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Duck Street
Sometime Water Lane, and Duke Street

We only have few house numbers for Duck Street — so if you can identify
your ancestor's house, we'd be pleased to hear from you.

The Brook ran close to many properties in Duck Street — it was culverted in 1970s.

Map 1926
Duck Street is marked red

A turn of the century view c1900 of the junction into Carnegie Street

Corner of College Street, Standard Rotary Works built here in 1902

The premises in Duck Street
An early photograph of Sargent's in a similar place ...............
... corner of Church-street and Duck-street, about 9 a.m. 28 Oct 1903

Photos courtesy of the late Colin Bryant's Collection

This series of photos show many of the old buildings,
and we have seen no other photos of some of them.

There is also a sketch by the late Arthur Mantle,
who was the Schools Attendance Officer in the 1890s.

The corner of W'boro Rd - formerly Colson's, then Adult School
Right: in the 1920s Mr Frank Ward lived here. It was near the
corner and faced Church Street. The end gable can be seen
to the left in the picture below

Courtesy of Clive Wood

View back to Wellingborough Road junction - with entrance to these Cottages known as Farm Yard.
The back of the Almshouses in Wellingborough Road - built in 1883 - can just be seen, far right.
These cottages had corrugated tin roofs
and another view of the same cottages
The corner with Fitzwilliam Street
unidentified..... as yet! Please can you help?
Painting by Arthur Mantle showing the brook
long before it was culverted
view from Fitzwilliam Street with Totectors in the distance
and shop (right) next to Hollis'

Extract from Council Meeting Feb 1936:

Houses Unfit - Owners to Meet Council

  Under the Housing Act, 1930, Nos. 69, 71, 73 and 75, Duck-street, were reported as being unfit for human habitation.  Mr. Perkins and Dr. Greenfield were asked to inspect No. 29, Duck-street.

  Mr. Perkins explained: “We have to recommend the demolition of some houses, and the owners are requested to meet the committee.”

Rushden Echo, 1st January 1909

Boot Repairs – Send your repairs to H Lilley, 78 Duck-street, Rushden. Patches neatly done by Singers’ Sewing Machine.

Duck-street 1953
1953 - one of the bottle-necks about which Rushden Duck Street residents
are complaining in view of the council's proposal to turn the waste ground
on right of picture into a car park.

Duck Street car park
Rushden Echo, 30th October 1959

Hidden away by trees and fencing for many years, this land adjacent to the north end of Duck Street, Rushden, will shortly be a public car park and the answer to problems created for motorists by the town’s new traffic scheme. It should be popular because of its close proximity to High Street - seen (right) at the top of the rise.

stone cottages
Workshop properties at Wellingborough Road end c1969
2007 - old stone cottages - Hollis' right

M B Cave's workshop
M B Cave had used this building prior to its demolition

Walter Sargent's factory
In Duck Street between Wellingborough Road and College Street there were several cottages.

On the diagonally opposite corner to Sargent's a closing room for
Ralph Tarry's shoe factory
was built c1960.

If you have any photographs of this area, to share with us, we'd be pleased to take copies.
Sargent's factory on the corner of College Street, later
George Warner's, and then R W Norman's workshop.
James Sargent's carriage hire
was also in Duck Street

cottages cottages
Row of cottages end on to Duck Street opposite Walter Sargent's factory,
demolished in the early 1950s, now replaced by the toilet block in the car park.
The row sketched below right :-

James Sargent's? cottages
Three sketches by E G Wood

Top left: Duck Street - thought to be James Sargent's premises

Above: Cottages opposite Sargent's factory, end on to the street

Left: Scanthorp, a former Manor House

No 48 Duck Street Railway Inn
48 Duck Street - sometime Bert Wells' shop.
In the distance left - a former billiard hall - became the office of Bignells, and later Wilkins & Denton.
Junction with High Street - c1970 with the Duck Street road sign on the wall
of the Railway Inn

adjoining site cleared
Rebuilding boundary wall but undated
Adjoining site cleared

Came to us in 2023 with this note on the back:

The row of cottages on the west side and almost at a right angle to Duck Street backing on to Bignells offices that once stood on the corner of Carnegie Street. Imperial House now on the site.

Photo by Gerald Sanders - summer 1952.

The Rushden Echo, 17th January 1969, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Damp Brings Health Risk for Families

Mrs Perry and her children
Mrs Perry & Michael 4, Joanne 6 weeks and John 3.
Last July’s floods in Rushden have left their mark – literally. Three houses in Duck Street are suffering damp which the residents claim is the result of the floods.
This week an “Echo” reporter visited the three houses and was told how wallpaper was dropping off the wallin one case, and how one resident, Mrs. Catherine Perry, of 89 Duck Street, has to wipe mildew off her living room wall every few days.

Mrs. Perry, who is 24, and her 27-year-old husband Brian, have almost completely redecorated the living room since the floodsin July. They have put new carpets, curtains and wall paper in the room, but now they say damp threatens even these.

She said: “The wallpaper is coming off and when the children (they have three youngsters) touch it, it just peels off.” Her youngest child is only six weeks old. “She has had a terrible cough ever since she came out of hospital,” said Mrs. Perry, “and the other children have had running noses.”

They spent £150 on new fittings after the floods, and Mrs. Perry added, the damp is not doing them any good.


Mrs Robins
Mrs E Robins of 91 Duck Street, wipes damp off her front room wall.
Next door to Mrs. Perry live Mr. and Mrs. Hedley Robins, and Mrs. Robins’ father 89-year-old Mr. Albert Adams. Mrs. Robins said their house suffered badly in the floods with everything from their new car to their carpets being damaged.

Mrs. Robins said: “My father has lived here for 53 years and has never seen anything like this before. I have lived here all my life and I have never seen it like this.”

When asked whether the damp affected anyone’s health in the home, Mrs. Robins said that ever since the floods her father had had bronchitis.

Marks of damp are all over the ground floor of the house, slowly creeping up the walls. She said that they had spent over £200 on new fittings, and in the living room which had new wallpaper, the damp is just seeping through.

Mrs. Robins said: “The council are not interested. My husband has been to see them and has written to them.”


At number 93 where Mrs. Anita Holyoak runs a nursery for young children, she said the skirting boards had to be removed because of the damp.

Wallpaper was taken off because, said Mrs Holyoak: “You no sooner touch the wall and the paper comes off.”

However her husband, Raymond, has taken advantage of the damage caused by the floods to clear out and redecorate some of the rooms. While doing so he has installed a damp course in the rooms.

Mr. H. W. Ellis, Rushden Urban Council Public Health Inspector, said that if residents had complaints about damp in their homes they should contact the council to put their case.

He added that he had given residents advice at the time of the floods as to how to deal with damp.

John Cave & Son, shoe manufacturers, had a sports ground on the corner of Duck Street, where it turns up to join the High Street (car park).

Opposite were Wilkins & Denton's offices and factory, demolished about 2000, and "Imperial Court", a sheltered housing complex was built on the site in 2001.

Imperial House Imperial Court
Previously a billiard hall, it was offices of Bignell's Ltd in the 1940s.
Imperial House, was the office block for Wilkins and Denton
until about 1992, making "Totectors" in the factory behind.
Imperial Court built in 2001 on the same site is a block of
retirement flats. The residents have a range of services
within the building, including assistance if/when required - 2008

Imperial Court was opened in March 2001 and offers assisted living for the residents.
It is supported by Extra Care Charitable Trust, who have a fund raising shop in High Street.

Eric Fowell, 2007

Imperial House in Duck Street had formerly been a billiard hall; it was built in the early 1930’s by Mr D. E. Mitchell (possibly from Kettering). It was bought by Bignells Ltd in 1937, who remained there until 1962. Wilson & Partners sold it in November 1963 for £7,000, when it became the offices of Wilkins & Denton and in 1974 they renamed it “Totector House”. Their two main factories were in Station Road, but there was an alleyway leading from the back of the offices, at the bottom of Carnegie Street, alongside one of the factories to its main entrance in Station Road. The black iron gate beyond the office was into Horrell’s shoe factory, and this was also taken over by Totectors later on.

This unit was built by R Tarry & Co. in 1962 at the Fitzwilliam Street corner, as an extension of works for their factory (opposite). It was used as a closing room.

After the decline in shoe making, it was next used as a retail centre for factory 'seconds' shoes, then by various retailers for discounted goods. In 2007 as 'Rockbottom Discount', and 2012 as a gym and fitness centre.

the new closing room
Built 1962 - picture taken in 2007

Old cobbles at the junction with High Street and the wider view

The sign on the house points "To the Sports"

From Victoria Road looking down Duck Street in 1966.
Traffic was still two-way in Duck Street and this was taken
to show the dozen road signs visible from the spot!

At the entrance to the Splash Pool car park today........ c1970

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