The death of Mr. William Beresford Madin, civil engineer, of The Limes, Rushden, takes from the town one of the most valued officials and genial personalities Rushden has ever known. The news of the death caused great regret throughout the district. Mr. Madin was unable to attend the meeting on Monday week of the Rushden Water Board, but it was regarded as only an indisposition. On Saturday morning Mr. Madin felt so much better that he started to get up. However, he was persuaded to get back into bed and, to the shock of his relatives, he shortly after passed away from heart failure.
Mr. Madin would have been 60 years of age had he lived another month. He was a native of Chesterfield. After he had finished his articles Mr. Madin went to America and there he gained valuable experience. He returned and received the appointment of Assistant Surveyor at Leek (Staffordshire) staying there eight years. He was a Member of the Institution of Municipal and County Engineers.
Within a month of thirty years ago, in 1897 Mr. Madin was appointed Surveyor to the Rushden Urban Council. During the first few years the new officer had a big problem in the sanitation of the town. Under his direction attempts were made to improve the town’s water supply, borings being made in likely parts of the district. His skilled advice was invaluable when the Council undertook the great scheme of a water supply from Sywell. His appointment as Engineer and Surveyor to the Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board, which was formed to carry out the scheme, was a very wise one for the interests of the people of Rushden and district. The scheme was carried out under Act of Parliament by a firm of engineers in Kent, with whom Mr. Madin worked in close consultation taking over the technical control from them on the completion of the scheme. He knew to perfection the whole system what were its possibilities and what its limitations. He knew the natural resources from which the water was drawn, practically every inch of the huge storage reservoir, filter-beds, plant and mains. Acting on his advice, the Water Board has always been wisely led on the technical questions which have arisen. He has been quick to make correct deductions from the workings of the scheme, and in that respect he has frequently saved the Board loss. A projected visit to Sywell by the Board and officials on Monday was cancelled owing to the death of the Surveyor.
In his larger and more general duties of Surveyor to the Rushden Council Mr. Madin has proved himself over and over again to be an extremely efficient officer. His monument is to be found in most parts of the town. There are few streets in Rushden that do not reflect his ability to plan, construct and maintain the public highways and footpaths. In that respect he always
and its possible needs. He was the architect for the very fine premises in Newton Road the Rushden Council Buildings, the Free Library and the Fire Station. He was also the architect for the 41 houses in King’s Road erected before the war, for the 38 Council houses erected under the 1923 Act, and for the 84 houses erected in Irchester Road under the Wheatley Act. Mr. Madin had prepared the plans for the 52 houses for which tenders have been invited and which are to be built on the Irchester Road site. The whole planning of the Irchester Road estate was done by Mr. Madin.
The splendid scheme for an open-air bath in Rushden has been prepared and brought to the stage of readiness for the contractors by Mr. Madin. He had also prepared other schemes for indoor baths for comparison.
Other works of his which have greatly added to the attraction of the town include the Garden of Remembrance (as the Green has been termed since the War Memorial has been there) which is one of the prettiest town spots for many miles around, and the setting back of the church wall opposite several years ago. The two oases at the Little Street and Bedford Road junction and at the junction of Washbrook Road and High Street were designed by Mr. Madin. Had he lived long enough there is no doubt that he would have left his mark on still more of the town in the way of wise planning.
In Mr. Madin the man was always bigger than the official. While he was fully and completely in touch with his many duties and had to meet a host of people throughout the day, he instantly became a most entertaining conversationalist in the hours of leisure amongst friends and acquaintances. No one filling the position which he has held for so long and with such distinction could have been more just. He never allowed any one householder or property-owner to get any favour over and above others, and if such people thought they could gain by approaching the authority over Mr. Madin’s head they invariably found that the Surveyor’s impartiality was vindicated. One of the most likeable characteristics about Mr. Madin was that he was very approachable. Better still, one was always sure of a cordial greeting and of getting the assistance that Mr. Madin could give.
In former years Mr. Madin had been a fairly regular attendant at St. Peter’s Church but he had not been there for some considerable time before his death. He took a great interest in the life of St. Peter’s, so much so that he had received and had at one time entertained approaches regarding the sale by him to the officials of the Church of The Limes as a vicarage for St. Peter’s. The project, however, did not materialise.
Mr. Madin was a widower, his wife having died ten years ago. He leaves three daughters (one of whom is a doctor) and one son. Mr. Madin, jun. is Clerk to the Tipton Council and also has a private practice in the town. The late Mrs. Madin was Miss Louisa S.R. Kinnison and was a native of Butterstone, Perthshire.
In the presence of a large number of representatives of public bodies, friends and other sympathisers, the funeral took place on Wednesday. A service was conducted at St. Peter’s Church by the Vicar (the Rev. P. Barwell Spriggs), assisted by the Rector of St. Mary’s (the Rev. P.E. Robson, R.D.) Mr. W.P. Jolley officiated at the organ and before the service gave sympathetic renderings of the piece ‘Blest are the Departed’ (from Spohr’s ‘Last Judgment’) and ‘Largo in G’ (Handel). After the opening sentences had been pronounced by the Vicar Psalm 23 was repeated. Mr. Robson read the lesson from 1 Cor. xv. 20-58. The congregation sang the hymn ‘Jesu, Lover of my soul,’ and ‘Rock of Ages.’ As the cortege left the church Mr. Jolley feelingly played ‘O rest in the Lord’ (from ‘Elijah’) and ‘Marche Funebre’ (Chopin). The interment took place at the cemetery, in the grave where Mrs. Madin was buried. Both clergymen took part in the service at the graveside.
The family mourners were Mr. Kenneth W. Madin (son), Dr. and Mrs. Smith of Cannock (son-in-law and daughter), Miss Mary B. Madin, Miss Margaret L.K. Madin (daughters), Mr. and Mrs. Rupert Madin, of Chesterfield, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Madin, of Irthlingborough (brothers and sisters-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Kinnison, of Leek, Mr. and Mrs. Mackay, of Ayr (brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law), Mr. Andrew Kinnison, of Leeds (brother-in-law), Mrs. J. Davidson and Mr. Mackenzie Davidson, of Leeds (sister-in-law and nephew), Dr. Muriset and Mrs. Fountain of Rushden.
The Rushden Urban Council was represented by Messrs. J. Hornsby, J.P. (chairman), F. Corby (vice-chairman), T.F.B. Newberry, J. Roe, A. Allebone, C. Claridge, W.C. Tarry, J. Allen, F. Knight, J.P., G.W. Coles, J.P., T. Swindall, C.W. Horrell, C.A., L. Perkins, M.B.E., W. Bazeley, J.P., and C. Bates (members), G.S. Mason (Clerk), F.S.F. Piper (Sanitary Inspector), H. Lack (Rates Clerk), F.C. Woodward (Rate Collector), and J.W. Lloyd (Acting Surveyor). The members of the staff at the Council Buildings were Messrs. G.S. Turner, B.J. Gould and H.N. Ginns (Surveyor’s department), L. Fennel (rates department), and F.W. Linnitt (sanitary department). There were also the park caretakers (Mr. A. Bell and Mr. A. Neal), Mr. H. Roe (road foreman), Mr. E. Robinson (farm manager), Mr. G. Sabey (cemetery caretaker), and Mr. J. Hazeldine (caretaker of the Council Buildings and the Free Library). The Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board were represented by the chaitman (Alderman T. Patenall), Alderman J.H. Johnson, and Messrs. W.L. Beetenson (Assistant Clerk), W. Holford (Sywell reservoir manager), H. Payne (Rushden water inspector), and W. Ward(Irchester water inspector). The Rushden Master Builders’ Association representatives were Messrs. T. Wilmott (president), J. Tomlin, W.G. Wilmott, R. Marriott, H. Wilmott, W. Wilmott, L. Clark (for Mr. A. Sanders, secretary, who was out of town), W. Packwood, sen., F. Lilley, F.E. Preston and H. Adnitt.
Others present were Mr. J.S, Clipson (Rushden Free Library Committee), Mr. B. Vorley, Mr. A. Gadsby, Mrs. Waring (members of the Wellingborough Board of Guardians), Mr. F. Green, Mr. W.B. Sanders (School Managers), Mr. T.E. Wigginton (secretary of the Rushden Co-operative Society), Mr. T.C. Percival (Ministry of Labour), Mr. D.K. Kingston (director of the Excelsior Patent Stone Co., Ltd.), Major Haugh (Surveyor, Kettering Urban Council), Mr. J.F. Day (Deputy Surveyor, Kettering ), Mr. A.E. Lloyd (Surveyor, Higham Ferrers Town Council), Mr. J.W. Watts (Woolaston Parish Council), Mr. W.C. Small, A.M.I.E.E. (resident engineer of the Rushden District Electric Supply Company), Mr. C.W. Wing (partner of Messrs. Simpson and Mason), Mr. J.S. Mason, Mr. A.T. Watson, Mr. T. Whitby, Mr. H.O. Robinson, Mr. H. Tye, jun., Mr. H. Tomlin, Mr. R. Tusting, Mr. Beale, Mr. A. Wilmott, Mr. F. Webb, Mr. W. Ginns, Mr. W.H. Darnell, and Mr. J.F. Cook. The Rushden Council and Board employees attended in a body.
There were wreaths from Alec and Nance; Mary, Kenneth and Meg; John and Annie; Edwin and Nance; Rupert and Florrie; Dr. and Mrs. Muriset; Officials and office staff of the Rushden Urban District Council; Messrs. W. Thompson and Sons Ltd., Mrs Fountain and family; Mr. and Mrs. J.S. Clipson and family; Employees of the R.U.D.C. and the Water Board; Rushden Master Builders Association; H. Roe, E. Robinson, G. Sabey and H. Payne; Members of the Rushden Urban District Council; Maggie, Joe and family; E. and C. Pack; Manager and employees of the Higham Ferrers and RushdenWater Board at Sywell works.
Messrs. T. Swindall and Sons were the undertakers.
There were many signs of mourning during the time of the funeral. The flag on the Council Buildings had been flown at half-mast from Saturday and on Wednesday afternoon Council work was suspended. The offices of Messrs. Simpson and Mason were closed, and practically all the blinds of houses and other premises on the route from the church to the cemetery were lowered, as were blinds in other parts of the town.