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In 1913 seven councillors and members of the Liberal Party, wrote a letter to the electorate, setting out their pre-election targets for the town, education and trade.

Rushden Argus, March 29th 1918, transcribed by Susan Manton

New J.P.Mr. G. W. Coles was congratulated on the honour conferred upon him in being made a magistrate by Councillor F. Knight J.P., at the War Pensions Committee, on behalf of his colleagues. He has also received letters from all over the county of a congratulatory character.

The Rushden Argus April 7th 1922, transcribed by Susan Manton.

Rushden’s New Councillors

Mr. Charles Claridge Mr. G.W. Coles J.P. Mr. Fred Corby
Mr. G.W. Coles J.P.

Mr. Charles Claridge

At his first attempt Mr. Charles Claridge, brother of the late Mr. John Claridge, gained a seat on the Council, occupying tenth place on the poll. Mr. Claridge, who is now the principal of Messrs J.C. Claridge Ltd., boot manufacturers, one of the oldest firms in Rushden, did not seek public honours whilst his brother was doing such a grand work for the town, but during the war was a useful worker on several committees. He is one of the two successful Conservative nominees included in the Progressive group.

Mr. G.W. Coles J.P.

It was almost a foregone conclusion that Mr. George W. Coles would obtain a seat for Labour in the Council election. His success preserves the balance of power between the Labour and Progressive sections of the Council, for of the four retiring Labour members, the three seeking re-election were all successful. Mr. Coles is a prominent man in the Friendly Society world, and for several years has been the trusted chairman of the Co-operative Industrial Society.

Mr. Fred Corby

After twice being thirteenth man on the poll, Mr. Fred Corby has gone a step higher, and becomes the sixth Liberal Progressive on the council. Head of an old established business, Mr. Corby has always been willing to devote time to public, religious and political work. Secretary for many years of the Park Road Baptist Church, he has been chairman of the Rushden Liberal Association, and is a popular member of the Local Education Sub-Committee.

The Rushden Echo, 15th May 1964, transcribed by Jim Hollis

New Councillors’ Aims and Ambitions

When Rushden Urban Council and Higham Ferrers Town Council meet next month there will be a number of fresh faces among the councillors taking their seats.

Mr Hooton Mr Lawson Mr Savory Mrs Swart Mr Penness Mr Gilhooley
Mr Hooton
Mr Lawson
Mr Savory
Mrs Swart
Mr Penness
Mr Gilhooley

The biggest changes have taken place at Rushden, where there will be five new councillors at the June meeting. They are Mrs. A. Swart, Mr. G. V. R. Hooton, Mr. G. J. Penness, Mr. D. Savory and Mr. R. D. Gilhooley. At Higham Ferrers the newcomer to the council will be Mr. D. C. Lawson.

This week the “Echo” asked what they hoped to achieve or see carried out during their term of office.

Sports Aim

A general improvement in the sporting facilities at Higham Ferrers is one of the aims of Mr. Lawson. His main reason for standing for election was “to do well for the town and the people in it.”

Mr. Lawson will sit on the highways and lighting, and parks and cemeteries committees of the council, but he would also like to become a member of the housing committee, a matter which interests him greatly.

Mr. Hooton said that all he was concerned with were matters which would benefit the town, and anything towards this end he would support. At the moment there was only one particular measure he wanted to see carried out. This was improvement to some of the roads in the town.


More information for the public on council affairs is one of the prime objects of Mr. Penness. “I feel the public do not know as much as they should,” he said. Generally, though, he explained, his aim was to further matters which would lead Rushden to progress and benefit the townspeople.

To carry out the ideas of the Ratepayers’ Association and to promote the interest of Rushden Ratepayers.That is the aim of Mr. Savory. “Personally, my wish is to learn as much as I can about council procedure,” he said.

Although he has not been resident in Rushden for very long, Mr. Gilhooley feels that his administration experience in the RAF will be of use to him as a councillor. The stabilisation of the rate is his aim.

Public health and highways will receive top priority on the programme of ratepayers’ member Mr. Gilhooley. He will, he promises, pay special attention to the need to repair pavements generally in the town, the “fantastic waste of money” due to lack of a sewer between the Court Estate and the main sewage works, and the “highly dangerous state which exists along Avenue Road due to the lack of a footpath.”

Low Rates

“First and foremost job; however, is to get the rates down as low as we possibly can, commensurate with a high standard of public service,” he said. “My personal aim will be to maintain as close a touch with the people of the South ward as possible and to see that their problems are brought before the council.”

Labour councillor Mrs. Ada Swart would like to see “A go ahead town with expansion ideas, coupled with new industries,” and more encouragement for young people to stay in the town.

“In particular, I would like to see the school buildings of the Secondary School for Girls brought up to the standard of the Boys’ School, and, as a longer term policy, for Rushden to have its own grammar school.”

As an immediate necessity Mrs. Swart would like to see traffic lights installed at several dangerous crossings in the town, she added.

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