In the news 100, 50 and 25 years ago
100 years ago
November 2, 1912
Elsie Maud, laundress, was charged on remand with stealing 42 handkerchiefs, value £1 1s, the property of Mary Anna Cleaver, at Rugby.
The prosecutrix said she lived at 28 Caldecott Street and was a laundry proprietor.
Inspector Lines received from Mrs Pettitt, 3 Warwick Street (where the defendant had lodged) the handkerchiefs produced, which prosecutrix had identified as her property of that of her customers.
Defendant said: “Yes, I stole them from Miss Cleaver’s and I am very sorry I took them.”
Defendant elected to be dealt with by the Bench and pleaded guilty.
Inspector Lines said he had previously cautioned defendant about stealing.
In reply to the Chairman, the defendant said she was now living with her parents in Byfield.
The Chairman said they were very sorry to do it, but there as no alternative to sending her to prison for one moth in the second division.
They hoped it would be such a lesson to her that she would come out a different character.
50 years ago
Off ‘like a bomb’ - gatehouse wrecked. Two hurt in New Bilton explosion.
Gas seeping into the building from a main in Lawford Road caused an explosion early on Friday morning which wrecked the gatehouse of the Rugby Portland Cement Works, seriously injuring two Rugby men.
Six other men in another part of the building escaped with a severe shaking.
Before the pall of dust raised by the explosion had begun to settle, colleagues working nearby rushed to the stricken building and began clawing at the rubble under which their two workmates were buried.
Shortly before the explosion at 8.30am men working near the building had reported a smell of gas to the gas board, but before any further action could be taken the building ‘went up with a roar’. One man described it as ‘like a bomb going off’.
Bricks, slates and splintered woodwork were flung up to 50 yards across Lawford Road.
A gas board spokesman said: “Gas leaking from a nearly eight inch main had built up to form an explosive mixture which in some way had become ignited.”
25 years ago
October 29, 1987
Rugby’s Brotherhood Hall is to be sold off after more than 50 years serving the community.
The hall, which is used by dozens of local charities and churches has been virtually stripped bare by thieves.
Mr Ernest Proffitt, the only Brotherhood trustee left in Rugby, said he was “inflamed” by the thefts.
“The hall has been cannibalised. It’s impossible to carry on.
“This is very sad for me. The hall is in a pretty bad mess. These thefts are devilish,” he told the Advertiser.
The hall, which has stood on the Gas Street site since 1802, was already facing an uncertain future because of a massive supermarket plan for the James Street area.
But the recent thefts mean the hall is to be put on the market - whether or not the plans are approved.
Mr Proffitt said the Rugby branch of the Brotherhood, which once attracted 300 people to Sunday afternoon meetings, has dwindled down to just himself as a trustee.
The Brotherhood bought the hall in 1932 for £1,200.