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The Rushden Echo, 6th January, 1922, transcribed by Gill Hollis, 2008
A Rushden District Earthquake

Shock Felt In East Northants And North Bedfordshire
Weird Nocturnal Experiences - “A Rumbling Like A Heavy Goods Train.”

   The Rushden, Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough and Wellingborough district was startled on Thursday week by the shock of an earthquake.  A representative of the “Rushden Echo” has interviewed people in a wide area, stretching from Burton Latimer southwards as far as Wymington and Podington, and the villages around Wellingborough and Rushden, and all agree that the shock was felt at about 10.50 on Thursday night.

  The shock was felt, not only at Rushden and Wellingborough, but also at Hinwick, Podington, Wymington, Sharnbrook, Wollaston, Burton Latimer, and other places in East Northants and North Bedfordshire.  Some of the people in the Burton Latimer district attributed the vibration that was felt to an explosion in one or other of the mines in the neighbourhood;  but inquiries show that nothing of the sort occurred.  In fact, most of the mines are lying idle.

  At Bozeat the earth tremor was very distinctly felt, also at Earls Barton.

  One gentleman at Wellingborough says that at his house the sensation was that of some heavy vehicle running against the front of his dwelling, but as his residence stands some distance from the road he knew that was impossible.

  Quite a number of people left their rooms and went into those occupied by children under the impression that the youngsters had fallen out of bed.

Rushden and Higham Ferrers

appear to have been visited only lightly, but our representative has talked with several people who very distinctly felt the tremors.  “ At first, I thought one of the children had fallen out of bed,” said one man, “and I went to look, but could see nothing wrong. Curiously enough, one of the older children said to me next morning, “Dad, did you fall out of bed last night?” One householder, who was sitting downstairs, just preparatory to retiring for the night, says that he felt the tremors, which lasted for five or six seconds, and he noticed that a three-cornered cupboard perceptibly moved.  It is said that the earthquake shook down a stack of wood at Higham Ferrers.

  Wymington, Podington, and Hinwick, judging from the evidence of residents whom our representative has interviewed, had a more serious visitation than had Rushden and Higham Ferrers.  The time of the earthquake shock is variously given as “a quarter-to-eleven,” “about ten minutes to eleven,” and “nearly eleven o’clock” but the slight differences in the clocks would doubtless account for these variations.  The tremors evidently were accompanied by a rumbling noise, “something like a heavy goods train on the railway,” as one inhabitant described it.

  The seismic disturbance was felt at Wellingborough very distinctly.  Mr. G. R. Mather says that he felt the vibration of what he believed to be an earthquake shock.  He was in bed at the time, and though there was no shaking of the bed or house apparent to him he noticed a vibration. At breakfast on Friday morning he related the incident to his wife, and said he should look out for newspaper reports.  He believes the disturbance was that of the slide of

A Geological Fault

  There was a distinct sound as of the crunch of a mass of stone moving.  Such faults are known to exist, if not in Northamptonshire, at any rate just over the border in North Bedfordshire, and Mr. Mather had personal experience when a youth of an earthquake in that locality.

  A lady missionary from India, the daughter of a well-known Wellingborough resident, who is home on leave, felt the shock and says she has not the slightest doubt but that there was an earthquake.

  One Wellingborough resident said the wires of his piano sounded; in another house a glass was shaken from the stand, others say the doors and windows shook, and crockery in the cupboards rattled.

  A shopkeeper in the eastern part of Wellingborough says both he and his wife felt a very distinct shaking of the house and the bed in which they were at the time. Though a very rough wind had been previously blowing, the air was comparatively calm. A noise was heard as of a heavy lorry approaching at a distance, but this suddenly stopped, and then there was a vibration which shook house and bed. The shopkeeper, thinking that possibly someone was trying to break into the premises, got a light and went downstairs to see that all was safe.

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