The Rushden Echo & Argus, 20th August, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Still Proud of It’s Fire Service
Anniversary Parade Brings Tribute from Council Chairman
Twelve firewomen – practically identical with the team which heads the C. Division in squad drill efficiency – were among the 120 personnel of the Rushden N.F.S. Station who paraded on Wednesday evening for a civic inspection and the reading of Mr. Herbert Morrison’s anniversary message.
In the column which marched from Newton-road to Spencer Park the leading position was given to part-time firemen in full uniform, the firewomen came next, and then a big group of firemen in boiler suits – the more recent recruits.
At Spencer Park the ranks stood to attention under the command of Company Officer A. P. Timpson, while Mr. A. F. Weale, Chairman of the Rushden Urban Council, read out the Order of the Day. The Chairman was accompanied by Couns. J. Allen, A. H. Bailey, T. W. Cox, J. E. Dilks, J. George, F. Green, J.P., J. T. Richardson, J.P., W. J. Sawford, T. J. Swindall and H. Waring, with the Chief Financial Officer, Mr. E. W. Williams.
In a short address Coun. Weale said he would like to take the opportunity of thanking the N.F.S. members for their efficiency and for all the service they had already given in the town. He spoke for the whole of the Council when he said that in every respect they were proud of the service that was being given.
The aim of the N.F.S., as it should be in every other service, was 100 per cent efficiency, and he was pleased to see the general smartness in appearance of all members on parade. They had been equipped magnificently with all the modern appliances that it was possible to give them, and he felt certain they would make themselves conversant with it so that if the opportunity came they would be able to deal energetically and efficiently with anything that might transpire.
Rushden people had always been proud of their Fire Service, and they could look back many years to the men who in season or out of season were always ready when the call of duty came. To those men they owed much, and it was up to the N.F.S. members to maintain their high tradition.
Times changed, and the old volunteer brigade had to be suspended. It reminded them that war was a great taskmaster and, he thought they could say, a great task-finder, for it had given every able-bodied man and woman a task to perform.
During the last 18 months they had seen a vast change in the war. Up to that time the Allies were standing on the defensive, but from then on they had been on the offensive. Things had been going well, and the near future might see great events happening which would shake our enemies to the very firmament. In the meantime all must be prepared to do every duty which might come to them.
The Local Link
After his address Coun. Weale walked up and down the lines, escorted by C/O Timpson.
Thanking Mr. Weale and the other councillors, C/O Timpson said the occasion showed that there was still a link between the local authorities and the Fire Service – a strong one, he hoped.
People often asked him whether, when the war was over, they would revert back to the old local brigades. He could not answer that question, but he was sure that under any circumstances the standard of service would be a high one.
Among those watching the ceremony, which concluded with a march-past, were Mr. W. L. Beetenson, ex-Clerk to the Council, and Police Inspector R. E. Valentine.
Rushden’s Smart N.F.S. Girls
Top of Division and Fourth in Area
Many times praised for its smartness in public parades, the Rushden team of N.F.S. firewomen was placed fourth on Saturday in an area squad drill competition at Leicester. Though the Rushden girls were the only part-time team among the best squads of the large No. 9 area, they were only six marks behind the winners – the Area Headquarters team from Leicester. The maximum number of marks was 220.
Rushden competed by virtue of winning the “C” Division competition at Thrapston on Thursday week, when their rivals included Kettering and Peterborough. The team comprised 12 firewomen, who are under the control of Company Officer A. P. Timpson but have no woman officer at their own station.