A day out to Bakewell.
The bus journey took about two hours to get to Bakewell town with a twenty minute delay due to the extra traffic generated by the Bakewell Show. The journey took us first to Derby, onward through Duffield and the real beginnings of Derbyshire and the Derbyshire Dales. En route we passed by limestone cliffs and crags and the ever winding Derwent River. From the neat town of Duffield the coach headed towards Belper, Whatstandwell , Cromford, Matlock Bath (bikers heaven), Matlock and onward to Bakewell where I got off and ambled around town for half an hour.
While the amber nectar slowly got drained from my glass I watched the traffic and people outside on this busy Thursday in the market town of Bakewell. The food in this hostelry didn’t really inspire me although it obviously appealed to two hefty ladies wedged in the window recess who were doing a brilliant impersonation of two greedy piglets at the trough of life. Their knives and forks were a silver blur as they greedily shovelled down the plates of food. My first sighting of animal life in Bakewell.
After my pint I followed the crowds across the Wye River bridge, via a dead duck languidly decomposing on the river rocks, to the showground. As they say in these parts “It were chocker”. Indeed it was certainly full to bursting and the admission price of £12.50 put me off participating. I haven’t got a lot of money to waste presently and my thoughts were that that amount of dosh could be more wisely spent and most probably on a nice pub lunch, somewhere quiet. I knew exactly where to go – the neighbouring village of Ashford in the water, a bucolic haven of charm, nestled just off the Buxton Road.
A walk to the village would have taken me at least half an hour and still feeling shattered I waited for the next Transpeak bus and no sooner had I placed my bum on’t seat was I arriving in this amiable Derbyshire village. Time to get a pub lunch.
On the main street there are two pubs. The first one I went in smelt and looked like an old folks home, all faded chintz and jaded dust mites. Hanging invisible in the air like mini barrage balloons of thought, were distant memories of the war years and for one lost soul, a Mildred Clutterbucket, a dimming recollection of the whereabouts of her long lost false teeth. Forming a dentures -shaped lump under the grimy carpet they were now gummier and greyer than a gritty gravestone. Oh, alliteration is such fun!
By the main entrance I witnessed a long table of twenty-plus slumped and miserable customers, all desperately wanting to celebrate a party, preferably with actual food and drink. A Miss Haversham, who’d had great expectations when she’d booked the venue was fighting back the urge to enquire what the Dickens was going on. Alas and alack, the abject and currently ravenous ensemble looked like they’d been waiting an eternity to be served. And indeed they had. Apparently the motor vehicle had been invented since they first sat down. Continuing the long theme, it wasn’t so long before I headed out on to the street again. Brushing back the cobwebs of despair I was out in about three seconds actually.
Apart from trying to avoid the young male smack head spitting in the bus shelter during the half hour bus delay I had had an uplifting day in the Derbyshire Dales and got home around 6pm.