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Nobby the Tramp’s Golfing Adventure (2002)

In August 2002, a passer by added a set of golf clubs, complete with trolley, to Nobby’s Oundle Road bus shelter ….. it was never clear whether this was an act of generosity or simply the actions of a frustrated golfer who had just completed the round from hell on the local course !

The sight of Nobby practising his swing behind the shelter became a source of much amusement amongst the locals which included a reporter for the Peterborough Herald & Post newspaper who decided to approach Nobby with a view to grabbing an exclusive photo or two.

Despite his appearance, our Nobby was a sharp character and saw his chance to give the local reporter an even bigger exclusive than he could ever have dreamt of ….. he revealed that he was actually a decent golfer and would be playing at the forthcoming North West of Ireland Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club, in County Donegal !

Not only was the newspaper taken in by this amazing, if not slightly crazy, story they even provided him with financial support to travel over to Ireland !

Presumably to their surprise, when the professionals teed off on the 25th August, Nobby was to be found behind his iconic home still practising his swing !

No doubt feeling a little embarrassed by it all, Nobby initialy told the paper, “It wasn’t a joke and I had good intentions of going and playing but I guess it was not meant to be. I wasn’t accepted.” He then returned the “sponsorship” money that he had been given.

However, he later confessed to the rival Evening Telegraph newspaper, “I never expected this to make it into print. Of course I would love to play in a professional golf tournament but a golf pro ? You must be joking !”

“If I was to win the prize money it would be my way out of having to live in a bus shelter – it would be a dream come true and of course the Irish guys could still pick me up – I’d be in Ireland in time for the second day’s play. I’m always happy to make myself available for such tournaments” he said with a laugh !

A spokesperson for the tournament commented, “Players cannot simply apply to take part in a tournament like this, they have to qualify. We do have a number of invited guests who are taking part in the event this year, but no one with the name Nobby.”

As they say …… you couldn’t make it up !!!

Longthorpe Parkway under Construction

Parkway construction showing the Nene Parkway left to right with the Longthorpe Parkway moving off into the distance. The road down to Thorpe Wood has not been added at this point.

Nene Parkway Bridge Construction

Construction work on the Nene Parkway river bridge over Orton Staunch and the Orton Mere railway station.

Ferry Meadows Railway (1988)

A 1988 image showing the much loved “Henry” steam engine at work on the Ferry Meadows Railway.

The 4-6-4 “Henry” was a 10.1/4 inch gauge engine and was built by Nottingham based Ernest Dove, a road haulier who in his spare time built no fewer than nine miniature gauge steam engines between 1940 and 1953. “Henry” was built by Dove in 1949 as “Commodore Vanderbilt” and was based in North Wales where it was initially owned by boxer Randolph Turpin before relocating to Skegness in the late 1950s and then on to Ferry Meadows. The engine is now (2016) in private ownership (see lower image).

Early Days at Ferry Meadows

Two very early images from Ferry Meadows.

Ferry Meadows Beach

An early promotional image showing the beach and an early play area in Ferry Meadows, probably dating to early 1980s.

Nene Parkway (1972)

A 1972 image showing Nene Parkway under construction. In the distance is Morley way heading into Woodston and in the foreground is a spur that will become Malborne Way.

Pauley Wheelwrights, Orton Waterville (1911)

Sutton born John Pauley and his sons were wheelwrights based in Orton Waterville in the early 1900s. This photo of a cart belonging to Longthorpe born John Samworth, who was a farmer at Orton Waterville, was used by John Pauley to send a message in 1911 to Ailsworth Grocer/Baker/Farmer Harry Sharpe and confirmed the imminent return of his cart.

Orton Staunch & Cottage

An old image showing Orton Staunch along with the Lock Keeper’s Cottage that sat astride the staunch. Today (2016) you would be standing with your back to the Orton Parkway bridge.

Ferry Meadows Railway

The popular 4-6-4 “Henry” steam loco from the Ferry Meadows Miniature Railway. The 10.1/4 inch gauge railway opened with the park in 1978.

“Henry” was built by Nottingham based Ernest Dove, a road haulier who in his spare time built no fewer than nine miniature gauge steam engines between 1940 and 1953.  “Henry” was built by Dove in 1949 as “Commodore Vanderbilt” and was based in North Wales where it was initially owned by boxer Randolph Turpin before relocating to Skegness in the late 1950s and then on to Ferry Meadows. The engine is now in private ownership.