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Memories of Spencer Park
by Paul Wright, 2021

working on the walls Mark with some posters
Mark Pacan working on the walls and looking at some old posters inside the pavilion in June 2021

The name of John Spencer may not be one that many people in Rushden and Higham actually know much about (myself included).

Just over a hundred years ago now, in 1913, he was the driving force in trying to get a recreation ground established in Rushden.

Over many years so much has been enjoyed down there, whether it has been a game of tennis, or bowls, football for the Sunday league sides etc, a play in the sand pit.

The highlight of the year was the autumn visit of “Rushden Feast” that normally signals some wet weather for at least some of the days. Many a family would say that when the feast had arrived, it was time for mum and dad to treat the kids to a set of warmer clothing! A new outfit, no less, and we knew that the nights were drawing in again. One could ask will the “Fair” be coming to Rushden in 2021, or has Covid 19 had put the mockers on its arrival?

Many years back the boxing booth would be throwing down the gauntlet for many a would be “local scrapper”, to try and go the distance against the boxers from the fair. One such local talent that I can recall came from Wymington under the name of Gordon Sparrow. No doubt you may have a few names that you can recall?

On entering for the fair from the bottom of Washbrook Road, you could hear the sales pitch of the “Crockery King.” I wonder how many items of crockery made it through a few sessions in the washing up bowl?

The buzz and the sounds of the varied stalls and rides, and the aromas of Candy-floss, Toffee apples, and Hot dogs with loads of onions.

In the 1970s, Rushden was put on the TV map when ATV came and filmed “Hunters Walk” in Rushden and Higham Ferrers.

2021 - I had a chat with artist Mark Pacan, who is from Irthlingborough, and he was kind enough to show me how he went about his artwork etc.

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