Hustle & Bustle…Playground of the Midlands (2)

ratcliffe1

Yep its all happening on Main Street in Ratcliffe on the Wreake… just one of our four destinations today on our second expedition as part of the Playground of the Midlands project – aka Charnwood Borough.  My pal Simon gave a little guidance to this trip by weaving Thrussington into the itinerary I’d devised.  His local knowledge put these two locations together with Rearsby and East Goscote so that we were able to take in pretty much the whole Wreake Valley area of Charnwood.  Its been as good a day weatherwise as we have any right to expect in England in February and as we walked towards Thrussington the bright blue skies and the sunshine put a spring in our step.

thrussington1

This village is healthy and wealthy with a really delightful deli come cafe in the centre (and two pubs still functioning).  Its already apparent that in parts at least some of this borough is operating more effectively than quite a few of the villages in NWLeics. where my last project, several years back, revealed many hamlets with boarded up boozers.  On our return from Thrussington into Rearsby we do lunch at The Horse & Groom a very friendly local that does a decent reasonably priced pub grub lunch.  After which onto East Goscote…that I’d been warned not to expect too much from! (my companion in a previous life trod these streets on a regular basis!).  But curiously as we made our way into the centre it suggests an oddity being a village pretty much created from scratch in the 1970’s.  Of course much of it is pure suburban ‘ordinariness’ (at least from the outside)…

eastgoscote1

but the ‘civic space at its centre is a very eclectic mix of scandinavian and ‘new town’ architecture that contains a very dreary selection of retail outlets (one of which those of us in the know will recognise as run by Michael Portillo)…

eastgoscote3

But what will I take from the trip in terms of making a picture?  As always finding details and/or points of interest to stimulate the painting process can be hard but here’s a panel that may kickstart a canvas somewhere down the line…

eastgoscote2

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