Yesterday I visited Rugby in Warwickshire, solo and by rail. My travel notes tell me I was last there on 11/11/00 when I had my first taste of miso soup (I didn’t take to it) but as I had little recollection of anything else I decided to return. I had a most enjoyable day in this lovely market town, so much so my phone battery had almost deadened by lunchtime with all the photography.
The town of Rugby is most famous for where the sport of Rugby began. The actual historic event is not overly clear but involved a pupil of the prestigious Rugby School, William Web Ellis (below), taking it upon himself to run with the football in his hands during a match one day in 1823. For reasons I will never understand, it caught on. Along with plenty of scrummage. In my experience whenever a man has wonky misshapen nose his explanation is usually “I got this playing Rugby”.
St Andrew’s church in the heart of the town is a very impressive 14th century building although its welcome leaflet was written for simpletons and they had inexplicably left the large nativity scene up at the altar. This is the only church in the world with two sets of ringable bells; five bells in the key of A in the West Tower and 8 bells in the key of D in the North East tower. There is also has an octagonal font, symbolic of Christ’s resurrection 8 days after his sacrificial arrival into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Rugby has a Roman history. Over 2000 years ago a settlement (below) named Tripontium (“Three Bridges”) was created 5 miles North West of the town which was active for 400 years until the brutal Barbarians scared them off. Excavation works have shown the Romans built a temple, an administration building, baths (of course) and an inn for those passing through. One of the smaller finds was a bronze belt buckle depicting peacocks, the tree of life, swastikas and fish which so excited the Rugby Archaeologist Society they adopted it as their logo.
I love bandstands and happily Caldecott Park provided one, albeit with 3 loud teenage girls keeping it company. They were intrigued at my interest as I attempted to photograph it minus their presence. After returning their cocky “hello” I moved on to the silver musician.
There are lots of charity shops in Rugby and I bought as many books as I could carry. My most fun purchase was related to astrology “Baby Names & Star Signs: choose a name for your baby according to the star signs” by Robert Parry. Amazingly my parents named me correctly. Lana (“bright and shining”) was listed in my sign of Aries which is affiliated to assertive, enterprising and bold people (also impatient, selfish and bossy so n so’s).
For lunch I headed to the Bacco Lounge who are progressive with their separate vegan menu. I enjoyed 2 tapas dishes of paprika humus and crushed butterbean and peas with mint accompanied with ciabatta and a fresh orange juice. The bar/restaurant is large, vibrant and friendly plus the young waiter chatted me up. Bonus.