I’m working in Northampton for the next couple of days, doing a little training for a national transport and logistics company and I’m staying in what appears to be an 18th century coaching inn called the Heart of England. Although there are many places that might lay claim to such a title, the confluence of transportation options here in the Midlands supports the name.
A short distance away is DIRFT, where I will be working. The Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal where goods are interchanged between road and rail by a number major haulage businesses. My room in the pub is thankfully soundproofed against the regular number of Virgin trains that ply their way through this region.
The pub’s position suggests that this has long been an important hub, and not just for road and rail users, for a short walk through the gardens takes you to some steps that must be negotiated with care in the current slippery conditions, for at their foot lies the Grand Union Canal. 137 miles of water punctuated by 166 locks on the main line alone this is Britain’s largest canal, but one whose usage declined with the growth of its much faster competitor conduits.
Still, for a photographer it has much to offer, and from the portrait today, those who indulge themselves on the longboats on its waters derive much pleasure.