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The Oakley Arms 1881 - 2009

Oakley Arms
In this postcard c1910 the Oakley Arms public house is extreme left
"The Oakley Cash Stores" of Tailby & Putnam's is extreme right


Wellingborough & Kettering News, August 6th, 1881, transcribed by Kay Collins

To the Overseers of the Poor of the Parish of Rushden, in the County of Northampton, and the Superintendent of Police for the Division of Wellingborough, in the said County of Northampton, and to all whom it may concern.

I THOMAS HULATT, now residing at the "Coach and Horses" Inn, Rushden in the Parish of Rushden in the County of Northampton, Licensed Victualler, do hereby give notice that it is my intention to apply at the General Annual Licensing Meeting to be holden at the Police Station in Wellingborough in the Division of Wellingborough in the said County on the 29th day of August next ensuing for an Order sanctioning the removal of the Licence for the sale by retail of Intoxicating Liquor, to be consumed either on or off the premises, now held by me, from the "Coach and Horses" Inn aforesaid to a new House situate on the North East side of the Road leading from Rushden to Wellingborough, and at the junction of such Road with the Road leading from Knuston to Higham Ferrers, the said new House being also in the Parish of Rushden in the County of Northampton and within the said division.

Given under my hand this twenty-ninth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and eighty one.


The licence was transferred to the Oakley Arms - see the full report in Liquor Licencing Sept 3rd.
Wellingborough & Kettering News, October 8th, 1881, transcribed by Kay Collins


Furniture and Effects


Messrs. Pendered and Son, FOR Mrs. Hulatt, at the Coach and Horses Inn, on Thursday, 13th October 1881.

Sale to commence at One p.m.

The Rushden Echo, 16th September 1898, transcribed by Kay Collins

THE BOOTHS AND STALLAGE at the forthcoming pony and galloway races at Rushden were offered by auction by Mr. J. J. Coulbeck at the Waggon and Horses Inn on Wednesday night. The first and second-class licensed refreshment booths were offered in one lot and sold to Mr. W. H. Lovell, of the Oakley, for £10; the tea booth was sold to Mr. Jack Green for £1 10s.; and the stallage was bought by Mr. Jack Green for £4 10s.

By 1891 the licence had passed to William Henry Lovell, a native of Raunds. With him were his wife Hannah and son James Dawes Lovell.

William died in 1900, leaving Hannah and James to run the business.

Motor Cycle Registration BD231 - was issued in 1904 to: James Lovell, Oakley Inn, Lightstrung motor cycle, 'convertible tripartite with pole carriage'.

Hannah Lovell died in 1907 and was buried in Rushden Cemetery.

Grave B698: In loving memory of Hannah the beloved wife of William Henry LOVELL who died 25th February 1907 aged 56 years. Affliction sore long time I bore, Physicians were in vain; Till God did please to give me ease, and free me from my pain.

In 1908 Harold Walter Rands is the landlord. He remained here until 1930s.

In 1936 William Henry Wheeler was the landlord.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 15th October 1954, transcribed by Jim Hollis

The Oakley Arms is such a friendly place

“It’s a nice place, and they are all good people,” said Mr. Alf Young, licensee of the Oakley Arms, Rushden. In these words he summed up the life and spirit of the house, which thrives largely on regular customers.

Darts team
Their darts successes are the boast of the Oakley Arms, and here members of the team, with a league match to play during the evening, warm up in the public bar.

Mr. Young, formerly a steward at the Kettering Windmill Club, has been at the Oakley more than ten years and is as popular with his patrons as they are with him.

Outside the Oakley Arms, Rushden, they wait for buses or post letters. Inside they find a cheery welcome and a friendly atmosphere and can have a game of darts, cards or dominoes while enjoying a quite drink.
The atmosphere in the bar and smoke room of the Oakley is friendly, and it is probably this warmth that attracted the Rushden Query Motor Cycle Club and Rushden Angling Club to make the house their headquarters. In addition, a room at the back is the meeting place for Rushden Toc H.

The angling club is always well represented among the clients and a customer told me: “If you want fishermen, there are plenty of them – this place sometimes ought to be called the Fisherman’s Arms.”

But fishing and motor cycling are not the only sports popular at the Oakley. Darts plays a big part and the Oakley customers pride themselves on their skill, boasting that only four times since its inception has the Rushden Darts Cup been out of the house.

Unfortunately last season was one of those four times, but this has provided added incentive to the darts team to do better this year and win it back.

Best Season

Mr Alf Young
Mr Alf Young, the landlord, explains the Oakley Arms, from which his house takes its name, shown here on a brandy cask.
If you pursue the subject of darts it will not be long before you are told about the best-ever season, three or four years ago, when two teams were entered in the Rushden and District League. The “A” team won the league and the cup, the “B” team were runners-up and a member of the team won the league individual championship.

Older patrons, however, will remind you that a game of crib is always available, but more interesting is “Matador,” which is played with dominoes. “Matador” is a very old game which, unfortunately, is dying out, though it is still played regularly at the Oakley, particularly by older customers.

The age of the Oakley is uncertain, but it is known that originally it was in an isolated spot, and the houses which now surround it have all been built since it was erected. Over the door is the date 1896 but that only marks the year of some alterations. [built 1881 see above]

The “O” in the arms is the “Oakley Button,” symbol of the Oakley Hunt, and the crown which surmounts it represents the Duke of Bedford, one time Master of the Hunt.

The sign
In 2008 shortly before it closed
The sign

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