COMING TO 1970'S NORTHAMPTON
We moved from London to Northampton in 1971.
It was marvellous to see fields and to have a house. My husband and I bought bicycles, including one for our 4 year old daughter and we cycled to Cottesbrook most Saturdays where my in-laws lived. Hardly any traffic to worry about just twisting winding roads. Later we had our son and likewise when he was 4 he had a bicycle.
There was plenty of wildlife to see, stoats, weasels, foxes, a dead badger or two and an occasional adder. Poppies were abundant, as were cowslips and coltsfoot. I had a basket on my bike where sandwiches and bottled squash were stored ready for our resting place. We would watch the many varieties of birds, yellow hammer (now in decline) fieldfares and red wings in Winter, kestrels, and we even used to see cuckoos in the summer. Our son used to delight in putting grasshoppers into his shirt pocket and bringing them back home into our garden. Many an evening we would go to Lings Wood which in the 1970's had plenty of wild life and it was safe to go there. There were old oak trees, lesser and greater spotted woodpeckers, jays, muntjac deer and dew ponds. Alas, what we have today is very different. Trees have been felled, rubbish is strewn everywhere, dumped cars burnt out and muggers wait for the unsuspecting.
There was a lovely lane going from Thorplands to Weston Favell where many species of butterfly could be found. There was orange tip, large and small tortoiseshell, red admirals, peacocks and yellow brimstone. Where are they now? Arbours Wood is still rambling and does not appear to have been interfered with like Lings Wood. Then there are the lakes. I have even seen a mandarin duck and golden eye on Thorplands Lake, as well as tufted duck.
Now even the newspaper (Chronicle and Echo) tells a sad tale. In 1971 there weren't any advertisements for renting rooms or property, instead there were advertisments for cattle, sheep, pigs etc. being sold. The Cattle Market was a treat for the children, they could see all manner of livestock including rabbits and chickens, and hear the banter of farmers bidding, and occasionally have to jump out of the way of a straying cow, but this has changed, in its place are the never ending cars, no time for friendly chatter, no time for looking at nature, only time to watch the television, play with computers and watch the drunken brawls that take place every Friday or Saturday night in Bridge Street and the town centre.
What has the next generation got to look back on?