Nostalgia: Messages from history

Photo courtesy of Stan Clark.
Photo courtesy of Stan Clark.
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I enjoyed reading and seeing the old Daventry radio masts on page 17, in the issue of Thursday, January 15.

For my grandfather Ebenezer, and father Walter Clark both helped to erect these large radio masts during the 1920s, followed by going to Hillmorton near Rugby to erect a second set of large radio masts that at the very tops of them were 850 feet above sea level.

On a clear day one could see as far as The Wash and most of the rivers leading into it.

Even on calm hot days with no wind at ground level, it would be like a howling gale at the tops of these masts, father said erecting them was quite easy, but when it came to painting the metal structure and aerial fittings the wind could blow the paint from off the brush before one could apply it to anything. Father spent the last days of his life in Daventry Hospital on Norton Ward, yet he was contented for during his last days, he could lay and look out from the window on the ward, and see the Masts that he had helped to build, that were still standing at the time.

Grandfather worked for the telegraph company during the late 1800s, as we have photographs of him at work doing so during this period in time.

Father was taught at Bugbrooke School during the early 1900s by Mr Frank Wright who taught all the children to send and receive Morse coded messages on a radio he built with the help of my grandfather.

On the top of the Eiffel Tower in France is a plaque commemorating Mr Frank Wright’s work for sending and receiving messages between Bugbrooke School and other schools in France during this period in time.

A Mrs Pat Kent from Bugbrooke has written a book about Mr Frank Wright and about the work he did with Radios, etc in the late 1800s into the early 1900s, the book is called (A Head of His Time).

Hence Bugbrooke men were in demand for such work that understood radios and aerials, etc.

Here is a photo taken in the late 1800s of my grandfather’s work gang, while working for the telegraph company, Grandfather is first from the right hand side of picture.

Stanley Joseph Clark


News from the past

February 17, 2005

Plans to increase the district council’s council tax demands by 13.7 per cent were thrown into chaos after the Government said it might cap tax increases at 4.9 per cent. DDC was about to set its tax rise when the message came from central government. The district council said the 13.7 per cent rise was necessary to pay for the services it provided, and that limiting the amount it could raise would lead to severe financial problems in just a few years. Council officers said capping the increase to under five per cent would lead to a £1.5 million shortfall in as little as three years.

February 15, 1990

Daventry District Council tenants were outraged to discover they faced a £50 bill if they wanted to put up a satellite dish on the side of their house. The council said it introduced the measure to try to slow the amount of dishes going up on homes across the town. Even those who bought their council homes would still face the charge. DDC said the £50 covered the cost of an engineer checking the dish could be fitted to the property, making sure it was installed properly, and ensuring it was put in the most unobtrusive place possible.

February 14, 1975

Workers from Daventry District Council installed a removable bollard in Arnull Crescent on the town’s Headlands estate to stop unauthorised parking by lorries and coaches near the playing field. The bollard was designed to be removed by council workers whenever they needed access. However, it emerged that rather than unlocking and removing the bollard, at least some council crews were simply driving around the bollard using the pavements and grass verges, something the council’s engineer and surveyor branded as ‘sheer bloody idleness’.