In the early days, plants, fruit and vegetables could be bought from cottages which had land behind them and from nurseries dotted around – the last of these was La Retraite. Where did you or your parents buy their fresh food during this time?

There are several parades of shops in Blackfen, away from the central shopping area, including at Days Lane/Fen Grove, Blackfen Road/Boundary Road and at Blackfen Road near Blendon. These have played an important part in serving the community from the 1930s.

Some shops have existed for many years, such as the Homepride and Copelands, while other premises have a long history behind them, such as the Co-op (formerly Safeways, built on the site of the demolished cinema).

Some shops were opened in the front rooms of houses and have since reverted to residences. Do you remember these? Do you remember the characters who ran the shops?

Do you have memories of any particular shops that you used regularly or of the shop keepers that ran them?