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Proud to be playing our part in Shrovetide

Shrovetide luncheon 2015 300pxDerbyshire Dales District Council is proud to be playing its part again in this year's Royal Shrovetide Football which takes place on 9th & 10th February - including removing three tons of rubbish from Ashbourne's streets in the early hours after each day's play.

It will be a 4am start for the District Council's clean and green team after Shrove Tuesday's first session between the Up'ards and Down'ards.

A team of five using a mechanical sweeper and pickup trucks will move in to ensure Ashbourne looks spick and span by 9am on day two – and it will be another 4am start on Thursday.

The District Council is also hosting the official Shrovetide Luncheons at our Ashbourne Leisure Centre for a sixth consecutive year - which means some disruption to usual timetables.

In years gone by the Royal Shrovetide game was preceded by a luncheon at the Green Man Hotel in the centre of the town, but six years ago when the Green Man closed the District Council recommended the Leisure Centre step in to play a part in the most important two days in Ashbourne's calendar.

Leisure staff started preparatory work the week before, when the sports hall stores were cleared ready for the bars to be set up, and this is followed by carpet laying over the weekend, when they were joined by the Shrovetide Committee and volunteers to put up the decorations, flags, pictures and memorabilia, along with chairs and tables for 500 people.

It means the lunches have become bigger and better than ever - the Sports Hall transformed beyond recognition to seat 500 people for a three-course meal.

The Shrovetide ball is the "guest of honour" at the lunches, leaving the leisure centre at 1.45pm and paraded to the starting plinth at the District Council's Shaw Croft car park for a 2pm start.

On Tuesday afternoon, leisure centre staff not involved in the game will tidy and clean up ready for the same again on Wednesday.  After Wednesday's lunch, everything will be taken down, put away and cleaned up ready for re-opening of the leisure centre for business as usual on Thursday morning.

The District Council also extends the opening hours of its public loos in Ashbourne for both Shrovetide days, closing at 9.30pm.

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