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Chipping Norton Bliss

Chipping Norton, my local town, is something of an  anomaly in the Cotswolds.  It’s very much a working town whereas many of the Cotswold centres of commerce rely heavily upon tourism for their trade.  Politically, it is a Labour enclave surrounded by the most conservative and Conservative Tory constituencies.  Environmentally it differs too – Its common land – wide, green, open public spaces held for posterity – reach deep into the town centre: it is not unusual to see cattle grazing within a few hundred yards of the main shopping streets.  The Common also frames Chipping Norton’s most iconic and photographed view, the Bliss Tweed Mill.  Seen in its peaceful setting today it is difficult to remember that its history has been quite turbulent. Bliss Tweed Mill today viewed from across the Common In the early hours of Wednesday 7 th  February 1872 fire was  discovered on the fourth floor of the mill.  By the time the blaze was brought under control the whole building had been destroyed a

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