Fond memories of a reception at Bobby’s

A friend has sent me a cutting from your edition of March 25 in which you invite people to contact you who remember Bobby’s.

I went one step further than afternoon tea. On July 17 1965 we held our wedding reception in Bobby’s function room. The biggest downside I recall was that there were too many entrances which led to one particular friend, who’d had to dash home between church and reception, missing out because she’d gone to the wrong entrance and no one there knew anything about a wedding reception

Other than that and the fact that my mother was convinced that one tier of the cake had gone AWOL and when I changed to go away one slip did disappear among the trimmings, it was a lovely setting for an excellent meal and a more intimate gathering, given that we were not exactly catering for an army!

We had left the area by the time of the store’s demise as Bobby’s and I was very sad to hear of its eventual closure as it had been a lovely store to shop in and one my mother frequently patronised (as she did Grey’s, Francis’, Burgis & Colbourne and Woodward’s, each for a specific type of purchase!).

I was, however, surprised to read of B & C being considered more upmarket, as I wouldn’t have rated it quite such a ‘posh’ shop at the time, especially as I actually worked there for several years.

The most snobby was Woodward’s (my working life there was very short-lived - I didn’t fit the mould!), with possibly Francis’ being at the other end of the scale, perhaps more to do with its location than anything else.

I’ve since lived near or visited towns without a department store of any kind and for me personally, even when the ‘old school’ like Bobby’s are thin on the ground, a town just isn’t a town without a big store to browse round and often to pick up that special gift or come across some unexpected treasure. - Dr P. Batstone, Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire

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