With the late Easter holiday now behind us we only have to wait a couple of weeks until the May Day Bank Holiday is upon us and that means Sheffield DA’s biggest weekend Meet of the year, Osmaston, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
This year we see the return of the popular music quiz in the marquee on Saturday evening, preceded in the afternoon by the annual family sports event, for those more inclined to physical competition. Join us for breakfast on Sunday morning at the Alfresco’s Diner, followed by the Youth ‘Penny Fair’ fundraiser where the CCY get creative with fun stalls, cafe, cakes, tombola, raffle and don’t forget to bring and buy your wares at “Jane’s Quality Merchandise”. The fun continues into the Sunday afternoon schedule, with Junior events, followed by Prize Bingo in the Marquee and Sheffield DA’s competitive chaos that is the annual Tilley lighting competition.
Osmaston is an attractive Derbyshire village where the pace just seems to slow down a notch or two. The excellent 'Shoulder of Mutton' pub serves up a range of ales and good food which can be enjoyed inside or in the pleasant beer garden; the half-timbered and thatched cottages nestling around the village duck pond give the visitor a wonderful glimpse of timeless village life.
Sheffield DA’s Meet is located on the Polo Ground, where village teams close out the football season and the peaceful surroundings echo to the crack of leather on willow as the cricket season begins. This typical English scene is all the more remarkable given that Osmaston is only a matter of minutes from the bustling market town of Ashbourne.
Manor, Park and History
Osmaston Park is the beautiful 3,500 acre private estate grounds of the former Osmaston Manor, built by the Wright family, owners of the Butterley Ironworks near Ripley in Derbyshire and builders of the spectacular St Pancras Station in London. The presence of Osmaston Manor was the catalyst for the development of the Village, which was substantially remodelled in the late nineteenth century to serve the Manor.
Fascinating but bizarre in equal measures is the fact that Osmaston Park was host to motor racing in the post-war period; initially grass-track motorcycle racing where the ‘Pathfinders and Derby Motor Club’ formed a paddock area adjacent to the cricket pavilion in August 1950 when the first racing motorcycles careered around the Polo Ground in what must have been quite a spectacle. In subsequent years, the racing evolved from grass to a three-quarter mile surfaced estate road circuit, which attracted thousands of spectators.
The Manor was demolished in 1965 due to crippling running costs but leaves the magnificent Osmaston Park as its legacy; today a popular wedding venue and managed estate complete with landscaped ornamental lakes and the picturesque sawmill nestling amongst the estate woodland.
Why not take the opportunity for a stroll around Osmaston Park with Sheffield DA on bank holiday Monday? The family walk assembles at 10:45 for a two-hour leisurely tour of the grounds.
The more adventurous hiking enthusiast might also choose the long weekend to plan a route taking in the ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk’, passing through the Park and following the general route taken by Prince Charles Edward Stuart on his march in 1745 from Ashbourne to Derby, where the ‘young pretender’ abandoned his campaign south, a doomed attempt to restore Stuart rule in Britain.
Ashbourne is a popular market town with an eclectic range of shops and eateries for the visitor to explore, set in and around the cobbled marketplace, alleyways and yards. Ashbourne is known as the ‘gateway to the White Peak’ with the ever-popular Dovedale and Ilam a short drive away or, since Ashbourne is the start of the 13-mile Tissington Trail, why not take in the scenery on two wheels?