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The Rushden Echo, 14th/21st April 1916, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Municipal Housing Scheme
Delay in Completing The Work
Accident On The High Causeway
Shall The Local Tribunal Be Increased
“Keep To The Right”
The Death Rate
14th April 1916

Wednesday, present: Councillors T. Swindall, J.P. (chairman), John Spencer (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., J. S. Clipson, W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, The Ven. A. Kitchen, M.A., T. Wilmott and G. H. Skinner, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).

Plans, Etc., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 29th March, 1916, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), J. Spencer, J. S. Clipson, F. Knight and T. Wilmott.


Were presented by:-

Messrs. P. Phipps and Co., Ltd., for additions to their out-door beer-house, Nos. 82 and 84, Higham-road, and passed.

Messrs. Phipps and Son for additions to factory in East-grove and no exception taken.

Mr. A. Sanders for w.c. to cottage on the Court Estate and passed.

Mr. James Jaques for additions to factory in Fitzwilliam-street and passed.

Fire Service

An application was received on behalf of Mr. John Clark asking the permission of the Council to lay a six inch water main from the Water Board’s main in the High-street to his factory at the junction of Midland and Station-roads for the purpose of the institution of a fire extinguishing apparatus.

The Committee, whilst recognising the many objections to the laying of private mains under the public highways, were of opinion that the duty of rendering assistance in providing the best means of preventing fires in the large factories of the town was paramount, and resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the request, subject to Mr. Clark agreeing to the Council fixing a fire hydrant on the main, when laid, in a position to be selected by the Surveyor, and also agreeing, if a similar fire service is requested in the same neighbourhood, to allow the main laid by him to be used for the purpose, conditional upon the persons requiring the service paying to Mr. Clark a fair share of the cost incurred by him in laying it. The proportion to be paid, in every case, to be settled by the Council’s Surveyor. An Agreement to be entered into between the Council and Mr. Clark to this effect to be prepared at Mr. Clark’s expense.

Road Materials

The Surveyor was instructed to advertise for the ensuing year’s supply of road materials.


The Surveyor reported that the storm water drain in this road was causing considerable flooding and that in the absence of manholes he was unable to discover the situation of the mischief; manholes at the top of the road and at the bend were very desirable.

The Committee decided to recommend the Council to authorise him to construct such manholes, at his convenience, at an estimated cost of £7 each.

Main Roads

The Clerk submitted a draft agreement with the County Council for the maintenance of the main roads for the year ending 31st March, 1917, which was approved.

High Causeway, High-St. South

A police report on an accident that had recently happened through a child falling off the high causeway was submitted to the meeting. The causeway being part of the main road, it was resolved to recommend the Council to give instructions for the report to be forwarded to the County Council for their consideration.

Keep To The Right

The Committee had under consideration the question of fixing plates to the lamp columns requesting pedestrians to keep to the right, but could not see their way at the present time to make any recommendation thereon.


It was reported that the owners of this road had not yet commenced the work of completion.

The Clerk was instructed to write to them that this must be done forthwith.

Council Houses

It was also reported that the garden fences and paths in connection with the twelve houses of the type “C” class were still incomplete and that the delay was causing very great inconvenience to the tenants.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to at once serve a notice on the contractor informing him that if the work be not carried out within the next month the Council will themselves undertake it and deduct the cost from the amount payable to the contractor on completion.

With regard to Mr. Clark’s application, the Chairman said it was a new thing for such permission to be asked. The committee gave the matter great consideration, and wished to safeguard the interests of the public and at the same time to allow every precaution against fire to be made.

The Council agreed.

With reference to the high-causeway in High-street South, Mr. Claridge said that at the time the improvement was made, the Council thought it would be less dangerous to have the pavement as it is than to have it fenced, as the children might play on the rails and fall off, and thus more mischief would be done than by not fencing it.

The Chairman said that the edge of the causeway had been whitened.

It was decided to refer the matter to the County Council.

Mr. Bazeley moved that the paragraph regarding notices “Keep to the right” be referred back to the committee for further consideration.

The chairman said the reason the committee came to their decision was because they thought it was not justifiable to go to the expense at present.

The Surveyor said he thought the cost would be 7/6d per plate.

Mr. Bazeley said it would only be a small matter to put the plates up in High-street. He was very much disappointed that the committee had not recommended the putting up of the plates. The small cost should not stand in the way of a thing like this. He knew the summer months were coming on, but if they had the plates fixed now, it would give the people time during the summer months to get into proper order before the dark nights came round again. It was time they got the public of Rushden to adopt town methods, and keep to the right on the footways. There had been a lot of collisions during the past winter, especially since the lighting restrictions came into force. He thought the committee had taken a narrow, parochial view in not making a favourable recommendation.

Mr. Bates seconded.

Mr. Claridge: I thought it was the custom for people to keep to the right.

Mr. Bazeley: Not in Rushden.

Mr. Claridge said that if such notices would induce the people to keep he would be glad.

Mr. Kitchen said that if the plates would introduce some method into the town he would be glad to support Mr. Bazeley’s amendment.

The Chairman: I threw out a hint to the public at the last meeting, and I have noticed that it has been observed a great deal during the last month. People have seen my remarks in the paper, and have kept to the right. People are now to a great extent keeping to the right.

Mr. Bazeley: And would do it a great deal more if these notices were put up. The continual dripping of water wears away the stone. Other towns have put up such notices to regulate the traffic, and that is what we shall have to do in Rushden.

Mr. Bazeley’s amendment was lost.

With reference to the Council houses Mr. Bazeley uttered a strong protest against the delay in completing the garden fencing. The present state of affairs was no encouragement to the tenants to keep the property in order. The tenants were anxious to have the fencing completed in order that they might cultivate their garden ground.

The whole of the report was adopted.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Tuesday, the 4th April, 1916, at 10 a.m. when there were present: Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), C. Bates, J. Claridge, F. Knight and T. Wilmott.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure therein being as follows:-




Week ending 2nd March, 1916




Week ending 9th March, 1916




Week ending 16th March, 1916




Week ending 23rd March, 1916




Week ending 30th March, 1916




Collector’s Accounts

The collector’s accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums since the last meeting:-




General district rate








Green Tolls




Burial fees




And that during the past quarter he had collected the following sum:-




Cottage rents




Treasurer’s Accounts

The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-




Collector, General District Rate




Collector, Fittings




Collector, Burial fees




Collector, Green Tolls




Free Library, fees, fines, &c




Overseers, Rent of Offices




Overseers, Refund for books




County Council, M.O. and S.I. salaries




Lack, Chimney on fire




Andrew, Chimney on fire




W. Wilmott, Chimney on fire




S. Winsor, rent of Oakpits




Collector, Cottage rents




Clerk, re L. Tribunal




Boys Brigade, Spencer Park








Trade refuse








And that the balances were as follows:-




General Account
Loan Account No. 16
Loan Account No. 19
Loan Account No. 27
Loan Account No. 28 o/d

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts amounting to £350/16/5d were examined and passed for payment.

The report was adopted.

Health and Sanitary Committee

A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held in the Council buildings on Wednesday, the 5th April 1916, when there were present: - Messrs. J. Spencer (Chairman), T. Swindall, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge and G. H. Skinner.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer’s report for the month of March was received.

The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the month of March 38 preliminary notices had been issued, calling attention to nuisances etc., all of which were receiving attention.

Three lots of foul and infected bedding had been destroyed during the month (two of which were after deaths from consumption). It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the bedding in two cases at a cost not exceeding £1/5/0d in each case.

The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.

M.O.H & S.I. Annual Report

The annual reports of the Medical Officer and Sanitary Inspector for the year ending 31st December last, copies of which had been circulated amongst the members of the Council, were received.

Petroleum Acts

An application was received from Messrs. Tailby and Putnam for a licence to store petrol at the rear of the premises, No. 127 high-street. It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the application.

Refuse Receptacles

The Inspector of Nuisances submitted a report with a regard to a number of houses, showing the nature of the accommodation for the deposit of refuse.

It appeared to the Committee by this report that the houses therein referred to were without a sufficient ashtub, ashpit, or other receptacle for the deposit of refuse, and it was resolved to report to the Council accordingly, with a recommendation that notices be served upon the owners requiring them within 28 days to provide for each house a sufficient and proper receptacle.


The Inspector reported that the work of asphalting the back yards had not yet been commenced, and he was instructed to write to the owner pressing him to proceed with the work forthwith.


The Registrar attended and presented his report on the work done in connection with records during the past 12 months. Considerable difficulty had been experienced in bringing up to date the previous records, owing to various reasons, but all had been satisfactorily surmounted, and the books were now in complete order.

Purchased Graves – The Registrar reported that the purchases of four graves on which a deposit had been paid upwards of 14 years ago had not been completed. He had notified the purchasers without result. It was resolved to recommend the Council to give them notice that unless the purchases be completed by the 24th June next the sales will be cancelled.

Reserved Spaces – The Registrar also reported that seven spaces on which fees had been paid upwards of 14 years ago had not been utilised, and, further fees not having been paid, were now available for ordinary graves. He was instructed to fill up the spaces in due course.

Registrar’s remuneration – In consideration of the large additional amount of work in connection with the registers the Committee considered that the Registrar was entitled to some additional remuneration, and resolved to request the Finance Committee to consider same with a view to a grant of £5 being made to him.

Sewage Farm

The Farm Committee reported that the yearly mowing of the spare grass land was seriously deteriorating its value for agricultural purposes, and for the last two years the grass keeping had been sold for £15. If the land could be grazed, the Committee considered it would be worth at least £26 per annum, but to do this it would be necessary to erect fencing estimated to cost £130. The Council have in hand £144/3/3d on Loan No. 16, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to provide the fencing required out of this Loan and at once proceed with the work if the prospective tenant would agree to pay a rental of £26 per annum for the land in question, the tenancy in the first instance to be for a term of three years certain.


It was resolved to recommend the Council to increase the caretaker’s wages from 5s to 6s 6d per week.

Parks Committee

A meeting of the Parks Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 5th April, 1916, when there were present: Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), T. Swindall, J. Spencer, J. Claridge, G. H. Skinner and T. Wilmott.


Representatives of the various Bands of the town attended the meeting, and arrangements were made for the alternate use of the stand for Sundays during the months of April, May and June. The report was adopted.

Public Health

Mr. Spencer dealt with the annual reports of the Medical Officer of Health and the Sanitary Inspector. He said he was exceedingly pleased to see the increase in the birth-rate. The death-rate, he was sorry to say, showed a small increase on the year, but even now it was only 10 per 1,000 of the population, and Rushden’s death-rate was almost the lowest of any town in the country. He was sorry to see the increase in the infantile mortality, which was largely due to the deaths from whooping cough. The Council had tried honestly to improve the health of the town, and the Medical Officer had done his share. When they had a large number of troops in Rushden the health of the town remained good, and there were no epidemics. The Sanitary Inspector’s report was of a high character, up to his usual average. They were exceedingly glad the Inspector had dealt during the past year with the question of unsound meat. If the food was not of a proper quality the health of the people would suffer. They regretted that there had been any necessity for these prosecutions, but they were glad that they came to the proper conclusion.

Mr. Claridge said he agreed that this was a very valuable report reflecting great credit upon the Medical Officer and the Sanitary Inspector. He was sorry that the death-rate had gone up from 8 to 10 per cent, and that the death-rate among infants had increased from 73 to 104 per 1,000 births. In London, he noticed, the infantile death-rate was just over 100, and ranged from 70 in the wealthy parts to 140 in Shoreditch. There must be great ignorance on the part of some of the parents, and perhaps the surroundings had a great deal to do with it.

Mr. Bazeley said the reports were very able and were very satisfactory on the whole. He noticed the doctor said that the scavenging was still going on “in the old sweet way,” that was, that the Council still used open carts for scavenging, with a cloth thrown over, instead of having covered in carts. But for this disastrous war, and the instructions given to the local governing bodies to cut down expenditure in every possible direction, covered carts would probably have been provided before this. At any rate, they must keep their eyes on this point, and procure covered carts for collecting the refuse as soon as possible. He hoped that before another annual report all the houses in Rushden would be provided with proper sanitary dustbins. Both the doctor and the inspector deserved the best thanks of the Council.

The annual reports were adopted.

Local Tribunal

Mr. Bates moved that members of the Local Tribunal be increased from five to seven. One reason for moving this, he said, was to get better Labour representation on the Tribunal. At the present time they had only one out of five, and the instructions from headquarters were that there should be fair Labour representation. Another reason was that according to instructions the minimum number should be five and the maximum 25. There were some very important points to deal with, and many cases which needed the attention of the whole of the Tribunal, and it might happen sometimes that not more than three out of the five could be present. There was no doubt that with the big Russian order for boots they would have to be as careful as possible with respect to the number of men drafted from the shoe trade.

Mr. Bazeley seconded.

Mr. Claridge: Is Mr. Bates reflecting the feeling of the Tribunal? I think we should be influenced a great deal by that. The five gentlemen selected are representative people, and in all probability do their work just as effectively as a larger number would do. With regard to Labour representation, I do not suppose Mr. Bates would expect both the new members to be Labour men, so that it would not make much difference in that respect. I think five can do the work as satisfactorily as seven, but I should be guided a great deal by the opinion of the Tribunal.

The Chairman said the suggested increase did not emanate from the Tribunal. The majority of the Tribunal thought five members sufficient.

Mr. Clipson: If the members of the Tribunal want it increasing I am prepared to support it.

Mr. Wilmott said the Tribunal had been selected a second time, and he did not see why it should be increased now when it had done three parts of its work.

Mr. Bates: I tried to get an increase when it was appointed a second time. It is the working men of Rushden who asked me to bring forward this matter.

Three (Mr. Spencer, Mr. Bates and Mr. Bazeley) voted for Mr. Bates’s proposition, and four against, so that it was lost. Three members were neutral.


The Local Government Board wrote that, as the life of Urban Councils had been extended a year longer than the period for which they were originally elected they did not think that any member wishing to resign should be subject to a fine, and had accordingly made an order to that effect.

21st April 1916

Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
The Year’s Finances
A Member Called to Order
Mr. Hyde and the ILP - Is it Pro-German

Wednesday, present Councillors T. Swindall, J.P. (chairman), John Spencer (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., J. S. Clipson, W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, T. Wilmott, J. Hyde and G. H. Skinner, with the clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).


Mr. Knight proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Swindall, who during the past year had presided most ably over the meetings and to the utmost satisfaction of every member. All had received fair play and courtesy from Mr. Swindall, and would all look back with gratitude on the services rendered to the town and Council. He was glad that Mr. Swindall had had health and strength to attend all the meetings.

Mr. Bates seconded.

Mr. Wilmott, supporting, said that Mr. Swindall had done his work extraordinarily well, and it had been a hard year, too.

Mr. Skinner, supporting, said they were all grateful to Mr. Swindall, who had been most courteous and patient.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Mr. Swindall, returning thanks, said it was satisfactory for him to know that his work had been appreciated. The outside work had been very heavy. In connection with the National Registration, he wished to thank the members of the Council for their help, and the large committee had done splendid work, for which he wished to thank them. He cordially thanked the Clerk, Surveyor and Sanitary Inspector, who had made his year of office as pleasant as possible.

Election of Chairman

Mr. Swindall proposed that Mr. Spencer, the retiring vice-chairman, be elected chairman for this year. Mr. Spencer, he said, was an old member of the Council, and the business was not new to him. All who worked with him knew that he had interests of the town at heart.

Mr. Clipston seconded.

Mr. Bazeley, supporting, said that Mr. Spencer well deserved the honour, and would carry out the duties ably and impartially.

Mr. Wilmott supported, and said Mr. Spencer had worked hard for the town.

Mr. Hyde asked if Mr. Spencer belonged to the Independent Labour Party and if he supported their policy, because, if so, he (Mr. Hyde) could not vote for him.

The Chairman: That is not quite in order.

Mr. Hyde: It does not matter what you say about being in order. If Mr. Spencer belongs to the I.L.P. he is not fit to be our chairman.

Mr. Bates: I object to that. Three of us belong to the I.L.P.

Mr. Hyde: If you do you are not fit to be here. I am not saying anything about you being trade unionist, but you know the policy which is being propagated by the I.L.P. to which Mr. Spencer belongs.

Mr. Bates: So do I.

Mr. Hyde: Then you are as bad as him. The policy of the I.L.P. is a German policy. It is a German policy. It is absolutely rotten – rotten!

Mr. Bazeley: It is entirely out of order. We let our party politics drop here.

Mr. Knight also rose to a point of order.

Mr. Hyde: We don’t want a peace demonstrator as our chairman.

Mr. Swindall: Then you must vote against.

Mr. Spencer was then elected chairman, all present voting for him except Mr. Hyde.

In taking the chair, Mr. Spencer said he had always tried to do his best for the town.

The Vice-Chair

Mr. Knight proposed Mr. Wilmott as vice-chairman and said that though Mr. Wilmott had been on the Council only three years he had served well on various committees and had attended regularly.

Mr. Skinner seconded, and said that Mr. T. Wilmott’s father served on the old Local Board for many years.

Mr. Clipson and the newly-elected Chairman supported, and the motion was carried, Mr. Hyde not voting.

Mr. Wilmott returned thanks for the honour.

The Committees

were re-elected.

The Rev. P. Robson was elected to the Library Committee, vice the Ven. A. Kitchin.

The School Managers, etc., were re-elected.


Mr. Swindall: Has the Clerk received notice of any resignations?

The Clerk: No.

Mr. Swindall: If a man cannot attend it is only fair to the other members that he should resign.

Mr. Hyde: Is Mr. Swindall alluding to any particular member?

Mr. Swindall: I allude to those who have not attended.


The estimates for the coming year were received, and the Chairman said they had in hand a balance of about £1,000.

The estimates allowed for a rate of 5/0 in the £, against 5/2 last year.

Mr. Hyde said he did not think the increase of 2d last year was needed, though the Clerk told them it was.

The Clerk: I did not, for I was not here.

Mr. Hyde: Yes, you were. I know what I am talking about. That 2d rate need never have been put on.

After discussion the estimates were adopted.

Mr. Hyde rose to speak, but the Chairman ruled him out of order, remarking, “You have spoken a good many times and I have been very lenient with you.”

Mr. Hyde: I have not spoken out of order. I have a right to ask a question and to reply. If you do not know your business, Mr. Chairman, I hope you will learn it during the next 12 months.

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