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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 10th October, 1952 & 14th November, 1952, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Council Will Not Sell Houses
Members rebuked for talking politics

10th October, 1952

After a Labour member had been called to order for attacking “Tory money-lenders,” Rushden Urban Council decided on Wednesday to support the Housing Committee’s view that the council should not sell any of its houses at present.

Coun. A. H. Bailey had quoted Mr. Marples on the question of dictating whether a man should own or rent his house when Coun. W. Brown denied that there was any dictating and answered that only the building societies would benefit if council houses were sold.

Mr. Brown was warming-up on the subject of Tories when Mr. Bailey raised objection, backed by Coun. W. E. Capon, who said that as a member for 25 years he had never heard such political talk in the council chamber.

Coun. J. Allen, presiding, said that party politics should be left out, and Mr. Brown accepted the ruling though objecting to Mr. Bailey’s quotation.

The resolution against selling was carried by a large majority.

Moving that the Establishment Committee be discontinued because it lacked the full support of the council, Ald. C. G. Faulkner said opposition to the committee had come from left, right and centre.


There was laughter when Coun. Mrs. Muxlow, most active of the critics, declared: “I have always felt it was redundant and formed a sort of House of Lords.”

Coun. F. E. Brown: “I rather think she opposes it because she has never had a chance of speaking on it (laughter).

The committee went – by 11 votes to four.

A resolution was carried asking St. Mary’s Church Council to approve an additional clock face on the north wall of the tower and the internal lighting of both dials – work which the council is willing to carry out, with other improvements, at a cost of £550 as a Coronation memento. Coun. Mrs. W. M. Lean, however, said the transparent dials did not suit the old building and would weaken the structure.

Speaking of “enormous” damage to window panes at Rushden Hall, Coun. E. E. Newell denounced it as “sheer vandalism” and promised that the council would use all its powers to punish offenders.

A target of 120 houses (private and council) was accepted for completion by 1954.

“Kent Road” was the name chosen for a street connecting Gloucester Crescent and Upper Queen Street.

“You will notice,” said Coun. F. E. Brown, “that it is not the Old Kent Road.”

A private building licence, under negotiation before last month’s policy decision, was issued to Mr. E. K. Flintham for a house in Bedford Road.

Following requests from residents, the Surveyor will submit a standard design for additional outbuildings – to be erected by the tenants – at the Gregory flats.

Tenants in St. James Close received “temporary permission” to erect an aviary and a greenhouse.


Building plans included: dairy, 42, Griffith Street, Mr. D. Summerfield; garage, 81, Spencer Road, Mr. W. E. Sparkes; bathroom revision, Palm Road, Messrs. Dickens Bros.; coalshed, 3, Co-operative Row, Mr. A. Fox; garage, 38, Avenue Road, Mr. T. D. Narracott; garage, 35, Upper Queen Street, Mr. G. Collett; covered way, St. Mary’s Avenue, Messrs. G. K. Folder and R. M. Carter; garage, 101, Higham Road, Mr. E. W. Mann; garage, Woodland Road, Mr. H. E. Robinson; additions to house, Wellingborough Road, Mr. G. W. Marriott; workshop and store, 85, Park Avenue, Mr. R. W. Onley; front walk, Denmark Road and Oswald Road, Walter Knight Ltd.; garage, 1, Fitzwilliam Street, Mr. W. H. Chettle; bungalow, Oak Street, Mr. C. A. Walker; corn warehouse, shop and office, Station Road, Mr. C. Freeman; pigeon loft, 42, The Hedges, Mr. R. Knight; addition to factory, Portland Road, Messrs. A. Sargent and Sons; greenhouse, 1, St. James Close, Mr. J. Dickens.

No action was taken on complaints regarding bus stopping places in Grove Road, Pightles Terrace and High St. South.

New street lighting in Wellingborough Road from Skinners Hill to St. Peter’s Avenue, may soon be approved, according to a letter from the Ministry of Transport.

Arising from the annual health report, the Public Health Committee noted with regret that the County Council had not supplied details of home nursing work.

Water in a well near Sanders Lodge has been found unsatisfactory and owners in that district will be invited to co-operate in an extension of mains.

Of 24 milk samples analysed 17 were found satisfactory. Ten out of 14 samples from washed milk bottles were up to standard.

On a minute authorising the purchase of 100 dustbins from a Leeds firm Coun. R. R. Griffiths asked if local traders had been given an opportunity.

“Not on this occasion,” replied Coun. E. A. Sugars. “It is a firm we have dealt with before.”

Final cost of enlarging the Council Building may be £4,282 compared with the estimate of £3,992, and in addition internal telephones will cost £293.

It was announced that a hockey pitch could not be provided in Spencer Park or Jubilee Park this season.

Children’s playground equipment will be placed in the Hall grounds near the Wymington Road entrance, at a cost of £450.

When the meeting opened the chairman expressed sympathy with all who have suffered through the Harrow railway disaster.

14th November, 1952

Private Building Moves Again
Ban lifted – and no comment

Only two months after their suspension, private building licences came back to favour at Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday. Nine applicants have been selected to receive them, and when the licences have been issued the year’s quota of 31 will be complete.

No comment was made when the Housing Committee’s report ending the suspension went through.

After receiving a report on the inspection of two flats at Messrs. Birch Bros.’ depot the Housing Committee were satisfied that the premises were unsuitable for residential purposes and gave permission for them to be used for business purposes.

Under a scheme for the de-requisitioning of premises for housing purposes by December, 1953, the letting sub-committee are to be asked to provide alternative accommodation for the three tenants occupying “The Shrubbery” – the only house now held on requisition in the town.

Tenants protest

A petition signed by 13 tenants of houses in St. James’ Close requested the removal of poplar trees at the rear of the houses. The trees not being the property of the Council, the surveyor (Mr. A. Millar) was requested to meet the owner in an endeavour to arrange for their removal.

Permission was given for the tenant of 54, Gloucester Crescent to erect a pigeon loft on condition that racing pigeons only shall be kept.

It was agreed that the tenancy of a flat for the district nurses should be arranged by way of a letting to the County Council.

In approving an £800 road improvement scheme at the junction of Church Street and Wellingborough Road the County Council asked that Rushden should pay for the ‘bus waiting bays, but this is being resisted.

A park for 65 cars in Duck Street, costing about £400, is proposed subject to the County Planning Officer’s approval, and the District Valuer will be asked to negotiate regarding the land.

It was agreed to apply for consent to borrow £2,300 for the provision of a flat and refreshment room at Rushden Hall.

The Council increased the permitted number of caravans on the Bedford Road estate from 40 to 80 and will suggest to the Government that the American visitors should be encouraged to establish properly regulated sites close to the airfields in use.

Urging that everything possible should be done for “our allies and guests,” Coun. A. A. Allebone said he was afraid there had been a good deal of exploitation.

Unsatisfactory vaccination figures for the first half of the year led to a warning by Dr. P. X. Bermingham, M.O.H., that smallpox could spread rapidly and that contacts had been in the area during the last year. Only 22 per cent. of the babies were vaccinated.

Town ‘bus stopping places are to be adjusted in St. Margaret’s Avenue, Cromwell Road, Newton Road and Grove Road. A new service via Newton Road, Avenue Road (Court Estate) and Bedford Road will be suggested to the United Counties Omnibus Company.

Demolition orders were made in respect of Nos. 102 and 104 High Street South, and tenants will be required to vacate the premises within 12 months.


The Public Health Committee were also of the opinion that an office building in the yard of Hamblin’s garage, Rectory Road, at present used for living accommodation, is unsuitable for human habitation, and notice is to be served accordingly.

The Council approved arrangements for the disposal at the refuse tip of trade refuse from factories in Higham Ferrers at a charge of 3s. per load.

The estate developers are to be informed that the Council are prepared to adopt parts of Talbot Road and Park Avenue as highways repairable by the inhabitants at large “subject to completion to the Surveyor’s satisfaction” and payment to the Council of the estimated cost of any footpath work which is deferred.

Building plans were as follows : House, Bedford Road, Mr. E. K. Flintham; new dairy, 43, Griffith Street, Mr. D. Summerfield; garage, Woodland Road, Mr. H. E. Robinson; bungalow, Oak Street, Mr. C. A. Walker; corn warehouse, shop and office, Station Road, Mr. C. Freeman; additions to factory, Portland Road, Messrs. A. Sargent and Son; bungalow, Wellingborough Road, Mrs. L. Joyce; re-siting of garage, 92, Moor Road, Mr. S. B. Prince; reconstruction of outbuilding, 88, Moor Road, Mrs. E. Laughton; garage, 141, Hall Avenue, Mr. F. S. Whiting; additions to house, 2, Prospect Avenue, Mr. H. Denton; extension at rear of garage, 77, Park Avenue, Mr. J. Harris; extension to stores, Lime Street, John White Footwear Ltd.; block of four flats, Blinco Road, Rushden U.D.S.; extensions to premises, Hove Road, Rushden I.C.S. Ltd.; garage, 84, Hall Avenue, Mr. E. York; garage, Woodland Road, Mr. W. T. Stoner; cellulose store, Wellingborough Road, Messrs. Denley and Bedford; garage, 7, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Mr. J. W. Brown; store for empty containers, Newton Road, John White Footwear Ltd.; greenhouse, 2, Essex Road, Mr. E. L. J. Woodley; bay window, 4, Purvis Road, Mr. A. Pack; cottage, cowshed and barn, Knight’s Farm, Newton Road, Northants C.C.; greenhouse, 106 High Street South, Mrs. M. E. Sumpter; leather stores, Duck Street, C. W. Horrell Ltd.; garage, 22, Griffith Street, Mr. F. Botterill; additional bedroom, Hall Stores, St. Mary’s Avenue, Mrs. G. Folder; conservatory, 88, Hall Avenue, Mr. H. Taylor.

A short connecting road between Park Avenue and St. Margaret’s Avenue is to be named “Greenfield Way.”

The Surveyor was authorised to provide a sandpit for children in the Hall Grounds at an estimated cost of £70.

The use of Spencer Park for a fair at Rushden Feast was granted to Mr. Charles Thurston for the years 1953-55 inclusive for a payment of £120 each year for a period not exceeding 12 days.

Tenders are to be invited for the remainder of the office furniture required following the Council Office extensions at an estimated cost of £340.

On the motion of Coun. W. Brown, seconded by Coun. Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, a Finance Committee proposal which might have led to the Council meeting every five weeks instead of once a month was defeated by 11 votes to five.

Footpath work was authorised in Queen Street (lower part), Roberts Street and Greenfield Way, and Coun. J. E. Wills was told that the claims of Dayton Street had not been overlooked.

The Council congratulated Mr. Murdin, the cemetery superintendent, on his award of the St. John Ambulance Gold Star for 40 years’ service.

Members present were Couns. J. Allen (chairman), A. A. Allebone (vice-chairman), A. H. Bailey, Mrs. G. E. Bazeley, F. E. Brown, W. Brown, W. E. Capon, C. G. Faulkner, C. Ginns, A. Green, R. H. S. Greenwood, R. R. Griffiths, W. E. Higham, Mrs. W. M. Lean, Mrs. G. Marriott, Mrs. A. E. Muxlow, E. E. Newell, E. A. Sugars, H. Waring and J. E. Wills.

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