Saturday 6th May 2017 was a day of contrasts in two main ways: marriage and rugby.
Many months ago we were invited to the wedding of good friends John and Sue Wells’ daughter, Hannah. The wedding was to take place in a church in Repton Nottinghamshire, and we were invited to attend the evening reception at the Donington Park Farmhouse Hotel near the famous motor racing course. We accepted and booked to stay in the hotel where the reception was being held. So far so pleasurable.
For those who follow this blog, you will know I’m an avid supporter of Farnham Rugby Union Football club (FRUFC) based in Farnham Surrey; and have been for about 4 years. This season they have fond particularly well in the London South West 3 league and intact have only lost 1 game all season. They started their RFU national senior vase run earlier this year and battled through, after a thrilling semi final to secure a place in the final at headquarters, Twickenham to play against Droitwich in the Midlands somewhere apparently. I think you can guess where this is going, the final at Twickenham was to be played on 6th May. Groan, oh no why the same day.? There was no possibility of cancelling the wedding reception, that was booked first, so I wondered what I could to at least see a recording of the match, someone might video it from Farnham. After enquiring with the club, I was told that the match would be streamed by the RFU themselves in full. Result! It only now remained to work out if I could watch the match before we left home (it’s a three hour + journey to get the the reception), or wait until afterwards? I worked out that I could use my phone data to stream the match and send it to my tablet to watch it en route. Double result! This would of course entail memsahib Fran to do all the driving while I watched the match on the way. This worked great for the first half hour, by which time Farnham were 7-10 down. Then the worse happened, the signal dropped out and I couldn’t get it back, missing the rest of the first half. Eventually I got the signal back and saw the rest of the match with Farnham comfortable winners. Of course I’d have preferred to be there but choices have to be made.
The rest of the long weekend went very well. We arrived at the Donington Park Farmhouse Hotel right next door to the eponymous motor racing circuit, and settled in waiting for the evening reception to meet the bride and her parents who we have known for a very long time. We managed to catch up a bit on the night but obviously they were very busy with the goings on. They told us hey had booked in for the Sunday night specifically to catch up with us, and we were flattered. The next day we had decided to go to Sudbury Hall and Children’s Museum near Derby, a National Trust property. On the way however I spotted the tail of a Vulcan bomber near to East Midlands Airport which was adjacent to the hotel. Following it I found Donington Airpark, a museum. Well this had to be done and Fran is used to me visiting aircraft museums so there was no protest from that quarter. There were many aircraft exhibited which I had been associated with during my RAF career and it was nice to see them in good condition, especially the Vulcan. There was also a Buccaneer, a cut down VC10, several Hunters and other ephemera.
Later we left and went to Sudbury Hall and Children’s Museum near Derby. It turned out to be a very hot and the Hall and Museum were a delight. The hall was given to National Trust by the family that had owned it for 400 years. It was left with a lot of the furniture and effects they owned. It is a magnificent building and well worth a visit.
Sudbury Hall from the rear.
Then the children’s museum which is next door, if fact part of the Hall is used and contains a lot of artifacts which invoked many a memory. They have a cafe there and a large area of grass which on the day we visited was being well used.
The main gallery in the hall.
The whole day was rounded off by meeting John, Sue and Ashley back at the hotel for dinner and a catch up. A lovely day all round.