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Peta Jellis 2007
Peta Jellis - An "Incomer"

1962 Advert in the Operatic Society's programme
An advert from 1953

My husband was born and bred in Bedford but in 1972 when we married, we couldn’t afford a house in Bedfordshire so bought a bungalow in Rushden.  The contrast between the 2 towns, separated only by only 15 miles, could not have been greater!  I spent some of my childhood in Yorkshire , and I was immediately reminded of Leeds and Halifax , with terraced houses and factories at the bottom of the road, but thankfully, without the dirty chimneys of Yorkshire .  Even the accent of those born and bred in the area seemed to have a northern “twang” and was very different from that in Bedfordshire.

Initially I was very frustrated with Rushden!  Saxbys used to close for lunch on a Saturday and there was no supermarket where I could do my weekly shop so I continued to do this in Bedford on a Friday evening.  We really used Rushden as somewhere to sleep and travelled to Bedford for entertainment and shopping.  I can remember complaining about the lack of amenities to a lady who was probably in her early 50s.  She said that she enjoyed shopping in Rushden as the shop assistants  took time to be helpful and she really wanted to be waited on in a more genteel manner than suffer the rush and tear of larger shopping complexes.  I was only 26 at the time and really didn’t understand what she was talking about.  Now at 61, I know exactly what she meant, and would never consider going into Bedford , Northampton or Milton Keynes for any shopping.  True, Rushden shopping facilities have improved over the years but the old-fashioned politeness and willingness to help of the shop assistants has endured and I know just where to go “up the Street” to get anything I require.

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