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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 15th February, 1952, transcribed by Jim Hollis
King mourned in Rushden and Higham

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Echo & Argus 15 Feb 1952
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At two o’clock this afternoon a siren will sound at Rushden and in a two-minute silence the townspeople will turn their thoughts to the late King George as his cortege proceeds to the funeral at Windsor.

Machinery will be stopped in the factories, and streets already quietened by the closing of shops will be brought to a hush as traffic comes to a halt.

A second siren note will indicate the close of the tribute.

Other acts of homage and sympathy will make the afternoon in keeping with the nation’s sorrow. Shops are to close from 1 to 3 p.m., and schools have arranged services. Many routine engagements are cancelled or postponed.

Arrangements for Higham Ferrers are similar.

At Higham Parish Church there will be special services this morning and afternoon and a united commemoration in the evening which will be attended by the Mayor (Ald. J. W. Barker) and the Corporation. A memorial service is to be held at the Methodist Church on Sunday.

Rushden will have two united services to-night – in St. Mary’s Church at 7.30 and in the Park Road Baptist Church at 7.45.

Local proclamations of Queen Elizabeth’s succession took place last Friday.

Soon after midday the proclamation was read by the Rushden Urban Council chairman (Ald. C. G. Faulkner).


Council members and officers, with ministers of the churches, stood before the main entrance to the Council Buildings, and the road junction opposite was filled with townspeople. There were several ranks of boys and girls from the schools and the young voices were prominent in the singing of “O God our help in ages past.”

About to proclaim Queen's accession
Rushden residents, with schoolchildren to the fore, joined in the ceremony outside the council building on Friday. Here musicians sound a fanfare as the chairman of the Urban Council,
Ald. G Faulkner, prepares to proclaim Queen Elizabeth’s accession.

Before and after the proclamation fanfares were sounded by musicians from the Temperance Band – Messrs. E. Denton and A. Roberts.

The ceremony ended with cheers for the new Queen and the singing of the National Anthem.

Higham’s proclamation was read by the Mayor (Ald. J. W. Barker) from the old Market Cross on Friday morning.

About 100 people joined the schoolchildren assembled on the Square and afterwards the National Anthem was sung by the school’s choir, conducted by Mr. E. S. Tanner.

As the clock at the Parish Church struck 11 traffic in the vicinity was stopped and aldermen and councillors paraded from the Town Hall. With them were the Town Clerk (Mr. G. H. Crapper), the Mayor’s Chaplain (the Rev. T. Oakley) and the Mayor’s Sergeant (Mr. Tom Lowther), carrying the draped mace.

Services at every Rushden and Higham Ferrers church on Sunday included special prayers and hymns. There were many pulpit tributes to King George, and in cases Handel’s “Dead March” was played.

Borough Message

Higham Ferrers Borough Council held a special meeting on Tuesday evening at which it was formally decided to send a message of sympathy and condolence to the Queen.

Both the Mayor (Ald. J. W. Barker) and the Deputy Mayor (Coun. S. Upton), who proposed and seconded the message, wore black mourning ribbons attached to their chains of office. The mace was draped with black cloth.

Cancellations of meetings and social events have been numerous. Rushden Thursday Cricket Club postponed their annual dinner which was to have been held last Thursday, and Higham Ferrers Methodist Play-Reading Group performed on Thursday and Friday evenings instead of opening on Wednesday.

Rushden and District Golf Club decided to defer their annual ball, scheduled for last Friday evening, and the John White staff social, arranged for the Windmill Hall last night, is postponed to March 6th. To-day’s meeting of Rushden Rotary Club is off.

Members of Rushden Darby and Joan Club stood in silence at the outset of their weekly meeting last Friday. To-day’s meeting of the club is cancelled.

A recording made by Rushden Temperance Band on Wednesday evening was to have been broadcast this morning, but the B.B.C. have intimated that the music is to be held for future use.

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