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1951 & 1952 Census Reports

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 6th April, 1951, transcribed by Gill Hollis

People Take Kindly to The Census
5,500 schedules out in Rushden

Who is the busiest man in Rushden and district at present? It would be fairly safe to assume that the man is the local Registrar, Mr. A. J. Sturgess, who, together with his small “army” of enumerators, is working overtime on the first census that has taken place for twenty years.

For well over four months Mr. Sturgess has been working in preparation for the census. He has had many headaches, but previous experience – he has handled two other counts – has made things considerably easier for him.

Mr. Sturgess’s area covers Rushden, Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough, Raunds, Stanwick, Chelveston-cum-Caldecott, Irchester, Hargrave, Easton Maudit, Strixton, Wollaston, Grendon, Bozeat and Newton Bromshold.

That territory which is part of the Wellingborough Parliamentary area, has had to be split into districts of roughly 250 houses each. To work the districts, which number 53, the enumerators take over and deliver a schedule to each household.


Rushden is a Registrar’s nightmare. It is most difficult to split into suitably sized districts because it has two ecclesiastical parishes, three wards and also a civil parish boundary, and none of these areas may be fused in the breaking-up process.

Of the 53 districts under Mr. Sturgess, Rushden alone contains 22, and that means that there are roughly 5,500 houses in the town to be visited by the enumerators. They had from Saturday until yesterday to get out the schedules, but have only one day – Monday – to get them in. Consequently a great deal depends on the householder, who should study his (or her) form carefully and have it ready to hand to the enumerator when he calls.

Commenting on the progress of the work so far, Mr. Sturgess said: “Things are going excellently and it looks like being a very successful enumeration. Everything has gone according to plan, and the people are being very co-operative.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 18th July 1952, transcribed by Gill Hollis

34,400 County Homes Have No Bath
Census details

The truth of that saying that “one half of the world doesn’t know how the other half lives” is borne out by census details now being published.

Here are a few of the facts that surprise us:

Out of Northamptonshire’s 76,600 households, 4,000 are sharing dwellings with other families.

Over 13,900 households in the county have no piped water, and 4,500 households have to share piped water with other families.

There are 9,000 Northamptonshire families with no kitchen sink, and 1,600 with no cooking stove.

Families having to share both kitchen sink and cooking stove with other families total 2,600.

There are no water closets in 13,900 Northamptonshire homes, and 4,200 families have to share a w.c. with another family.

Over 34,400 homes in the county have no fixed bath, and 1,900 families locally have to share a fixed bath with another family.

No Kitchen Sink

These figures show that 47 in every hundred households in Northamptonshire are without exclusive use of fixed bath, 24 per cent do not enjoy exclusive use of piped water or water closet, 15 per cent have no kitchen sink of their own, and five per cent no cooking stove of their own.

The 1951 census divided the population up into five social classes.

Northamptonshire’s 90,900 males of over 15 years of age include 2,200 in class one (administrators, directors, clergy, solicitors, doctors, engineers, architects, and – believe it or not – journalists).

The county has 15,200 adult males in class two (farmers, managers, station masters, proprietors of retail business, nurses, teachers, publicans).

Biggest Class

There are 49,800 in class three (workers in engineering and allied trades, most jobs in the shoe trade, makers of textile goods, many railwaymen and road transport employees, clerks, typists and bookmakers).

There are 16,800 in Northamptonshire in class four (farm workers, firemen, ticket collectors, coal hawkers, barmaids, window cleaners).

The county has 6,900 adult males in class five (mostly unskilled workers, kitchen hands, warehouse assistants, hawkers, messengers, porters, labourers).

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