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Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, Tuesday November 26th 1974

Burton Latimer’s Shops - 1974

Aerial photo of Burton Latimer from the south, 1974

If you said that Burton Latimer was two-faced you would be wrong. It is at least three-faced, if not four.

There is that quiet scene near the church where you could well imagine yourself in a well preserved village with the A6 a hundred miles away.

You could travel to its outskirts and see evidence there of expansion, growth and a modern setting for living.

You could visit its works and factories and realise that Burton has on its doorstep thriving firms that offer a good livelihood to residents and to many who come from other towns.

You could take a look at its main street, seeing much that is the same and much that has changed. Burton Latimer, more than many towns of its size, has kept pace with modern ideas.

There are buildings that have fringed the A6 for years, there are others, now serving a useful social or civic function.

It would seem that the best plan is to get above it and take a look down. That’s what the picture above does. When it was taken isn’t really important. If it was taken last week, there would have been some minor changes since then. If it was taken several years ago, it would still reveal the same pattern - the trunk road, Finedon Road, and all the streets running off them that are the heart of Burton Latimer. They are the hub from which the spokes lead to quite rural areas, the industrial scene, the new houses and the shops.

It is natural that a town that is so busy and has so many facets will be well provided with good shops.

One of the virtues of Burton’s shops is that most of them are to be found in a compact area – sufficiently spread to give you a pleasant walk as you shop and compact enough for you to be able to make all your purchases in a short time.

You might call Burton’s shopping area an open air supermarket, for all the goods you need will be available with in a comparatively small area.

Burton Latimer is just the right size – small enough for the independent shop to thrive, small enough for these to be a personal touch to your visit to a store, big enough to have enjoyed urban status for generations. (Now of course the urban status has given way to its new role as part of Kettering district).

Whatever changes the civic authorities have made, no matter what new status they may have given the town, Kettering can be warned that Burton won’t be easy to digest. It will retain its separate identity for a long time yet. And that means you will still be able to enjoy shopping in your own neighbourhood.

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