The little-known battle of Scotter Bottom is recalled by our columnist Hugh Rogers
Just received the latest issue of the BBC History magazine (someone gave me a subscription for Christmas) Lead feature invites discussion on the twenty most important British battles (out of date now, of course because the concept of "Britishness" is old hat under the latest European Community guidelines) Be that as it may, what would your choice be ? Waterloo ? Trafalgar ? Blenheim ? Or on British soil, how about Naseby, Culloden or the Boyne ?
But perhaps, like me, you would vote for the little-known battle of Scotter Bottom, when, after a long hard fight with battle hardened veterans of the Ashby Fusiliers, volunteers from the self-styled Republick of Bottesfford finally won their struggle for self-determination,. It was though, as the Duke of Wellington remarked about another, later. scrap with the French, a near run thing. Had it not been for the valiant defence of Keadby Bridge by a small band of Gunness Irregulars who, in a series of vicious skirmishes, bravely fought off an attempt by the much-feared Crowle Cavalry to outflank the insurgents, Bottesford (to use its more modern spelling) would not now enjoy its current independent status and might have remained just another dormitory town of Scunthorpe - a grim fate which befell many local communities less able (or willing) to defend themselves against the invader.
Yes, as you might have guessed, I'm in a funny mood today. Perhaps it's the promise of Spring. Sunlight. Lower fuel bills. Daffodils. That sort of thing.
Which brings me to a piece of news which you may have overlooked. Namely that the Maternity Unit of Scunthorpe General Hospital has just come into a bit of money. £64,000 to be precise. I understand they are going to spend it on, among other things, something called a Variotrac Ceiling Model. The mind boggles. But apparently it's a pretty cool piece of equipment which - it says here - can be used with balls. You heard it here first, never forget that.