Eight miles of bunting! It sounds like a huge amount but just how far is that in Ashbourne terms. I had a look on a map and basically if you start at the office of the Ashbourne News Telegraph on the Market Square you can create a route of eight miles which goes out to the far end of Windmill Road, the far end of the Park Estate, to the Airfield Industrial Estate, to Premier Avenue, down to the Hug sculpture, along Belle Vue Road, drop down to St Oswald’s, cut through past the Leisure Centre, around North Leys and then through Compton back up the Stunner once more. Basically you can see most of Ashbourne’s history and the locations for most of the newspaper’s stories each week on the route I found.
By late afternoon on Saturday 4th October the Bunting Fund, between the Www.gofundme.com/bunting website and donations to the ANT office totalled around £220. The full amount needed is around £5000 so the money so far gets us around 570 metres.
Following my route we leave the News Telegraph office and walk past the Town Hall and up Buxton Hill onto a Windmill Lane. The journey gets us to just before the back of QEGS. The Town Hall has barely been out of the paper in the last year. It has been renovated, the Tourist Information Centre has been relocated, there are now regular markets in the hall organised by Michelle Scattergood. Most recently it has been home to public meetings on Planning issues and overnight searches for any evidence of paranormal activity. We skirt close to CW Sellors – a fantastic local business designing contemporary and original jewellery. They are regularly in the news with gifts of watches for Shrovetide scorers and limited edition beads. Perhaps we’ll see a bunting brooch?
We also pass White’s, the latest restaurant to try and succeed where Bramhall’s and Da Carlo’s have been unable. So far signs are good and it is number 1 on TripAdvisor. Almost opposite it is the fascinating story of St John’s church, it’s breakaway from St Oswald’s and it’s girder architecture. Buxton Hill itself is under the spotlight for the jeopardy caused by heavy goods vehicles losing control on the way down or getting stuck at the bottom of the hill. The junction with Windmill Lane is a notorious accident blackspot and there is no real solution. The Bowling Green pub was recently the site of someone attempting to steal lead from the roof – another recent trend linked to the reduced police presence in the town in some people’s view.
Windmill Lane was named after two windmills that once stood here – on the ridge above the town to catch the breeze. There are some lovely houses along here and those along the northern side have views of Dovedale while those on the South have a view across the town. Hopefully by next weekend we will have more donations and made it to the end of Windmill Lane. We’ll take a sharp turn right and will be on our way back towards the Rec.