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The Rushden Echo, 1896, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Part 1

6th March, 1896

  Thursday, March 6th, Present: Messrs. W. H. Wilkins (chairman), J. Claridge (vice-chairman), G. Denton, F. Knight, H. Brawn, John Spencer, J. S. Clipson, G. H. Skinner, P. Cave, G. S. Mason (clerk), and Wm. Pare (surveyor).

  PLANS – At a recent meeting of the Planning Committee plans were passed for a timber-storage in Station-road for Mr. T. Swindall, and it was further reported that the committee could not sanction the alternative scheme proposed by them with regard to the sewage outfall.

  A POLICE STATION WANTED – Mr. Cave raised the question of the necessity of a small police station in the town, pointing out the great inconvenience to the police which arose from their having to take any prisoner to Wellingborough, perhaps after eleven o’clock at night.  With a population of about 10,000, it was time some move should be made in the matter. The Chairman supported Mr. Cave’s remarks, expressing his belief that the moral effect would be a very good one.  The proposal met with general support, and Mr. Denton having pointed out that the Home Office would also have something to say in the matter, it was decided to leave the question in the hands of Mr. Denton, who, it was understood, would bring it before the County Council.

2nd April, 1896

  Thursday, April 2nd. – Present: Mr. W. H. Wilkins (chairman), Messrs. J. Claridge, W. H. Brawn, T. Bromage, P. Cave, J. S. Clipson, G. H. Skinner, G. Denton, F. Knight, J. Spencer, G. S. Mason (clerk), and W. Pare (surveyor).

  OVERSEERS – From the minutes of a special meeting held on Monday 25th, It appeared that Messrs. W. H. Wilkins and John Claridge had been re-appointed overseers.

  PLANS – Plans were presented by Mr. Wright for two houses in Fitzwilliam-street, and rejected as not complying with the bye-laws as to air-space; by Messrs. Knight and Lawrence for an addition to their premises in Manton-road, and passed; by Mr. T. Burton for a house in Essex-road, and passed; by Mr. F. Perkins for two houses in Moor-road, and passed; and by Messrs. Barrett and Gammage for additions to factory in Lawton-road, and passed.

  ACCOUNTS – It being the close of the financial year, a number of balancing ledger entries were ordered to be made.  The clerk was also instructed to have the year’s accounts of the Council printed for circulation amongst the ratepayers similar to last year, and to include therewith the accounts of the School Board and overseers.  It was explained that the school year did not end until April 30th, and that the accounts could not therefore be prepared until after that date.

  INFRINGEMENT OF BYE-LAWS – A letter from Mr. J. Northern was read, regretting that he had been under a misapprehension as to the erection of the building in Church-street, and stating that if the Council would allow it to stand for a little time he would try and submit plans for a more permanent building as soon as he conveniently could.  It was resolved that the clerk be instructed to inform Mr. Northern that unless he remove the building forthwith, or submit plans at a committee meeting to be held on April 22nd, showing how he proposed to alter the building so as to make it comply with the bye-laws, and give an undertaking to carry the plans into effect within three months, the Council would proceed to remove the building without further notice.

16th April, 1896

  Thursday, April 16th.  Present: Messrs. W. H. Wilkins, J. Claridge, G. Denton, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Bromage, J. S. Clipson, G. Miller, F. Knight, H. Brawn, G. S. Mason (clerk), W. Pare (surveyor), Dr. Owen (medical officer), and J. B. Martin (sanitary inspector).

  Mr. Wilkins said his position as chairman gave him the opportunity to propose first the election of a chairman for the ensuing year.  He did this because he did not believe in the chairmanship always being in the same hands, and thus giving a sort of vested right to the office.  Mr. Claridge would make a very good chairman, and he therefore proposed that Mr. Claridge be appointed to that office.  Mr. Claridge, while grateful that he should be proposed, respectfully declined the honour, and proposed that Mr. Wilkins be re-appointed to the chair.  Mr. Denton seconded the proposition, while Mr. Miller, without any disparagement to Mr. Wilkins, begged to second that gentleman’s proposition that Mr. Claridge be appointed.  There was such a thing as working a willing horse to death, and he thought out of consideration to Mr. Wilkins that gentleman should be given a rest.  Mr. Knight would certainly support Mr. Wilkins as chairman, the more readily on account of the proposition coming from Mr. Claridge; and perhaps if Mr. Miller had not been a new member he would not have taken the course he had.  Mr. Skinner and Mr. Spencer also supported Mr. Wilkins’ continuation of the office.  Mr. Wilkins said that were it not for the refusal of Mr. Claridge to accept office, and the very kind remarks made in regard to himself, he should refuse to continue as chairman.  Under the circumstances, however, he would withdraw his resolution.  The resolution that Mr. Wilkins be chairman was carried unanimously.  Mr. Miller:  I congratulate you, Mr. Chairman.  The Chairman expressed his thanks for the vote, and remarked that the very smooth manner in which the business was gone through, and the amicable feeling which had prevailed, was due to the loyal manner which the minority accepted the ruling of the majority.  Mr. John Claridge was then unanimously re-elected to the office of vice-chairman, Mr. Claridge thanking the Council for the vote.

  The next matter for consideration was the election of committee, and the chairman and vice-chairman were elected members of all committees.

  Mr. G. Denton was added to the Finance Committees, and on the motion of Mr. F. Knight, seconded by Mr. Clipson, it was decided that Mr. Miller take the places on the committees rendered vacant by the retirement of Mr. A. Cave.

  The Medical Officer reported five cases of scarlet fever, and the Inspector a case of fever.  The usual precautions had been taken, and the cases were progressing favourably.  At a meeting of the Highway Committee held since last meeting it was reported that the Surveyor estimated that 1200 tons of granite and 800 tons of slag would be required for the next 12 months, and orders were given to various firms for the requisite amount of material.

  The Plans Committee reported that plans had been submitted for six houses opposite Beaconsfield terrace, and passed; by Mr. C. Ashby for a house in Queen-street, and passed; by Messrs. J. and F. A. Sykes for three houses in York-road, and passed; by Mr. Thomas Brightwell, for four houses in Windmill-street, and passed; and for two houses for Miss F. S. Wilkinson in Pightles-terrace, and rejected for want of a proper block-plan.  The report of the Committee was adopted.

  A draft agreement was read from the County Council in regard to the question of the maintenance of main roads and footpaths, in which the County Council proposed to pay half the cost.  On the proposition of the Chairman, seconded by Mr. Claridge, the draft agreement was accepted.

  A letter was read from the Local Government Board replying to an application from the Rushden Council for powers to compulsorily hire land for allotments if necessary.  The reply was adverse to the application.

30th April, 1896

  Thursday, April 30th. – Present: Messrs. W. H. Wilkins (chairman), J. Claridge (vice-chairman), F. Knight, Geo. Denton, J. S. Clipson, W. H. Brawn, T. Bromage, P. Cave, Geo. Miller, John Spencer, Geo. S. Mason (clerk) and Wm. Pare (surveyor).

  PLANS – At a meeting of the Plans Committee plans were presented for two houses in Fitzwilliam-street for Mr. T. Wright, and passed; two houses in Oswald-road for Mr. S. Knight jun., and passed; two houses in Glassbrook-road for Mr. F. Hart, and passed; two houses in Pightles Terrace for Messrs. Farmer and Wilkerson, and passed; a new shop front in High-street for Mr. W. G. Wilmott, adjourned for committee to inspect site; an amended plan for a studio and conservatory at rear of shops on the High-street for Mrs. M. A. Smith, and passed.

  RESIGNATION OF THE SURVEYOR – A letter was read from Mr. W. Pare, the surveyor, tendering his resignation, he having received an offer which he could not ignore, and asking that the Council would liberate him as soon as possible.  The matter was referred to a committee of the whole Board.

  INFECTIOUS DISEASES NOTIFICATION – A letter was read from the Local Government Board with reference to the adoption of this Act by the Rushden Council, and discussion upon the subject was deferred.

  THE SEWAGE WORKS  - The Chairman reported that he had met Mr. Sharman that morning, and he had recommended that, seeing three or four hundred houses were already connected with the works, the tanks should be used, and, as some of the land was now ready, it was decided to act on the engineer’s suggestion.

14th May, 1896

  Thursday, May 14th.  Present – Messrs. W. H. Wilkins (chairman), John Claridge (vice-chairman), Geo. Denton, John Spencer, Thos. Bromage, G. H. Skinner, H. Brawn, J. S. Clipson, P. Cave, Geo. Miller, Fred Knight, G. S. Mason (clerk), and J. B. Martin (inspector).

  THE SURVEYOR’S SALARY – It was reported that the Council had decided to increase the salary of Mr. Pare (surveyor) to £150, to date from the 25th of March last; and also to award him £35 in consideration of extra work done by him in connection with the sewerage.

  THE MEDICAL OFFICER (Dr. Owen) reported that no fresh cases of infectious diseases had been reported to him since last meeting, and that the disinfectants then ordered to be supplied had had good effect.  The doctor had also visited Messrs. Cave’s factory in company with an inspector from London, and had found the accommodation satisfactory.  He, however, recommended a few additional closets, and also that the drains be connected with the sewers.  A death had occurred, however, from typhoid fever, the patient, named Chapman, who had lived in Pemberton-street, having lately come from Irchester, and complaints had been made of bad smells at the house occupied at this place.

  BUILDING PLANS – Plans were submitted by Messrs. Wooding and Parker, for four houses in Glassbrook-road, and passed; by Mr. C. Smith for stable and store-room at rear of premises in the High-street, and passed; also for additions to two houses in the High-street, converting the same into shops, and rejected from insufficiency of air space; by Mr. F. Bayes for house with underground room in Harborough-road, and rejected from insufficient drainage; by Mr. Thomas Wright, for 31 houses in Glassbrook-road, and passed; by Mr. W. Chettle for shop and dwelling-house in Cromwell-road, with slaughter-house in rear, and passed, subject to basement wall of dwelling-house being 14 inch work, but with an intimation that the Council would not allow the proposed slaughter-house to be used as such; by Mr. T. Swannell, for two houses in Brookfield-road, and passed; and by Mr. M. Bates for eleven houses in the Spencer-park estate, Washbrook-road, and passed.  Building-lines for Mr. C. Smith and Mr. G. Wilmott were also approved.

  NOTIFICATION DISEASES ACT – The circular of the Local Government Board as to the adoption of this Act was considered by the Council in special meeting, at which all were present except Mr. T. Wilmott.  Mr. G. Denton proposed and Mr. John Spencer seconded, that a reply be sent stating that under existing circumstances the Council failed to see the desirability of adopting the Act.  Mr. P. Cave proposed an amendment that the Council take the necessary steps for its adoption, which Mr. G. Miller seconded.  Only the proposer and seconder voted for the amendment and the resolution was then voted for by all present excepting Messrs. Cave and Miller.  The Chairman and Clerk were instructed to draw up and forward reply to the Local Government Board giving reasons for the decision of the Council.

  THE FINANCIAL STATEMENT – The Chairman said he was glad to lay before the Council a very satisfactory financial statement.  The estimated income for the past year, other than from rates, was £1,788 6s/ 11d., while the actual receipts were £2,303 1s. 6d., an increase of over £500.  Part of this was due to an improved method of payment adopted by the County Council, but chiefly to the income from the Waterworks having exceeded expectations by no less than £364 10s.  The amount estimated by rates was £2,976 7s 1d., for which two rates of 2s. in the £ were required; but owing to the growth of the town the amount actually collected was £3,206 18s. 2d., an increase on the estimate of over £200.  On the other hand the expenditure, including the balance in hand on account of the Midland-road, which was estimated at £5,804 15s. 8d., only amounted to £5,292 9s. 2d., owing to the extremely favourable winter having so materially reduced the expenditure on the roads, and also to the expenditure having been kept within the lowest possible limits on account of the prospective opening of the roads for sewer purposes.  The balance in hand at the end of the year was the very satisfactory one of £2,465 8s. 8d., but it must be borne in mind that this includes balances held by the Council on account of new roads of over £1,000, and also that it has to provide for the Council’s expenditure for the next three months.  The income for the current year, other than from rates, as estimated at £1,949 12s. 10d. (some £250 less than last year) arising chiefly from the reduced amount to be received from the County Council, but making a total, including the balance in hand of £4,415 1s. 6d.  As to the expenditure, it was not thought prudent to adopt last year’s actual expenditure on the roads as a basis for this year’s estimate, and the committee had therefore taken last year’s estimate in preference, but including £300 for main road improvements, for which the sanction of the County Council would be asked.  £100 had been included for the probable expenditure on the sewage disposal, and £50 for public urinals.  The re-payment of loans, with interest, including for the first time the sewerage loans, necessarily showed a great increase, the total for the year being £1,558 as compared with £827 last year.  The total expenditure, including the balances for new roads, all of which will not be spent during the year, is estimated at £7,758 10s. 2d., other than expenditure out of loans.  Deducting the estimated income of £4,415 1s. 6d. from this, a balance of £3,343 8s. 8d. was left to be raised by district rates.  For this purpose two rates each of 2s. in the £ would be required; and as the poor rates for the year were not likely to be more than 3s. in the £, the total rates for the year might therefore be taken at 7s. in the £.  Nothing had been allowed in the estimates for additional water-mains, work-shops, or stabling, all of which, it was thought, whenever undertaken, should be out of loans.  On the proposition of the Chairman, it was decided to instruct the collector to prepare a 2s. rate.

9th June, 1896

  Thursday, June 9th, 1896.  Present – Messrs. W. H. Wilkins (chairman), John Claridge (Vice-chairman), Geo. Denton, Fred Knight, G. H. Skinner, Horace Brawn, Paul Cave, John Spencer, T. Bromage, J. E. Hayes (deputy-clerk), and Wm. Pare (surveyor).

  PLANS – The Plans Committee reported that plans had been submitted by the Misses Course and Hewitt for a house in Newton-road, and rejected on the ground of insufficiency of air-space; by Mr. B. Mortimer for four houses in the Harborough-road, and passed, subject to a sewer being laid along the Harborough-road to the satisfaction of the surveyor; and by Mr. James Jaques for six houses on the Washbrook-road, and passed.  The report of the committee was confirmed.

  The seal of the Board was affixed to an agreement with the vendors of the Oakley Estate (Messrs. Heygate and Pendered) for the completion and maintenance of the roads on this estate for a period of five years.

  URINALS – On this question the Highways Committee had recommended the placing of a convenience in Duck-street.  This recommendation had been adopted, and estimates had been handed in to the Council for such convenience.  On these being considered, a discussion arose, Mr. Knight stating that he disagreed with the decision of the committee, and opposed it now, on the ground that it was in an inconvenient position; if such things were wanted, let them be put where they were useful.  Mr. Spencer rather favoured the committee’s recommendations, and Mr. Denton thoroughly supported it.  Mr. Brawn favoured a convenience being put in a more useful locality, a view supported by Mr. Cave.  Ultimately Mr. Knight moved that the tenders be not accepted, which was seconded by Mr. Brawn.  As an amendment Mr. Spencer moved that the lowest tender (Macfarlane’s) be accepted.  Mr. Denton seconded, but being put to the vote the amendment was lost.  Mr. Bromage moved that one be placed by the Vestry Hall, and Mr. Knight recommended that the committee again visit likely spots, as he thought the question had hardly been considered so fully as it might have been.  Mr. Spencer moved that the matter be again referred to the Highway Committee; but on Mr. Claridge and Mr. Bromage moving and seconding a proposition that the surveyor provide plans and estimates for the erection of a urinal outside the Vestry Hall, which was carried, the discussion dropped.

11th June, 1896

  Thursday, June 11th.  Present – Messrs. W. H. Wilkins (chairman), John Claridge (vice-chairman), J. S. Clipson, J. Spencer, T. Bromage, G. H. Skinner, H. Brawn, Geo. Denton, F. Knight, Geo. Miller, G. S. Mason (clerk), Wm. Pare (Surveyor), and J. B. Martin (inspector).

  PLANS AND WATER COMMITTEE – Mr. York, the Council’s plumber, made an application for a position as superintendent of the water distribution, and also for an increase of salary.  The committee were of opinion that no alteration should be made as regards Mr. York’s position under the Council, but recommended that his salary be increased to £2 per week.  Mr. Franklin also offered to lay the water mains in the new streets he was making off Rectory-road, if the Council would pay for the same out of their first loan.  The committee recommended that Mr. Franklin’s application be accepted.  The minutes of this committee meeting were confirmed by the Council.

  CEMETERY – It was also reported that the Cemetery Committee had visited the cemetery, and recommended the removal of the gates at the Park-road entrance to the corner of the Pightles Estate.  They also suggested that the path leading to the cemetery and the paths in the cemetery, receive a coat of gravel, and that the hedges be trimmed. – Confirmed.

  The seal of the Board was affixed to the agreement with the Midland Railway Company in connection with the diversion of the culvert under the railway arch, leading to the sewage works.

FOUR ROADS ESTATE – A letter was read from the proprietors of this estate, asking the Council for estimates for the completion of the roads on the estate, and the Surveyor was instructed to prepare estimates for the completion and maintenance of these roads for five years.

  MANAGER FOR SEWAGE OUTFALL WORKS – Six applicants sought the position of manager at the sewage outfall works, and ultimately, on the proposition of Mr. F. Knight, seconded by Mr. John Spencer, Mr. Joseph Church, of Little-street, was unanimously appointed.

  FOOTPATHS – It was reported that the surveyor had made an estimate for the making of footpaths in the district, such estimate amounting to £308, and it was decided to apply to the Roads and Bridges Committee of the County Council for this amount.

  SANITARY – Dr. Owen reported that two cases of scarlet fever had occurred in the town, one at Mr. Lewis’s (blacksmith), and one at Mr. Sharpe’s in High-street.  In these cases the patients were now in a satisfactory condition, and all necessary precautions had been taken.  Three samples of water had been examined by the doctor, one of which had been found impure.  Several cases of over-crowding in domestic workshops were reported, and it was decided to have circulars printed setting forth the requirements of the Act in this respect.  Mr. Martin, the inspector, took exception to a statement given in connection with the prosecution of Owen Cox, at Wellingborough Sessions last week, that the house was unfit for habitation.  Mr. Martin contended that the house in itself was not so bad as represented.  He produced a book giving a definition of what rendered a dwelling unfit to be inhabited, but contended no such conditions as therein described existed in the house in question.  In fact Mr. Martin, who considered the statement somewhat of a reflection upon himself, thought the person who made it knew nothing of the real circumstances of the case.  Mr. Wilkins thought Mr. Martin need not take the matter as in any way reflecting upon himself, as the Council were fully aware that the houses on the Hill received more attention from him than any others in the district.  The matter then dropped.

  AN IDDITIONAL PILLAR BOX – Mr. C. Hewitt, the postmaster, made application for a permission to place a pillar box at the junction of Queen-street and Oliver Cromwell-road. – Granted.

Part 2

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