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The Grange, Earls Barton


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The Grange, Earls Barton Welcome to our new education and training facility at the Grange. The main building today dates from 1905 after the original was totally destroyed by fire in 1903. It was at that time the home of Mrs M Hornby, whose late husband, Mr H C Hornby was the brother of the ex-Lancashire and English cricketer A N Hornby. The fire was reported in The Times and it was estimated that the loss would approach £35,000, equivalent to approximately £3.2 million in today’s money! Above the ramped entrance door the initials of Mrs Hornby (MH) are incorporated into the patterned stonework. To the border of the garden (across from the sundial on the right side of the building) is a small headstone dedicated to Spot the dog, who was probably a much loved family pet. The original house and outbuildings dated from around the 1880’s. Before that time the property was known as ‘Earls Barton Meadow View Cottage’. Although the house was restored to the same design, aspects of the ‘arts and crafts’ influence of the early 1900’s were incorporated into the rebuild.

A N Hornby

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When the building was a private house the front downstairs room, later the office of the National Union of Boot & Shoe Operatives General President, was the library. The adjacent room, now used for training, was the music room. Along with the entrance hall these were originally covered in a ‘William Morris-style’ wall covering. However after some time the cost of retouching the chrysanthemum design was considered exorbitant, and combined with age and water damage declined to the point where it had to be removed.

An entry in th

s Q.C. M.P.

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Speaker Sir Ha

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At the beginning of the Second World War the Executive Council of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives made plans to move their headquarters from 26 Bedford Square in London to a site in a major footwear manufacturing area. Initially on a rental basis the union moved its HQ to ‘The Grange’.


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In 1943 the union purchased The Grange along with outhouses, stable block, two cottages and surrounding land, and then in 1948 some additional land was purchased – making a total of eighteen acres. The buildings and land were purchased for a total of £6,200. Since then some land has been leased to Mr Abbott, a farmer, and the local Sports Association and Community now own around seventeen acres.

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For a short time in the 1940’s the premises also housed staff from the National Health Insurance Department.

Comic Players in the

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. Cricket Match

On the 10th July 1954 a ‘Gala’ day was held at The Grange. The main speaker was Sir Hartley Shawcross Q.C, M.P., a former Attorney-General and also the lead UK prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal.


Also present was the local M.P George Linderen and the Chair was Councillor Miss E A Horn. Events that day included a talent contest and a comic cricket match. We also have anecdotal reports that former Prime Minister Clement Attlee and the later Labour Leader Hugh Gaitskell may have visited The Grange during this era.

Presentation of bouquet

E.A. eren, M.P. and Mr George Lind

Steele J.P.

and buttonho les

NUBSO merged with other trade unions in the leather sector to become the National Union of Footwear Leather and Apparel Trades, and later with the textiles sector to become the National Union of Knitwear, Footwear and Apparel Trades.

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In 2004 this union merged with The Iron and Steel Trades Confederation to create a brand new, modern and progressive trade union for the 21st century – Community Today Community represents not just its traditional membership in steel, wire, metals, footwear, leather, knitwear and textiles, but is growing in new areas too. These include football, betting, plastics, chemicals, logistics, carpets, white goods and food processing, as well as workers in social care and the security sector. The National League of the Blind and Disabled also forms an important and very active sector of the union.

“Let others tell of storms and showers I’ll only count your sunny hours”

Around 2007 it became apparent that The Grange needed significant investment in terms of maintenance and repair. However the General Secretary, Michael J Leahy OBE, along with the National Executive Council, decided that rather than just ‘make do and mend’ they would grasp this as an opportunity to both modernise the facilities and restore The Grange to its former glory. In creating the Community Education & Training Centre both the membership and the local community now have a fantastic facility offering new opportunities. Starting in 2009, the major renovation work has ensured that the building is as environmentally friendly and as fuel efficient as possible. In respecting the character and history of The Grange the building contractor, V3 Commercial Limited, kept the very best of the traditional aspects of the building whilst updating facilities to ensure it was ‘fit for purpose’ in the 21st century. For example the two downstairs fireplaces, previously boarded up, have been carefully brought back to their

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original condition. In contrast the 1970’s extension on the site of the original conservatory has been replaced by a conference suite, but with an exterior now in keeping with the original building. Similarly the newly built refreshment and function suite has been painstakingly matched in exterior style to blend in with the character of The Grange. Where possible in construction old bricks have been recycled from the former outbuildings to help create a sense of continuity on the new build. Community believes The Grange, Education & Training Centre is really something to be proud of, both for our members, staff and the local community. It will allow us to better train our members and staff to continue our success long into the future.

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Community Education & Training Centre The Grange, 108 Northampton Road, Earls Barton, Northamptonshire NN6 0JH Tel: 01604 810 326 Email: info@community-tu.org www.community-tu.org

@communityunion facebook.com/communityunion


The Grange, Earls Barton