Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
The Argus, 22nd April, May 27th & June 10th 1898
Agricultural Show 1898

The Argus, 22nd April 1898

The local committee are busily engaged pushing forward the arrangements for the Northamptonshire Agricultural Society's show, which will be held at Rushden this year, on June. 15th and 16th. So far there is every reason to believe that not only will the show maintain its usual high standard of efficiency, but that it will attract a substantial increase in the number of exhibits. We are sure that no efforts will be spared, locally, to make the show of 1898 a record one. There is one direction, in which the townsfolk can assist, and that is by preventing the clashing of engagements on the days fixed for.

Already there has been a generous response to the appeal for £200 by the local committee. Of this sum we understand that at least £220 is now in the hands of the hon. treaurer (Mr. J. W. Ashdowne), £150 of which will be devoted to the prize fund and £100 will be spent in providing suitable attractions on the second day of the show.

Webbs Bros shop
1898 Webb Bros shop decorated
and wishing 'Success to Agriculture'

As the time for the annual show of the Northamptonshire Agrcultural Society approaches, interest in the event is more plainly shown, and there is now every indication that the good people of Rushden intend to make it a thorough success. The local committee have the out-door entertainment under their care, and some idea of the magnitude of the programme may be gathered from the fact that they are spending about £150 in securing the services of the leading out-door artistes of the day. The Urban Council have given the necessary permission for the roads to be opened for the erection of the arches at the corner of Station-road, in High-street near the church, and in Wymington-road, and the Gas Company with commendable public-spiritedness have offered to illuminate one or more of the structures free of charge. The society has generously allowed half the gate money, taken after 5pm to go towards defraying the expenses of the local fund.



RUSHDEN, JUNE 15 & 16, 1898.


Will be provided at the COFFEE TAVERN, and in the

LARGE DINING HALL Adjoining, at reasonable charges.



Lavatories and Cloak rooms.

The Northamptonshire
Agricultural Society’s

Will be held at RUSHDEN on
Wednesday & Thursday,

JUNE 15 & 16,

President: Hon. E. S. DOUGLAS-PENNANT, M.P., M.F.H.

Vice-president — LORD ANNALY.

£1,000 IN  PRIZES
Offered for Horses, Beast, Sheep, Poultry,
Butter, Butter-making, and Implements.

Special Attractions will be offered by the Water and Fence Jumping, and a Grand Parade of Riding and Driving Horses, Turnouts, Butter Competition, which will take place each day.

Will be held in the Show Ground each day.

Members of the Society who have paid their subscriptions will receive a ribbon (which is not transferable) from the Secretary to admit them free
to the Show Ground on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Public will be admitted on
Wednesday, June 15th, at Nine,
on payment of 2s.6d.-each,
after Three o'clock 1s.,

to witness the Trial of Horses, which will take place before the Judges; and also the other Stock, after the Prizes have been awarded; and on Thursday, the 16th, the Show Yard will be open at Nine o'clock.

Admission on Thursday 1s., after six o'clock Sixpence.

provided by the
Rushden Local Committee
on second day of Show.

Accommodation on the Grounds
for Bicycles.
Charge 6d. each.

A. E. LOVELL, Secretary,
Harpole, Northampton.


On Thursday, June 16, 1898,

Upon the occasion of the


Holding their ANNUAL SHOW at RUSHDEN


Celebrated SLACK ROPE WALKER. Two Performances during
the evening, and one surrounded by Fireworks.

The Originators and Only Performers of the new
AERIAL POTPOWORI (on double wires) in the world.
Two Performances during the evening.

In his wonderful Juggling Performances on the
Two Performances during the evening.

The Canadian Wonder, "King of the Wheel."
The Marvellous Fancy and Trick BICYCLE RIDER on
Rudge-Whitworth (Limited) Cycle.

Marvellous ACROBATS.
Two Performances during the evening.

The marvellous Animal Mono-Cyclist andBuggy-Wheel
Manipulator, in his original Acrobatic Trick Act.
The only act of the kind in the world.

The celebrated Musical CLOWNS.
Two performances during the evening.

will be in attendance.
The Fete will conclude with a Grand Display of


ADMISSION to Show and Fete, One Shilling;
after 6 o'clock, Sixpence.
Artistes and Fireworks provided by
Messrs. W. and J. Wilder, Birmingham.

The Rushden Echo, Friday May 27, 1898 transcribed Sue Manton

The Agricultural Show:- the show ground on Wymington Road has now been laid out for the county agricultural exhibition, and the erection of the shedding is proceeding rapidly. The site is an exceedingly pretty one, being almost surrounded by trees and, with the exception of the occasion 12 or 13 years ago when the society visited Burghley Park, the show yard will probably be one of the most attractive in which the annual exhibition has been held.

The Rushden Echo, June 10th 1898

Local Notes

The preparations for the Agricultural Show at Rushden are now completed, and, given favourable meteorological conditions it cannot fail to be a thorough success. A great deal rests with the townsfolk in contributing to this desirable result. It will be necessary in the first place that the town should wear its festal garb, and that the streets, particularly those en route to the show ground, should be appropriately decorated. It is a matter of impossibility for the local committee to take in hand the complete decoration of the streets, but with the co-operation of the tradespeople they hope to make them appear in harmony with the occasion. The committee will bear the expense of erecting three arches on the main street, and will also relieve the few vacant spaces with bunting and other adornments. Thursday will be regarded as a gala day. Most of the tradespeople in the town have decided to suspend business operations for the latter half of the day, and the factory owners and other large employers of labour will be approached with a view to securing the unanimous closing of their establishments. The show yard on the Wymington-road covers about twelve acres of ground, and the carpenters have been busily engaged upon it during the past three weeks. The yard has been fenced in, and stalls erected, and it is thought that everything will be ready for the reception of the exhibits by tomorrow evening.

The Rushden Echo, 17th June 1898, transcribed by Kay Collins

How Rushden Welcomed The Society - The Street Decorations

During the week the streets have presented a lively appearance and he would have been a dull individual who did not realize that something unusual was in progress. In the earlier part of week workmen were busy on all hands fixing up bunting and devices for illumination, and by Wednesday morning the whole of High-street was in holiday garb. To deal with the the decorations would be a herculean task, but those of our readers who imagine that our survey should have been extended will, we are sure, accept our assurance that any short comings in this respect on our part were through pressure on space and stress of work. Naturally enough the chief decorations were to be found in the High-street and High-street-south. The visitor to Rushden would probably start from the station, and if he did the displays would probably have struck him in the following order:-

First there was the floral arch erected at the end of Station-road. This was very tasteful in design and was made to look charming by the aid of palms, ferns, and artificial flowers in garlands, baskets, and festoons. One side of the arch bore the motto "Welcome" and the other side the motto "May local industries flourish".

Messrs. Phipps' place of business was outlined with fairy lamps and at night presented a very attractive appearance.

Mr. King, hatter, had made his shop look very effective with coloured drapery, flags and gas designs, and Mr, Powell's shop was also tastefully treated.

Mr. Roberson's establishment was very prettily adorned with drapery of different shades, large and small flags, &c.

Messrs. Simpson and Mason's offices were unwontedly gay with their embellishments in the shape of trophies of flags, &c.

The Capital and Counties Bank was most artistically treated, a large number of flags being used together with pretty designs in fairy lamps.

Mr. Sedgman's shop was adorned with flags, drapery, coloured lamps and Chinese lanterns, and festoons of evergreens hung from his shop to that of

Mr. Nattrass', which was also effectively decorated with fairy lamps, flags, &c.

Messrs. Tailby and Putman's front was embellished with trophies of flags and with fairy lamps.

Mr. George Ellis's premises were a mass of colour. Banners and bannerets there were in profusion, with trophies of flags, festoons of artificial flowers, and a motto, "Success to Agriculture." A large fairy lamp crown and a large star lent additional brilliance.

Mr. Litchfleld's cycle establishment looked very pretty, and a featuure which attracted a great deal of attention was an old dandy horse – the precursor of the modern highly finished pneumatic cycle – made in 1838.

Messrs. Phillips and Son’s premises were profusely decorated with fairy lamps, flags &c., and looked remarkably pretty.

Mr. Staniland’s shop was beautifully treated with fairy lamps round the windows and with flags, &c.

Messrs. Seckington and Son, florists, had a very fine display, the chief decoration besides a quantity of bunting being a motto in moss on a white ground – "Success to Agriculture".

The Rushden Echo, 24th June 1898, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Effects Of The Show Upon Rushden

Now that the visit of the Northamptonshire Agricultural Society to Rushden has become a matter of history, and it is on record that our town has been able to excel in the heartiness of its welcome to the society of all other places in the county, we are the better able to judge of the permanent effect which the show is likely to have upon the town of Rushden. It is notorious that in the past, either through ignorance of the true state of affairs or through deep-rooted prejudice or jealousy, many of the public men in Northamptonshire have been exceedingly tardy in their recognition of Rushden as a town of importance. A proof of this is found in the action of the Standing Joint Committee who could scarcely be prevailed upon to consent to the erection of a police-station here and who apparently are still of opinion that it is only reasonable and proper for Rushden people having business to transact at the petty sessions to be compelled to trot over to Wellingboro' for that purpose. Now, however, that most of the leading men in Northamptonshire have spent a day or two in Rushden and have seen something of its prosperity, its enterprise, and its progress, it is only natural to assume that before long we shall secure some of the reforms for which we have so long agitated. Unquestionably one result of the show is that Rushden is recognised as one of the largest and most progressive towns in Northamptonshire.

It is a matter of common knowledge that many of the manufacturers and tradesmen of Rushden have had to dip into their pockets pretty deeply, or our streets and buildings would never have been decorated so gorgeously as was the case. The town was honoured by the visit from the society, but it is also a fact that the society has been honoured by the reception accorded to it on the part of the inhabitants; and whatever honour Rushden has received, Rushden has had to pay pretty stiffly for. Probably nobody begrudges the money which has been spent so lavishly and so generously, but this would hardly be the case were the results of the society's visit to Rushden to be merely transitory and temporary. One reason unquestionably why the people of Rushden did so magnificently last week was because they appreciated the honour of the society's visit, but another reason is that the inhabitants also appreciate Rushden and are anxious that the town should secure proper recognition and that its just demands should be acceded to. The present would not be an inopportune moment for the Urban Council to make a determined effort to establish a weekly market here. And the time is surely ripe now for a strong attempt to secure some of the improvements which we have from time to time suggested in our columns, including, among other matters, the establishment of a police-court in Rushden, a better railway service, and the periodical sitting of the County Court judge here. Some of these things are more likely to be granted if asked for at once than if the application be postponed indefinitely.

The Argus, 3rd February 1899

It is gratifying for the people of Rushden, who entered so heartily into the reception of the Northamptonshire Agricultural Society's Show at Rushden last summer, to read the eulogiums massed on the town at the annual meeting of the society on Saturday. The executive of the society evidently believe in giving praise where praise is due, and were unstinting in their expressions of indebtedness to the inhabitants of Rushden for enabling them to score a record success, besides enlarging their coffers to the extent of over £300. What makes the result doubly pleasing to the residents of Rushden was the rather unfavourable criticism which was advanced when Rushden was first mooted as the venue of the 1898 show. This probably made the town exert itself to the utmost to demonstrate the fact that it was large enough and important enough to accord the society as good a reception as had been given it at other towns in the county. That Rushden completely put in the shade all previous exhibitions of the society shows how completely they realised that determination, and when next Rushden is suggested for the annual show the unfriendly critics will, it may be presumed, show their wisdom by their silence.

A medal shown on Frank D Brazier's invoice
A medal shown on Frank D Brazier's invoice

This undated photograph was taken in High Street South before railings were put along the high causeway.

The banner across the road says "Success to Agriculture".

The cart has just passed South End School on the corner of Wymington Road, and is near the entrance to Lewis the blacksmith's property.

The show yard on the Wymington Road covered about twelve acres, so it was quite an event for the town.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the Leisure, Clubs & Societies index
Click here to e-mail us