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The Rushden Echo, 7th January, 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Serious Damage by Gales
In The Rushden and Higham Ferrers District
Severe Accident to a Rushden Lady

Another furious gale was experienced in the Rushden and Higham Ferrers district on Saturday, similar to the disastrous wind which prevailed on Boxing Day. The gale seemed at its height at noon, and a representative of the “Rushden Echo” who was wending his way down High-street, Rushden, at that time had a narrow escape. He had just passed by the bill-posters’ boards near the Palace Theatre, and on taking a casual look behind him was surprised to see that what had remained standing of the boards (some had been blown down on Boxing Day) bending perilously over the roadway before the blast of the gale. The next moment the whole lot came crashing down, and our representative thanked his lucky stars that his yearning for his dinner had made him walk faster than usual that morning. Luckily, no one was hurt, although a boy who was standing near with a cycle at the time was much startled to see the boards crashing down only a yard away from him.

In the afternoon a serious accident was caused by the gale. Mrs. Cox, wife of Mr. W. Cox, of 162, Wellingborough-road, Rushden, was proceeding with a neighbour (Mrs. Turner, also of Wellingborough-road) past the junction of Wellingborough-road and Duck-street, when an exceptionally fierce gust of wind blew her heavily to the ground, breaking her thigh near the hip. Mrs. Turner and other ladies, with the help of Mr. H. H. Hobbs, placed the injured lady on a vehicle belonging to Mr. Mole, and she was taken to her residence. Here Dr. Baker attended to the injury, and the next morning the patient was conveyed to the Northampton Hospital in a brake, First-class Sergt. Prigmore, of the St. John Ambulance, superintending the removal.

At Higham Ferrers the fierce gale caused more damage. It will be remembered that a short time ago the building belonging to Ald. Owen Parker in Commercial-street, Higham, and recently used as a currying factory by Mr. W. N. Roberts, was almost completely gutted by a fierce fire, only the walls being left. On Saturday the centre wall of the building was blown over, and it crashed into the front wall, which in turn crashed into the road, doing no little amount of damage to the dwelling houses opposite.

There was a lighter side also to the results of the gale. At one o’clock on Saturday a certain youth was seen to lose his hat near the Co-operative Stores in High-street, Rushden, as the result of a sudden gust of wind. The cap began to take a journey on its own down the street, and the owner promptly gave chase. Somehow or other, perhaps in keeping his gaze fixed on his hat, he failed to notice a stock of cabbages, etc., which stood in his way outside the shop of Mr. Wilmott, green-grocer, etc. As a result the youth plunged over the cabbages, a quantity of which were sent careering madly down the road.

Other scenes such as this kept a certain party, sheltered in a certain doorway, in evident amusement for a considerable time.

Opinion is expressed that, in this district at any rate, it is a long time since such gales were experienced as those we had on Saturday and on the previous Monday. We can believe that many had unexpected New Year gifts in the shape of hats, etc.

During the height of the gale a portion of the new lead roofing of Succoth Baptist Chapel, Rushden, commenced to strip off, and it was noticed that a cornice on the premises occupied by Mr. Gramshaw was swaying perilously.

Several trees in the fields adjacent to the Midland Railway line between Rushden and Wellingborough have been uprooted.

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