|Rushden Echo, 16th February, 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Cultivation of Waste Land
New Buildings During The Past Year
The Contract for The Main Roads
The War Savings Associations
Cheaper Railway Fares Wanted
Wednesday present: Councillors J. Spencer, J.P. (chairman), T. Wilmott (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., J. S. Clipson, W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, T. Swindall, J. Hyde, and G. H. Skinner, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).
The Chairman said that the Clerk had received a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Fred Knight thanking the Council for their expressions of sympathy with them in their loss.
Plans, etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 31st January, 1917, when there were present: Messrs. J. Spencer (chairman), T. Wilmott, W. Bazeley, J. S. Clipson, F. Knight, and T. Swindall.
were presented for:-
New tannery premises (conversion of the old brickyard and drying sheds, Kimbolton-road) for the Rushden Chrome Tanning Co., Ltd., and passed.
The Surveyor reported that he had received the annual report of the Inspector of the National Boiler and General Insurance Co., stating that the boiler was in good order.
The Clerk reported the receipt of a cheque for £206 9s. from the County Council in respect of the excess expenditure for the three years ended 31st March, 1916. The Committee considered the settlement very satisfactory.
The Surveyor also reported that he had received an inquiry from the County Surveyor as to whether this Council would prepared to agree to a renewal of the contract for the year ending 31st March, 1918, on similar terms to that for the current year.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to do so.
The Surveyor reported that during the past year plans for the following buildings had been passed:-
And that 15 buildings had been certified for occupation.
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 6th February, 1917, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Spencer (chairman), T. Wilmott, 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 Collector’s accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had collected 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 following balances were in his hands:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £457 1s. 9d. were examined and passed for payment.
New War Loan…
A circular letter was received from the Local Government Board stating that the President much appreciated the efforts which many Local Authorities were making to assist in the success of the War Loan. The letter proceeded to point out that many Local Authorities had at present larger balances than in normal times, in consequence of their diminished expenditure resulting from the postponement of works of maintenance and repair, and suggested that such balances might temporarily be invested in the Loan instead of being applied to the reduction of the next rate.
The Committee entirely agreed with this suggestion, and recommended that £2,000 of the new Loan be applied for.
A circular letter from the Secretary to the Local Government Board was also received, inviting the hearty co-operation of Local Authorities with regard to the scheme for the enrolment of National Service Volunteers, which the Committee thought should receive the consideration of the full Council at their next meeting on the 14th instant.
Regarding the War Loan, the Chairman said we felt that the nation needed the money, and if we could assist them in this crisis it was our duty to do so.
Mr. Claridge said he was very glad the Council was in a position to deposit £2,000 in the new Loan. Some of the ratepayers who were unable to invest the money themselves would in this way have a share in what was called the Victory Loan.
Mr. Wilmott also supported, and the recommendation was carried.
The whole of 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 7th February, 1917, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Wilmott (chairman), J. Spencer, C. Bates, and J. Claridge.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer for the month of January was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that, during the month of January, 22 preliminary notices had been issued, calling attention to nuisances, etc., all of which were receiving attention.
Two lots of infected bedding had been destroyed, one being after a death from consumption. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace part of the bedding in the latter case at a cost not exceeding £1 7s. 6d.
Applications had been received for the renewal of their licences to store petrol from Messrs. Albert Okins, D. Nicholson, Geo. Miller, Tailby & Putnam, J. Austin & Son, and Charles Chamberlain, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.
Applications had also been received for the renewal of their carbide of calcium licences from Messrs. Albert Okins, D. Nicholson, and Robert Jarvis, and it was also resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the month.
The Sanitary Inspector also reported that 33 notices had been sent to factories respecting the giving out of outwork. 22 lists had been received relating to 101 outworkers receiving work inside the district, and nine lists relating to 30 outworkers receiving work outside the district.
The Surveyor reported that during the past year 2,275 loads of refuse etc., had been removed at a total cost of £521 13s. 11d., or 4s. 7d. per load.
Medical Officer’s Annual Report
A circular letter from the Local Government Board was received as to information to be contained in future in the Medical Officer’s Annual Reports, and, having regard to the necessity for strict economy in the use of paper and printing, the Board considered that an interim report only should be made for the past year, such interim report to be typewritten and not printed. The circular also suggested that after the termination of the War, a report could be made dealing more fully with the period from the beginning of 1916 to the end of the last complete year, giving separate statistics for each year, in order that the annual records might as far as practicable be continuous and complete.
The Committee agreed, and instructed the Medical Officer accordingly, one typewritten copy of the report for the use of the Committee being considered sufficient.
A further letter from the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries was received, urging upon Urban Councils the promotion of special schemes relating to pig-keeping by waiving their bye-laws, and secondly by encouraging individuals or groups of people to resume pig-keeping.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to ask the Committee appointed in connection with the uncultivated land to take this matter over also.
With regard to the keeping of pigs, Mr. Wilmott said that the Inspector had already had several applications for permission to keep pigs. They were well away from the houses of the applicants, but might be near the houses of neighbours. It all depended on cleanliness. He had heard that Irishmen kept pigs in their parlours, but he could not say whether this was true or not. If the pigs could be kept by Rushden residents without being a nuisance to anybody else, he thought there should be no objection.
Mr. Skinner: The premises should be near enough to the houses for the women to feed the pigs. You will never get good fat pigs unless the women look after them.
The report was adopted.
A meeting of the Committee appointed by the Council on the 10th January was held in the Council Buildings on Monday, the 15th January, 1917, when there were present: Messrs. J. Spencer (chairman), T. Wilmott, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, with Messrs. J. S. Mason, W. Gutteridge, H. Smith, J. Hornsby, L. Baxter, and T. Swindall.
Mr. Gutteridge, the secretary of the Small-Holdings and Allotment Association, reported that the five last-named gentlemen had been appointed by his Association to act on this Committee.
The Committee discussed at some length the nature and quantity of land which could be satisfactorily dealt with under the Order, and it was ultimately resolved that in the first instance their operations be restricted to suitable plots of unoccupied land situate near houses in which likely cultivators dwell, and it was decided to divide the town into three districts, with a sub-committee to visit each and report to a future meeting. A sub-committee was also appointed to consider purchase of seed potatoes.
A further meeting of the Committee was held on Monday, the 2nd January, at the Council Buildings, when there were present: Messrs. J. Spencer (chairman), T. Wilmott, J. S. Clipson, J. Hornsby, H. Smith, T. Swindall, L. Baxter, and W. Gutteridge.
The Sub-committees appointed at the last meeting to report as to suitable sites gave their reports, from which it appeared that there was an abundance of small plots of uncultivated land in all parts of the town, and it was resolved to advertise in the local papers inviting applications.
The Sub-committee appointed for the purchase of seed potatoes reported that they had considered the matter and agreed that six tons should be purchased in the first instance and that the Surveyor had been instructed to obtain estimates from seedsmen in the Fens district. It was also resolved that the tenders when received be submitted to a sub-committee consisting of the Surveyor, Mr. Smith and Mr. Gutteridge, with power to act.
The Committee again met at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 31st January, 1917, when there were present: Messrs. J. Spencer (chairman), T. Wilmott, T. Swindall, J. S. Mason, W. Gutteridge, H. Smith, L. Baxter, and J. Hornsby.
The list of applicants for land was submitted, and it was resolved that the sub-committees arrange to meet them on the various sites on Saturday afternoon, February 10th, and stamp out the plots. The Clerk was instructed to give notice by advertisement in the local papers.
The Seed Sub-committee reported that they had accepted the tender of Messrs. Massey & Sons, of Spalding, for two tons each of the following seed potatoes:-
It was resolved that same be sold at cost price to all cultivators of allotments and small holdings in Rushden, and that notice to this effect be advertised, applications to be made at once, no individual to be allowed to purchase more than three cwt. except with the special consent of the Committee.
Mr. Swindall said it should be understood that applications for the land could still be made.
The report was accepted.
Rushden War Savings Association
A meeting of the Local Association was held at the Council Buildings, Rushden, on Monday, the 5th February, Mr. J. Spencer in the chair. Mr. John Claridge, the local representative on the County War Savings Association was co-opted a member of this Association.
The Secretary reported that of the eleven associations originally affiliated, nine were still working. The Rushden Friendly Societies Association, finding the ground fully covered by other associations, did not commence to operate, whilst the Town Band Club Association ceased operating during December. One further application for affiliation had been received, from the British United employees, and it was resolved that the same be duly affiliated.
The Treasurer reported that the audit of the accounts of the various associations up to December 31st last had been duly completed. The total amount received up to that date was £5,419 18s. 4d., of which only £158 7s. 6d. had been withdrawn. This the committee considered very satisfactory.
6,027 certificates had been purchased representing £5,257 12s. The number of subscribing members at the present time was 3,568. The subscriptions for the month of January amounted to £1,182.
The Committee passed a vote of thanks to the following gentlemen, who acted as auditors:- Messrs. T. Watson, W. B. Madin, W. H. Spicer, A. Mantle, A. T. Chambers, R. Tusting, H. Lack, E. L. Brightwell, C. W. Wing, W. L. Beetenson, F. C. Woodward, W. P. Jolley and T. H. Nichols.
New War Loan
The Committee considered how best they could promote the success of the new War Loan, particularly amongst small subscribers. It was felt that the principal objection raised was that the money would not be repayable until 1947, and it seemed very difficult to make the people understand that they would be able to sell their holdings at any time practically at cost price. A number of gentlemen had very kindly consented to purchase £100 worth each of the Loan, and deposit it with the Association’s bankers, with a view to enabling the Association to guarantee to post office subscribers of £5 that they should if they required the money receive it back in full at any time during the next five years.
The Association gratefully accepted the offer, and it was resolved that the Secretary be authorised to insert a suitable advertisement in this week’s papers and issue a leaflet fully explaining the proposal, a copy of which the Chairman would arrange to be delivered by the Boy Scouts, etc., to each house during the week-end.
The Chairman said that excellent work had been done by the Association. A special appeal had been made this week, and the result had been very gratifying. The sum of £1,854 7s. 1d. had been received from the factories; £130 0s. 10d. from other associations; and £77 18s. 0d. from the Windmill Club, a total of £2,062 5s. 11d. for one week. From everything they could gather in the town the inhabitants generally almost every one of them were doing their utmost to help forward this War Loan, and he thought the total sum raised in the town would be very gratifying indeed.
Mr. Swindall: Is it possible to get to know what is being raised in Rushden for the new War Loan?
The Clerk: I have made application to the banks and to the post-office, and they express themselves as being quite willing to give the information, but say they must first communicate with their London offices.
The report was adopted.
The Clerk read a letter from the Windmill Club, protesting against the increased railway fares, which were causing great inconvenience to working people, and urging the Council to try and get the restoration of market tickets. Similar letters were also received from the Athletic, West End, Working Men’s, and Trade Union Clubs, and from the Trades and Labour Council.
Mr. Bates said it would be a great boon if they could get some of the items reduced. Many people had to go to Northampton Infirmary on a Saturday some once a week, and others fortnightly and it was a great expense. He thought something should be done to get market tickets to Northampton restored.
Mr. Swindall supported the memorialists and said that if they asked the Midland Railway Co. for market tickets to Northampton they would probably get that. In some places they had got market tickets again.
Mr. Claridge: Locally?
Mr. Swindall: Yes.
Mr. Clipson supported, and said that many people had friends and relations in Duston War Hospital, and the present fares made it very expensive to go there.
It was decided, on the proposition of Mr. Swindall, to ask the Midland Railway Co. to issue market tickets to Northampton on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and also to approach the President of the Local Government Board and Board of Trade.
The National Service Scheme
At the meeting of the Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday, Mr. John Spencer presiding, a circular letter was read from Mr. Neville Chamberlain, asking for the assistance of the Council in furthering the National Service Volunteer Scheme locally.
Mr. Bates said that if many men in Rushden enrolled themselves, the shoe factories would be more depleted than ever, and things would be very much worse even than they are now. There was the greatest difficulty now in keeping the shoe factories running, and if men signed on and were fetched away a serious position would arise.
Mr. Knight said that men such as Mr. Bates referred to were doing very useful work for the country. The scheme was rather for men outside the shoe trade, who were too old for military service, but would be available for some kind of useful work. He thought such men would be willing to render some assistance if the question could be put to them. They could not raise as many men in Rushden as they could in some districts, but he thought they might obtain a few who would be a benefit to the country generally.
Mr. Wilmott said he knew gentlemen in Rushden who had tried their hardest to get jobs of national importance, but they could not get them. Some of them were willing to pay their own railway fare to get a technical knowledge of munition making, but they could not get an opening at all. In filling up his own registration paper he said he was a builder, and added that he was willing to do anything at his trade to help his country. He could say no more than that, but he had heard nothing.
Mr. Hyde said it would not be policy in this district to try and persuade workers in the boot trade to volunteer.
Mr. Bates: Practically the whole of the men we have left in Rushden are in the shoe factories, which are now depleted as much as they ought to be, and if some of the men signed on and were called up it would make things so much worse than they are now. We ought to be very careful what we do, as I look on the shoe trade as one of the most important in the country to-day.
Mr. Bazeley said that, as Rushden was now placed, it would be a waste of time and energy to institute a canvass of Rushden as they did for volunteers for the Army. There might be some in Rushden who could do some useful national service but he thought the few at a time like this should volunteer. Suppose some in the boot trade enrolled, when at the present time they were helping to supply boots and shoes for the British Government and our Allies, it would be no gain to the country whatever, because they would not be doing such good service for the nation, as they are doing now. He thought all they, as a Council, ought to do should be to appeal to those inhabitants who were not doing work of national importance to come forward and offer their services.
Mr. Claridge thought they ought to do what they could in Rushden, though they could not do much. He did not think the scheme would affect the shoe trade, because of the remuneration; and even if the remuneration had been better he did not think they would take the men from the shoe trade. But there were probably some people in Rushden who were not doing much, and he thought some means should be used whereby those who were willing to offer their services could do so.
Mr. Swindall thought the Council ought to do something with regard to the National Service Scheme. It was voluntary at present, but if not taken up in the proper spirit it would undoubtedly be made compulsory. They ought to look upon Mr. Neville Chamberlain as knowing the needs of the country, and as a Council they ought to do all they could to support him. He moved that a small committee be appointed to consider the circular letter and to take whatever action they thought best.
Mr. Claridge seconded.
The Chairman said that the unpleasant part was that if the people did not accept the scheme voluntarily they would be compelled to, and that disposed of the voluntary principle altogether. If there was anything they could do to assist the country, and any work of national importance they could undertake, they ought to do their utmost, but he agreed with those who said that the shoe factories should not be further depleted. He had spoken to the President of the Boot Manufacturers’ Association, who thought that anything which would unsettle the work-people now would be detrimental. But there might be a few who were not as present doing much, and he thought they ought to help such to do something.
Mr. Swindall’s proposition was carried, and the Chairman, Mr. Swindall, and Mr. Hyde were appointed the committee.