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I live in Kettering, Northamptonshire, England, which is a small market town situated about 81 miles (130 km) from London. Kettering is mainly situated on the west side of the River Ise, a tributary of the River Nene which meets at Wellingborough. Originally named Cytringan, Kyteringas and Keteiringan in the 10th century, the name Kettering is now taken to mean 'the place (or territory) of Ketter's people (or kinsfolk)'.

 

The present town grew up in the 19th century with the development of the boot and shoe industry, for which Northamptonshire as a whole became famous. Many large homes in both the Headlands and Rockingham Road were built for factory owners while terraced streets provided accommodation for the workers. The industry has markedly declined since the 1970s, large footwear manufacturers such as Dolcis, Freeman, Hardy and Willis, Frank Wright and Timpsons, having left the town or closed down in the face of stiff overseas competition, while others have outsourced their production to lower-cost countries. Only two smaller footwear businesses remain.

 

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