|The Rushden Echo & Argus, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Wartime in Rushden - July 1941
25th July, 1941
Councillor “Ashamed” of Rushden
A warm interlude in which a councillor declared he was ashamed of the town marred Thursday’s winding-up meeting of the Rushden Social Services Effort. In the end, however, differences about the claims of various funds were removed, and a record allocation of £1,250 was made.
Coun. T. W. Cox, J.P., presided over a large attendance and was supported by the hon. Secretaries, Messrs. W. A. E. Sherwood and G. W. Marriott.
The trouble arose after the reading of a list of grants recommended by the Finance Committee.
Unworthy of Object
In a vigorous appeal Coun. W. E. Capon said the £50 proposed for the Boot and Clothing Fund was not worthy of the object at all he was surprised at it being mentioned.
“I cannot see any relevance at all between the £50 and what the fund has done and is doing,” he declared, “We have been helping these children for nearly two years, and we pledged ourselves to clothe and shoe them as occasion requires. Wherever there has been a case of need the committee has done what was necessary, and are we not proud of the fact that to-day these children compare with any of our own?”
“How can we continue on £50?” asked Mr. Capon.
The Chairman said it was the conclusion of the Finance Committee that the fund was fairly well off.
Speaking as secretary of the Boot and Clothing Fund, Mr. W. A. E. Sherwood said there was in impression that under a new Government scheme the evacuee children were well provided for. There was so much waiting for Government help, however, that but for the committee’s work some of the children would be walking about in inadequate clothing.
“I am Ashamed”
Mr. Leslie Miller suggested that the Finance Committee had attached a proviso to the proposed grant of £50, and Mr. Sherwood replied: “There was a proviso that it should be for Rushden children.”
“That is scandalous,” declared Coun. Capon, “and I take strong objection to it. I am ashamed of the town ashamed of it! Never in my 25 years of public experience have I heard anything like it!”
The Chairman said that since the finance meeting he had heard it suggested that the proviso should be removed and he thought that could be done.
“At the inaugural meeting,” said Mr. Robert Denton, “one or two gentlemen were fighting against the fete and thought they could get through without it, but now the time has come they need more.” He thought there had been some misunderstanding about the proviso.
Mr. F. J. Sharwood, C.C., said he could not see why such a proviso should be attached to this particular contribution. If they were going to do it in one case they must do it in all.
Mr. A. Allebone said the question at the financial meeting was whether the local children would be included.
Risk of Fete
Miss D. Hill described the work of the Boot and Clothing Fund, mentioning that about 30 fathers had left for war service during the last week, and their wives would be going to the fund for children’s boots. The evacuees and the natives, she said, were treated alike.
Mr. Sharwood said he had never known a charity that was run on such good lines.
“It has been thrown up,” he continued, “that at the inaugural meeting the fete was opposed. I don’t think that is exactly the right word to use. Some of us thought it was a mistake to hold the fete, but we worked as hard as anybody else. I thought myself that we were running a tremendous risk; thank God it didn’t come off! I don’t think it right for an organisation to suffer financially because some of us held a different opinion from other people.”
The Chairman : It would be wrong for the impression to remain that the £50 has any bearing on the attitude or opinion expressed by anyone at the beginning.
After further discussion Mr. Sharwood proposed a reduction of £50 in the grant to the Clubs’ Fund for the Blind and Crippled Children, enabling increases of £25 to be made to the Boot and Clothing fund and the Rushden Auxiliary of the County Blind Association. Mr. V. B. Page seconded.
“This happens every time,” observed Mr. Harry Rice, the Clubs’ Blind and Crippled Children’s Fund secretary, who pointed out that in years when no town fete was held his fund ran its own fete and relied upon it for an income of about £160. He offered, however, to accept a reduction of £25, instead of £50, on the original proposal of £150.
Coun. Capon suggested that the Hospital Week Committee should accept £175 instead of £200, but the chairman, while not opposing, said the Hospital Week Committee had been very considerate in not asking for more than £200.
Coun. J. Allen said it was a pity that Mr. Capon could not have been present at the Finance Committee meeting to put the information before them.
A compromise was finally arranged by which the Boot and Clothing Fund and County Blind Association each gained £25 at the expense of the Hospital Week Fund and the Clubs’ Blind and Crippled Fund. The allocations, then made unanimously, were as follows : Serving Men’s Parcels Fund £500, Children’s Boot and Clothing Fund £75, Hospital Week Fund £175, Nursing Association £50, After-Care Committee £50, Clubs Blind and Crippled Fund £125, Manfield Hospital £100, County Blind Association (Rushden Auxiliary) £50, Red Cross Fund (Rushden section) £100, St. John Ambulance brigade £10, Boy Scouts £5, Motor Ambulance Association £5, and £1 5s. to each of the four bands.
These made a total of £1,250. Another £12 10s. earmarked for the Red Cross, was handed in as the result of a competition at Messrs. John White’s factories, and it was understood that any further balance would be divided between the Hospital Week Fund and the Red Cross.
The Chairman warmly thanked “everybody who did such grand and great work throughout the effort,” specially mentioning the “marvellous” Entertainments Committee, the Query Motor Club, Lady Nunburnholme and Mr. John White. He also acknowledged the excellent work of Messrs. W. A. E. Sherwood and G. W. Marriott as secretaries.
Of the financial result, he said it was a record and far better than they could have anticipated in these difficult times.
The financial statement showed an income of £1,478 7s. 1d. the larger items including £213 from the Service Queens’ collections, £195 from donations, £118 from the hospital prize draw, £85 from the flag day, £76 from the Query Club dances, £95 from side-shows and competitions, £270 from admission tickets and programmes, and £231 from the Old English Market. Expenditure totalled £230.
Mr. O. A. H. Muxlow, who presented the figures as treasurer, said they had received a bill for £21 0s. 10d. for erecting the platform, and were disputing it with the Urban Council.
The principal officers received hearty thanks on the motion of Coun. Capon, and Mr. Sherwood paid a special tribute to the work of Mr. Harry Rice as entertainment secretary.
25th July, 1941
Rushden’s New Savings Drive
In a campaign throughout September the 149 National Savings Groups at Rushden will aim at doubling their normal rate of saving and adding largely to their membership. Higham Ferrers and Raunds will make similar efforts as soon as possible.
The scheme was worked out at a meeting of the Rushden and District Savings Committee, when Coun. T. W. Cox, J.P. (chairman of the Rushden Urban Council) was elected chairman in succession to Coun. J. Allen.
Half-yearly savings returns were read by Mr. A. Maclean (hon. Secretary). They showed that Messrs. Knight and Lawrence’s group has a 100 per cent. membership; Messrs. John White’s a membership of 1,437 and an average weekly contribution of 4s. 5d. per head; Messrs. A. Sargent and Sons an average of 15s. 6d.; and Messrs. B. Denton and Sons a 97 per cent. membership and an average of 10s. 4d.
The most remarkable record, however, is held by Messrs. Fred Hawkes, Ltd., with a 91 per cent. membership and an average investment of £69 10s. for the half-year, or £2 6s. 6d. per head per week. This firm gives 2s. towards every certificate purchased.
Crabb-street, said Mr. Mclean, held the Rushden street group record, having raised £1,400 in its first year.
Mr. N. J. Deft, Assistant Regional Commissioner, said the Government was aiming at raising another £6,000,000 per week, or £15 per second.
For the Rushden campaign it was agreed to call preliminary meetings of factory and street group secretaries, and to set an objective for each group expressed in terms of war weapons.
It was agreed to seek the help of the W.V.S. in organising new street groups.
Mr. F. F. Poole, B.Sc., of Raunds, described the working of the successful Raunds Savings League and was invited to help in the remodelling of the Rushden league.