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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 9th November 1956, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Brighter lights for town after two-year wait

new lamp
On Wednesday - one of the new lamp standards being erected on Higham Road
Relighting the A6 road through Rushden isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s happening now, but the preparatory stage goes back two years or more.

Once upon a time, when Higham Ferrers had a re-lighting scheme in hand, Rushden Council consulted with the borough with a view to securing uniformity.

Hithertothe darker town, Higham went forward with its plan and bathed its main street in modern light. Rushden, a step or two behind, missed a Ministry of Transport grant period and had two wait nearly twelve months for sanction and help.

By this time new ideas were being thought up. Councillors travelled to see what other towns were doing. The Fine Arts commission had to be consulted. Letters flowed between Rushden and Whitehall.

Nearly Two Miles

Just getting through the Credit Squeeze, the scheme came to life this year, and a contract was placed in May. Even then there were snags and adjustments, but work began a few days ago, and is expected to continue for two or three weeks.

The route being relighted is 1.8 miles long, beginning at Tollbar – the junction with Higham Ferrers – and ending just to the south of Jubilee Park, which is well along the road to Bedford.

Lighting will be effected by a chain of 98 lamps. Those between the Higham boundary and the railway bridge will be similar to those installed at the borough – they are 400 watt mercury vapour lamps, suspended above the road at a height of 25ft from concrete standards placed 120ft apart.

To the south of the railway bridge the lighting will change to fluorescent lamps placed only 50ft apart and staggered. Some of these lamps will be two-tube and others three-tube burning 80 watts.

This section begins with five two-tube lamps on standards, but from Victoria Road to Church Street façade lighting will apply, the lamps being attached to buildings.

This plan saves congestion from the standards, and makes use of reflection from the buildings. The tubes are mounted parallel to the road.

From Church Street, the row of 26 façade lights will be followed as far as Wymington Road by three tube fluorescent lamps on columns, and from Wymington Road to Jubilee Park will be a reversion to the 400 watt mercury vapour lights.

All-night lighting will be provided throughout the route, and each lamp will have its own time switch, set to adjust itself according to the time of year. The winding is electric.

Total cost of the installation is £5,300, but the Ministry of Transport has granted 50 per cent towards this, and will also pay 50 per cent of the maintenance cost, which, so far as Rushden Council is concerned, will increase by about £150 a year – a sum which represents better illumination and all-night service as against restricted service.

The old lights will continue in use until the new ones can be switched on.

Mr. Alex Millar, surveyor to Rushden Council, and his staff have planned the scheme. The main contract is in the hands of the North Midland Engineering Co., Skegley, Sutton-in-Ashfield.

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