We Love Shrovetide – The rain didn’t stop us

It’s true to say, we have been counting down the days to Shrovetide 2018, since Shrovetide 2017 and when the morning of Tuesday the 13th of February finally arrived we couldn’t have been more excited…

Along with a huge downpour of rain and sub-zero temperatures, hundreds of locals joined together to take part in Ashbourne’s annual tradition – Shrovetide. In what is essentially a football game to end all football games, players are split into teams depending on whether they are from North or South of the river – (known as the Up’Ards and Down’Ards). The ball is then passed between the locals (thrown, carried or kicked…) with the ultimate aim to reach the goals at either end of the town. After a brilliant day of cheering and chanting, the Down’Ards scored a well-deserved goal just before 21:00 on Tuesday evening.

3,2,1… begin!

For Ford & Stanley and guests, the festivities began at 10:00 with a much-needed full English breakfast at local pub, The Bridge. Following this, we had a few hours spare for networking and joking with guests, eagerly awaiting the 2 o’clock turn up. And that’s when the fun really got started.

As anticipation finally reached its peak, we got right into the centre of the action and sang the national anthem huddled with the crowds in the heavy rain – a memorable experience to say the least! Then the moment we had waited a year for finally arrived; the ball was released into the crowds by William Tucker. Only a few members of our group brave enough to get close to the ball (the rest of us were happy to watch from a distance!) 

With the prosecco and Guinness flowing and the clouds gradually parting, we stuck to our tradition of tucking into a warm outdoor hog roast for lunch; it’s safe to say, the atmosphere in the town is incomparable to any event we have had the pleasure of attending. Neighbours became rivals, and strangers became friends and as the sky began to darken, the game came to an end. The group were then chauffeured back to Derby to finish the jam-packed day, with a hot curry at The Viceroy, on Midland Road. With amazing food and equally great service, we couldn’t have picked a better place to end the annual event. 

Though we were all back to our usual routine for day two, the following day did not disappoint those in Ashbourne on Wednesday 14th, with the second and final goal scored by the Up’Ards, making it a draw – a perfect match for Valentine’s day! Congratulations to all involved.

A great day had by all 

Head of Ford & Stanley Recruitment, Daniel Taylor commented: “Well, we say it every year; ‘how is it going to be possible to top that next year?’ Shrovetide simply becomes more and more memorable and enjoyable with each year that passes. 

This year we went bigger and better! Due to our significant growth last year, we extended the invitations to several new faces (who I imagine, didn’t really know what they were letting themselves in for!). It was lovely to see our clients exploring business opportunities amongst one another. And it was also deeply satisfying to hear the feedback from our clients, who all appreciated the value we put into developing trusting relationships and for me, there is no better setting in which to do so.”

This was our fourth year hosting a table at Shrovetide, and with Ford & Stanley being “All About People” it provides us the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with those who we work with, outside the office environment. We have established strong relationships with our clients, and understand it is these valued relationships which allow us to realise the ambitions of our business.

Once again, we owe a huge thank you to all who looked after the Ford & Stanley team and our guests throughout the day. We are especially grateful to The Bridge (www.thebridge.co.uk). From fry-up to ‘turn-up’, from the first bottle of prosecco to the last G&T, we were treated excellently by all members of staff. As you can imagine, the bar staff were working non-stop to keep up with the sheer demand of Guinness that comes with Shrovetide! We highly recommend paying The Bridge a visit when in Ashbourne.


Here’s to Shrovetide 2019…