Incentives for going shopping

Fenny Stratford historian John Taylor
Fenny Stratford historian John Taylor

It’s happened again!

Another “customer assistant”, another “Have you got a Nectar card?”

Oh the shame.

Pray that the shopping gods may gaze upon me with lenience, for I am bereft of such a passport to earthly treasures.

And apparently, if I save the points then in four years or so I could qualify for a nice china tea pot – or I could just pop down to Tesco after work tomorrow.

Yes, the incentives for shopping!

In fact as a sprog I well remember traipsing down with my mother to the Co-op store in Fenny Stratford – now a convenience store – for the sole purpose of accumulating the “divi”.

And forever will the membership number will be etched upon my memory – 10936.

Then came supermarkets and “trading stamps”; perhaps Green Shield being the best remembered.

But the only acquaintance I ever made was due to my mate’s girlfriend’s dad, who was a security guard at the company’s headquarters – I can’t remember if it was Edgeware or Ealing.

For at an age when passion over rode discomfort this entailed several commutes on the back of my friend’s MZ250 motorbike, to dally with the beloved and her friends.

As for local supermarkets it was in 1960 that Fine Fare opened in Bletchley (Empire Peaches, usually 2s 9d, now only 2s2d) followed in 1964 by Elmo, which lured the punters with Gold Bond stamps.

But nowadays of course it’s loyalty cards, which it seems help to get very little!