|Rushden Echo, 13th July 1928, transcribed by Kay Collins
A High Pavement at Rushden
Councillors Move to Make it Safe New members Clash with the Old
At the meeting of the Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday, in accordance with notice given at the previous meeting, Mr Perkins moved that the Highways Committee prepare a plan and estimate of a fence for the high pavement in High-street South. He said that at the last meeting he was informed that the matter had been before the Council on several previous occasions. As the town got bigger they had more money to find for many things, but was it wise to neglect those things which had been shelved? It would have been done years ago if it could have been done cheaply. The height of the pavement from the road was about 5ft., and children played on it. The alternative was amongst the traffic on the road. ’Buses stood alongside the pavement, reducing the walking space. If he lived near, he would ask to petition the Council to make the pavement safe.
Mr Tysoe seconded.
Mr Claridge said he would like Mr Perkins and Mr Tysoe to say how it was to be improved. He could not see how it would be done.
Mr Tom Wilmott said he thought the Council were going to hear something, but they were no nearer.
Mr A Wilmott: If money would make it safe for children, the committee would look at it. We don’t know how to make it safe. Children will climb from the pavement if it is fenced. I remember that wall 30 years ago, and I only know of one accident, a perambulator running off. The pavement is 12ft. wide.
Mr Tysoe: I don’t think we should be expected to bring a laid-out plan scientifically drawn up to bear out our proposition, as Mr Wilmott and Mr Claridge suggest. Nor should they expect us to show a detailed system of safety. If the thing is a danger, if one child during the whole of its life-time should run over the side, then the subject is worth discussing. I feel on this Councilexcuse me complaining, Mr Chairman, Mr Claridge, Mr Wilmott, and friendsif a man sits here and offers suggestions, we don’t want it thrust down our throats. We want to feel that we are here to discuss Counbcil business sincerely and in the right spirit. If we think that
Something Should Be Done
for the benefit of the inhabitants of Rushden, I do feel that if I ask a question it is looked upon as if I am taking up the time of the Council. If Mr Perkins wants to propose something for the safety of the town and I second it, I want it to be in a spirit of unanimity. It is easy and practicable to make the pavement safe. There is practically nothing impossible in this world so long as we put brains and work into it.
Mr Tom Wilmott: I am sorry Mr Tysoe took it in this light. Mr Perkins said we had had this before us several times. “Then,” he said, “I will bring it forward again.” I just said what we knew and asked if Mr Perkins or Mr Tysoe had anything tangible to offer.
Mr A Wilmott: I have lived there for 30 years and had the factory there for 17 years. There was only one slight accident all the time. At present I could not support the proposal. We have so many propositions, so many things needed for the good of the town. If a fence is put up, it will look unsightly, and I think there will be more accidents. I don’t think this is urgent at all. There are scored of improvements needed, and when you have only £5 to spend and no more to lay out you must be careful.
Mr Spencer supported the resolution, not, he said, to commit the Council to large expense, but to have the point considered again.
Mr Richardson said the chief danger was with children playing with balls.
Replying to the discussion, Mr Perkins said it would be presuming too much, when there were experts on the committee, to offer them a scheme, but he thought there might be a dwarf wall and a small railing on top. If the boys climbed, it would be their fault. At any rate the Council would be protecting little ones who were too weak to climb the fence. The question must not be shelved indefinitely. He personally would not allow a child to take a perambulator on the pavement. To wait until an accident had happened was not right.
The resolution was carried.