Life at Newbury Racecourse During “Lockdown” by David Wickens

When I moved to Newbury Racecourse two years ago having lived in Basingstoke for some forty years little did I know then what an added benefit it would be for me in the past months during ‘Lockdown’.

With an uninterrupted view overlooking the racecourse it’s a constantly changing landscape from early morning sunrise and mists to late evening sunsets and all the weather in between that I can see advancing over fives miles away from Beacon Hill direction – even where the rainbow finishes – no pot of gold though!

Early morning mist over the course

Breakfast time normally brings the daily flypast of geese in ‘V’ formation and a small family of deer grazing in the middle of the racecourse. Later in the day sees a variety of birds especially numerous red kites that rise on the thermals and circle without even moving their wings – some evenings the odd fox running down the racecourse – maybe I should place a bet as he always wins!

Now that some restrictions have been lifted and horse racing has resumed ‘behind closed doors’ I can enjoy my own private view of the races!

Racing in progress – at last!

Newbury Racecourse have held a few ‘Pub in the Paddock’ events with plenty of outdoor tables and spacing with sporting events on the big screen – yes I have participated and enjoyed a few pints while watching the sports.

Social distancing for drinkers

Recently they have held ‘drive in’ karaoke and theatre events in the middle of the racecourse to help improve their income. Around the racecourse there is always maintenance being carried out from grass cutting to watering the complete track as required.

One unusual sight this year has been in the middle of the course where the grass has been allowed to grow and a few weekends ago cut and made into bales of hay and then wrapped in plastic for storage – another source of income in these unusual times.

Hay bales in the distance

So although ‘Lockdown’ has meant I have spent a considerable amount of time in my apartment there is always a changing view and I have enjoyed my time sitting on my balcony watching the wildlife, eating and sometimes having a G & T or a glass of wine –

No pot of gold at the end of this rainbow

life can be tough sometimes but I’m coping in the circumstances and hope we can all meet up again soon when it’s safe to do so.

That’s all for now from Newbury – David