|Rushden Echo, 14th & 21st April, 1933, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Severe Warning to Local Shopkeepers
14th April, 1933
The monthly meeting of the Rushden Urban Council was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday evening, the meeting also being the last of the Council’s year. A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr. J. Roe, J.P., the retiring chairman, and also to the vice-chairman, Mr. J. Spencer, J.P.
Several resolutions presented dealt with Rushden Hall and grounds and the increased amenities for the coming summer.
Mr. Tysoe lodged another protest against the nuisance of watering cans at the cemetery, and asked the public to return them to racks after use.
A warning was issued to shopkeepers in Rushden who obstruct the pavements by low sun-blinds, and it was stated that offenders might be prosecuted if the bye-law were not observed.
NEW RUSHDEN HALL FACILITIES
The members present were Messrs. J. Roe, J.P., (in the chair), J. Spencer, J.P. (vice-chairman), A. Allebone, C.C., W. E. Capon, T. Swindall, C. W. Horrell, C.A., F. Green, G. W. Coles, J.P., A. Wilmott, J. Hornsby, J. T. Richardson, L. Tysoe, L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., T. F. B. Newberry, J. Allen, and Dr. D. G. Greenfield, with the Clerk, Mr. G. S. Mason, the Assistant Clerk, Mr. W. L. Beetenson, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.
The Parks, Baths and Hall Committee reported the following additional gifts to the Hall museum: A photo of the late Canon Barker, given by the Rector (the Rev. Travers S. Stoney); old china (Mr. Barley); old china and Indian pipe (Mr. E. Newell); old coins, dug up at Rothwell (Mr. Perkins); foreign coins (Mr. E. A. Beardsmore); stuffed otter (Mrs. J. Garley); an old fashioned muzzle rifle, smooth bore, with water bottle and Scotsman’s brush picked up during the last Boer War (Mrs. T. Wilmott). The thanks of the Council were accorded the donors.
It was also reported that exhibits could be borrowed from the South Kensington Museum, upon application, and the chairman of the Committee (Mr. G. W. Coles, J.P.) with Dr. Greenfield was appointed to visit this museum, at a convenient date, and select a few articles of interest.
From a further meeting of the Committee it was reported that they had visited and inspected the museum, that the question of the provision of further accommodation was considered and it was agreed to recommend to the Council that the room immediately at the north of the present room be so utilised and that it be suitably renovated at an estimated cost of £5. The Council approved this action.
The Hall sub-Committee reported that the Waverley Temperance Hotel, Ltd., were prepared again to undertake the supply of refreshments for the coming season as last year, and this was approved.
Applications were received from the various bands of the town for permission to give concerts in the Hall grounds on Saturdays and Sundays during the ensuing season.
An application was also received from the Rushden Adult School Male Choir to give two concerts in the grounds during the year.
The Hall Committee agreed to accede to the applications, it being understood that representatives of the bands and choir would meet and amicably arrange dates.
Mr. Coles, chairman of the Committee, said the whole of the arrangements had now been completed.
Mr. G. W. Coles reported that the majority of the photographs of the chairmen of the Council, since its inception, had now been hung, and it was hoped to complete the list in the course of the next few days. It had been found necessary for the room to be renovated and a picture rail fixed, and this had been done at a cost of £4 9s. 7d. The Committee’s action was approved.
Mr. Coles said they had obtained photographs of all the past chairmen of the Council.
The Surveyor reported that part of one of the walls of the barn in the Hall grounds had collapsed. He had obtained an estimate of the cost of repair, which amounted to £4 15s., and after consultation with the Hall sub-Committee had put the work in hand.
The Surveyor’s action was approved.
The Surveyor reported that the work of levelling had now been completed. The question of the provision of two extra tennis courts was again considered by the Parks Committee and adjourned.
Sale of Ice Cream
An application was received from Messrs. T. Wall and Sons, offering £15 for the sole right of supplying ice cream in the Hall grounds, Spencer and Jubilee Parks during the coming season, and the Parks Committee accepted the offer.
After Mr. Hornsby had asked whether Sundays were included in the agreement, Mr. Tysoe said he disagreed with ice cream being sold there on the Sabbath day.
Mr. Coles said he did not see that much harm would be done.
Mr. Wilmott said he doubted if the firm would have it at all if Sundays were knocked off.
An application was received from St. Peter’s Cricket Club for the use of a pitch in Spencer Park during the coming season. The Parks Committee and the Council agreed to accede to the application at a charge of £1, but before making an allocation decided to await further applications.
The Parks Committee recommended to the Council that the work of upkeep of this site be transferred from the Cemetery caretaker to Mr. Pettit, the Hall gardener, and this was agreed.
The Hall Committee also recommended to the Council that the old smoke room at the Hall be exclusively reserved for the use of ladies and that it be provided with seating accommodation including twelve wicker chairs, for which the Surveyor was instructed to obtain prices and submit to the next meeting This was agreed.
Mr. Perkins said he hoped it would be made clear that the term “ladies” did not include girls in their ‘teens who might be a nuisance to adults.
The Committee had also visited and inspected the Hall Gardens which had been thoroughly cleaned. It was agreed that these gardens should be made use of in some form or another, but before making a recommendation to the Council, the Committee instructed the Surveyor to prepare an estimate of the cost of draining, and treating with clinker, with a view to sowing down with grass, and submit same to the next meeting.
On the recommendation of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee, plans were approved as follows:-
House on the Wellingborough-road for Mr. M. Stringer; two wooden bungalows on brick foundations on the Avenue-road, Court Estate, for Messrs. L. Drage and L. Tebbutt; additions to factory in Irchester-road for Messrs. Eaton and Co., Ltd.; additions to house, 13, Essex-road, for Mr. L. Brawn; additions to factory in Portland-road for Mr. F. Hawkes; barn and coal-place to house in Park-avenue for Mr. R. Bettles; garage (wooden building) to house in Purvis-road for Mr. W. Dunmore; garage (wooden building) to house, 96, Wentworth-road for Mr. C. G. Daniels.
The Captain of the Fire Brigade attended a meeting of the Highways Committee and discussed with the Committee the question of the appointment of a Third Officer to the brigade.
The Committee agreed that it was desirable that such an officer be appointed and it was resolved to recommend to the Council to invite applications for the position. This was agreed.
The Captain also referred to the system at present in vogue of calling the Brigade in case of fire, which he stated was not altogether satisfactory. The Fire Brigade sub-Committee were requested to consider the matter more fully with the Captain, and report to a future meeting.
Attention was called to the sum at present paid to the Brigade for the cleaning and general upkeep of the equipment at the Station. This was £12 per annum and was fixed prior to the War when the work involved was considerably less than at present.
The Committee recommended to the Council that the amount be increased to £26 per annum, dating from the last payment, and this was agreed.
Mr. Allebone, chairman of the Highways Committee, said this would mean £2 to be paid to each man per annum for cleaning.
Team Labour Daywork carting
Tenders were received for the team labour required during the ensuing six months and the Council accepted those of Messrs. C. Spriggs, B. Folkes and C. Holley at the respective prices quoted by them.
The Surveyor submitted tenders for the ensuing year’s supply of road materials, and the chairman of the Highways Committee and the Surveyor were appointed a sub-Committee to consider the tenders and accept the most favourable.
It was resolved to cease full street lighting after the 6th May, next, but to continue the all night lamps as usual.
The Lighting sub-Committee were requested to visit and inspect Carnegie-street before the next lighting season.
The Surveyor submitted a letter from the L.M.S. Railway Co. agreeing to the lamps on their footbridge near the station being lighted on Sundays by the Council subject to the payment of an annual charge of £1 for the gas consumed.
The Council accepted the offer.
The Highways Committee reported as follows:- “Town Police Clauses Act, 1847. This Act provides that every person who in any street to the obstruction, annoyance or danger of the residents or passengers commits any of the following offences shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 40/- for each offence: Places any blind shade covering awning or other projection along or over any such footway, unless such covering is of sufficient height in every part thereof from the ground. The Inspector reported that there were several such cases and he was requested to call upon the offenders and warn them of the consequences.”
Mr. Allebone said he wished to call the attention of those shopkeepers who were continually violating this bye-law to the penalties to which they were liable, and he was requested to say that the Council, while not desirous of taking action against anyone, felt that unless the warnings issued were taken notice of they would have no option in view of the numerous complaints but to prosecute those who continually and wilfully contravened this bye-law.
The Health and Sanitary Committee stated that the report of the Medical Officer for the month of March was received and that the Sanitary Inspector submitted his monthly report of the work and inspections in connection with the Sanitary Department.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that the staircase and passage of a house in Beech-road were in a bad state of repair, thereby causing a nuisance.
The Council agreed to serve a notice on the owner requiring him to abate the nuisance within 28 days.
Milk and Dairies Orders
The Sanitary Inspector reported that under the County Council Clean Milk Production Scheme, six samples of milk had been taken from purveyors in the district and submitted for bacteriological examination. The results were now received and considered satisfactory.
The quarterly report of the Veterinary Inspector was received, from which it appeared that on the 9th, 13th and 20th March, he visited 18 premises in the Urban District, inspecting 174 cows, the whole of which were clinically normal and the majority in good condition.
The Committee considered the report very satisfactory.
The Medical Officer submitted an account from the Wellingborough Urban District Council amounting to £13 12s. in respect of a case of diphtheria which had been sent to their Isolation Hospital. It was agreed that the account be paid.
The Sanitary Inspector was authorised to order the periodical known as “The Justice of the Peace and Local Government Review” for use in his department at an annual cost of £1 15s.
Tenders were received for the team labour required in connection with the scavenging for the ensuing six months, and the Council accepted those of Messrs. B. Folkes, C. Adams, G. C. Townsend and C. Holley at the respective prices quoted by them.
The Surveyor was instructed to obtain prices for the painting of two of the Council’s carts and accept the most favourable.
The Cemetery sub-Committee reported that as requested, they had considered the terms and conditions upon which the new Cemetery Caretaker would enter upon his duties.
It was decided to recommend that he be forbidden to receive any fees or gratuities of whatever nature, and that all such fees be paid to the Cemetery Registrar at the Council Buildings. It was also agreed to recommend that a charge of 2s. 6d. be made for the protection of wreaths, etc., from frost, and that the present charge of 3s. 6d. per annum for the planting of graves be exclusive of flowers, etc.
The Committee recommended to the Council accordingly, it being understood that notices embodying the above recommendations would be exhibited in the Cemetery, and this was approved.
Several members thought the charge was rather excessive for poor people, and Mr. Perkins suggested that the words “not exceeding” be added in the resolution before “2s. 6d.”
Mr. Swindall, chairman of the Committee, said people had always been willing to pay the half-crown. He did not think Mr. Perkins’s resolution was practicable.
Mr. Wilmott said it meant paying the money to the Registrar instead of as a gratuity at the cemetery.
Mr. Allebone seconded Mr. Perkins’s resolution.
Mr. Coles said he thought they should make no charge at all, there was always a lot of expense on such occasions.
Mr. Tysoe said all the members would agree with Mr. Coles, but the more they did for people the less it was appreciated.
Mr. Perkins’s amendment was then carried.
Mr. Tysoe said he did not want to be known in Rushden as the “Watering Can King,” but the position which he had referred to before was now worse than ever, and he had experienced difficulty in finding a can. Many people had failed to return the cans to the rack, and this he described as “gross selfishness.” He hoped people would appreciate the service given to them better in the future.
Mr. Hornsby said the best remedy would be to put a tap in the centre of the cemetery for the convenience of users of water.
The Clerk reported that owing to the extra labour employed in connection with the works in Spencer Park, the wages account at the bank was overdrawn on the 31st March, and he had given instructions to the treasurers to transfer a sum of £105 from the General Account in order to liquidate such overdraft.
The Council approved the action of the Clerk.
Fire at Fish Shop
The Clerk reported the expenses of the Rushden Fire Brigade in attending this fire on January 26th amounted to 17s., and the account had been duly forwarded to Mr. Cox, the owner.
A letter was now received from the Royal Exchange Assurance stating that they did not feel disposed to pay the account owing to their insured being a ratepayer.
The Council agreed that this sum be written off as irrecoverable.
Mr. Allen, chairman of the Housing Committee, reported that the houses on the extension of Tennyson-place were being proceeded with rapidly, and about 110 men were employed and another 30 in Mr. Marriott’s shops. However none of the houses would be ready until June, and he would say that for the benefit of some people who had already interviewed members of the Housing Committee.
A letter was received from the 5th Northants Regiment asking the Council to nominate one of their members to attend the annual re-union of officers to be held at Rushden on May 6th, and Mr. Allen was appointed.
The late Mr. F. Knight
A letter was received from Mr. R. F. Knight thanking the Council for their sympathy with the family of the late Mr. F. Knight, J.P., in their bereavement.
April 26th was fixed for the annual meeting of the Council.
Mr. Perkins proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman for his conduct in the chair in the last twelve months, and he paid a tribute to Mr. Roe for his services, not only at the Council meetings but also at social gatherings in the town.
Mr. Coles seconded and said Mr. Roe had upheld the traditions of the Council and of the chair, while he referred to the genial disposition he had displayed, and his broad outlook. Mr. Roe had given satisfaction to the Council and to the town in the last twelve months.
Mr. Horrell warmly supported the proposition, as did Mr. Allebone.
Mr. Roe, who was heartily applauded, in returning thanks, said the year had been a happy one and he had tried to uphold the dignity of the chair. He had been impressed by the valuable work done in the town.
Mr. Roe thanked the members of the Council for their assistance, also the Clerk and Assistant Clerk, and all officers, together with the representatives of the Press.
Mr. Allebone proposed a vote of thanks to the vice-chairman, to whose services he referred, and Mr. Swindall seconded, saying Mr. Spencer made the Council work a “labour of love.” Mr. Spencer responded, after the remarks made had been endorsed by the chairman.
|21st April, 1933
Mr. John Spencer Elected Chairman
The annual meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council was held at the Council Buildings, Rushden, on Wednesday evening, when Mr. John Spencer, J.P., was elected chairman for the ensuing year, in place of Mr. J. Roe, and Ald. C. W. Horrell, C.A., became the new vice-chairman.
The proceedings were remarkably brief and the business on the agenda was completed in just a quarter of an hour.
After the elections had taken place Mr. Swindall drew attention to the fact that as Mr. Spencer was already a J.P. the town would be still further deprived of a magistrate for the next year. He expressed disappointment that the recently published list of new Justices for the County had contained the names of no Rushden gentlemen.
ONLY THREE LOCAL MAGISTRATES: A CRITICISM
The members present were Messrs. J. Spencer J.P., C. W. Horrell, C.A., J. Roe, A. Wilmott, G. W. Coles, J.P., T. Swindall, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., L. Tysoe, J. Hornsby, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, W. C. Tarry, L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., J. T. Richardson, T. F. B. Newberry, J. Allen, and W. E. Capon, with the Clerk, Mr. G. S. Mason, the Assistant Clerk, Mr. W. L. Beetenson, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.
Election of Chairman
Mr. Roe said: I have very much pleasure indeed in proposing that our vice-chairman, Mr. Spencer, be the chairman of this Council for the coming year. He has very ably filled the vice-chair, and I am sure he will carry out the duties of chairman in a very satisfactory manner. It needs no words of mine to commend him to this position. He is, I suppose, the “father” of this Council, and he has filled the office of chairman on two previous occasions, and I am sure no one on this Council has the interests of the town more at heart than Mr. Spencer, and if he has the health and strength, which we hope he will, he will fill the office in a manner satisfactory to himself and to the members of the Council.
Mr. Horrell: I am very pleased to second the proposal. We all know the very lengthy service Mr. Spencer has rendered to the town and I am sure he will ably carry out the duties which devolve upon him. He has not only served, as has been mentioned, for many years, but he has also been chairman of the Council, and his experience qualifies him for that position again. I have the greatest possible pleasure in seconding the proposal.
The election of Mr. Spencer to the chair was then carried amid applause, and Mr. Spencer took the chair and was accorded a hearty handshake by the retiring chairman, who added: “I hope you will have a happy year of office, and I congratulate you very much.”
Mr. Spencer: I am sure I appreciate the post to which you have elected me and I hope, as Mr. Roe has expressed, that I may have the health to enable me to carry out the duties. In the experience of the chair I have had in the past I found the members very forbearing and willing to assist the chairman, and my experience has been that we have had a wonderful Council so far as that position is concerned. The members all obey the chairman and carry out the duties in the interests of the town. It may be that I stand in a unique position because I was present at the first meeting of the Rushden Urban Council when it was formed, and there is only one other person our worthy Clerk who was present on that occasion, and I hope he will live long to be spared to continue to be with us. Even in 1916, when I was appointed chairman, there were only two other persons then present whom I can see now; Mr. Swindall and our Clerk. Of course Mr. Perkins was a member of the Council but he was away serving with His Majesty’s Forces. So you will see that the personnel of the Council has changed since that time very considerably. It was in the war that I was called to the chair and the years were ones of tragedy to me because on the very day I was appointed chairman my eldest son was killed. They were therefore two years of sorrow and sadness and difficulty, but the members of the Council and the inhabitants of the town worked diligently to help to solve those difficulties and tried, both in respect to food rations and cultivation of land, and in a hundred and one other ways to bring comfort to the people of the town. Also, we did not forget those who served at the Front. Looking back, I can say that remarkable progress has been made in the town. Every Council has made some form of progress, and undertaken some work which has helped to make the town what it is, and looking at the personnel of the Council I think there will be the same progressive spirit among the members so that much as Rushden has grown in the past I hope its development will be greater in the future. I again thank you for the confidence you have placed in me, and I hope it may not be betrayed.
Mr. Allebone said: It is with great pleasure I rise to move that Mr. Horrell, who has been chairman of this Council before, since the time I have been member, shall be our vice-chairman for the coming year. I am satisfied that if he is elected chairman next year, which he will in the natural order of things, he will be able to carry out the duties equally well as he did in the past. In his office of vice-chairman he will be one, who if called upon to act in your capacity, Mr. Chairman, will, we are satisfied, be able to do his duty. We know his keenness and ability in all departments of public work. I am sure his election will be unanimous and it is with great pleasure I move the election of Mr. Horrell to the vice-chair.
Mr. Coles: I have very great pleasure in seconding, and I agree with every word Mr. Allebone has said in making the proposal. We have known Mr. Horrell for a great many years and we also know that whenever he takes anything up he does it thoroughly, and I am satisfied that if we appoint him as vice-chairman we shall have cause to regret it. He is an extremely busy man, but he finds time to devote a great part to public service. I sincerely hope he will not be called upon to preside this year but if the occasion arises he will carry out the duties in a manner satisfactory to himself and to the Council.
The election of Mr. Horrell was carried with enthusiasm, and in reply, after taking the vice-chair he said: “I thank you very much indeed for the very kind things you have said about me, and for electing me to the position of vice-chairman. I am prepared to do all I can to support the chairman, but I hope I shall have as easy time in the vice-chair as our new chairman did last year.”
The various committees of the Council were then appointed.
A letter was received from Mr. C. Faulkner, on behalf of the Rushden Trades Council and Labour Party, enquiring whether the Council would grant the use of Spencer Park for a May Day demonstration.
On the proposition of Mr. Coles, seconded by Mr. Swindall, this was granted.
Mr. Coles: Has any application been received from the Co-operative Society.
The Assistant Clerk: It only came in this morning, and will come before the Parks Committee at their next meeting.
Mr. Swindall said: With the elevation of Mr. Spencer to the chair, the town is deprived of one Justice of the Peace. You will remember that I brought this matter before the Council before, and we passed a resolution asking that additional Justices might be appointed for Rushden. No doubt you gentlemen, as well as myself, were very disappointed when we saw that the recent list of appointments contained no one for the Wellingborough Division from Rushden. I am very disappointed. Now that Mr. Knight has passed away we are left with only three magistrates in the town. I do not see what we can do, but someone ought to raise a protest.
The chairman: We could move a resolution to be sent to the Lord Lieutenant or the Lord Chancellor.
Mr. Swindall: There may not be any further appointments for perhaps five years.
The chairman: It is more like every year that some are appointed.
Mr. John Spencer, J.P., the new chairman of the Rushden Urban Council, has had a long and honoured career of public service in Rushden, extending over the long period of 40 years, and the respect and esteem in which he is held, not only by all the members of the Council, but by the townspeople generally, help to make him admirably fitted to occupy, once again, the onerous position of chief citizen of Rushden.
Mr. Spencer was born at Northampton on March 18th, 1864, and his wife, formerly Miss E. Elson, also comes from the county town, where they were married on Christmas Day, 1886. The new chairman first came to Rushden in 1883, and worked as a clicker, after which he returned to Northampton for a few years, finally taking up permanent residence in Rushden in 1888.
Before coming to Rushden Mr. Spencer was associated with the Northampton Wesleyan Methodist Queens-road Church, where he did useful work as a Sunday School teacher, sidesman, and as president of the Band of Hope.
SUNDAY SCHOOL WORK
On coming to Rushden be became a member of the High-street Independent Wesleyan Church where he later occupied the positions of Sunday School teacher and Society Steward. In the early days of the Wellingborough-road Mission Church, however, Mr. Spencer transferred his religious activities to that organisation, to which he still belongs, and in all the work there he continues to play a prominent part. Mr. Spencer became the Society Steward at the church and assistant superintendent of the Sunday Schools, ultimately taking over the office of superintendent when that became vacant. These two offices he still retains.
Always taking a deep interest in the young people, Mr. Spencer has been connected with Sunday School work for 53 years, and he is also associated with the Band of Hope, being a total abstainer. He holds long service diplomas from the Sunday School Union and National Band of Hope Union. Last year Mr. Spencer became president of the Rushden, Thrapston, and District Sunday School Union, and he concluded his year of office at the annual meeting of that organisation at Thrapston on Saturday. Mr. Spencer is also a past president of the Rushden and District Free Church Council.
It is probable, however, that the new chairman is more widely known to the public for services in the realm of local government over a great many years. As far back as 1891 he was elected a member of the old Rushden School Board and his motto then was “the best schools and the best teachers for the children.” When the Urban Council was formed in 1894 Mr. Spencer was elected a member and since that eventful year in the town’s history has been re-elected eleven times, heading the poll on several occasions.
On the Council he has always supported progressive measures and took a keen interest in the obtaining for the town of a good water supply. He was elected a member of the first Water Board and at a later date was chairman of the body.
He was also a supporter of the effort by the Council to purchase the gas works for the town, but this attempt fell through. Schemes for housing, recreation grounds and baths, all found in him a consistent supporter and during his long service Mr. Spencer has always been devoted to encouraging various projects for improving the health and happiness of the townspeople.
Mr. Spencer has served on all the committees of the Council while he has three times been vice-chairman, in 1902, 1915, and 1932, and in 1916 was first elected chairman of the Council, being re-elected to that office for the following year.
In that time of great national difficulty and in a period of great responsibility for the holder of such an office, Mr. and Mrs. Spencer suffered severe personal bereavements. Their eldest son was killed on the very day that Mr. Spencer was elevated to the chair in 1916, and during the war they lost three other children.
Family bereavements, however, stimulated Mr. Spencer, it seemed, in his devotion to public duty and work for others. During those two years, in addition to attending to the ordinary duties of chairman of the Council, Mr. Spencer was chairman of the local Food Committee, served on the District Food Committee, was chairman for the war-time allotments scheme, and of the local National War Savings Committee, while he took a leading part in efforts made in Rushden for the Red Cross. In many other ways, too, he did his best to help the inhabitants of Rushden and district and at the same time helping the soldiers who were serving their country.
Mr. Spencer was made a Justice of the Peace for Northamptonshire in 1918.
For many years the new chairman of the Council has been prominent in the Labour movement in the constituency. He was the first president of the Wellingborough Divisional Labour Party, president of the local I.L.P. for twelve years, and until recently president of the Rushden Labour Party, an office he held for eight years.
Engaged in the boot and shoe trade for many years, Mr. Spencer retired in 1930. At one time he was president and afterwards secretary of the Rushden No. 2 Branch of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives. Mr. Spencer is a London and City Guild Medallist. He is also a former president of the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society and now serves on the committee. The best wishes of all will be extended to Mr. Spencer for a happy, congenial, and progressive year of office.