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Rushden Echo & Argus, 20th March 1953, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Plan for U.S. Canteen
Band of Hope parade near the BWTA Hall c1920s

American Forces in the Rushden district may be provided with a canteen, if suggestions made at a meeting of Rushden Ministers' Fellowship with representatives of town's organisations on Monday afternoon are carried out.

Hall suggested for the canteen was the British Women's Temperance Association building in Newton Road. Last December the same representatives agreed to open the Y.M.C.A. on Sunday evenings on a similar venture. This fell through only two weeks afterwards, when members of churches in the town, who volunteered to serve the servicemen, found that their chief work was with Rushden young people.

The Rev. A. Stuart Arnold, who presided, said that if the hall did become a canteen there would have to be organised activities, such as table tennis, draughts and darts and that would rather limit the use of the room for other purposes.

Chaplain Tollett, of the Chelveston Air Base, said he thought these difficulties could be overcome.

One of the advantages of the hall was its ideal spot for buses from the camp. They came down the Newton Road right past the door, said Mr. Arnold.

He added that they must see right from the start that it paid its way. They would have no difficulty in getting workers for the canteen, he thought, but it might be more difficult to find the "head man."

After some further discussion it was agreed to appoint a committee to meet representatives of the B.W.T.A.U. to discuss the matter of taking over the hall and the question of staffing it.

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