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Article taken from the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph dated April 29th 1971, transcribed by Raylee Burton.

Rector Hits Out at Wreckers
The Old Rectory at Burton Latimer, seriously wrecked by vandals.

The Old Rectory at Burton Latimer which must now be
demolished after becoming the target for vandals

Town’s fine old buildings are the target in outbreak of vandalism

An historic seventeenth century house faces demolition after being wrecked beyond repair. And today a rector blamed the break down of family life for the growing menace of vandalism. He hit out angrily after vandals had attacked Burton Latimer’s most famous building, the town’s Old Rectory in Church Street, which has become an eyesore.

All the windows have been smashed and floorboards ripped up. Brickwork and plaster has been chipped away by vandals who have scrawled obscene words over the walls. Fittings and lead have been stolen leaving the walls vulnerable to damp. And water has seeped through holes smashed in the roof.

The Rector the Reverend Derek Hole, said: “Many parents go out to work and return at night too tired to bother with children. They just leave them to watch television. Families just don’t seem to talk to each other anymore."

Other unoccupied buildings in Church Street, including an old school and a row of picturesque cottages, have also been damaged in the wave of vandalism. Windows have been smashed and brickwork battered.

“This part of the town has the most character and is the part that we would like to preserve,” said Mr. Hole.


“When I came here in 1967 the house was going to be sold. We had several offers and many people were tempted to buy it. But now we have had to make an application for it to be demolished. I often wonder what makes people so destructive. Nowadays a lot of people are more aggressive especially the younger ones. Some seem to have an instinct to tear things up, mostly because they are bored.”

He said he felt one of the main causes of vandalism was lack of communication.

“The church finds it difficult to communicate and so do young people.”

But efforts are being made in the town to combat the menace. A committee of all youth organizations in the town has been formed by the Rector’s assistant, the Reverend R. Knight.

The rectory has been empty since the late Reverend R. W. Sharpley moved out four years ago.

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