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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 16th March, 13th April, 1951, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
16th March, 1951

Two Rebuffs for Library Committee

Bye-law proviso called ‘paltry’

Clause No. 5 in a new set of bye-laws for the Public Library caused surprise and amusement at Wednesday’s meeting of Rushden Urban Council. It allowed smoking by the staff, but not by visitors.

The clause read: “A person other than an officer or servant of the Library Authority shall not smoke or strike a light in any part of the library.”

Coun. E. J. Roe said this might cause trouble. Hitherto, smoking had been forbidden, and now they had a clause which said that officers and servants might smoke. If the user of the library must not smoke, he did not see why an official should.

Looking at her copy of the bye-laws, Coun. Mrs. Muxlow, who is chairman of the Library Committee, declared: “I can’t see where the clause is; it is not on my copy.”


Other members said they had it on their papers, but Mrs. Muxlow held out her sheet for inspection.

The words relating to the staff were not there, and the clerk then explained that they had been written in by hand on most of the stencilled copies. It had been mentioned in committee, he said, that they would have to put in the proviso to cover the case of a member of the staff having to strike a match in the event of a lighting failure. It was not the intention that the employees should smoke in the library.

Mrs. Muxlow: I don’t think it is a great hardship for anyone to visit the library without smoking a cigarette. If they want a smoke they can go out and come back again.

“It looks rather paltry,” said Coun. W. E. Capon, on whose motion, seconded by Mr. Roe, the proviso about officials was struck out.

Wary of ‘bias’

“I don’t think we shall take exception to a member of the staff striking a match to light the gas,” said the chairman (Coun. F. E. Brown) reassuringly.

Coun. J. Allen then attacked the Library Committee’s decision to accept free copies of “The Autocar,” “The Builder” and other journals for the reading room, but to refuse the journal of the National Farmers’ Union.

Mrs. Muxlow said the committee felt they could not be too careful that there should not be the slightest political bias in anything they had in the library.

Mr. Allen returned to the attack, and the Council decided that the farming journal should be accepted.

The Library Committee, which last year threw out the “Co-operative News” and the “Rushden Baptist” (supplied free of charge), has now decided to purchase them.

Regarding the proposed traffic Order restricting waiting in High Street, the Ministry of Transport now agreed to omit the portion of road between Station Road and Victoria Road, but insisted that the portion between the west gate of the Parish Church and Skinner’s Hill should be included. It was suggested that the Council might now withdraw its objections.

When Mrs. Muxlow expressed fears that the first portion would become an unofficial car park, the chairman pointed out that the Council had asked for its deletion from the scheme.

“It is a retrograde step,” retorted Mrs. Muxlow. Coun. W. J. Sawford also regretted that the Ministry had given way.

‘Essential’ funerals

Opinion was divided regarding the other end of the restricted area. Mr. Sawford said it was not right for cars to be parked in front of the War Memorial. He agreed, however, that funerals were “essential” and that conveyances should be allowed to wait outside the church.

The chairman said he was sure the police would be reasonable, and the Council then withdrew its objection to the Order.

Complaining of a “lack of mutual confidence” between themselves and the surveyor’s department, Messrs. Robert Marriott were allowed to withdraw their tender for 14 houses. They also wished to withdraw their tender for sewers on the St. Crispin Estate, but the Health Committee is negotiating with them on this point.

Reporting on last month’s complaint by Coun. Mrs. Rowthorn, the Highways Committee stated that the all-night lighting at two points near St. Margaret’s Avenue was desirable and should be continued.

‘No hope’

Because there was “not the slightest hope” of the Government agreeing, the Housing Committee took no action on Coun. A. A. Allebone’s suggestion that council tenants might purchase their houses by weekly instalments.

A resolution was adopted extending the rate discount periods to June 30th and December 31st, except in specified circumstances.

Six births and 22 deaths during February were reported by the Medical Officer. Of those who died, 18 were over 65 years of age.

Rents for allotments at the Cemetery Field and the Bedford Road refuse tip will be increased to sixpence per pole per annum.

Building plans

Building plans included the following: Alterations and additions, 63, High Street, Mr. G. Saxby; two pairs of houses, Link Road, Messrs. W. H. Dilley and Sons; house, Harvey Road, Mr. K. Hake; house, Harvey Road, Mr. H. J. Warhurst; petrol pump and storage tank, 69, Moor Road, Mr. G. W. Smith; shop window and door, 111, High Street South, Mrs. L. O. Felgate; garage and cycle shed, Bedford Road, Tecnic Shoe Co., Ltd.; alterations, “Erskine House,” Wellingborough Road, Mr. A. Allebone; bathroom, 261, Wellingborough Road, Mrs. N. A. Bennett; extensions to factory, Fitzwilliam Street, Messrs. C. W. Horrell, Ltd.; Nissen hut for factory, Graveley Street, Boston Leather Co.; extension to “Knighton,” Wellingborough Road, Mr. A. A. Allebone; additions to 11, Fern Road, Mr. L. Rolfe; bungalow, Newton Road, Mr. A. E. Foskett; additions to 83, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Mr. J. C. Endersby; garage, 65, Park Avenue, Mr. S. Holyoak.

Duck Street lamps are to be changed from gas to electricity and three lamps added.

A numbering scheme is to be prepared for houses in Higham Road south of Washbrook Road.

The Parks Committee reported that in view of arrangements already in hand no further action regarding the planting of trees at Rushden Hall is required at present.

Entrance gates to the Hall grounds from Hall Avenue were ordered. They will cost £294 and the brick piers will absorb a further £85.

Competitive tenders for the repair of Rushden Hall are to be obtained from three firms.


Hospital praised by Council chairman

High praise of the work at Rushden Memorial Hospital was given by Coun. F. E. Brown (chairman) in a special statement to Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday.

“I should like to draw the Council’s attention to the progress being made at the Rushden Memorial Hospital,” said Mr. Brown. “At the invitation of the Chairman of the Board of Governors I had the opportunity of paying an informal visit there last week to see it working.

“It is doing a great service for the townspeople of Rushden and its environs. Radio therapy treatment is being given, as you know, but what is more pleasing is that specialists from Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals are making regular attendances for consultations.

“Twelve of these gentlemen, covering a wide field of medical science, attend bi-weekly, and patients are saved time and expense in being able to attend at the Hayway instead of having to journey to Northampton.

“It may interest members to know that during February 737 treatments were given and 214 out-patients attended for consultation.

“I mention this because I feel that the Council should be informed of the work that is being done by a very competent staff whom I would congratulate on the way their duties are carried out. In the near future they hope to have still better arrangements for the timing of appointments resulting in the minimum of delay.

“Those who worked and fought so hard for the retention of this Memorial Hospital must feel that their efforts have brought the reward they deserved.”

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 13th April, 1951

Allotment Land may be Preserved
Rushden council’s note to planners

Rushden’s unpublished “development plan” was again referred to at Wednesday’s meeting of the Urban Council, some questions affecting allotments being mentioned by the Highways Committee.

The Allotment Association has been consulted on several points, and the Highways Committee submitted suggestions for communication to the County Planning Officer. These included the provision of new allotment land to the north of the Upper Queen Housing Estate and the retention of the Nippendale, Short Stocks, Mason’s Close and Spinney Field allotments.

Acceptance of these proposals would mean that the planners would have to find alternative sites for a school, open spaces and housing. One alternative site suggested was the area to the west of Wymington Road, south of Hall Avenue and the sandpits.

Points hush

A report from the Letting Sub-Committee referred to a suggestion at the March Council meeting that house applicants should be told the number of points allotted to them. The committee were not able to recommend the adoption of such an arrangement.

The committee’s policy was challenged by Coun. E. J. Roe, who deprecated “the heavy air of mystery which hangs like a cloak over the allocation of our council houses.” Mrs. Muxlow and Mrs. Rowthorn also favoured a more open policy, but after a short debate the committee was upheld.

As recommended by the Highways Committee, it was resolved “that the County Council be informed that this Council concur in the proposal for the discontinuance of the county and district Road Safety Committees.”

Bad weather having delayed preparation of the Upper Queen Street site, it was decided to build more houses in Boundary Avenue, and contracts were arranged as follows: eight houses, Messrs. F. and R. Winsor, £11,112: ten houses, Mr. E. Sutcliffe, £13,649. Upper Queen Street: Messrs. A. J. Potter and Son, four houses, £5,475.

Following disagreement with the contractors the Council directed the Surveyor to proceed with the sewering of Palm Road and Fern Road by direct labour.

Town buses

The Clerk (Mr. A. G. Crowdy) mentioned that the United Counties Omnibus Co. has applied for a licence to operate an in-town service.

Building plans included the following: bungalow, Birchall Road, Mr. A. W. Leggett; house, Harvey Road, Mr. L. F. Parkinson; use of premises for welding, 7, Glassbrook Road, Mr. T. C. Britton; store, Graveley Street, Radburne and Bennett, Ltd.; garage, Wilson Road, Mr. T. W. Swannell; bungalow, Wymington Road, Mr. G. E. V. Fleeman; greenhouse, 60, Spencer Road, Mr. B. Dorks; boundary wall, Masonic Hall, Wellingborough Road, Pemberton Masonic Lodge; extensions to 15, Park Avenue, Mr. H. P. Leeson; boundary wall and gates, East Grove, Messrs. Cox and Wright.

In view of considerable damage to dwarf walls and young saplings on the Hove Road estate, it was agreed to exhibit warning notices and circulate the tenants, asking them to co-operate in checking the mischief. None of the culprits, it was stated, had been caught or reported.

Residents in Higham Road will receive notice to number their houses in accordance with the scheme prepared by the Council.

A letter from the Chief Constable gave consent for vehicles to stand without lights during the hours of darkness in the North Street car park.

The Medical Officer reported 11 births and 19 deaths. There were 95 cases of measles last month.


As a result of a recent decision by the Wellingborough Magistrates the Council agreed to license a caravan site – for one caravan only – in Bedford Road. A site in Avenue Road was also licensed.

It was decided to open the swimming bath for the season on May 7th.

It was reported that Mr. G. G. Phillips, general clerk in the Clerk’s department, would leave on April 30th, having secured an improved position with the Boston Corporation.

Members in attendance were: Couns. F. E. Brown (chairman), C. G. Faulkner (vice-chairman), Mrs. O. B. Lean, E. J. Roe, A. A. Allebone, A. H. Dickens, E. E. Newell, A. H. Bailey, W. J. Keller, J. Allen, W. E. Capon, Mrs. O. A. H. Muxlow, J. H. J. Paragreen, H. Waring, W. J. Sawford, E. A. Sugars, J. T. Richardson and Mrs. W. O. Rowthorn.

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