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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 21st December 1951, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Christmas 1951
Christmas Hat-Tricks in School
Merry Week of Parties, Plays and Singing

Schools in Rushden and Higham Ferrers have broken-up once again with a “bang” for Christmas. The last few days have already been a holiday for the scholars, but not so for the teachers, who have organised and supervised games and entertainment.

Classrooms and school halls lost their austere “term look” and took on an atmosphere of Christmas gaiety, myriads of brightly coloured streamers and decorations – often around a Christmas tree – having been hung with patient care.

The most novel idea was a paper hat competition staged at South End School, which produced some amazing ideas from the children. Michael Davis, aged nine, made up one of the most spectacular on show, in the form of an Eastern headdress to which the Festival of Britain skylon was attached by an assortment of wire pulleys and wooden “supports.”

Other ideas included witches’ hats, pirates’ headgear complete with skulls and cross-bones, soldiers’ military caps, and a gay assortment of floral bonnets – made from old bits of paper and material.

On Tuesday afternoon the whole school at South End was entertained for an hour by Mr. W. Ashton, the conjuror from Northampton. The juniors then held their party, consisting of a tea and games, and received prizes from the Christmas tree. The infants had a party on Wednesday, and there was also a carol service.

Popular Visitor

At Newton Road Infants’ School Mrs. F. Hawkes gave an orange to each child, during a visit on Wednesday. On Tuesday games were played round the Christmas tree in the hall.

There were cinema shows for the juniors at Newton Road on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the school assembled in the hall for a carol service, scholars reading the Lessons.

Seventy boys at a time attended parties at Tennyson Road County Modern School on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, when they put on impromptu sketches. Six mothers assisted with the refreshments each night. There was a carol service on Thursday afternoon and an inter-classroom decoration competition.

Parents Invited

Tennyson Road infants gave a Nativity play for parents on Friday and Monday and held their party on Tuesday.

Parents of children at the Nursery School nearby were invited to a tea on Wednesday, when each child received a gift from the Christmas tree. There was a party on Tuesday.

Girls of the fourth form at North End School had their Christmas farewell gathering on Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday there were form parties for the remainder of the school, a carol service also being held.

At Higham Ferrers there was a cinema show for the infants on Tuesday morning, and in the evening the school managers and junior school staff were entertained to a tea.


Xmas Tree Centre of Carolling

A floodlit Christmas tree on The Green in High Street South will be the setting for a series of carol services which commence at Rushden to-night. Arranged by the Rotary Club, it promises to be the town’s most attractive holiday spectacle.

Rushden Town Band will be in attendance at the “Rotary Tree of Christmas” this evening and the “Temps” on Sunday. On Saturday and Christmas Eve organ music will be relayed from St. Mary’s church.

Services commence at 7.30 p.m. and will be conducted by ministers of the town – the Rev. A. S. Arnold on Friday, the Rev. C. F. Guy on Saturday, the Rev. E. A. Green or the Rev. E. T. Hughes on Sunday, and the Rev. D. A. Murray on Monday.

300 Gifts

“Santa’s Cabin,” the Rotary Club’s receiving depot for Christmas gifts, closed on Saturday evening. The parcels donated, together with about £25 in cash, will provide 300 gifts for the needy aged and sick children. They will be distributed by the Rotarians and members of the Round Table on Sunday.


Stay-at-home holiday for Rushden

With practically all bus and train services suspended on Christmas Day, it will be a stay-at-home holiday for the majority of Rushden families. Factories are closing for a week in a number of instances, and shops will generally be closed for three days.

Cinemas will be closed on Christmas Day, but are featuring special Boxing Day matinees, and for the football fans on the same afternoon there will be a Rushden v Corby match on the Town Ground.

Bandsmen will be active. The Salvation Army plan an extensive programme of carolling over the holiday period, and the Temp’s players will be at Rushden House Sanatorium and the Shaftesbury Home for crippled boys at Hinwick on Christmas morning.

Nearly all the churches at Rushden and Higham Ferrers are featuring carol services some time on Sunday and Christmas morning services. A few will hold midnight Communion services on Christmas Eve.

Clubs have a full agenda, with the finals of any number of tournaments, and the Windmill Club, which plans a number of dances for its members and associates, intends to relax its recently stipulated ruling against bebop and jitterbug dancing.

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