Most people will have heard of Newmarket in Suffolk, and most of them who have will associate the small and very pretty town with racing, horse racing… we associate it with sausages, Powter’s finest! There are other good pork butchers in the town such as Musk’s, but we have always preferred Powter’s – although when my dad Donald was a boy the family would have to order both Musks and Powters as some preferred one and some the other!
Newmarket was only a small insignificant village when James I built a palace there; he was also the instigator of the modern history of horse racing there, although the open heaths had been used for the sport for over five hundred years. If you walk round the town you may notice how many small people there are because so many of them are employed in the racing business. Donald took up boxing when he was quite young, he was tough and strong and quick and clever… and he fancied himself as a bit of a fighter in the ring. He went over to Newmarket for a bout and his opponent was a microscopic, weedy little lad who Donald erroneously thought he would ‘whup’… well there was a whupping, but Donald came off the worst. The lad was a trainee jockey and as hard as nails and had probably grown up in poverty so had learned to fight the very hard way! Donald stuck to rugby, rowing and fishing after that.
Newmarket is also is significant as the place where the Civil War effectively started when Charles I was placed under house arrest by parliament. The town has developed as many places have with light industry, farming and other commercial and business premises around the centre and now has a population of about 20,000. There is a new small shopping centre called The Guineas, and in the small malls are some magnificent model horses. I took a photo of one, but omitted to look at the details attached which would have told me what it was and the significance of the designs on its flanks.