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Opening of a Coffee House and Public Hall
at Rushden

Coffee Tavern area
The Coffee Tavern stands between the two rows of window blinds, centre right

In 1910
In 1910 - gave its name to the lane left of picture

Extract from memories of Jonathan Seckington: ......and there were two cottages adjoining the Old Malting, where the Coffee Tavern now stands.

Wellingborough News, 18th February 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

Opening of a Coffee House and Public Hall at Rushden

Yesterday (Thursday) the new Coffee-tavern and hall were formally opened, the event being celebrated by an imposing public demonstration. The rapid growth of the village, and the strong temperance sentiment which prevails amongst all classes, have pointed for a long time to the necessity of public accommodation similar to that which has now been provided, but certainly none but the most sanguine could have anticipated such a bold and comprehensive scheme as that which was inaugurated a few months since, and now successfully completed. Happily, however, Rushden possesses public spirit enough to ignore, in a matter of this kind, the boundary lines of party and of creed, and to unite in a common enterprise for the good of the community. A company was accordingly formed, and requisite capital having been subscribed to justify the commencement of operations, the foundation stone of the new buildings was laid in May last. The Company was fortunate in securing the services of Mr. G. Denton as the hon. secretary, and the following gentlemen as directors:—Rev. Canon Barker (chairman), and Messrs. C. Bayes, Cave, sen., P. Cave (treasurer), W. Claridge, sen., John Claridge, E. Claridge, W. Foskett, W. Packwood, J. H. Ruddle, J. Sargent, H. Skinner, T. Willmot, and W. Wilkins. The new premises are situate in High-street, in about the centre of the village, and have a very substantial appearance.

The buildings include a tavern and public hall, which are connected both on the ground and first floors. The tavern contains on the ground floor a large public bar, a reading room, kitchen, caretaker's room, and china closet. On the first floor there are two large rooms for billiards and other games, also suitable for public dinners or clubs, and a ladies' room with lavatories and other conveniences. On the top floor there are six bedrooms, which, together with stables, yard, and carriage entrance, are intended to accommodate commercial travellers. Every room has been fitted up to suit its especial purpose, the bar being provided with counter of zinc top, moulded with pitchpine panelled front, and fluted pilaster, cut and moulded brackets, with a back cupboard and serving window, having cut and moulded side facings, and surmounted with a dental cornice and moulded pediment, supported by shaped trusses with fluted panels between. There are seats in all the windows, and the bar is boarded on the walls to a height of about, four feet with matched boarding, finished with special moulded capping and topped unsunk blocks at the architraves. The kitchen contains a large dresser, a hung deal and fixed stone table, lead lined sink, and plate rack, with hard and soft water laid on, situated in recesses so arranged as to carry off steam. The hall is 76 feet by 30 feet, with four entrances, fitted up at one end with a platform and orchestra or gallery capable of holding over one hundred people, and approached from either the hall or the tavern, surmounted by ornamental balustrade with turned and moulded pitchpine handrail and newels. The walls of the hall have a boarded dado and capping similar to the tavern bar, and the ceiling is also boarded in narrow widths, springing with splayed sides from a moulded plaster cornice running all round the walls, and all the woodwork, except the kitchen, is stained and varnished. The two principal facades are a modern application of the Queen Anne style, executed in red-pressed bricks, relieved with red and white plasters and Bath stone sills, and dental cornice, white brick frieze and neckmold up to the first floor, the cornice being continued over panelled pediments at entrances, and mitred round the pilasters, which are finished with carved Bath stone, caps and trusses. Above the cornice the front is relieved by quoins, projecting windows, panels and aprons formed in brickwork, and surmounted at the eave by a deep cement cone, which is broken and returned by gables carried up into the roof, and finished in useful as well as ornamental verge tiles and finials. The whole of the buildings are warmed by heating apparatus supplied by Mr. Marriott, of Higham Ferrers, and ventilation provided for by moveable gratings connected to cavities in the walls, and by outlets at the ceiling. The works have been carried out by Mr. Daniel Ireson, of Northampton, Mr. W. Moore, joiner, of Rushden, and Mr. Spencer, plumber, Rushden, under the direction and to the designs of the architect, Mr. Abraham Wakefield, Yorkshire, at a cost of about £2,000.

The opening ceremony was prefaced by a procession through the principal streets of the village. The procession was headed by the Temperance Band, under the direction of Mr. Skinner, and included the Rev. Canon Barker and the resident ministers, with several of the neighbouring clergy; the directors and shareholders of the company; and a numerous body of the public. The National School Band, conducted by Mr. G. Bacon, brought up the rear. Upon returning to the hall, the chair was taken by the Rev. Canon Barker, who was supported by Lord Burghley, M.P., Mr. Sartoris, Mr. C. Praed, Mr. Willan Jackson, Mr. James Heygate, Mr. Charles Pollard, the Revs. R. B. Hall, F. W. Willis, E. Templeman, &c. The well-known hymn, "0 God our help in ages past" having been sung, and prayer offered by Mr. Hull, the chairman read letters of apology for non-attendance from the Hon. C. R. Spencer, M.P., and Mr. Stopford Sackville, the former of whom was prevented from attending by his Parliamentary duties, and the latter by an important engagement at a distance. The Chairman then gave an excellent opening address, which was followed by a short speech from Lord Burghley, expressive of his interest in the movement, and brief but cordial addresses by Mr. Jackson and Mr. Heygate. Mr. Charles Pollard was then called upon, and delivered a loudly cheered address, in which he referred with satisfaction, not only to the material growth of Rushden, but to the evidence they had that day that it was also advancing in the path of moral progress. Canon Barker then formally declared the premises open.

At the conclusion of the formal ceremony, and during the remainder of the afternoon, the premises were inspected by the public, and subsequently tea was provided in the large hall. In the interval the bands played a selection of music in the yard adjoining the Coffee-house, and it is scarcely needful to add that their excellent performances were listened to with evident pleasure. The room was speedily filled and so large was the company that three sittings were found necessary. Probably in all about 700 took tea, but so well were the arrangements carried out that there was an ample supply of provisions, and general satisfaction was expressed.

After tea a meeting was held in the large hall, which was densely crowded. The chair was occupied by the Rev. Canon Barker, whose geniality and humour contributed largely to the success of the meeting. Rev. E. Templeman, of Higham, was the first speaker, and expressed the interest he felt as a neighbour in the proceedings of the day. Mr. Councillor Beckwood, of Leeds, then gave an able address, in which he entered at some length into the economics of the temperance movement. As a practical evidence of his interest in the new enterprise at Rushden he promised to present to the Coffee House Company a small library of books as the nucleus of a free Library. Rev. J. Jordan, of Woolwich, next addressed the meeting, in a highly practical address, inculcating unity and forbearance among the shareholders. If these qualities were exhibited he had no doubt of the success of the undertaking. A short address followed by the chairman, and two brief speeches by Mr. Hart, the architect, and Mr. G. Denton, the hon secretary, terminated proceedings.

Northampton Mercury, Saturday, February 18, 1882, transcribed by Greville Watson


On Thursday a coffee tavern and public hall, which have been in course of erection for some months past, were opened at Rushden; and the proceedings in connection with the inauguration were such as will doubtless long be remembered by the inhabitants.  The Institution, which, next to the church, is the most imposing public building in the place, is the result of the efforts of that large section of the inhabitants of Rushden – which, by-the-bye, has a population of some 3,500 – who are, and have been for many years, identified with the temperance cause.  The chief promoters of the undertaking have been the Rev. Canon Barker, the respected, rector of the parish, and Mr. G. Denton, who, with other gentlemen, have formed a limited liability company, with a capital of £3,000, of which £2,150 has been issued, and is to be paid up by July.  It is not intended at present to issue more than £2,600, which amount will exactly cover the cost of the erection and furnishing of the Institution, of which the Board of Directors are – Rev. Canon Barker (chairman), Mr. G. Bayes, Mr. J. Cave, Mr. P. Cave, Mr. J. Claridge, Mr. W. Claridge, Mr. W. Packwood, Mr. J. H. Ruddle, Mr. H. Skinner, Mr. T. Wilmot, Mr. J. T. Barker, Mr. H. Claridge, Mr. W. Forskett, Mr. J. Newgent, Mr. W. Wilkins, and Mr. G. Denton (who has discharged the duties of secretary from the commencement).  The building which has been erected by the company is composed of a tavern and public hall, which are in easy communication both on the ground and first floors.  The tavern contains on the ground floor, a large public bar, a reading room, kitchen, caretaker’s room, and store and china closet.  On the first floor there are two large rooms for bagatelle and other games, which are also suitable for public dinners and club meetings; and a ladies’ room, with lavatories and other conveniences.  On the top floor there are six bedrooms, which, together with stables, yard, and carriage entrance, are intended to accommodate commercial and other travellers.  Every room has been carefully fitted up to suit special purposes, the bar being provided with a counter with zinc top, moulded pitch-pine panels, and fluted pilasters, cut and moulded brackets, with book cupboard and serving window, having cut and moulded side-facings, and surmounted with dental cornices and moulded pediment, supported on shaped trusses with fluted panels between.  There are seats in all the windows, and the bar is boarded on the walls to the height of 4ft. with match boarding, finished with special moulded capping, stopped on sunk blocks at the architraves.  The kitchen is furnished with all the necessary appliances.  The hall, which will accommodate about 700 persons, is 76ft. by 30ft., with four entrances, &c., fitted up at one end with a platform and orchestra, or gallery, capable of holding over a hundred persons, approachable from either the hall or the tavern, and surrounded by an ornamental balustrade, with turned and moulded handrails and newels.  The walls of the hall have a boarded dado and capping similar to the tavern, and the ceiling is also boarded in narrow widths springing with splayed sides from a moulded plaster cornice running all round the walls.  All the woodwork, except in the kitchen, is stained and varnished throughout.  The two principal façades are a modern application of Queen Anne’s style, executed in red pressed facing bricks, relieved with red and white pilasters and Bath stone sills, and a dental cornice with frieze and neckmold to the first floor, the cornice being continued over panelled pediments at the entrance, and mitred round the pilasters, which are finished with carved Bath stone caps and trusses.  Above the cornice the front is relieved by quoins, projecting windows, panels, and aprons formed in the brickwork, and surmounted at the eave by a deep cement eave, which is broken, and returned gables carried up into the roof, and finished in ornamental verge tiles and finials.  The whole of the buildings are warmed by heating apparata, supplied by Mr. Marriott, of Higham Ferrers; and ventilation is provided for by moveable gratings connected with cavities in the walls and by outlets at the ceiling.  The works have been carried out by Mr. D. Ireson, Northampton; Mr. W. Moore, joiner, Rushden; and Mr. Spencer, plumber, Rushden, under the direction and to the designs of the architect, Mr. Abraham Hart, Wakefield, Yorkshire.  A memorial stone, inserted in the north corner of the building bears the following inscription:– “In Dei gloriam et sobriae gentis incrementum, 1881.”  (To the glory of God and to the increase of temperance among the people).

The proceedings in connection with the opening of the building commenced at half-past two o’clock in the afternoon, with a procession, headed by the Chairman and Directors, the Temperance Brass Band, under Mr. Skinner (conductor), and the National School Band (under Mr. G. Bacon), followed by the shareholders and the public generally.  Having paraded the streets a return was made to the hall, where a large number of persons had assembled.  The tables were laid for tea, and were fully occupied, while the platform and gallery were crowded by the ladies and gentlemen, among whom was Lord Burghley, M.P., the absence of the Hon. C. R. Spencer, M.P., being explained by the following letter:–

Spencer House, St. James’s-place, S.W.,
18th February, 1882

Dear sir, – I regret extremely that I shall be unable to have the honour of attending the opening of your hotel and coffee tavern.  There is to be an important debate in the House that night, and so I fear I must deny myself the pleasure of seeing my friends at Rushden.  Wishing you all success in your meeting, believe me, faithfully yours,

The Rev. Canon Barker presided, and among those present were Mrs. Currie (Rushton House), Rev. Digby Newbolt (Souldrop), Rev. R. B. Hull, R.D. (All Saints’, Northampton), Rev. Hugh Bryan (Raunds), Rev. E. Templeman (Higham Ferrers), Rev. F. Willis (All Saints’, Wellingborough), Rev. G. P. Irby and Mrs. Irby (Doddington), Mr. Campbell Praed, Mr. F. W. Sartoris, Mr. W. Jackson, and Mr. J. Heygate (Wellingborough), Mr. C. Simpson (Higham Ferrers), Mr. C. Pollard, and Mr. W. J. Wells (Kettering), &c.  The opening ceremony commenced with the audience singing the hymn, “O God, our help in ages past,” after which the Rev. R. B, Hull offered prayer, expressive of the thankfulness of those who had promoted the undertaking for having been able to carry it so far to a completion.–The Chairman said they had that day accomplished a work which they began with prayer and praise some nine months ago, and it was only right that the first words uttered in that room should also be words of prayer and praise.  Now the first words spoken to them should be those of thankfulness, and they, as the directors, were thankful that the shareholders had backed them up so well in the work, and for the way in which they had responded to the call to give the directors their presence and support that day.  The directors had had a good many difficulties to contend with, and they had had not a few hostile criticisms to meet.   They had been told that they were building a place too large, too substantial, and, altogether too grand for the parish of Rushden, and it was added they were building a place which would never pay the shareholders a dividend.  In answer to that objection the directors begged him to say they had not built for ostentation, or with the desire that Rushden should have a place better than anybody else; but with the idea that, as Rushden owed a great deal to the temperance cause, the temperance cause should manifest the same by a building which should not be cheap, small, and ugly,but with a building which should compare favourably with the factories which surround it, the builders of those factories being the first to own that they were indebted for their progress and success in life, and their ability to build these factories, to the interest which they had taken, and induced their men to take, in the temperance cause.  (Applause.)  From this hall, he went on to say, all party spirit was to be excluded.  (Applause.)  They knew no difference in party politics, and they knew nothing of ecclesiastical or religious divisions.  (Renewed applause.)  They met as men meeting their brethren, who had resolved to think of one another, to care for one another, and to try and help one another in living true, brave, pure, and temperate lives.  (Applause.)  When they looked upon that building he thought they would always recollect that it was a sort of sermon in stone, exhorting people to the practice of temperance, and bidding them beware of the curse and evil which drunkenness was bringing on our land.  They were pleased to see so many present, and especially grateful to Lord Burghley, who, at great personal inconvenience, had come from London on purpose to be present on that occasion.  (Applause.)  He had received a letter from Mr. Spencer, who wrote to express his most sincere and cordial sympathy in their proceedings.  He had also received a telegram from Mr. Stopford Sackville, who would have liked to have been present, but was detained by business at Southampton.  It was to him (the speaker) a source of great satisfaction that not only did they meet in such numbers as parishioners of Rushden, but that there were allied with their cause members of the Legislature, whom they were glad to see, and whom he thought it was well should come amongst them and know something of the state of public opinion on this temperance question, and, at all events, to know that Rushden, if not other parts of the country, considered itself ripe for some legislative action on the drink question.  (Applause.)  Coffee palaces and taverns were but of yesterday, and to-morrow evening he hoped they would be addressed by a lady, still young, who might be called the pioneer of the coffee tavern movement.  It was to him a source of great satisfaction that there should be allied to this movement scions of the old historical houses of Cecil and Spencer, because he could not but connect with it those grand old ancestral mansions, which had stood for hundreds and hundreds of years, and which were still the pride of the county – those grand houses of Burghley, Drayton, and Althorp; and he felt there was a connection effected between them and the coffee taverns, which were but of yesterday, so that all that was best, noblest, and grandest in the past came and united itself with them in their efforts to make the present yet purer and better than the past had been.  (Loud applause.)  Therefore he thanked Lord Burghley again for his sympathy and presence, because he thought it seemed to connect them with the grand historic past, and to make them anxious that the continuity between the past and present should not be broken, and gave them a further impetus in the work they had undertaken – to rescue the name of Englishmen from the associations of intoxication and drunkenness, and make the name of England respected for its sobriety and its battles with the giant evils of intemperance and misery.  He was certain there was no surer way to give England a bright and glorious future, not only in the eyes of other nations, but also a grand and honourable mercantile future – a name that they would help to hand down to their children, that this generation had removed the stigma, which, he believed, had attached to Englishmen from Shakespeare’s time – that of being too fond of their liquor.  (Laughter and applause.)  Before sitting down, the rev. canon said he had to call upon Lord Burghley – who had to leave early in order to return to London – to say a few words expressive of his interest in their cause and sympathy with them on that occasion.  (Applause.)  –  Lord Burghley, M.P., observed that he feared they would be greatly disappointed in the speech which he was about to make, and in which he was about to follow Canon Barker.  He feared his efforts could not nearly come up to Canon Barker’s in the manner in which he might say he had christened that association.  He could plainly see he was not there alone as a well-wisher of the coffee tavern – he might say coffee palace – and that the ladies and gentlemen he saw before him had come not only to avail themselves of the meeting and the tea which was to be held that afternoon, but that they had come determined in the future to avail themselves of that coffee palace, both in its moral as well as in its material usefulness.  (Applause.)  He was the more pleased he had been asked to come there and witness the opening ceremony, as so many of themen of the Northamptonshire Militia (in which he had the honour of serving), came from Rushden; and he hoped that they, when they were at home, would find the great use there was in an establishment of this sort and that they, in common with the inhabitants of Rushden generally, would take advantage of the sacrifices which the directors of the company had made towards drawing them from the perils of unlimited drink.  (Applause.)  They were there that day to close a gap which had almost too long been left open in the ranks of society, a gap which it was the interest of all of them to fill as they best could, and to help to fill with their money if necessary.  They had, he was sure, throughout Northamptonshire, many evidences of the good which establishments of this sort could do.  He was not a man who would drive people into either the door of the public house or the door of the coffee tavern; but what he did say was that they were there that day supporting a movement which had become general throughout the country, and which was a movement founded upon freedom of action in the case of all classes, which was the right of every Englishman.  His Lordship thanked them for their invitation, and said that that was the first coffee palace at the opening of which he had been present, although he hoped it would not be the last.  If he were to judge from the assemblage there that day a movement such as that could not but be one which would benefit the county of Northampton, both commercially as well as morally, and he wished it every success.  (Applause.)  – Mr. W. Jackson (Wellingborough), in the course of a few remarks, said, as a shareholder of the company, he should look out with interest for the dividend which reached him (laughter), not only because the reception of a good dividend was agreeable to the feelings of the confident shareholder, but also because he would look upon it as the best index of the success with which the Institution was attended.  (Applause.)  – Mr. C. Pollard (Kettering), in an earnest and telling speech, referred to the history of temperance in Rushden during the past five-and-twenty years; and in insisting on the evils of intemperance, quoted the inscription on the memorial stone of the building, and contended that it was of the greatest importance to establish institutions of that character “to the glory of God and the increase of temperance among the people.”  Adverting to the number of public-houses in the kingdom, and their evil influence, he observed they had one member of Parliament present, and had expected another.  He wished to say in Lord Burghley’s presence that they desired most earnestly that their members would support the . . . .[?] Channing[?] Bill for England (applause), and if Mr. Spencer were there he should say the same, indeed he was sorry to say neither of these gentlemen could see their way to support such a just manoeuvre.  (A Voice: “Shame on them,” which was followed by laughter.)  – Mr. James Heygate (Wellingborough), in addressing a few remarks to the meeting, said as an outsider he most heartily congratulated them upon the opening of those magnificent buildings, and he wished them every prosperity and success.  He believed there was no other place in the neighbourhood which had had the public spirit to erect a coffee tavern and hotel combined, which was a new feature in this movement, he thought, and he hoped might prove a successful one.  A very pleasing feature, too, about the undertaking was its non-political and non-sectarian character, for the platform on which they were then standing was one on which Liberal and Conservative, Churchman and Nonconformist, could meet on equal terms with the purpose of wishing success to a movement which was so eminently calculated to forward the material and moral welfare of the masses.  (Applause.)  – The Chairman then declared the hall duly opened, and took advantage of the opportunity to urge those who intended to take shares in the company to do so at once, or otherwise they might find them at a premium.  – Grace having been said by the rev. canon, the company partook of tea.  Altogether about 500 persons, at three different times, were accommodated, after which Canon Barker proceeded to the Coffee Tavern, and in appropriate terms declared that part of the buildings opened for public use.

At seven o’clock in the evening a public meeting was held in the hall, which was crowded in every available place by an audience who, judging from the attention with which they listened to the speeches made and the forbearance they exhibited under the trying circumstances in which they were placed – for even the passages to the hall were crammed – evidently felt no little interest in the cause which was being advocated.  – Canon Barker presided, and in humorous terms introduced the speaker[s] who were to address the meeting.  – The first of these was the Rev. E. Templeman (Higham Ferrers), who expressed a hope that no long period would elapse before the example set them by Rushden in the matter of the establishment of a coffee tavern would be followed by his own town.  (Applause.)  He was present that evening because he was a total abstainer, and the movement inaugurated that day owed itself almost entirely to those who had upheld and promoted what might be called the temperance cause amongst them.  If the work was to succeed, however, as he believed it would, under the direction of Canon Barker and his helpers, it could only be done by their making allowances for one another’s differences of opinion.  (Hear, hear.)  If this were the case, he was sure the company would prosper, not only from a temperance point of view, but would also pay a remunerative dividend.  (Applause.)  – Councillor Beckwith (Leeds) spoke at some length, and, in advocating the adoption of local option, gave some startling statistics as to the extent of the liquor traffic.  He wished the movement inaugurated that day every success, and stated he should have great pleasure in presenting it with a small library, which he hoped might prove the nucleus to a good one for the town of Rushden.  (Applause.)  – The Rev. Mr. Jordan (Woolwich), in the course of an excellent address, deprecated the display of any bitter feeling towards publicans.  What they, in their new venture, wished to do was to fairly and honestly compete with the publican.  They had a perfect right to do so, and the publican had an equal right to compete against them.  He urged them to fight an honest battle, not to abuse the publican, and then the latter would have no just cause of complaint against them.  The building they had opened that day was, he fully believed, one of the largest of its kind in England.  Such institutions he wished to see made the home of the amusements of the place.  Amusement should go hand in hand with instruction, and he was quite sure that if their coffee tavern could touch that point where the two met it would be the handmaid of religion, the help of every place of worship, and the encouragement of every preacher of religion in the town.  He was not afraid to advocate public amusement with no uncertain voice.  God in His wisdom had placed in the life of men and women the capacity for the enjoyment of that which was amusing, and of that which provoked the merry, the bright side of life.  He believed the water of human life sparkled in the sunshine, and that there was something glistening and glad in it when the heart was made truly and innocently merry; and he did not think that any man who catered for the interests and the wants of mankind had provided a sufficient variety of dishes, who had not included among them a very considerable element to supply this particular want.  (Hear, hear.)  – The Chairman remarked that two gentlemen were present to whom the success of the work so far was greatly owing, and he wished them to express their minds upon the subject.  The architect and Mr. Denton, who had done the work of secretary.  He could only say if the shareholders and the parish would work as amicably in this movement as the directors had done in the building of it, its success was assured.  He did not think the directors had had any divisions; he could hardly say they had had a Government and opposition, and he was sure they had never had recourse to the cloture.  (Laughter and applause.)  But for Mr. Denton he certainly did not think they would have achieved so commodious a building.  – Mr. A. Hart (architect) and Mr. Denton having made a few remarks, the Chairman made some concluding observations, congratulating all on the success with which the proceedings of the day had passed off, and the meeting terminated.

Wellingborough News, 25th February 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

OPENING OF THE NEW COFFEE TAVERN—On Friday evening the opening ceremony was continued, by a very able lecture on "The origin, and the moral and religious aspects of Coffee Taverns," given in the large hall by Lady Hope, of Dorking. The Rev. Canon Barker presided, and the large hall was again crowded. After the singing of the hymn, "Even me," prayer was offered by the Rev. Mr. Raughton. The Chairman then said that as the grace of Temperance—to set forth which that building had been erected—would be looked at from a scriptural standpoint, he hoped no demonstration of feeling would be made while Lady Hope was delivering her address. Her Ladyship said that by this time everybody knew all about a coffee house, but it was not so when she commenced her little coffee-house in Dorking. She then proceeded in a very graphic and pleasing style to explain the manner in which she was brought to commence the undertaking, and the marvellous and unexpected success that had attended the opening not only of her own, but of every properly conducted coffee house. She gave much very valuable information as to successful management, especially advocating the introduction of high-toned amusements, and gave instances of the conversion of some of the most notorious characters through the amusements of the coffee tavern. The interest of the audience was fully sustained throughout the address of an hour and a half's duration, and, notwithstanding the wish of the president, the outbursts of applause were frequent and hearty, and at the close the applause was vociferous and prolonged. The Rev. W. A. Davis next addressed the meeting in a very appropriate speech, wishing the Coffee Tavern every success. The meeting was concluded by a few remarks from the Chairman, in which he hoped the service of that evening might lead to some three or four more dating their reformation of character from the opening of the Coffee Tavern at Rushden. The meeting was concluded by singing and prayer.—On Saturday evening about 700 children were provided with tea at the Tavern at a small charge per head. After tea they were entertained in the large hall, when they were addressed in a very pleasing way by the Rev. Canon Barker. Recitations were given by Mr. W. Clarke; Miss Bull sang several songs; and some capital dialogues were given. The evening proved very enjoyable, and on the dispersion of the juveniles a very large company assembled to take their tea, &c., and play and chat in the new hall.

Wellingborough News, 22nd August 1890, transcribed by Kay Collins

ERRATUM—In our last issue we stated that Mr. Keywood, at present manager of Rushden Coffee Tavern, contemplated removing to the "Swan" at Higham. We should have said "The Queen's Head".

The Argus, 10th March 1893

Rushden Hotel and Coffee Tavern Company
The Directors of the above Company are prepared to receive applications for the post of SECRETARY. Information as to duties and remuneration can be obtained of the hon. sec., J. CLARIDGE.

The Argus, 4th March 1898

Local Notes
The Rushden Coffee Tavern and Public Hall Company, Limited, at their annual meeting on Tuesday evening, had a very encouraging report placed before them, showing that the tavern and reading room still meets a public want. It was not with the object of effecting financial gain that the company was formed; the promoters were prompted by more benevolent intentions than profit making, and while, of course, entertaining the hope that the concern would be self-supporting, the primary desire was to cater for the comforts of a large class of the inhabitants, in providing attractions of a temperate and wholesome character. As the efforts of the company have been so much appreciated, it has been thought, seeing the manner in which Rushden is growing, that branch taverns should be established, and Wellingborough-road and the Rock Estate were suggested as likely situations. The matter is now under the consideration of the directors, who will report to the shareholders at a future meeting.

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