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The Rushden Echo, 16th February, 1900, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

The members present at the meeting of this Council, on Wednesday evening, were Messrs. F. Knight (in the chair), W. H. Wilkins, B. Mortimer, G. Denton, T. Swindall, G. H. Skinner, G. Miller, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, J. Spencer, P. Cave, and G. Fountain, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. J. B. Martin).

Committee’s Recommendations

Finance, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee

The Committee recommended that the salary of Mr. Pratt be increased 5s. a week, making £1 12s. 6d.

The Chairman said Mr. Pratt had done his work well, and as it had increased it was thought that his salary should be raised. He moved that the recommendation be adopted.

Mr. Mortimer proposed an amendment that the increase should only be 2s. 6d., but no one supported this, and the resolution was carried.

The Committee also recommended that in future the reports of the Medical Officer and Inspector be in the first instance submitted to the Sanitary Committee for consideration, and be brought before the Council, with their observations and recommendations thereon.

Mr. Cave asked why this alteration had been made.

The Chairman said it had been done because it would be an improvement. It was thought that if the reports were first submitted to the Committee they could make any suggestions or recommendations.

Mr. Denton said the recommendation was made simply that the reports could be considered before coming before the Council.

Mr. Cave: I maintain the Medical Officer has a right to give in his report, and not to be dictated to by this Council in any way.

Mr. Claridge said the Committee had no idea of suppressing anything in the reports.

Mr. Miller said he took it that the arrangement was to enable the Committee to send in the minutes at the same time as the report.

The recommendation was adopted, Mr. Cave dissenting.


Cheques were drawn for the various amounts. One for £40 was ordered to be paid to Mr. C. G. Ward according to the arrangements made for the improvement of the bottom of Newton-road.


The Clerk read a communication from the promoters of the tramway scheme, stating that unless the Council gave their unqualified assent to the Bill the examiner would strike out that portion of the line running from Knuston to the top end of Rushden.

It will be remembered that at a previous meeting of the Council it was decided that a clause relating to purchase should be inserted in the Bill, this, therefore, preventing the Council giving their unqualified assent to the scheme.

The Chairman said the point was a serious one.

The Clerk said the Bill had to pass Standing Orders, and to do this the consent of three-fourths of the local authorities affected by the scheme had to be produced. The line ran in a complete circle, and the promoters had the consent of all the authorities but Rushden.

Mr. Claridge thought that rather than lose the prospects of the tramways coming into Rushden the purchase clause should be dropped.

Mr. Wilkins said the trams would only run down Washbrook-road, and the town would thus lose the benefit of them to a great extent.

Mr. Miller said the benefit to the town obtained by getting the tramway in it would be great, and he thought they should drop the purchase clause. He would move a resolution that the Council should give their unqualified assent to the Bill. This would drop the purchase clause.

It was stated that if the lines were not laid in Rushden now, a special Act of Parliament would have to be obtained if it was required to put them down at a future date.

Mr. Cave did not think the company would drop Rushden out of the scheme. The town would pay better than any other portion of the whole scheme.

Mr. Skinner thought the purchase clause was only a myth, none of them ever thought it was any use at all. He seconded the resolution proposed by Mr. Miller.

Mr. Swindall thought the purchase clause should be inserted.

The resolution was carried.

Mr. Spencer moved that the County Council should be asked to take steps for the insertion of a purchase clause, as promised to the Rushden Urban Council.

Mr. Swindall seconded the motion, which was carried.

Hours of Polling

The Clerk read a letter from the County Council, with regard to the proposed change of hours of polling at elections, which stated that, with the exception of Desborough, Rothwell, and Raunds Councils, the Rushden Council was the only one in favour of the alteration of the hours of polling, and asking if the letter of the Council, agreeing to the change, was a request for the alteration.

The Clerk was instructed to reply, saying that the arrangement would be satisfactory to the Council.

No Fresh Cases

The Sanitary Inspector reported that no fresh cases of infectious diseases had been notified, with the exception of one in a house where fever had already existed.

Getting On “Well”

The Chairman said the work at the Bedford-road well was progressing very satisfactorily.


The Rushden Echo, 9th March, 1900

Rushden Urban Council

At an ordinary meeting of this Council on Wednesday night, there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), J. Claridge, J. Spencer, J. S. Clipson, Paul Cave, W. H. Wilkins, G. Miller, G. H. Skinner, with Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk), and Mr. W. B. Madin (surveyor).

Plans, etc.

A meeting of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee was held on Wednesday, 21st February, 1900. Present:- Mr. F. Knight (chairman), Messrs. P. Cave, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, and T. Swindall.

Plans were presented by :-

Mr. E. Claridge for small bicycle shed and toolhouse near his house on the Hayway and passed.

Mrs. Amelia Clayton for two houses on the Wellingborough-road and passed.

Mr. Joseph Sears for two houses on the Wellingborough-road and passed.

Mr. Wm. Packwood for house, with stable, coachhouse and store at rear, and passed subject to bay window being set back in a line with adjoining building and air space at rear provided in accordance with Bye Law 54.

Mr. R. Marriott for two houses on the Irchester-road and passed, subject to building line being in accordance with the cottages nearer Rushden, and system of drainage being provided to satisfaction of Surveyor.

Mr. C. W. Horrell amended plan for engine house to factory in Moor-road and passed.

Mr. C. E. Bayes for additions to stables in Griffith-street and passed.

Mr. H. Knight for two houses in Glassbrook-road and passed.

Wooden Buildings – The Surveyor reported the erection of a wooden building by Mr. W. Woodward on his property in Moor-road and was instructed to request Mr. Woodward to remove the same.

Culvert under Wellingborough-road opposite Duck-street. – Attention was called to the flooding of the road at this point owing to the culvert being inadequate to carry off the water in times of heavy rain. The Surveyor was instructed to prepare an estimate of the cost of a new culvert and include the provision of a drinking trough for horses there.

Water Running – Attention was also called to this watering place and the Surveyor instructed to prepare an estimate for providing a drinking trough.

Culvert under Wymington-road – This culvert near Mrs. Currie’s garden fence was also reported by the Surveyor as blocked and ordered to be attended to.

Park-road – It was resolved to provide an additional gulley to take the surface water from Park-road opposite Essex-street.

Robinson-road – The Surveyor was instructed to advertise for tenders for making the upper portion of this road.

Upper Queen-street – A letter was received from Mr. Cooper asking the Council to take steps to make up this street. The difficulties experienced in identifying plots of land un-built upon and ascertaining the owners was pointed out. The Surveyor was instructed to ask Mr. Cooper if he could assist the Committee in this respect.

The report was adopted.

Waterworks Committee

A meeting of the Waterworks Committee was held on Wednesday 28th February. Present :- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, G. Miller, G. Fountain, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, and T. Swindall.

Mr. Whitaker’s Report – This report which had been printed and circulated amongst the members was considered. It was resolved that pending the result of the present operations on the Bedford Road the matter be adjourned.

The report was adopted.

Finance, etc., Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held on Wednesday 28 Feb. Present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Spencer, G. Miller, G. Fountain, G. H. Skinner, and J. Claridge.

Medical Officer’s Report

The following reports from the Medical Officer were received.

February 18th
I beg to thank you most sincerely for the honour you have conferred upon me in electing me as your Medical Officer of Health and to ensure you that I shall endeavour to fulfil the duties to the best of my ability and I hope to your satisfaction. Since the last meeting eleven cases of Infectious Disease have been reported, ten of scarlet fever and one of diphtheria. I have visited Rushden and conferred with your inspector but nothing has transpired to call for any comment.

February 27th
Ten cases of Scarlet Fever have been reported since my last report; no other infectious disease has occurred. Every case has been visited by your Inspector and disinfectants supplied and every precaution taken to prevent as far as possible the spread of the disease.

Sanitary Inspector’s Report – The Sanitary Inspector reported a nuisance in Dayton-street arising from a stable in the occupation of Mr. Rogers and was instructed to see Mr. Rogers thereupon and report again to the next meeting.

Isolation Hospital – A letter from the Clerk to the County Council with copy resolution by that body with reference to the provision of Isolation Hospitals was received and ordered to be considered at the next meeting.

Mr. Cave asked when the Medical Officer was likely to attend the meetings of the Council.

The Chairman said he understood Dr. Morris would attend when there was anything of sufficient importance to bring him there.

The Clerk said the doctor would attend when he was requested to do so.

Mr. Cave said he certainly thought the Medical Officer ought to attend the meetings occasionally.

The Chairman pointed out that Dr. Owen had frequently had to tell the Council when he came that there was nothing to report.

Mr. Cave said that was very good and he hoped they would have the same kind of report from Dr. Morris.

The report was adopted.

A Resignation

The manager of the sewage farm, Mr. Joseph Church, wrote resigning his position.

The Chairman, Mr. Cave, and other members, expressed their regret that they were losing an excellent servant, and it was resolved that the position should be advertised in the local papers.

The Tramways Bill

Some correspondence between the Clerk and the Clerk to the County Council, with regard to the absence of a purchase clause from the Tramways Bill was read, and a draft agreement was submitted between the Rushden Council and the Tramways Company with regard to the portion of the line to be laid in Rushden.

Mr. Cave, referring to the agreement, said they ought to insist on double lines of rails in High-street.

Mr. Denton said it seemed that it was either that agreement (which did not say whether a single line or double line was intended) or nothing. That one was better than nothing.

Mr. Skinner said the Board of Trade would insist on sufficient accommodation being provided, so they would be all right.

The Council formally approved of the agreement.

A Drain Cut Off

Mr. Z. Newell wrote on behalf of the trustees of the Succoth Baptist Chapel, stating that when the steps in front of the chapel were altered by the Surveyor, a drain was cut off and they asked the Council’s attention to it.

The matter was left in the hands of the Surveyor.

The Licence

of Mr. Beaverstock, pawnbroker, was renewed.

The Medical Officership

The Local Government Board wrote approving of the appointment of Dr. Morris as Medical Officer of Health for one year.

The New Assessment

Mr. Cave asked why the overseers and rating committee had gone out of their way in making the new assessment in not allowing townspeople the opportunity of appearing before them with regard to appealing against the amounts at which they were assessed.

The Chairman said if the usual course had been followed it would have been impossible to get the list through. Everybody had been treated alike.

Mr. Cave: Supposed to be.

The Chairman: Well, I hope they are, and if they think they have a grievance they have their remedy before the committee at Wellingborough. Of course there has been a large increase, and we all feel it.

Mr. Claridge pointed out that notice was given that the re-assessment would take place.

Mr. Cave did not think people ought to be on the assessment committee unless they were prepared to see the inhabitants, without dragging them over to Wellingborough.

Mr. Spencer said he was very pleased with the work of the committee.

Mr. Cave said the demand-notes should show what the amounts were for.

The Chairman said he had no doubt that if Mr. Cave had been on the committee everything would have been done in just the same way as it had now been done.

The subject was then allowed to drop.

The Gasworks

In reply to Mr. Spencer, the Clerk said no report from the Gasworks Committee had been received because they were waiting for the annual balance-sheet of the company which would be ready in about a fortnight.


Mr. Spencer asked whether it would be possible to arrange for a meeting with a sub-committee from Higham Ferrers to consider the provision of baths. It was about time they did something in the matter.

No action was taken.


The Rushden Echo,30th March, 1900

Rushden Urban Council
Politics And Fire

At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night there were present Mr. Fred Knight (chairman), Mr. G. Denton (vice-chairman), and Messrs. J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, B. Mortimer, J. Spencer, G. H. Skinner, W. H. Wilkins, G. Fountain, G. Miller, Paul Cave, T. Swindall, with Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk), Mr. W. B. Madin (surveyor).

Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held on Wednesday 14th March, 1900. Present: Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), P. Cave, W. H. Wilkins, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, and T. Swindall.


Plans were presented by:-

Mr. G. Denton for lavatory at rear of factory in High-street and passed.

Mr. H. Adnitt for mission room (iron building) for the British Women’s Temperance Association in Coffee Tavern Road and passed.

Mr. Amos Wright for bay window to No. 182 Wellingborough Road and passed.

Mr. Harry Knight for additions to house in Rectory Road and passed.

Mrs. Barnes for iron building (coal barn) at rear of her houses on Hayway and passed.

Mr. M. V. Burrows for iron building (store room) at rear of factory in Manton Road, and passed.

Mr. J. Crook for house and shop in Station Road and passed.

Mr. H. Adnitt for house in Hayway and passed subject to cesspit being constructed in accordance with bye law 89.

Mr. W. Knight for house in Oswald Road and passed subject to evidence of party wall being produced to Surveyor.

Mr. Wm. Packwood for stable and cart shed on the Newton Road and passed subject to evidence of party wall being produced to Surveyor.

Mr. C. Rogers for stable at rear of his house in Queen Street and passed.

Wooden Building – The Surveyor reported that the wooden building erected by Mr. Woodward in Moor-road had been removed.

Culvert, Wellingborough-road – The Surveyor’s estimate for substituting a 21 inch pipe culvert in place of the existing stone drain amounting to £55 7s. was submitted.

The Committee resolved to recommend the Council to carry out the work. On further consideration the Committee did not consider it desirable to provide a drinking trough at this site, and recommended that this item be omitted.

Water Running – It was resolved to recommend the Council to authorize the Surveyor to construct a trough at this site at an estimated expenditure of £5.

Robinson-road – The following tenders for making up the first portion of this road were received:-

Mr. W. G. Wilmott
Mr. Robert Marriott

Both tenders considerably exceeding the amount named in the provisional apportionment the matter was adjourned for further consideration.

Succoth Chapel – The Surveyor was instructed to provide for the roof water from the Succoth Chapel by making a connection with the street drain.

Newton-road – It was resolved to recommend to the Council that the asphalted footpath on the South side of this road be continued as far as Oswald-street. The Surveyor’s estimate of the cost of doing this was £47 10s.

Scavenging – In consequence of the scavengers having been requested by various tradesmen to remove large quantities of trade refuse the Surveyor reported he had instructed them to remove house refuse only.

The Committee approved of these instructions.

Team Labour – The Surveyor was instructed to advertise for tenders for team labour for the ensuing year.

The Surveyor was also instructed to obtain an estimate for providing two suitable covered scavenging carts.

The report was adopted, on the motion of the Chairman seconded by Mr. G. Denton.


for scavenging and day work were received from Messrs. W. Smith, W. G. Wilmott, and A. Sharp, and that of Mr. W. Smith for scavenging and Mr. Sharp for day work were accepted.

Finance Committee

A meeting of the Finance Committee was held on Wednesday, 21st March, 1900. Present: Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), G. Denton, J. Spencer, G. Fountain, J. Claridge, and G. Miller.


A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Griffith-street and West-street – The Clerk produced a statement showing the net balance in hand on the accounts for making these two streets to be as follows:-


It was resolved to recommend the Council to fix the Clerk’s remuneration for work in connection with these streets at £20 and to carry the balance to the credit of the District Fund.

Sewage Farm – The Chairman reported that he had seen Mr. Church and had made arrangements for the continuation of his services as Manager at the farm and works. The committee expressed satisfaction at this.

Dairies, Cowsheds, and Milk Shops Order of 1885 – Mr. Claridge drew attention to the circular letter of the Local Government Board of the 11th March last year with regard to the making of regulations for the proper lighting, ventilation, cleansing, drainage, and water supply of cowsheds and dairies. The committee were agreed that the Council should exercise more control in these matters and it was resolved that the Council be recommended in the first instance to require registration of all persons carrying on trade of dairymen and sellers of milk and that notice of such requirement be forthwith published in the local papers.

Medical Officer’s Report

The following report was received from the Medical Officer:-

March 20th, 1900
Since my last report I have visited Rushden and beg to call your attention to Green’s Yard which consists of eight cottages with four earth closets one of which is claimed by Mr. F. Skeeles for his factory hands there being no urinal or closet; although sixteen hands are employed this accommodation is sufficient for the number of persons viz. 28 in the 8 cottages and 16 in the factory. Each cottage ought to have a separate closet and urinal for their exclusive use. The drains are in a dilapidated condition and require repairing. I also visited two factories Messrs. B. Denton and son and Messrs. John Cave and Sons Ltd. and found them in a very satisfactory state both in regard to cubic space and general sanitation. Eight cases of infectious disease have been reported all being Scarlet Fever.

Fred H. Morris

It was resolved that the Council be recommended to require Mr. Green to provide the necessary accommodation in accordance with the medical officer’s report.

This was carried.

Sanitary Inspector’s Report

The Sanitary Inspector reported that he had visited all the cases notified, that disinfectants had been supplied and all proper precautions taken, he had also visited 16 cases (recovered) and fumigated 9 houses. The Inspector further reported that he had dealt with 37 cases of various kinds of nuisances since the last meeting, all of which had been satisfactorily disposed of.

Referring to the Dairies Order, Mr. Mortimer said it was a very serious thing if milksellers had to comply with the regulations.

Mr. Denton said it was very serious, but milk was an article of food which, above all other articles of food, should be guarded against contamination.

Mr. Skinner said there was scarcely a cow-shed in the district could meet the regulations, and if they were enforced he should throw up the trade.

Mr. Claridge said it was essential to the good health of the town that the milk supply should be as pure as possible.

Mr. Skinner agreed with Mr. Claridge, but said that the effect of the Order would be to drive trade outside. He considered he had as good a farm as anyone, but he could not come anywhere near the regulations. The Government Inspectors, too, were paid to make people spend all their money. It was not so much the milk as it came from the cows that was at fault as the dirty cans into which it was put by those who took it round the town.

Mr. Mortimer said that if the Council adopted the Order, the Councillors ought to take turns in keeping the cowsheds clean. (Laughter).

Mr. Wilkins said that perhaps the members might have cows of their own in time.

Mr. Cave: We shall want the three acres too. (Laughter).

The report was adopted.

Appointment of Overseers

On this item being brought forward, it was mentioned that Messrs. F. Knight, J. Claridge, and J. T. Colson were the retiring overseers.

Mr. Cave did not think they ought to go outside the Council for overseers.

Mr. Wilkins spoke highly of Mr. Colson’s work, and thought it would be a mistake to change the overseers this year.

Mr. Miller objected to the policy of the overseers in making a new assessment without giving the ratepayers an opportunity of appealing to them first. About twelve months ago the Chairman and vice-Chairman took the opportunity of appealing in this way against their assessments, quite properly. The overseers, their political friends, heard their appeals, but would not now give them, their political opponents, the same opportunity. He was very sorry to raise the question of party, and he would not do so if they had a representative on the rating body.

Mr. Cave: Krugerism.

Mr. Miller: Yes, it is like the treatment received by the Uitlanders, as Mr. Cave says.

Mr. Spencer thought those who were raising that question ought to have supported him twelve years ago when he proposed Mr. Bazeley as an overseer. Seeing that they did not do so

They Could Not Complain.

The Chairman pointed out that Mr. Skinner was a member of the rating committee, and rendered valuable assistance.

Mr. Miller: He was not our nominee on that occasion.

Mr. Denton supported the overseers in their action and thought that the complaint against them was made from the very narrowest stand-point – that of party. If they could not do such work without being charged with political motives it was time public matters were looked at from a broader standpoint.

Mr. Skinner said the overseers ought to be represented on the Assessment Committee at Wellingborough. He thought they had done their work at Rushden very well.

Mr. Wilkins proposed that the old overseers be re-elected.

Mr. Claridge said he

Would Be Glad To Be Off,

when they had such aspersions cast upon them. He had never voted from political motives, but if he had not the confidence of his fellows he was quite prepared to retire into private life. He had no axe to grind and he could find other employment quite as congenial.

The Chairman spoke in a similar strain and said that as soon as his fellow townsmen were dissatisfied with him he was prepared to stand aside.

Mr. Spencer thought it was very unfortunate to have this appointment of overseers just before the election. There was bound to be friction.

The following gentlemen were then nominated as overseers :- Messrs. F. Knight, John Claridge, J. T. Colson, Paul Cave, and G. Fountain. The first three were elected.

Mr. Miller: I have made my point, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Cave: I think it shows party feeling.

The Gas Works

A statement of the accounts of the Gas Company for 1899 was laid upon the table by the Clerk, and it was understood that the committee appointed to consider the purchase of the gas-works would give it their attention.

The Recent Fire

The Clerk said he had received a report from the Secretary to the Fire Brigade with regards to the recent fire at the shops of Mr. Powell and Mr. Buckle. The report stated that the water supply was bad at first but good afterwards.

The Chairman said he had received a letter from the Rushden Tradesmen’s Association calling attention to the inadequacy of the method of calling the firemen together and asking the Council to take steps to remedy it. He (the Chairman) saw that the Council had been accused of acting in a cheese-paring manner, but, as captain of the Fire Brigade, he wished to say they had always sanctioned any expenditure thought necessary by the Brigade. (Hear, hear.) It was the duty of the firemen to call their brother firemen, but at this fire some of them forgot to do so. Those who did attend did their work well, and Mr. Powell had thanked him for their services. It was for the Council to decide whether it would be better to have electric or telephonic calls. Personally he thought an electric call would be an advantage in the night, but he did not see much advantage in the day-time.

Mr. Claridge thought a better system of call was needed, though he agreed with the Chairman as to the way the firemen at the late fire did their work. He suggested that the matter should be referred to the Fire Brigade.

Mr. Cave said he proposed something of the sort years ago but it was ignored.

The Chairman said it was no fault of the Council.

Mr. Denton thought it would be well to discontinue the ringing of the bell, as it appeared that the firemen were independent of it.

The Chairman said that one reason why the Brigade had not recommended the fixing of the calls was that they regarded the present fire station as temporary.

Mr. Wilkins said that if the calls were fixed the pumping station ought to be connected.

The further consideration of the subject was left to the Fire Brigade.


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