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Published: November 1st 2017
The last year or so has seen the quest for self determination come to the fore. The UK decided in a rather confused referendum to leave Europe behind. Scotland in turn thought and continues to think about leaving the rest of the UK behind. The last week has seen Catalonia vote to leave Spain and Spain subsequently renounce the decision. Theses events have of course been fought out with a ballot box. In 1745, a whole bigger picture threatened to engulf the union between England and Scotland. It was played out in Derby. On a metal banner hidden on the side of a modern building by the River Derwent, a metal banner proclaims "Prince Charles Edward Stuart arrived in Derby on 6th December 1745 and held a Council of War at Exeter House on this site". Exeter House is of course long gone. Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart otherwise known as The Young Pretender or commonly as Bonnie Prince Charlie, believed he had a legitimate claim on the English throne and returned to Scotland to seek support for his cause. He defeated any opposition north of the border and set off for the capital. After taking Carlisle,
Astronaut Caravan - Old Silk Mill
he arrived in Derby with a reputed 6,000+ following. The last time a 6,000+ following turned up in Derby in support of a Scottish cause, I was with it. Rangers lost a pre-season friendly at Pride Park. They would have been mortified at being spoken in the same breath as the Jacobites and set about creating a flag day - union jacks, hanging from every conceivable place in the town centre. In 1745 London was at Charlie's mercy, but he took some bad advice, turned and headed back north to face eventual defeat at Culloden. Rangers too left without a much of an on field fight in 2014 after a meek 2-0 defeat, but not before drinking the city centre dry. It isn't recorded whether the army of Charlie managed a similar feat.
The journey across to Derby using the Zig Zag had been as efficient as ever. The super comfortable Red Arrow took precisely 26 minutes to arrive at the Bus Station. It parked up at the overspill bays at the far end. The almost brand new building transpires not to be enough to meet demand. Planning at it’s finest. The old art deco Bus Station
Bonnie Prince Charile
was demolished about 10 years ago, amid protests and anger. We wandered out the back door and long the walkway that skirts the River Derwent. A “monthly” food street market was busy setting up in the unleased premises behind the Casino. Derby City Council offices fill the gap between the Bus Station and Exeter Bridge. Exeter Bridge is flanked by four great Derby figures of the past. Erasmus Darwin – founder of the Derby Philosophy Society - was the first bronze head embedded into the bridge structure. He was the grandfather of the more famous, Charles. An upside down 1970s caravan caught our eye beyond the site of the Bonnie Prince Charlie Council of War. It was an exhibit at an invention fayre being held at the old Silk Mill further along the river. The austronaut caravan was an illusion ride. A fixed carriage remains stationery, whilst the body of a retro caravan spins around you. We paid our £1 for a go. The Other Half genuinely did think the earth was moving, even though she hadn’t left the ground. She hadn’t held on to a bar so hard since being in that shark cage off Gansbaai. A series of
Old Silk Mill
other inventions and entertainments were scattered on the forecourt of the Mill. John Lombe is 1717 brought silk spinning to Derby in 1717, having allegedly stolen the secrets from Italy. It was £2 to enter the rest of the exhibitions in the Silk Mill, but we decided we didn’t have time. Derby has a strong engineering and innovation heritage. Rolls Royce are still a large employer and railway engineering has long been a stalwart of employment. Toyota siezed on the skills in the labourforce when they established their UK manufacturing base on the outskirts of town.
We headed across to the Cathedral Quarter. The Bonnie Prince was in evidence at the back of the Cathedral. He is sat on his horse, gazing out towards the back of the Cathedral and the 65 metre tower. The Cathedral only achieved the status in 1927. We ventured inside. It was light, airy and friendly. I often think wandering inside the more impressive church buildings, but there is usually a hefty admission charge (albeit done with a suggested donation tone). In contrast, here we were handed an information sheet and invited to stroll around. In amongst the usual, there were some
20th century stain glass windows by Ceri Edwards, a monument to Bess of Hardwick and a plaque to Florence Nightingale. Florence was actually born in Florence, but to a Derbyshire family. Derby has therefore laid claim and she features on other buildings in town. We left a donation in the collection box and moved on down Irongate. The East Midlands is strangled by rivalry and as soon as Derby is mentioned, the word sheep is normally uttered in Nottingham. As a result all things descend to football tribalism and the two sets rarely venture into the lair of each other. They are even less likely to admit it, should they have done so. However the Cathedral Quarter is a fine place. It is alive with independent shops and offers something different. The Other Half likes a wander into Brigdens and the Bennetts is a real old fashioned proper department store with another outlet in country parts in Asbourne. Saddlergate is a fine pedestrian shopping street that links through to the grand buildings on The Strand.
We stopped for lunch, before a couple of errands required attention in the INTU Shopping Centre. This has been massivley redeveloped in
the last few years and whilst the retail offering is anywhere ville, it is a big step up on some others. We were ahead of schedule before the afternoon entertainment, so I persuaded the Other Half that a refreshment was in hand. A gem lies conveniently on the far side of the Exeter Bridge in the shape of The Tap. A wedge shape old public house is now the home of the Derby Brewing Comapny. The fortmer Royal Standard has a new lease of life, as well as a piece of surprising history. A blue plaque above the door details the achievements of Reg Parnell - British Formula 1 racer after the 2nd World War and Team Manager of Aston Martin at Le Mans. The beer was good too. A 5 minute walk to the Bus Station saw us on an i4 towards the suburb of Spondon. We reached the grandly named Anderson Electrical Arena in time for kick off. The entrance from Borrowash Road isn't exactly appealing. A large social club lies abandoned and closed down, vandals having failed to completely dismantle the place. This sports complex is the home to both Borrowash Victoria, the strangely named Graham Street
Prims and a rugby club. The 2 football grounds are almost in touching distance - a ball could be kicked out of one into the other - and one wouldn't need to be Mickey Droy to acheive the feat. Borrowash share their huge bowl with Belper United. A large area of grass banking round 2 sides gives it that old fashioned feel of a once mighty venue. Today, a Main Stand sits closer to the pitch with a slection of green seats that leave dust on your jacket. A small stand sits behind the goal with seats looking like Derby County cast offs, squeezed in between a tea bar and Ando's Sports Bar. The record attendance is over 2,000, so there was plenty of space for the 62 today. The visitors from Stapenhill probably wonder how they lost quite so comprehensively. One reason alone - his name was Simeon Lawrence. The first goal - a chip over the advancing keeper - would have graced any level.
. Appendix 1 East Midlands Counties League Borrowash Victoria AFC 4 Stapenhill FC 1 Date :
Saturday 28 October 2017 @ 1500 Hours Venue :
Anderson Electrical Arena,
The Tap on Derwent Street - Reg Parnell Blue Plaque
Borrowash Road, Spondon, Derby Attendance :
62 Scorers :
1-0 S Lawrence 10 Min (Borrowash Victoria), 1-1 35 Min C McBride (Stapenhill), 2-1 M Green 58 Min (Borrowash Victoria), 3-1 S Lawrence 62 Min (Borrowash Victoria) 4-1 S Lawrence 73 Min (Borrowash Victoria)
Tot: 0.288s; Tpl: 0.029s; cc: 39; qc: 189; dbt: 0.0675s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
; mem: 2mb