Monday, 20 February 2012

Place name of the week

We took the offspring to a birthday party for one of his friends at the weekend. The venue was Berzerk (Northampton's Premier Children's Activity Centre, it says here).  Berzerk is a large example of your standard children's soft play area, a padded assault course where the wee ones can climb, slide, swing and dive, shrieking and chortling into ball pools, all housed in a big profiled steel shed on an industrial estate. It did more or less what it said on the tin, and satisfied its target demographic, with a party meal of chicken nuggets being served up to replenish the party goers after their gleeful berserker rampages.

The kids also got to meet the Face of Berzerk, Barney the Bear. Unfortunately, visibility from the bear suit was quite limited, so Barney had to be led around by assistants, like a frail invalid, in order to avoid the health and safety nightmare of mowing  down the swarms of unseen small people darting across his path. With no opportunity to safely caper about like a football mascot, or do anything remotely active or entertaining, Barney just waved limply and was duly ignored by all the children he was intended to thrill.

As an adult, the best thing about Berzerk (apart from the entertaining spectacle of Barney The Bear failing to whoop up an audience) is its location. It's in a district of Northampton that goes by the rather wonderful name of Lumbertubs. Lumbertubs - sheer bloody poetry, right up there with Six Mile Bottom. British place names, I love you all! I recently found out that there's a place called Kemeys Inferior near Newport, Gwent, a location that cries out for a leisure complex of its own. Or some kind of complex, anyhow...