In the news 100, 50 and 25 years ago
January 24, 1919
An interesting announcement was made at the Rugby Urban District Council meeting on Tuesday that Mrs Arthur James wished to make a gift to Rugby in memory of her late husband and she has decided to erect a new public hall. A site in Albert Street at the corner of James Street has been purchased by Mrs James for this purpose. Her only stipulation is that it should be called the Arthur James Memorial Hall.
January 24, 1969
Rugby had that old familiar flood feeling again this week. The River Avon, which flooded two feet over Parkfield Road in Newbold on Saturday, was in danger of bursting its banks again on Monday. The water was only a foot away from danger level and was still rising after heavy rainfall all day. Areas most affected on Saturday were Newton Lane near St Thomas’s Cross, outside Clifton and in Main Street in Long Itchington.
January 20, 1994
The plug has been pulled on charity radio station Radio Cracker, for the time being. The programme of shows which raised £25,000 for children in third world countries, will not be back on the airwaves for three years. But the fundraising station, manned by Rugby teenagers, will make a comeback. Cracker’s Brenda Shell said: “We will not be running the radio show again, but will still have roadshows, the cafeteria and other events.”
Railway time-keeper inherits £50k in 1919
I picked this story for our January 10 archive, which you might have seen. The inheritance of £50,000 must have been the equivalent of a huge lottery win today, but his interview is so down to earth, it’s lovely.
It says Mr W Allison of East Street, Rugby was a time-keeper in the employ of the L&NW Railway Loco Sheds.
Congratulated by the reporter he said: “Yes, I can do with it. I have had a pretty hard time of it, especially since the sudden death of my wife 18 months ago. I have had a great deal of trouble to contend with, and no I think I shall be able to have a more comfortable time.”
Our representative asked: “I suppose you will give up your work?” Mr Allison smilingly shook his head a said: “Not yet. You must remember I do not come into the money for at least six months and if I give up my work how am I going to live? I am perfectly aware of the fact that there are plenty of people quite willing to advance me money until such time I receive my inheritance; but then if I get into the hands of money-lenders where would my £50,000 be? No, I shall keep at work until I get the money and then I shall look around for a nice pleasant house, and live a life of comfort and ease.
“In another six months’ time money will be very scarce and there should be an opportunity for safe and lucrative investments. I do not think I shall start business. I much prefer a safe and steady income.”
Mr Allison’s youngest child, a bright little girl of about three years old then nestled in her father’s arms and our representative, patting her on the cheek said: “Well little girl, I suppose you do not realise the importance of this news, do you?”
“No, I am afraid she does not”, said her father feelingly. Now there is a prospect of this wealth coming to me I hope to give her a much better time than her father has ever had.”
The inheritance was from his uncle, Thomas Allison, who had emigrated to Australia 30 years before and invested his capital in a cattle ranch. By the time of his death in June 1918 this had grown to a fortune of £100,000. The uncle had never once communicated with his family in England and apparently made no ties in the Antipodes. In about 1915 an advertisement appeared in the News of the World asking his brother (who was then an Excise officer at Trent) or any of his children to communicate with a firm of solicitors in Melbourne. Mr Allison’s attention was attracted to this by a neighbour and he immediately wrote to his sister asking her to get into communication with the solicitors. This she did and nothing further was heard until welcome intelligence arrived on New Year’s Day that by the terms of his will they were to divide between them £100,000.