My first knowing visit to Northampton took place when I was a student in London and I wanted to use my new railcard. I have a distinct memory of walking to All Saints’ Church from the station on a rather dull day…
Litlle did I know at the time that my career would bring me back to Northamptonshire and that I would settle there.
Although I don’t live in Northampton, it has always been my preferred destination for shopping, as well as for leisure. I’m also still discovering its fascinating history. Over the many years some things have certainly changed for the better, such as the Cultural Quarter, with the Derngate, not even built when I started living in Northamptonshire.
It’s been sad, however, to see Abington Street metamorphose over the years, with the loss of individual shops with character, such as Gordon Scott, who shod all my children. Beatties and BHS were always handy for a meal or cup of tea, too. Beyond that, Lawrence’s Cafe in St Giles’s Street, always a cosy refuge on shopping trips, has closed, the Chronicle and Echo building has also gone, leaving an empty site, as has the old bus station (which I didn’t have particularly strong feelings about, unlike many).
Perhaps what’s happening with the County Council epitomises the wider evolution; does Northampton know where it’s going, or even where it wants to go – I hope