A mother and her daughter window shopping in Boots new store on the corner of Gold Street and Drapery, Northampton, on September 12, 1959

Looking Back: Good old-fashioned customer service and the friendly faces behind the counter

Before huge out-of-town shopping areas and the rise of the supermarkets stocking everything you could need, and more, the majority of shops were family-owned and operated.

The changing face of the 'High Street' and the future of town centre shopping has been at the forefront of many minds in recent years, as online shopping and purpose built retail parks attract people's spending power. Shop owners have always innovated bringing bigger, better, newer products to the public: modernisation of shopping has moved the items for sale from behind the counter onto the shop floor. Once hidden away in cardboard boxes and glass-fronted, wooden drawers, customers are now free to see the objects they desire, without any interference from a shop assistant. However, popping into a shop where a knowledgeable owner can help you find the exact thing you've been looking for, well that's still a priceless experience.

Shoppers make their way down Peacock Way in Northampton, December 23, 1966
Shoppers make their way down Peacock Way in Northampton, December 23, 1966
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J S Billingham bookshop, at 79 St Giles Street, Northampton, November 23, 1970.  established in 1896.The shop was filled with around 60,000 second hand and antique volumes

6. Relax with a good book

J S Billingham bookshop, at 79 St Giles Street, Northampton, November 23, 1970. established in 1896.The shop was filled with around 60,000 second hand and antique volumes
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Lawes hardware shop, on the corner of Wellingborough Road and Bostock Avenue, Northampton, November 23, 1970

7. Four candles or fork handles?

Lawes hardware shop, on the corner of Wellingborough Road and Bostock Avenue, Northampton, November 23, 1970
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John Lever in his record shop in Gold Street, Northampton, December 14, 1966

8. Record shop day

John Lever in his record shop in Gold Street, Northampton, December 14, 1966
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