|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 1st August, 1941, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Clubmen Raised £190 in Town Effort
Claim at Crippled Fund Meeting
Echoes of the Rushden Social Services Fund allocation meeting were heard on Saturday when the Rushden and District Clubs’ Fund for the Blind and Crippled Children, whose grant was reduced in favour of another charity, held its annual meeting at the Rushden West End Club.
The most pointed comment was by the hon. Secretary, Mr. Harry Rice. “I did not feel that I could take on this work again,” he said, “but what happened this week trod on my corns, and I felt I must keep on.
“At the meeting on Thursday it seemed that the first thing you had to cut down was the Blind and Crippled Fund and the Manfield Hospital.”
Mr. Rice said that one of the reasons why he resisted a £50 cut in the grant was that he objected to a man who opposed the fete coming along to say what should be done with the money.
“The clubs ran four efforts on their own in connection with the fete, and when I say that we raised over £190 I defy contradiction.”
Mr. Rice noted in his report as secretary that last year’s expenditure was very great, but splendid support had been given by the public generally.
There were 50 crippled children on the books and most of them had been treated at the Manfield Orthopaedic Hospital and the Rushden clinic, while others were waiting for vacancies. The medical and surgical reports were very encouraging, and quite 75 per cent. of the cases were making satisfactory progress.
The report also thanked a large number of subscribers and helpers, mentioning Dr. Greenfield and other surgeons for their voluntary service and advice.
The balance sheet disclosed a net income of £298, including a grant of £100 from last year’s Rushden Health Services Fete, £17 10s. from the Rushden clubs’ skittles championship, £15 from the Rushden Trades Hospital Fund, £15 from the Rushden Windmill Horticultural Society, and the following sums raised by the district clubs: Ringstead £13 10s., Addington £11 5s., Raunds Woodbine £64 10s., Woodford £14 10s., Stanwick £14.
Expenditure included £124 in grants to the blind, £24 17s. in fares and appliances, £2 14s. on boots and repairs, £20 7s. for a new carriage and repairs, and a donation of £75 to the Manfield Orthopaedic Hospital. The balance in hand had increased from £153 to £184.
Moving the adoption of the report and balance sheet, Mr. F. J. Bass, of Raunds (vice-chairman) made special mention of the Rushden skittles championship, which in nine years had raised £199 for the fund. He said that the amount of money raised proved the general appreciation of the work. The ladies had done an enormous amount of work, and they were also deeply grateful to the Manfield Hospital.
“It would be impossible for the parents of the children to meet the expenditure incurred,” added Mr. Bass.
Mr. J. Sprake, joint auditor with Mr. F. G. Adams, said he would like to see the list of vice-presidents added to from some of the clubs.
Mr. A. E. Haddon, who presided, welcomed Councillor T. W. Cox, chairman of the Rushden Urban Council, and informed him that the “wicked” clubs had done this work for the alleviation of suffering for about 29 years.
Councillor Cox said that as chairman of the Council he wished to say a word of thanks to the members of the committee and the clubs for the great work they were doing to those who throughout the year were giving so much time and energy to help those who were afflicted with the awful handicap of blindness and to alleviate the sufferings of those who were maimed or crippled.
In Rushden they had a large number of organisations doing excellent work for charities, but the work of the Clubs’ Fund deserved as much support as any. An enormous amount of work must have been involved in raising such a large sum of money, mainly by small contributions.
Hailed as the “father” of the Council, Councillor John Spencer, J.P., remarked that all who were his colleagues when he first joined the Council had passed away. “And,” he added amid smiles, “I suppose I shall be the last of those who were on the Wellingborough Bench when I joined.”
When he came to Rushden the only charitable institution calling for support was Northampton Hospital for which a house-to-house collection and a few donations were made. There was a large number nowadays, however, and none more worthy than their own.
Still an Optimist
“I still hope to see a brighter dawn,” declared Mr. Spencer, “when things will not be made to destroy life but to build up a country where none shall be neglected and all who are suffering shall be helped.”
Mr. Haddon spoke with enthusiasm of the Rushden Query Motor Club, who year in and year out were always doing something to help charity; and he asked the secretary to convey the committee’s appreciation to them.
Mr. O. A. H. Muxlow, treasurer of the Rushden Social Services Effort, was received with appreciation when he presented a cheque for £125 the grant made at the winding-up meeting on the previous Thursday.
“Unlike a certain councillor the other night,” he said, “I am not ashamed of my town. I am very proud of it, and proud of my club friends. I wish to pay public tribute to the vast amount of work done in the Social Services Effort by Mr. Rice and my club friends; I have always found that when there is hard work to be done in Rushden they have come to the club friends to do it.”
Attending for the first time, Mr. E. G. Roberts, secretary of the Northants and Beds. Branch of the Club Union, brought a small cheque from the branch and told the committee that it should be proud of its work.
Mr. S. Smith spoke for the Windmill Club Horticultural Committee and Mr. G. Morris for the Skittles Championship Committee.
Mr. B. W. Knibbs, who has represented the movement on the board of the Manfield Hospital, announced that he was retiring from the post because of ill-health.
In reference to the Social Services meeting, Mr. Knibbs said: “Mr. Capon has done a wonderful work in the town, and I have sympathy with him in his disappointment. The small amount of money for the Boot Fund and the proviso attached to it would have annoyed me. I should like to thank Mr. Rice for his diplomatic and generous action at that meeting.”
Mr. Knibbs praised the ladies who did the work of the Rushden Manfield Clinic “wonderfully well,” and expressed the hope that the Rev. D. H. Meggy, of Addington, would agree to succeed him on the Manfield Hospital Board.
Mr. W. J. Frisby, one of the founders of the Clubs’ Fund, suggested that half-a-crown was rather a cheap subscription for vice-presidents.
Mr. H. G. Lewis, secretary superintendent of the Manfield Orthopaedic Hospital, recalled that in 1929 the Rushden clinic, then in its first year, had 70 children under its care. At that time the hospital had just extended to 128 beds. Six hundred and eighty-two new cases of crippling had passed through the clinic since its opening, and of these 353 were still under the care of the clinic.
“You can put a patient on your books very much more easily than you can take a patient off,” he said.
During the last 12 months they had found 73 new patients, and 22 patients from the Rushden clinic had received in-patient treatment at Manfield Hospital eleven of them were still there and five had been there the whole twelve months.
The 22 patients had had 2,890 days’ treatment at the hospital, costing £1,080. Of them, nine were from Rushden and the others from the villages associated with the clinic.
During the last year 506 patients had been admitted to the hospital, where they were keeping an average of 181 beds occupied as compared with a peace-time 150. They had crowded and crowded until they just could not crowd another patient in anywhere.
In spite of staff, calling-up and transport difficulties, the hospital had kept its ten out-patient clinics and four treatment centres running without interruption or hitch. The total of 1,615 new patients beat the previous records by two or three hundred. Over 3,600 patients were under the care of the hospital and its clinics, and last year there were 34,000 attendances at the clinics.
Mr. Lewis told the Rushden and district clubmen that he relied upon them not only as a source of income but for practical help, as they knew the personal circumstances of the cases much more intimately than the hospital staff could.
Speaking frankly about the fund’s finances, Mr. Lewis pointed out that although the income had fallen a little each year, they had a steadily increasing balance. Their expenditure on the blind had fallen and they had cut expenditure on the cripples. There had never been a time when “small money” was so easy to obtain as at present, and he urged them to reap the harvest and not allow themselves to be blinded by the £125 cheque.
Mr. Bass thanked the subscribers and Mr. Lewis, of Higham Ferrers, acknowledged the help of the Press. Mr. Haddon announced a gift of £1 from Mr. Cox.
All the officers of the fund, including Mr. George Colburn (treasurer) were re-elected.
Before the business, tea was served and Mr. F. Maycock, as president of the West End Club, welcomed the delegates and visitors. Mr. Haddon thanked the club and the caterers.