Wednesday 18 September 2013

The Ghost of William Webb Ellis [1]

Rev. William Webb Ellis (24 November 1806 to 24 February 1872) was an Anglican clergyman who is famous for allegedly being the inventor of Rugby football whilst a pupil at Rugby School. Webb Ellis's name is firmly established in rugby union folklore and the William Web Ellis Cup is presented to the winners of the Rugby World Cup.

But the story is almost certainly fiction despite this plaque at the school.
But the good and possibly rule-breaking future Reverend is also inappropriately celebrated in the name of an Office Park not far from Rugby Station.
But we run ahead of ourselves. When a youthful fbb resided in Northampton he took an occasional trip to Rugby to watch the trains go by. Once an important interchange point between local and long distance trains, its usefuless decreased with the on-going closure programme for those local stops.
Although occasional expresses called, main line electrification reduced the grand London and North Western Railway pile to a stop on the "local" service between Euston, Northampton and Birmingham. The expresses mostly whizzed by without stopping!
The station was gloomy, largely empty and looking very tired. To give the area more capacity a major rebuilding scheme (completed in 2008) created a better track layout and replaced the gloomy overall roof with something much more welcoming. The dark and dank access subway was brightened up ...
... and the lengthly ramps to the platforms were made a little less uninviting.
To complete the "refurb" a shiny new station building was built over what was, latterly, an "abandon hope all ye who enter here" subway of gloom and doom.
So it was that our Northampton correspondent travelled from his home to Rugby and made his way to the bus stops that would take him into the town centre. He reports that he was unable to check the accuracy of the station's "onward journey" poster ...
... because there wasn't one! Had such a poster been posted he would have found it less than helpful. fbb has cobbled together a bloggable version of the on-line map. It shows that the town stops are a goodly hike away on Clifton Road, but Clifton Road does not appear on the map! The information for stop "X" is wrong; but, despite this minor detail, there are 7 buses an hour from there to the town. 

The stop is just about visible from the station exit doors if you wander around a bit. There are no signs!
But the shelter is just around the corner, centre right in the picture.

It was whilst waiting for the bus that Alan spotted this sign to the "Office Park"...
... although here it has become a "Business Park." Follow the sign and you will quickly discover that you have arrived at the Travelodge and not at the Reverend's memorial office blocks.
But something else had caught the eye of our worthy East Midlands correspondent. Perhaps another Webb Ellis blast from the past?

We will discover more tomorrow. Meanwhile enjoy Transport Defunct's note about taxis at Rugby Station.
Hmmm! There once was an Abbey Street station ...
... in Nuneaton NOT Rugby. It closed in 1968!

There is an "Abbey Street" in Rugby and it is near the station ...
... but not a taxi in sight.

 Next Bus/Rail Blog :Thursday 19th September 

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