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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 29th December, 1939, transcribed by Jim Hollis.
Rushden in 1939: Precautions, Suspense and War

Cumulus of memorable Events Shown in Month-by-Month Review

Rushden and Higham Ferrers were ready at the dawn of 1939 to continue the development of a progressive policy, but among their peaceful pursuits they were already introducing important precautions based upon the international unrest. By the summer these measures had first call upon local energies, and then followed the dramatic events of September, when peace had broken down, succeeded by the steady organising of effort in support of Democracy's great struggle against Hitlerised Germany. All the more significant items of domestic and defensive activity are shown in our review of the year.
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" greet New Year at Query Club's dance.
Further heavy snowfalls add to Christmas blizzard. Several country roads flooded.
Anglicans and Nonconformists unite in week of prayer.
"Sinbad the Sailor" pantomime performed by Co-operative children.
Rushden Minor Football League takes up F.A. coaching scheme.
Clearance of High-street and Warmond's Hill property at Higham Ferrers confirmed by Minister of Health.
Visitors to Legion women's dinner admire new Legion Hall.
Third batch of 50 air raid wardens goes into training.
Temperance Band broadcasts from Birmingham studio.
Mr. Thomas Watson appointed engineer and manager to Rushden and Higham Ferrers District Gas Company.
Stanley Woods, famous T.T. rider, addresses motorists at Rushden.
Final result of Baptists' "Olde English Market" announced at £985.
Council holds "inquest" on Christmas snow clearance delay.
Four people injured in crash of two cars at Higham Ferrers.
Rev. W. L. Warrington, from South Africa, appointed curate of St. Peter's.
Wing-Commander James, M.P., praises Prime Minister and advises : "It is quite useless to abuse Hitler."
Rushden cricketers set out to raise funds for County C.C.
Long Service award for Engineer C. Green, 50 years a member of Rushden Fire Brigade.
Rushden Trades Council established by representatives of eight unions.
Dr. F. W. Norwood conducts ten-days evangelical campaign.
Mr. William Bazeley, J.P., leaves for Walton-on-the-Naze.
Presentation to Mr. Albert Dickens (secretary) at Commonwealth Sports Club Social.
Mr. S. A. Lawrence elected president of N.U.T. branch.
John White Ltd., announce a profit of £30,000.
Mr. Robert Fraser declares : "Nothing is ever settled on the field of battle."
Motor Ambulance Association decides to purchase new ambulance.
Dramatic Society formed by employees of Co-operative Society.
Dr. O. A. J. N. Muriset retires from practice at Rushden.
Messrs. F. Corby and C. A. K. Green appointed life deacons of Park-road Baptist Church.
Four h.p. A.R.P. siren installed at Rushden Police Station.
Higham Ferrers Fire Brigade presents demand for full equipment.
Higham Town Council considers £8,000 scheme for new sewers.
Jackie Irwin, ex-Army champion, wins first fight at Windmill Hall.
Much dispute concerning No. 8. toe-laster.
Temperance Band debates desirability of building new practice room.
Dance at Rushden raises £100 for Town and County Blind Association.
Allotment Society reports membership of 1,106.
Tom White, Rushden concertina player, broadcasts in Boot Trade Programme.
Eda Kersey, Frank Titterton and Harold Williams at Adult School Choir's concert.
"Disgraceful" sanitation at Highfield-road Infants' School discussed by Urban Council.
Survey of accommodation carried out by billeting officers.
Presentation at Higham Ferrers to Mrs. S. Woods, leaving town after 17 years as Methodist organist.
Comic opera performed by young people of Mission Church.
Mouth organ players in contest at the "Palace".
Trades Hospital Fund grants £1,525 to Northampton General Hospital.
Nora Gruhn and Edward Reach at Baptist Choir Festival.
Kisses for winners of Northants Dance Band Championship at Windmill Hall.
Open verdict at inquest of George Geoffrey Gwillim, found drowned at Northampton.
Searchlight display aids National Service appeal at Spencer Park.
Concert at Higham Ferrers by Northampton Orchestral Society.
Nurse M. F. Goosey retires after 18 years' work in Rushden.
After-Care Committee reports receipts of £292 during the year.
Rushden ladies attend political reception at No. 10 Downing-street.
Trial black-out at Rushden and Higham Ferrers.
Steps taken to register road transport vehicles with a view to war organisation.
Y.M.C.A. "Home Circle" revived as contribution to solving the Sunday evening High-street problem.
Sunday test of A.R.P. communications.
Huge overflows from the Sywell reservoir.
Hospital Week Committee pleased with progress of new contributory scheme.
Charity cheques totalling £100 presented at Query Motor Club dinner.
Club for model constructors formed by Y.M.C.A.
Clear local television reception of Boon-Danahar fight.
Flying Officer Wilfred Harris, of Higham Ferrers, badly injured in Punjab crash.
Profit of £15,000 reported by Electric Supply Co.
Higham Ferrers ladies advise Ministry of Health on evacuation scheme.
Depot prepared for storage of gas masks.
Methodist "Springtide" bazaar opened by Sir George Royle, C.B.E.
Rushden Amateur Billiards Championship won by Mr. F. Chapman.
Higham's billeting report cheered in the House of Commons.
Thirty-two houses to be erected by Higham Town Council.
Rushden billeting survey shows accommodation for 5,260 evacuees.
6th Northamptonshires hold re-union at Rushden.
"Democracy is in very great danger." - Dr. Greenfield, at British Legion dinner.
Ambulance report : Nearly 100 have attended an A.R.P. first-aid course.
Air raid precautions organised by Gas Co.
"A united Church on its knees in prayer might save civilisation." - The Rev. E. A. Green.
Presentation of badges to A.R.P. volunteers.
Rushden rate remains unchanged at 12s. 4d. in the £.
Gifts presented to Dr. O. A. J. N. Muriset by friends and admirers.
Passion play performed by members of St. Peter's congregation.
"Olivet to Calvary" sung at St. Mary's Church.
County Council Jubilee books presented to schoolchildren.
Farewell presentation to Miss W. Bates at Higham Ferrers Council School.
Sixpence added to Higham Ferrers rate for half-year.
Colonel W. E. Green speaks out on Territorial recruiting. Rushden has only 20 Territorials out of 2,000 men who are eligible.
Fire bombs demonstrated in presence of councillors and A.R.P. officials.
Use of old College as library and museum suggested at Higham by Professor E. F. Jacob.
Physical training exercises demonstrated by scholars of Alfred-street School.
Council gives painting contracts to out-of-town firms.
Twenty-eight thousands eggs collected for Northampton Hospital.
"Carrie and Cleopatra," play by H. E. Bates, performed in London.
Major R. A. Marriott sets out to revive 4th Northamptonshire T.A. Battalion.
Mr. W. N. Ginns completes 50 years in choir of St. Mary's.
Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Todd.
Mr. E. A. Sugars appointed Council chairman and Mr. J. Allen vice-chairman.
Council appoints sub-committee to deal with rush of A.R.P. business.
Miss K. N. Swann appointed headmistress of Tennyson-road School.
Rev. T. W. Gill, minister of Park-road Baptist Church, accepts pastorate of Twynholme Church, Fulham.
Miss M. M. Stapleton elected Chief Ruler of Northamptonshire Recabites.
Golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Parker, Higham Ferrers.
Garage, hearse and five cars destroyed at Mesrs. Asher Abbott's depot.
Members of B.W.T.A. support Women's International Peace Appeal.
Rushden Town F.C. runners-up in two leagues.
"Faust" music performed by Choral Society with Miss Dorothy Kingston and Mr. John Hargreaves.
Higham Ferrers reports that 260 have enrolled for National Service.
Boot manufacturers promise re-instatement of militiamen after training.
"Moral Rearmament" advocated at civic church parade. Councillors taken to task for failing to march in step.
Twenty enrolments at National Service recruiting meeting.
Hitler's "Mein Kampf" a "best-seller" at Rushden Public Library.
Mr. Fred Corby retires from School Managers after long service.
Council introduces all-the-year-round street lighting.
Gas masks distributed to the homes.
Permanent motor ambulance committee formed at Higham Ferrers.
Town Band takes first prize for march in Club Union contest.
Mr. G. W. Battersby elected chairman of the Water Board.
Mr. Robert Fraser quotes odds of 5-1 against war this year.
Mr. Hugh Ladds appointed to Wellingborough Guardians' Committee.
History Association formed at Higham Ferrers.
County Carnival Queens select finalists for Rushden title.
Athletic Club celebrates notable season for gamesters.
Death of Rev. C. J. Keeler, for nearly 30 years minister of Independent Wesleyan Church.
Northants Branch of English Folk Dance Society holds Junior Festival at Rushden.
Fire Brigade wins four places in North-Eastern District competitions.
Twenty-eight British Legion pilgrims visit battlefields in France and Belgium.
Completion of large new John White boot factory in Higham-road.
Rushden Fire Brigade called to big factory fire at Raunds.
Water supply put on half-pressure each night after heat-wave.
Ninety-one Rushden men register for service in Militia.
Concrete air raid shelter built at 'bus garage.
Heat-wave conditions for annual Sunday School treats.
Mrs. A. G. Weale and Mrs. O. A. H. Muxlow become first women School Managers; Miss W. M. Clipson appointed Intermediate School Manager.
Three trailer fire pumps promised by Home Office.
Fifteen houses in Succoth-place district condemned for demolition.
New motor ambulance received in ceremony at Higham Ferrers.
Carnival Queen candidates collect £169 for charity.
Lady Chapel gifts dedicated by Bishop Lang at St. Peter's.
Junior sports meeting planned by Rotary Club is cancelled through lack of support.
Rhondda Shield won by Mrs. H. Martin, of Rushden Infant Welfare Centre.
Adult School Male Voice Choir second at Leamington.
Dick Pantling, giant Rushden boxer, joins Jack Doyle's training camp.
Home Office advises Higham Ferrers to equip its Fire Brigade.
Big Rushden school party visits Whipsnade Zoological Park.
Miss Peggy Marriott becomes Carnival Queen of Rushden.
Police Sergeant Brown retires after 27 years' service.
Mr. Milner Gray demands inclusion of Churchill and Eden in Government.
Casualty services turn out for comprehensive A.R.P. test.
Water Board urged by councillors to hasten plans for Court Estate and other high-level supplies.
Health report shows that Rushden employs 7,000 in boot industry and 550 in leather manufacture.
Protest against pilfering on Rushden allotments.
Miss Olive Plummer chosen as Carnival Queen of Higham Ferrers.
Full try-out of Higham Ferrers A.R.P. services.
Baptists present typewriter and £40 to Rev. T.W. Gill.
Worcestershire beat Northants by one wicket at Rushden.
A.E. Wright's Ladies win Chamberlain Cricket Cup at Higham Ferrers.
Works Cricket K.O. Cup won by G. Selwood and Co.
Gramshaws Cricket Cup won by Finedon Dolben.
Open-air boxing at Windmill Club.
Broadcast by Mission Band from Midland studio.
Details of evacuation scheme explained to billeting officers.
Seaside holiday bookings reported to be heavier than ever.
4th Northamptonshire Territorials go to camp at Arundel.
Rev. H. G. Reynolds, Higham Ferrers Methodist pastor, retires from active ministry.
Seventy-five ladies pass A.R.P. first-aid examination.
Mr. Richard Chamberlain, Higham Ferrers, returns from trip to India made both ways by air.
Alfred-street School has camp at Castle Ashby.
Five new players included in Rushden Town F.C.'s XI
Searchlight men called up.
Rush to shops for darkening materials. Air raid warning notices posted up.
Welsh revivalist commences faith-healing campaign.
Worst storm since 1935 breaks over Rushden at night.
Despite war alarms, 1,000 juveniles visit London Zoo.
Streets painted up in readiness for black-out.
Auxiliary firemen receive badges at dinner party.
Gift of £1,000 to Northampton General Hospital by Mrs. Alice Cave.
Arrival of 2,000 women and children evacuated from Walthamstow and Kings Cross districts.
Higham Ferrers Market Day held on eve of war.
War declared. Women help to dig trenches at Higham Ferrers.
War Emergency Committee of three set up by Council.
Boot workers dig trenches adjacent to the factories.
Everybody carries a gas mask.
Four hundred evacuees reach Higham Ferrers from West Hampstead and Shoreditch.
First air raid siren warning - early on a Wednesday morning.
"Sunshine Circle" opened for London mothers and children.
Information bureau for evacuees established at Public Library.
Wymington received 70 evacuees.
Rev. Alfred Binney commences ministry at Park-road Methodist Church.
Second Sunday of war brings hundreds of London fathers on visit to evacuees.
Cinemas re-opened after temporary closing.
Mr. V. L. McEntee, M.P. for West Walthamstow, and his wife, visit evacuees.
Black-out affects church service times and postal arrangements.
Council Surveyor appointed as Fuel Overseer.
Rushden Feast without the usual pleasure fair.
Schools absorb London immigrants and re-open, largely on shift system.
New factory hours proposed by Boot Arbitration Board.
False air raid alarm empties three factories.
Town F.C. resumes activity with friendly match at Wellingborough.
Rev. R. H. Conway, Curate of St. Mary's, leaves for service as Army chaplain.
Full-time air raid wardens go off duty until further notice.
Local committee established for National Savings Campaign.
Duchess of Gloucester visits Rushden and Higham Ferrers to meet members of Women's Voluntary Services.
Junior Technical School opened with a dozen scholars.
Sixty attend first meeting of Hospital Supplies Working Party.
Mrs. Kathleen Maud Whiting and Sergeant J. Brown killed in car crash at Bletsoe. Two others injured.
Charity cheques for £70 sent out by Query Motor Club.
National Register enumerators begin their work.
L.C.C. thanks Rushden for kind welcome to London evacuees.
Higham Town Council appoints third Fuel Overseer.
Outcry begins against Council's failure to establish an independent Food Control Committee for the town.
Sergeant Pilot Richard Samuel Pitts, Higham Ferrers, reported missing.
Windmill Hall and disused Moor-road School opened for educational purposes.
Inspection of mobile A.R.P. parties at First-Aid Post (Alfred-st. School).
Over 1,000 acres of farmland change hands at Chelveston.
Serving Men's Parcels Fund opened on initiative of British Legion.
Fund established for supplying footwear and clothing to evacuees and Service men's children.
Rushden's first war loss - Stoker A. F. Allen missing after torpedoing of H.M.S. "Royal Oak."
Earl of Buckingham visits Rushden to consult with Boy Scout leaders.
It is now estimated that 1,800 evacuees remain in Rushden.
Depot and shoe repair service established by Boots and Clothing Fund.
Scout Certificate for Gallantry presented to Scout W. Marriott, of the Mission Troop.
First War Period League match at Town football ground.
Higham Ferrers committee formed for support of Red Cross and St. John Fund.
Shopkeepers petition against new curfew order.
Duchess of Gloucester re-visits Rushden and Higham Ferrers to inspect First-Aid Posts.
War halves attendance at County Boot and Shoe School.
Profit of £881 from Higham Ferrers Market Day announced.
First enrolments for 6th Rushden (Alfred-street School) Boy Scouts.
Boy Scouts have collected 30 cwt. of waste paper.
Evening Institute re-opened more than a month after normal time.
Council gives reassuring report on war-time expenditure.
Major R. A. Marriott, on war service, resigns from Council.
Three hundred "casualties" treated in mock air raid. Other towns co-operate.
Five hundred factory employees are in training for factory A.R.P. duties.
Alderman Frank Walker appointed Mayor of Higham Ferrers for the fifth time.
Food ration books distributed to the homes.
Diamond wedding of Mr. and Mrs. John Woods.
Birth-rate of 11.5 per thousand reported at Higham Ferrers.
First domestic black-out fine at Higham Ferrers court.
Record street sale of poppies for Haig Fund.
Adult School Choir visits R.A.F. camp to give concert.
Higham Ferrers forms fund for sending Christmas parcels to Service men.
Body of Sgt. Pilot Pitts, Higham Ferrers, recovered from sea at Danish fishing village.
"Judal Maccabaeus" sung by choir of Park-road Baptist Church.
Higham Ferrers working party sends off first Red Cross supplies.
New Boy Scout headquarters opened by County Commissioner.
Rev. T. Crowther-Green leaves Chelveston for Irchester.
Union branch formed for local shop assistants.
New Mayor and Mayoress of Walthamstow visit evacuees.
Bishop Crotty conducts service in Rushden for St. Pancras children.
Band club re-opened after extensive alterations.
Average attendance of 100 reported at annual meeting of Highfield Men's Fireside.
Bishop Lang conducts confirmation service at Higham Ferrers.
One hundred evacuees remain at Higham Ferrers.
Factories open contributory and other schemes to benefit employees on war service.
Three conscientious objectors among 110 Rushden men registering for war service.
Serving Men's Parcels Fund despatches about 320 Christmas gifts.
Sunday concert at "Ritz" in aid of Parcels Fund.
Nursing Association reports increase of 2,000 in visits.
Evacuees and Service men's children entertained by Boots and Clothing Fund and Rotary Club.

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