It is also known as the Northampton Lighthouse, coined by Terry Wogan
The Tower rises above the flat plain of the Nene valley near Northampton - for centuries home of Britain’s shoe industry, but these days better known as the home town of 11th Doctor Matt Smith, comics auteur Alan Moore and El Reg operations manager Matt Proud - like some kind of latter-day Barad Dûr or Orthanc. The sinister …
I hate you - in 32 years in the Beeb I never managed to wangle a trip up it - even when I was working in Leeds!
I was watching TV the night it fell down, and watched them building the new tower. At school we used to bounce lasers off it to see how far away it was (it rarely moved) and of course when driving up the M1 it's the first hint that you're almost in the best county in the country!
At 128m I get about 5secs of pure zero g, 77m gives about 3.9s.
Both of which are not bad (there are not too many buildings >100 in the Midlands).
I'm surprised they haven't had calls from aeronautics and physics departments in the region.
Thumbs up for a most impressive erection.
I've been inside, one of my many geeky claims to fame! ( No there is no alien technology inside, well not that we saw. )
When I was a cub-scout with the Shortstown pack back in the early 1980's. There was only about 15 of us and we got shown around the hangers for about 2 hours one evening. They had a full size 3 bedroom house built inside for testing fire alarms or something or other and it still looked absolutely tiny inside the huge hangers. They also showed us all the barrage/weather balloons and the new breed of airships they were working on at the time. Very cool for us kids who lived in the shadow of those hangers for many years.
Cardington Hangar 2 is currently being completely refurbished, large sections of the external skin have been removed and replaced if you fancied a look...
A visit to the other one is most likely going to give you a movie set or concert stage. The scenes of Gotham in the recent batman films were made there...
Indeed. I ran a pub in the nearby village of Blunham when they were filming BATMAN BEGINS at the hangars. One of our customers had a commercial laundry business. As well as washing the (then) Jordan F1 pit crew overalls, she was doing the laundry for the GCPD (Gotham City Police Department). Who knew what laundry could be such a COOL profession! :)
Also worth mentioning is that Gotham's Dark Knight has other local connections. Just a few miles away is St Neots (where I hail from originally). There is a gas turbine power station on the southern edge of that town, built on the site of an old coal-fired station that was demolished in the 80's.
The derelict buildings of the old, demolished facility was used as a location shoot for the AXIS Chemicals factory scenes in the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton BATMAN movie.
I was lucky enough to have a look around one of the high bays in the VAB last year. It's pretty awe-inspiring, it just goes up and up and up. It has hefty air-con in there, so no longer has it's own weather - I believe that only happened when it was first built.
One of the more amusing things is a big yellow angled line painted on the floor: When they picked the shuttle orbiter up in the initial prep area, they need to fit it through the gap in the wall to the high bay next door where the stack is assembled. For traditional tube shaped rocket, fitting them through the gap was no problem, but the orbiter obviously has wings that stick out: To get know when it was angled correctly to fit through the gap the simple rotated it until it's wings lined up with the line painted on the ground.
It is cool they were able to erect it in just a couple of weeks. At that pace you could have one of these knocked up before your neighbors even realized what you were doing.
Also, in the last picture, the large building off to the right has three large circles on the roof, what do you reckon caused them?
Great article. Took me right back to 1985 when, as a 17 year old, I did two weeks work experience at Express Lifts in Northampton. In between wiring up lift controllers on the shop floor we were proudly taken up the, then new, tower. The most fascinating part was a pendulum mounted at the top that appeared to be swinging from side to side. In fact it was stationary and the tower itself was moving in the wind!
I was lucky enough to go up the tower when I used to work for Express in the early nineties, very nice view from the top.
The main lift all the way to the top was a nice shaky affair though.....
Express Lifts was actually brought by Otis, Evans lifts was already owned by them and the new joint company was Express Evans based in Leicester.
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