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Wellingborough & Kettering News 26/12/1890, transcribed by Peter Brown
Retrospect of the year
In taking a review of the past year we are pleased to report progress in the various branches of industry in the village. The shoe trade here continues to develop. In the early part of the year a factory was started by Messrs. Goodman and Son, of Northampton (Mr. W. Bradshaw is manager), which proved asuccess, and it is expected that after stocktaking the premises will be enlarged to meet the requirements of the business. Mr. J. Drage, who is the leading manufacturer of the village, has been fairly busy throughout the year. The other factories in the place have also been fully employed. The result of the year’s trading, so far as the masters side is concerned, cannot be stated, as none of them have taken stock except the Industrial Boot and Shoe Productive Society, which shows a slight loss on the half year’s working. This society was started six years ago, and has not as yet made headway, but is enabled to hold its own and is endeavouring to establish the trade on a sound basis, its productions being what they are represented to be. There are five shoe factories in the village, and the aggregate weekly wages paid averages £240. There is also a fair quantity of work imported from Rushden and Wollaston, and it is understood that Mr. E. Claridge, of Rushden, expects to put up a factory here shortly. Trade Unionism, which was in its initiatory stage at the beginning of the year, has made progress. The attitude of the manufacturers, we are pleased to say, was not unfavourable, and in several instances advances have been asked for, which in most cases have been given. The masters have shown a conciliatory spirit, and this being reciprocated by the men, strikes have been avoided. The best tradesmen have done a fair trade, but complaints are still made at the practice resorted to by many in getting their supplies from neighbouring towns, instead of supporting the tradespeople in their own village. The building trade has been brisk during the year. Several new cottages have been built, and others are in contemplation. We understand that a large orchard, suitable for building purposes, belonging to the Co-operative Society, will shortly be offered for sale. We are pleased to report that socially there is a marked improvement in the habits and amusements of the people. No obscene language is allowed at cricket or football, and there is less rowdyism than formerly. The public houses are well conducted, and there have been no arrests for drunkenness during the year. This is due in a great measure to the influence of the resident police official (Mr. Southam), who discharges his duties in a faithful and effectual manner. Politically the year has been a quiet one, only two meetings having been held. Mr. Channing paid us a visit in January, when an enthusiastic meeting was held, and in November Mr. Prentice gave an interesting lecture with magic lantern views on Irish evictions, which was well attended. We cannot report much development in agriculture. The estate belongs to the Royal Exchange Insurance Company, London, and most of the farms are on their hands. They are well cultivated, and no labourers have been out of employ during the year. From 40 to 50 acres are let out in allotments, most of which are well managed. There is still great need for some kind of scheme to be adopted to bring the people to the land, or in a few years it will be entirely deserted, as the rising generation are all going to the shoe trade. The services have been well attended, and some earnest sermons in the various places of worship have been delivered. The temperance cause is still making progress among the young, the two Bands of Hope, Independent and Wesleyan, have held regular meetings during the year, which have been successful. The Bozeat Brass Band has reached a state of efficiency, has several times paraded the village and entertained and interested the people. The death rate is higher this year, as we were visited in the autumn with the epidemic of measles, and a number of children were taken off. The children are well taught in the Board Schools, as reported by HM Inspector, and the attendance is fairly good.

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