|The Rushden Echo, 10th February, 1911, transcribed by Jim Hollis
The Development of Rushden
Important Action by the Urban Council
Mr. John Spencer’s Scheme Adopted - How to Improve Rushden
At the meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council on Wednesday the following resolution was proposed by Mr. John Spencer :-
That a Committee of the whole Council be formed :-
I. To devise the best methods to obtain new industries for the town, and to use every possible means to obtain the same.
II. That the same Committee consider the best means of developing the town and district.
III. That the following questions be relegated to that Committee for immediate consideration :-
1. Petty Sessions for Rushden.
2. County Court for Rushden.
3. General Post Office for Rushden.
4. Motor ‘Bus Service for Rushden.
5. General Market for Rushden.
6. Secondary School and Technical Institute for Rushden.
Mr. Spencer, in moving the resolutions, said he did not wish to suggest that the Council had done nothing in the past or that they had been slow. A few years ago the roads and water supply were bad and the sanitary arrangements were defective, but things were now different. The boot industry had grown to a very large extent, and he thought it was time to try and obtain new industries for the town. Rushden had a number of attractions for those contemplating
Probably no town had better roads, and he did not know of another town with a better water supply. The health of the town was splendid, and the death-rate was equalled by that of few health resorts. Another essential for new industries was plenty of good building land, and in Rushden they had good building land which did not need a lot of expense in excavation. Above all, they had an intelligent and hard-working population, naturally quick. He did not believe there was another town with a more sober, hard-working population than Rushden. Those ought to be inducements to those looking for sites. The town had a population of between 15,000 and 16,000 and within 15 miles there were no less than 350,000 people. Rushden was situated on the main business line between London and the north, and was splendidly situated. They had a comparatively good train service to London, and the service to the north was not bad. The service to the west was bad, but might be remedied. In other towns, development committees had been formed with excellent results, and he thought a committee should be formed for Rushden. If that was done, he suggested that the committee should advertise, get information as to suitable sites and get information from other towns on the subject. With regard to the other improvements suggested, he thought
Rushden was Important Enough
to have Petty Sessions of its own. He was tired of the town being regarded as an appendage to another town. They had a number of gentlemen well qualified to sit on the Bench. They had two of them in their midst, either of whom was well qualified to preside, and he hoped also to see their friend Mr. Bazeley appointed to the Bench. He thought Rushden ought to have a County Court of its own, and be a centre for the district, and that the Post Office should be made a general office. Those three proposals would not need much expense. The other three proposals on the paper were of a different nature and would need careful consideration at the hands of a strong committee. In regard to the suggested motor-bus service, it might be desirable to confer with other local authorities. A general market had been tried before, but perhaps not on the best lines, and he thought it was well worth consideration. Then there was the question Mr. Claridge raised at the meeting of the Education Committee, the question of a secondary school. He thought if Rushden was to take its proper place among the towns of the country they ought to do something in that direction. He did not think enough attention in the matter of technical education had been given to the new industries in the town such as machine construction, etc. In conclusion he thought it was important to look ahead and to try and devise the very best methods of
Developing The Town
in which they lived, so that in the future they should not make blunders through having too little time to consider a question. They made one blunder over the gasworks which they would not have made probably if they had had a longer period to consider it. He had great pleasure in moving the resolution on the agenda. (Applause.)
Mr. Miller seconded, and complimented Mr. Spencer on the way he had brought forward his resolutions. The period of depression was now over and he believed there was a good future before the town. They were better equipped to-day to induce new industries to come to the town, because they had an excellent water supply, which was of the first importance. He did not know whether the Petty Sessions were urgent, because Rushden was practically free from crime. (Laughter.) The County Court, however, would be a great advantage to the tradesmen of the town.
Mr. Bazeley said he had much pleasure in supporting the resolutions, for Mr. Spencer had
No Axe To Grind
in bringing them forward. He thought it very desirable that a committee should be formed. When the delegates to the Shoe Union Conference visited Rushden they highly complimented the town on its cleanliness and on its abundant water supply. There was no doubt that at the present time the workers of the town were too dependent on one industry, and he thought the objects set forth in the resolutions were very desirable.
Mr. Claridge said he was sure they would all wish to do all they could to induce new industries to come to the town. It was unfortunate that they were practically dependent on one industry and he was quite prepared to support the discussion of the matter by the Council in committee. Some of the other proposals were, he thought, impracticable.
The motion was carried unanimously, and the Chairman, Clerk, Mr. Spencer, and Mr. Miller were appointed to convene a meeting of the committee.