Plaque is unveiled at writer’s home

A new plaque at the former home of H E Bates
A new plaque at the former home of H E Bates

A NEW plaque has been unveiled at the former home of Rushden author H E Bates.

Members of Rushden Amenities Society and members of his family unveiled the new blue plaque yesterday, on what would have been H E Bates’ birthday.

The author lived at the home in Essex Road from 1914 to 1931. The property was the family home and he lived there with his mother, father, brother and sister.

There are two plaques in Rushden to mark H E Bates – one at the home where he was born in Grove Road and one at the home in Essex Road.

H E Bates wrote a number of works while living in Essex Road, including one of his most famous pieces of work, the novel Love for Lydia.

His granddaughter Victoria Wicks, who was among family members who went along to the plaque unveiling yesterday, said: “In Essex Road he wrote 50 short stories, two published novels, two published plays, several poems, essays and book reviews.

“It was a very important address. I have a lovely letter in which he says ‘I will tear up my roots when I leave’.

“He loved the country so, so much.”

H E Bates moved from Essex Road when he married Madge, who lived in Harborough Road, Rushden, and the pair moved to Little Chart, Kent.

After the plaque was unveiled yesterday the celebrations moved on to Rushden Hall, where a tea party was held to mark H E Bates’ birthday.

Miss Wicks said Love For Lydia was set at Rushden Hall. She said: “We had a lovely time, I always get such a warm welcome when I come to Rushden.”