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Article & photos by Paul Wright, 2023
Band Clubs
Rushden & Higham

The signage and
(below) inside Higham Band Club
Many people have enjoyed numerous social events at Higham Band Club over the years.

From the bingo games, with tickets at £8 for the full nights 10 games including the Snowball game, tickets went on sale from 8pm, Eyes Down 8.30pm. The tempting smell of the fish and chip suppers, disco nights, and local groups on stage at the weekends. Wedding receptions, and wedding anniversaries, coming of age do’s, even gathering for a funeral wake, with the Ham Tea.

We mention the traditional Ham tea, I suppose there would have been a good chance that Rollie Cox and his catering team would have been doing you proud? When not on the road catering, Rollie ran a very popular cafe in the High Street, at number 45. These days the building is part used by the Oriental Gourmet Buffet.

The Band Club at Higham had two separate bars, one operated as a function room and the other a smaller bar, and the large upstairs room. It used to stand on the corner of Milton Street and Wharf Road.

The cribbage games, and vocally, who dared to get up and sing along with the Karaoke nights? You name it, that was your venue.

Lancaster Homes submitted plans to convert Higham Ferrers Band Club into dwellings with external alterations to provide new windows, doors and 15 off-street car parking spaces. There were several objections to this taking place, although on the flipside, others welcomed the change of use.

Now the future of the Band Club former building in Wharf  Road was well under way to become dwellings at the end of 2021.

Conversion work
Car park at rear

So the Higham Band is no more, and closed in 2020, and just a hundred yards away the Corner Hair Studio has gone, that had sat opposite the Queens Head for several years. Higham Eye Care have taken that space now, they have been in business opposite the Square since 2018.

Entrance to Apartments
Old Band Club Apartments

The former L.C. Drage ladies’ hairdressers became the ever popular Market Square Bakery, and that has changed hands: it had been on the market for around £500,000.

Due to Covid 19 rules and recommendations, customers had been lining up in all weathers outside, to get into the limited space inside the shop.

Higham still has several pubs, the Green Dragon, Queens Head, the Griffin, the Carriage House. But the former Swan under the recent name of Joe’s bar, is now on the market in early 2023.

The Higham Working Men’s club (WMC), is still going in Westfields Terrace, as is the Sports and Social club (SAS), in Linnetts Lane.

Many thanks for the kind permission and shots from members etc, much appreciated.

But sadly the Higham Band Club is another memory for so many people, but spare a few thoughts, each time you pass it by, and think back to your particular time spent there over the years.

If you venture over the hill from Higham into Rushden, you can find their Band Club at 76/78 Station Road, phone 01933-312587.

This is their new home, in what was the Lancaster Club, after moving from Manton Road following an electrical fire in 2006.

New Club
The Rushden Band Club moved temporarily into the old Lancaster Club in Station Road, but after being denied the chance to rebuild on the original site, they have now made this their permanent home.

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