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The Rushden Echo and Argus, Oct/Nov 1949, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

14th October, 1949

Shelter Talks Deferred

Traffic Question Must Be First

There will be no decision on the provision of bus passenger shelters at Rushden until the High Street traffic question is settled.

A letter from the United Counties Omnibus Co. was referred to at Rushden Council’s meeting. It expressed the opinion that the bus stopping places in Rushden were unsuitable for the erection of passenger shelters in view of the narrow pavements. The company offered, however, to contribute towards the cost if the Council were satisfied that shelters were desirable and could be approved by the highway authority.

The Highways Committee have deferred consideration of the letter until the High Street traffic scheme is decided and the United Counties Bus Co. have discussed improvements of local services.

A letter from Rushden and District Trades Council asked why the public conveniences were not kept open all night. The Health Committee takes the view, however, that this would be unnecessary, especially having regard to the possibility of misuse and damage.

Bus Routes

The Council supported a letter from a Court Estate resident asking that workers’ bus routes at present operating in Newton Road as far as Oval Road should be extended to serve the Court Estate.

Commenting on applications from the Electricity Board, Coun. Allebone said that as a definite principle the Highways Committee objected to wires being put overhead where they crossed a road.

The Housing Committee reported that plans for 40 houses in Upper Queen Street have been approved by the Ministry of Health. A tender for the erection of 20 “Unity” houses and twelve “Maisonettes” on the Upper Queen Street site amounted to £40,805 and was submitted to the Ministry of Health.

Creosoting of fences on the council housing estate is to cost about £1 per house. An order was placed for creosoting at 200 houses, and about 700 fences will eventually require treatment.


Licences to build houses were issued to Mr. E. L. Frost (site in Link Road), Mr. D. W. Deighton (Park Avenue), Mr. M. L. Lamb (Avenue Road), and Mr. P. W. Rich (Park Avenue).

Having purchased “Eastfields” for use as a children’s home and the adjoining ground as a playing field, the County Council have asked if the right of way from Rectory Road through the grounds could be extinguished. They will be informed that Rushden Council is unwilling to consent to this.

A list of building plans included: Garage, 120, High St., Mr. A. Bailey; neon sign, Manton Rd., Town Band Club, L. Lamb; garage, “Threeways,” Hall Ave., Mrs. A. Flavell; chaff barn, Avenue Rd., Mr. ….; bungalow, Avenue Rd., Mr. M. D. Sanders; coal store, 85, Park Ave., Mr. R. W. Onley; conservatory, 8, Upper Park Ave., Mr. R. Underwood; additions to Nos. 93 and 95, High St., Mr. J. T. Reade; house, 86, Bedford Rd., Mr. L. C. Knight; garage, Quorn Rd., Mr. W. H. Skinner; treatment of brickwork, Queen Victoria Hotel; improvement at 7, Station Road., Mr. H. C. Swindall; garage, Quorn Rd., Mr. G. W. Millard; temporary garage, Gordon Rd., Mr. H. H. Perkins.

Conservatory, 6, Upper Park Ave., Mr. R. Waller; bungalow, 88, Wymington Rd., Mr. A. E. Fleeman; garage, Alpine Rd., Mr. A. N Penn; use of land and building in High Street South, Mr. Frank Felce; garage, Wilson Rd., Mr. R. C. Miller; house, 7, Link Rd., Mr. T. G. Jackson; porch, 2, Orchard Place, Mr. R. Corby.

Hide store and tannery, Kimbolton Rd., Messrs. Harris Bros.; garage, 125, Higham Rd., Messrs. J. White, Ltd.; extension to kitchen, 17, St. Peter’s Ave., Mrs. P. M. Denny; combined garage, 27 and 29, Park Ave., Messrs. H. L. Draper and L. Clark.


The location of Wilson Road and Addison Road (both mentioned in the Highways Committee’s report) puzzled Coun. Mrs. Muxlow, who asked where they were.

After some hesitation Coun. A. A. Allebone said he believed they were in the neighbourhood of Purvis Road. “But just where,” he added, “I can’t say.”

An application to station a trailer caravan on a site in Woodland Road was refused.


14th October, 1949

M.O. : Too Many Unfit Houses

Far too many people in Rushden are still living in unfit houses or under overcrowded conditions, stated the Medical Officer of Health (Dr. P. X. Bermingham) in his annual report for 1948 to Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday.

The housing programme was progressing, he said, but there was still a great demand for new houses. At the end of the year there were 425 applicants for Council houses – 75 fewer than at the end of 1947.

Dr. Bermingham reported a lower death rate (11.27) and birth rate (17.34) than for the previous year, but there was an increase from 25.97 to 31.80 in the infant mortality rate.


There were 283 live births during the year – 12 illegitimate – and 184 deaths.

Sixteen per cent. of the deaths in the town were due to cancer, 51 per cent. to heart diseases, eight per cent. to respiratory diseases and three per cent. to tuberculosis. Syphilis caused three deaths, including that of an infant.

Measles was the most prevalent infectious disease in 1948. There were 237 cases. Other notifications were: Scarlet fever 19, whooping cough 34, pneumonia 20, erysipelas five, tuberculosis 11.

454 Replaced

The sanitary inspector (Mr. H. W. Ellis) reported that the more hygienic system of refuse collection introduced into the town in 1948 – that of taking refuse direct to the freighters rather than emptying the dustbins into skips – revealed that many of the dustbins were unserviceable, and 454 replacements were made.

Thirty-nine visits were made to various shops, stores and warehouses, and more than 1¼ tons of foodstuffs were condemned as unfit for human consumption, in addition to more than 43 tons of meat and offal.

Coun. H. Waring, chairman of the Health Committee, said he regretted that more people had not taken advantage of the mass-radiography service. Referring to possible unrevealed cases of tuberculosis, he deprecated “the vulgar habit of spitting.”


14th October, 1949

Not Consulted Says Council

Rushden Urban Council showed strong resentment at its meeting on Wednesday against the Ministry of Town and Country Planning, who have settled a dispute about billposting sites in Rushden without reference to local opinions.

After the local planning authority had refused to consent to a number of “panels,” including three at Rushden, the appeal of a billposting firm was allowed by the Minister of Town and Country Planning.

Coun. A. A. Allebone complained that when a Ministry official was in the town inspecting the sites, the Council knew nothing of it. The first they learned of the decision was when they received a letter from the County Council.

Coun. J. Allen, who moved a resolution of protest, declared: “Believing as we all do that local people know local conditions better than Ministry officials in Whitehall, I think a protest should be made against the decision the Ministry has made.”

“I don’t think we should take it lying down,” said Coun. H. Waring, who seconded.

The resolution was carried unanimously.

Asking how much longer they had to wait for the demolition of the old Salvation Army Hall, Coun. A. H. Bailey declared: “It is not only a danger spot; it is becoming an eyesore.”

The Clerk (Mr. A. G. Crowdy) replied that progress had been delayed by a reluctant contractor, but there was a new contractor in the field and it was hoped that the work would start very shortly.

Ice Cream

Coun. E. E. Newell referred to the 16 ice cream samples examined, seven had been found “unsatisfactory.”

“I think it is a very serious matter,” he said, “and I do suggest that we take strong steps.”

The sanitary inspector (Mr. H. W. Ellis) replied that the method of testing was new, and the samples had to be regarded over a period.

Three cases of tuberculosis were mentioned in the Medical Officer’s report. There were 18 births and 15 deaths during the month.


11th November, 1949

Rushden Hall to be Restored

Parks to Have Playground Equipment

A step towards restoration of Rushden Hall was taken by Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday after they had heard a report that plans for the work were to be prepared by Professor A. E. Richardson, M.A.

Professor Richardson has been asked to prepare the scheme he considers most practicable and desirable, but for guidance he has been furnished with a list of ideas.

The report was approved.

The Parks Committee also presented a two years’ scheme for provision of children’s playground equipment in parks and open spaces.

Total cost will be £2,638, and applications for grants will be submitted to the Education authorities and the National Playing Fields’ Association.

First tenders will be invited for equipment for Boundary Avenue, the Higham Road housing estate and the land adjoining the Southfields estate.

As this report has not been examined by the Finance Committee, it was deferred for a month, but Coun. Mrs. Muxlow made one comment.

In the past, she said, playground equipment had been very roughly used. She felt it might be a good thing to get the parents on the estates interested when the new equipment was installed.

It was agreed to have Jubilee Park levelled at a cost of £430, and appointment of a Parks Superintendent, responsible for all horticultural work and supervision of employees, was approved in principle.

No Need for Alarm

The Medical Officer (Dr. P. X. Bermingham), reported that three cases of poliomyelitis had occurred during the four weeks ended October 29th.

“The public can be sure that there is no cause for alarm,” said Coun. H. Waring, chairman of the Health Committee.

Minutes of the Council in committee revealed that property owners in Hall Avenue had instructed solicitors to issue a writ against the estate developer with a view to the road being made up to the satisfaction of the Council.

Coun. A. A. Allebone mentioned that members of the Highways Committee had inspected a new television relay system and found it satisfactory. It was not yet in commercial use, but the committee were making specific proposals for a relay service without in any way committing themselves.

Two Cases

Mr. Allebone mentioned two cases where fireplaces and chimneys had been built without plans being submitted to the Council. He emphasised that plans should go through the proper channels, otherwise shoddy work might be done and the public might suffer.

A petition signed by 21 residents on the St. Crispin Estate urged the Council to proceed with their scheme for the construction of sewers in Fern Road and Palm Road. The Surveyor, it was stated, will prepare a scheme in the course of the next few months.

Consideration has been given to the increasing practice of local factories employing out-workers and the need for control in view of possible dangers from the use of inflammable substances.

In view of new legislation and of complaints received from residents who require assistance in dealing with rat infestation the Council decided to employ a “rodent operative.”

Subject to a loan being sanctioned, it was agreed to purchase a sweeper-collector machine for street cleaning at a cost of £1,842.


11th November, 1949

Council Critics

According to critics at Rushden Council’s meeting on Wednesday, some of the expenditure authorised was excessive and some too hurried.

Coun. E. J. Roe protested against the outlay of £90 for lighting and heating the cemetery chapel by electricity.

The chapel, he said, had been used only three times in the last 12 months when heat and light were required, and one minister told him he had used it only once in four years.

The item of £90 might seem small, but a very important principle was involved. Even governments were beginning to realise that we could not afford unnecessary expenditure.

Despite this protest the item was confirmed, only three members voting against the minute.

Afterwards Coun. J. Allen took the Parks Committee to task for not circulating their last two reports until the day of the Council meeting.

Where questions of public expenditure were concerned, he said, it was very necessary that the full Council should have the reports with their agenda. It was not fair to the general body of ratepayers that their money should be spent in too hurried a manner – it was going fast enough now.

Grants Query

Coun. A. H. Bailey discussed a £2,638 item for children’s playground equipment and noted that the Parks Committee hoped to get grants from the Education Authorities and the Playing Fields Association.

He inquired as to the expected extent of the grants and expressed his own fear that there would be no grant at all.

Coun. E. A. Sugars, for the Parks Committee, said he did not think they need worry about the expense so far as this year was concerned. They had sufficient money to carry on for the time being.

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