Your chance to Get to Know Rushden

The soap box derby at Rushden Hall Park last year

The soap box derby at Rushden Hall Park last year

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A free event featuring dozens of groups, clubs and organisations is gearing up to celebrate what Rushden has to offer.

The second Get To Know Rushden event promises to be bigger and better than last year with more groups signed up for 2014.

It aims to showcase and raise the profile of organisations and groups from across the town. It will do this through events including tours, exhibitions and taster sessions.

Within hours of the booking lines opening, a number of tours had already been fully booked for the event which was the idea of Cllrs Richard Lewis and Janet Pinnock from Rushden Town Council.

Cllr Lewis said: “Last year no-one knew it was coming, but we have gone more to town this year. About 60 groups took part last year, and there’s 72 groups involved this year.

“Nearly every house in Rushden has got one of the programmes with all the events listed.

“There’s more businesses taking part this year which is great because the event is to promote the town. It’s amazing how many different groups there are in the town.”

Cllr Pinnock added: “There’s some quite different ones taking part this year, although there are some repeats. The idea is to let people know what we have got in the town.”

As part of the event, which runs from July 4 until July 13 and has been funded by Rushden Town Council, a shoe design competition was organised for schoolchildren to get involved.

About 250 entries were received, with nine-year-old Charlie Street from Denfield Park Primary School winning the competition supported by Alfred Sargent Shoes in Portland Road.

The winning design is now being made to go on display during the Get to Know Rushden event.

Stanley Taylor, 10, also from Denfield Park, took the runner-up place and several pupils from Denfield Park and South End Junior School were highly commended.

The tough task of judging the competition was undertaken by Paul Sargent, shoe designer Stephen Howard and Brenda Hunt.

Mr Howard said: “We were really impressed with all the designs. The children had paid attention to detail, the proportions were good and a lot of effort had gone into the designs.”

The winner will receive £25 and a tour around the factory with family and friends, while the runner-up and highly commended pupils will all receive certificates.

Get To Know Rushden has a variety of events lined up, including tours, presentations and displays. These include tours of shoe factories, Waitrose and Asda, tasting at the Copper Kettle Brewery, a sing-a-long with Rushden West Community Association and a town centre trail with Nene Valley Community Action. You can also try Nordic walking or see how the Six Week Choir did in getting themselves ready for their one-off performance on July 13.

The first day of Get To Know Rushden will see the return of the soap box derby at Hall Park run by the Prince’s Trust and Service Six.

There will be three age categories for six to 11, 12 to 16 and over 17 with each category winner getting £25.

The cost to enter is £10 and you can do this by calling 07718 003219 or emailing zoebrealey@servicesix.co.uk.

Get To Know Rushden also includes Party In The Park , in Hall Park from 1pm to 10pm on Saturday, July 12.

It will include the Derbyshire Midshipman Marching Band, Flyin’ Ryan Motorcyle Stunt Team, Galloping Acrobats and Madness tribute One Step Behind.

Cllr Lewis said: “We believe things like this and Party In The Park should be free so that it doesn’t exclude anyone from coming along and enjoying it.”

Anyone wishing to take part in a tour can book their place through Rushden Town Council by calling 01933 316216.

Celebrate the independents

Rushden High Street will be decked out with a seaside theme for Independents’ Day.

The event has been organised by Rushden Town Partnership as part of the national initiative, coincides with the first day of Get To Know Rushden.

Independent retailers will be offering special deals aimed at promoting what is on offer in the town between 10am and 4pm on Friday, July 4.

Shop windows will be decorated to match the coastal feel of the day, with ice cream, candyfloss and popcorn also on offer from town centre food stalls as well as musical entertainment.

Visitors will be able to browse the Mini Market showcasing local produce and gifts, and the local High Street fish and chip shop will be offering a discount.

People can get involved by having a go at something new with free taster courses, including sausage making with butcher Tim Brown or cake decorating with Heavenly Delight.

There will be the chance to win prizes with a spot the bucket and spade competition. Entry forms can be downloaded from www.rushdentown.org.uk or picked up from RTP member’s shops displaying an RTP logo in the.

For information email rushdentownpartnership@gmail.com or call Julia on 01933 356424 or Lorna on 07711 996421.