Redefining Optimum Logistics Solutions

Lock GatesWe spent quite few hours on the motorway last week and the thing about sitting in slow moving traffic is that every truck and van seems to offer solutions to problems you never knew you had.

Most seem to be about shifting things from A to B that we used to know as ‘haulage’ but is now called ‘logistics’, presumably because it makes the company sound vaguely military and efficient.

We decided that ‘redefining optimum logistics solutions’ would be the perfect strapline for such a company until I realised that our ‘imagineering’ was in vain. There really is one called Optimum Logistic Solutions, although they are in America so don’t really count..

Another I liked was Eco-wipers Solutions. I’m not sure what an eco-wiper is or whether the solution is an answer to a problem or a cleaning fluid, but it kept us guessing for a while.

BargewareMy favourite though wasn’t some corporate gobbledegook, but the name of an in-line silencer manufacturer that simply call themselves Shush. Perfect don’t you think?

But we hadn’t got ourselves stuck on the motorway to go jargonese spotting. The ‘we’ in question were me, Mrs P and friend Bridget and we headed for Northamptonshire to see Ant and Marj who were over from America.

We hadn’t seen them since we stayed in Las Vegas last year, although there have been email and phone calls, but it was if we picked up the conversation where we left off.

SmithyThe photos come from a stroll along the Grand Union Canal at Stoke Bruerne which was very pleasant. Well at least until we came across the blacksmith next to the Blisworth tunnel.

We stepped inside to look at the various bits of decorative ironware he had on sale (and very nice they were too) then Mrs P and Marj got into conversation while I stepped outside again with my camera.

As I clicked away I could hear what was being said inside and what a tale of woe it was from the smithy. I won’t go into detail, but let’s say he didn’t enjoy the happiest of childhoods and after twenty minutes he hadn’t got beyond his junior school days.

Blacksmith's DoorHis misery trundled on through his adult life and then Mrs P made the mistake of saying: ‘But you’re happy now.’ He wasn’t for all sorts of domestic reasons.

Mrs P attempted to lighten his spirits by pointing out that a least he had a nice leather pinny before beating a retreat wishing she’s heeded the warning sign on the door.

And so we made our way back to The Navigation for a pleasant lunch before our final farewells and the joys of the M1 and M6 on a Friday afternoon for some corporate jargon spotting.

Canal SignBut I wanted to leave you with the photo on the right which shows a canal side sign dated 1820, although you can’t see that here.

The interesting thing for me was that it points to Etruria 16 miles to the north. This had me scratching my head and wondering whether this was the old Roman name for place that might be more familiar to me, but that wasn’t the answer.

There is indeed a suburb of Stoke-on-Trent called Etruria. It is where Josiah Wedgewood founded his fourth pottery works in 1769 and named by him after the Etruscan people who were renowned for their artistic products.

So now you know.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

2 comments… Add yours
  • Vulcan Pudding 13th August 2013

    Oh dear – that blacksmith! Sounds as if his glass wasn’t just half empty but smashed to smithereens on his imperfect and badly-designed anvil. I also suspect he was one of those people you find yourself listening to and then afterwards you realise he hadn’t asked anything about you! Not bloody interested.

  • Trevor Rowley 13th August 2013

    My family history on my father’s side is firmly rooted in the Potteries area of North Staffordshire and I remember several trips by train, when I was a boy, for family weddings and, of course, funerals. I was always fascinated by the name Etruria whenever we passed through the station there – it does sound rather grand and futuristic compared to the grey and industrial area it was situated in. Returning home on one occasion in the early evening, we left the centre of Stoke behind and headed north. As we passed through Etruria station the sky was dark and cloudy but this had to be contrasted to the pottery kilns we were completely surrounded by on each side of the track – each one belched out flames and smoke into the night sky. An eerie experience for a young boy given that I had never seen such a sight before. I can’t imagine that much of those pottery kilns has survived into this millenium.


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