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A Crappy New Year.

Once the mercury creeps above forty degrees I can certainly say that things are a bit too warm for me. That's why Mrs Bygone Boozer and I always wait until a bit of September has already passed before we take on the roles of FP3 and FP4. The mercury was showing 41.2. This is not a bit of metaphorical language. It was real mercury in a real thermometer and the temperature it was showing was not that in a very sunny Andalucia or some such place, but my very own sublingual temperature.

The thermolysis was accompanied by the headache from hell, tremors, aching joints and muscles, breathing that the average nonagenarian wouldn't need to cope with which virtually made it impossible for me to use any inhalers along with a fatigue which meant that simply lying in bed was itself tiring. If getting up for a pee was too much effort and I'd voided my bladder where I lay it probably wouldn't have made much of a difference to the seriously sweat-sodden sheets. It all seemed very reminiscent of the virus I caught in the autumn of 2017 which set off all my lung and heart issues. What a crap start to 2023.

Ten days later and I'm still having to pause for breath at the top of a flight of stairs. With no pedalling, either outdoors or in, so far this year I decided to occupy a bit of time and take a look at the recently published race dates for 2023. I needn't really worry about any lack of fitness for I find that there is just a single event taking place within a hundred and twenty miles of home on a weekend when I don't have another commitment. Is it really worth getting back to training at all? It seems as if many organisers have decided to give up organising races after the enforced break in the Covid-years. Perhaps it's time for me to give up too. 2023 isn't getting any better.

With a training ride off the cards it gave me the chance to settle in the armchair and watch Leicester Tigers take on Newcastle Falcons without the concern of whether I'd make it back home in time for kick off. They couldn't play any worse than they did against Sale the previous weekend, could they? Another thumping and another leaking of over forty points. 2023 continues to get crappier.

If my 2023 isn't going too well, for the regulars of the Eagle in Buxton it is even more crappy. New Year's Eve was its final trading day.

I have to confess that despite parking outside on a number of occasions I never graced the establishment with my custom as I was simply taking my touring skis to Jo Royle's shop across the road for servicing.

Back as far as at least 1592 there has been an inn on this site, at times described as being on the Market Place and at others on the eponymous Eagle Parade. The original Eagle and Child was bought by the 3rd Duke of Devonshire in the 1740s. It was demolished to make way for the current building, which was constructed for the 5th Duke who was no doubt looking to get a share of the increasingly lucrative London to Manchester passenger traffic which passed on the stage coach route.

The inn was still known as the Eagle and Child in 1791 when Thomas Logan is named as the innkeeper in The Universal British Directory which was published that year. (The location of the White Horse currently eludes me. There's no boozer of that name in the town today and it's the first reference to it that I've come across. Literally a puzzle that I'll save for a rainy day.)

Extract from The Universal British Directory, 1791.

By the late 1820s the child had either grown up and left the nest or had been eaten by the eagle for it makes no further appearance.

Extract from Pigot's 1828/29 directory

In the second half of the nineteenth century the railway, or in reality the railways, arrived in Buxton. The Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge Railway and the Midland Railway both arrived in town in 1863 with their separate stations built, in the same style, side by side. This would no doubt have had a significant effect on the coach trade but the Eagle...

The Eagle, in the 1880s, when under the care of George Jackson.

...was still listed as a posting house when in the care of George Jackson in 1881.

Extract from Kelly's 1881 directory.

In the early part of the twentieth century the Eagle changed its name to the Devonshire Hotel. It's recorded as such in the 1911 census when a Cecil Bain was the manager, and also in Kelly's directory of the following year...

Extract from Kelly's 1912 directory.

...but it had reverted to the Eagle by the 1920s.

Extract from Kelly's 1925 directory.

The Eagle in the late 1920s/early 1930s.

The Eagle adapted to its new sources of customers, initially arriving by train and later with the assistance of the internal combustion engine, and was still a popular stopping off point in the spa town, but maintained a tap room for the locals...

The Eagle in 1934.

The Dining Room in 1933.

...and in the 1980s and early '90s its Dutch's Bar was popular with weekend revellers.

Acquired by Manchester brewers Hyde's in the later 1990s it continued to operate until New Year's Eve 2022. CAMRA's Whatpub website states that Hyde's have sold the building although at the time of typing it still appears on the brewer's website. Who knows what's in store for this old inn. I just hope that its future isn't too crappy.

The Eagle in October 2022. © Google 2023

Jim Osley's image is copyright and is reused under this licence.

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