For most of my life I’ve never really known what Braintree could be famous for. It’s my home town. About the only thing that ever happened to Braintree was many years ago, when a girl on holiday married a local Turkish lad that she met out there. Fleetingly, Braintree was in the national news. And then it went again, never to return.
Braintree is an unremarkable town. For a long time there’s been nothing unique about it. But not any more.
On Friday, early for a visit with family and with a sleeping son in his buggy, I went for a wander around the town. I did more than one circuit, crossing over my route and finding the old alleyways that crisscross the town. And herein lies Braintree’s unique selling point – its gants.
Yes, Braintree is the only place in the UK that calls its alleys gants, apparently from the Flemish language. There are about 8 in the town with the best named being ‘Pig’s head in the Pottage Pot Gant’. But my favourite spot, at one end of Bailey’s Gant, was a bench. Inscribed not with a memorial to a former townsfolk, the inscription instead said “Breastfeeding is the perfect takeaway”.
Janathon stats: 7,885 steps