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Arthur Desborough

Arthur Desborough 1914 - 2002
He was a stawart of the Baptist Church and joined several
of their sports teams.
Arthur worked for Northamptonshire Printing and Publishing Co. at 5 Park Road, who were publishing the 'Rushden Echo', as a compositor, and he was 'father of the chapel' or union representative. The company became The East Midlands Printing Company and it moved to the old Coxton's shoe factory in Rectory. Later Arthur went to Bedford to work as a reader with Diemer and Reynolds.

Memories of A E Desborough, handwritten but undated. c1995

Mr Charles Green of Knuston Hall, who was the Park Road Baptist Church treasurer for many years, had the habit of asking the young people of the church who their parents were. When he got to know my name, he used to say “You are Nellie Perkins’ boy, I knew your great-grandfather” and then he would tell me the following story:

'Your great-grandfather Henry Perkins had a small shop and a barn at the back where he made boots and shoes, in High Street South. Being a keen business man he used to visit the camp inhabited by Irish navvies building the tunnel on the railway line between Wymington and Souldrop, to get orders for boots.

On one occasion taking the finished boots back to the camp one of the navvies said he could only pay half of the cost and could he pay the rest when my ancestor visited the camp the next time.

Whereupon my great-grandfather, to make sure he was not going to lose out, said ‘Right you have only half the money, you can have one boot, and you can have the other one is you have the money when I come the next time, and he left the navvy the one boot.'

When my great-grandfather retired he went to live in a large house in North Street, and a cousin of my mother’s, Mr Ted Gilbert took over the business. I can vouch for the shop and workplace at the yard, so near the end of World War I, when Mr Gilbert’s wife died, my father being away in the Army, my mother went for a short time to keep house for Mr Gilbert, and I remember looking out of the barn window on to what was then the Rushden House orchard, seeing the R33 airship fly over as I stood in High Street South, and being taken from there to see them ringing St Mary’s Church bells on Armistice Day.

A E Desborough

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