From the Archives, January 19 edition

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From the Advertiser archives, looking back 25, 50 and 100 years.

100 years ago

January 19 1912

FROM New Year’s Day the telephone system became the property of the Government instead of that of the National Telephone Company. The local Telephone Exchange in Little Church Street will continue for the present to be used heretofore, though the probability is that the system may be worked from the Post Office in the near future. This would, perhaps, be more advantageous to callers at the Exchange than the present offices are.

It may be interesting to note that the Telephone Exchange was first opened in Rugby on January 6 1898 – just 14 years ago. The want of it had been felt for some time previously, but the National Telephone Company could not see their way to establishing exchanges in small towns unless they got at least 20 subscribers to begin with. At the opening there were 32, of whom only 16 are now on the list.

The first phone in Rugby was erected by a gentleman named Shoolbred, who placed one between his residence in Albert Street and that of his groom in James Street in 1882.

50 years ago

January 16 1962

LETTERS to the editor: I would like to state with regard to your report on Rugby’s snow clearing effort that I for one am thoroughly disgusted with it, being half hearted and apparently poorly organised.

It would appear that there is quite a lack of equipment to deal with it. I suggest that instead of wasting money on unnecessary trees, it be spent on necessary snow-clearing. Learn from Northampton Town Council – they know how to deal with it, before it happens again.

HJ Miller, Mellor Road, Rugby.

TWO pensioners living alone, one a late resident to the district, and not at the moment in very good health, feel very grateful for the kindness shown to us by our friends and neighbours. We have had gifts of food etc. even to the extent of preparing our meals so that we only had to cook them.

Actions speak so much louder than words, especially at this time of year. It is nice to meet with so much kindness in one’s neighbours instead of complaints.

Gert and Daisy

25 years ago

January 22 1987

MORE than 50 angry telephone engineers mounted an all-out strike this week over suspended Rugby workers. Union officials warned that if the strike continued telephone services – including 999 calls – would break down. The industrial action is part of a national dispute between British Telecom management and BT engineers over the 1986 pay offer. Rugby workers have been picketing the town’s Somers Road depot and the telephone exchange in James Street since Monday. National Communications Union Coventry branch secretary Fred Cooper said 56 men were suspended during their overtime ban, for refusing to do extra work. “The effect of the strike will be catastrophic,” said Mr Cooper. “We have withdrawn our emergency cover and we feel terrible about it. It seems to be an irresponsible action for the management,” he said. British Telecom’s marketing manager for the central midlands district, Robert Sabin, said the company’s wage offer of five per cent included changes suitable for the new working practices.