Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
The Rushden Echo and Argus, transcribed by Gill & Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

14th September 1956

Council gets authority to culvert brook

Rushden Urban Council took a difficult fence on Wednesday when it decided that its fencing scheme for the Spencer Park brook had become redundant and that the contract should be suspended.

The fencing contract – the result of a report that the brook was contaminated – was placed in July, but work at the park has not begun, and the council now has ministerial authority to culvert the stream.

It was reported that the Welsh contractor had obtained his materials and proposed to start work next Monday, but after a long discussion the council passed a resolution declaring the fencing to have been an emergency measure which must now be suspended.

The debate revealed that the members are not agreed as to whether the culverting should extend beyond the park. This point will be discussed by the Health Committee which has not yet submitted a detailed scheme.


The council rejected a Parks committee proposal to spend £2,650 on clearing outbuildings at Rushden Hall and substituting a new storage building. The same committee gave a warning that the entrance lodge may have to be demolished because of its bad condition.

No progress has been made with the council’s protest against the new telegram delivery service, but Mr. F. E. Brown asked the public to report any case of unsatisfactory service. Mrs. Shrive promptly produced a cablegram which she said was received at Northampton at three o’clock on August 7 and delivered in Rushden by first post next day.

After a strong protest by Mrs. G. Marriott it was promised that questions of drainage and tree-lopping in St. Peter’s Avenue will be considered.

There will be no gas service in the new Little Street bungalows. Only electricity is to be installed.

Tenants have complained about trees in Balmoral Ave. and St. James’ Close. Action is being taken.

Six improvement grants, ranging from £79 to £107 were approved.

The following streets have been recommended to the Chief Constable as suitable for vehicles to stand without lights when within 25 yards of an illuminated street lamp: Alfred Street, John Street, Griffith Street(Park Road end), Pytchley Road, Manton Road, Glassbrook Road, Sartoris Road, Spencer Road, Midland Road (from Station Road to bend), and Highfield Road (from Tennyson Road to Boundary Avenue).

Streets Link?

With a view to linking Rose Avenue with Highfield Road, it was agreed to negotiate for land in Mason’s Close allotments.

On the advice of the surveyor, Mr. A. Millar, the council extended its relief sewer scheme for part of Wellingborough Road, the cost thus going up from £1,200 to £2,000.

It was decided to schedule Nos. 1 to 21 South Terrace as a clearance area.

The council decided to make inquiries about eight acres of land to the north of Irchester Road, with a view to establishing it as a public open space.

This was done against opposition from Mr. Cyril Freeman, who objected that the site was the wrong side of the road and contained a large hollow.

Children’s playground equipment costing £266 is to be ordered for the Upper Queen Street estate.

Rushden Association Football Supporters’ Club was registered under the Small Lotteries and Gaming Act.

The clerk, Mr. A. G. Crowdy, has been instructed to approach the United Counties Bus Company about the possibility of more through buses being operated between Rushden and Northampton.

Mr. C. G. Faulkner and the clerk were appointed to represent Rushden at a Birmingham conference on re-housing of “overspill” population in the Midlands.


12th October 1956

That fence goes up: bid to save culvert cost

Rushden’s Spencer Park brook, reported in June to be polluted, is after all to be fenced in order to keep children away.

The fencing contract, placed in July, was suspended by the Urban Council last month when it was known that the Ministry would consider a culverting scheme.

On Wednesday, however, the council was advised by the Health Committee that the expense of culverting might be avoided by proceeding with the fencing and improving the sewer, which by frequent overflows has polluted the brook.

Dr. P. X. Bermingham, the medical officer was quoted as saying that a certain degree of pollution, due to animals and vegetation, could always be present, and that children should not have unrestricted access to the water.

Mr. A. H. Bailey, for the committee spoke of the culverting being “left in abeyance.”

In debate the fence was called “ugly,” totally unnecessary,” “a waste of money” and “a temporary expedient.’ Among the advocates of culverting, Mr. R. R. Griffiths called the brook “an open sewer.”

After a 9 – 8 vote in favour of proceeding with the fencing, the council agreed to ask the Ministry to expedite consideration of a relief sewer and pumping station.

The council approved in principle another sewerage scheme – first prepared in 1954 and estimated to cost £60,000. It provides for the extension of the sewage disposal works.

The owner of a café has objected to the Ministry of Transport’s proposed order prohibiting waiting near the high causeway steps in High Street South. To meet the objection the council expressed willingness to extend the present parking place into Little Street and to allow the parking of all types of vehicles.

Letters from religious organisations in the town have asked the council to remit the whole of the rates charged on houses occupied by clergymen and ministers. The council did not accede, but decided that in no case should the new levy exceed the amount charged prior to the new valuation list. In five cases it was stated, the amount payable had gone down following this valuation.

Mrs. Muxlow spoke of the need for “drastic alterations” in the service of through buses between Rushden and Northampton. A letter from the United Counties Omnibus Co. had stated that possible adjustments were receiving constant attention.

Tenders for building bungalows on the site between Little Street and Park Road are expected to be in hand next month, and the Housing Committee was authorised to deal with them. Following a letter from the East Midland Gas Board, the committee has confirmed its decision only to install electricity at these homes.

New blocks of flats on the Short Stocks estate, each containing six homes, are to be provided with a common aerial, wires and fittings for the reception of B.B.C. and commercial television.

A contract was entered into with Mr. W. Squires for the completion of footpaths and grass verges in Blinco Road at a cost of £2,465.

A tender for the improvement of ten houses in Kings Road was accepted from A. W. Jacques and Son at £2,625.

Clearance Order

A clearance order was made in respect of houses in South Terrace, and the Housing Committee reported that they did not wish to acquire the site for re-development.

Closing orders were made in respect of Nos. 23 and 25 Little Street.

The council accepted a tender from Mr. D. J. Rawlings, at £2,939, for the erection of public conveniences in High Street. The incorporation of facilities for small children is to be considered.

Parts of Allen Road and Blinco Road are being taken over as public highways.

A letter from the United Counties Omnibus Company states that the possibility of additional through journeys between Rushden and Northampton was receiving constant consideration and that a further letter would be sent when definite proposals were ready. The General Purposes Committee will renew this question in three months.


16th November 1956

Tenants who buy vacant houses

By nine votes to eight on Wednesday evening, Rushden Urban Council approved a motion, put by Mr. J. E. Wills, that, where the Housing Committee came to know of a council house tenant buying vacant house property in the town, the committee should obtain possession of the council house as soon as practicable.

Moving the resolution, this was seconded by Mr. R. H. S. Greenwood, Mr. Wills said that he had framed it so that no member of the Council’s staff would have to do any snooping.

He said that he had nothing but admiration for a man who saved his money and bought a house of his own, but having done so he should go and live in it. They should tell him to do the “right thing” and go into his own house, or they would take action to obtain possession of his council house.

An amendment by Mrs. W. M. Lean that the committee should reconsider the tenancy in any case where they knew that the tenant had bought a vacant house failed on a split (9-9) vote.

Particular Case

Moving the amendment, Mrs. Lean said that the resolution was based on a particular case, and, although she agreed with Mr. Wills in that instance, she felt that the Council ought to deal with each case on its own merits.

Seconding the amendment Mr. A. Allebone said he was 100 per cent behind Mr. Wills in the motive for the resolution, but was not happy about the way in which it had been framed.

At the end of the meeting the Council discussed informally the possibility of a one-way traffic scheme using High Street and Rectory Road. The original recommendation from the Highways Committee was that this should be discussed privately and informally, but an amendment by Mr. R. R. Griffiths, seconded by Mrs. G. Marriott, was carried, with the effect that the discussion, though informal, was held with the Press present.

Mr. Griffiths said he thought that by now, the committee should have been able to bring something before the Council but failing that – if the full Council were to discuss the matter – then the townspeople should know what was going on.

Suggestions put forward were for one-way traffic via High Street and Rectory road, a similar scheme with Washbrook and Wellingborough Roads taking the place of Rectory Road, and the possibility of diverting heavy traffic in either direction along Washbrook and Wellingborough Roads, leaving High Street clear for light traffic.

The danger of High Street traffic to pedestrians was emphasised by Mr. Wills and Mrs A. Muxlow, and the traffic relief likely to be brought about by the addition of new car parks in Duck Street was raised by the Chairman, Mr. E. E. Newell.

It was finally left to the Highways Committee to consider the views put forward and report back.

The Council approved without comment a recommendation to authorise the Housing Committee to accept tenders for the erection of three bungalows on a site at Hayden Road.

It was stated by the committee chairman, Mrs. G. Marriott that the site was originally surplus to requirements of the Hove Road estate, and had been incorporated into the gardens of adjoining houses.

The Clerk was authorised to endeavour to arrange with the tenants of houses in Hove Road for the voluntary surrender of the land.

The total of improvement grants paid by the council was reported to be £9,359.

A contract was placed for the reconstruction of footpaths at the cemetery.

Closing orders were made in respect of Nos. 311, 313 and 315 Bedford Road.

Notice was received that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government had upheld the appeal of Messrs. A. Abbott and Sons, High Street South, against the conditions imposed on their garage building project.

Frontage owners in Cresswell Road have objected to proposals for laying a sewer, their reason being that they acquired the plots as allotment gardens and did not wish to see the land developed for building purposes. The Council heard, however, that some had withdrawn objections, and the sewer scheme is likely to go ahead.

Authority was given for the relighting of Robert Street.

Final cost of street works carried out in Hall Avenue was reported to be £5,193.

Following interviews with some of the frontage owners’ amendments were made to the plan for making up Harvey Road under the Private Street works Act. The Highways Committee has also agreed to obtain views of property owners in Upper Park Avenue, Church Hall Road, Rose Avenue and St. Margaret’s Avenue on a proposal that these roads should be made up and taken over by the council.

Nos. 37 – 43 Duck Street are to be demolished, and a sub-committee will report on whether the site can be used for car parking.

At the suggestion of the county road safety officer it was agreed to paint “Slow” signs on the road near the Lawton Road – Allen Road junction.

A report from the medical officer, Dr. P. X. Bermingham, stated that the entrance lodge at Rushden Hall was unfit for human habitation.

The Parks Committee has turned down a suggestion that a hockey pitch should be provided at the Hall Grounds.

A letter has been received from the Rushden and District Youth Football League asking the council to provide dressing rooms at Jubilee Park for the use of local teams, who, in the absence of facilities, have to play all their matches away from home. The Parks Committee is willing to consider this question in connection with next year’s estimates.

The council has received applications for the tenancy of 57 plots on the Newton Road allotments.

The treasurer, Mr. W. D. White, reported that the valuation list totals £186,983. Of 364 proposals for amendments made by ratepayers 94 have been withdrawn, 24 settled by agreement and 32 referred to the local valuation court.

Following a conference at Birmingham, the Finance Committee has agreed to consider at its next meeting the problem of re-housing “Overspill” in the Midlands.

It was agreed to compensate Messrs. C. A. Bailey and Co. in respect of their premises in Washbrook Road, and the question of the acquisition of the site remains in abeyance.

Duck Street Developments?

Important developments in street widening and car parking facilities are expected to result from Rushden Urban Council’s purchase of the currying factory, off Duck Street, which was occupied for many years by Charles Sanders, Ltd.

The council is now in a position to widen the whole of the narrow lane connecting High Street with the main part of Duck Street, and the factory site, together with land at the rear of the swimming bath, is expected to become a car park.


Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the History index
Click here to e-mail us