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Peggy Strickland (nee Harris) 2004

Harris's Stores

The family and I came to Rushden in 1942 from London, to escape the Blitz, intending to stay only for a week-end. However we loved it so much that we never went back!

My Father found a run down shop on the high causeway High Street South, in Rushden and bought it. He put in new counters and opened it up as a grocery store. It was at a time when everything was rationed so it wasn't easy to get supplies for the shop. My father used to make his own ice-cream; he had previously won a Diploma at the Olympia in 1937, which according to the queues that used to form, was extremely popular. We also turned the upstairs front room of the shop into a cafe, making home-made pies and cakes, with very limited ingredients.

The majority of our customers were soldiers from the 14th/19th Hussars who were billeted in a big house at the top of Crabb Street. It took all the morning to bake the cakes, but not so long for the soldiers to eat them! The shop by the way was called "Harris's Stores" - I wonder if anyone remembers it?

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