|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 10th June, 1949, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Old Hall to be Demolished
Council Decision to End Bottleneck
Rushden’s former Salvation Army Hall, which has for many years created a bottleneck for traffic, received its death sentence at the Urban Council meeting on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Works have surrendered the tenancy of the former Salvation Army Hall in Queen Street, which they had held from the Council since December, 1947, with a view to establishing the Food Office there. In view of this development the General Purposes Committee recommended that tenders be invited for the demolition of the buildings and clearance of the site in readiness for a highway improvement.
“We wanted to get on with this business quickly,” said Coun. J. Allen. “We have been talking about it 20 years or more.”
The report was adopted.
The Council accepted with thanks an offer by Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society to lend vacant land off Rectory Road for temporary use as a car park. The Society had offered to pay for necessary works on the site, estimated to cost £270, and then to rent the land to the Council for a period of five years. It was stated that from 18-20 cars could be accommodated.
Coun. Allebone described the offer as “extremely generous.” The park, he added, would alleviate the congestion which always occurred in Rectory Road, but it had only one entrance and exit, and much would depend upon how it was used.
The Council decided to be guided by the general principles expressed in a circular received from the Ministry of Health in reference to conferences. In this circular, the Minister suggested that too many conferences were being held, making too great a demand on the time of Council members and officers.
“This Council has moved even before the Minister of Health,” claimed Coun. Allen.
“We have too many conferences and too many representatives attending them,” declared Mrs. Rowthorn.
Speaking of the Council’s efforts to safeguard the standard of ice cream, Coun. Waring said the public was not responding as it should. People threw the sticky wrappers on to the ground instead of into the waste paper receptacles.
Mrs. Rowthorn commented on the lack of information from the town committee which was appointed in January to consider the formation of a Community Centre possibly with headquarters at Rushden Hall. Several people, she said, had approached her on this question, and they thought it was high time they had some news.
It was agreed to ask for permission to invite tenders for the erection of 48 houses in groups of twelve on the Upper Queen Street Estate. The Housing Committee also reported that they would inspect the new “Unity” houses at Chingford, Essex, with a view to erecting twenty of them.
The Parks Committee recommended that a further attempt should now be made to secure Government approval for the restoration of the Hall Park as nearly as possible to its pre-war condition.
The Surveyor (Mr. A. Millar) submitted an estimate, amounting to £5,600, for the restoration of the pasture and the planting of an avenue. His further scheme for development, which would include tennis courts and car parking facilities, was deferred, pending a decision on the general principle of restoration.
It was agreed to seek consent to the raising of a loan of £835 to cover the cost of converting two grass tennis courts into hard courts at Spencer Park.
It was also decided to install a new drinking fountain at Spencer Park at an estimated cost of £50.
A letter from the Trades Council referred to the danger of children gaining access to the railway line near the Hedges. Coun. Mrs. Muxlow and the Surveyor were requested to inspect the site.
A notice from the East Midlands Electricity Board mentioned proposals to place overhead cables along Bedford Road. The Council, however, expressed the view that these cables should be laid underground.
As the result of a letter from Miss E. Claridge, protesting against the continued use of the road in front of her house in Skinner’s Hill as a bus stopping place, the Highways Committee suggested that the United Counties Omnibus Company should use the existing parking ground as a bus stop.
Permission was granted for Rushden Y.M.C.A. to use the swimming baths for one hour per week, after the normal closing time.
Following an application from Rushden Co-operative Society Sports Section, the Parks Committee decided that in view of the extensive public demand for the use of the tennis courts in Spencer Park they could not grant exclusive use of the courts to a club.
The committee also negatived a request from the Rushden branch of the National Association of Local Government Officers, that cricket pitches in Spencer Park should be prepared and let to local clubs.
The Medical Officer reported eleven births and 13 deaths.
On the ground that no real demand had been apparent, it was decided to discontinue the experimental placing of “The Daily Worker” in the Public Library reading room.
Building plans included the following: semi-detached cottages at Rushden House Sanatorium and extensions to the Lodge for the Regional Hospital Board; garage, 110 Higham Road, Mr. H. J. Felgate; alterations and additions, 222, Wellingborough Road, Mr. W. H. Johnson; extension to kitchen, 122, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Mr. T. H. Franklin; inflammable goods stores Shirley Road and Park Road, Messrs. John White Footwear, Ltd.; extensions at Ferrers Mere Farm, Mr. John White; leather store, Duck Street, Messrs. C. W. Horrell, Ltd.; buffing room, Irchester Road, Messrs. Strong and Fisher, Ltd.; portable garage, Cromwell Road, Mr. R. H. Wykes; house, St. Mary’s Avenue, Mr. J. S. Bayes; pair of garages, 39-41, Upper Queen Street, Messrs. T. J. Robson and O. Smith.
New committee chairmen were announced as follows :-
Housing, Mrs. Muxlow; Rating, Mr. A. H. Bailey; Highways, Mr. A. A. Allebone; Parks, Mr. E. A. Sugars; Health, Mr. H. Waring; Library, Mr. C. G. Faulkner; Finance, Mr. J. Allen.
Members present were : Couns. W. E. Capon (chairman), F. E. Brown (vice-chairman), Mrs. W. M. Lean, E. J. Roe, A. H. Dickens, E. E. Newell, A. A. Allebone, A. H. Bailey, W. Keller, J. Allen, Mrs. A, Muxlow, J. H. J. Paragreen, H. Waring, W. J. Sawford, E. A. Sugars, J. T. Richardson and Mrs. A. Rowthorn.
10th June, 1949
Housing Plea to Council
More information about the letting of Council houses in Rushden is to be circulated as the result of an appeal made at Wednesday’s meeting of the Urban Council.
Coun. A. A. Allebone referred to a case of overcrowding which, according to the minutes, was to receive attention from the Letting Sub-Committee. Though knowing nothing of the case, he said, he assumed it would receive favourable attention because of the exceptionally bad circumstances. The public, however, might hear of the case in a roundabout way and, without knowing the facts, become disgruntled.
Councillors who were not on the sub-committee would find it very difficult to refute the charges, and he therefore suggested that they should be kept informed about the various lettings.
Coun. H. Waring pointed out that a neighbouring authority published lists of successful applicants prior to its meetings. He saw no objection whatever to the names and addresses being published after the meetings.
“We ought to consider these cases in bulk,” said Coun. Mrs. Rowthorn. “To leave it to a sub-committee of four is insufficient. We ought to consider first the most destitute cases before we consider letting houses to couples without children.”
Replying for the Housing Committee, Mrs. Muxlow said there were about 500 applicants on the list, and it would not add to the celerity of the selections if the whole of the committee had to go through the applications. The allegation that they were letting houses to couples without children was entirely untrue; they had never, never done so.
“We should be pleased if names and addresses of successful applicants were published,” added Mrs. Muxlow, “although even then I suppose we should be wrong. I don’t see why every member should not have a list of the successful applicants with a précis of the applications.”