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The Rushden Echo, 14th & 28th January, 1898, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Mr. John Claridge presided at the meeting on Wednesday and there were present – Messrs. F. Knight (vice-chairman), Wilkins, G. Denton, Swindall, Skinner, Mortimer, Brawn, Miller, P. Cave, Mason (clerk), Madin (surveyor), and Martin (sanitary inspector), and Dr. Owen (medical officer).

Committee Work

The minutes of the committee were:-

Plans were presented by Miss K. Smith for villa residence on Kimbolton-road, and by Mr. Henry Bull for villa residence on the Pightles estate, both being passed subject to damp course being shown; by the School Board for extensions to the Alfred-street schools, including the bringing out of a Board room in front of the main wall of the building on either side, but the committee declined to sanction the building being brought forward; by Mr. Ridgeway for house in Cromwell-road, and passed subject to the walls of the bottom floor being 14 inches; by Mr. C. Rogers for shop and house at the corner of Spencer-road, and rejected on account of insufficiency of block plan and bedroom without ventilation; by Mrs. Higgins for alterations (amended plan) to the Rose and Crown inn and passed; and by Messrs. Pendered and Clark for new street on Shirley Park estate, and passed subject to storm drain having not less than a depth of three feet.

Water Indicator for Reservoir – The Surveyor submitted prices he had obtained for this instrument. The consideration of the matter was deferred until the result of the trial boring is ascertained.

Cemetery – The sub-committee reported in favour of 50 Austrian pines being planted in the cemetery at the rear of the Winchester-road, the ditch being filled up and 6 inch agricultural pipes being laid. The report was adopted. The surveyor was instructed to put a coat of Bedford gravel on the carriage way from the Newton-road entrance gates to the caretaker’s cottage.

Sewerage – A letter was received from the Local Government Board stating that before deciding upon the application for an additional loan an inquiry would be held as soon as the arrangements of their inspectors would permit.

Little-street Improvement – The sub-committee reported that Mr. Bull did not appear to be anxious to meet the Council with regard to the suggested improvement past his property and therefore they made no recommendation.

White’s lane – It was resolved (Messrs. Cave, Mortimer, and Miller voting against) that posts 4 ft. high be placed at the Duck-street end of White’s-lane to prevent it being used for vehicular traffic.

Prior to the confirmation of the minutes, Mr. Mortimer said he objected to the Bedford gravel being put on the cemetery path. The present path was as good as possible, and it would be a waste of money to put down the gravel. He should vote against it. – Mr. Denton : I imagine it is a very small expenditure. – Mr. Mortimer : £30. – The Chairman : No, we amended it. – Mr. Mortimer : But the gravel is not needed. – The Chairman : It will cost £18 or £20. – Mr. Mortimer : You will have to rake off the other gravel. – The Chairman : But we shall use it elsewhere. It is miserable stuff to walk upon at present. – The minutes were then confirmed.


Dr. Owen reported :- “Two fresh cases of typhoid fever have occurred during the month. The first is that of Clark in Moor-road. I find that he was in the habit of drinking the well water that supplied the other cases while playing up Victoria-road, and doubtless this is how the fever originated. The second is that of Whitbread in Victoria-road, where there were two previous cases of typhoid fever. There is an epidemic of whooping cough, and several deaths have occurred within the month. No fresh case of scarlet fever has arisen.” – The Chairman : Are all the cases going on satisfactorily? – Dr. Owen : Yes. – Mr. Denton : Have you made a special report to the County Council respecting the typhoid? – Dr. Owen : No, only the annual report. – The Chairman : Is whooping cough very prevalent now? – Dr. Owen : Yes. – In answer to Mr. Wilkins, Dr. Owen said that the few days’ severe weather would account for the deaths from whooping cough. – Mr. Wilkins said that sudden changes of temperature were dangerous in such cases. – The destruction of some bedding, &c., being recommended by the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. Miller asked why this was necessary if typhoid was not contagious. – Dr. Owen said that typhoid was not infectious in the same sense as scarlet fever or whooping cough. The germs of typhoid were not floating in the air. To take typhoid they must get the germs into the intestines. As a rule the germs came through the discharge from the bowels. There were over 100 nurses at Maidstone, and only one or two of them were smitten with the fever, and this was through their own neglect in not washing their hands before eating. If the germs were about a bed, it was best for the bedding to be destroyed or anyone handling the bed might take the fever if, for instance, they partook of food without washing their hands. In cases of scarlet fever it was quite essential that the paper should be stripped off the walls of the rooms, that the rooms should be disinfected, and that the walls should be whitewashed. – Mr. Wilkins : If the bedding became infected with typhoid germs through the discharge from the bowels it would really cost a great deal more to disinfect the bedding properly than to buy new bedding. – Dr. Owen thought it would. Of course the cost would be less if the Council disinfected all cases of scarlet fever, &c. In large towns they took round a hot steam apparatus for disinfecting. – Mr. Denton : That would cost not less than £100 a year. – Mr. Knight : The amount spent at present in destroying bedding, &c., has been very moderate. – Other members concurred and the report was duly adopted. – Dr. Baker certified that rooms that had been occupied by A. Sinfield, Melbourne-terrace, Victoria-road, should be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and whitewashed before they were occupied again. – The Council made an order on Mr. Wilkerson, the owner, for this to be done.

Surveyor’s Clerk

Mr. Pratt was appointed at 25s. a week, to commence duties on Jan.17

New Rate

The seal of the Council was affixed to a general district rate of 2s. in the £.

The Coming Elections

The Clerk read an order from the Local Government Board fixing all parish, urban, and rural district council elections, as well as Board of Guardians, for the first Monday in April (or if that happen to be Easter Monday, the last Monday in March), County Councils to have the discretion to vary the day from the Saturday before to the Wednesday after. This was the same regulation, but whereas the Board hitherto made a fresh order every year it was now to be permanent. – The Chairman : Monday is a suitable day here. I suppose that would suit us very well. – The council concurred. – Mr. Cave asked if it would be possible to have the School Board and County council elections, as well as the others, all on the same day. – Mr. Skinner thought it would be rather confusing if voters had three or four different papers to fill up. – Other members endorsed this. – The Chairman said this was out of the province of the Council altogether. – Mr. Wilkins said it would be possible for the County Council and the School Board to move in the matter if they desired, but he thought an action should come from them. – Mr. Swindall proposed that the Clerk provide a list of the attendance of members at Council and Committee meetings. – Mr. Knight seconded. – Mr. Cave said he did not think it was necessary to advertise themselves. He thought they all came as often as they possible could. If anyone did not, he would be better off the Council. – Mr. Wilkins jocularly suggested that there would be a chance of members improving their attendances during the next two months. – The motion was carried.

The Rushden Echo, 28th January, 1898

Mr. John Claridge presided at the fortnightly meeting on Wednesday, when there were present – Messrs. F. Knight (vice-chairman), Brawn, Denton, Wilkins, Spencer, P. Cave, Mortimer, Miller, Skinner, Swindall, Mason (clerk), and Madin (surveyor).

Committee Work

The Council in Committee reported:-

Plans were presented by Mrs. M. A. Whitbread, and Messrs. W. A. Whitbread (junior) and Herbert Whitbread for three houses on the Victoria estate, Wellingborough-road, and rejected for system of drainage to be shown; Mr. T. Ager for house in Sand-pit field, Rushden Hill, and rejected for section of drain to be shown; Mr. Albert A. Wadsworth for house in Queen-street, and passed; Mr. E. Claridge for conversion of premises in the High-street into two lock up shops with offices above, and referred to the plans sub-committee to inspect; Mr. H. Sparrow, amended plans (altered arrangement as to passage) as to two houses in Glassbrook-road, and passed.

Sewer on the Wellingborough-road – The Surveyor was instructed to communicate with Mr. Marriott with a view to some arrangement being made for the construction of a sewer for the four roads of Graveley-street.

Main road footpaths – The Surveyor was instructed to proceed with the footpath from the Midland-road to the Railway bridge.

Newton-road – The Surveyor was also instructed to widen this road from Robert-street to the cemetery gate and to use the steam roller for the setting of the foundation.

Little-street – It was resolved to make a new paving from Mr. Gross’s cottages to Mr. C. Bayes’s, and that an iron curb be used where the committee so decide.

Building water – Mr. Cosford made application by letter for refund of portion of the money paid for building water in connection with Mr. Cave’s factory. The committee, however, were unable to accede to the application. Mr. Cave moved that the scale of charges with regard to the water be revised so as to shape a distinction between the factories and cottages; this was not seconded, and therefore was not carried.

Wellingborough-road – The Chairman mentioned on behalf of the owners of a field near the water running that they would be prepared to give up some land projecting into the road if the Council would remove the soil and erect suitable cheap fences. The matter was adjourned for the members of the Council to inspect the site.

Road to Sewage Outfall Works – The Chairman was requested to see Mr. Clark with a view to arrangements being made for putting the roadway leading from Wellingborough-road to the outfall works into suitable repair at the joint expense of the Council and Mr. Clark.

Damage to Trees – The Surveyor reported that one of the trees recently planted in Griffith-street had been destroyed by some one, and it was resolved that a reward of £1 be offered for information leading to the conviction of any person for damaging trees planted in different places in the town.

Water Supply – An application was received from Mr. Adnitt on behalf of Miss K. Smith for a water main to be laid along the Kimbolton-road as far as the new villa residence about to be erected. Mr. Denton proposed that the application be acceded to, at the cost of Miss Smith subject to a service being substituted for the main. This was seconded by Mr. Skinner and carried.

Pyghtles Estate – It was resolved that the Gas Co. be requested to lay a gas main in Winchester-road prior to such road being made.

The report was adopted, and accounts which had been examined by the Finance Committee were passed.

Irrecoverable Rates

It was reported that the amount of irrecoverable rates was £48 11s. 8d.

Mr. Wilkins explained that most of the sums were apparent losses rather than real, the premises having been unoccupied. The only real loss was £1 8s.

Mr. Swindall said this reflected great credit on their rate collector.

Council’s Order

The Clerk reported that the order made upon Mr. Wilkerson, the owner of a house in which there had been fever, to have the premises cleansed, &c., had not been carried out in its entirety. He had not done all the rooms.

The Chairman thought it had been done since.

Post-Office “Sweating”

A letter was read from the Postal Department stating that although over three months had elapsed since they had given permission (on the request of the Urban Council) for sub post-offices to be established on Rushden Hill and on the Rock estate, no one had been found willing to accept the appointments, and it was feared that, unless some one could be found to take these sub-offices, the authority for their establishment would be cancelled.

Mr. Wilkins said the explanation was that the postal authorities refused to pay anything like a proper sum for the work. A more sweating system could not be thought of.

The Chairman said that it was not surprising that no one would take the office.

Mr. Wilkins : The amount offered is ridiculously low.

The Chairman : Is there a scale?

Mr. Wilkins : Yes.

Mr. Denton thought it would be well to ask the postal authorities what salary they offered. (Hear, hear)

The Chairman said it was most unaccountable that a department making such a big profit should be so niggardly with regard to the payment for the work done. Certainly these sub-offices were required for the convenience of the public, but the authorities ought to be prepared to pay people for opening a room for postal business and for the work entailed.

Mr. Cave : What do they offer?

The Chairman : We do not know what they offer these people, but we know what they are paying for similar work.

Mr. Miller said the department had never recognized the growth of the town; Rushden had been shabbily treated throughout. If the authorities knew the size of the place, Rushden would be treated better.

The Clerk was instructed to write and ask the department the names of the people to whom application had been made to open these offices and the amount of remuneration offered.

Sewage in the Brook

The Chairman said that a complaint had been made to him that the sewage in Queen-street was running into the brook, causing a great stench. He and the surveyor found it was so. The Queen-street sewer was not connected with the main.

Mr. Miller : Is it a new sewer?

The Chairman : No.

Mr. Wilkins : The marvel is that it was not connected with the main at the time.

It was decided to connect.

The Water Supply

The Chairman said the question of the delay in making the trial hole had been considered by the committee. Though there was no reason for alarm they found the water was gradually diminishing, so they telegraphed to Mr. Eunson regarding the delay of the contractors (Messrs. Timmins) in making the trial hole. Messrs. Timmins wrote that there had been a delay in obtaining the tubes but he proposed to send the men in a fortnight.

Mr. Miller : When did they promise to send?

The Chairman said they originally promised to send at the commencement of the year. There ought not to have been any difficulty about getting these tubes at all.

Several members thought the contractors were playing with the Council, one gentleman remarking that probably the contractors did not want to begin working until the spring.

The Chairman said they had had beautiful weather, and the trial hole might easily have been proceeded with. Mr. Eunson wrote that he was “more than annoyed at the delay.”

The Clerk said the contractors had not signed the contract yet.

A discussion ensued as to whether it would be advisable for the Council to cancel the agreement or not. Eventually the Clerk was instructed to write to Mr. Eunson urging him to press forward the work.

Local Government Inquiry

It was left with the Chairman and Mr. Wilkins to arrange for one or the other to attend the inquiry at Northampton on Friday into the increase of members of the County Council.

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