RUSHDEN town centre may soon be losing one of its last reminders of rural life. The old blacksmith's in Rushden High Street South and the three cottages by its side are probably going to have to make way for offices.
Double yellow lines and heavy traffic helped push blacksmith Jim Guinee away from his business in the centre of Rushden. He now works at Yelden.
He is selling his Rushden premises and it now looks as though a bulldozer will be finishing off one of the town's most ancient landmarks.
Mr. Adam Ginns founded the blacksimth's in 1870 and Mr. Guinee bought the business from the family 18 years ago.
Mr. Guinee, who said the buildings are in a bad condition, believes they were built between 1600 and 1700. "The gabling has collapsed and it would cost a lot of money to put the buildings in good condition," he said.
He estimated that renovations would cost up to £20.000. "It really was the last of that kind of work in that area, but you can't stop progress," he said.
"Mr. Guinee said he had planning permission for offices and he has had offers from several prospective buyers. The buildings' future should be known in a few weeks.
Mr. A. Wilson, secretary of Rushden South Ward Labour Party, said he has informed the Labour group of Rushden Urban Council of his party's concern for the future of the buildings. "The blacksmith's trade is an important rural craft which has now been lost to the town," he said. "Another piece of old Rushden will be disappearing."