Friday, March 22, 2019

Thomas Cook turns its back on Market Harborough

The Thomas Cook company website tells this story:
On 9 June 1841 a 32-year old cabinet-maker named Thomas Cook walked from his home in Market Harborough to the nearby town of Leicester to attend a temperance meeting. 
A former Baptist preacher, Thomas Cook was a religious man who believed that most Victorian social problems were related to alcohol and that the lives of working people would be greatly improved if they drank less and became better educated. 
As he walked along the road to Leicester, he later recalled, 'the thought suddenly flashed across my mind as to the practicability of employing the great powers of railways and locomotion for the furtherance of this social reform'.
All of which makes today's announcement from the company a shame.

Because its branch in St Mary's Place, Market Harborough, is one of 21 shops it is going to close, with a loss of 320 jobs.

At least Cook will still be remembered in town by this plaque above the entrance to Quakers Yard in Adam and Eve Street. That was where he was living when he had his great idea in 1841.

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