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Rushden Urban Council Building
1907 postcard
1907 postcard

The Rushden Echo, 4th August 1905, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Municipal Buildings for Rushden - Local Government Board’s Delay

At the meeting of the Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday, the following letter was received from the Local Government Board:-

July 27, 1905.

I am directed by the Local Government Board to advert to the application of the Urban Council of Rushden for sanction to borrow £2,500 in respect to their amended scheme for the provision of a Council Chamber and offices; and, referring to your letter of the 27th March last –

Mr. Ballard: Four months since we wrote!

I am to state that the Board are unable to give their decision upon the application until they have been furnished with priced bills and quantities or a detailed estimate under the various trades. As the scheme and the lump sum estimate submitted were prepared by the Council’s surveyor, the Board would have thought that a more detailed estimate could be prepared by him without involving any large expenditure.

The Board are further of opinion that with a view to verifying the accuracy of the estimate it will be well for the Council to obtain tenders for the erection of the building.

With regard to the sanitary accommodation the Board direct me to return the drawings and to request that details of the proposals for providing a second lavatory may be shown on them.

I am to add that the Board cannot give any formal direction under Article vi. of their order of June 12th, until the net purchase money is in the treasurer’s hands, and the proposals as regards the provision of a Council Chamber and offices have been approved by them. But the Board see no objection to the terms of sale of the Vestry Hall being such as to suit the circumstances of the case, including the need for the Urban District Council retaining occupation of the premises for some time further.

Further, if the above-mentioned proposals are approved, the Board will probably offer no objection to the sale proceeds being utilised in aid of the cost of the new building.

After sundry caustic comments on the delay of the Local Government Board in replying to the Council’s letters-

Mr. Claridge asked what loan the L.G.B. would sanction.

The Clerk: Probably all the cost.

Mr. Ballard: For how long?

The Clerk: I should say for 30 years.

With regard to the question of tenders, some of the Councillors said that, if the L.G.B. kept them for another four months before replying, some of the contractors might refuse to carry out the contracts.

It was decided to give the information asked for.

The building was designed by William Madin, and was opened in 1906

The plan drawn by Mr William Madin

The building
The building today

The external features of the building remain as they were designed by William Madin in 1906.

The balcony was used for public announcements and for election results to be declared.

Today it is still used by the council but much of the administration is done from offices in Rushden Hall, or at the District Council offices in Thrapston.

A Tourist Information Office and a Memorial to employees of the Co-op who lost their lives in WWII, are in the reception area, where the corridor from the main hall was in 1906. The store and Surveyor's private office are now the joint access with the library. [2008]

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 27th February 1953, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Extension to Council Buildings - Opening ceremony at Rushden

The Mayor of Higham Ferrers (Mr. John White) paid tribute to the service which Councillor Joseph Allen (chairman of Rushden U.D.C.) has rendered to the council as a member for nearly 30 years at a luncheon last Saturday celebrating the completion of extensions to Rushden Council Buildings which have cost £4,500.

Mr. Allen, said Mr. White who proposed the toast to “The Urban District of Rushden” had carried out his work with ability and dignity. During his period of service many outstanding achievements had been accomplished and in addition to these visual indications of progress the council was responsible for a vast amount of unseen administrative work which had increased in recent years by reason of Government controls.

Housing has been the main pre-occupation in recent years and would undoubtedly be so for some years to come.

Congratulating the council upon acquiring the fine offices they had inspected during the morning, Mr. White said perhaps in the not too distant future he would be able to come along with plans by an eminent architect for improvements to his firm’s premises which would be more in keeping with the town centre.

Waverley Hall

Replying to the toast, Councillor Allen reminisced on the earlier days of Rushden Council and associated with them memories of the hall in which they were meeting – the old Public Hall re-opened on Saturday for public functions in the name of the Waverley Hall.

“It has played a great part in the history of the town” he went on, “and it will be an amenity which the town will very much profit by in future.”

Coun. A. Allebone proposed “The Visitors” and Ald. H. R. Patenall, Higham Ferrers, responded, County Ald. C. G. Faulkner proposed “The Ladies”, and in replying Coun. A. U. Muxlow said she was proud that there were now four women working together on the council. “In local government” she added, “there is a promising field for women’s work.” Coun. Frank Brown was toastmaster.

Before the lunch guests inspected the extensions at the Council Buildings.

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