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Rushden Echo, 23rd October, 1914, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Relief of the Belgians
Splendid Offer from Messrs. Phipps and Co.

Excellent Premises - At A Rent of Threepence a Week!

  A special meeting of the committee was held on Tuesday night at the Council Buildings, Mr. J. S. Clipson, J.P., presiding.

  Mr. R. F. Knight read a reply which had been received from Messrs. Phipps and Co., of Northampton, with regard to the use of their premises in High-street, Rushden, for the accommodation of Belgian refugees.  Messrs. Phipps and Co. wrote that they were prepared to allow the use of the premises in question at a nominal rent of 1/- a month, subject to a month’s notice.

  The letter was received with applause, and, on the motion of Mr. W. M. Hensman, seconded by Mr. Evans. It was unanimously decided to accept the offer and to express thanks to Messrs. Phipps for their liberal treatment of the committee.

  The Chairman said that Mr. A. H. Sartoris was unable to attend the meeting that night but had sent £5 to the Rushden Belgian Relief Fund and a second contribution (£5) to the Rushden National Relief Fund. (Applause.)

  Mr. F. Knight, J.P., said that on Wednesday there would be a meeting of the sub-committee of the County Relief Committee to deal with distress in general and the relief of the Belgians.

Thousands of Refugees

Stonehurst - later called the Belgian House
'Stonehurst' from an old postcard - was later called
"The Belgian House" after the wartime occupants
were waiting in London, Folkestone, and elsewhere, and it was necessary that they should be placed out with all possible speed.  He should like to be in a position to inform the sub-committee as to the number which Rushden could entertain.

  Mr. G. S. Mason proposed that the number be fixed at 30.

  Mr. G. H. Skinner proposed that 20 be the number, but this was not seconded, and Mr. Mason’s proposition was carried.

  Mr. C. Cross spoke of the excellent offer of the Central Machinery Company’s employees to contribute £3 a week for the support of the Belgian refugees and suggested that there might be a saving of rent, etc., if the committee and C.M.C. employees could – in some way – work in conjunction.


  The following were elected the House Committee:-  Mrs. H. Bishton, Mrs. W. Woodward, Mrs. T. W. C. Linnitt, Mrs. D. G. Greenfield, Nurse Tenney, the Rev. Father O’Gorman, Mr. F. Gorman, Mr. F. Knight, J.P., and Mr. J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., with the chairman, joint secretaries, and treasurer (Messrs. Clipson, R. F. Knight, Bishton, and Hensman).

  The Finance Committee was elected as follows:- Messrs. G. S. Mason, J. T. Colson, J. S. Mason, C. Cross, C.C., and S. Fox, with the chairman, secretaries, and treasurer.

  Mr. W. A. Evans said he had arranged with three charwomen to clean the house from top to bottom, ready for the refugees. (Applause.) Blinds were already there, and Mrs. Evans would provide curtains for the windows.

  Mr. Fred Knight said that Mrs. G. S. Mason had offered to furnish one bedroom.

  It was decided to issue an appeal to the public for more furniture.

  It was decided to have a Belgian Day on Saturday, Oct. 31st.

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