The Rushden Recycling Centre and the adjoining car park, occupying the comer site on Rectory Road and Newton Road, Rushden, is itself no stranger to the principles of recycling as the main building served initially, since its construction in 1936 to 1980, as the local centre for the United Counties Omnibus Company and, during the period from 1980 to 1990, as the headquarters of a thriving builders merchants.
Even earlier than these activities, the eastern frontage of the site to Newton Road was occupied by a group of buildings with the collective name of "Ebenezer Terrace", built and named after Ebenezer Claridge, one of the first shoe makers in the town. The terrace of 16 houses, constructed in 1861, was, in part, possibly constructed of recycled materials re-using limestone from previous agricultural cottages in the rear and end elevations, with the main frontage being constructed from local produced bricks.
Ebenezer Terrace epitomised the earliest stage of Rushden's development from an agricultural/lace making community to a shoe manufacturing town. In 1871 all but two of the residents were occupied in shoe making and wives and children would make a large contribution towards the finished products; to facilitate this "industry", a number of two storey workshops were included in the development which illustrated so well a transitional stage in the boot and shoe industry from individuals working at home to the mass employment of labour in large factories which proliferated by the end of the Century.
One of the exceptions to the activities in Ebenezer Terrace was William Lockie, a tin plate worker, who produced much of his craft as an integrated part of the "new" factories and whole of this business which still exists in the town in Fitzwilliam Street.
What remained of the Terrace, workshops and associated buildings, were demolished under slum clearance legislation in 1986, the only remainder being the date stone which has been incorporated within the boundary wall to the car park as an historical memento of an important part of the industrial history of Rushden.
Fortunately, prior to the demolition, the Rushden Amenities Society commissioned Mr B Giggins, to survey the rear workshops and details are re-produced with kind permission of the Society. [Demolished 2014]