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Rushden Echo, 17th September 1909, transcribed by Peter Brown
Hospital Parade at Higham Ferrers
A Big Effort for a Worthy Object - An Ideal Day’s Enjoyment

All roads led to Higham Ferrers on Saturday last, and it was quite as well that they did so; otherwise there would have been the biggest outbreak of trespassing ever known in the borough. From about 1 o’clock there was a constant stream of pedestrians and cyclists

Those who wended their way Higham-wards were attired in altogether unaccustomed garb, and it was evident to the most sophisticated visitor that something very unusual was in progress. Every now and then one would meet individuals decked out in most of the colours of the rainbow and a few not yet noticed in the heavenly arc. Here there was a knight in armour and there was Dick Turpin (minus Black Bess, but otherwise all correct). Coming along in the distance is seen a coster picnic party, with donkeys in trousers, and costers and their “ladies” in regulation toggery. A gigantic football, with legs of its own, wends its way along, what time a typical

“Old Clo’” Jew

Endeavours to induce all and sundry to purchase two waistcoats, warranted to fit anyone “lofely.” And still the crowd of visitors gets denser and denser every moment. No one needs to ask what it is all about, for all are aware that after other places have made their efforts for various worthy objects, the little but ancient borough, with no flourish of trumpets, but with quiet confidence, born of modesty and latent ability, had set to work to do what could be done for one of the worthiest of objects – Northampton general Hospital.

Higham Ferrers has perhaps taken its full share in the support of the Hospital but never before has there been a public effort like Saturday’s. And there was this great

Distinguishing Feature

about the effort – a feature which marks it out as very exceptional – Higham Ferrers had gone in to make the parade successful without any hope for benefit, direct or indirect. Most efforts for the Hospital are made with the express object of securing the distribution of letters to the people of the district concerned, and from the start the idea of the promoters at Higham Ferrers was to get up a parade for the sole benefit of the Hospital. This fact seemed, indeed, rather to increase than lessen the enthusiasm with which the promoters took up the affair, and it was evident, before a week had elapsed after the appointment of the committee, that the parade would be a huge success. How great that success would be from a spectacular point of view none foresaw, but so well did the townspeople respond to the appeal of the committee for prizes that all fear of a deficit was soon at an end. As a matter of fact, so well was the parade organised that before Saturday all the expenses were practically covered by the receipts, and the committee had the satisfaction of knowing that the money actually taken during the parade and at the sports would go almost intact to the Hospital funds.

Considering that only just a month elapsed between the meeting called by the Mayor (Ald. Owen Parker) and the parade, the success achieved is remarkable.

The Secret

is to be found, however, in the fact that the Mayor, who is never content to be a mere figure-head, threw himself with characteristic energy into the organisation of the function and was accorded thoroughly practical support by the hon secretaries (Messrs C W Smith and J O Eaton), the hon treasurer (Councillor A E Wright), and the following committee:- Ald T Patenall, Councillors E Brazier, J H Johnson, A Pack, C W Perkins, A E Walker, Messrs F Joseph Simpson, W Beeby, C W Bates, F Browning, A Colton, C R Colton, A A Colton, W Dickenson, T Draper, K Flintham, A Frost, L Garley, C Gomm, A O Groome, G Horne, E H Horrell, G Hunt, J Humphries, J Ireson, W Lawrence, J Miller, T H Parker, J B Partridge, H R Patenall, G Randall, J W Randall, W Richardson, A Stokes, R P Saxby, J E Smith, M Tinston and F Twelvetree.

The Higham Ferrers Cycle Parade - Some Smart Turn-Outs

From photographs taken by Mr Cyril Desborough, Rushden

Mr J W Bright, a mineral water manufacturer, of Church Street, Rushden, whose turn-out was very effective.

The First Prize Winner - in Class 2, for the best tradesmen’s turn-outs – Mr W Brown, dairyman, whose exhibit was much admired.

Mr P J Deighton, potato merchant, High Street, Rushden,
whose turn-out was admired by everyone.

Mr J H Nunley, coal, coke, salt, and cake merchants of
Higham Ferrers, whose turn-out was exceedingly smart.
Messrs H Thompson and Son, family butchers, Higham Ferrers.
The smart appearance of this turn-out attracted great attention.

To say that the effort was

A Huge Success

is expressing the fact in the baldest manner. Nothing like the procession has ever been seen in the district before except at Rushden recently, and many Rushden visitors to Higham Ferrers on Saturday offered the opinion that the Higham procession was easily first. On Saturday, following the line of least resistance, which meant following the crowd, one arrived at Mr Horrell’s field on the Midland Road, where one of the most gorgeous displays of talent, artistic and otherwise, was gathered together. Here was to be noted signs of the good organisation which was a marked feature of the parade. All round the field the competitors ranged themselves in their respective classes, and when all were in place the spectacle was very imposing.

At two o’clock

The Judging

Of the various competitions for get-up etc was proceeded with, and proved a difficult task owing to the large number of entries in some of the classes. The work was, however, well carried out by the following ladies and gentlemen:-

Judges for parade:- Classes 1 and 7 – Messrs A O Groome, H R Patenall, J E Smith.

Class 2 – Messrs K Flintham, T Patenall and F Joseph Simpson.

Class 3 and 6 – The Mayoress, Mrs T Patenall and Mrs F J Simpson.

Class 4 and 10 – Messrs W H Simpson, F Brazier, G Horne and J W Randall.

Classes 5 and 8 – Miss Sanders, The Mayor, and Mr W Spong.

Class 9 – Mrs F Brazier, Mrs R Elintham, Mrs E H Horrell, and Mrs H R Patenall.

Class 11 – Messrs W Beeby, A E Wright, and Dr D Crew.

Fire Brigade Competition – Capt A G Henfrey (Finedon) and 2nd Officer Corby (Bedford); timekeeper Mr T Draper.

Sports – Handicappers, Messrs A A Colton, T Draper, W Dickenson, and W Richardson; judges, Messrs T H Parker and A A Colton; starter, Mr W Dickenson.

The Parade

Immediately after the judging, the competitors were marshalled into processional order by Messrs K Flintham, A O Groome, E H Horrell, J Ireson, H R Patenall, G Randall, F J Simpson, and A E Walker. Then headed by the Town Band they paraded the town, the route being as follows:- Wood Street, High Street, Wellingborough Road, Thrift Street, Westfields Avenue, Milton Street, School Lane, Market Square, College Street, York Street, Grove Street. Many of the residences and places of business on the line of the march were prettily decorated with flags and streamers, and lines of bunting were stretched across High Street, thus considerably enhancing the general effect.

The Order of Procession

was as follows:- Higham Ferrers Town Band; Fire Brigades including Higham Brigade on the manual engine; cycle clubs; tradesmen’s turnouts; ladies’ decorated cycles; Higham Nursing Association van, representing an accident ward; comic get-ups; ladies’ get-ups; Rushden Rifle Band; Ambulance Corps; Irthlingborough Boy Scouts; Higham Boys’ Life Brigade and Higham Church Lads’ Brigade; Rushden Nursing Sisters’ Van; historic characters; groups of ladies; Shoe Operatives’ Union car; Higham Co-operative Society’s van; novel get-ups (without cycles); Higham Ferrers B W T A; Rushden Mission Band; Friendly Societies; Rushden Boy Scouts.

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