From the archives, September 9 2011

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Looking back 25, 50 and 100 years.

September 11 1986

ROVERS Return regular Ken Barlow left his street troubles behind to open a revamped Rugby amusement hall.

The Coronation Street star William Roache took time off a busy schedule to greet eager autograph hunters at Shipleys Bingo and Amusement Centre.

The soap star sat for more than an hour chatting with fans and divulging behind-the-scenes gossip to the crowds.

Surrounded by a flock of friendly fans he confessed that Rugby people were warm and welcoming. He said: “I was born in the Midlands myself. I think they’re the best, the salt of the earth,” he said.

When the last signature seeker left he joked, “I think they’ve come to see if I’ve got a wooden leg and a wig.”

Philip Clayton, manager of Shipleys, said: “We cater for the middle aged housewife who would normally be sitting at home alone.”

The company bought the shop premises next door to give extra floor space before the arcade received its face lift earlier this year.

September 8 1961

AN OFF duty police officer, PC Harris, who tackled a house fire at 7 Montrose Road, Rugby, stopped the outbreak from reaching greater proportions.

He used buckets of water and removed furniture from the property. It was the home of Mr Herbert Rogers, a lecturer at the Rugby College of Engineering Technology.

PC Harris observed smoke and flames from the home and jumped over a garden fence. He attempted to contain the outbreak by using bowls and buckets of water until the firemen arrived. Mr Harris removed furniture and also by his efforts prevented the blaze from spreading into the bathroom, front bedroom and landing. It is believed the cause of the outbreak was an electrical short circuit in the bedroom. The brigade was engaged for over one and a half hours. Station officer CR Mann, of Rugby Station of Warwickshire Fire Brigade praised the police officer for his “invaluable assistance”. He said: “The prompt and public spirited actions of PC Harris prevented much more extensive damage.”

September 6 1911

A MR Jonathan Gilbert, of Blandford House, Rugby, attained his 80th birthday on September 6th. His career in Rugby had been interesting and instructive. He came to the town from Leicester in 1848 by Midland Railway. The third class carriages in those days had no top covering and the wooden seats were fixed all round. They were commonly called tubs. He came from humble parentage to go as an apprentice, and he commenced business in Church Street 60 years ago. He bought his first property in Church Street 49 years ago and has owned property in the middle of Leicester for 42 years. He is also a shareholder in both the Rugby Gas and Town Hall companies. Among Mr Gilbert’s many recollections are the following – he was in London Great Exhibition in 1851 and saw the late Mr Gilbert, St Matthews Street, with exhibits of his celebrated rugby footballs. He has witnessed Queen Victoria open Parliament and saw the Derby run in 1863. His health is generally good but of late he has suffered from rheumatism.