Newest Review: ... to not only conduct their normal business of paying council tax and rents etc and storing records and for weddings and civic events...... more
How to waste energy and influence people.
Member Name: thedevilinme
Advantages: Beautiful pile
Disadvantages: Tories in it
Northampton's Guild Hall is by far the town's most attractive building. It's a cracker; a Neo - Gothic pile that wows the town centre like Ayres Rock does the Outback. It's a striking building and in pristine condition, mainly because it's the town hall and all the bigwigs are housed there and so keep it spic and span to reflect their authority. If a pigeon sh*ts on it the scaffold is up ten minutes later to clear it away. If you ask them inside for somewhere to live and you're not Polish or an immigrant then forget it.
Its need to be seen recently garnered criticism as, whilst one in every two street lights were being turned off to save money across the county, the Guild Hall was lit up like Las Vegas to proudly illuminate it some more at night, a consistent waste with all council buildings, and indeed retail and office space for some reason. That energy bill must be huge for business. Turn the bloody lights off!
Built in the 1860s by young architect Edward William Godwin it's now used by the council to not only conduct their normal business of paying council tax and rents etc and storing records and for weddings and civic events... The council chamber is as grand as you would expect with all the regalia and both types of showy masonry decorating the chamber. It did have a courthouse but that bit now council halls for meetings and events. It has an extensive basement where the birth, deaths and marriage certificates are kept and there are rusting jail cells. There is also a secret stairway to a hidden room in the attic where few people have been, accept me, of course. I did a temp job there and had a peep in my lunch hour. Alas, there were no piles of 'unregistered' expenses forms for the greedy councilors or Fox Molder up there with his X-files but just boxes of office stationary and shelf fittings. A cool place to hide though. Another mysteries hiding place are the ancient tunnels and vaults under the town centre, mostly used to link the old crypts of the neighboring Churches, even rumored as far as Delapre Abbey, an absurd claim as the guys would have to tunnel under the River Nene. Its rumoured/myth/nonesense that Sir Thomas A Becket fled from the now ruin of Northampton Castle in 1164 to the All Saints church in the town centre along such a tunnel to prepare to flee to France after refusing to sign decrees to cut ties with Rome and curb the power of the Church in general. Northampton Castle was once the countries parliament no less for some 200 years, sharing the job with the capital. But the tunnels are but old cellars say the authorities. I have called in the Time Team to investigate. They have yet to reply.
As the town has grown so has the building, a modern extensions slowly doubling the size in the 1990s, but done in away to maintain its integrity. A memorial to Princess Diana was added in 1989 purely to get her to show up and open it, which she didn't, and another more important one for Northampton MP Spencer Percival, the only serving British Prime Minster to be assassinated. The friend of the Prince Regent (Hugh Laurie) was gunned down by a noisy blunderbuss in the House of Commons in May 1812 by a merchant with a grudge, John Bellingham. A Diana memorial plaque went up in 2002 and she didn't attend that either, her dreadful freeloading brother there instead. Other notable Northampton people not to get a plaque of sorts are comic writer Alan Moore, Jeffrey from Rainbow, Des O'Conner and Faye Tozer (pronounced tosser) from Steps (the straight sexy one on the end).
You are not allowed on any sort of tours into the non public bits although they used to do a yearly one though some organization or other. When I was there I was there I was helping to build a filing system for the new Eastern European families and migrants moving to the town. This storage space has since trebled, some 100,000 coming or going in the last ten years. Baring in mind the town has a population of just over 240,00 you can see the stress and strains that ahs on services although yours truly one of the few people who thinks the Poles are great for the town and, indeed, argued the case that Northampton should officially support Poland in the European Championships. My request in the Town Hall meeting did not go down well.
Summary: Looks good
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