The John Newman Site









Fun & Enjoyment News

Slurping Section


Eastcote Arms.

Gayton Rd Eastcote Nr Towcester

My regular Thursday haunt.  Good beer at  reasonable prices. The main attraction is a thriving six o'clock club, featuring excellent banter and even some serious conversation. Quite a few motorsport and rugby people. The new owners have completely restored the original atmosphere and indeed improved things considerably. They have updated the kitchens and are providing good food again.




Towcester Mill Brewery

This is a small craft brewery in the heart of Towcester that brews some remarkable beers. They realized the potential of the tap room and turned it into a bar which is open from 17.00 to 21.30 evenings and longer at weekends. The interior is all original and there are gardens with great views. Certainly a favourite, but sadly too far away for regular visits.

It's worth checking their website or Facebook page for opening times as they do have a number of special events.





Model Making Corner

For many years I have been making models, although not a regularly as I could. Retirement has given me the opportunity to indulge in a winter project. The Ferrari 126 C2 was in 1982 the car driven by probably the greatest "racer" of all time Gilles Villeneuve. The kit was not the best or physically most accurate ever, but has turned out fairly well.



Some years ago I made another Ferrari, the 641/2 as driven by Mansell. This time not for the driver, but because in my humble opinion the most beautiful F1 car ever. I also have a tidy Manx Norton to remind me of my childhood!


My most recent project which I finished in May 2015 is the restoration and respray of a 25+ year old Renault RE20 which I built. I managed to get transfers from a chap in Colorado (which sadly were not of astounding quality) and the effort has saved the car's life, or at least extended it for a few years


Relaxing Sports Section

Having renewed my Nene membership, I have twice been to what was on of my favourite lakes at Swan Valley on the Banbury lane. I caught a few reasonable Roach, Bream & Perch. Sadly these were all caught on the drop as the lake is completely choked with weed, whether or not this can be sorted I don't know.

A nice Tench I managed to catch, now I have retired I shall be going fishing much more often, the net is 22" diameter, honest!

I have also tried one of my old haunts at Astwell Mill (T&DAA water)  and found it to be choked with weed, as is the lake at Rothersthorpe (Nene) despite the efforts of the very affable Bailiff who has worked hard at what appears to be an insurmountable problem. Given that fishing is the only sport I know where you have to pay a Government tax to participate, perhaps the clubs can get some help in return and fix this widespread problem.

Being quite vexed by the weed situation at Astwell, which is my favourite lake, I contacted our MP, who at the time was in charge of the ministry responsible (DEFRA). She (after 3 months) told me that there are grants available. I went to the T&DAA AGM and put this to them, they said if I wanted I could go for it.

I started on this project in March 2017 and at the time of writing this (Sept 2017) we have been promised a substantial grant to dig a filtration pond as well as chemical treatment for the weed and accumulated silt. There is another grant to improve the access and platforms for the lake. This will involve new footpaths and shuttering of the banks where there has been some erosion. We are almost certain of getting that grant as well.

All excellent news, work is due to start in November 2017. There will be updates on Facebook and local media.

I have also been to Silver Lake at Wappenham (T&DAA water) which has a 1 surcharge per day. They have dealt with the weed problem and the sport there is first class. I have had days there with catches of 12-15lb.


Astwell Mill




Nice Bream from Wappenham


Roach from Rothersthorpe




In addition to all the above I also frequent another venue at Brickhill Farm Eydon. Probably the best I have been to. Brian the owner is a gem. Plentiful fish of a decent size (1-5 lb) all of a variety of species. There are also some very large Carp, mainly in the larger lake, I have caught one at 17lb and several approaching 10lb. There is a modest day ticket charge, but well worth it. There is a little cafe and the grounds are immaculate.



A lovely 5lb Common Carp

Golden Carp about 3lb