the illusion of choice. Mind you, when I’m the age of most of the drinkers round here, it’ll be three beers all tasting of Cif and Lollypops, “because that’s what the locals like…”

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      2. I carelessly read it as “brown and hopeless”, but I suppose it’s much the same thing really.

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    1. Skittles, some might say, are for the faint-hearted.

      Take, for instance, the Shrovetide sport of towns such as Ashbourne. These archaic forms of football, typically classified as mob football, would be played in towns and villages, involving an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people struggling to drag an inflated pig’s bladder by any means possible to markers at each end of a town. By some accounts, in some such events any means could be used to move the ball towards the goal, as long as it did not lead to manslaughter or murder. Sometimes instead of markers, the teams would attempt to kick the bladder into the balcony of the opponents’ church.

      These games in England evolved from the more ancient and bloody ritual, of “kicking the Dane’s head”.

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      1. I’ve seen a few people take a blow to the head from a wayward Table Skittles cheese. No deaths that I know of, but can be a bit rough and tumble.

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  2. I stayed at the Bull’s Head to start one trip. Never would have found it without the GBG. Decent food from what I remember.

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  3. “Oh, come on, sometimes I have to make these blog titles easy for you.”

    Over THERE maybe. I’ll doubt they’ll ever be easy for me. 😉

    And as for the notice in the photo. Diversion? Are they directing you to a juggler and perhaps an acrobat on a high wire so as not to notice the tunnel is closed?

    “Having dropped Dad back after his day is Sheffield”

    He embodied the whole city for the day he was there?

    “If you can guess it (announced later) on the map you win, er, nothing.”

    It’s the Bulls Head! Even I can get that one! 🙂

    “By the time Mum had made me a packed tea, packed breakfast and packed lunch ”

    LOL. My mum used to do that every time I visited as I was going back to the airport. I used to leave an extra hour early so I could eat it all in the airport before going thru security! 🙂

    “and nibbling those cookies foisted on me by Mum earlier.”

    (slow golf clap)

    “and went for a walk in the woods (euphemism),”

    So… no Brazilian then?
    (I’ll get my coat)

    “but I’ve only got this report from 28 Days Later to go on.”

    Wait. There’s a website to scout out possible places of sanctuary or interest if the Zombie Apocalypse should happen? Blimey!

    “The “tourist map” for the walk along the disused Northampton to Market Harborough line was scarcely less spooky.”

    Do those green things on the map indicate… zombies?

    “Ask Life After Football if you don’t believe me.”

    I’m guessing you’ve prompted him in exchange for good write-ups on Bass. 😉

    “Then head into the tunnel, a haven for this rare moth (Triphosa dubitata).”

    Darnit! I just looked up the Kelmarsh Tunnels on Wiki and was going to ask if Duncan had been there yet!

    “Reader, I chickened out. If Mrs RM had been with me, I might have been OK.”

    They should really put a micro halfway in. Then you’d definitely be OK. And most definitely with Mrs RM. 🙂

    “and we conspiratorially wished ill on Heacham (it’s a long story).”

    And with the backlog of posts we know you don’t have time for that!

    “But since the Bull’s Head is out of the GBG this year, I can live without fear.”

    *cough* Kelmarsh Tunnel *cough* 😉

    Cheers

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      1. Not certain. Certainly been in Spoons at 8. My (possibly false) memory tells me the one in Newcastle under Lyme used to open at 7 – recall a very early half on the way south there once. When I first started quaffing in Berkshire it was routine for pubs to open at 10.30.

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