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Extracted from locally held photocopies of the notes books of J Enos Smith, transcribed by John Collins
Notes by Joseph Enos Smith 1926 - 1928

Rushden 1906 Postmaster Mr Charles Hewitt Subpostmaster at Rushden for 30 years received an “Armchair” & an illuminated address on his resignation in Aug. 1926.

Sep 12 1927 “The Brook” Bedford Road, opposite Boot Factory and Co-op Park – I found covered in this day. Men at dinner on bank beside road, it will be much better now.

Oct 18 1927 I went up the Bedford road as far as Co-op Park to day & the edge stone of new path was being fixed just opposite Mr Tarry’s Boot factory, the road and path straightened, the path now practically over the brook, and the ditch opposite-side of road leading up to the 5 or 6 cottages, from the Co-op Park yesterday.

1901 Sept 29 Miss Frances H Corbett, daughter of Mrs William Corbett, baker, High St South, Rushden, appointed organist at Stanwick Parish Church 1901. Generally called Daisy Corbett, she married Mr Reginald Denton, son of Mr. Geo Denton Shoe-Manufacturer. Mrs Denton has been my assistant organist at Parish Church Rushden ever since 1901, and is a most excellent player & I am proud to say that she was a pupil of mine, also for the Exams in which she passed 2 & 3 Examinations in connection with trinity College, London. She went to Stanwick soon after my uncle Abel Clarke gave up when he had been organist & Choirmaster 38 years. I think Aubrey Clarke his youngest son played for a short time & then went to Thrapston Church for 8 years.

Rushden Parish Church
1927 Tuesday September 27th. The men are painting the Radiators in the Church. Part of the floor square tiles, black & white, are put down in a square fashion instead of diamond style which would have looked better, I think. Two Radiators or something, are fixed on the wall in Belfry above the surplices which certainly disfigure the belfry very much indeed. Two men over the North Porch doing something, other men are breaking open the East wall of North Trancept at the North-East corner against the Buttress, putting in a great round flue pipe & to come out at top of the roof of the Trancept. It seems risky to do that as that North end of North Trancept was the part of the Church in most danger at the great restoration as is one of the ancient parts of the Church. A good deal of it now is 20th Century instead of 13th or 14th. It seems strange to me that the Church stood about 1000 years and now has to be so pulled about. The Church is mentioned in the ‘Charter’ of William Peverel in connection with Lenton Priory, near Nottingham & that is over 800 years ago (now 1927).
St. Mary’s Old Ancient Chimney
1927 Tuesday September 27th. I was very sorry to go into the Churchyard this dinner time & find the old Ancient Chimney taken down (at any rate a good piece of it) over the West end of the North Aisle near North Porch. It belonged, no doubt, to the Ancient Fireplace in the West end of the North Aisle which is plastered up. I remember the Fireplace but I do not think anyone else remembers it, it was blocked up when the seats were put in (at the West end, to the memory of Canon Barker). You can see the line of the plaster. These old black hard stones now lie in the Churchyard. Why this is done I cannot think, it is taking away the ancient beauty of the once very beautiful Church. The men have great coping stones off today at North east corner of North Trancept. They are also preparing for the steps into the new place for boiler.
St. Mary’s Church
1927 October 16th Sunday. The ‘New Heating Apparatus’ was quite in order & in use today, in fact it was too warm and orders were given for windows to be opened.
The New Footpath Rushden South.
1927 October 18th. I went up the Bedford road as far as Co-op Park today & the edge stone of new path were being fixed just opposite Mr Tarry’s Boot factory, the road and path straightened. The path is now practically over the brook and the ditch opposite side of road leading up to the 5 or 6 Cottages from the Co-op Park gateway.
1927 October 18th. The ‘House’ opposite me (22 Church St.) belonging to Mr Campion, which was built by Mr Woodward about 50 years ago. A new bay window in the kitchen, a window, garden side of Dairy room, ivy cut off of house & other improvements.
Rushden & Drawbridge
That remarkable man, the Rev. C. Drawbridge, a man ‘of ready wit’, in the exercise of which none was spared, and to his ‘Covered Van’, the ‘Providentia’, in which the reverend gentleman travelled with his supporters on Sunday mornings to ‘Succoth Chapel’, Rushden, returning in time for a service in the upper room at the corner of St. John St. & High St.? From notes published by Mr John Archer (of Wellingborough) of his father, Caleb Archer. M.S.S. & this work (ending November 19th, 1927) they have been published. Copied here from Rushden Argus dated November 18th, 1927, page 5, under ‘Things Grave & Gay’, col. 6. (Copied Saturday Evening, November 19th, 1927. J. Enos Smith).
Severe Weather
1927 October 21st Wednesday. The roads like a looking glass. I have never seen the like since about 1872 when I couldn’t get from Stanwick to my organ Service at Souldrop. I started but only went a few yards (I mean in 1874). It has been bitterly cold this Xmas 1927. Deep snow on Sunday Xmas Day. The smallest congregation I have ever seen at St Mary’s in the 52½ years I have played there and at every Xmas Day. The snow lies thick on the ground now Tuesday Evening 7.30, December 27th. I had dinner at my cousins Mr Alfred Clark, who is organist at Burton Latimer but lives here, Wellingborough Rd. I have Tea & Supper yesterday, December 26th at my friends Mr Bettles, 106 Wellingborough Road. No shops open today, no Reading Room or Coffee Tavern, no company at home, my housekeeper is in her room & I alone attending to accounts. I hope soon to have supper & off to bed. D.O.P. has a week’s holiday & is going to Kettering, I think, on Thursday. I had lots of nice Xmas cards, one from D.O.P. & a present from Mr & Mrs R. Denton, my great friends. Mrs D. has been my excellent assistant organist at Parish Church for over 20 years and has played at all the Special Musical Services but time when she was ill.
Friday January 6th. A very strong wind. Walk up Bedford road.
Mr Fred Carr, ‘Ormidale’ House, son of the late John Carr, died at Moseley, Birmingham on Sunday, June 3rd. Buried at Rushden on Wednesday, June 6th, 1928. He was an old pupil of mine & a very nice fellow. I had an order to buy a good piano for his daughter who is Mrs Jack Denton of Irchester. I did so & it is a fine one, up to date, 7¼ octaves, ivory keys etc.
Organists’ Association Outing to Cambridge
1928 June 9th, Saturday. The Organists’ Association from Northampton, Wellingborough & Rushden went by Charabanc to Cambridge. Mr Addis the Secretary of Northampton sent circular asking me to meet them at the ‘Hind’ Hotel, Wellingborough at 9.30. My assistant teacher & friend Olive Marie Bettles (who went with us to Windsor in 1925, to Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth, not Kenilworth, but Stratford-on-Avon in 1926, June 19th), also went with us. She came by bus from Rushden Hill where she lives & met me at bottom of Church St where I live at 22 (corner of John St). The bus came along at 8.30, to Wellingborough by way of Sanders Lodge. We arrived at Wellingborough about 8.50, waited in the new ‘Bus Shelter’ opposite ‘Hind’ Hotel. The Northampton people came along about 9.50, stopped opposite the ‘Hind’ with a nice Motor Charabanc. We got in the 4th seat from the front. The Rothwell organist, Mr Bloodworth & his wife met us, & the assistant organist Mr Archer from Wellingborough chapel. The weather cleared up (after a very wet early morning) whilst Peg & I were in the shelter down Sheep St. To Sanders Lodge opposite turn to Rushden, to Higham, not thru’ Rushden, down Higham past Chicheleys old College, up Kimbolton Road, Chelveston, Hargrave, saw Three Shires stone just opposite a cottage, to Tilbrook, Kimbolton, to St. Neots into Cambridge about 11.30. Streets crowded, last day of May, Boating week, driver got lost in Wavey? Street. We stayed at Matthews Restaurant. We went into Round Church first, 8 great Norman Pillars, but the modern part spoilt it. To dinner at Matthews at 12 o’clock, upstairs in oblong room with oak beams. Peg & myself sat at small table at far end with Mr Hulme, assistant at St. Matthew’s, Northampton & one other young fellow. I had cold roast beef & salad, tarts & cheese. Peg had ham & ox tongue. After dinner the ladies, including Olive, left us to visit the Ladies College with one of our party who had a daughter at the College. The men went to various places. I went with Mr Addis & Mr Robinson of St. James’s, Northampton & the two young fellows to ‘Kings’, ‘Trinity’ & ‘St. John’s’. We met a clergyman who knew Mr Addis & he took us back to see the kitchen. We had photos taken in St. John’s College grounds near the Cross in centre of lawn. We walked round other parts, I forget where, we went back to ‘Kings’ for service about 2.30. The others went into Choirs in East part, I was on the West side of organ screen. After some time Olive came in with other ladies & a gentleman. I sat with them on left side facing organ not far from Choir-boys vestry. I saw the choirs go in for Service & Olive saw return, about 15 boys in scarlet cassocks & 15 or 16 men from vestry on opposite side. Service unaccompanied, organ out of order. To Matthew’s for tea, we sat at centre, oblong table, sat at one end. I next with Mr Robinson of St. James’ on my right & a gentleman & lady opposite. After tea we had orders from Mr Addis our Secretary to meet at 8 o’clock against All Saints Church. Peg & I went into the Church & then up to Motor which stood opposite Parkers Piece, the driver was resting. He asked us to get in & rest, we did so and sat there almost an hour watching hundreds of Motors pass. We started about 8.20 for home from All Saints Church, the same way back by way of St Neots, Kimbolton, Chelveston, Higham Ferrers. Peg & myself got out bottom of Higham, the others went on to Wellingborough & Northampton. We walked up the hill. I left Peg at her new home. A nice day’s outing. Supper & off to bed. Peg & I went to Marker Place after tea, Jesus Lane, Trinity Street. Old end of Cambridge, bought a few presents for Jeffes?, Mr & Mrs Bettles.
To Leicester
1928 Saturday June 16th. D.O.P. bus to Wellingborough, walked down Midland Road, left by 11-12 train, stayed till Monday evening. To Wellingborough at -- by bus to home about 10.30 p.m.
Midsummer’s Day
1928 Thursday, June 21st is a dull showery day & rather cold for time of year. The thermometer at 3.40 p.m. stands at 63 in my Music Room, Church St, Rushden. No sun, the roads rather damp after slight showers. The weathercock on spire looking plump South-west. Lack Brothers Transport van stands outside, the Wellingborough bus has just passed, a slight breeze, another bus just past & goes up Skinners Hill & the LMS van has just parked here. Now I hope to have tea with P.E.G. in my Music Room. It is now 12 minutes to 4 by the Church clock. J. Enos Smith. As you see written here on the day. Trade very bad now.
Extract by J E Smith, transcribed by John Collins, 2008 - Taken from Rushden Echo 23rd March 1928, p. 6, col. 3.

The Brothers Baker now living: Charles 76 years, Benjamin 70 years, James 80 years, William 67 years & Thomas 78 years. James used to work for Mr Rhodes bailiff to Mr F. U. Sartoris. He says that Mr William Claridge started the shoe trade in premises at the back of Mr Maryiotts? old house opposite Mr Ginns blacksmith. Bread delivered once a week by Mr Rootham baker, quartern loaves. He says my father was horsekeeper & foreman for Mr John Gross at the Top Farm, Manor Farm and we lived at one time at what was called Australia Lodge – the Lodge at the Rectory Farm. The grandfather of these five men was Benjamin, who used to be shepherd at the Hall at the time Fletchers lived there. Benjamin used to kill one sheep a week for the people at the Hall. Old Benjamin was in his 76th year when he died. He used to fetch sheep from farms all over the district and drive them by road from Rushden to Smithfield Market. He would have as many as 500 or 600 in his flock and with the aid of two trained dogs would do the whole journey in 3 days returning home by the stage coach. He lived opposite the old Coach & Horses at Rushden. The dogs would not wait for Benjamin. No sooner did they see the last sheep penned at Smithfield Market they set off straight home & would reach Rushden before the coach arrived. Mr Baker speaking of him said when 5 years old he drove a team of oxen in the plough in Rushden. Mr Eli Baker & his family lived at Australia Lodge for a time & then removed to Magpie Hall beyond the Rushden football ground. Mr Baker says the name was given to the hall in a peculiar way. A light fall of snow came one day and a man wrote in the snow near the place: Magpie Hall. The name has stuck to it ever since.

Copied 24th March 1928.

The cottages oposite the old Coach & Horses Inn
A view taken from the green looking towards the cottages where Old Benjamin lived.

The old Coach and Horses Inn is on the right.

Taken from a postcard of around 1902.

Orignal books are now held at NRO Ref: 285P/300
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