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Original newspaper article from the Kettering Leader in the 1960s transcribed by Sarah Gilbert
Additional information by Roger Drage

Impromptu Redevelopment

The aftermath of the destruction of the cottages in 1910
The destroyed cottages
The "Salt Box" refers to the simple forward-sloping roof they had

‘Destroyed by women, 1910’

This incident should be seen in the context of the period of social change in the early 20th century. The old order was coming under challenge, not least from women. This was the time of the Suffragette movement, with the radical actions which sometimes accompanied it. According to local accounts, the woman holding the child is Mrs Brooks, who organised this piece of affirmative action.

Original Article c.1968:

Before long workmen will be moving into Croxen’s Yard, Burton Latimer, to pull down all the old houses there. Back in 1910 women did the job.

This is the second time in history that this area has been called a slum.

At a meeting of Burton Latimer Council in November 1910, a Mr. Harris complained that the buildings were unsafe.

The women of the town acted on this. Taking the matter into their own hands they banded together to pull down the old houses.

In their long and heavy skirts and with their children standing near out of harm’s way, mothers pulled down their old homes so that more modern ones could be erected.

Was this an outburst by the women of the town to get something done about the yard? Had the council been putting off and putting off any moves to get rid of the houses? Is this a case where the women decided to do something for themselves to see that right was done?

These are the questions provoked by an old stained photograph owned by Mrs. K. Burrows, chairman of Burton Latimer Urban Council.

It shows women and children standing amid the ruins of what were houses. Written across the print is “Salt Box Ruins, Croxen’s Yard, Burton Latimer. Destroyed by women. November 1910.”

One can imagine the women getting fed up with waiting and deciding to get on with the job themselves. Red tape must have been in force in those days.

But the questions remain, What is the full story and what happened to bring about this minor revolution to the usually quiet Burton Latimer?

Do you know?

Map of 1905 showing location of destroyed cottages
The location of the cottages as shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1905.

The Infants School which now occupies the site was apparently built from the stone of the destroyed cottages.

Click here to read a newspaper article about the earlier history of this problem site

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