|Evening Telegraph, 26th February 1967
RUSHDEN has an Amenities Society. It was formed on Sunday and will tackle the task of preserving Rushden Hall as its first objective. If this aim is achieved it could quickly establish a formidable reputation in the town.
It was stressed, however, by Mr. G. W. Marriott, later elected the first chairman, that it is no good having a single scheme.
"An amenities society will not exist on one project. It must be a permanent society," he said.
Hall and this was the main topic throughout with various townspeople giving their views on the ancient building, described by one young woman as "our heritage."
The society had its informal beginnings last October when four people decided that the town needed such a society.
Instigators of this scheme were Mr. A. J. George and Mr. C. Wood, who was later elected secretary.
"There is a nucleus already launched," said Mr. Marriot, opening Sunday's meeting. Mr. George said they were holding the meeting in Rushden Hall to establish the fact that it could be used "as a meeting place for the townspeople."
Of the amenities society, Mr. George said its aim should be "to preserve and improve the looks of the town."
"Our immediate aim is to restore Rushden Hall but it is no use restoring it just to look at. Four of the groups represented here have to find a new meeting place shortly. It will not be ready in time for that, but they may need it later," he said.
Mr. George added that it might be hoped to restore one room a year "so that they could be let for meetings such as this."
Mrs. E. Young did not think the meeting should be tied up precisely with the hall; however, her primary concern was that the hall should be preserved for future generations."
"The place is worth more than just money. If there was one other place which was comparable with it I would not feel so strongly, but we have nothing else in the town," she said.
Miss Joy Brown, representing the Cosmopolitan Club, said that preserving Rushden Hall was "not just sentiment but good sense."
Miss Brown thought the young people were probably even more in favour of keeping the hall than anyone else.
Miss Brown said most residents thought that young people wanted it and everything else like it pulled down.
"They are not right. We have about 35 members in our club and I have only heard two voices raised against preserving the hall", she said.
Mr. Wood said the first task would be to preserve Rushden Hall: other tasks could then be dealt with as they arose.
Mr. Pack of Higham Ferrers Amenities Society said his society would follow with interest the development of the Rushden society.
Mr Pack added: "Although we are living over the border, we have been appalled at the suggestion that Rushden Hall should be knocked down."
Mrs. May Knight said that as the town was so poor in beauty, something at least should be kept beautiful.
Suggestions for making use of the hall included using it for meeting's, wedding receptions, and for old people's welfare
Officers elected were: President, Mr. R. Griffiths: chairman, Mr. G. W. Marriott: secretary, Mr. C Wood: treasurer, Mr. Larmen.
Committee: Individuals. Mr A J George, Mrs E Young, Mrs Brooks, Mrs. J. Booth, Mrs. M. Knight. Organisations, to be confirmed: Rushden and District Wine-makers Guild, Rushden Cosmopolitan Club, Townswomen's Guild, WVS and the two Rushden camera clubs.