Caught by the River

Thankful Villages Vol. 2 #10

Darren Hayman | 24th October 2017

Darren Hayman is back, with a second volume of songs resulting from his Thankful Villages project. The tenth village is East Norton, Leicestershire.

East Norton, Leicestershire – Thankful Village #28 from Darren Hayman on Vimeo.

Too much time on my own. Too many empty streets. I want to find the community.

We drove to the East Norton Fete on a beautiful August day. We drank cloudy lemonade and ate sandwiches on a bench in the churchyard. We went bell ringing and found a stained glass window dedicated to the safe return of the men in the Great War.

East Norton Fete is held in the grounds of East Norton Hall. There were only a few stalls, but they served a beautiful cream tea and my cup came with a tiny apostle spoon.

On the Ordnance Survey map there were traces of a railway line that used to serve East Norton. We followed the Eye Brook river and spent ages looking for the old railway line but only found a culvert where I recorded the echo. The East Norton viaduct was demolished in 2001.

East Norton is full of ghosts. The school, the police office and the railway station are all houses now, but their names are written in stone. Things used to be more permanent. To live in a village now you need a car to get to the nearest town.

As we drove home we got a phone call to tell us we’d won the raffle. We’d won two pizza plates. We didn’t drive back.


Thankful Villages Vol.2
is out now on Rivertones. You can buy a copy here, or listen on Spotify.

Previous Thankful Villages posts on Caught by the River/ Darren Hayman on Twitter