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The Rushden Echo and Argus, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

11th January 1957

Path Patching Is Criticised

Patching of footpaths was criticised at Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday when Mr. R. R. Griffiths said he had received complaints about the “horrible” grit which was carried into houses.

The criticism arose on a resolution which authorised the patching and spraying of footpaths in Oswald Road, Denmark Road and parts of Grove Road.

Mr. Cyril Freeman, for the Highways Committee, said he agreed that this patching was not desirable, but he was afraid that under the circumstances it was the best they could do.

Other grumbles concerned the “quagmire” in front of the new public conveniences in Newton Road and the condition of Woodland Road – described as “appalling” by Mrs. G. Marriott, who said that following the laying of a sewer, vehicles could not get along the road and had frequently to be helped by a breakdown lorry.

Mrs. Marriott also spoke of “irate” Glassbrook Road residents who had received unexpectedly high bills for the repair of defective drainage.

More Than Double

Mr. F. E. Brown said the estimate was for £1 each but the bills were for £2 6s after it had been found that a manhole would have to be replaced. This question has yet to go before the Health Committee.

It was reported that an advertisement for an “additional” public health inspector had brought no results and the council agreed that fresh advertisements should include the offer of a house.

In view of the decision to keep College Street clear of taxicabs during the daytime a taxi proprietor has asked the council to prescribe an official stand. The letter has been referred to the Highways Committee.

The same writer complained that unlicensed vehicles were plying for hire. Mr. Brown said this was a matter for the police and he would like to see them take some action.

Flat At Hall

Subject to loan consent two two-bedroom type flats may be provided in Rushden Hall. Together they will cost £1,800, and the net rent is likely to be 30s each week.

Mrs. Marriott said the Housing Committee had reached an amicable agreement for the cutting down of poplar trees at St. James’s Close and it was hoped that the land could now be used for garages or some other useful purpose.

Eighty trees, in ten varieties, have been ordered for Rushden Hall and the cost will be met from the sale of timber from the grounds.

Rushden Mission Band has asked to be included in the rota for concerts at Rushden Hall this year.

Higham Ferrers and Rushden Ladies’ Hockey Club has asked that a public hockey pitch should be provided in one of the recreation grounds. Allocation of a pitch will be considered when next season’s arrangements are made.

The Highways Committee is to obtain further information from property owners before making a decision on the proposal that Upper Park Avenue, Church Hall Road, Rose Avenue and St. Margaret’s Avenue should be made up under the Private Street Works Act.

Following a complaint the County Planning Officer has been asked to examine the condition of land at the junction of Glassbrook road and Windmill Road.

The surveyor, Mr. A. Millar, is investigating alleged traffic dangers caused by buses picking up passengers in Newton Road between Park Road and the traffic lights. He is also to report on the numbering of houses in North Street.


In reference to Mr. E. E. Pidd, who because of ill health has been unable to attend the council’s meetings since last July, Mr. Brown said “He is making good progress and we hope that before long he will be with us.”

When the meeting opened Mr. E. E. Newell, presiding, said he was sure everyone was terribly shocked to hear of the sudden deaths of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Dilks. “It was so sudden that it seemed impossible.”

The chairman continues: “Those who knew Mr. Dilks knew him as a man of character. He was never afraid to say what he thought, and men of his ability and worth are always to be remembered. He was a member of this council for three years and for the last year was chairman of the Housing Committee.”

Mr. Newell said the local fund for Hungarian Relief had now reached £781 19s. Following the example of the Lord Mayor of London he proposed to keep it open until Easter.


15th March, 1957

Town Buys ‘Prefabs’ – Cheaper Than Renting Them

Rushden’s fifty “prefabs” on the Southfields estate will in future belong to the town instead of being rented from the Government. A decision to buy them outright for £7,500 was made at the urban council’s meeting on Wednesday, and it was stated that the annual loan charge on the deal (for ten years) will be less than the amount now paid yearly to the Government.

The council will spend £300 on overhauling the refrigerators and £100 on guttering and other fittings. Mrs. G. Marriott said there was very little pantry space in these homes, so the refrigerators must be kept up to date.

The month’s health report mentioned four new cases of pulmonary tuberculosis, but Mr. A. H. Bailey said these were related to the recent visit of the mass radiography unit, and there was no need for alarm.

Reporting further mischief at the public conveniences in Newton Road, Mr. Bailey said that someone had been caught in the act. He thanked a member of the public who brought the case to light.

Mrs. A. Muxlow asked for care in siting telegraph posts and said that one in Robinson Road was in a stupid position where people might walk into it at night.

Mr. Alan Allebone expressed the hope that people would come forward this year to cater for the sale of refreshments at Spencer Park and Rushden Hall.


Reporting that applications for allotments in Newton Road were not coming in so well as had been hoped, Mr. D. Dickens mentioned that the drainage was to be improved.

Although 38 houses and 12 flats are in course of construction, said the surveyor, Mr. A. Millar, it will be some months before any are ready for occupation.

Following the improvements of houses in Kings Road, net rents were increased by 2s 11d. a week.

A survey of pre-war council houses had been made and, as a first instalment of improvement works, the committee proposes to provide hot water supplies in 130 houses which have bathrooms upstairs but no hot water supplies to the baths.

The Ministry of Housing has approved the proposals for improvements to eight houses in Trafford Road.

Instruments for investigating atmospheric pollution are to be installed.

Schemes to provide a sewage pumping station in Duck Street and relief sewers in Wellingborough Road have been approved by the Ministry who consider that, when this work is done, the urgency for the construction of a culvert in Spencer Park will no longer exist. The Ministry suggests that the Spencer Park fencing around the brook should be retained as a safeguard for children.

It was reported by the Highways Committee that signs had been placed on lamp-posts in streets where it was proposed to permit vehicles to wait without lights, and that the Chief Constable had been asked for a formal certificate of authority.

Approving a County Council plan for a Bedford Road improvement, which includes culverting part of the brook, the Highways Committee has asked for a further improvement – at the bend near “The Compasses.”

Messrs. J. W. Smith and Sons, of Wymington, secured the contract, at £1,869, for the making up of Harvey Road under the Private Street Works Act.

Street repairs

Repairs to Elm Street are being requested from the owner of property there.

A scheme is to be prepared for the sewering of Cresswell Road from its junction with Alpine Road, at the expense of the frontage owners.

In view of the small number of accidents caused by dogs, the Chief Constable has advised that the council would not be justified in making an order for the control of dogs in certain roads.

Commenting on fare alterations sought by the United Counties Omnibus Company, the Finance Committee has pointed out that the fare from Rushden to Northampton would be fivepence more, if the journey was broken by changing buses at Wellingborough, than would be the case on a through bus. The company has promised to look into this.


12th April 1957

Footpaths plan: doubt about loan

  Although the preparation of a new footpath reconstruction programme was mentioned at Wednesday’s meeting of Rushden Urban Council, Mr. Cyril Freeman, chairman of the Highways Committee, warned that at the moment it seemed doubtful if loan sanction could be obtained.

  It was reported that the Ministry of Transport has agreed to the voluntary diversion of south-bound traffic from High Street by way of Rectory Road, where waiting will be prohibited along the whole of the west side. There is to be a minor improvement at the north-eastern corner of Station Approach.

When Mr. J. E. Wills drew attention to the intersection of Rectory Road and Queen Street, complaining that the present “Slow” signs had been “totally disregarded,” Mr. Cyril Freeman said it was the committee’s intention to install “Halt” signs both in Queen Street and Victoria Road.

  Mr. R. R. Griffiths asked that one of the lamp posts on the diversion route should be moved to the corner of Rectory Road and Station Approach.

On the advice of the highways committee, it was decided to demolish most of the buildings in Duck Street formerly occupied by Charles Sanders, Ltd. A new car park is to be established on the site.

  Future Council houses are to have a fireplace in one bedroom.

  Blocks of flats to be erected in Short Stocks and Slater’s Close are to have golden buff facing bricks.

  The housing committee is looking for sites, particularly for the erection of bungalows.

  House rent arrears recently amounted to £159.

   In view of a Ministry of Housing circular it has been decided to provide fireguards in new houses. Where electric fires have been installed as fixtures in existing houses, these too, will be fitted with guards.

  The Ministry is being pressed to sanction the erection by the council of garages in Prospect Avenue.

  The annual charge for dustbins provided by the council was increased from 5s to 7s 6d.

  There were three interments at Rushden Cemetery during the four weeks ended March 23, compared with 21 in the corresponding period last year.

  Following a complaint from Wymington Parish Council, the Surveyor (Mr. A. Millar) has been instructed to check up on the reinstatement work carried out by the Water Board after trenching operations in the bridleway on the Rushden-Wymington boundary.

  Mr. Freemanannounced that the bridleway was receiving the attention of the water board. “I think it is long overdue,” he added.

A sewerage scheme for Cresswell Road was adopted.

  A further programme of footpath works is being prepared.

  Notification has been given that a claim will be made against the council in respect of an accident alleged to have been caused by the unevenness of the paving slabs in St. Margaret’s Avenue.

  The Ministry of Transport has approved new arrangements whereby motor vehicles of all types can be parked in two sections of High Street south, one of them extending into Little Street.

  When Mrs. D. Shrive complained that the entrance to the South Terrace back-ways would be blocked, the clerk, Mr. A. G. Crowdy, said that opportunity would be given for formal objections. Some objections, in fact, had already been received, and it might be premature to discuss the question at present.

Negotiations are in progress for the acquisition of land to extend Rose Avenue through to Highfield Road, with houses and a children’s playground.

  It was reported that the United Omnibus Co. had decided to introduce through return bookings between Rushden and Northampton on journeys which necessitate a change of buses at Wellingborough.

  Mr. F. E. Brown said he was sure that this would be a great help to Rushden people.

  A finance committee report referred to difficulty in obtaining consent to a loan for the making up of Harvey Road.

  The chairman, Mr. E. E. Newell thanked those who had subscribed to his Hungarian Relief Fund, which he is now closing with the total at £783 5s.

  “I think it is a wonderful result,” he said.

  The council received as invitation to attend an industrial Sunday service at St Peter’s Church.


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