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Article transcribed by Sally Crane

Burton Latimer in 1961

The following article appeared in an unidentified local paper on December 19th 1961, in the "Burton Latimer Notes" column written by "Simon Straight".

In its review of events in the town in 1961 and a discussion of issues for 1962, it gives a good snapshot of life in the town at that period, and for that reason it is reproduced here.

I wonder what 1962 is going to bring to Burton Latimer?  Whatever it is I wish you all every happiness in the New Year and lots of luck.

Nineteen hundred and sixty one has certainly been a year of change and development in the town, and many of these upheavals will go on into the New Year providing plenty more talking points.

The latest suggestion to demolish cottages between the Duke’s Arms public house and Burton Band Club  - in High Street – to provide for the proper development of the Latimer Close area is typical of the change that has come over Burton’s appearance.

Bulldozers and machinery have appeared on the Bridle Road allotments pushing new roads across the area in preparation for the Meadow View Estate; twenty brand new old people’s bungalows have sprung up during the year in St. Crispin Close, near Bakehouse Lane; the Parish Church has been besieged by workmen restoring the timeworn and ravaged timbers.

There has been a change of personalities in the town too.  The new Burton Latimer Baptist minister, the Rev. Leslie Jell, moved to the town with his wife and small daughter, and a new Church Army Captain, Mr. R.J. Deniss, was appointed in succession to Capt. J.P. Cook, who left the town to join a Teachers’ Training College.

Two of the town’s biggest manufacturers have also hit the headlines during the year – the Coles Group with their new safety scooter boots, and Alumasc Limited with their works extensions and their up-to-date sports pavilion which opened early in 1961.

A special money raiser during the year, in addition to the annual bazaars, sales and Gala Day efforts, was the King George Jubilee Trust Fund appeal, in which the town’s youth organisations showed how they could work together in harmony and really make their presence felt.

Talking points during the year have been the town’s continued efforts to secure its own Secondary Modern School, the enormous development plan devised for the centre of Burton Latimer, the Parish Church’s Stewardship Campaign, the advent of the Bingo Club to the town, the removal of the War Memorial to make way for road improvements and the subsequent County Council proposals to build a county-long by-pass for the A6 which would affect Burton Latimer.

And what of the future?  Well one thing that has to be decided is the future of the town’s Gala Day.  Is there going to be a concentrated effort in the summer, or will the Charities Committee have to rely on lots of small efforts throughout the year for their funds?

Will there be a caravan site in Station Road?  Or will the county council’s claim that it would spoil the view over so called open Ise valley be successful?

Will the Christian Stewardship campaign be successful?  Or will the prejudice against it that seems to exist in many of the town’s homes prevail?

Well there it is.  No matter how one guesses no one knows exactly what 1962 is going to bring. But it should be a very interesting year!

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