From the archives August 4

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August 31 1911

LETTER to the editor: It was reported in newspapers last week that thousands of fish had been poisoned in the Thames. County councils and district councils are having tonnes of tar places in the road surfaces near the Thames. The road surfaces are also covered with waste petrol from passing motors in many parts of the country. The petrol and tar do undoubtedly get washed by heavy rain into very many small streams which feed the main rivers. How about the danger to the health of hundreds of thousands of people – per haps millions – supplied with drinking water from the rivers polluted with petrol and tar? The subject is of so much importance that it deserves to be investigated by the Royal Commission.

In these days much is heard, of town planning as to which I make no complaint. Yet is it not far more important, and much more urgent, to give greater attention to the sanitation of existing towns?

It would do much good to demand an inquiry and insisting that pollution to our rivers must be prevented. Yours faithfully, Edwin Durrant

July 28 1961

“I TRIED to dodge round it,” an 80-year-old spinster told a policeman shortly before she died from being hit by a lorry.

The vehicle was reversing out of Rugby Co-operative Society’s yard in Chapel Street on June 2. The unfortunate incident was related to Dr HS Tibbits, Rugby divisional Coroner, who recorded a verdict of accidental death on Miss Gertrude Maud Wake, of 29 Paradise Street, Rugby at a resumed inquest in Rugby on Wednesday. The lorry driver, from Wolverhampton, allowed the coroner to read a statement he gave to the West Midland Police as an alternative to giving direct evidence.

It read: “When I got to the Co-op’s yard another vehicle was parked in the alley and I had to reverse it into the road to get out. I looked to see that the way was clear and could see no one. I had gone about four yards when a hat rolled past my vehicle. Until then I did not realise someone had been hit. I got out and found the woman lying between the front and back wheels. PC Frost said that after the accident Miss Wake told him that she had been trying to avoid the lorry.

August 7 1986

A RELIGIOUS sect wanting to stage a Christian mission in Rugby, may be the same group said to be responsible for luring youngsters away from their families – councillors claimed.

The Jesus Fellowship Church (Baptist) is seeking permission to hold its Marquee Mission at Rugby Recreational Ground for three weeks in September.

Cllr Jack Rowe: “They are in no way connected with the Baptist Church in Rugby, and it would be totally irresponsible to allow them to use council land.”

The group originated at Bugbrooke near Daventry.

Church leader Noel Stanton’s secretary said: “We very much support the family unit and do our utmost to stand against family breakdown.” She said the sect was known as the Jesus People – a name levied at them in criticism but which they decided to adopt.

She added: “We are a radical Christian church and oppose evils in society.”