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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 12th September 1952, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Labour v The Rest On Housing
Majority holds up private building

Consideration of further private building licences was sharply checked at Rushden Council’s meeting on Wednesday, when a united vote by the Labour section referred back a minute which proposed to select applications up to the number already agreed.

Leading for Labour was Councillor R. H. S. Greenwood, a building operative, who said the 21 applications for licences had no need comparable with people on the list for council houses. Ten already owned houses and four were tenants. Two did not live in the town.

Ald. C. G. Faulkner seconded, and opposing points of view were put by Mrs. A. Muxlow, Mr. A. H. Bailey, Mrs. W. M. Lean and Mr. F. E. Brown. They were that private building would provide additional houses; that it was time to encourage houses on which there would be no rate subsidy, and that some of the applicants were elderly and could no longer afford to keep up their old establishments.

All non-Labour members voted against.

Following a letter from the Rector the council agreed, subject to Government sanction, to commemorate the Coronation by bearing the cost of repositioning the works of St. Mary’s Church clock (estimated at £260). The addition of a second dial, with illumination of both, will also be considered.


Residents of St. Peter’s Avenue who petitioned about flooding near their houses will be told that they should have the ditch attended to. Councillor E. A. Sugars denied that the council was solely responsible, but on being pressed by Councillors F. E. Brown, Mrs. G. Marriott and J. Wills, he said the Surveyor (Mr. A. Millar) would go thoroughly into the whole question.

The petitioners also complained about their footpaths and the street cleaning service. Work on the paths was promised, but in view of a labour shortage the council was less definite about the sweeping.

Following a complaint by Mr. G. Roddis about parking near his High Street premises the council opposed a suggestion from the County Surveyor that the no-waiting area should be extended. No more parking apace is available near the shopping centre but land in Duck Street will be considered.

A no-waiting order affecting the west side of Rectory Road between Newton Road and George Street will be sought.

“Slow” signs will be painted on all approaches to the junction of Station Road and Moor Road, and the zebra crossing will be equipped with flashing lights.

Permission was given for the owner of the Bedford Road caravan site to provide a gate giving access to Jubilee Park from the site.

Minutes revealed that the opening of Rushden’s in-town bus service followed an attempt by the council to have the licence transferred from the United Counties Omnibus Co. to Messrs. Seamarks (Motors) Ltd.

A vote recording congratulations was carried following Miss W. M. Clipson’s promotion by the Queen to be an Officer (Sister) of the Order of St. John. The chairman said the appointment – thoroughly deserved for devoted and efficient service – was an honour to the town that Miss Clipson had long served in many ways.

Among other speakers Coun. W. E. Capon said Miss Clipson was the first local member of the order to attain this rank.

The chairman acknowledged Rushden’s generosity in subscribing £765 to the Devon and Somerset Flood Relief Fund and described the children’s part in collecting £105 as “almost marvellous.”

Requests were received from A. J. Potters and Sons, Ltd., and Whittington and Tomlin, Ltd. to be allowed additional contracts on the Upper Queen Street site to provide continuity of employment for the labour force engaged there.

Subject to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the council agreed to enter into further contracts for which a loan of £16,420 will be required.

Net rents of Gregory flats were fixed at 13s 5d. New three-bedroom parlour houses will be let at from 13s 4d to 15s 4d.

The Clerk (Mr. A. G. Crowdy) reported that the Minister had confirmed the compulsory purchase order made by the council in respect of a plot of land in Blinco Road, and the Surveyor was requested to submit a plan for the erection of flats.


Final cost of 46 houses erected on the Higham Road estate was £61,809 as compared with the original loan sanction of £60, 550.

The Surveyor reported on No4 Tollbar, where walls are cracking, and stated that as a precaution the ends of the house had been shored-up.

Evidence was found, he said that the roots of the popular trees had penetrated, and he thought the trouble was probably due to a contraction of the clay sub-soil, due to dry weather and the extraction of moisture by the tree roots.

The Surveyor was instructed to remove trees near the house “as a matter of urgency.”

The Housing Manager reported that the majority of tenants were cultivating their gardens satisfactorily but was instructed to communicate with seven tenants who were failing to do so.

Councillor F. E. Brown said he hoped these tenants would fall in line and not mar the work of others.

Reporting on the progress of the U.D.C. office extension work the Surveyor said the internal walls had been erected, electrical and heating installations completed and plastering commenced. Installation of 15 internal telephones at a cost of £292 was approved.

Rushden Hall

In a report on the restoration of Rushden Hall the Parks Committee stated that the next stage of the scheme should include the provision of one or both of the flats already proposed, and the adaptation of rooms on the ground floor to provide facilities for the sale of refreshments. Prof. A. E. Richardson, the architect, will be asked to discuss these points with the committee.

Seating experiments round the Hall bandstand are regarded by the bands as an improvement although one band feels that a circular enclosure would be preferable. It was agreed to continue with the existing arrangements for the remainder of the present season.

A letter was received from the Chamber of Trade expressing the opinion that the “Halt” sign erected at the junction of Church Street and High Street could not be expected to make the crossing less dangerous than at present and that the only effective remedy would be the erection of traffic lights. As the council also prefers traffic lights the letter will be presented to the County Council and Ministry of Transport.

More Light

The Ministry of Transport informed the Highways Committee that the proposals for the re-lighting of Wellingborough Road would be considered in due course. The Surveyor was instructed to proceed with the scheme for re-lighting Newton Road at an estimated cost of £300 and with the re-lighting of Rectory Road at a cost of £180.

It was agreed that all council workmen should be required to retire at the age of 70.

Building plans were as follows: garage, Wilson Road, Mr. T. W. Swannell; asbestos garage, Shirley Road, Mr. N. Perrott; extension to form garage, “The White House,” Grove Road, Mr. P. W. Wills; reconstruction of No.9 Bedford Road, (Lindum (Lincoln) Ltd); two brick garages, Graveley Street, Radburne and Bennett, Ltd.; new front to garage, Montague Street, Mr. B. W. Warner; alterations at 119, High Street South, Mr. J. T. Reade; prefabricated bungalow, Oak Street, Mr. C. Walker; garage, Birch Road, Mr. A. K. Clements; garage, 53, Park Road, Mr. A. B. Abington; garage, “Meadow View,” Wellingborough Road, Mr. A. Turner; bathroom, 64, Wellingborough Road, Mr. E. Mayes, conservatory, 60, Talbot Road, Mr. R. Newell; garden tool shed, 86, Hall Ave. Mrs. E. M. Starmer; garden tool shed, 88, Hall Ave, Mrs. F. M. Taylor; pavement crossing, 5, Higham Road, Independent Wesleyan Church trustees; conversion into two flats, 77, Newton Road, Messrs. J. Jacques and J. H. May; store and wash-house, 32, Birchall Road, Mr. A. Leggett; house, Bedford Road, Mr. T. K. Flintham; garage and coal store, 17, Prospect Ave., Mr. F. Randall; store and coal barn, Windmill Club, Glassbrook Road; brick garage, 49, Irchester Road, Mr. J. W. Smith; brick garage, 3, St. Mary’s Ave., Mr. F. W. Betts.

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