by Frances Lawrence on 30/10/09 at 8:28 am
This week Toys R Us had yet another version of the Monopoly game on the shelves, my home town now has it’s own version of the game. When I first heard about it I thought I didn’t care but when I saw the game I found that I cared very much.
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Northampton (England) is a nice place to live. It has a long and interesting history and it became well known for it’s footwear and leather industry. It is not all about history, the town has moved with the times and it is a busy and friendly place to live. I really didn’t know that I felt so protective about my home until I saw what the makers of the Monopoly game had done to it. The thing that annoyed me most was what they chose as the bargain basement type properties. They included the National Lift Tower and Abington Park. The 127 metres high lift tower is a listed building, it was built as a lift testing tower in 1982, but unfortunately the company that owned it closed in 1997. Since that time the building has been under threat of demolition several times, but thanks in part to to the support of local people the tower has survived. It is affectionately known as the Northampton Lighthouse, a bit of a joke since we are a long way from the sea. It does look a lot like a lighthouse and when we see it we know we are not far from home. It is not a bargain basement building, it is a much loved landmark.
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Abington Park is one of the jewels of our town. When it opened in 1897 it was the first public park in our town. The park is in two parts divided by a tree lined avenue. The upper park contains the old manor house which is now a museum, parts of the building date back to Tudor times. There are also two thatched farmer’s cottages and a Victorian bandstand in the upper park and the Church of St Peter and St Paul nestles close to the manor house. The lower park contains a pigeon loft and water tower which date back to 1774 and the pillars of hunting gates from the old estate parkland can also be found in the park. The casual visitor may not be aware that the lumps and bumps in the ground close to the rose garden and children’s play area are evidence of a disused medieval village and of the ridge and furrow system of farming. The park is not only beautiful it is bursting with history, it should have pride of place on the Monopoly board, not a bargain basement slot.