Bakewell Manners 3
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Eyam is most famous for the plague that hit the village in the 17th century.The lives of the Eyam villagers changed dramatically after one innocent bundle of cloth arrived from London to Eyam. The village fate was sealed. Fearing the plague would spread to the outside world the villagers of Eyam remained within the village boundaries to ensure the death wouldn't spread to others.
The Village retains its wooden stocks on a grass verge outside Eyam Hall. Miscreants would be held in the stocks by their legs,arms and heads and pelted with stones,clods of earth or more smelly missiles such as offal and dung. By the early 19th century the stocks were used very often due to the rise in crime.So much so they formed and Eyam Society for the Prosecution of Felons. The same society still meets today albeit with different personnel !.The stocks were last used in the late 19th century but more in the form of public humiliation than anything else. Rumour has it that the well known nursery rhyme came as a result of the Eyam plague. Ring-a-ring was because of the marks on the necks of the plague sufferers. "Atishoo, Atishoo, we all fall down" refers to the death of those who caught the plague.
Eyam is a lovely village to walk around and brunch was taken in the local church which was purveying morning coffee and snacks, both delicious. The local convenience store was selling 'Blackjacks & Fruits Salad' sweets, a throwback to the 70's.
Players change in the sports pavilion about a 3 minute walk from the pitch. One lady from Eyam warned me that a 'big crowd” was expected for today's game. She then added “it could reach 15”.
The game was a topsy turvy one played in good spirit. Although not the best standard I have ever seen, it still retained the attention as the out come was always in question.Both teams hit the post twice and both made plenty of unforced errors. The ref had a decent game and let the game flow at every opportunity. Quote of the day came from an Eyam supporter as he reacted to a debatable offside decision from a Bakewell sub who was running the line “well if ya gonna cheat , cheat fairly” !!
Eyam were “plagued” (if you will pardon the pun !) with poor defending as the game went on and with minutes left , a mis-hit here and an untimely bobble there , gifted Bakewell with the winning goal to secure their first win of the season. The Eyam goalie was entertaining as he came up in to the Bakewell penalty area for every corner from the 70th minute onwards. On virtually every occasion it would cause chaos and turn into a 'keystone cops' moment as he rushed back towards his goal area often with hilarious results.
There was no admission charge asked for, there were no programmes produced, there were no refreshments offered, there were no stands to shelter under. Infact there was nothing here, except for good honest entertainment and beautiful views.But that was enough for me, because in the Hope Valley less is so much more.