Click here for the Glossary page
Click here for the main index of the Burton Latimer Heritage Society site
Click here to return to the previous page
Article from Kettering Leader 1923

The Story of the Town's Development Interestingly Told

Thirty years ago, Burton Latimer was a comparatively small and peaceful agricultural village, with many thatched cottages, which gave the place and old-world appearance.

The entrance from the station was by a very narrow road called Ball's Lane, and there were no buildings of any kind between that and Wallis's Mill. In those days local trains were well patronised, and it was quite a common thing to see Isham Station platform crowded, especially on a Sunday evening. The advent of motor 'buses has changed all that, and from a shopkeeper's point of view, not to the advantage of Burton Latimer. But that is by the way.

Gas mains were laid in 1895, and there is no doubt that the formation of the Gas Company gave a real spurt to the development of the village. Shoe factories started, houses went up like mushrooms all over the village from 1895 to 1902, and then for some unaccountable reason, building operations suddenly slackened off.

But Station-road estates had been opened out, the "Park" was laid out for building plots in Newman-street, Spencer-street, and Rosebery-street, and bare patches in Duke-street and Alexandra-street were filled in.


One very great improvement to the appearance of the main street was made by the removal of the dilapidated buildings at the corner of Duke-street and High-street, which gave place to three fine shops. The Co-operative Society has extended its premises on several occasions, small tradesmen's shops have grown larger and brighter, and if Burton people would support Burton tradesmen, there is no reason why we shouldn't have the finest shops, the cheapest goods, and the best trade in the district. Give them a chance to show what they can do, and then if they can't give the town as good vaue for money as neighbouring towns, that will be their lookout. Again by the way.

With all the introduction of gas, rapid improvements were made all round. The streets were better lighted, shop windows were better illuminated, and the rapid development was shown in the fact that the population increased from under 2,000 in 1895 to nearly 4,000 today. Since the latter year the population has been more or less stationary. Why? During all these years, thatch has gradually been displaced by slates, old houses have been modernised, and a general air of comfort has been cultivated and achieved.


Now we have attained the status of a town, and under the new Urban Council it is to be hoped that further developments will take place for the benefit of Burton Latimer. But the inhabitants of a town, in the matter of public services, can only have what they pay for and the local authority cannot afford to frighten away industrial enterprise by high rates. But in the long run a bold policy pays, and who knows that before long we may have swimming baths, a park with a bandstand, etc, so that, instead of Burton Latimer seeking its pleasures in neighbouring towns, it should become the centre of attraction, and the spirit of "Pro Patria" manifesting itself in every direction in the attitude and the social efforts of its local members. Shop at your own shops, and possibly the coming of electricity will again commence an era of prosperity for Burton Latimer.
Click here to return to the Main Index
Click here to return to the History & Development Index