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Village Green
The village green opposite the Church was where the village pound stood.
Later the stocks were also there, and it was often used for public meetings.

Also on the Green once stood the Round House and a stone building used as a chapel.
Courtesy of the late Colin Bryant's Collection
village green wall
pre 1891 - Village Green with stone wall
The Memorial, Green & Church in 1891
Temperance Memorial, Green & Church in 1891
It became the Garden of Remembrance when the
War Memorial was built there in 1921.

The Green in about 1910. Note the steps on the right up to the Wheatsheaf Inn.
Also the churchyard wall is well out into the road.
The shops in the background are now Peter Crisp's Department Store (2009).

These are a few of the events held there.

Wellingborough News, January 24th, 1880


Mr. J. Benton


on Thursday, January 29, 1880,

a quantity of


Sale to commence at 1.30.

Poster for meetings in 1879

Wellingborough & Kettering News, August 21st, 1880, transcribed by Kay Collins

LECTURE—On Thursday evening, an open-air lecture was given on the Green by Mr. W. Mart, of Derby, agent to the Alliance, the subject being, "The effect of the late election on temperance legislation". Mr. E. Knight presided, and there was a large attendance. The usual votes of thanks were passed.

Wellingborough & Kettering News, April 16th, 1881, transcribed by Kay Collins

BAND ENTERTAINMENT—On Saturday last an entertainment was given by the Rushden Temperance Brass Band, assisted by the Wellingborough Congregational Brass Band. The members of these bands played round the village, after which a public tea was provided in the Temperance Hall and was well attended. The bands assembled on the Village Green after tea,... ... click here for the full report

Wellingborough & Kettering News, December 3rd, 1881, transcribed by Kay Collins

To be sold by Auction, by
J. J. Coulbeck,

ON the Green, on Friday, December 16th, 1881,

(without reserve), a large quantity of red and Petersburgh whitewood
Oak and best Pine Boards.

Sale to commence at Twelve o'clock prompt.
4, South View, London-road, Peterborough.

Wellingborough News, 1st July 1882, transcribed by Kay Collins

LECTUREOn Friday evening the Temperance Brass Band paraded the town, and assembled on the Green, where a temperance lecture was delivered by Mr. W. Bell, of London. Mr. E. Knight presided, and there was a good attendance.

Wellingborough News, 3rd June 1887, transcribed by Kay Collins

RUSHDEN TEMPERANCE SOCIETY—The annual demonstration of the above Society took place on Monday last. A public meeting was held on the Green in the afternoon, at which addresses were delivered by the veteran temperance worker and children's favourite, Mr. N. Smith of Thrapston; the Rev. W. J. Tomkins, and Mr. Chas. Pollard, Kettering. Led by a portion of the Temperance Band, the members of the various Bands of Hope paraded the village, after which they were regaled with tea and cake in the Public Hall. A public tea for adults afterwards took place in the same building, at the conclusion of which an adjournment was made to "Nippendale," where the usual out-door pastimes were indulged in.

Notes from and article 1889 - A drinking fountain was installed by the Temperance Society, and new walls around the green were built thanks to the sale of the village pound for £40.

Extract from his obituary: An old feature of Rushden, of which the late Mr. Clarke Smith often spoke interestingly was the town stocks, which used to stand on the Green. One amusing incident he has related was of the punishment of a local offender by placing him in the stocks all night for using obscene language. The rising generation at that time, not content with allowing the sinner to have such an easy time, prodded him with hat pins, for which they were treated to a string of horrible vituperation, than which nothing could have suited them better!

In July 1890 - Paul Cave, waywarden, applied to the council for planning permission to erect a fence around the village green. (see oddments at end of council plans listing)

The Rushden Echo, 20th May 1898, transcribed by Kay Collins

AL FRESCO CONCERTThe Rushden Temperance Band gave a very enjoyable concert on the Green, on Sunday afternoon. Mr. H. Baker conducted efficiently, and the concert was very much appreciated by a large audience. The programme was:- March, "Constellation," "Rousseau's Dream"; selection, "Meyerbeer"; selection, "La Favorita": cornet solo "The Holy City:" chorus, "Lift up your heads."

09 May 1902 - Northampton Mercury

Urban Council Meeting (extract)
The Surveyor was requested to prepare a report for the next meeting as to the construction of public lavatories at a site on the Green, and at the same time to submit an approximate cost. see also Index of Council Meetings

Arthur Robinson's fruit and vegetable stall on the Green.
The Green c1905 looking towards High Street South.
The Coach and Horses on the right.

Rushden Echo, 30th June 1905, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Temperance Band gave another of their popular open-air concerts on Monday evening on the Green. Mr C H Baker conducted with his well-known ability, and the large audience keenly enjoyed the programme.

Rushden Echo, 23rd July 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

An open-air service on the Green on Sunday evening was addressed by the Rev. P. J. Richards, Vicar of St. Peter’s. The Rev. W. Pelham, curate of St. Mary’s, read the prayers and Mr. G. Miller, C.A., read the lesson. The Rev. P. Robson, Rector of St. Mary’s, was unable to be present through indisposition. Miss Hanger presided at the organ.

Rushden Echo, 12th December 1919

T E Rattley, fish merchant, of 174 Wellingborough-road, Rushden, will have a stall on the Green, Rushden, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from 8.30am to 1 o’clock. Good selection of wet and dry fish at lowest possible prices.

Extract from agolden wedding report 1922: Mr. Ginns has many interesting recollections of the Rushden of bygone years. He remembers, for example, the planting of the famous old chestnut tree on the Green, which was removed before the War Memorial was erected, and the construction of portions of the Midland main line.

From the note books of J.E.Smith

Rushden – Chapel Yard
Mr Lewis (one of our Council men) told me on Wednesday, May 25, 1927 that old Jeremiah Wood who used to keep a donkey and cart lived in the Chapel yard at the corner of the Green near Mr Knight’s the barber. Wood used to attend Wellingborough Market and do errands for people, so you see in those days he was a prominent useful man. I well remember the old small Barn which became a Chapel, also a carpenters shop. I knew the building from March 1873 when I first came through Rushden to play at Souldrop Church. I cannot say what year it was pulled down and do not remember ever going in it as I had no time when I went through. Joseph Enos Smith

Old Barn, turned into a Chapel, School, Carpenters Shop, Primitive Chapel and Leather Warehouse, once called the Old Glory Shop which stood on the corner of the “Green” so Mr Fred Corby says. Also that he went school in the building when Mrs Wagstaffe kept it. He also told me that Mr Michael Mason’s house was built with stone and thatched, it stood opposite the “Waggon & Horses Inn” and near (now) 1927 to corner of Griffith St at the bottom of Dr Davis’s Lawn. I well remember it when I went through Rushden to Souldrop. J. E. Smith

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 21st January 1955, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Part of the ‘Spotlight on Rushden’ series

Night Life Centred On The Green
The Green, Rushden’s focal point which now looks so formal with the war memorial and neat gardens, was once a centre of town night life.

On Saturday evenings flickering naphtha flares hung over stalls from which tradesmen cried their wares. Crowds drifted down to The Green to stand about and chat after the week’s work was done.

All sorts of appetising snacks were served from the stalls. What was better, on a cold night, than a slice of bread and a hot sausage for a penny? Or a saucer of stewed pears?

Rushden in those days might almost have set the scene for “The Village Blacksmith.” Not only was there a spreading chestnut tree and a forge at The Green, but the smith Mr. Ginns, sang in the church choir for over fifty years.

c1960 c1925
The corner of the Green, and road junction with signpost. Facing is Skinner's butchers and the outbuildings (right) c1960
This postcard of The Green is from about 1925.
Claridge's shoe factory is almost hidden behind the trees

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