|The Rushden Echo, 14th August, 1914, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
“The Present Time of Trouble”
The Effect of the War
How To Cope with the Distress
Opening of the Band Stand
A special meeting was held on Tuesday: present, Councillors J. S. Clipson, J.P. (chairman), T. Swindall (vice-chairman), J. Spencer, F. Knight, J.P., J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., T. Wilmott, Ven. A. Kitchin, M.A., and J. Hyde, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).
The meeting was called “to consider what steps are necessary to be taken in Rushden in the present time of trouble.”
The Chairman said he had called that meeting because of the dark cloud which was hanging over them, such as they had never experienced before. We are not here he said to discuss whether the war is right or wrong, whether we should be in it or out of it, though as a peace man myself I do not see how we could well keep out of it. We are here to form a committee of this Council and all other elected representatives in the town. Before long we shall require funds, and it is our business to do the best we can to meet the distress which will ensue. I suggest we should form a committee consisting of the members of the Urban Council, the Rushden members of the Board of Guardians, the School Managers, the Education Sub-Committee, representatives of the Ladies’ Aid Society, Ambulance, and Clubs, the clergy and ministers of the town and everybody who will work for the good of the nation.
The Clerk said he had received a letter from Mr. Bazeley regretting that, having to attend a meeting at Wollaston, he was unable to be present that night, and suggesting that a town’s meeting should be called to form a fully representative Citizens’ Committee to prevent overlapping in the administration of relief.
The Chairman said that Mr. Bates was unavoidably absent because he had another meeting to attend. (Mr. Perkins, we might explain, is in Canada).
Mr. Claridge suggested that they should ascertain the number of Rushden men who were serving, so as to know really what was required. He wondered if it would be best to subscribe to
The Prince of Wales’s Fund
and get all they required from that fund, instead of having a private fund of their own. Undoubtedly they would not raise locally sufficient to meet all the requirements of the town.
The Chairman said that a fund was being formed by the Lord Lieutenant, which they would be morally bound to assist.
Mr. Kitchin: Any committee formed here should be in the first place a watching committee, because before any steps are taken it would be necessary to ascertain the present condition of affairs. The thing is to keep cool, not to lose our heads, and to prevent overlapping.
Having read the letter from Mr. Pease in the “Times” Mr. Kitchin proceeded: I believe any local committee making out a good case will receive help from the Prince of Wales’s fund, but the first thing is to compile a list of men who have gone on service, and of the wives and families. The dependents of those who have gone will be in no immediate need, as they will have a month’s “separation allowance” next Saturday, which is quite independent of the men’s allowance. I am sure it would be wisdom to assist the central fund at the outset.
Mr. Spencer said that so far as the boot workers of Rushden were concerned, their funds were about as low as they well could be, having just had the August Bank holiday week away from work, following the Easter and Whitsuntide holidays. There were certain things the committee could do. Employers had in some cases agreed to regulate employment as far as possible. There had been
A Good Deal of Unrest
lately, and if in a time of crisis that discontent were increased no one could tell what the result would be. He thought the committee should be an advisory as well as a watching committee. Last Saturday the working people had to pay from 25 to 100 per cent. more for certain articles. He had heard of people fetching sacks of flour, which was unfair to other residents. The committee should watch this. The claims of Rushden should be brought before the Road Board, who were to spend a million, and some of the four millions to be spent on housing should be brought to Rushden. He thought the Co-operative Society, the Manufacturers’ Association and the Trade Union, the Master Builders’ Association, and all who employ a large number of men should be represented on the committee.
Mr. Swindall said it was gratifying to know that steps were being taken by the Local Government Board. He thought that there would be a central committee for Rushden, so that everything could be done by one central body. He proposed that a representative committee such as the Chairman and Mr. Spencer had named be formed.
Mr. Spencer seconded, and it was carried.
It was resolved to add to the committee representatives of the Adult School, the Temperance Society, the Ladies’ Aid Society, and two members from each club. The first meeting of the committee was fixed for Wednesday, August 19th.
Mr. Knight: Can we get meantime the names of the married men who are away on service? In Rushden they are paying rents of perhaps 5/9, while in the rural districts the rents are probably only 1/3. In the rural districts they could manage for a while on the separation allowance, but it is different in a town like Rushden. Some perhaps need assistance almost immediately.
Mr. Knight raised the question of the formal opening of the bandstand, and said that the Surveyor had made an excellent thing of it and also of the shelter.
Mr. Spencer proposed and Mr. Wilmott seconded that the band stand be formally opened, which was carried. The bands and male choirs will be invited to take part. Messrs. Clipson, Swindall, and Knight were elected a committee to make arrangements.
The Rushden Echo, 21st August, 1914
Increase in Council Employees’ Wages
Wednesday, present Councillors J. S. Clipson, J.P. (chairman), T. Swindall (vice-chairman), W. Bazeley, J. Spencer, C. Bates, F. Knight, J.P., J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., T. Wilmott, and Ven. A. Kitchin, M.A., with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).
Mr. Bazeley: I have been asked several times why the Rose Day committee were refused permission to use the band stand for presenting prizes to the winners. It has caused some ill-feeling among the people who contributed to the stand.
The Chairman: I was not asked for the use of the band stand, and I do not know that any one was asked.
Mr. Knight: No application was made to me.
Plans, etc., Committee
A special meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held near the Oakley Hotel, on the Wellingborough-road, on Wednesday, the 22nd July, 1914, when there were present :- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall, J. Claridge, J. Hyde, F. Knight, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.
The Chairman informed the committee that he had asked them to meet to consider the footpath on the right hand side of this road as to whether or not the lower portion might be set back behind the trees and the road somewhat widened. The Surveyor required a decision at once as he was about to re-metal the road. The Surveyor estimated the total cost at about £125, and the Committee, having regard to the fact that no provision was made in the estimates for such an amount, decided that they could not recommend the Council to carry out the work this year.
School Danger Signals
The Clerk informed the committee that the School Managers had received an offer of two danger signals to be placed near the North End schools if the Authority would undertake the cost of erection.
It was unanimously resolved that the Surveyor be instructed to erect the signals at convenient places near the schools.
The report was adopted.
Plans, etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, July 29th, 1914 when there were present :- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall, F. Knight, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.
were presented by:-
Messrs. Nurrish, Pallet, and Co. for engine house at the rear of their factory in Shirley-road and passed.
The Coxton Boot Co. for corrugated iron building in Lawton-road and passed.
Mr. John Clark for four cottages on a proposed new street off Wellingborough-road and referred back for plans and sections of the proposed street to be submitted.
Mr. W. Garner for a bakehouse on the Wellingborough-road and passed.
Plans were also presented by Mr. Norris and Mr. Cherry for the erection of wooden buildings at the rear of their houses, No. 20, Robinson-road, and No. 108, Washbrook-road, and no exception taken.
The Chairman reported that he and the Surveyor had made satisfactory arrangements with Mr. Smith and Mrs. Fountain in respect of the two corners at the bottom of Griffith-street, and hoped to be able to do so with regard to the two corners at the top of Hayway, and the Committee recommended that this work proceed. With regard to the corners at the Higham-road boundary and at Newton gap, it was resolved to recommend the Council to take no further steps at present.
It was resolved to commence full street lighting for the winter season on Saturday, the 15th August next.
A letter was received from the Officer in charge asking for permission to hold open-air meetings on Saturday nights from 7.15 to 8 p.m. on the corner of the Green opposite the Wheatsheaf, stating that the reason for asking this was that the corner where they had been in the habit of standing for some years past had become dangerous on account of the motor-bus traffic.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the request.
The Clerk reported that a representative of the Bill Posting Co. had seen him with reference to the hoarding, who said that the Company had put up the hoarding in good faith with the consent of the adjoining owner, and hoped the Council would not insist upon the complete removal.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to require the first bay only to be taken down at once and re-erected on a line to be approved by the Surveyor, if the Company would give an undertaking to remove the whole hoarding when called upon so to do.
The Surveyor submitted an application from a number of the Council’s employees asking for an increase of wages. It was resolved to recommend the Council that the maximum for daywork be fixed at 24s. per week and for men employed by the hour at 5d. per hour. All men employed in tar spraying to be paid 6d. per day extra and in work of an exceptional character, such amount as the Surveyor may consider reasonable.
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 11th August, 1914, at 10 a.m., when there were present :- Messrs. T. Swindall (in the chair), J. Claridge, and Fred Knight.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Committee examined the Collector’s accounts, from which it appeared that the following sums had been collected 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 were as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £1,979/14/6 were examined and passed for payment.
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 12th August, 1914, when there were present :- Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), J. S. Clipson, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, and G. H. Skinner.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that eleven cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., one of scarlet fever, three of diphtheria, one of erysipelas, and six of tuberculosis, four of which were pulmonary. The district was now practically free from infectious disease.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the month of July 38 preliminary notices had been issued calling attention to nuisances, etc., which for the most part were receiving attention.
One lot of bedding had been destroyed after a death from consumption, and the house sprayed and fumigated and cleansed.
The Inspector also reported that the yard paving at Nos. 14,15, 16, and 17, Gordon-terrace, was defective and unsuitable, thereby causing a nuisance. The paving in the entry between Nos. 11 and 12 was also defective. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on the owners requiring them to remedy the defects forthwith.
The ventilating shafts at No. 10 and 17, Gordon-terrace were defective, and No. 10 required lengthening. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on the owners, requiring them to remedy the defects forthwith.
The Inspector also reported that he had visited and inspected the properties Nos. 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, and 16, Ebenezer-terrace, and found various defects to exist, consisting of defective w.c. pans, defective and insanitary bell traps and yard paving, defective drains, vent pipes, etc., thereby causing nuisances. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on the owner requiring him to remedy the defects forthwith.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
Dairies and Cowsheds Order, 1885
An application had been received from Mr. W. J. Watson, of No. 155, Queen-street, to be registered as a purveyor of milk in this district, and his name placed on the register.
Thirty-three notices had been sent to factories and workshops that gave out home-work, and 23 lists relating to 239 outworkers had been received from employers.
Public Swimming Bath
The Clerk read a letter from Messrs. J. Cave and Sons, Ltd., stating that they were not now prepared to sell any portion of their land in Duck-street for this purpose.
A letter was received from Mr. C. E. Bayes, stating that he was willing to negotiate with the Council for the sale of his land off the Washbrook-road, but no definite reply had yet been received from Messrs. C. Praed and Co. as to their land in Duck-street.
It was resolved to adjourn the consideration of the matter until the next meeting, by which time the Committee hoped to receive some definite information from Messrs. C. Praed and Co.
Sewage Disposal Works
The Surveyor reported that the sale of the potato crop realised £14/10/0.
Farm Manager’s Cottage
The Surveyor also reported that the cottage was now nearly finished, and he was requested to instruct the foreman to move into it immediately he could give the certificate of completion.
The Surveyor submitted a letter from Mr. F. E. Preston, asking if the Council contemplated continuing the sewer as far as the new Band Club premises, but pointed out that the present sewer was within the statutory distance, and was instructed to reply that the Council did not propose to do so at present.
An application was received from Mr. Saby, the cemetery caretaker, for an increase of wages, and it was resolved that they be increased from 28s. to 30s. per week.
A police report with regard to damage to the notice board in the Cemetery was submitted, and the Clerk was instructed to summon the boys implicated to attend the next Council meeting.
Circular letters from the Local Government Board on these subjects were received.
Maternity and Child Welfare
A circular letter on this subject was also received, and the Clerk was instructed to furnish the members with copies and place the matter on the agenda for the next meeting.
The report was adopted.
County Relief Committee
Mr. Clipson and Mr. Claridge were elected representatives of the Council to serve on the County Relief Committee.
Mr. Millington, hon. Secretary of the Northants County Relief Committee, wrote as follows:-
I am directed by the County Relief Committee to request that you will be good enough to move your Council to consider the desirability of preparing schemes for useful improvements, the carrying out of which are within the legal powers of your Council, which might, if necessity arose, be carried out to the advantage of your district and involve the utilisation of surplus labour. The County Relief Committee would be prepared to use their influence with the L.G.B. or other department of the Government, with a view to obtaining such Government grants as might be available towards the carrying out of any such schemes as might be approved by your Council and the County Relief Committee.
It should be understood that the preparation of any such scheme does not necessarily involve that steps be taken immediately or at any time in carrying the same into effect, and the efforts of the committee will be directed for maintaining, so far as is in their power, employment in its usual channels, but the Committee feel that should it unfortunately be necessary to institute works upon which surplus labour might be directed it is important that the actual schemes should be fully prepared and considered in advance, with a view to avoiding any unnecessary or undesirable undertaking.
Mr. Bazeley: I should like to see the public swimming baths further advanced. I hope the Council will do all that is humanly possible in the way of employment during this emergency, because working men and women do not want charity they want work. (Hear, hear). If we can prepare any schemes to employ the unemployed I hope we shall do it. I know it is a difficult job, having regard to our estimates, but I do not believe the ratepayers of Rushden, even if it meant an increase in the rates, would mind it at a time like this, if we were doing all we could to avert distress.
Mr. Claridge said that the suggested Wellingborough-road improvement would not give much employment. If there was any work in which they could engage with advantage to the town, he thought they should do it, under the circumstances. He proposed that the letter be referred to the Plans and Highways Committee.
This was carried.
Mr. Spencer said he hoped the Council’s representatives on the County Relief Committee would bear in mind the question of afforestation. If there was land in Northamptonshire suitable for afforestation he hoped the County Council would prepare a scheme, which would eventually be a source of profit to the community.
The Home Office having approved of the Rushden Urban Council receiving all powers under the Shops Act from the County Council, it was decided, on the request of the Rushden Hairdressers’ Association, to make an order for the closing of hair-dressing establishments as follows: Monday and Tuesday 8.30 p.m.; Wednesday, 9; Thursday, 1; Friday, 9; Saturday, 11. Exemptions: The Thursday before Good Friday, and the Thursday before Christmas Day (when Christmas Day is on a Friday), 11 p.m.
The seal of the Council was affixed to a contract with Mr. W. G. Wilmott for the making of this road.
The three boys implicated in damaging the notice board at the Cemetery attended before the Council and were severely censured by the Chairman and cautioned as to their future conduct. The damage amounted to 3s., and the youths agreed to pay 1s. each, expressing their sorrow for their foolish action.