In the absence of any new content (I’m sure I don’t have to remind you why), I’ve decided to delve back in time and talk about that time I went to Tutbury and Hatton (in Staffordshire and Derbyshire respectively), back in those glorious pre-Covid days in 2018.
Coincidentally, it was on 30th January 2018, exactly three years ago yesterday, that I was off work for a week and had bought a weekly bus ticket. The plan was to spend every day of my week off in a different place, getting the bus there and having a look around. I caught the number 1 bus to Tutbury from the stop outside the railway station. It was a sunny day, the kind of low sun that dazzles you all the time. At the bus stop, I helped an old man catch his bus, as he couldn’t see the numbers on the front of them. My bus was just behind his, so I got on and sat down. The bus went around Horninglow, up to Rolleston-on-Dove and then to Tutbury.
Tutbury is most famous for its medieval castle, the ruins of which tower over the village from its position on top of a hill. Mary, Queen of Scots famously stayed there in the 16th century after fleeing Scotland. It’s usually open to the public. I haven’t yet visited the castle myself, but it is on my ever-growing list of places to visit.
Tutbury is also well known for Tutbury Crystal, which was manufactured in the village until 2006, when the factory was moved to Stoke-on-Trent due to the factory being too small. The village has many historic buildings, including the half-timbered Dog & Partridge Inn and St. Mary’s Church, which was my first port of call. I had a stroll around the graveyard, and then sat outside the church itself, taking in the view from there.
I left the church and headed north, over the county border to Hatton, in Derbyshire. Situated just beyond the border is Tutbury & Hatton railway station, from which I later caught a train in 2019.
The station was first opened in 1848 and then closed and demolished in 1966. In 1989, it was rebuilt and reopened. The original signal box sits next to the level crossing which traverses the two platforms. I had a walk up the westbound platform and saw a dad and his young son just having a look around the station. The small boy pointed to the tracks, and his father said “No, we’re not going on the tracks”, which made me laugh. After a quick stop-off at the nearby Co-op for a sandwich, I returned to the station and walked up the other platform. There was a help point there, so I pressed the button, expecting an automated message telling me what time the next train was. It rang for several minutes. I didn’t want to leave it, just in case I got caught messing around with it, so I waited for someone to answer. A helpful woman answered, so I just asked her what time the next train to Derby was, and she told me. I also resolved never to use a help point again, unless I genuinely need help.
I left the station and headed back over the bridge over the River Dove and back into Tutbury. There is a green space next to the river for people to walk their dogs, or just have a stroll by the riverside. I got back to the centre of Tutbury and checked the bus times. I had a bit of time to eat my sandwich before catching the bus, so I headed up a hill to find a bench to sit on to eat in peace. While I was climbing the hill, a large blue bird was heading down it. I had another look at it, and it was a peacock, which I wasn’t expecting to see. Apparently, they’re quite a common sight in the village.
From there, I made my way back to the bus stop, from where I caught the next bus back to Burton.
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