Rushden & District History Society held its inaugural meeting in May 1991 and issued the first “Risdene Echo” in September of the same year, as a quarterly magazine. Our meetings were then held at Rushden Hall but when our regular audience topped 50 this forced a move to a larger hall. The varied programme of speakers now regularly attracts audiences of over 80 at our monthly meetings, now held at
, usually on the 3rd Friday, at 7.30pm, where visitors are always welcome.
In December 2001 Chairman, Guy Sellick-Taylor announced Rushden & District History Society had been successful with an application to the ‘Awards for All’ Heritage Lottery Fund, to enable a project to microfilm the old records of the three oldest primary schools, and then produce CD copies for the schools and our Society.
With the award of £4,900, a team led by Joy Clayson, collected the records and made the arrangements for copying. Microfiche and CDs were then produced, with copies being given to the Record Office, Library, and each school.
List of attendees at the first meeting of the Rushden and District History Society, held on the 12th. of April 1991 at the Toc H rooms in Portland Road. (Names as they appear on the attendance list)
P. A. Pearson
P. W. Roberts
E. M. Pinnell
Peter & Sue Etheridge
J. M. Walker
T. R. Walker
Jim & Pam Osborne
R. M. Jenkinson
D. J. Hales
A. J. George
R. D. Jenkins
In January 2002 a small group was formed to start to create a research base to help anyone researching people or places in the town, calledRushden Research. We began with the 1901 census which had just been released for public scrutiny, and our aim was to have it on display at the first “Discovery Day” at the end of March. We managed to complete but it was not fully checked, so we later did a full recheck and then went on to transcribe the other parishes which with Rushden, make up the old administrative area called the “Higham Ferrers Hundred” (13 parishes in all) and produced it as a CD in time for the next “Discovery Day” in the autumn of 2003. We then started transcribing and indexing Baptist and Methodist records and have recently (2007) started on the
books. Our regular meetings were as “Wills Workshops” where we met to work to transcribe wills of Rushden residents from 1500-1858. By April 2007 we had completed 90 with another 400+ to go!
We had been encouraged to go for a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and succeeded in getting the funding to help us to create this website. The work began in earnest in April 2007 and the fruits of our twice weekly meetings since then are produced here to share with the world. The IT Kiosk will mark the end of the Heritage Lottery funding, but the website will continue to grow as we feel there is so much more to add!