Artwork maps out district tube plan

Amazing...architect John Fowkes' tube map of the Welland Valley (John Fowkes Architects 01664 820489)

Amazing...architect John Fowkes' tube map of the Welland Valley (John Fowkes Architects 01664 820489)

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DON’T get too excited – Harborough district isn’t about to be dug up to create an underground transport system just yet.

This incredible tube map of the Welland Valley is actually the brainchild of architect John Fowkes.

From Brixworth in the south to Gaulby in the north, Bringhurst in the east to Broughton Astley in the west, the underground system links villages across the area.

The only major settlement that appears to have been missed off the fictional map is Lutterworth – though commuters could always take a bus from one of the tube stations at Gilmorton or Claybrooke.

The map features the River Welland and Grand Union Canal and puts major junctions in Harborough town centre, Braybrooke and East Langton.

Smaller touches not immediately obvious include the addition of a “tractor link” taking would-be travellers across Great Easton.

This is the fourth such map created by Mr Fowkes, after maps based on the Vale of Belvoir, where he is based, Rutland and The Lizard in Cornwall.

“First I get a map out and pin-point all the villages, then it is about linking them together in straight lines,” he said.

Like Beck’s invention, the map does not necessarily reflect the geography of the district, but the relative positions of stations along each line.

“Harry Beck’s map has been copied by every city in the whole world and these are basically the same idea,” added Mr Fowkes,

“People buy them because they like to see their village on the map. They prove quite good Christmas presents.”

The maps are on sale at Wistow Gallery at the Wistow Rural Centre, priced £60 framed, or £40 unframed.

Customers can also personalise the maps at no extra charge to include up to three extra stations

Gallery owner Kate Foster said: “They make fantastic gifts and are especially popular with or for men.”