The Rushden Echo and Argus, 4th August, 1944, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Hall “Vandalism” - Concerts Spoiled and Bandstand Damaged
(To the Editor, “Echo and Argus”)
Sir, - In view of the events of the coming week and the programme of sports, music, etc., being held in the Hall Grounds, I feel I would like to add my protest to the many others that have been made before, upon the conduct of the children around the bandstand whilst concerts are being rendered.
I am not a native of Rushden, but as all my life my family and I myself have been interested in and fond of music, I feel that something should be done to prevent this unseemly behaviour. There is not the slightest possibility of anyone getting pleasure from the music, and no consideration whatsoever is shown to those who wish to do so. It would appear to me that there is not the slightest effort made to control this behaviour.
I have visited many of the most popular of our seaside resorts and have enjoyed the music there, but never have I seen such conduct as is allowed around this bandstand. Then again, what is even more distressing is the damage being done to the bandstand itself. I have never seen anything so shameful. Children are allowed to climb all over this at any time of the day. The beautiful stonework surrounding the balustrade is worn completely out of shape. With care, it would have retained this for hundreds of years. In the words of a high ranking American officer who stood near to me during one concert, “This is sheer vandalism and amounts almost to desecration.”
This beautiful piece of architecture, designed by an R.A. and built of the best materials available by one of the best builders in the neighbourhood, is esteemed of no more value than the cheapest possible structure that might have been erected. In the words of the officer again, “Are not the Council, or should not they regard themselves as being custodians of this valuable and generous gift? That so little regard is paid to this must, to say the very least, cause the donor pain.” Do not the people of Rushden realise that this is their property and that they in some part should endeavour to see that it is preserved and thereby express the appreciation which I know is generally felt?
Perhaps my protest is strong, but I am only voicing the feelings of the majority of people who attend these concerts, and in my opinion it is high time that they whose duty it is should accept their responsibility and take stronger action unless they are prepared to see this beautiful structure permanently defaced.