Sunday, April 18, 2010

Maidwell: Wayside discoveries

This afternoon I went to Maidwell, a village on the road between Marekt Harborough and Northampton, and nearby Draughton. These are three of my discoveries there.

This is the (presumably) former telephone exchange in Maidwell. There is a later building next to it that may have been an exchange too and is also disused, but as with all official buildings in rural areas, you will find a sign threatening you with all sorts of penalties if you trespass.

I was rather taken with this old exchange as it resembles a little abandoned chapel. I have seen it from the bus many times finally got to photograph it today.

If you leave the main road, which is only a turnpike from the 1720s, after all, you will find there is more to the village than first appears.

This arch, according to the commemorative stone on the left:

This gateway restored by Reginald B. Loder
was opened on 6th May 1914 by
Field Marshal Lord Grenfell P.C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G.
President of the Royal Horticultural Society

You can read about Field Marshal Grenfell on a family history site.

And this is the remains of a footbridge that carried a footpath between Maidwell and Draughton across the old Market Harborough to Northampton railway. (It closed in 1981: I was on the last train.)

The wooden treads have been removed leaving the ironwork, which is decorative but now incongruously industrial for its rural location.


Niles said...

Marekt Harborough sounds like the sort of place that would have a soukh.

crewegwyn said...

I was on the last train too.

Were you in the guard's van on the return journey? He regaled us with tales of crewing specials to Wembley schoolboy football internationals, and the horrible consequences of overindulgence in cherryade.


Anonymous said...

I like the telephone exchange: just the sort of well-designed, appropriate, low-key local building that local government and utilities used to do well: like some public toilets and bus shelters. Now we have privatisation, tubular steel and glass and non-local brick, assuming there are any local buidings at all. Ah, la fatigue du Nord!