EVOSTIK NPL SOUTH @ STEEL PARK
1 JANUARY 2018 --- 3PM
|STAR OF THE SHOW AT STEEL PARK HOME OF CORBY TOWN FC|
Having seen Corby at Basford a few days earlier and got in conversation with a few people who assured me that the pitch drains well and upon return saw The Steelmen were at home on New Years Day plans were put into action with trains running and no buses available it would just be the trip to base station and back to negotiate.
Arriving at the station mid morning on New Years Day all was very quiet, thankfully, and throughout the day trains were on time, early and with seats available, there its not very often I say that! Like a kid in a toy shop there was an excited anticipation today for Corby as a town never mind its football club would be new territory for me and previously I guess the town had become know as 'Kettering for Corby' on the train boards when it was the largest town in Europe to have no train station in the 70's and 80's. This would have competed with Mansfield in its station less days when all was covered over by Alfreton and Mansfield Parkway a 25 minute bus ride away from stag town. Talking of Parkway's the first change was made at the East Midland variety of these a station that is dwarfed by the cooling towers of Ratcliffe power station. Seat secured on the Nottingham to London service enhanced today by an old 125, always the way to travel, departure at Kettering was on time for the adjoining platform service which had a meridian on undertaking the ten minute journey to Corby and back once in the hour. This was excellent as the previous day its was back to the bus replacement days of old due to engineering works the steady amble into Corby station produced a bright station with just one platform that normally runs hourly services to London.
|CORBY STATION EVENING VIEW WITH OBLIGATORY ARTWORK|
Upon arrival there was time to chunter, again, about the weather forecasters a lovely dry afternoon had been forecast and guess what? It was raining as I departed from under the canopy and the wonderful forecasters had now changed the prediction to heavy rain for the next 2 hours, of course I was happy! Years gone by we had a local man forecast the weather by viewing a selection of pine cones and I think maybe we should take the expensive computer equipment of the Met Office and go back to the 'good old days'. More worryingly while in moan mode neither club at this stage, 1245, had mentioned this fixture on social media for Bedworth who seem to follow this pattern regularly and were the away club I thought no more of it, however for the home side it took them until 1.50pm before ant mention of this game being on appeared on their Twitter feed it never ceases to amaze me that clubs always say they are in need of more fans, are they?
Corby had a remarkable rise to popularity around its steel works of course as previously this was a small village with the old hamlet adjacent to the railway station on the east whereas the new town, indeed it was declared so in 1950, is built to the north and a nice 15 minute walk from the station. Overall for todays football ground 45 minutes away and a steady stroll to the town its one of those towns that has an inconvenient railway station although I guess on a standard day when buses are running this may not be the problem it was today.
|THE OLD NEW TOWN ON A WET BANK HOLIDAY|
|THE NEW NEW TOWN THE CUBE AND STEELWORKER STATUE|
Departing along the many Scottish named roads Argyll/Clydesdale/Shetland to name but a few gave way to this towns recent heritage and its often given title of 'little Glasgow' after many Scots came down to work in the steel plant, formerly Stewarts and Lloyds, before British Steel after nationalisation. So much did Corby become a off shoot of Scotland that there were two Church of Scotland's in the town, Irn Bru was the highest selling soft drink in any town outside Scotland including I'm assured the delicacy of Irn Bru and vodka as a required tipple. Alongside this some shops in the early days posted signs in Gaelic but today the symbols were the occasional Saltire flag on cars and houses plus thistles built into UPVC glass door panels.
The walk to the ground was very much like Skelmersdale Utd a dog leg after dog leg through housing estates to final depart an footpath opposite an out of town Spoons and walk the footpath on a busy road to the ground.
|IMPRESSIVE TERRACE AT THE CASTLE END|
|TOWARDS THE ATHLETICS STADIUM|
|LUKE KEEN  CELEBRATES HIS MATCH WINNER|
|KEEN LOOKING FOR A SECOND|
|STEVEN LESLIE TEES UP THE CORNER FOR CORBY|
A dark walk back along Rockingham Rd towards the old village to cut back to the station followed with strangely street lighting on just one side of the road for the return walk making it appear even darker. By the time I got back to the Occupation Rd junction it was raining and after a executive meeting with myself I decided against looking at the old grounds offices which are still in use today by of course a new business.
A comfortable 20 minutes to spare at Corby station allowed a dry down before connecting at Kettering for a direct service back to base station just after 8pm and enjoyable journey to a new ground and new town completed I shall watch out for Corby and hope they can get their promotion push back on the rails.