Rugby News Reel

This page aims to give the historic perspective on developments occurring in Rugby. The text and photos will change as events develop.

Older items are now on the news archive page

St. Philips Church, Wood Street

The last Church of England Service was held at St Phillip's in early May 2003. The church was built in 1914 to serve as a chapel of ease within St Andrew's Parish. It is going to be taken over by another Christian church already holding services in the building.

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Rugby Radio Station

At the end of March 2003 Rugby Radio station sent its last commercial message when the 16kHz GBR transmitter was taken out of service.

This was the original service that the station opened with in 1926 and for which the very tall masts were built. Its high power and low frequency enabled it to contact virtually anywhere in the world. It was used initially for sending telegrams in morse and later telex messages, but was never intended to send speech, unlike the other transmitters on the site. The original transmitter was replaced in 1966.

Telephone services started on other transmitters in 1927 and as short wave services developed the site east of the A5 was opened from 1953. Short wave transmissions stopped in 2000 when communications with ships moved over to satellite.

The Rugby Radio Clock transmitter remains in service under contract with the National Physical Laboratory.

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Rugby Baptist Church Bicentenary

Rugby Baptist Chruch is celebrating its Bicentenary in 2003, even though the present church in Regent Place was only opened in 1906.

Their first church in Rugby was the building in Castle Street that was known as the Brotherhood until converted to commercial use in the 1990s. This church was opened in 1803 having been built by Sir Egerton Leigh who lived at Brownsover Hall.

Sir Egerton had been ordained as a minister in 1797 and had a church at Long Lawford from 1796.

The church has published a booklet on its history to mark the event.

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Water Works, Mill Road

In the Autumn of 2002 the waterworks site in Mill Road was cleared and developed for housing. The treatment works had closed in c.2000 when the new works at Draycote were opened. A pump house remains at Mill Road to send water from the river Avon up to Draycote Reservoir.

The Mill Road works opened in 1865 to treat water extracted from the river Avon. The previous 15 years had been spent trying to find an alternative source of water, and even then it was 1876 before water was supplied 24 hours a day.

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Railway Station Canopy Roof

The new 3rd station at Rugby opened in 1886 had an unusual form of overall roof. Masive bow trusses spanned all the platforms and running lines supported at their outer ends on curtain walls. The outer ends of the platforms were covered with more normal canopies.

The glass had been removed from the outer canopies in the 1980's and in 2000 the whole of the roof was demolished. The curtain walls were paritally removed and the rest reduced in height. This revealed the shorter 3rd storey of the station building which had been completely obscured by the roof.

Delays in decission making over the West Coast main line developments ment that the roof was replaced with modern canopies over the central length of the platforms. It was not until early in 2003 that the plan to provide Rugby with its 4th station was made public- replacing the island platform with the more usual 2 platforms on the outer lines.

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© 2004 Rugby Local History Research Group
[ Version G1 05/02/04 ]