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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 11th March & 16th April 1955, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Snow caused chaos in High Street says councillor

A promise to consider snow clearance and gritting arrangements was given on behalf of the Highways Committee by Mr. R. H. S. Greenwood, chairman, at Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday.

Mr. J. E. Wills had complained of “chaotic” conditions in High Street and elsewhere on Monday morning.

Mr. Greenwood replied: “Our lorry was stuck for twenty minutes.

He added that the Highways Department used 360 tons of sand on the roads during the bad weather spell.

When Mr. H. Waring discussed increased loan charges, and suggested that unnecessary capital expenditure should be held up for the time being. Mr. W. Brown described the proposal as “dangerous.”

Ald. C. G. Faulkner said the Council was committed to a number of schemes which must go on.

Big Debate

The chief debate of the evening ended in the Council agreeing “in principle” to the purchase by the Tecnic Shoe Co. of land near its factory in Bedford Road.

Mr. Greenwood, opposing, said part of the land had been the property of the townspeople since 1778, and had probably been a watering place for cattle since time immemorial.

Mr. A. H. Bailey replied that the land was usually under water: Mrs. Lean called it “derelict”: and Mrs. Bazeley pointed to the close proximity of Jubilee Park as a playground for children.

Mr. F. E. Brown reported that 354 houses had been completed on the Upper Queen Street estate, six of them since the last meeting. There were 54 under construction.

Mr. Greenwood mentioned an anonymous complaint about “cows in Newton Road,” and said his committee could not deal with anonymous letters.

It was decided to buy a strip of land for widening Duck Street south of Fitzwilliam Street.

Mr. Faulkner revealed that Northampton had issued 26 hackney carriage licences, compared with Rushden’s 32.

Mrs. Bazeley said new trees would be planted in place of three elms which have to be demolished near the Hall Park bandstand.

Land Development

Mrs. G. Marriott, for the Allotment Committee, announced that the plan to develop land in Newton Road had been approved by the Ministry.

Cromwell Road and Irchester Road were listed for complete re-lighting.

Subject to Government approval a £6,168 contract for Court Estate sewerage works was placed with Brook and Johnson Ltd., Northampton.

A valuation report showed an increase of £1,599 during the last two months, bringing the town’s rateable value to £93,463.


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 14th March 1955

Should Rushden keep it?

This piece of Rushden isn’t much to look at, but it prompted an Urban Council debate last week and is still giving rise to arguments among the veterans.

Some say it is the only bit of common land in the town and think the council should not part with it to the Tecnic Shoe Co. whose factory in Bedford Road it adjoins.


The council, however, has decided to sell, although the legal rigmarole may be difficult.

Known today as “Oakpits,” the land was once a public stone-pit where stone was dug for road mending, and was also used as a watering place for cattle.

Some of the veterans don’t believe this, but the evidence is in the 18th century Inclosure Award, a copy of which is owned by the council and was formerly in the charge of the Vestry and then of the Local Board.

The Award had no map attached to it and identification of the plot is admitted to have been difficult.

All parties agree, however, that in more recent times the “pit” had something to do with the town’s sanitation.

Mr. Charles Clifton recalls that when he moved to Rushden 60 years ago it was called “The Reservoir,” water being released through a sluice gate to swill the town brook which was then to all intents and purposes the general sewer.

Sluices at other points included one where the brook runs beneath Skinner’s Hill.


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 25th March 1955

Rushden’s rate stays the same at 29s in £.

The Rushden rate remains at 29s in the £, and raises the question: “Have we reached a peak?” Presenting his budget to the council on Wednesday, Mr. Cyril G. Faulkner, chairman of the Finance Committee, gave his opinion: “I am no prophet, but if we can achieve some stability our efforts will have been well worth while.

“If we as a Council are satisfied that the rate of development of our services is a proper one, that our methods of administration are sound, and that our personnel is just adequate for the desired rate of development, then the scope for reduction of costs is strictly limited. It seems that progressive rates are inevitable unless we can be provided with alternative and greater financial resources.

At the beginning of last year, he explained the balance had been £11,942. The proceeds of the rate levied to increase this balance, together with committee savings of £3,000 had given an anticipated balance this year of £16,320.

Committee estimates this year, however, were higher, and included big increases in the highways estimates (£1,390 more), public health (£1,465) and housing (£430). The County Council precept had risen by 4d to a total of 14s 3d (equivalent to a rate percentage of 48.7 of total expenses).

The Higham and Rushden Water Board precept, on the other hand, had dropped by 2.97d on last year’s levy.

The Finance Committee recommended, therefore, that a sum of £815 should be found from the balances (equivalent to a rate of 2.17d), while the rate remained at 29s.

Rent Increases

Rents are to be increased by 6d a week on all Council houses, with three small exceptions.

It was estimated, said Mr. Faulkner, that repairs to Council houses for 1954-5 would again average well over £9 per house, and estimates for the coming year were framed on the provision of £10 per house. The present contribution to the housing repair fund amounted to only £8 per house, which was obviously inadequate.

Mr. Faulkner was congratulated by members of the Council on the presentation of the budget.

The Finance Committee’s recommendations were accepted.


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 16th April 1955

Mile of A6 to be accident prevention ‘red area’

The county road safety committee has approved a proposal for a ‘red area’ accident prevention scheme to be applied to a section of the A6 road at Rushden.

Mr. R. H. S. Greenwood, chairman of the highways and planning committee, told Rushden Urban Council this on Wednesday.

He said the length of road selected is from the junction of A6 and Wellingborough Road, Higham Ferrers (A45), south for about a mile.

Object of the scheme is to focus the attention of drivers on the selected stretch of road by erecting special warning signs, and to secure local co-operation by intensified propaganda for a period of a month.

The warning signs are red distinguishing marks put on all the lamp posts. The scheme is applied to “accident prone” areas and the one in Rushden will be the first in Northamptonshire.

Mr. Greenwood said the committee had reviewed local bus services. The clerk had been requested to submit a list of official stopping places, so that consideration could be given to the erection of suitable signs, the bus company was to be asked to provide public timetables in bus shelters, and the clerk was to suggest to the County Council that the carriageway should be widened in Higham Road, opposite Prospect Avenue, so that buses could stop without causing obstruction.

Early Gritting

The committee had also reviewed gritting of roads. They were satisfied with the arrangements, but next winter work would start at 6.30 a.m. so that the roads were in reasonable condition for people going to work at 7.30.

The tender of F. and R. Windsor, Ltd., for erecting 56 houses in Allen Road and Blinco Road at a cost of £73,726 were accepted. It was agreed to apply for consent to raise a loan of £75,550.

The final plan was submitted for the development of land between Blinco Road and Hayden Road, required for the next section of the housing programme and the council agreed to apply for consent to raise a loan of £10,460 for site works and incidental expenses.

Ministerial approval of the tenders of Brooks and Johnson Ltd., for the construction of a sewer and sewerage disposal works at the Court Estate was received.

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