From the Advertiser archives - December 27 edition

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In the news 100, 50 and 25 years ago

100 years ago

December 28, 1912

Mugby Junction: Charles Dickens’s connection with Rugby Station:

As this year saw the centenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, who was born on February 7th 1812, it is hoped that the following article will be found of interest to a few at least of our readers who love their Dickens.

“I am a boy at Mugby. That’s about what I am... I am the Boy at what is called The Refreshment Room at Mugby Junction and what’s proudest boast is that is never refreshed a mortal being....”

It is said that his description of the Railway Refreshment Room of that time was a perfectly true one and that it caused a great improvement to be afterwards made.

Mr and Mrs Wetherby were then in charge of the refreshment rooms and I am told that a reply to Dickens’ charges was published, in which his story was held up in ridicule.

‘Mugby Junction’ appeared in the extra Christmas number of ‘All the Year Round’ for 1866, a journal conducted for some years by Charles Dickens.

50 years ago

December 28, 1962

Snow came a day too late to give Rugby a white Christmas, but sharp frosts and biting winds combined to make the holiday the coldest since records began here 83 years ago.

On Christmas day the shade temperature rose no higher than 28 degs F to give the coldest Christmas day ever recorded in Rugby. The previous lowest was 30 degs F in 1890.

The Christmas morning minimum of 18 degs F was four degrees colder than last year.

The mean temperature for the three days of the holiday was 24.7 degs F.

Snow which fell during Boxing Day amounted inn the town area to about three inches and caused a crop of minor accidents through skidding on the ice-bound roads, but although ambulance men and hospital staffs were kept busy patching up minor injuries, no one was seriously hurt.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Rugby Coun and Mrs JL Slelhorn and their 14 years old daughter Jean toured the hospitals on Christmas morning.

The day before they visited the ambulance depot in Temple Street.

25 years ago

December 24, 1987

Up to 3,500 Rugby telephone users had their numbers changed last week when British Telecom brought new high-tech equipment into operation.

From last Thursday, all four-digit numbers starting with two, three or four, have the pre-fix 54.

All five digit numbers beginning 65 now start with the number 5.

Telecom exchange modernisation manager Betsy James said the new digital equipment would be faster and reduce the number of technical problems experienced by customers such as wrong numbers and poor line quality.

The equipment completes the first stage of a phased programme of modernisation which aims to transfer all Rugby numbers to the new system by the end of 1989.

# Thousands of toys, a record for the Advertiser’s pre-Christmas appeal are now on their way to homes in the town.

Eva Aldridge, who con-ordinated it for Rugby Volunteer Bureau said: “The response from the people of Rugby has been truly magnificent.”