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1992 Survey
Roberts Street
Roberts Street
Roberts Street taken from Oswald Road c2012


A small group of RDHS members has undertaken to make a detailed study of the architectural and historical features of all the Victorian and Edwardian streets in Rushden. Since it first began in August, the Group has made a start with recording information concerning several streets, but any other members of the Society with a similar interest would be very welcome to join, as the task is immense and is expected to take some considerable time to complete.

The following is an historical record made recently by one of the Group members, Derek Martin. It gives an excellent idea of the type of research which can be developed and we are indebted to Derek for his diligence in producing this record.

Roberts Street is situated parallel between Grove Road, and Newton Road with Oswald Road at its east end and Denmark Road at its west end.
the factory
Robinson Bros. factory in 2007

The land it stands on was, in 1872 known as Crabb's Close, and was part of the Manton Estate.

The oldest building is the shoe factory situated on the junction with Grove Road, and was owned by Eli Robinson, shoe manufacturer.

In 1891 they purchased from an Ann Roberts of Irthlingborough, (who had purchased it in 1872 from Mary Manton), two building plots on which, near the end of the 19th century, William Packwood, builder of Rushden, built 2 semi-detached houses with stable at the rear, for Walter and George Edward, the two sons of Eli. These houses are now numbers 10 & 12 Roberts Street. In between these houses and the factory are four terraced houses, which originally housed workers at the factory.

Photos taken in 2015
12 + 10 12 back to the factory
Nos 12 + 10
Nos 12 - 10 - 8 - 6 - 4 - 2 and the Factory beyond

Photo taken in 2015
20 + 18 + 16
Nos 20 - 18 - 16
Before and after the Second World War there were three shops in the street. The first was a sweet shop, now number 18, which was owned by a Miss Pratt; a grocery and tobacconist, now number 4, owned by Mabel Bailey; and a general greengrocery shop, now number 1.

All these houses have now reverted to dwelling premises.

Roberts Street consists of 43 terraced houses and 6 semi-detached houses. The builders of these houses were Messrs W. Packwood, G. E. Bayes, and R. Marriott, all of Rushden. Most of the terraced houses originally consisted of two large rooms downstairs, a kitchen and attached wash-house or workroom, small coalbarn and outside toilet. Upstairs were two moderate sized bedrooms and one small bedroom. Some of these houses have small front gardens whilst others face direct onto the pavement. All have reasonable back gardens, typical of the majority of pre Second World War houses in Rushden.

From research it would appear that Roberts Street has been renumbered on two occasions -- once at the beginning of the century and again in 1952.

The houses are built with red brick, probably manufactured at the Raunds brickworks, and some are decorated with lines of yellow bricks.

At 10:20p.m. on Tuesday, 19th November 1940, tragedy struck Roberts Street. A lone German bomber dropped one solitary bomb of unknown weight between Newton Road and the centre of the north side of Roberts Street.

This resulted in the deaths of four adults and one child. [only 3 adults have been confirmed in 2015]

Sixteen houses were completely demolished.

Afterwards the land was cleared and six Nissen huts were erected to house the American troops who eventually were stationed in Rushden.

Around 1950, after the war, four semi-detached Police houses were erected on the site and three are still occupied by Police Officers.

Photo taken in 2015
Police Houses
The Police Houses that replaced the bombed houses
A Blue Plaque was unveiled on 19th November 2015

D. H. Martin, November 1992

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