|The Rushden Echo, 1st September 1967, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Householders Tired of Living Under Demolition Threat
Co-op Row residents seeking a ‘reprieve’
Residents of Co-operative Row, Rushden, tired of living under the threat of demolition, are to conduct a campaign among themselves to raise money to re-surface the private road outside their homes, in the hope that Rushden Urban Council will grant a reprieve.
Road-way on the Griffith Street side of the cottages
Rumours of demolition have been circulating now for about three years, and two owners, Mrs. J. P. Richardson, of Number 13, and Peter Corbett, of Number 5, feel that if the road was improved the council would consider extending the life of their houses.
The properties are old, but the majority of the 29 houses are in good condition and their owners have spent a great deal of money on improvements and maintenance.
Although there is little that can be faulted in the majority of the houses, the road itself which has been described as “rather like the foothills of Snowdon” is an eyesore.
In bad weather the rain forms gullies up to eight inches deep which have to be crossed by the residents, many of them pensioners, whenever they step out from their garden gate.
Already one pensioner has twisted his ankle on the rough dust and stone surface.
Mr. Corbett told the “Echo” that he intended to get estimates for the work involved in making up the road, and then canvas owners for their support.
Both he and Mrs. Richardson pointed out that there were pensioners living in the row who possibly could not afford to pay their share of the cost, and it was hoped to be able to arrange to subsidise them in some way.
Although the residents have been assured of the support of Rushden South Ward Labour Party in this campaign, the official council position throws a bleaker outlook on the situation.
Mr. H. W. Ellis, public health inspector, told the “Echo” that Co-op Row had once before been reprieved from a five-year demolition programme, and was at present included in the current five-year programme.
“According to the demolition list it shouldn’t be very long,” he said, and explained that if the houses on the list were dealt with in strict rotation Co-op Row would be the third group to be demolished.
He added, however, that the demolition list was not rigid and in the past several groups of houses had been demolished before those destined for immediate clearance.
For the residents who have lived in the row all their lives the move to influence the appearance of the road is a last desperate straw to grasp in a bid to save the only homes they have known.
But before they spend any more money on improvements the council should put an end to this “cliff hanger of Co-op Row” and give the owners a clear idea of their future.