Apparently there are only about 70 licensed sex shops in the UK. Well, at least three of them are along the Wellingborough (or “Welly”) Road in Northampton, which may explain why the chavs breed so fast there.
There aren’t any interesting jobs in Northampton; most people work for Barclaycard or other boring service companies. Therefore a good range of pubs and bars has sprung up so that call centre drones can drink themselves into oblivion as soon as they fight their way through the traffic jams. Again, the Welly Road is the epicentre of Northampton’s drinking culture, with pubs you’re best advised not even to walk past for fear of being stabbed and others which are more benignly chavvy like the SPP (Sir Pickering Phipps). On Friday night the Welly Road is the main cruising strip for clapped-out XR3s and Novas with big stereos, underage passengers and spotty chav drivers. Thoughtfully the council have built a one-way loop at the town centre end and the Abington Park end so chavs can easily change direction without having to negotiate tight roundabouts in their spliffed-up state. The serious-drinking chavs can hang out in St Giles’ churchyard, although there’s a slight risk of bumping into the resident goths who can still buy black lacy clothes from The Black Rose (although goodness knows where they get the patchouli oil these days).
The spiritual home of the Northampton chav is the Weston Favell shopping centre, which despite already having an enormous Tesco Extra has also attracted a new Lidl just outside, like a fly to a bucket of shite. Look for the stylish plastic “tubes” across Lumbertubs Way – probably constructed to discourage chavs dropping bricks on passing cars – and marvel at the crazy escalators designed for trolleys as well as pedestrians. The whole place smells of fags and joss-sticks, a bit like a student bedroom, and there’s a car accessory shop in the basement where you can chav up your Nova.
Ultimately though, Northampton isn’t that bad in absolute terms. It’s not far from Milton Keynes, Corby or Luton, and the chavitational forces created by those circles of hell help to attract a goodly proportion of the Three Counties chavs away from Northampton.