|The Rushden Echo, 19th August 1910, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Danger Versus Beauty
The Rector’s Opposition
To Setting Back The Church Wall
Excellent Report On Main Roads
Plans, Etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 27th July, 1910, when there were present :- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, F. Ballard, C. E. Bayes, J. S. Clipson, and G. Miller.
were presented by:-
Mr. Fred Knight for additions to his factory in Park-road and passed.
Mr. W. R. B. Mortimer for house on the Newton-road and passed.
It was resolved to continue the lighting on the Higham-road as far as the Higham Ferrers boundary from August 20th and to commence full lighting on August 23rd.
A circular letter from the Road Board was received, calling attention to the provisions of the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act, 1909, and stating that the Board was now prepared to receive applications from County Councils and other Highway Authorities for advances in accordance with the Act. The Board suggested that, before any application were sent in, conferences should be held in each County between the County Surveyor and the Surveyors of the Urban and Rural District Councils in the County for the purpose of discussing the proposals to be made, and of selecting so far as possible those which should in the first instance be submitted for the consideration of the Board.
The Surveyor submitted a letter which he had received from the County surveyor, enquiring if this Council had any proposals to put forward, and stating that a conference would shortly be held between him and the various Surveyors in the County. The Surveyor was instructed to put forward a scheme for the widening of the High-street near the Church by setting back a portion of the Church yard wall and along the Newton-road to the east end of the Parish Clerk’s house and to attend the conference suggested by the County Surveyor.
The annual report of the County surveyor was received. The following is an extract from the report so far as the roads in the Urban District of Rushden are concerned :-
“The roads in this district are amongst the best in the county, and continue to be maintained in a high state of efficiency. The town section was tarpainted last summer.
“Kettering and Higham Ferrers-road, 3m. 5½f. In very good order.
“Wellingborough and Kimbolton-road, 1m. 4¼f. In excellent surface and condition.”
The Committee congratulated the Surveyor on the very satisfactory nature of the report.
C.W.S. New Factory
The Surveyor submitted a letter from the Society’s architect, stating that much trouble was being caused owing to water getting into the basement of the new factory, and asking the Council to lower their storm water sewer sufficiently to drain the premises, at the Society’s expense.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Surveyor to comply with the Society’s request, charging prime cost for the work done.
The Clerk reported that he had had an interview with Mr. Clark’s solicitors with regard to this footpath and they had undertaken to cease mining on or under the footpath and shortly arrange for a meeting to be held on the site in order to settle what works Mr. Clark should now undertake to make the path satisfactory to the Council.
Rectory Road Improvements
The Surveyor was instructed to advertise in the local papers for tenders for the pulling down of the buildings up to line of the proposed new street and the boarding up of the remaining portion, the tenders to be delivered by August 17th, and submitted to a special meeting of the Committee to be held on the evening of that day prior to the Council meeting.
Higham Road Fence
The Surveyor reported that another of the cast iron pillars of the fence near to the Higham Ferrers boundary had been broken and that he had ordered a new casting to replace same. This was the second breakage within 12 months and the cost of the repair in each case was about £1. The casting could not have been broken by fair means, and the Committee instructed the Clerk to communicate with the Superintendent of Police calling his attention to the damage and requesting him to instruct his officers to take notice of anyone found damaging the fence.
The Ven. A. Kitchin, referring to the recommendation regarding the setting back of the churchyard wall, said he was a good deal astonished to find that a matter of that sort, in which he was the principal person concerned, should have been brought forward by the committee without any reference whatever to himself. He had also read the minutes with a certain amount of amusement at the light-heartedness with which the committee had made a recommendation which was, he submitted, entirely beyond their power. The setting back of the churchyard wall or the touching in any way of the churchyard was a matter with which the committee and the Council had no power to deal. In the first place the churchyard was consecrated ground, and in the second place it was the Rector’s freehold and as such could not be used for public purposes. The law said that when a churchyard had been consecrated the appropriation of any part of it for public use could not be effected without an Act of Parliament. That which was consecrated to God could not be alienated from Him without sacrilege. Not only had that Council no power to touch the churchyard, but he, as incumbent, had no power, even if he had the desire, to give them the power so to do. Apart from the legal point of view, however, he did not see how the wall could be put back without cutting down or damaging the trees. He thought the Council would agree with him that the church and its surroundings formed one of the few
in the town and he believed strong objection would be taken on the part of many inhabitants of the town to any action of the Council which might tend to alter or damage that beauty spot.
The Clerk, in reply to a question, said the Rector had rather misconceived the position. The Road Board had asked the local authorities for suggestions regarding improvements, but even if the Road Board entertained the idea of the committee, which was doubtful, the ecclesiastical authorities would have to be approached, and it was only by their consent that a part of the churchyard could be thrown into the road. That was not an impossibility, however, by any means, for he knew of several instances where it had been done.
Mr. Bazeley quite agreed with the recommendation of the committee for he thought the suggested improvement was one very much needed. If it was a beauty spot it was also a very dangerous spot. He knew of disused churchyards being made into open spaces. He took it there was no intention to slight the Rector. As a matter of fact a similar recommendation was made some years ago, and, with the consent of the Rector at that time, the improvement would have been carried out if they had had the money.
The Chairman did not think there was any idea of interfering with the churchyard, but merely to take off two or three feet of the sharp corner.
Mr. Ballard did not think it should go before the public that the committee approached the subject
In a Flippant Way
None of them wished to desecrate the churchyard, but they had the living to consider. He was sure that it was a much needed improvement.
Mr. Spencer thought that if there was to be an improvement, it should be one that was worth doing. At Northampton, a large part of the churchyard was thrown into the road, and no doubt it could be done here.
The Chairman said they were not committing themselves by adopting the recommendation of the committee.
The Ven. A. Kitchin said he hoped he would be the last to stand in the way of any needed improvement, but he thought the danger which had been spoken of had been greatly over-rated. He had not heard of an accident in five years. He thought a great deal of the danger could be done away with by erecting a large notice-board, warning motorists to drive slowly. He understood that trees had been cut down ruthlessly in the town in the past, but he would feel it his duty to oppose to the utmost of his power any
Tampering With The Churchyard
which would result in damage to the trees in it. They lived in a utilitarian age, but there was such a thing as old associations, and he did not think they ought to go lightly into a scheme which would destroy one of the most marked features of the town.
Mr. Miller moved that the recommendation be referred back to the committee.
Mr. Bazeley : The width of the road is about 17 feet, I think, and I don’t think the Rector will say that is sufficient.
The Ven. A. Kitchin : I have not said so. I do not think so, but I don’t see that there is any reason for interfering with the churchyard.
The recommendation of the committee was carried, with the Rector and Mr. Skinner voting against, the Mr. Miller neutral.
The Chairman, referring to the County Surveyor’s report on the main roads, said he was sure the Council would fall in with the committee’s congratulations to the Surveyor on the excellence of the report. (Hear, hear)
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 9th August, 1910, at 10 a.m., when there were present :- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), John Claridge, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, G. H. Skinner, and T. Swindall.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
Collector’s District Rate Account
The Collector’s District Rate Account was examined from which it appeared that he had collected the following sum since the last meeting:-
Collector’s Fittings Account
The Collector’s fittings account was also examined from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums since the last meeting:-
Cemetery Registrar’s Account
The Cemetery Registrar’s account was also examined, from which it appeared that the following sums had been received by him since the last meeting:-
Green Tolls Account
The Collector’s Green Tolls account was also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the balances on the under mentioned accounts were as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts, amounting to £677/18/5, were examined and passed for payment.
Upper Portland Road
A letter was received from Mr. Miller, on behalf of the owners, asking that the unexpended balance in the hands of the Council in respect of this road might be transferred to the owners’ credit in respect of works done on other parts of the estate.
It was resolved that this be done and that the necessary entries be made in the ledger accordingly.
The report was adopted.
Health and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 10th August, 1910, when there were present :- Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), F. Knight, C. Bates, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that only two cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting.
The Inspector of Nuisances informed the Committee that during the month of July 74 informal notices had been issued calling attention to nuisances and these for the most part had received attention. The smoke test had been applied to the drainage of two properties and in both cases serious defects discovered. In one case the whole of the drainage had been taken up and re-laid at the expense of the owner and in the other case the defects had been made good. At the request of the occupiers he had examined and tested the drainage of Nos. 11 and 13, Irchester-road, and found the main drain which runs under the living rooms of No. 11 defective, also the branch drains leading to the water closets. It was resolved to ask Mr. Marriott to give an estimate for relaying the main drain, and, if satisfactory, the Chairman was authorised to give orders for the work to proceed under the superintendence of the Surveyor.
A complaint was received from the occupiers of Nos. 5 to 19, Alfred-street, of a nuisance caused by the insanitary condition of the stables at the rear of No. 4 to 10, John-street. the Inspector stated that he had visited the premises and found the same in a very bad state and structurally unfit for use as stables. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve notices on the owner and occupier of the stables requiring them to discontinue using them as such.
Attention had been called to the unsatisfactory water supply to Messrs. Cave’s factory in College-street. It was found on examination of the premises that the cause was purely local and had now received the attention of the firm.
The Surveyor reported that the factory in Sartoris-road occupied by Mr. Amos Cave was without suitable sanitary conveniences for the accommodation of both sexes, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on the owner and occupier requiring suitable accommodation to be provided.
The Inspector was instructed to thoroughly disinfect all the schools in the town during the present summer holidays.
Conference of Sanitary Inspectors
The Inspector informed the Committee that, with their sanction, he proposed to attend the annual conference of Sanitary Inspectors to be held in London commencing on August 29th. The Committee approved and also agreed that the Officer might take his annual holiday from that date.
The report was adopted.
County Council Representation
A letter was read from the County Council, in reply to one from the Rushden Council, asking for additional County Council representatives for Rushden. The letter pointed out that to increase the number of representatives for Rushden would necessitate a redistribution of seats, and the County Council committee concerned, while not expressing any opinion on the matter at the present time, thought it was necessary to adjourn the question till the completion of the census in 1911, when it might be desirable to consider the whole question of County Council representation.
Mr. Claridge said the Rushden representatives pointed out to the County that Rushden was entitled to an additional representative, but there were difficulties in the way. He hoped, however, that when the census returns were made the County Council would consider the claim of Rushden fairly and justly.
A Dangerous Bridge
A letter was received from Mr. Thomas W. Bailey, asking the Council to draw the attention of the Midland Railway to the bridge in Washbrook-road over the line. Mr. Bailey stated that children stood on the wall of the bridge when trains were passing, and at other times hung over the wall. It was a wonder that some child had not fallen over. Up to the present, the attention of the railway company did not seem to have been called to the matter.
The Chairman said that Mr. Bailey was not quite correct in that. Some time ago, on the motion of Mr. Spencer, they asked the company either to raise the wall or to erect a fence to protect the bridge more fully. The company absolutely declined to do anything, saying that the bridge was the same height as their other bridges, and that they saw no reason for departing from their usual custom.
Mr. Claridge said there would be no harm in trying again.
Mr. Bates said it was only a fortnight ago that he saw children walking along the wall.
Mr. Claridge moved that the Council call the attention of the Midland Railway to the matter.
Mr. Spencer seconded the motion, which was carried.
The Rectory-Road Improvement
The Plans and Highways Committee reported that they had met that evening to open tenders for the removal of the buildings in Rectory-road to make way for the widening of the road. The highest offer was that of Mr. Wm. Packwood, at £12/10/0, but it was so low that the committee wished the Council to deal with the matter.
Mr. Spencer: Have the committee considered the advisability of doing the work themselves and retaining the material?
The Chairman: It was mentioned to-night, but the majority of the committee did not think it would be advisable.
The Ven. A. Kitchin: You could build the stables with the material. (Laughter)
The Chairman said the committee did not think that would be an economical course.
Mr. Spencer said he was not much a judge as to the value of materials, but the amount offered seemed a very small sum.
Mr. Ballard moved that Mr. Packwood’s tender be accepted.
Mr. Miller seconded the motion.
Mr. Bazeley moved that the Council demolish the buildings themselves and retain the material.
Mr. Bates seconded the amendment.
Mr. Ballard’s motion was carried.