Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Apex of lunchtime walking

27th Feb 2018

I decided to walk to 'The Apex'. A brown tower block, a clearly visible landmark  from the train window every morning. It looked like a regular block of flats but for the brown chimney-like edifice on the front bearing it's name. In large plastic letters in a typeface from an earlier age. From the train I'd imagined it as the headquarters of some sort of bizarre state organisation. The Avengers, The Men from UNCLE, that sort of thing.

Psychogeography, Peterbrough, Towerblock

The Apex was at the limits of the distance I could travel in a lunchtime (without resorting to running or walking too fast). On route I passed a disused/up for sale police station in a brown block building (60s?). The words 'Police' and 'Peterbrough' visible above the door in spectral form. A sign of austere times perhaps, a retreat from the beat.

By contrast, just the other side of the river, the 'Fletton Quays ' development. Featuring 'high spec' flats as well as shops and a new Council Office. The computer generated mock up on the advert almost identical to those in almost identical developments elsewhere. Showing virtual reality well dressed professional types drinking coffee outside a poorly disguised Costa. And a man dressed in a gold suit and top hat, a human statue, looking like an alien ringmaster presiding over a circus of sterility. At least the word 'luxury' wasn't evident in the marketing, which is something I suppose.

I reached the Apex, not far away the other side of the main road. It seemed opposite to the new development, not just in proximity. I learned later that the building was formerly an office occupied by Emap, the publish/publication subscription service company. I remembered the name from working in a Government Department which purchased some obscure (and undoubtedly dull) publications from them. In around 2003, according to Skyscraper News, the building was sold for residential development. So no Avengers or Men from UNCLE. Unless in a 'private' capacity. Could a 'John Steed' be dwelling within? Or at least a radio ham, broadcasting and intercepting numbers stations from the top floor? I doubt I will ever know.

I made it back to work with 1 minute to spare.

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