Joyce Lucas: A privilege to hear tales of old Oakham

Joyce Lucas
Joyce Lucas
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My last column caused quite a stir!. So many people spoke to me about the “carbuncle” in Cutts Close, it has been overwhelming.

Of course I knew it was a gun emplacement to deter the enemy if they landed at Cottesmore but I have heard so many local stories it been a real privilege to hear about old Oakham. One gentleman told me how, as a boy, his “gang” used to dig holes in the surrounding mounds in Cutts Close because they are made of clay. They rolled small pieces into balls, baked them in the oven and used them as marbles. So Cutts Close isn’t as precious as it seems!

This week I visited Oakham library a few times. It is so good to see the youngsters reading books. The library is more than just books, though . . . it is a place to buy many other things as well as borrow CDs and DVDs. The staff are so friendly and I came away on my last visit with a comment ringing in my ears: “If you are miserable to the customer, they are miserable also and then nobody wins.”

How true.

I also took a trip on the Shorelink bus, just to see how it works. Granted it was raining but it was good to see over the hedges and the Rutland countryside looks good in all weathers.

I feel the trip could do with a bit of improvement. Let’s hope that when the route is tweaked there will be some more villages added to the trip. I understand that I could have been given an appraisal form to add my comments but this failed to happen. Please use it or lose it, the Shorelink bus is a great way of getting around Rutland Water.

I am happy to tell everyone that Oakham Town Council has voted to restore the Carols in the Castle event this year. This is in no way competition to the carol services which happen in all our churches at Christmas but it is a shame that this long tradition ended. It is part of Oakham’s history. Yes I know Christmas is a long way off but please make a note in your diary – December 12 is the date. Although there will be one or two carols there will also be one or two surprises, so watch this space.

Last Thursday was National Oatcake Day. I tried to buy some of these delicious , yes and traditional, items but failed as my supermarket outlet ran out of stock for a whole week. This is a pity as I was going to distribute some to my friends.

Talking of traditions I spoke to some fairground workers this week. The topic of moving around the country with a fairground goes back hundreds of years.

Weymouth and Spalding, and then back home to Langley Mill seems a good way of seeing different places in the UK. I mentioned Wakes Week and that started all sort of stories. The Potteries used to completely close down at Wakes Week and everyone made off to the seaside . . . mostly Blackpool. Ah! those were the days.