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, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 25th May 1956, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Magician is Chairman
A councillor since 1949, and vice-chairman for the last 12 months, Mr. Ernest Edward Newell, who lives at Manor Farm, Bedford Road, Rushden, was elected chairman of Rushden Urban Council at its annual meeting on Wednesday.

Mr. Newell, who is a Conservative member for South Ward, has served on all committees of the council, and has been chairman of the Parks Committee.

A married man, he has lived at Rushden all his life, and is secretary of the Tecnic Shoe Co. Ltd., where he has worked since leaving school.

During the war he served in the Royal Engineers as a Warrant Officer, and was mentioned in dispatches.

A member of Rushden Park Road Baptist Church, he played for the Baptist Cricket Club for about twenty years, and is also a member of Rushden and District Golf Club.

His hobby for many years has been magic, and he is well known locally as an entertainer in this field. He is a member of the Magic Circle.

Only the second woman to have held the vice-chair of the council, Mrs. Winifred Mary Lean was warmly congratulated after her appointment on Wednesday, by Mrs. Alice Muxlow, the pioneer woman member.

Mrs. Lean lives at 2 Griffith Street, Rushden, and is the wife of Dr. O. B. Lean, whom she married in London in 1927. They have three daughters, one of them married.

Holding the diploma of a State Registered Nurse, Mrs. Lean did war work in Rushden as matron of a day nursery. She has been on Rushden Council since 1949 and was elected to Northamptonshire County Council last year. She is the first woman to have been chairman of Rushden’s Highways Committee, and has also been chairman of the Housing and Library Committees.

A Church Council member at St. Mary’s, Rushden, Mrs. Lean is chairman of the Wellingborough, Rushden and District Moral Welfare Association, was founder president of Rushden Business and Professional Women’s Club, and has held office in the Wellingborough Divisional Conservative Association. She plays golf as a member of the Rushden and District club.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 11th May 1956

‘Rec’ brook ‘danger for years’ council told

Inspecting the brook at Spencer Park, Dr. P. X. Bermingham, Minister of Health to Rushden Urban Council, was “disturbed” to find it dirty, to see children playing in it, and to establish that it was heavily polluted.

He reported to the Health Committee, who have had the course through the park cleaned out and treated with chlorinated water. Officers were instructed to look for the source of pollution, and the cost of fencing, to keep children away from the brook, is being estimated.

At the council’s meeting on Wednesday, Mr. A. H. Bailey said further information was to be put before the committee at its next meeting.

Mr. F. E. Brown said it was a serious matter. If there was a hot summer and an epidemic broke out the council would be blamed.

Mrs. D. Shrives: It has been a source of danger for years, as we all know.

Mr. Bailey pointed out that a serious view was taken a few years ago when the council decided to culvert the brook. The scheme, he added, was put off for reasons well known to the members.

Assurances were given on questions raised by Rushden Co-operative Society, through their solicitor, regarding the new Upper Queen Street shop they are leasing from the council.

Mr. A. H. Bailey said the officers had reported that at the date of occupation the premises complied with every statutory provision.

In answer to Mr. C. Freeman the clerk, Mr. A. G. Crowdy, said no rent had been paid for the shop but it was accruing, and would be paid when the lease had been signed.

Housing improvement grants are still being offered, it was announced by the Housing Committee.

Mr. C. G. Faulkner had given notice to move their discontinuance in view of the fact that the council had ended rate contributions to the housing revenue account. His resolution was however, rejected by the committee.


Mr. J. E. Wills, the housing chairman, said a disturbing feature had been the complete lack of interest in the grants on the part of landlords as distinct from owner-occupiers.

It was reported that the United Counties Bus Co. could not see its way to contribute towards a passenger shelter at the Boundary Avenue stop in Irchester Road.

Mr. Brown claimed that the stop was used by quite a lot of people who were entitled to some shelter, but Mrs. O. B. Lean said the Highways Committee felt that if a shelter was built there many more would be demanded in other parts of the town.

Mrs. Lean asked the public to report any cases of damage to pavements being caused by lorries. “It would help to keep our pavements in decent condition,” she said.

Paint for ‘Prefabs’

The Southfields “prefabs,” built just after the war with the idea that they would last ten years, are to be repainted externally.

An application is to be made for an Exchequer grant so that ten houses in Kings Road – some of the town’s first council houses – can be improved. It is suggested that if the scheme goes through the rents will be raised from 8s 7d to 11s.

Subject to approval by the Ministry it was decided to buy ground at The Hedges as a site for a block of garages.

Cromwell road and Portland Road will be re-lighted at the cost of £320.

The High Street lighting scheme it was reported, is still awaiting a decision by the Ministry of Transport regarding the acceptance of tenders.

Land at the junction of Duck Street and High Street is to be purchased, and the council is also negotiating for a strip of land between High Street and the bend near Carnegie Street.

The council is to acquire Nos. 37 to 43 Duck Street, with garden ground at the rear, as a site for a sewage pumping station and for widening the road. A resolution was passed declaring the property a clearance area.

The sanitary inspector, Mr. H. W. Ellis, has been instructed to investigate complaints with regard to a mobile fish and chip saloon operating in College Street.

Vote of Thanks

The meeting was the last in Mrs. Alice Muxlow’s year of chairmanship and the outgoing chairman received a warm vote of thanks proposed by Mr. E. E. Newell, vice-chairman, who spoke of her ability in charge of the meetings and as the council’s representative at functions in the town.


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