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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 17th January, 1930, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Thorn in the Flesh of Rushden Council
First step towards filling a 20 years’ need.
Harborough Road to Pyghtles Terrace.
The Lighting Problem: What do people want?
Work held up by delay with Loan.

The proposed scheme for a connecting road between Harborough-road and Pyghtles-terrace was the subject of lengthy discussion at the usual meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council on Wednesday evening.

The Health and Sanitary Committee considered the question of linking up these roads by the construction of a 36 ft. road leading from Harborough-road to Pyghtles-terrace. This would necessitate the purchase of a strip of land 36 feet wide over Mr. Selwood’s property and one acre of land off the east end of Mr. Smith’s field. The total cost for constructing the road and purchasing and fencing the land was estimated to amount to £1,850. It was resolved to recommend the Council to approach the Ministry of Transport with a view to obtaining a grant towards this expenditure and in the meantime to accept Mr. Smith’s offer to sell one acre of land for £200.

A Long Felt Need

Moving this resolution, Mr. Spencer said that every member of the Council was aware that for a very long period – for the past 20 years – every effort had been made to secure some communication between Harborough-road and Newton-road, so that one part of the town could get into contact more quickly with another. Various schemes had been brought forward and invariably they had disagreed or it had been impossible to get it through. That was the first opportunity they had had to thank some of the members of the Council for their skilful negotiations in the scheme. The proposals would be of great benefit to the inhabitants in the Newton-road and Harborough-road districts, added Mr. Spencer. It would fill a long-felt need. After the road was constructed it was estimated that they would be able to sell building plots to the value of £1,750.

The Chairman: You are not committing yourselves to the construction of a road, only to the purchase of Mr. Smith’s field.

Mr. T. Wilmott asked if the estimate for making the road included the cost of sewering.

The Chairman: Yes, it is all included

Mr. Swindall remarked that they should be cautious about spending a large sum of money, as he did not think they would be able to sell for £1,700. He thought the members of the Plans Committee should consider the scheme before they came to any final arrangements.

Mr. Swindall Disagrees

The Chairman again pointed out that they were not committing themselves to the construction of a road, and Mr. Swindall replied that if they committed themselves to the purchase of the land they were committed to the scheme. If they had the land it would be useless unless they adopted the scheme. He thought it should be discussed by the whole council in committee.

Mr. A. Wilmott remarked that the question had been before the Council for the past two years, and off and on for the past 20 years. The committee were absolutely united and had been united all along that there must be a road through somewhere. They had spent much time on the matter and considered every possible way of solving the difficulty. He would like to see it settled and out of the way. “It has bothered me,” he added, “more than my own opinions.”

The resolution for consideration by the whole Council in committee was lost.

Mr. Allen said he thought it was quite right it should be considered in open Council. It had been before the Council for the past 20 years and many hours had been spent on the business. Every councillor was probably conversant with the scheme and knew practically all the details of it. They would be doing the right thing by passing the resolution to purchase the land. The scheme would give the inhabitants of Harborough-road the chance of getting into the town and the children of getting to school. It was quite true that as ratepayers they received some reasonable consideration.

Mr. Perkins : It is clearly understood that if we pass this resolution we have full right of access?

The Chairman: Yes.

Value of the Land

In reply to Mr. Horrell as to whether the County Valuation Officer had been approached respecting the value of the land, Mr. Tysoe said that he had. He could see no reason why the Council should object to the purchase of the land when they had secured the option of it. The matter seemed to have been a thorn in the flesh of the Council for many years past. The proposal to make a road seemed the best way of doing the business.

Mr. Tysoe went on to add that Harborough-road was the longest cul-de-sac that he knew of in any town he had visited. From time to time there had been friction over the entry near the Cemetery, and this scheme would stop it.

Mr. Swindall said that he had no objection to the scheme, but he thought that the whole Council should be conversant with it. A scheme involving the expenditure of so large a sum of money should be brought before the whole Council.

Mr. Swindall went on to compare the Harborough-road difficulty with that of Orchard-place. That thoroughfare had been used for more than forty years, and the Council had done nothing towards making a good path there. In the other place they had a good path and they were now providing them with a road. When the Council had a path like Orchard-place something should be done to make it presentable.

Mr. Green remarked that the purchase of the land was the first step and should lead to good results.

Protecting the Children

Mr. Knight said the matter had been deferred so often because of the difficulties that had cropped up. “We know that Harborough-park is a thickly populated place,” he added, “and a considerable business place. Along the length of the street there is as much business done as anywhere in Rushden. I am in favour of simply making a pathway through these sites and a straight road between Harborough-road and Newton-road. The proposed scheme will not improve the entrance to the cemetery and as children use it very considerably you will not be protecting them as much as you do now.”

Mr. Hornsby caused some amusement by saying that when he received his agenda he felt like singing the Doxology. He was pleased to know that the scheme had at last come to a head.

Referring to Orchard-place, Mr. Richardson said he could see no comparison with Harborough-road. Orchard-place had never been taken over by the Council and Harborough-road had.

The motion ultimately received the unanimous consent of the Council.


At a meeting of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee, plans were presented for : Alterations and additions to No. 277, Wellingborough-road for Mr. Jack Joyce and passed; wooden store at the rear of No. 23, Gordon-terrace, for Mr. F. G. Lilley and no exception taken.

The Surveyor reported that for the year ended 31st December, 1929, plans had been approved for 68 houses, as follows: Ordinary private houses, 11; subsidy (private ownership), 15; subsidy (Council), 42; and that the following had been certified as completed during the year; Ordinary private houses, 10; subsidy (private ownership), 26; subsidy (Council), 94. The houses in course of construction at the end of the year numbered nine.

Fire Station

The Lighting and Fire Brigade Sub-committee reported that they had obtained an estimate for electrifying the Fire Station and providing a charging Board for charging accumulators at an inclusive price of £24 7s. 6d. They had accepted the estimate and the work had been completed.

Attention was called to the unsatisfactory state of Orchard-place, and the surveyor was instructed to place himself in communication with the owners with a view to the necessary work of repair being carried out.

Health and Sanitary Committee

The Sanitary Inspector reported that forty-eight visits had been made to premises where food was prepared or sold, during which inspections a quantity of food-stuffs to the total weight of 7 cwt. 1 qr. 5lbs. had been found to be diseased or unfit for food and destroyed.

Applications were received from various tradesmen for renewals of their petrol and carbide licences. An application was also received from Messrs. Fred Corby Ltd., for a licence to store 500 gallons of petrol in an under-ground tank with pump attached, at their premises in John Street.

The quarterly report of the Veterinary Inspector was received, from which it appeared that he visited 17 premises and inspected 174 cows. With the exception of one case the whole of the cows were clinically normal and the majority in good condition.

The Cemetery Registrar submitted his report for the year ended 31st December, 1929, from which it appeared that there had been 138 interments during the year. Sixty-one grave-spaces had been purchased and thirteen reserved for a period of 14 years. Twenty-five head-stones had been erected, 58 grave-spaces enclosed with kerbing, 32 vases fixed and 13 additional inscriptions engraved on existing memorials. The total fees for the year amounted to £297 19s. 9d., and no fees were outstanding.

The Cemetery Registrar also reported that permission had been given to the Imperial War Graves Commission to erect head-stones on such of the war graves as were not already marked by some permanent memorial. The number of war graves in the Rushden Cemetery was 19, of which 9 were distinguished by privately provided memorials, leaving 10 for the Commission to supply.

An application was received from the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd., for a renewal of the licence to sell pasteurised milk, and acceded to.

It was resolved to accept the offer of Mr. Coe for the grazing of 11½ acres of land at the sewage farm for the current year at 50/- per acre.

The report was adopted.

Unduly Long Holidays

A complaint was voiced by Mr. Perkins on the question of the length of time that had been occupied in correspondence between the Council and the Ministry of Health regarding a loan for the completion of certain roads within the town. It seemed rather a long time, he said, since they asked for the loan. It was on December 11th that they passed the resolution and the letter was forwarded to the Ministry on the following day. They received no reply for a fortnight and they were now no further forward.

“In the meantime,” continued Mr. Perkins, “this work is held up and there are nine houses now in the course of construction. It seems to me an unreasonably long time to be taken over a loan. There are men out of work and roads waiting to be made up. I think it should be pointed out the number of men who are waiting for work.”

Mr. T. Wilmott: Doesn’t it always take about this time?

The Clerk replied that the Ministry had dealt with the matter more quickly than usual and he saw no cause for complaint whatever.

Mr. Hornsby said that perhaps the Ministry was not aware of their local requirements and of the number of people out of work. The construction of Purvis-road was waiting to be completed.

After the Clerk had explained all the correspondence that had taken place with the Ministry and how the time had been occupied, Mr. Tysoe remarked that he thought Mr. Perkins would be satisfied if a tactful letter were written pointing out how much unemployment there was in the town.

The Clerk: It was only on Monday that I last wrote and I have received no reply yet to that letter.

Mr. Perkins: I don’t like a letter being sent on December 23rd, and a reply being received a fortnight later. I think the Christmas holidays had been unduly extended.

Mr. Hornsby: The Clerk’s explanation has thrown a new light on the matter, but still we want to get on with the work and alleviate unemployment.

The matter was then allowed to pass over.

The ever-prominent question of street lighting was again drawn to the notice of the Council when Mr. Hornsby asked what instructions had been given respecting the time the lamps should be lighted in the streets. “I have noticed,” he said, “that on several occasions the lamps have been lighted before sunset. I think this is a waste that the lamps should be lighted as early as that, but while I like to see the town well lighted, I think the Gas Company could wait for the sun. I don’t see that it serves any useful purpose.”

Replying, Mr. Allebone said: “This is very unusual, for the common complaint is that we don’t get enough light. As it is an unusual departure I am rather taken back. We have a definite understanding with the Gas Company respecting their charges and the number of hours. The clocking of the lamps is responsible for the defect. Taking it as a whole, if the lamps are being lighted earlier it is not costing us any more.”

Mr. Hornsby: If the Gas Company don’t mind, I don’t mind.

Social Hygiene

Dr. Greenfield submitted a letter received by him from the County Medical Officer of Health, asking if he would co-operate with the Public Health Committee of the County Council in arranging for some special illustrated educational and propaganda lectures in connection with social hygiene by convening a preliminary conference at Rushden. January 28th appeared to be a convenient date and the Alfred-street Council School would be available. He said that he would be prepared to convene the conference and take the chair, but he wished for the attendance and support of the Committee.

The Chairman said that he had received intimation from the medical authorities that they were seriously alarmed by the prevalence of venereal diseases among people. They intended to launch a campaign of education and arrangements had been made for a meeting to take place in the Alfred-street schools on January 28th. Some idea would be given of what it was intended to do, for the criticism of the Council. It was a very important subject, and he believed a great amount of good could be done if proper measures of education were adopted. Teachers in schools and people connected with social organisations would be invited and the presence of the Council would greatly help forward the campaign.


It was resolved to recommend the Council to increase the salary of Mr. J. G. Miller, junior clerk in the Surveyor’s department by 5/- per week, dating from the 1st inst.

A communication was received from the Midland District Industrial Council recommending that the present rate of wages be stabilised for 12 months up to the 31st December, 1930.

It was agreed to recommend the Council accordingly.

The recommendations were adopted.

In a special report addressed to the chairman of the Council the auditor again pressed the question of the appointment of a trained accountant to take charge of the Council’s accounts, which had now become very voluminous. The auditor drew attention to several points which he hoped the committee would take into consideration. It was resolved to have a special meeting of the committee at a date to be agreed upon by the Chairman.

The Council resolved to consider the question after their next meeting.

The Chairman read a letter from the Rector of St. Mary’s (the Rev. T. S. Stoney) inviting the Council to attend a town’s service in the Church on Sunday, February 9th, in commemoration of the 700th anniversary of Rushden’s first Rector.

Mr. Knight moved that the Council should attend, and Mr. Horrell seconding, the motion was carried.

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


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 14th February, 1930

Municipal Shops in New Estate
Bandstand In Spencer Park to be Considered
Seats for Old and Crippled People

As an air-port, Rushden is not regarded by the Urban Council as a suitable place, according to the attitude taken by the Plans and Highways Committee, reported at a meeting of the Council on Wednesday. One other interesting item was an instruction to the surveyor to prepare plans of shops for the Council on the Irchester Road housing estate.

The members present were: Messrs. D. G. Greenfield, M.D., J.P. (chairman), G. W. Coles, J.P. (vice-chairman), T. Wilmott, J. Roe, T. Newberry, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, C. Claridge, J. Allen, F. Knight, J.P., L. Tysoe, C. W. Horrell, C.A., L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, J. Spencer, 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).

More Town Schemes

The Housing Committee reported that they had had under consideration the question of the provision of shops on the Irchester-road housing site, and instructed the surveyor to prepare alternative plans for a house and shop combined and a house with shop attached, and submit to the next meeting.

Referring to the instructions to the Surveyor to prepare alternative plans for shops, Mr. Perkins said the idea was that it might be found convenient at some time to let the shop separately from the house. There was no hurry in the matter, as it would have to be submitted to the Ministry of Health.

The report was adopted.

Mr. Perkins informed the Council that the District Valuer had been over the estate beyond Purvis-road in company with the County Education Surveyor and Mr. Lloyd to see the site offered for the building of a new school. The Valuer’s report was not yet ready.

On the recommendation of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee, plans were passed for : Bungalow in Court-avenue for Mrs. Hale; house in Hayway for Mr. W. B. Sanders, junr; forcing house in Shirley-road for Mr. W. G. Lovell; alterations to house No. 2, Griffith-street for Dr. McCabe; press box in the Rushden Sports ground for “The Evening Telegraph.” Plans for a house in Adnitt-road for Mr. Charles Espin were referred back for the owners of the estate to be approached with a view to a sewer being provided in the street.

The Clerk reported that the whole of the apportioned expenses in connection with the making of Carnegie-street had been paid by the “Frontagers.” It was accordingly resolved that notices be posted in the street declaring same to be a highway repairable by the inhabitants at large.

Municipal Airports

A letter was received by the Highways Committee from Messrs. Alan Cobham Aviation Ltd., with regard to the provision in the districts of all local authorities of a landing ground for aircraft in the vicinity of the town. - No action was taken.

Main Roads

A letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council, calling attention to the practice at present in force whereby the County Council pay to urban district councils who maintain the existing main roads under contract, a fixed sum each year calculated to represent the expenditure attributable to the scavenging necessary for the maintenance of the main roads as distinguished from sanitary scavenging for purposes of public health. The sum paid by the County Council represented roughly one-third of the total cost to the district council of all scavenging on the main roads. In order that a uniform policy might be adopted in the matter with regard to all the county roads in all the urban districts affected, the letter suggested that there should be an arrangement on the lines indicated above under which the whole of the scavenging on county roads in urban districts be, as from April 1st, carried out by the respective urban authorities in consideration of the County Council paying one-third of the cost involved on the basis of annual estimates approved by them.

The committee recommended the Council to offer to enter into such an agreement to be renewed annually on the basis proposed. The average cost of the scavenging of the main roads, 5 miles, 1 furlong, 165 yards, for the past three years had been £378, and estimating the addition of 2 miles, 3 furlongs, 44 yards classified roads at the same rate the total average cost would be £552 and the amount repayable as suggested £184.

Dark Little Street

A memorial from the inhabitants of Little-street asking for improvements to the public lighting there, was received and referred to the Lighting Sub-Committee.

Private Wheatley Houses

The Ministry of Health wrote approving the proposal of the Council to afford financial assistance by means of annual payment of £7 10s 0d. per house for 40 years in respect of two houses to be erected by private enterprise under the provision of the above Act.

The committee’s report was adopted.

Public Health Matters

The Health and Sanitary Committee reported that they had received the report of the Medical Officer for January. The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting 13 additional nuisances had been dealt with and 40 had been abated. Twenty-eight visits had been made to premises where food was prepared or sold during which inspections a quantity of foodstuffs to the total weight of 1 cwt. 1 qr. 25½ lbs. had been found to be diseased or unfit for food and destroyed in the usual way. The Inspector reported that for the half-year ended 1st February, 53 out-workers lists had been sent out of which 38 had been returned containing the names of 65 out-workers.

Milk Purveyors Registered

Applications were received from Mr. L. Tysoe of Higham-road, and Mr. C. G. T. Holloway of 44, Irchester-road, to be registered as wholesale and retail purveyors of milk, respectively, at their premises. It was resolved to accede to the applications subject to the stores being to the satisfaction of the Inspector.

Increasing Trade Refuse

The Surveyor reported that manufacturers’ trade refuse was being carted to the Council’s tips in rather increasing amounts. It was resolved that in future a charge of 6d. for two wheel loads and 1s. for four wheel loads be made for dealing with this refuse.

War Graves Commission

An application was received from the Imperial War Graves Commission, asking the Council for the exclusive right of burial in those War Graves in the cemetery where such right had not already been acquired by the relatives. The number of such graves was 15. It was resolved to accede to the application and also to remit the fees.

Inspector’s Salary

An application was received from Mr. Piper for an increase of salary and it was resolved to recommend to the Finance Committee that his salary be increased by £25 per annum, dating from the 1st. instant.

The report was adopted.


The Finance Committee reported on the recommendation of the Health and Sanitary Committee with regard to the increase in Mr. Piper’s salary and that they approved it.

Housing Acts, 1924

The Clerk reported the receipt from the Ministry of Health of sanctions to the borrowing by the Council of the sums of £1,480 and £6,870 for the purposes of road construction on the Irchester-road site. He was instructed to negotiate the loans on the best terms possible.

Library Clock

The Clerk reported that the clock in the news room at the Library was worn out and beyond repair; the Library Committee had recommended that a new one be purchased. It was resolved to recommend to the Council that a new barrel movement clock, with a 14 inch dial, be purchased at the price of £5 15s.

The report was adopted.

Mr. Claridge asked whether one or two seats could be placed on the Wellingborough-road as, he said, there was originally one there but it was removed. There were one or two crippled people who would like to sit down at the bottom of the hill.

The matter was referred to the Highways Committee.

Mr. Coles asked that the Parks and Baths Committee stay behind after the meeting to prepare estimates for consideration by the Finance Committee for the forthcoming year.

He said that the provision of conveniences in Jubilee Park and attention to the band stand in Spencer Park might be considered.

The whole of the business lasted exactly eleven minutes.

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