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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 11th July, 1930, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban Council Meeting
The Rushden Hall Estate Surprise
Police Keys for Spencer Park.
Big Housing Scheme Starts
Smallpox Danger Averted

There were present at a meeting of Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday Messrs. G. W. Coles (Chairman), J. Perkins M.B.E., B.Sc., (Vice-chairman), Tom Wilmott, T. F. B. Newbery, J. Roe, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., F. Knight, J.P., L. Tysoe, J. Allen, 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).

Ald. C. W. Horrell in London, writes apologising for his inability to attend this meeting.

Scholars Baths

The Baths and Parks Committee reported that a letter was received from the Secretary to the Northants Education Committee, asking that arrangements be made for the school children to attend the baths for instruction in swimming as last year, however, it was desired that instruction be given on two days instead of one day each week. The letter also enquired at what rate the Council proposed to charge the Committee. It was resolved that the rate be the same as last year, viz., one penny per head, and that the arrangements for attendance be left in the hands of the Emergency Sub-committee.

A letter was received from the Secretary of the united Sunday Schools, asking for permission to assemble the children in Spencer Park on Thursday the 17th July, as usual, and also inviting the Council to witness a “March Past” of the scholars.

The committee agreed to accede to the application and resolved to recommend the Council to accept the invitation.

Park Damage Prevention

The Chairman reported that having regard to the recent damage in Spencer Park the police had suggested that they be supplied with duplicate keys of the Park in order that they might periodically inspect same at night.

The committee agreed and instructed the Surveyor to have keys made accordingly.

Presenting the above report, Mr. Allebone said that the police now had duplicate keys, and that should act as a deterrent to possible offenders.

Mr. Perkins said that the park was locked but entrance was possible near the hard tennis courts, where a gap in the hedge was used to let players go into the next field to fetch lost balls. It would be better to stop up that gap altogether, even if they had to put in a little gate which could be locked. Otherwise it would be better to allow the general public in to keep a watch on the place.

Mr. Tom Wilmott said there was an open gate on the Hayway side.

Mr. Allebone pointed out that the hedge at the entrance to Spencer Park was so low that people would get in if they were determined to do damage. The Council wanted the people of Rushden to appreciate what was done for them and not to do damage.

The Chairman concurred and added that it would have effect with the police having keys.

Dr. Greenfield : Do you intend to proceed against anyone as trespassers?

Mr. Allebone : If cases are brought before the committee it will be for them to decide.

Mr. Knight said it was not merely trespassing but damage.

The report was adopted.

On a reference to ‘Birchall’ Road in the report of the Highways Committee, Mr. Perkins said he did not think the new school was to be there. It was not an appropriate term for a school! (Laughter). When any new names were chosen in future he suggested that the whole Council be consulted. New roads sometimes got fantastic names and that sort of thing should not be done in haphazard ways.

Mr. Swindall said he did not agree. If the owners of private estates wished to give a place a name they should be allowed to do so and the Council could give names to Council estates.

Mr. Allen said he had expected to see something with respect to the control of the direction of traffic in Church-street. It left much to be desired. He thought the County Council would defray the cost of a signal and that would ease the traffic considerably.

The Chairman said that the Urban Council had no control over the traffic which was for the police to attend to. Regarding signs, he understood that the cost was to be ascertained.

Housing Tenders Accepted

The Housing Committee reported that tenders were received for the erection of a further 60 houses on the Irchester-road site, and they recommended the Council, subject to the approval of the Ministry of Health, to accept the following :-

Contract No. 22 for 10 houses of the non-parlour and 2 of the parlour type, Messrs. A. W. Lewis & Sons, Burton Latimer, £4,454.

Contract No. 23 for 14 houses of the non-parlour type, Mr. R. Marriott, Rushden, £5,317.

Contract No. 24 for 14 houses of the non-parlour type, Messrs. A. W. Lewis and Sons, Burton Latimer, £5,260.

Contract No. 25 for 8 houses of the parlour type, Messrs. Underwood and Weston, of Northampton, £3,228

Contract No. 26 for 12 houses of the parlour type, Messrs. Underwood and Weston, Northampton £4,812.

Renovation of Houses

Tenders were received for the inside renovation of 36 houses on the Irchester-road and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accept that of Mr. A. T. Nichols, the lowest at £109 7s.

Tenders were also received for the outside painting of 28 houses in Oval and Trafford-roads and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accept the following :-

Contracts No. 1 and 2, Messrs. Prickett & Dunkley, £30, for each ten of 20 houses.

Contract No. 3 for 10 houses, Mr. W. Packwood, £27 10s.

Contract No. 4 for 8 houses, Mr. W. Packwood, £24.

Presenting the above report, Mr. Perkins said the committee regretted that they had to go out of town for so much of the work, though one contract was let in Rushden. He would mention that the increasing number of Council houses would mean that extra help would be wanted some time to inspect for repairs. A certain amount was added to the rents for repairs, and either necessary repairs must be done or the rents lowered. (Hear, hear).

The report was adopted.

Local Smallpox

The Health and Sanitary Committee stated that the Medical Officer reported that a case of smallpox had been notified and was admitted to hospital on the 16th June. All necessary precautions had been taken and the patient was progressing satisfactorily. It appeared that the patient had been in contact with smallpox while an inmate of a convalescent home at Mablethorpe. The officer stated that there appeared to have been delay by the Mablethorpe authorities in notifying this case. He had written to the medical officers concerned, but had received no reply.

The Clerk was instructed to write to the Clerk to the local council asking for an explanation.

The Medical Officer reported that having regard to the case of smallpox in the district, it was necessary that chicken-pox be made compulsorily notifiable.

The committee agreed and instructed the Clerk to take the necessary steps.

The Veterinary Inspector reported that the whole of the 174 cows in Rushden were clinically normal, and with few exceptions in good condition.

Work For Tuberculosis

A letter was received from the local committee for the after-care of the tuberculosis, stating that one of the most important matters they had to deal with was the finding of suitable employment for patients who are unable to continue their usual occupation and requesting the Council to do what they could to assist in this branch of the work.

The Clerk was instructed to reply that the Surveyor would bear the application in mind when suitable work presented itself.

Dr. Greenfield said that they hoped that with the recovery of the patient that would be the end of smallpox in Rushden from that source. The Medical Officer and the Sanitary Inspector had done everything possible to check any spread. It was a very disquieting fact that the case came from a convalescent home, and even though the address of the patient was known the Medical Officer at Mablethorpe had not written to the Medical Officer from Rushden. He thought that where a man had been in a convalescent home and his address was known, directly the authorities knew it was a case of smallpox, they should have communicated with the Rushden authority straight away. Notification went from one County Medical Officer to another County Medical Officer, and then to Rushden. Otherwise, everything was satisfactory, and he believed the town was safe from further cases.

The report was adopted.

Discount for Prompt Payment

With regard to the resolution of the Council of the 13th February, 1929, whereby discount and allowances are made for prompt payment of rates, the Finance Committee recommended the Council that in future where the demand notes are issued late, for whatever reason, the discount and allowances shall have effect if payment be made within one month from the date of such demand, provided that when the demands are served in the months of March and September the latest day for payment shall be the 31st and 30th of those months respectively.

Rushden Hall Enquiry

The Finance Committee recommended that a deputation consisting of the Chairman of the Council, the Chairman of the Hall Committee and the Clerk be appointed to interview the Minister of Health with a view to the expedition of the enquiry with regard to the purchase of Rushden Hall and Park.

Mr. Roe said that since the above report had been circulated he understood that the Clerk had received a telephone message from the Ministry to the effect that they would dispense with the inquiry.

Mr. Coles : That means that the committee must get to work as soon as they can.

The report was adopted.

On the subject of raising a loan of £23,000 for 60 houses, Mr. Knight asked whether there were any new designs for houses. He said it would be a pity to have them all in one monotonous style.

Mr. Lloyd said that there were six different designs, and they would be taken alternately.

Mr. Perkins explained that the committee did not want to make very big changes, but they were expecting to do another 40 houses in a few months to complete the 100 decided on, and he hoped that part of the scheme would give scope for a good deal of variation.


The Rushden Echo, 15th August, 1930

Many Thousands of Pounds Spending
Authorised in a Few Minutes
Damage in Hall Grounds

The usual monthly meeting of the Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday occupied only a few minutes, and in the time the spending of nearly £30,000 was authorised. There were present Messrs. G. W. Coles, J.P., (Chairman), Tom Wilmott, T. F. B. Newberry, J. Roe, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., C. Claridge, F. Knight, J.P., C. W. Horrell, C.A., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby and J. T. Richardson, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper), and the Surveyor (Mr. J. W. Lloyd).

Better Public Lighting

The Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee recommended that plans be passed for a house in Purvis-road for Mr. C. Espin, house in Wellingborough-road for Messrs. T. Swindall and Sons, and an extension of shop at number 76, High-street for Mr. W. Meadows.

Irchester Road Footpaths

The committee had under consideration the question of the Irchester Road footpaths, referred to them by the Council at their last meeting. Having regard to the recent acquisition by the County Council of this road, the committee considered it premature to make any application to that Council, and agreed to adjourn the matter for 12 months.

The lighting sub-committee reported that they had considered the question of winter lighting and now recommended that full lighting commence on August 30th and continue until May 8th, 1931.

Factory Fire Escapes

The Surveyor reported that as instructed at the last meeting, he, together with Mr. Wilmott, had visited and inspected the factories of Messrs. Robinson Bros. and Messrs. W. Sargent and Co. In each case the owners undertook to submit a scheme providing for sufficient and proper means of escape in case of fire.

The Surveyor also reported that he had inspected Messrs. F. Corby’s factory in John-street and stated that in his opinion sufficient and proper means of escape in case of fire were provided.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to grant a certificate to this effect.

Mr. Swindall was informed by the Clerk that the public lighting was the same as last time but that it would be full lighting from the beginning this session.

Mr. Spencer pressed the matter of some repairs to Irchester-road. He said he hoped that ordinary repairs would be done; the footpaths were in a very bad way.

Mr. Horrell replied that the committee had not gone beyond their report.

The report was adopted.

Ambulance Van Precautions

The Health and Sanitary Committee stated that they had recorded a report from the Sanitary Inspector to the effect that during the past month 15 additional nuisances had been dealt with and 30 abated. A quantity of articles of bedding and wearing apparel had been disinfected after cases of infectious disease. Four rooms and the ambulance van had also been disinfected.

The Medical Officer reported that the case of smallpox was progressing satisfactorily and would be discharged from hospital in about ten days. No further cases had occurred.

A letter from a resident stated that acting on the Medical Officer’s instructions he had engaged a deputy to carry out his duties for 15 days on account of having been in contact with the above case. He asked for the sum of £6 10s. the amount paid to his deputy.

It was resolved to recommend that this sum be paid.

The report was adopted.


The Finance Committee reported that they had been informed by the Clerk of his receipt from the Ministry of Health of their sanction to the raising of a loan of £23,160 for housing. He had been in communication with the Public Works Loan Board who had agreed, subject to investigation, to make the advance at 5 per cent.

The Clerk also reported the receipt from the Ministry of Health of their sanction to the borrowing of the sums of £1,000 and £4,375 for the purchase of Rushden Hall and grounds. It was resolved that application be made to the Ministry of Health for a recommendation to the Public Works Loan Board with a view to the latter making loans, failing which, the Clerk was instructed to advertise for same. In the meantime the Clerk was instructed to make arrangements with the treasurer for a temporary loan in order that the completion of the purchase be not delayed.

Mr. Roe, presenting the Finance Committee’s report, said that the loan of £23,160 was to be at one quarter per cent lower than the last loan was obtained.

The report was adopted.

The Chairman said that on the subject of Rushden Hall, he had been asked to utter a warning. It had been reported that youths had found a way into Rushden Hall grounds, getting in from the Wymington-road. It had been found that they had done damage. “Now it is the wish of every member of this Council,” Mr. Coles proceeded, “also of every inhabitant of Rushden that that sort of thing shall cease. The Hall grounds are a very valuable asset to the town, and we do not want anything done there which is likely to cause damage or stress to anyone. I take this opportunity of uttering this warning to the youths and if they disregard it, I hope the Council will take proceedings. We do not wish to do so or to be vindictive, but we do want to take proper care of the town. I hope everyone will assist us in that way.”

Mr. Claridge asked if it was not time a proper danger sign was put up on the Wellingborough-road on the side approaching the cross-roads. It was quite a danger spot and there was no danger signal and no notice of cross-roads. There had been an accident there recently and something ought to be done in the matter.

Supporting the suggestion, Mr. J. Spencer said it might be a good thing if the Highway Committee made a recommendation to the County Council. It was very dangerous at dinner time with motorists rushing by.

Mr. Horrell: The matter is already before the County Council and will be dealt with at their next meeting.

Mr. Tom Wilmott: While this is being mentioned, I would like to ask what is going to happen with regard to the planting of trees? I think Dr. Greenfield started planting trees at entrances to the town to make it much more beautiful on the Wellingborough-road towards Sanders Lodge, also on the Kimbolton-road. Whose duty is it now that the roads have been taken over? Is it possible to continue the scheme in the future?

Mr. Allebone and Mr. Knight said that the Rushden Council had always done it.

The Chairman said it was purely for the Council to decide.

Mr. Hornsby raised the subject of the clearer naming of streets and said that many of the signs and name plates were indecipherable, as, for example that on Gordon Terrace and others on many parts of the town. They were broken or worn. He understood that a certain amount of money was allowed in the estimates for the work, and he asked that the Highways Committee take the matter into consideration.

The Chairman said that the Council had already decided that it should be done in view of the census taking place next year.


The Rushden Echo, 12th September, 1930

Private Deputation Of Teachers
Subject Discussed In Committee

At the usual meeting of the Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday, there were present :- Messrs. R. W. Coles, J.P. (Chairman), L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., (vice-chairman), Tom Wilmott, J. Roe, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, C. Claridge, F. Knight, J.P., L. Tysoe, C. W. Horrell, C.A., A. Allen, T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, and A. F. Richardson, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Deputy Surveyor (Mr. H. …..) and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper).

Before the meeting was open to the Press a deputation of head teachers and other day school teachers was received by the Council.

The ordinary business began at 7.29 p.m.

Rushden Hall Opening - Programme Disapproved

The Rushden Hall Committee reported that they had visited and inspected the Swanspool Grounds at Wellingborough, and that the sub-committee appointed to consider arrangements for opening the Hall and grounds recommended as follows:-

1. That the Head teachers and staffs on the various schools be asked to assemble the school children in Spencer Park and headed by the various bands and the Fire Brigade form a procession to the Hall Grounds at 2.30 p.m.

2. That the Hall and grounds be formally declared open by the Chairman of the Council, Mr. G. W. Coles, at 3 p.m., Dr. Greenfield be asked to preside.

3. That tea be provided for the children and staff, Fire Brigade, and Bandsmen after the opening.

4. That tea also be provided for the members and Officers on the Council.

5. That sports be arranged for the children only, and that prizes to the value of £10 be given.

6. That six balloons be provided for despatch and that the grounds be closed for the day at 8 p.m.

7. That the local St. John Ambulance Brigade be invited to attend.

It was understood that the local Co-operative Society would provide the children’s tea at the actual cost.

On the subject of a caretaker it was resolved to recommend the Council that the present caretaker, Mr. Pettit, be asked to continue as such until the 31st December next at a salary of 50s per week with house, the whole question to be reconsidered at the close of the year.

When Mr. Tom Wilmott presented the above recommendations, Mr. Swindall said he considered that the report and recommendation would not be discussed until the end of the meeting and that the Council then go into committee.

It was agreed that the report be only received and not discussed at that stage.

Mr. Tysoe: I presume that that is only because of the deputation that has just visited us?

The Chairman: That is the idea.

Mr. Tysoe: I do not see that that should interfere with our procedure. I shall have something to say on the subject all the same.

The minutes were considered at the close of all other business and in committee.

After the private meeting it was learned that recommendation (1) was altered to exclude words “Head teachers and staffs,” the word “marshals” being used instead. No. 5 was deleted.

Alteration Explained - The Teachers’ Position

A representative of this paper saw some of the Rushden teachers after the meeting on Wednesday evening, and they explained that they considered that part of the suggested programme was impracticable particularly the sports timed for the evening. But they were chiefly opposed to being called upon to take charge of the children in the procession, at the tea, and at the sports. They estimated that each teacher would be responsible for over 130 children. Also their own holiday arrangements had been made long before they were consulted about the above plans.

More Plans Passed

On the recommendation of the Plans and Highways Committee, plans were passed for a bungalow in Fern-road for Mr. H. Larkin, a house in Pytchley-road for Mr. A. Sanders, two houses in Newton-road for Mr. C. Lloyd and Mrs. H. Dixon and passed subject to the drains being separately constructed with the sewer, and a fish and chip saloon in Graveley-street for Mrs. N. Robinson and passed.

The Captain of the Fire Brigade was given permission to purchase a quantity of hose and fittings at a cost of £24 9s.

Council House Slums?

The Sanitary Inspector said a second visit to a house had been made and it was in the same condition.

Mr. Perkins: “We do not want people to make slums of our Council houses. Recently, at any rate, as far as choosing tenants for the houses, we have been very careful within the limits of our knowledge, only to let people in as tenants who would take care of houses. The buildings are now satisfactory and will last out our lifetime. It is the people, and not the houses, that make the slums.” They wanted a proper class of tenant in the now large block of Council buildings.

More Bathing Facilities

Mr. Roe said he would like to ask the chairman of the Baths Committee if there had been any alteration in the closing hours at the baths. Several bathers, he said, had been rather dissatisfied just recently. A week last Thursday, during the hot spell of weather, 8.15 p.m. was the closing time, and the baths were cleared at 8 o’clock, so that bathers arriving late would have very little time in the water. The closing hour should have been extended that week, he thought.

Mr. Allebone said that as far as he knew there had been no alteration in the times. Mr. Elliott (bath attendant) had told him that during the hot weather it was very difficult to adhere strictly to the time, especially as regards children.

Mr. Allebone said he told Mr. Elliott that they did not want to keep anybody out in the spell of hot weather. “If there have been any irregularities,” said Mr. Allebone, “they are beyond my knowledge.” They would go into the matter and see if there was anything out of order.

Rushden Hall Loans

The Clerk reported to the Finance Committee that since the last meeting he had received sanction to a further loan of £225 in respect of the expenses in connection with the purchase of Rushden Hall and Grounds.

The Clerk also reported that as instructed he had been in communication with the Ministry of Health and Public Works Loan Board with regard to the negotiation of these loans. The latter were prepared to advance the loans up to an amount not exceeding one half of the sum received by the sale of Savings Certificates in Rushden during the past 12 months as follows:-

£1,000 for 20 years at 5 per cent.

£4,375 for 50 years at 5½ per cent.

£225 for 50 years at 5½ per cent.

The full term of the Sanctions in respect of the two latter loans was 60 years.

The number of certificates taken up was 17,640 and the sum received £14,112.

He had since received local offers of loans for the full term allowed at 5 per cent.

The legal costs including stamp duties would be £57 10s.

The committee recommended the Council to accept the loans on these terms.

General Rate

The committee considered the amount of the rate in the £ for the ensuing half year and resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Rates Clerk to prepare a rate of 6s. 6d. in the £ for sealing at the October meeting.

Referring to the rate for the coming half-year, Mr. Roe said: “Although the County Council precept is slightly lower than last half-year, we cannot recommend that the Council lower the rate of the past half-year.”

Housing Plans

On behalf of the Housing Committee, Mr. Perkins said that although they had done considerable work he had no formal report to present. He hoped, however, that he would be able to lay before the next meeting of the Council the plans for the improvement of the Irchester-road site, and the arrangements for the planting of trees, etc.

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