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Car Parks
Some of the clearance works that have provided the car parks in Rushden

 The Rushden Echo and Argus, 11th September 1953  30th August 1957
The area off Rectory Road 4 boys on a home made vehicle
Parking facilities on this site off Rectory Road are to be doubled, thanks to the enterprise of Rushden Co-operative Society, who own the land and will rent it to the Urban Council after putting it in order.
Note: the cottages seen here were demolished in 1956.
This gearless, engineless, four-seater open tourer, was seen at Rectory Road car park. We're not sure about brakes, but those dangling shoes may be the answer. The authorities might not be pleased on this point but four lively schoolboys are not worrying.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 19th June, 1953, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Duck Street people fear parking plan 
  Rushden Council’s proposal to acquire land in Duck Street (South) for a car park has caused grave concern among the householders in the vicinity, who already look upon the area as one of the worst “bottlenecks” in the town.

  The 18 tenants in the bottleneck lost no time in petitioning the council once the “notice of proposal” in developing the 2,200 square yards of vacant land was posted.

  An “Echo and Argus” reporter who visited the objectors was soon acquainted with their main contention: that there is very little pathway already – on one side of the road only, in fact, and only wide enough for one person to walk along at a time.  There are two blind corners, and the road is only wide enough for one-way traffic.  The noise of heavy traffic passing by already vibrates the doors, and with a school just round the corner, the danger to children, already prevalent, would be aggravated.

Duck-street 1953
This is one of the bottle-necks about which Rushden Duck Street residents
are complaining in view of the council's proposal to turn the waste ground
on right of picture into a car park.
  “Many transport drivers think this road is the continuation of the diversion from Skinner’s Hill to Kettering,” said one householder, “and the lorries tip over you as you walk along the pavement.”

  Another comment was: “There are notices prohibiting heavy traffic at both Wellingborough Road and College Street, but they are so faded no one really sees them.  Lorries come along here to deliver goods to three factories nearby.”

"It is not the cars we are worried about so much as the heavy lorries," said a woman. "We have too many now, and it is the children we are worried about. The children barely have room to walk along as it is."

"The wideness of the opening from Wellingborough Road is deceptive," was a further opinion. "There is no speed limit at all, and there ought to be one of ten m.p.h."

Meanwhile, the children continue to romp in the wilderness of the land proposed for a car park - land overgrown with vegetation and head-high with weeds. At one time it was reserved for proposed trade union offices.

"We should welcome the council clearing the spot," was the parting remark. "A children's playground now .... "

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 11th October 1957

New park will hold up to 100 vehicles
A new car park which, though not complete, will hold up to 100 cars, was introduced to motorists at Wednesday's meeting of Rushden Urban Council. It is in Duck Street, almost opposite the foot of College Street.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 26th June 1959, transcribed by Jim Hollis

‘Go Ahead’ For Second Duck St. Car Park
Rushden Urban Council, meeting on Monday, learned that a loan of £2,400 for the provision of a car park off Duck Street had been sanctioned, and it was agreed to go ahead with the project.

Mrs. W. M. Lean reminded her colleagues that there will now be two car parks in Duck Street, but her suggestion to call this one the Pung’s Lane park, was greeted with cries of “No”. Another member suggested Baths Park, but this too was turned down. It was finally agreed to wait for further ideas.

Invited by the road safety committee to consider the desirability of a no waiting order for part of Washbrook Road, the council decided as a first step to ask proprietors of two businesses near the junction with Higham Road to cooperate in keeping the road clear. The police will be asked to deal with obstructions in Spencer Road.

In spite of opposition by the Divisional Road Engineer of the Ministry of Transport, the council decided by ten votes to eight to renew its proposal for a “T” pedestrian crossing at the Washbrook Road – Higham Road junction.

The engineer had urged that in view of impending changes including the construction of a bus bay, a decision should be deferred until the future pedestrian movement can be studied.

Mr. F. E. Brown said he agreed to a crossing at the foot of Washbrook Road, but said the A6 crossing should be a separate one at a point nearer “Risdene.”

Mr. R. R. Griffiths supported this plan, but Mr. J. E. Wills, as a pedestrian, said he wanted the “T” crossing.

In connection with the town’s new traffic scheme, the Highways Committee has reported in favour of limiting parking in the Rectory Road street car park to a period of two hours.

In spite of opposition by Mr. Griffiths and others it was agreed to construct the new car park in Duck Street.

Cycling on foot paths was described by Mr. R. H. S. Greenwood as “a very bad Rushden habit.” The police will be asked to watch it in the Highfield Road area. But the council, with perambulators in mind, would not adopt the suggestion of Rushden and District Trades Council, that a double row of posts should be erected to keep the cyclists out of certain paths.

Duck Street car park
Rushden Echo, 30th October 1959

Hidden away by trees and fencing for many years, this land adjacent to the north end of Duck Street, Rushden, will shortly be a public car park and the answer to problems created for motorists by the town’s new traffic scheme. It should be popular because of its close proximity to High Street - seen (right) at the top of the rise.

The Rushden Echo, 27th March 1964, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Threat to Car Park Removed

The two-storey stone outhouse which was threatening to topple into the new car park of the Wheatsheaf, Rushden, has been demolished by urban council workmen. It is now a heap of rubble.

Several complaints had been received by the council after it was discovered that children had removed part of a wall on the ground floor of an old building.

The situation was reported at a meeting of the public health committee at the beginning of March, and the Public Health Inspector, Mr. H. W. Ellis, was told “to take appropriate action as a matter of urgency.”

Hurried Up

Mr. Ellis told the “Echo” that the complaints had definitely hurried up the decision to have the building pulled down, although the council had been keeping an eye on the property.

A London firm of solicitors has assured the council that the owner of the building will pay for the demolition work.

Rushden Echo, 29th January 1965

This is one of the two car parks off Rectory Road, where Rushden Urban Council hopes to stop people parking on an all day basis. The council on Wednesday decided in principle to a two-hour waiting limit between 7.30am and 5pm from Monday to Friday. It is proposed that alternative parking should be made available.

See also Developments

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