The Kettering Timeline

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Kettering Timeline' page

By Clare Wood

The Kettering Timeline

What is it?

Inscribed in Granite, a line of paving in the new Market Square in central Kettering was created to carry text and pictures describing the development of Kettering through the ages. It aims to be a "Timeline" of the town, developed by the people of the town, and all ideas are welcome.

Why was it made?

This public art and local history project was created as a unique feature in the town's new Market Place and the Kettering Timeline aims to promote a greater sense of Kettering 's history as the town moves forward into the 21st Century and beyond!

What do you think should go on it?

The slabs already feature a range of notable local events and people, through the ages.

As we move on into the future, what else (new or old), do you feel the timeline should feature?

Suggestions could include:-

  • Major events through the ages that impacted the town 
  • Community events that were significant for Kettering
  • People from Kettering that have left a mark, both nationally and locally 
  • Products, buildings, places, ideas and people from Kettering that influenced the development of the town

Add your ideas by clicking on the 'Add Your Comment About this Page' button below. 

This page was added by Clare Wood on 11/11/2008.
Comments about this page

Idea for timeline - The author H.E. Bates attended grammar school in Kettering

Also, how about having mosaics on the ground around the market place that contain pictures portraying Kettering's history

By Derek Chamberlain
On 17/11/2008

I would suggest that October 1966 when Geoff Perry (Physics Master) and a group school children from Kettering Grammar School beat the US and the rest of the world in locating a Soviet rocket-launching site should be included.

By Clare Wood
On 19/11/2008

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show visited Kettering around 1899/1900 as part of a tour of Great Britain.

By John Conway
On 26/11/2008

Geoff Perry definately.
Establishment of the Independant church and the role of William Knibb in the abolition of slavery.
Royal Academicians Sir Alfred East and Thomas Cooper Gotch.
Artist George Harrison, Cartoonist Frank Bellamy,author J.L.Carr and Charles Wicksteed.
And not forgetting the almost deceased Boot and Shoe industry.

By R. Aldridge
On 26/11/2008

Timeline suggestion- Charles Dickens for his coverage of the rather riotous Kettering election of 1835, for the 'Morning Chronicle.'
Perhaps his connection with the 'Royal Hotel' or 'Pickwick Papers' might be included.

By Jane Lear
On 26/11/2008

People of Kettering who have made an impact on the national scene.
John Plummer - Poet
William Carey - Preacher
Andrew Fuller - Founder Baptist Missionary Society
William Knibb - Contributed to ending slavery
Sir Alfred East - Artist
J.T.Nettleship - Artist
T.C.Gotch - Artist
John Alfred Gotch - Architect
Charles Wicksteed
John Gill - Scholar and preacher

Significant developments
Elizabeth I grants charter for Kettering Grammar School in 1577 which would survive more than 400 years until closed.
The railway arrives in 1857, celebrated with a ball in the Corn Exchange which is still facing Market Place
Kettering Ironworks opened
First shoe factory built by Charles East starting with just two closing machines
Andrew Carnegie funds Kettering Public Library 1921
Toller Chapel - Provided basic education for thousands of Kettering children
Kettering Poor Law Union formed 23 Sept 1835 to address massive poverty issues. Workhouse built in 1837 to the design of (Sir) George Gilbert Scott, who would later design St Pancras Station.
Kettering Electricity Company is fuelled with domestic refuse, a lesson for future years

By Cllr Maurice Bayes
On 26/11/2008

Some ideas that come to mind...all without prejudice to decisions that come along in the future... just my personal thoughts!

The date when the Market Charter was originally granted
The Date when the Borough was granted its Charter?1938

1974 when the Borough as we know it today was formed from the Urban District Council, Rural District Council and the Towns and Parishes - something to reflect the nature of the Borough Towns, villages and rural areas - accepted this isn't the town itself but the Borough does carry the name Kettering - appreciated this is Borough rather than Town

Definitely Wicksteed park's opening
The co-op movement - not sure how that would be portrayed as a date, but maybe the Central Hall in Montagu Street would be a good symbol of the co-op in the town (Rehab Nigh time venue as it is now)
Weetabix - our famous Breakfast Brand
The shoe industry has to feature!
When the railway line came through
The arrival of the A14 "bypass" 1993?
Founding of the Poppies Kettering Town Football Club and the Rugby Club
Wiliam Knibb - slavery
When the General Hospital was started or its predecessor - maybe hard to date
The Newborough Centre Opening - now Newlands
Opening of the Cattle Market - now the London road Car park
Library opening
Alfred East Gallery
Parish Church built when?

The time line could carry through to a themed Tourist Publication whereby the events and places are replicated in a brochure so that people who are intrigued by the eventual events depicted could have a map taking them to the places with a little background about them

By Cllr Jim Hakewill
On 26/11/2008

If the Time Line is for the whole borough then I think the following may be contenders:
The Carpetbaggers from Harrington Airfield (WW2)
The unearthing of Desboroughs famous bronze age mirror
It would be good if some of the major dates/battles from the war memorial were on there too.

By Rachel Wilson
On 12/12/2008

I feel that those people from Kettering who impacted locally and nationally should be on the timeline. Notable Buildings which have formed the town could also be included.

By Cllr Margaret Talbot
On 12/12/2008

The time line should include Dr. John Smith who was a G.P in the town, before opening the first hospice in 1992. Now the renowned Cransley Hospice. Following his retirement ,as the Hospice Consultant, John became its patron. He continues to serve the people of Kettering following his ordination into the priesthood at Kettering's Market Place Parish Church.

By H Stone
On 12/12/2008

The name Sister Elizabeth Morris, affectionately known by most as "Sister Liz", from Our Lady`s Convent Kettering could be added to the Time Line. This would honour her dedication, over many years, in caring for the people of Kettering which continues today.

By H. Stone
On 12/12/2008

All of the above!
But can I ask - is it Kettering Borough as well?
1) If so then perhaps something to do with Boughton House?
2) Also Geddington - Queen Eleanor Cross - David Dimbleby just filmed for a documentary about it!
3) Then there are the American Airfields at Grafton Underwood and all the German Prisoners of war at Boughton House
4) Newton Rebellion which was part of the Midlands Revolt in 1607 (marked last year by the 400th Anniversary Pagaent)

By Emma Davies
On 12/12/2008

The consultation for the Kettering Timeline is now completed. Thank you to everyone who contributed their ideas.

By Clare Wood
On 04/02/2009

There are so many more events and people who contributed to life in Kettering, obviously there is insufficient space on the Market Place Time Line for everything to be included, (there will always be those who will disagree with the final decision) however, we do have the wonders of this web site and the amount of information that people could add to the Kettering Time Line is endless. Why not allow people to continue to add to a Time Line on the web, then all will be happy? It will also be very interesting and thorough.

By Monica Ozdemir
On 05/03/2009

With reference to the founding of Kettering Town Football Club (and Kettering Rugby Club), I hope to be co-publishing a book later this year on the early history of the Poppies (1872-1900). The date of the first organised game of football in the town is 19 December 1872 (versus Uppingham School). There is also a good arguament that the football and rugby clubs share a common origin (which will come as news to most people!)

By Bob Brown
On 05/03/2009

Include in significant names that had an effect on the town:
Owen Robinson who built the "Robinson Car" and manufactured boots & shoes at Crown Works in Kettering. Inventor & manufacturer of boot & shoe machinery

By Christine Bentley
On 24/04/2009

What about first diagnosis of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus at Kettering General Hospital?

By Anne
On 19/06/2009

I think you should write about Clark Gable and his friends congregating on the market place in their jeeps during WW11.

By Laura
On 11/08/2009

Errol Flynn was a member of the repertory theatre in Kettering

By Diana Allen
On 29/04/2013

Correction to my comment 24/04/2009: Charles Robinson built the Robinson Car, grandson of Owen Robinson. The car was built at Crown Works.

By Christine Bentley
On 29/04/2013

The foundation and construction of various co-operative society factories/ departments should be included.  One person said that if the co-operative movement was born in Rochdale, it came of age in Kettering.

On 29/04/2013

Sian Pepperell has not been added to the timeline as she made history for Kettering 7 years ago and would like her to have the recognition please . Best wishes Benjamin Pepperell (father)

By Benjamin Pepperell
On 29/04/2013

I think the omission of Wallis and Linnell (Clothing Manufacturers) in Kettering from 1856 - 1979, 132 years is a fundamental mistake. By 1906 they employed 1000 workers, produced thousands of garments for WW2 and provided work and wages for Kettering and the surrounding villages. 

By John Black
On 16/06/2014

Sister Elizabeth Morris nominated again, following her sad death in Jan 2015. A true living saint if ever there was one.

By Annette Jones
On 16/03/2015

Watercress Harry. He searched the brook at Warkton 4 times a week to bring fresh produce to the people of Kettering.

By Raw Hide
On 10/07/2015

Sister Elizabeth Morris is exactly what this should be about. She was an inspiration to many and it was my privilege to have known her and be classed as her friend. She was a grandparent to my children and this would be a great way to honour her memory.

By Supt Dennis Murray
On 21/10/2015

Starlight Dance they have done so much for the young people of Kettering and put Kettering firmly on the map by being the dancers at the 2016 FA Cup Final at Wembley.

By Sue Batch
On 23/07/2016

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