|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 31st December, 1948, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Let’s Make It a Model Town
Rushden is going to be a marvellous place to live in during 1949. Put your feet up on the mantelpiece for a moment and consider this. Tomorrow night, after the clock has struck twelve, the whole atmosphere of the town will have changed.
Everyone will be so polite. There will be no rushing for buses, no arguments over shop counters, headmasters will put away their canes (if they still have them) and production will leap.
“How do you know that?” you say. Perhaps you think it is a flight of fancy? Suppose everyone in the town makes a new year’s resolution!
For those who think that resolutions are things made to be broken, let us record that the dictionary tells us:-
RESOLUTION, an act of resolving: analysis: solution: state of being resolved: fixed determination: steadiness: that which is resolved: certainty: (mus.) the relieving of a discord by a following concord.
Incidentally, it is also recorded as “the disappearance or dispersion of an inflammation or tumour.”
We rang up a Rushden boot manufacturer and said: “If you made a new year’s resolution, which one would you choose to give the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people?”
This had him puzzled, but not for long. “I should promise to say to myself every day, ‘Blessed are those that smile,’” he said. “I think that if everyone smiled when things seemed at their worst, those things would not seem so bad.”
Picturing a Rushden wreathed in smiles, we tried our luck with a tobacconist, hoping that he would say: “I would promise myself always to tell the truth and never keep fags under the counter.” But this one had a better idea.
“If I wanted to give the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people,” he said, “it would be no good selling all my stock, shutting shop and going home. If I rationed it I should only get black looks from everyone. All I could do would be to shed an honest tear every time I said ‘sold out.’
Another man had a more concrete idea. “My idea,” he said, “would be to do all in my power to stir up local interest in the embryo Community Centre at Rushden Hall. There must be hundreds of local people connected with organisations without a home.”
“Well I don’t know,” said a local publican, putting on his thinking cap. “I could not give them a year’s free beer. Let me think. I’d tell them a nice little ditty every time I served them with a pint.”
The plan of the motorist might be a little confusing if taken literally. His resolution would be: “To think of myself as though I was the driver of the other car on the road. If people thought more in that direction,” he added in explanation, “it would be a great help to everyone.”
It follows, then, that if everyone in the town made a resolution which would bring the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people there would be a relieving of discord and a following concord.