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Rushden Echo, 29th April & 13th May 1932, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Mr. J. Roe The New Chairman
Mr. John Spencer Succeeds To Vice-Chair

29th April, 1932

The annual meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council was held at the Council Buildings, Rushden, on Wednesday evening, when Mr. J. Roe, who for the past year has been vice-chairman, was appointed to succeed Mr. L. Perkins, M.B.E., as chairman of the Council for the coming year. Mr. John Spencer, J.P., was elected vice-chairman.

An important question was unexpectedly raised by Mr. T. Swindall, on whose proposition the Council agreed to petition the Lord Lieutenant to appoint two extra magistrates for Rushden. Mr. Swindall said the town had only three active magistrates now, and these all belonged to the Labour Party.

Petition For New Magistrates
Members Present

The members present were Messrs. A. Allebone, C.C., C. Claridge, W. E. Capon, T. F. B. Newberry, F. Green, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., T. Swindall, G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, J. T. Richardson, J. Allen, L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., L. Tysoe, J. Roe, and W. C. Tarry, with Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.

A letter of apology for absence was received from Ald. C. W. Horrell.

The New Member

Mr. Perkins, who presided at the commencement of the meeting, said that before proceeding with the first item on the agenda, he would like to welcome Mr. Tarry back again to the Council. (Hear, hear). “He has already served three years,” said Mr. Perkins, “so that he does not need any special introduction to you, but I think it is nice to extend a welcome to him.”

Mr. Tarry: I thank you, Mr. Chairman, also the members of the Council for their very kind welcome.

New Chairman

Mr. Perkins said: It is a well-known custom of this Council to appoint the vice-chairman as the chairman for the coming year, and I have much pleasure in proposing from the chair, that Mr. Roe, our vice-chairman, be chairman for the ensuing year. (Applause). I think this is one of those occasions on which the less one says the better it is for both the members of the Council and also for the one who is to take the chair. We have every confidence in him and I propose from the chair that Mr. Roe become chairman for the ensuing year.

Mr. Coles: I have pleasure in seconding that resolution. Mr. Roe is well-known to us. He has given years of service on the Council to everyone’s satisfaction, and I am quite satisfied that in his new position, being the first citizen of the town that he will add dignity to the honour to which he is appointed, and I hope it will be to his own satisfaction as well as to the Council.

The proposition was carried unanimously, and Mr. Perkins then vacated the chair in favour of Mr. Roe, to whom he extended a hearty handshake.

Mr. Roe said: I thank you very much for the honour you have conferred upon me by electing me chairman, particularly as the vote was a unanimous one. I can assure you I shall do my best in the coming year to give you satisfaction, also the whole town. When I came to reside in Rushden nearly 27 years ago I little thought I should one day be elected to this position, but since I have had the privilege of serving the East Ward as a Councillor I have always tried to do my best, and do what I believed to be in the best interests of the town. I am well aware that the position entails a good many sacrifices of time. I know that when Council and various committee meetings are finished you have various other duties to perform, and you all know I am in business which is not exactly a joy ride in these days, but I can assure you that I shall do my best to carry out the obligations of this office and I hope I shall give the Council every satisfaction. If there is anything I can do in the future, it will be my pleasure. You know perfectly well that during the coming year we have been advised to study economy, and you all know perfectly well that it is absolutely necessary that the public services should be maintained efficiently, because if you try to save money at the expense of efficiency that is not sound economy. I am sure we shall all see that the ratepayers’ money is not wasted on unnecessary things. I am particularly fortunate in one respect. The office of our esteemed Clerk is opposite to me and I am sure he and the assistant Clerk, Mr. Beetenson, also the Surveyor and Sanitary Inspector will give me every assistance they can, when I am in need of it. This year we shall have the privilege of having the Agricultural Show at Rushden, and I would like to ask the Council and residents to do all they can to make it a big success. This is probably the last time we shall have the Show here and we want to give them a good send off to their new home at Kettering. In conclusion, I hope the happy relations that always exist on this Council will continue and I hope we shall all do the best we can for the prosperity of the town.

Mr. Perkins: Before I leave this end of the room I should like to express my thanks to the officers of the Council for their assistance, and also express appreciation at the general way in which the work of the Council has been conducted.


Dr. Greenfield: It is my privilege to propose that Mr. John Spencer be our Vice-chairman for the coming year. He has already served on previous occasions as our chairman, and his length of service on the Council almost goes back to the mists of antiquity! He has served the town to the best of his ability for many years and has brought considerable talent and unfailing good humour – which is a very great thing – and I am quite certain that when he goes on to have another term of office he will fill the chair to our complete satisfaction. Mr. Spencer has served the town in many good ways and has always been assiduous in his attendance and he does everything he can to make the work of the Council go forward harmoniously.

Mr. Swindall: I have much pleasure in seconding, and I think that if Mr. Spencer is elected it will be popular in the town, because no one is more respected in the town than he. In any of the elections we have he is generally at the top of the poll and therefore I have pleasure in seconding the resolution.

This was carried unanimously, and Mr. Spencer then took the vice-chair, being congratulated by Mr. Roe, who expressed the wish that he would have a pleasant year.

Mr. Spencer said: I hope Mr. Roe will have good health so that I shall not have to assume the duties of chairman. I thank Dr. Greenfield and Mr. Swindall for their very kind remarks and if there is anything I can do to benefit the work of the Council and the town, it will be my greatest pleasure. I thank you one and all for electing me to this position.


The Council then proceeded to elect the members to the various committees of the Council.

Water Board

Messrs. Claridge, Coles, Hornsby, Swindall and Wilmott were re-elected as the Council’s representatives on the Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board for the next three years, the name of Mr. Roe being added in place of the late Mr. T. Wilmott, on the proposition of Mr. Allebone, seconded by Mr. Spencer.

Parochial Charities

On the proposition of Mr. Coles, seconded by Mr. Green, Messrs. Claridge, Hornsby, F. Knight, Perkins, Roe and Spencer were re-elected as representatives on the Rushden Parochial Charities.

Mr. Coles said that although Mr. Knight was not now a member of the Council he thought it would be in order to re-appoint him.

The Clerk said this was so.

Hall Grounds

The minutes of the last ordinary meeting read by the Clerk, stated that the Council had before them an application from the Rushden and District United Working Men’s Clubs Fund for the Blind and Crippled Children for the use of the Hall grounds on June 18th on the occasion of their annual fete and gala, and that the Clerk was instructed to reply that while the Council were in full sympathy with the objects of the Fund they were unable to accede to the application, but would grant the use of Spencer Park if requested.

(This matter was considered in committee at the conclusion of the last meeting of the Council.)

Additional Magistrates

Mr. Swindall said there was one matter he would like to bring forward. “That is,” he said, “with regard to the number of magistrates we have in Rushden. In committee, only one gentleman demurred about supporting the nomination of Mr. Spencer to the vice-chair, and gave as his reason that when the time came for him to be chairman, the town would be deprived of one magistrate. We have only three active magistrates in the town, Mr. Knight is unable to attend regularly, and Mr. Sartoris is away from the town and that leaves us with only three. It is high time that we petitioned those who have power to nominate magistrates to appoint one or two more for this town. There is not a lot for them to do, but I think, and many more do as well, that we ought to have more than three active magistrates, and have ones who move in other walks of life as well as among the Labour Party.”

The Clerk: Mr. Roe will be a magistrate you know.

Mr. Swindall: If I am in order I shall move that we send a letter to the proper authorities asking for the appointment of more magistrates for Rushden.

The Chairman: I think you are perfectly in order, but as to whether it is a wise move we have our own opinions about that.

Mr. Tysoe: I will second the proposition. It has opened my eyes a bit. We have three magistrates and all among the Labour Party.

Mr. Hornsby: I shall have pleasure in supporting it. Everyone believes in fairness and I cannot see why the other side should not be represented. I thoroughly support it.

The Council passed a resolution agreeing to petition the Lord Lieutenant to appoint two extra magistrates for Rushden.

13th May, 1932

Helping The Town’s Unemployed
Support for Scheme of Recreational Facilities

Proposals in connection with a scheme to assist (not financially) the unemployed of Rushden were placed before the Rushden Urban District Council at the meeting of that body on Wednesday evening, and a resolution was passed pledging moral support and agreeing to a town’s meeting being called to enlist the support of the townspeople.

The chairman, Mr. J. Roe, J.P., reported upon a meeting he had attended, called by the Rector, at which it was suggested that a room, supplied with newspapers, games, etc., might be provided as a modest start, form which there could be further developments.

Members Present

The members present were Messrs. J. Roe, J.P. (in the chair), J. Spencer, J.P. (vice-chair), W. C. Tarry, T. P. B. Newberry, C. Claridge, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, A. Allen, W. E. Capon, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., L. Tysoe, C. W. Horrell, C.A., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Hornsby, and J. T. Richardson, with the Clerk, Mr. G. S. Mason, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.

Help for Unemployed

The Chairman said: “There is one matter I have been asked to bring before you. About ten days ago I attended a meeting called by the Rector and there were present clergymen of the town, Mr. Capon, Mr. Sharwood, and several other well-known gentlemen and also some of the unemployed. The meeting had been called to see if anything could be done in the matter of relieving the unemployed people of this town. It was stated that at Bedford and Peterborough, and several other places where there are large numbers of people unemployed, various schemes had been started and had been very much appreciated.

“In most cases they had started in a very small way, by taking a large room in the town and supplying it with newspapers, periodicals, and perhaps a few games. It would be somewhere where the men could go instead of knocking about in the streets.

“It was felt that we in Rushden might start such a scheme but the meeting felt that it was a matter for the whole town and not for one particular section, and I was asked to bring it before the Council to see if they would approve a scheme of this kind and give it their support.

“They do not seek help in any financial way, because that is a national problem, but they feel that if the men could be supplied with a room of this sort it would be appreciated very much by a large number of them, because when the men have signed on at the Labour Exchange they are hanging about the streets and this is very depressing for them. If there were somewhere they could go and have a sit down and read it would be very much appreciated and if this Council would support such a scheme the next step would be to call a town’s meeting and if they decide to go on with it, to elect a committee.

“There is no very urgent need at the present time because many of the man have allotments, but iin the winter months a room of this sort would be greatly appreciated, no doubt, for it must be very depressing to have to stand about the streets on mornings like this, for instance.

“If the Council would support such a scheme, I would call a town’s meeting to make arrangements. There would be some expense, naturally, but I do not think it would be very much.

“The meeting had a room in view but I am not in a position to say whether it would be available.”

Mr. Capon asked what were the numbers of the unemployed.

Mr. Horrell: The manager of the Labour Exchange told me about ten days ago that it was about 1,500.

The chairman (reading from a list): The figures at the present time are: Men, 423; women, 130; temporarily suspended, men 878, women 328; a total of 1,759.

Mr. Perkins: Is that for Rushden alone?

Mr. Horrell: It includes Higham Ferrers.

Mr. Capon: I was present at the meeting the Rector called and we discussed this question very fully and from every point of view, and I think you will agree that it was a happy thought to invite two of the unemployed men, one of whom had been out of work for a considerable time, and the other not so long. Both expressed their views and what they added to the discussion was very helpful indeed.

“The underlying thought of the Rector and others responsible was not for financial help because that is outside our scope, but that we might give them somewhere to go and also that we might possibly arrange something of an educational kind for them. Perhaps we might have meetings addressed two or three mornings a week and it was thought that that would help them to get out of the rut into which they might otherwise get.

“As the chairman said, a room was mentioned and may probably be available, but it is not necessary to go into details. I support the idea that a town’s meeting should be called.”

Mr. Horrell: It is very little use calling a town’s meeting unless you have some organised scheme to put before it. It is a very difficult thing to organise a scheme at a meeting as big as that. I am in sympathy with the suggestion and I think we ought to do all we can to support it.

The chairman: We want to get a room and a supply of papers, etc. That would be the way to start and other things would develop from that. The scheme started in other town in a similar manner.

Mr. Allebone: I think the best thing would be for this Council to resolve itself into committee, discuss the question in detail, arrange as regards the room, and so forth, and see if we cannot formulate a scheme and then co-opt any willing members on the committee to carry it further. If we are in sympathy with scheme we want to take a lead in it.

Mr. Capon: “Personally, I think it would be better to have a town’s meeting, and by that time we shall have chosen a room and other things will possibly suggest themselves to us.

“It is all very well for us to take it on – we are representatives of the town I know – but we want a committee representative of every section of the community.”

Mr. Coles: I should like to support the general idea. I think it is a very kind thought of those who first initiated the conversations in this matter. The men who are unemployed are real good men, unemployed through no fault of their own, and if anything can be possibly done to relieve the depression it ought to be done. I would suggest a town’s meeting be called to get the support of the town, but before that it wants a committee of some sort to be formed to submit a scheme to that meeting and then there is something concrete to place before the meeting.

The chairman: I think it would meet the case if I reported to the Rector that the Council would support the scheme, and suggest a scheme be formulated to present to the town’s meeting.

Mr. Horrell: We can only pledge our moral support as a Council, and I should like to move a proposition on those lines.

Mr. Spencer seconded and said: “It is a step in the right direction. One cannot help but be sympathetic to those who have been out of work for a long period. It is wonderful how they keep up as well as they do.”

The proposition was carried unanimously.

Mr. Perkins: Are boys and girls included in the figures given us.”

Mr. Horrell: Not the young people.

Mr. Wilmott: All those over 16.

Committee Chairmen

The reports of the various committees stated that the following had been appointed chairmen for the ensuing year. Plans, Lighting and Highways, Mr. Allebone; Health and Sanitary, Mr. Swindall. Finance and Estates, Mr. Green.


The report of the Plans, Lighting and Highways Committee stated that they had appointed the following Sub-committees: Lighting and Fire Brigade, Messrs. Allebone, Claridge, and Hornsby; Depot, Mr. Coles, Together with Mr. Swindall (appointed by the Health and Sanitary Committee).


On the recommendation of the Plans Committee, plans were approved as follows: House in Prospect Avenue for Messrs. T. Swindall and Sons, two houses in Hayway for Messrs. E. A. Tattersall and R. Marriott (subject to the drains being separately connected with the sewer), four houses in Wymington-road for Mrs. M. M. Drabble, two houses in Wymington-road for Mr. F. C. Chamberlain (subject to the drains being separately connected to the sewer), house in Wymington-road for Mr. F. C. Chamberlain, additions to factory in Spencer-road for Messrs. Sanders and Sanders; covered way at their factory in Glassbrook-road for Messrs. G. and P. Hyde, Ltd., garage in Lime-street for Mr. H. V. Nunley.

Factory Certificates

The Surveyor submitted applications for certificates that their respective factories were provided with sufficient and proper means of escape in case of fire from Messrs. J. White, Ltd., C. K. Woods, and W. Sargent and Co., Ltd., and Mr. Swindall and the Surveyor were appointed to inspect the factories and report to the next meeting of the Plans Committee.

Agricultural Show

On the recommendation of the Highways Committee the Council agreed to give their workmen a half-day’s holiday with pay, on the occasion of the Northants Agricultural Society’s Show at Rushden.

Public Lighting

The Council agreed to cease public lighting for the summer months on May 21st.

Mr. Allebone, in moving the adoption of the Lighting Committee’s report, said: “Perhaps some will remember that last year we fixed the date for the end of public lighting as a week last Saturday, but the Committee felt in view of the fact that the Agricultural Show is here in Whitsun week and we hope to have a lot of visitors, that it would be to the benefit of everybody if public lighting were continued until May 21st.”

Electricity Orders

Notice was received from the Rushden and District Electric Supply, Co., Ltd., of their intention to lay underground cables in various streets in Rushden.

Health and Sanitary

The Health and Sanitary Committee reported that the following Sub-committees had been appointed: Cemetery, Messrs. Allen, Tarry, and Tysoe; Farm, Messrs. Swindall, Newberry, Hornsby and Richardson.

Petroleum Acts

The Council granted an application from the Rushden Heel Co., Ltd., Windmill-road, for a renewal of their licence to store 500 gallons of petrol in an underground tank at their factory.

Samples of Milk

The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee three samples of milk had been taken from retail purveyors in the district and submitted to the County laboratory for bacteriological examination. The reports now received showed that one sample was unsatisfactory. The Inspector was instructed to interview the purveyor concerned and inform him that the Committee would look for a considerable improvement when the next sample of his milk was examined.

Washbrook Road

A letter was received from Mr. A. E. Cherry requesting the Council to lay the sewer to his house off Washbrook-road, and the Sanitary Inspector was instructed to inform Mr. Cherry that it was impossible for the Council to comply with the request.

Carnegie Street

A memorial was received from the owners of Carnegie-street and district complaining of the nuisance caused by the excessive smoke from a neighbouring factory, and the Inspector was instructed to place himself in communication with the owners with a view to them abating the nuisance.

Wellingborough Road

The Sanitary Inspector reported that the owners of certain property in Wellingborough-road, after notice from him, had caused the drain from these properties to be repaired and had filled in the trench without first submitting the work to him for testing and approval. The Surveyor was instructed to inform the owners that an inspection chamber would have to be provided in order that a proper test might be made.

Sewage Farm

The purchase of a horse for £21 was approved by the Council, the account having been passed by the Finance Committee.

General Rate

The Clerk submitted the following memorandum of the General Rate made on October 14th, 1931: Amount of rate £18,162 6s., recoverable arrears of former rate £38 6s 8d., supplemental list £195 14s 10d., total £18,396 7s 6d., amount collected and banked £17,009 14s 11d., in hand £11 2s 0d., recoverable arrears £56 15s 3d., discount allowed £226 7s 3d., allowances to owners £849 1s 6d., irrecoverable arrears £243 6s 7d.

The irrecoverable arrears were made up as follows: Property unoccupied £125 9s 11d., new property unoccupied £72 4s 8d., reduced assessments £3 12s., property pulled down £11 14s., land built upon 6s., exempt in the service of the Crown £30.

The Council agreed to write off these amounts as irrecoverable.

The Rates Clerk reported to the Finance Committee that with regard to the sum of £4 4s due in respect of a house in Cromwell-road, the late tenant had died and left no effects whatsoever. This sum was written off as irrecoverable.

Housing Loan

The Clerk reported the receipt of the Ministry of Health’s sanction to the borrowing by the Council of the sum of £4,140 for sixty years for the purposes of erection of 12 further houses of the smaller non-parlour type on the Irchester-road site. The Clerk was instructed to negotiate the loan on the best terms possible.

Rating Committee

The report of the Rating Committee was received and passed.

School Managers

A letter was received from the Northants Education Committee informing the Council that the Committee had approved the appointment of Messrs. C. Claridge and F. Corby as representatives of the Council on the governing body of the Rushden Intermediate School. The appointment would date until the 8th March, 1934.

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