|The Rushden Echo, 15th December 1967, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Gloom in Rushden High Street
The chairman of Rushden Urban Council, Mr. R. H. S. Greenwood, told members of Rushden Chamber of Trade this week that the street lights in the High Street were extremely poor. “I think they are a disgrace,” he said.
Mr. Greenwood continued: “they were wished on us by the Ministry and if shopkeepers switched their lights out you would not see anything at all. We are getting on to them for something better. We deserve something better.
In fact, at last month’s Rushden council meeting the Highways and Planning Committee decided that Northamptonshire County Council should be told of the urgent need for improvements to the High Street lighting.
It seems ironic that Rushden’s only comprehensive shopping street should be dimly lit when probably the ugliest street in town, Rectory Road should be brilliantly lit by comparison.
A survey showed that when all the lights are working there are 31 in the High Street 17 on one side of the road and 14 on the other.
But there seems to be no regular pattern between the lights, some are separated by a few feet, others by several yards.
The lights are fixed on brackets high on walls consisting of one and two five feet tubes. Most small offices and certainly most shops have twice as many tubes of greater length to light much smaller areas.
The inefficiency of the present street lighting is not so obvious at the moment, due to the fact that Rushden and Higham Ferrers District Chamber of Trade’s Christmas street lighting scheme is working. But even with this addition the illuminations hardly come up to street lighting standards.
If local shopkeepers switched off their lights, driving on sidelights would be highly dangerous.