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Rock Foundation
Youth Club

Tom and Ethel Jane Young

The Rock Foundation

Tom and Ethel Jane Young bought the old Baptist Chapel in Little Street, Rushden in 1960, and converted it into what became The Rock Foundation Youth Club. The name seemed appropriate to Jane, with her strong Christian faith, founded on the Rock of the Church.

The need of young people in the Rushden area to have a safe meeting place where they could gather and share fellowship was met in this building for 40 years.

Beginning with youngsters of the many Rushden churches meeting together after Evening Services, it grew to include any young person who wished to join the many social activities that centred on the Rock building.

Saturday evening folk/country dances, Sunday night discussions, often with an invited speaker, plays were staged, outings enjoyed, and any night would see several young folk just turning up to see who was about and share a coffee.

Several youth groups met under its roof; mainly the Cosmopolitan Club in the Upper Room, and the CYA (Christian Youth Association) downstairs, to play table tennis and loud music. Later the Phoenix Youth Group met in the building.

Foundation of The Trust

In 2000 circumstances forced the sale of the building. The Trustees were most anxious that the buyers retained the outer shell of the historic building. It was sold to a developer who had experience of converting such buildings sympathetically into apartments, constructing nine such in this case.

The proceeds of the sale were invested and the present Trustees use the income generated by the investment for the purposes set out in the original Deeds:

'For the purpose of helping and educating boys and girls through leisure time
activities to
develop their physical, mental and spiritual capacities'

There is no longer a 'Rock Foundation Youth Club' meeting in the building or elsewhere, but the name has been retained for historic reasons and in accordance with Charity Commission requirements.

Young people aged 11-21, living in the local area, or organizers of a group that falls within the criteria, who think that they or their group would benefit from financial help to support their activities are invited to apply for a small grant from The Rock Foundation Youth Club Charity Trust.

Information taken from the leaflet

The Rushden Echo, 27th January 1967, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Foundation to fight council rate demand

The Trustees of Rushden’s Rock Foundation plan to fight Rushden Urban Council’s rate demand for almost £60 even if it means going to court.

the hallChairman of the management committee, Mr. Alan Edge, said they would refuse to pay the rates on principle. “We are a registered charity. We have never paid rates before and we do not intend to pay them now,” he said.

The Rock Foundation Hall, in Little Street, Rushden, is the former Rushden Baptist Church. It was bought as a youth club in 1959-60 by the Rushden Christian Youth Association, which is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.

Mr. Edge said they had never paid rates on the premises before, but this year they had received a rate demand from the council for almost £120.

They had applied for the statutory 50 per cent rate relief which is due to charitable organisations, and the council had granted it.


Mr. Edge said they had then applied to Northampton County Council to pay the remaining rates, but they had referred them to Rushden Council.

An application was made to the council to grant a further relief.

The council can do this under special discretionary powers which it has, but at Wednesday’s meeting the application was turned down.

The reason was if it granted additional relief to the Rock Foundation, a similar concession would have to be given to other charitable organisations.


Mr. Edge said the foundation was used most nights of the week by young people. There were three separate clubs, the Rock Foundation Youth Club, The Judo Club and the Cosmopolitan Club. They each paid a weekly rent to the trustees of about 30s a week. This covered heating, lighting, maintenance and repairs.

“We do not show any profit out of this. In fact we have to organise various money raising activities throughout the year to keep us going,” he said.

“This is the first time we have been asked for rates and it means another 30s a week. We do not plan to ask the clubs to pay an extra 10s a week, because we do not intend to pay this rate demand under any circumstances,” Mr. Edge said. “If necessary the foundation might have to close.”


A lot of people in the town and the county, even the Government in the form of grants, had put a lot of money into the foundation, and Mr. Edge said money was provided for youth work, not paying Rushden Urban Council.

Now the council has turned the request down, Mr. Edge said they would re-appeal to the county council to pay the rates. If that fails they plan to fight the Rushden council.

“We shall fight on principle and the trustees are one hundred per cent behind this decision,” Mr. Edge said.

An attempt was made at Wednesday’s Rushden Urban Council meeting to get the Finance and General Purposes Committee to reconsider the Rock Foundation’s application, but it was heavily defeated.

Mr. C. Faulkner, chairman of the Finance Committee, said he would not like people to think the council was without sympathy for young people and the Rock Foundation.

However, there had been 19 cases involving £500 a year where rates had been reduced by fifty per cent. If they gave additional relief to the Rock Foundation they would have to do the same to the others and it would reduce the rate income considerably.

Mrs. G. Marriott and Mr. R. H. Marriott proposed and seconded that the Finance Committee should reconsider, but they were the only two people who voted for the proposition and it was heavily defeated.

Mrs. Marriott said she thought the Rock Foundation should be considered singularly. She said it provided a very useful service to the town at no cost to the rates.

Mr. Marriott said he thought all charitable organisations should get rate relief – they did in other towns.

Mr. C. Freeman said he thought they should get things in the right perspective. “The youth of today earn good money and with the pocket money they get they should be able to stand on their own feet and not want the best of both worlds.”

The Rushden Echo, 28th July 1967, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Rock foundation fight on for rates relief

Rushden Rock Foundation’s hope for 100 per cent rate relief grant was not approved by Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday night – but the fight is not over yet.

Immediately after the council meeting an obviously disappointed, but not completely discouraged, Mr. A. H. Edge – one of the foundation’s trustees – told the “Echo”: We plan a committee meeting and to ask the Finance and General Purposes Committee to meet the trustees to discuss the foundation.”

The foundation, basically concerned with youth work, already receives a 50 per cent rate relief grant which it is entitled to as a charitable organisation.

The council has the power to grant 100 per cent relief at its own discretion, but so far it never has. The council argues that there are 19 other organisations in the town receiving the 50 per cent cut, and if it made an exception with one it would have to apply to the others.

The foundation argues that it has never paid rates in its 200 year history. The premises in Little Street, although used for youth work for many years, were owned by a religious body so no rates were paid.

The rates the council is demanding amount to £55 a year and Mr. Edge said the foundation could not pay them unless its whole policy was drastically re-arranged.

“I do not think many members know what the Rock Foundation is or how it works, that is why we would like to meet the committee,” Mr. Edge said.

He said the Rock Foundation was a central body but there were four sub-groups using the premises. Each kept its own balance sheet and paid a sub-letting fee. This is a form of subscription.

Mr. Brown, chairman of the committee, told the council that he had every admiration for the foundation and he was sure it was doing a useful job. However, most of its members were in the higher teenage group – some were adults.

There were other organisations in the town able to pay their 50 per cent rates – the Scouts – and he did not think an exception could be made with the foundation.

Mr. A. Goulsbra said the trustees felt strongly about this question as a matter of principal.

He wondered if members knew how the organisation functioned, and he asked the finance committee to consider meeting the trustees.

15th September 1967

Guild hear about Rock Foundation problems

The financial predicament of the Rushden Rock Foundation – which houses two youth groups the Christian Youth Association and its offshoot, the Cosmopolitan Club – was outlined by Mr. Alan Edge, a trustee, at a meeting of Rushden Women’s Co-operative Guild last week.

Mr. Edge, who is also the organisation’s management committee chairman, said the foundation had hoped to be exempted from rate demands for the Rock Foundation Hall, Little Street, but this had not materialised.

He commented: “It seems a pity that 21 years of useful voluntary work must end because an unnecessary straw has finally broken the camel’s back.”

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