| Mr. John Thomas Scott, of “Homefield,” 3, Hall Avenue, Rushden, is not the sort of man to let the celebration of an anniversary throw him out of gear. So on Sunday he made his way to church, just as he has done every Sunday for the last forty years, and rang the bells.
On Monday he was 90.
Mr. Scott, former teacher, footballer, bootworker and amateur vet, is still proud to call himself an active man. Bell-ringing is just one of his many interests; he is also a member of St. Mary’s Church choir and often acts as usher.
But on Monday Mr. Scott was having a day off. He sat in his best suit in a chair by the fire in his son’s home, read messages of congratulation and told a reporter about his life.
The biography of Rushden’s oldest bell-ringer starts at Wollaston. He left Wollaston when he was two and went to Pytchley. It was there that he first became interested in the Church he took his place in the ranks of the choirboys.
Eleven-year-old John Scott moved to Rushden, attended the National School for three years, then went to Bozeat as a “pupil” teacher.
He joined the choir and started to teach on Sundays as well as weekdays. Three years later he was apprenticed to Mr. George Denton, of Rushden, to learn the shoe trade, and then joined the staff of Messrs. Alfred Sargent and Son to manage the cutting department.
When he was about 25 he married Miss Louise Sargent, and moved from his father’s thatched cottage in Skinner’s Hill.
After 13 years in his brother-in-law’s firm, he became a clicking and closing room manager for Messrs. Crick and Patenall, with who he stayed until his retirement.
At one time Mr. Scott had quite a reputation in the town as a vet. He had always been interested in dogs and when a young man started to prepare a friend’s animal for shows. Later he started to breed show dogs himself. And because in those days there were no veterinary surgeons, people used to go to Mr. Scott for help.
Mr. Scott has always been interested in cricket and football and even to-day rarely misses a match. He took part in what he believes to have been the first properly organised football match in the town, played on ground in Wymington Road. He was also the first secretary of the Rushden Angling Club. During the First World War he was a special constable.