My dog Herbie was browsing his weekly copy of the ‘Woofbags Times’ when he froze in amazement. For there in a piece about the impact of migrants on Wisbech was the sentence; “Latvian shops, with 40 types of sausages...”
By ’eck, did I have a job trying to convince him it was much too far to go walkies. But of course nowadays in this multicultural society the foreign influx is everywhere, and even Bletchley has a shop selling Polish delicacies. Indeed Britain has always absorbed migrants and refugees, such as following the Spanish invasion of the Netherlands in 1563 when Flemish refugees fled to Bedfordshire and north Bucks. Their lacemaking styles and skills were then copied by local workers, and so began an extensive trade. This was bought by lace buyers travelling the villages, as first mentioned in the parish register on June 17, 1638.
In more recent times during the First World War a house in Church Street, Fenny Stratford, gave shelter to Belgians fleeing German oppression; ironically one of them had been in the German Army at the time but was forced to flee because of his Jewish ancestry in the Second World War. He then became the school dentist!
Today many of the local warehouses employ quite a cosmopolitan workforce. In fact somewhat strange for persons of my generation, since during the Cold War many such countries were part of the Eastern Bloc and therefore regarded as a national threat. But all the nationalities now seem to rub along without any problems. And as Herbie says: “Just be happy - have a sausage.”