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Retford (noun): A small town somewhere really obscure in the North of Nottinghamshire, surrounded by lots of quaint little villages. It has the very bad fortune to fall under the Doncaster postcode. There is a market every Thursday and Saturday, with a flea market on Fridays, but that's not very interesting. Nobody famous has come from there, but Mike Reid off Eastenders used to have a house in nearby Sutton-cum-Lound, which is not bad. It is one of the few towns in the country to have a railway line going in each direction on the compass, which did of course mean that during the '60s, Retford was a haven for trainspotters and Trekkies. I should know - my parents are from here. The nearest cinema is 20 minutes' drive away, which means that life in Retford can get pretty dull. Not quiet, as in a small village might be quiet, just dull. Retford is in the district of Bassetlaw, which nobody from outside there has ever heard of. Even some people who live in it don't know what it means. Many moons ago, Retford was in a battle with nearby town Worksop, as to who got the Bassetlaw offices. Worksop lost. They got the Bassetlaw offices. This means that Retford is substantially smaller than Retford, which is not fair because Worksop is a shithole. But then Retford isn't wonderful either. There's quite a good school called the Elizabethan (I'm a student there - plug, plug) and loads of quaint little shops in the high street. OK, WHSmith. There is no McDonald's here (unless you count the one in Markham Moor, which is 10 miles away and yet is still known as the Retford branch), which means that there is no food. The recent addition of Morrison's supermarket (together with a massive free car park) has revived the town somewhat. By that I mean that there is now mass traffic congestion on Amcott Way and people are afraid to get in their cars. There is a cycle lane, which manages to take up half of the main road, and so people find it incredibly difficult to drive down there without losing a few wing mirrors. I wouldn't mind so much, but only two people in Retford's 23,000-strong population actually use their bicycles. So, in summary, if you ever find yourself driving through Retford, go STRAIGHT through.

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