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Guide to Rushden c1965


The name of Northamptonshire is, of course, synonymous with the production of leather and footwear. Yet, apart from the very large towns, the shoe making centres of the county are not so well known. They form a 'knot' in the south-east of the county on either side of the River Nene, a delightful river in a broad vale with tall church spires ever in view.

Of this group of towns, Irthlingborough, Higham Ferrers, Finedon and Raunds among others, Rushden is by far the largest. Though established centuries ago the place remained smaller than its neighbours until the mid 19th century but since then its growth has been phenomenal and it has today over 16,000 inhabitants. Quite modern in aspect, as one would expect from a place that has grown twelvefold in the last century. Rushden now has very few old buildings. Its church, however, is very beautiful and its tall medieval spire and its wonderful 'strainer' arch in the nave make it the town's architectural pride. Rushden Hall contains Elizabethan work and between church and hall in the older part of the town are a number of old houses.

Industrially, of course, Rushden is a very great centre for men's footwear and a dozen factories are engaged in this trade. Leather, too, is cured and prepared in several factories in the town. Though this is by far the greatest activity of the town there are other well established industries to help balance the economy and provide other outlets for young people than the traditional ones.

Residentially, Rushden is a pleasant place with modern housing estates (including one that is shared by the councils of Rushden and Higham Ferrers), an excellent shopping centre and places of worship for all religious faiths. Primary and secondary schools are available and the Boot and Shoe Technical College is of vital importance in training the footwear craftsmen of the future. The town has three attractive parks, a modern cinema, full sports facilities and a wide range of clubs and social activities to suit all tastes.

In short, Rushden carries on the traditional craft of the centuries yet is a thoroughly modern centre. Ideal to work in and ideal to live in.

A Brief History

the beginnings of Rushden certainly go back to Saxon times and indeed the town's name derives from the Anglo-Saxon "rise"—a rush and "den"—a small wooded valley. Whether, in fact, the Romans had settled here even earlier is doubtful but at Chester House, near Irchester, is the site of a nine acre Roman camp. This camp was set up some time after the invasion of A.D. 43 on the Nene banks. Rushden was really little more than a wooded vale with a stream trickling through it. The Normans, who settled here, called the place 'Risdene.' They built a church—possibly the first, although the Saxons may have had a place of worship here before. In those early days Rushden was a small agricultural village closely linked with the life of its church and of its manor. The Lord of Higham, a great lord and possessor of over a hundred and fifty 'Lordships' in the Midlands was the Lord of 'Rissenden' manor. In 1105 he gave the church and adjoining lands to the newly founded Priory of Lenton in Nottinghamshire, a priory established by the Cluniac order. This priory was dissolved in 1538 and the advowson of Rushden then passed to the Crown.

The thirteenth century saw the building of Rushden's lovely church and the next century saw, alas, the population of the community halved by the ravages of the Black Death in the reign of Edward the Second. During the ensuing century the famed John of Gaunt was owner of Rushden Manor and there is a tradition that he built the original Rushden Hall and possibly the striking spire of Rushden church. Shortly after, however, came references to the Pemberton family as owners of the Hall. This illustrious local family remained at the Hall for several centuries and in the church many of them are buried and to them a chapel is dedicated, indeed many of the treasures of Rushden's church were gifts from various members of the Pemberton family. Throughout this period of history Rushden: remained essentially an agricultural community standing close to its then more illustrious neighbour, the borough of Higham Ferrers, it is a twist of history that in later years the respective, size and importance of the two towns have been reversed.

These were peaceful years on the whole though in the early 17th century a people's rising to destroy enclosing hedges around the fields led to scuffles and the eventual death sentence for several of the uprising peasants. A century later, in 1771 another catas­trophe upset the tenor of the town's life for on October 4th of that year, during a terrific storm, a serious fire broke out. Before it was extinguished it had destroyed many houses and much stored corn and hay, this, again emphasises the still rural aspect of the town up to the end of the 18th century.

However, the next century saw the growth - the quite phenomenal growth from a mere village to a sizeable town. The development of the boot and shoe industry, together with transport improvements, led to this transition. Exactly when the staple trade began in Rushden is not certain but there are records of leather testers performing their duties in the 16th century at Higham Ferrers. The Nene valley was long a great cattle grazing area and thus hides were plentiful and this, together with the abundance of oak trees whose bark yielded the liquor needed for tanning, led to the establishment in Northamptonshire of leather preparation and the making of footwear. The Nene, too, provided transport and thus in such places as Rushden, Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough and Raunds the tanners, carriers and shoemakers began to set up their industries.

As the shoemaking industry became established settlers came to the area. In the early 19th century Rushden had a population of only 1,300 and of these 200 were employed in making shoes and 300 in making pillow-lace, an industry now defunct. At that time the town had a considerable river traffic on the Nene with coal, timber and corn being conveyed the coming of the railways put paid to this traffic.

A gazetteer published in 1866 had this to say of the town: 'Rushden, a parish with a post office under Higham Ferrers. The manor belongs to the Queen and the living is a rectory in the diocese of Peterborough. Boot and shoe making is largely carried on. Dr. Whitby, the theologian, was a native. The church was formerly collegiate (here followed a long description of the church) and other places of wor­ship are for the Baptists (three) and the Wesleyans. There is a village school and charities worth £26. Acres 2,770. Real property £7,047. Houses 381. Population in 1861 — 1,748.

The Napoleonic and Franco-German wars did a great deal for the Northamptonshire shoe industry and orders for military footwear poured in. By 1870 the shoemaking industry—especially in Rushden—was expanding rapidly and the town itself had really begun to develop. Buildings were going up on all sides and by 1869 the town had its own gas works, a new infant school and mission room. A reading room was opened, a Temperance Hotel established and various local societies and cultural interests had been founded.

Rushden, however, remained without a rail service until the very end of the 19th century. In 1845 it had come quite close when the London and Birmingham company built its line up the Nene valley from Northampton through Wellingborough to Peterborough. A station on this route served nearby Irthlingborough, and another (now long closed) at Ditchford was some two and a half miles from Rushden. In 1857 the Midland Railway's main line south from Leicester was built and this had a station at Irchester but this was still some distance from Rushden. The industrialists of both Rushden and Higham Ferrers were not happy with this state of affairs but it was not until 1894 that the branch line was opened from Wellingborough through Rushden to Higham Ferrers. It was originally intended to continue the line through to Raunds—and thus connect with the Huntingdon line—but this was never carried out. The railway led at once to easier access for the local factories' raw materials and finished goods and an even greater impetus was added to the rise of Rushden. (This line was closed to passengers some years ago but retains a freight service).

By 1900 the town had grown so much that a new church— St. Peter’s—was necessary and in 1907 this formed the centre of a new parish. By the 1911 census Rushden had 13,354 inhabitants —a twelve-fold increase in a century. During this century the town's expansion has continued and the factories of Rushden have been modernised and are now as up-to-date as any footwear factories in the world. Rushden, in fact, exports the greatest proportion of men's shoes in the country and one well known local firm set up a record in 1947 by sending over 400,000 pairs overseas. Though this remains the staple trade and by far the greatest employer of labour, Rushden has other and newer industries including a chemical works, waste-paper merchants and gravel and sand pits. However, now as through the centuries, the dressing of leather and the manufacture of boots and shoes remains pre-eminent.

Features of Interest

Rushden is to all intents and purposes, a modern town but it has a core of old buildings, the chief of which is its fine parish church of St. Mary whose spire is not only a landmark in the Nene valley but also one of the finest in the Midlands. Rushden Hall and its park is another of the principal features of the town.

The Parish Church

The present magnificent church of St. Mary stands on the site of a known Norman church and of more debateable Saxon structure. The present building, which faces out across a neat green on which is Rushden's War Memorial, dates from the 13th century, but it has additions from many centuries since and has been thoroughly restored within the last hundred years.

The tower and spire was, so it is hinted, built by John of Gaunt. Whoever built it, it is an example of rare architectural genius rising in four stages with pinnacles from which flying buttresses leap gracefully to support the spire. The belfry has rich cornices and is adorned with a niched statue of St. George and symbolic figures. The three church porches, too, are of great merit and that of the west door has a 14th century vaulted roof whilst above the north porch, of the same century, is a room complete with fireplace.

The church interior is spacious and impressive with a wealth of medieval screens enclosing the chancel, chapels and transepts. Of rare interest is the remarkable strainer arch that has been placed across the nave to bear the weight of the transept arches. (Strangely enough, there is a similar feature at Finedon church but a few miles away). This great arch has angels carved on its pillars and above it is a companion arch in reverse. The effect on the interior is very striking especially when viewed from the west end of the church.

Other features of interest include the fine medieval wood­work of the screens and pulpit; the carved 14th century font, two surviving Norman windows (but with modern glass) and some medieval glass fragments of a window depicting the tree of Jesse. From the nave's 15th century roof carved angels look down whilst elsewhere throughout the church are medieval carvings, in wood and stone, of angels, flowers and foliage. In the Pemberton chapel are found many handsome memorials of the great family who for so long lived across the way in Rushden Hall.

Other Churches

Although none of Rushden's other places of worship equal the age or beauty of the parish church several are of passing interest. St. Peter's in Midland Road dates from 1900 and serves an extensive parish created in 1907. Park Road Methodist church is a handsome red-brick structure dating from the early years of this century. It has a fine lantern tower and adjoining is a spacious church hall. In the same thoroughfare is the Baptist church which was founded in 1810. The present red-brick church is, however, rather newer and adjoining it is a very modern and handsome church hall that was opened in 1960.

Rushden Hall and Park

Across the road from the parish church is the extensive park and the mansion of Rushden Hall, a house that dates from the time of John of Gaunt (who may have built it) and whose associa­tions with the town are long indeed. In the Elizabethan style the house can be seen by any interested persons who apply at the Council Buildings for permission. In warm ironstone the house, with its bays and oriel windows, is handsome and is surrounded by the outbuildings usual to a residence of its type. In the porch is a plaque that tells us that the Hall as we now see it incorporates parts of a house built between 1588-1603 (John of Gaunt's house). The plaque also commemorates the restoration that took place in 1953.

Around the house is the Rushden Hall estate which now forms a very fine public park with smooth steep sloping lawns, flower beds and, at the foot of the park, a stream trickling delightfully through a tree-filled glen. Numerous shelters are also found in this park which is a very much appreciated place of summer leisure.

The Hall and park were, of course, associated with the notable Pemberton family for several centuries. The first Pemberton was recorded in 1536 as having left sufficient money for him to be buried in the church. One of the most illustrious members of the family was Robert Pemberton who died in 1608 and whose effigy, clad in armour, we see in the church. He was Queen Elizabeth's Gentleman Usher. He had four sons and four daughters and it is not difficult even today to picture the gracious living this family would have enjoyed in this handsome house amid the trees and grassy slopes around.

Spencer Park

In the north of the town, beyond the railway are the green acres of Spencer Park, a pleasant spot with tennis and bowling greens. Here, too, are well laid out flower beds and shady trees.

Local Industry

Rushden has had factories for a century or more and some of its established trades go back to medieval times. The beginnings of the leather trade, the reasons for its establishment here and the development of the hoot and shoe industry have been given in the historical section of this book. The plentiful supply of hides for leather, the availability of oak bark for providing tanning liquid and excellent road and rail links with the large towns and ports—all these have contributed, and still do contri­bute, to the industrial prosperity and importance of Rushden.

Today more men's shoes are exported from Rushden than from any other town. There are no less than a dozen boot and shoe manufacturers in the town and many of these are old-established firms whose products are known throughout the world. John White footwear is produced from a modern factory in the town centre—one of a total of eight possessed by this firm—whilst also prominent in the heart of the town are the very large boot and shoe factories of the C.W.S. organisation and of John Cave and Sons. C. W. Horrell Ltd have been producing Oral shoes since the days of Queen Victoria whilst equally well known are the 'Knightly' range of men's footwear produced by Knight and Lawrence Ltd. and the 'Mandator' men's shoes of Bignells Ltd. Other firms established here include Prestige Shoes Ltd.; George Selwood & Co.; Dilks and Martin Ltd. and Fox Shoes Ltd.; makers of 'casuals.'

Quality and good workmanship is the keynote of these firms, firms that continue the century old traditions of craftsmanship in modern pleasant factories equipped with all the latest machinery. Even though operatives today may only perform one part of the shoe-making job the real craft of making a boot 'right through' still exists, and for the sake of basic Knowledge the complete pro­cess including the old hand-sewing stage is taught at the County School of Boot and Shoe Manufacture in Rushden. This establishment thus ensures a future supply of skilled labour for the industry.

As well as boots and shoes, leather manufacturing is still of vital importance in the town and there a number of factories engaged on this work including such well known firms as G. H. Bull Ltd.; A. W. Head Ltd. and Altona Leathers Ltd. Currying and leather dressing works, though offering much more modern conditions than years ago, are by the very nature of their work, less congenial in aspect than the boot factories. The hide must be split, stretched and smoothed and much of the work has still to be done by hand. For the chemical immersion the big wooden revolving drums are still in use. Accessories—such as leather heels and welts arc also produced for the use of the trade here and elsewhere.

Although the manufacture of footwear—especially men's footwear is all important and employs a very high proportion of local labour, Rushden has numerous other flourishing industries. These are mainly in the engineering field and include two electrical engineering concerns and a large firm engaged in the field of refrigeration. The Kelvo Chemical Co. Ltd. have plants here and at Irchester whilst the extensive premises of the East Midland Printing Co. Ltd. form a feature of Rectory Road. Sand and gravel are quarried locally and much of the southern part of the urban district is given over to agricultural pursuits.

Some Representative Enterprises

Shoes and leather; allied trades

Altona Leathers Ltd., manufacture protective clothing for industrial firms including gloves, aprons, leggings and head gear. Another branch of the firm produces upper leathers for the shoe industry and with the present vogue for ladies' leather fashion wear; the firm has built up a considerable export trade in leather and suede coats, jackets, dresses, and skirts. In addition to grain and suede leathers, they manufacture genuine sheepskin coats.

Colton Brothers Ltd. are retailers of high class footwear, travel goods, handbags, hosiery, knitwear and suede coats. Recently, in addition to their retail trade, the firm has begun the manufacture of sports footwear for athletic tracks, boxing, cricket, cycling and motor racing under the trade name of 'Trackmaster.' Already Colton Brothers Ltd. have markets for their sports foot­wear in Nigeria, Malta, Canada, America, Kenya and Sudan.

Knight & Lawrence Ltd., established in 1889, manufacture Goodyear Welted and cemented shoes and sandals for men and various types of flat and moulded cushioned insole sandals. Their factory has expanded rapidly and further extensions are planned for the future. Under the management of direct descendents of the founder their markets have grown so that their trade mark 'Sahara' is now known in at least twenty-eight overseas markets.

H. T. Mackness Ltd. have supplied boot and shoe socks to the shoe trade since 1921, then the firm was founded by the late Mr. H. T. Mackness, uncle of the present managing directors. Their present premises were built in 1956 to replace the previous building which had been completely gutted by fire. In addition to making the socks for new shoes, H T Mackness Ltd. also carry out the goldstamping and screen printing, where required, of brand designs on the sock. Their range of socks prepared for the retail trade includes Mascox Woolee (Lambswool) Socks, Mascox Cork Lino Socks and Latex Foam Socks.

As processes in the shoe trade have developed, so have Radbourne & Bennett (Rushden) Ltd., who began in 1909 as leather curriers. In 1930 the firm began to manufacture adhesives and in recent years have added regenerated leatherboards, all types of vulcanised fibre and grey fibre bins and workboxes to their list of products. Their main interest remains, however, in the shoe trade and their adhesives are widely used for the covering of plastic and wooden heels and for bonding unsupported P.V.C.

Strong & Fisher Limited, process sheepskin leathers of all descriptions for clothings, gloving, hand bag and fancy trades. The company's products are marketed in Europe, the Middle East, U.S.A., Canada and Commonwealth countries under well known trade marks. Different qualities of leather carry their own trade mark; 'Suadalope,' suede sheepskins and 'Shawtan' suede Persians are both used for clothing; 'Capian,' grain lamb-skins, 'Asean,' grain Persian sheep and 'Sambar,' Persians are used for gloving and clothing and 'Aquatan' grain sheepskin for handbags and belts.

John White Footwear Ltd., in the sixty years since it was founded, has established an ever increasing market at home and abroad. Starting in 1919 with one small workshop where about sixty pairs of shoes were produced in a week, the firm has a present output of 3,000,000 pairs a year from eleven modern factories.

During the years of the Second World War Wilkins & Denton Limited began the distribution of safety footwear to the armament and other essential industries. By protecting workers' feet, these reinforced shoes reduced the amount of working time which might otherwise have been lost through industrial injuries. Since the war, the demand for "Totectors" safety footwear has increased, and it is now supplied to all branches of industry, both heavy and light; and also to many oil-producing countries.

Engineering, allied trades

W. Baker & Co. manufacture aluminium sheet sections etc., specialising in the production of domestic und industrial equipment to order.

Garage services may be had at Newton Road (Rushden) Petrol Station Ltd. which was incorporated in July 1957.

The main business of Cyril Norris & Son Ltd. is the manufacture and maintenance of machinery and plant for the leather trade but the firm also carries out contractual general and agricultural engineering. The company which was established in 1870 as drum makers are still one of the largest firms of tanning drum makers in Great Britain. Recently, in conjunction with a large continental firm, Cyril Norris & Son Ltd. have begun production of Norris—Sacmer Glass Plate Drying Plant for the leather trade.


For about 150 years Edward Parsons & Sons, at the Farm­house, Irchester, have made pork pies, sausages and cooked meats. These products are not only supplied to the home market but also exported to South Africa and the Middle East.

Building and allied trades

Rushden has several firms engaged in building and its allied trades.

Robert E. Darlow carries out repairs and alterations as well as private building. One of the newer firms is that of D. H. Davies, incorporated as building contractors in 1954. Alfred Underwood has been engaged in house building since 1934.

F. R. Windsor Ltd., a local firm of builders was incorporated in 1946. In the initial stages of the company's development work was concentrated on local authority housing and over a thousand houses have been completed. As well as developing general building, the firm has undertaken, specialised building and at the moment is engaged upon the construction of a Roman Catholic Church at Corby.

The installation and maintenance of all types of heating equipment is carried out by Frank Felce Ltd., at Rushden. This thriving family business was founded by Mr Frank Felce in 1932 and he was joined in 1949 by his son, now the joint manager.

The firm looks forward to increasing prosperity in the future as a result of the ever growing interest in the comforts of central heating.

A useful accessory to the trade is the joinery works of Hawken Components Ltd. Here are manufactured door and win­dow frames, staircases, shopfittings and other items of high class joinery. This is a new firm, dating from 1960.

Wright and Young Ltd. at The Building Centre, Rushden, stock many building supplies, with special reference to the home handyman. In addition to timber, wallboards and plywoods they carry a specialised stock of plastics, as related to the building industry. Their stores and showrooms are visited by people from all over the area, not only for the special materials which are stocked but also for advice on building problems. Of special interest to the firm is the reconstruction and modernisation of terrace houses and the firm's wide experience, especially in the matter of damp proofing and insulating has been valuable to many customers.

Rushden's Neighbours

Rushden, situated on the Northampton-Bedfordshire borders Rushden is an ideal centre for exploring sonic of the highly interesting towns and villages in the area.

Barton Seagrave

Tiny village in pleasantly wooded country. Of interest are the Norman and Decorated church and an eighteenth century hall. Nearby is the moated site of a castle.

Burton Latimer

Small town with a variety of industries. Not especially notable historically but the Parish Church (mural paintings) the Manor House next to the church. Burton Latimer Hall on the outskirts of the town, and the seventeenth century schoolhouse are interesting old buildings.

Earls Barton

Hill top village, combination of the old and new. The Saxon and Perpendicular style church carries one of the finest and oldest Saxon towers in England. Wide views of the Nene valley from churchyard.


Small town engaged in boot and shoe making. Striking Decorated style church which has, like Rushden, an inverted arch in its nave. Finedon also claims, in the form of the 'Bell Inn,' the oldest licensed house in England.


Pleasant old-fashioned village noted for one of the only three extant Eleanor Crosses, which' were erected in 1294 by Edward I to mark the stages of Queen Eleanor's funeral procession from Harby in Nottinghamshire to Westminster. (Other crosses at Waltham Cross and Hardingstone). Handsome church and near it a twelfth century royal palace. Boughton House, a country seat of the Dukes of Buccleuch, nearby.

Higham Ferrers

Rushden's immediate neighbour and well-known hunting centre pleasantly situated overlooking the Nene valley. It was the birthplace of Henry Chichele, fifteenth century Archbishop of Canterbury, who founded "The College," the remains of which may be seen in the main street. The town retains many other old buildings and has one of the finest churches in the county.


Boot and shoe town high above the Nene with a market cross and a great bridge over the river Medieval church with lantern tower nearly divorced from the rest of the building.


Scattered village south of Rushden Church with noble spire and tower and skilful modern work.


Riverside market town and agricultural and hunting centre. Once the home of Sir John Washington, ancestor of George Washington.


Manufacturing and market town and important agricultural centre, Wellingborough has a variety of industries. It retains several ancient buildings, notably Elizabethan Free School; old tithe barn, reached from Silver Street; and old houses in Gold Street and Sheep Street. The old town church is partly 600 years old.


Rushden's southern neighbour whose church has lavishly ornamented tower and spire and is similar to the Nene valley churches.

Travel Information

though it has now lost its rail passenger services (the station is still open for freight traffic) Rushden is well served by 'bus services of the United Counties Omnibus Co. Ltd. Time-tables (1/-) can be obtained from the companie’s offices, at Haughton Road, Northampton.

The following routes serve Rushden :-


Rushden-Wymington-Sharnbrook-Bedford. (Hourly daily)


Northampton-Wellingborough-Rushden-Higham Ferrers-Raunds (Daily)


Wellingborough-Rushdcn-Higham Ferrers-Chelveston-Raunds (Daily).


Rushden -Higham Ferrers - Irthlingborough-Finedon-Burton Latimer-Kettering (Daily).


Rushden-Wollaston-Olney (Daily—but through to Olney only on Sundays).


Swineshead-Yelden-Rushden-Podington-Bozeat (Daily)


Rushden-Higham Ferrers-Chelverston-Caldecott-Yelden (Daily)


Rushden-Higham Ferrers-Raunds-Kimbolton-St. Neots (Saturdays only).


Rushden-Higham Ferrers-Upper Dean-Kimbolton-St. Neots (Thursdays only).


Rushden Town Service. Coronation Av.-Oval Cres­cent via Town Centre (Hourly daily).


Rushden Town Service. Coronation Av.-Gloucester Crescent via Town Centre (Hourly daily


Corby-Kettering-Rushden Sanatorium (Wednesdays and Sundays only)

During the summer long distance coaches of United Counties link Rushden with Kings Lynn and Hunstanton (Ser. X 10) and Skegness (Ser. X 11). [see holidays]

On Sundays throughout the year and on summer Wednesdays Rushden is served by coach route X 14 Kettering-Rushden-Northampton-Buckingham-Oxford.

Birch Brothers Ltd. also serve Rushden and time-tables can be obtained from their local office. Their service 203 links Rushden with Bedford, Hitchin, Welwyn Garden City and London (Kings Cross). An hourly daily service is provided.

General Information

Area—The urban district covers 3,777 acres.

Banks—Barclays, College Street. Lloyds, Midland, National Provincial, Trustee—all in High Street.

Clubs—Some representative clubs in Rushden are:—

Rushden Working Men's Club, 28 Griffith Street.

Rushden Town Hand Working Men's Club, Manton Road.

Rushden United Club, Wellingborough Road.

Rushden Athletic Club and Institute, Newton Road.

Rushden and District Trade Union Club & Institute, 80 Higham Road.

The Rotarians and Ancient Order of Buffaloes meet at the Queen Victoria Hotel in the High Street.

Independent Order of Rechabites, Park Road.

Conservative Club, Newton Road.

Masonic Hall, Wellingborough Road.

Early Closing Day—Thursday.

Education—Provided by the Education Department of the Northamptonshire County Council.

Schools in Rushden area :—

Primary: Alfred Street County Junior and Infants. Newton Road County Junior and Infants.

Secondary: Secondary Modern (Boys) at Highfield Road. Secondary Modern (Girls) at Hayway.

Nearest Grammar Schools at Wellingborough.

In Rushden also is the Boot and Shoe Technical College (Tel. Rushden 2644) where classes are given in boot and shoe craft and manufacture.

Electricity—Supplied by the East Midlands Electricity Board. Offices and showrooms at 12 High Street (Tel. Rushden 2384). Employment Exchange—In Rectory Road. Tel. Rushden 3553.


The Ritz Cinema in College Street is a fine modern place of entertainment with continuous evening performances and a Saturday afternoon matinee.

The Town Band—a noted local institution—give numerous performances throughout the year.

The flourishing Rushden Operatic Society present several yearly performances at the Ritz Cinema.

Socials, dances, concerts, etc., are held at local clubs and at the Institute and the various church halls.

Gas—Supplied by the East Midland Gas Board. Offices and showrooms at High Street (Tel. Rushden 3104).

Health Services—District Nurses: Mrs. J. Alletson, 27 Rose Avenue. Tel. Rushden 2587; Miss M. H. A. Moss, 20 Windsor Road. Tel. Rushden 2726.

Health Visitor: Miss A. Mair, 47 Talbot Rd. Tel. Rushden 2800.

Hospitals: Rushden Sanitorium. Tel. Rushden 3167.   

Rushden Memorial Hospital, Tel. Rushden 3302.

Library—The Urban Council have an excellent public library in the town centre. The Librarian is J. R. English. (Tel. Rushden 2754)

Local Government Rushden Urban District Council consists of 20 councillors. The chief council officials are:-

Clerk : A. G. Crowdy, F.C.I.S.

Treasurer: W. D. White, F.I.M.T.A.

Engineer & Surveyor : W. J. Anker, M.I.Mun.E.

Medical Officer of Health : P. X. Bermingham, M.B., Ch.B., D.P.H.

Public Health Inspector : H. W. Ellis, M.R.S.H., M.A.P.H.I.

Officials and departments are located at the Council Buildings (Tel. Rushden 2227) with the exception of the Medical Officer of Health who is located at the Public Health Department, Swanspool, Wellingborough. (Tel. Wellingborough 2446).

In addition to the library and baths, the council have built over 1,700 houses on several well-planned estates, they provide a cemetery and also have a sewage disposal works serving the town.

Newspapers—"Rushden Echo and Argus". "Northampton  Evening Chronicle" (Evenings—daily). "Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph" (Evenings—daily).

Parliamentary—Rushden comes within the Wellingborough Constituency.

Places of Worship—St. Mary's Parish Church. St. Peters Church, Midland Road. Baptist Church, Park Road. Wesleyan Church, High Street. Methodist Church, Park Road. Christian Progressive Spiritualist Church, Crabb Street. Full Gospel Hall, Wellingborough  Road. League of Friends, Wellingborough Road.

Population—17,370 at the 1961 census, an increase of 6 per cent. in the last decade.

Post OfficeGeneral Post Office, College Street. Several local sub-offices.

Rushden & District Shoe Makers Association—Bank  Chambers. Tel. 3019.

Savings—Northampton  and County Trustee Savings Bank has a local office in Rushden. The bank provides a comprehensive banking service and allows interest on all accounts. The branch was established in 1945 and funds now exceed £700,000 due to 5,000 depositors and investors. Future prospects are very good and progress year by year is better than the average for towns of similar size to Rushden.

Sport—The Urban Council have an open air swimming pool at Station Road. The Baths Superintendent is T. W. Elliott (Tel. Rushden 3120).

Athletics are catered for by the Rushden Athletic Club.

The Rushden and District Golf Club has an attractively sited 9 hole course on the Kimbolton Road just east of Higham Ferrers.

Public tennis courts and bowling greens are found in Spencer Park and there is a private bowling green on the Kimbolton Road.

There are several cricket and football teams in the area and the Rushden and District Football League extends to three divisions.

There is a thriving Badminton Club at the Institute and wrestling is catered for at the Windmill Club.

The River Nene affords excellent angling.

In the hunting season the Pytchley, Woodland and Oakley packs meet in the neighbourhood of Rushden.

Water—Provided throughout the area by the Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board. Offices at the Council Buildings, Rushden.

Women's Voluntary Service—Office at the Employment Exchange Building, Rectory Road.

Youth Employment Bureau—Employment Exchange, Rectory Road. Tel. Rushden 3553.

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