A bike ride to a jumble sale – with added Arts & Crafts / Garden Suburb features

Part of this ride I’ve already covered in the CTC Northampton blog here.

Four wet riders met in the pouring rain at Hunsbury: David, Phil, our leader Bill and me.  The destination was the A5 Rangers Clubhouse in Towcester which was hosting the annual Cyclists’ Jumble Sale!

We didn’t hang about for latecomers and Bill set a good pace to get us to Towcester and dry shelter!  It was the first time I’d been to this annual event and it was fascinating – not just for the items for sale but for the coffee and cake and, of course, the conversations with old friends.IMGP5682

The plan was always that we would make our ways home independently.  Phil pretty much turned round for the return leg straightaway; David must have followed him shortly afterwards; and Bill was to head for a cycle shop in Milton Keynes.

I had two lots of coffee and cake and felt fortified enough not just to skip lunch at Greens Norton (my original plan) but to add to that part of the loop by going through Abthorpe, Slapton and Bradden as well.  Route here.

From Hunsbury back to Hunsbury, this was 26 miles.  Add to and from home, and I enjoyed a  very damp but worthwhile 37 miles.

And then the bonus: returning to the town centre down Towcester Road, I stopped to photograph two houses which a friend who grew up in the area told me were the only houses built in a proposed Northampton Garden Suburb.  Presumably this was in the 1920s?  They looked to me like William Morris’s Red House (in Bexley) arrived in Northampton, perhaps via Philip Webb’s Worship Mews (in Shoreditch).  Here’s the most striking bit of their Arts & Crafts inheritance:



with a detail of the entrance doorway:



Here’s the whole house:



And here’s its next door neighbour:IMGP5683

and another view:



Now, Pevsner says nothing about this development in his volume on Northamptonshire.  A Google search reveals nothing.  And so I’ve added another item to my task list: to visit the Local Studies Department of the Central Library in Northamptonshire and see if it holds any further clues – beyond the oral history of my friend, Paul Bland.