After a slow battle, the Home Hospital Scheme won official encouragement and its premises in Hayway stood ready for development as Rushden War Memorial.
The County Brass Band Championship was to be re-started after a lapse during the war years. It was held at the Windmill Club, Rushden, and organised by the County Amateur Brass Band Association.
The re‑formed Rushden Query Motor Club held its first AGM at the Oakley Arms. Mr F.G.Deane presided at the gathering and reported a “very successful nine months”. As sports secretary, he referred to the acquisition of the Castle Hill at Yelden for the scrambles, which had proved very popular.
About twenty young people who confessed to artistic tastes, met at the Rochdale Room to launch what they call “The Three Arts Club”, for a new line of Youth Group Activity in Rushden. Mr Frank Wright of the Intermediate School staff brought some of his own gramophone records.
The beautiful grounds of Rushden Hall were showing the signs of early release from bondage of war. The Park was used as a hiding place for vehicles during the war. The huge Nissan huts were being taken down from under the Elm Avenue. A dozen German prisoners worked on the demolition.
Blizzard conditions, the worst arctic spell since 1940, were maintaining their grip on the Rushden district. They had continued for more than a fortnight.
Rushden’s British Restaurant was to continue as a civic enterprise and, according to statements made at the Urban Council’s meeting, had a good prospect of paying its way.
Boot and shoe workers’ hours were likely to be cut due to shortage of fuel. It was hoped that electricity would be switched on so that factories could make a start. Some factories were also short of heating fuel and cuts had affected the supply of leather.
By installing a tractor through the hole in the factory wall, Messrs B.Denton & Sons were able to drive the shaft by a belt and so provide employment for 250 workers making safety boots for coalminers.
When vehicles reached Rushden, they broke the town’s “siege”; one of them brought a load of milk for the Co‑op. Before this the town had been cut off for the first time in 31 years. There had been no access by road or rail and no arrival of mail or morning papers.
The allocation of food to British Restaurants and factory canteens was criticised by the Rushden & District Trades Council. Workers said they wanted more food put into their homes.
After the severe freeze, there were floods and severe gales. The old coffee tavern in Wood Street, Higham Ferrers, notable for its scrollwork, took the full force of the gale. Part of the roof disappeared completely.
At a meeting of Rushden Urban Council, concern was expressed about the effect of the Pitsford Water Scheme upon the Higham Ferrers & Rushden Water Board.
After 52 years of farming, Mr W.G.Holt of Higham Park could not recall a worse winter than the one that had just passed. He and his two motor-minded sons set out to make up for lost time with a mechanical blitz on their “no‑horse” farm.
Rushden Operatic Society’s first production, “Blossom Time”, charmed a big audience. It was a large‑scale production on a large stage and opened into a flower of success at the Ritz. In front of the stage, Mr Oswald Lawrence was getting everything possible out of the singers and orchestra. Miss Anne Hogwood was a worthy leading lady Vicki and Mr Sydney Hudson played Count Rudi. Twenty years, including the long war period, had passed since Rushden last staged a major musical production.
May Day was revived at Rushden Newton Road Infants’ school when everybody put old‑time enthusiasm into the festival. The fair-haired little queen was Jillian Claridge aged 7. Roland Denton, also aged 7, was a worthy escort.
Mr Walter Stocker, of Avenue Road Court Estate, Rushden, suffered a heavy loss by fire which broke out in a shed at the rear of his home. A motor cycle combination, an auto‑cycle and two bicycles were destroyed.
At its quarterly meeting, the Rushden Independent Co‑operative Society decided to retire their Committee men at 65 years. Those already over 65 should retire at 70.
“John White’s” organised a super trip to the British Industries Fair in London. Sixty‑six coaches, forming ¾ of a mile, were employed. 2,049 people were conveyed, including employees and their wives or husbands.
Rushden Temperance Band and St.Cecilia Singers recorded a joint half-hour broadcast for the Midland Home Service in the Independent Wesleyan School in Queen Street.
The Rushden featherweight boxer, Jeff Badham, won on points at Welford Town Hall and was immediately signed on for a future engagement.
The target for Rushden Hospital Fete week was £21,000. A lot depended on the weather.
Prospect Avenue, Rushden, leads to what should be called “Progress Estate”, a major bright spot on the local building horizon.
It was decided to fix up a temporary pipeline between Rushden and Chelveston aerodrome to supplement Rushden’s water supply until the problems with the supply from Sywell were overcome.
A Scot’s pipe band from Corby headed Rushden Hospital Week’s parade in pouring rain. Lord Luke of Pavenham opened the fete in the Hall grounds.
Rushden raised £3,500 from Hospital Week. John White, President of the Joint Hospital Appeal, told the Rushden people that it was certain that they were going to have the hospital which was so greatly needed.
120 scholars of Higham Ferrers Methodist Sunday School took part in a ramble through “The Hedges”.
Almost one hundred transport vehicles of all shapes and sizes paraded through the streets of Rushden and neighbouring towns as a protest against the nationalisation of road transport.
Mr G.W.Marriott was installed as the new President of the Rotary Club of Rushden. He was a shoe manufacturer, being a director of Eaton & Co (Rushden) Ltd.
Rushden benefited considerably as the result of the BBC’s decision to build a l00ft TV relay station on Dunstable Downs.
Women queued at 5am, for a sale at Messrs P.W.Will’s where prices and coupon values were reduced on a large stock of feminine garments.
Forty young people from Holland had arrived in Rushden for an eleven day visit, organised through the World Friendship Organisation. They arrived on Rushden’s one‑coach push‑pull train.
Anxiety in Rushden concerning the condition of Rushden Hall, the Elizabethan mansion in the town’s principal park, was relieved by action on the part of the Urban Council. It ordered repairs to the roof over the entrance hall and adjacent rooms.
The Dutch visitors enjoyed a tourists’ day at Stratford-on‑Avon.
One of the Dutch visitors walked to Ditchford with the aid of a map. His host had told him all about the famous, if mythical, treacle mines.
Three members of the Rushden Hospitality Organisation, Miss M.Neal, Mrs Young and Mrs R.Lawrence accompanied fifty‑three Dutch visitors, who travelled in two buses, to London. They had their first experience of the tube and were thrilled by the trains and escalators. They travelled on the Underground from Regents Park and went through Kings Cross.
A County Cricket Championship match at Rushden, between Northamptonshire and Derbyshire, ended in a seven wickets win for Derbyshire. The Rushden wicket was not in keeping with the town’s enthusiastic support of the match. Dust rose from the wicket as soon as the bowlers got busy and it became apparent that the top layer was crumbling.
A 3ft 2ins snake, believed to be of the adder species, was killed at Rushden sewerage works. A workman caught it with a scythe while moving.
Most of the Rushden young people, whose holiday in Holland was cancelled at a day’s notice, rode on the same bus that was to have carried them on the first stage of their continental expedition. They left Birch’s coach station, with their luggage, but their destination was Weston-super‑Mare. There was great disappointment when the WFA cancelled all holidays abroad. Last minute re‑arrangements by the leaders, Mrs M.Neal and Mrs E.Young, had ensured a two weeks’ holiday.
Rushden Town players, old and new, had been getting down to some training in readiness for the 194748 football season.
‘Stonehurst’, on Rushden High Street, was still in ‘splints’ after war damage nearly seven years before. It was hoped it would soon be restored. Owned by Messrs Phipps & Co of Northampton, it was at first said to be beyond repair after bombs had exploded nearby in October 1940.
The new Rushden Salvation Army Citadel would be the group of buildings occupied for more than half a century by Congregationalists. Adjt.E.Hilditch, of the Rushden Corps, took possession of the keys. The Salvationists, leaving their Queen Street Citadel, would worship there for the first time on October 11th.
Messrs George Selwood & Co, boot manufacturers, held their annual outing, and a four and half hours trip on the Thames, from Goring to Henley-on‑Thames, was the chief feature.
Ernest C.Jacques, the thirty three year old Rushden Pilot who flew an Anson aircraft 350 miles in an attempt to make artificial rain, returned to Blackbush airfield without producing a man‑made deluge. The Anson was loaded with 2 cwt of pulverised dry ice (solidified carbon dioxide) which was to be ejected through a chute into the midst of a deep woolly cumulus cloud, essential to the experiment.
A temporary school was opened in the Boot and Shoe School building in Rushden for 51 scholars in the 14+ age group.
The suggestion was made to the Boundary Commission that Wymington might be transferred from Bedfordshire to Northamptonshire. It was recommended by Rushden UC.
At their first AGM, members of Rushden Operatic Society heard details of “The Three Musketeers”, the big Drury Lane production, chosen as their next show.
Rushden’s biggest post-war reconstruction job had just been completed. All coal gas used in Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds came from a new plant which had taken two years to build at a cost of £95,000. Mr Tom Watson, the engineer and manager, to the Company, took up an iron rod and removed a plug for a peep through a sight‑hole to show a “Rushden Echo and Argus” reporter. He saw the incandescence and felt some of it too.
At a meeting of Rushden UC, it was agreed that complete repair of the front span of the roof at Rushden Hall should take place as ‘patch-work’ repairs were impracticable. Mr Marshall Sisson, an architect, had inspected the Hall and produced a report. Cllr Fred Green said the condition of the Hall represented “a serious problem for some time to come”.
Rushden Town defeated Wellingborough by three goals to nil at the Dog & Duck ground, Wellingborough, in an FA Cup match.
Twenty-five council houses on the Higham Road estate had been completed and occupied, and twelve more were nearing completion.
An important step towards a one‑way system, north to south, was taken, against strong opposition, at Rushden Council’s meeting. ‘Mr Cobbler’, referring to the traffic problems of Rushden said, “there may be a chance to revise the present plan when the proposed by‑pass comes into being. I seem to remember that planners have a wonderful scheme for developing a route from the southern end of Duck Street to the junction of High Street and Station Road”.
Britain’s new euphonium champion was Mr George W.Sayer of Rushden Temperance Band. He won the championship medal and £50 at Central Hall Westminster. Mr Williams Scholes, who became conductor of the Temps, was there with other friends, most of them colleagues from the Temperance Band. The champion lived at 6 Station Road, Rushden, and was a clicker in the employment of Messrs Sanders & Sanders, boot manufacturers.
The Salvation Army moved to its new Citadel after a historic march through the town, down the hill from its old Queen Street Citadel. The Rushden SA Corps was founded sixty years ago and General Booth once visited Rushden.
Work had commenced on a completely new operator’s box, which would make Rushden Ritz one of the most modern and well-equipped cinemas in the Midlands. The new Westrex system went into operation about two weeks after.
Members of Rushden Youth Group inaugurated a swing club at a meeting. The fans listened to ‘swing’ records played on a radiogram and gave criticisms.
In the women’s ward at Rushden House Sanatorium, needlework and knitting kept patients occupied through the long bed‑weary hours. Rug‑making was the priority occupation of the men. Patients were cheerful in the home‑like atmosphere. The Sanatorium had been open for about twenty years.
Members of Rushden Salvation Army Corps brought along gifts of money to the new Citadel, contributing towards the cost of the building. Some went so far as to give a whole week’s earnings.
Ald G.S.Lindgren MP, in a letter to Rushden Home Hospital General Committee, said “I sincerely hope the work on the scheme for conversion will begin in the near future”. It was agreed that the lift should go up to the second floor.
Mounted on an illuminated document, the cheque representing Rushden and Higham Ferrers’ gift of £7,468.1s.1d to the nation for the purchase of Spitfires in 1940, was presented to Rushden Council to hang in the Council Chamber.
A few flags made their appearance in the High Street at Rushden, principally on the Council Buildings and shops, on the occasion of the Royal Wedding.
Rushden Athletic Club representatives visited the Shaftesbury Home at Hinwick, to donate a latest model five‑valve wireless receiver. Eleven boys had achieved their exclusive rights to “Dick Barton”, a universal favourite on the air each evening.
A gas crisis was not far off at Rushden, and only a staggered washing day may save more serious trouble in the future. Mr Tom Watson, manager and engineer to Rushden District Gas Company, said “that the Monday morning load is becoming exceptionally heavy due to an extra domestic load and the heating that is put on in factories, offices and shops, when people return from the weekend. There has been no failure in the gas supply but there could have to be reduction in pressure”.
The driver of one of Messrs Birch’s buses, was fined £4 and ordered to pay £1.17s.10d costs on a charge of driving without care and attention. His licence was endorsed. When driving near a stationary vehicle having its wheel changed, he had swerved to miss some cows and scraped a car.
Passers-by were startled when the frame fell out of a third-storey window over the office occupied by John L.Wilson, in Rushden High Street, scattering glass in all directions. Although the High Street was crowded there were no casualties.
Rushden’s one‑coach train continued chugging on. Puffing and blowing, pushing or pulling, eleven times a day the ‘express’ struggled into Rushden.
A letter to the Editor of the local weekly paper “expressed another voice to the growing chorus of protest, which was demanding, in the name of freedom, that the “Daily Worker” [a Communist newspaper] should be given its rightful place among the other national dailies in Rushden Library”. The writer felt that Rushden Council had continued to delay, by six months, a decision whether to include it in the Reading Room.
It was reported that H.E.Bates, the local‑born author who got some of his inspiration whilst fishing, still got all his fishing tackle from Rushden.
Estimated to cost £3,848, a footpath scheme for the Higham Road council estate was adopted, subject to Ministry of Health approval, by Rushden Council. Trees were to be planted in the wider sections of the paths.
There was a sudden and sharp disagreement between Rushden and Higham Ferrers Councils about boundary proposals on which they had previously agreed in 1944.
Forty young volunteers were speeding up the Christmas Mail at Rushden Post Office where experienced hands prophesied a record Christmas.