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Ann Cooper, 2005
Mr. W. T. L. Flood - Rushden Musician

About 10 years ago, I bought three books of oratorio scores, 2 for Elijah and the other, Samson. Flicking through, I noticed that they had belonged to a Mr. Flood. One of the Elijah scores had a presentation dedication on the fly leaf:-
Presented to
Bro. W. T. L. Flood
by the Morning Star Tent No. 35.
in recognition of Services rendered as
D.R, C.R, & P.C.R. for the years
1913. 1914 & 1915
Signed on behalf of the Tent.
F. Noble. C.R.
C. White. Secretary
This intrigued me and I wanted to know more about this gentleman.

I eventually found a programme of Rushden Park Road Baptist Church for excerpts from Samson and thought I was on the right track, but this man was not mentioned. Time went by and a box of papers came into my hands and among them was a cutting from the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph dated December 3. 1949:-

COLLAPSED AT CHOIR PRACTICE - Mr. W. T. L. Flood of Rushden.

A few hours after he had received the keys to the new organ console at Rushden Park Road Baptist Church on Friday, the deputy choir master, Mr. Wm. Thomas Lloyd Flood collapsed at the choir practice. He was taken home and died later.

Church members to-day spoke of the way in which Mr. Flood had spent hours watching the organ being renovated. The choir were meeting to practice a special anthem for the opening ceremony.

Well known in local musical circles, Mr. Flood who was 74, came to Rushden when he was about 7 or 8 with the late W. J. Tompkins and lived for years with the late Mr. Bernard Tompkins at the Manse in Park Road.

As a youth he attended the Grammar School at Higham and was employed by Messrs. John Cave and Sons before the great fire.

For many years he was on the staff of Messrs. Fred Knight., of Park Road and afterwards became the Rushden Public Assistance Officer. Always a keen musician, he was for over 20 years choir master and organist at Rushden Independent Wesleyan Church and for part of that time was also deputy choir master at Rushden Park Road Baptist Church. During the war he was choir master at the Park Road Church while Mr. John Days was serving in the army.

From 1918 to 1934 Mr. Flood was secretary of Rushden Choral Society. He was always willing to assist at any musical function in the town.

Mr. Flood was also a keen supporter of the Baptist Recreation Club. In his youth he was well known as a left-hand bat and more recently he was often seen on the bowling green.

He also held high position in the Independent Order of Rechabites, and was, earlier interested in the Band of Hope Union. The widow, Mrs. Clara Elizabeth Flood, lost her brother, Mr. Eli Groome, just over a week ago and recently suffered two accidents.

A son Mr. Ewart Flood, is a school master in Ilford. Mr. Flood lived at 42, Queen Street. Rushden.

Rechabite: Member of a teetotal benefits society, (the Independent Order of Rechabites) founded in 1835, and so named from Rechab, who enjoined his family to abstain from wine and dwell intents. (Jeremiah 35. 6-7.)

In the Census of 1901, he was a foreman in a shoe factory, lodging in Queen Street with Mr and Mrs. George Wrench and three other lodgers. I now know a bit about this gentleman, I hope it interests you too. A.C.

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