As a child of the 60’s, John Wills grew up in the small East Northamptonshire town of Rushden, where he was able to witness the slow decline of the traditional town centre shopping.
John was able to experience this decline first hand, working in his small family department store – Wills of Rushden. Founded by his Grandfather in 1935, selling Gowns, Mantles & Millinery – in its heyday, it was sometimes referred to as the “Harrods of the North” although it was perhaps more in the style of “Grace Brothers” from the 1970’s sitcom – “Are you being served”.
On 24th August 2010, Wills of Rushden closed their doors for the final time, and at the age of 53, John found himself unemployed with no formal qualifications to offer to the real world.
After a brief spell as a care home administrator, followed by 2 years in the wood-burning stove trade, he now works for as a Service Coordinator in the construction hoist industry.
In November 2014 John moved with his wife, Vivienne to the village of Titchmarsh, and was soon invited to join the committee of the Village Shop.
In 2016, he became Chairman of the Titchmarsh Community Shop which had been running since September 2007.
This community shop is currently planning its “10 Year Anniversary” celebrations.