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The Rushden Echo, 4th January, 1901, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

The first meeting of this Council in the new century was attended by Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), J. Claridge, J. Spencer, W. Bazeley, G. Miller, W. H. Wilkins, G. Fountain, J. S. Clipson, and T. Swindall, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).

A Happy New Year

The Chairman, in opening the meeting, referred to the fact that that was the first meeting in the new year and the first in the new century, and wished the members a happy new year.

The members of the Council heartily reciprocated the good wish.

Waterworks Committee

A meeting of the Waterworks Committee was held on Wednesday, 5th December, 1900. Present, Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), George Denton, William Bazeley, J. S. Clipson, G. Fountain, G. Miller, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Sharnbrook Operations. - The Surveyor reported that Mr. Middleton visited Sharnbrook on Nov. 22nd and recommended that a trench should be dug the whole length of the enclosure at No. 3 Well. This was agreed to.

The Surveyor also reported that Mr. Middleton had visited the Irthlingborough Gas Works and found a very considerable quantity of water being pumped there. This water had at Mr. Middleton’s request been analysed and the report submitted to him. Mr. Middleton did not favorably entertain the idea of a permanent supply from this source but suggested that enquiries should be made as to the depth of gravel on the north side of the river with a view to a temporary supply.

The Surveyor was instructed to report the result of his investigations to Mr. Middleton as soon as possible and also to make enquiries and report upon the Finedon Well.

The report was adopted.

Plans, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held on Wednesday, 12th December, 1900. Present :- Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), William Bazeley, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Plans

Plans were presented by :-

Messrs. Skerritt and Co. for factory in Sartoris-road and passed.

Mr. J. Green for additions at the rear of his house in High-street and passed.

Mr. J. T. Desborough for workshop at the rear of No. 19 Higham-road and passed.

Mr. J. Hyde for open shed at rear of No. 63 Glassbrook-road and passed.

Highways

North-street. - It was resolved that the footpath on the west side of North-street be paved with asphalt.

It was also resolved with regard to the continuation of North-street to the railway that the owners be approached with a view of completing the road forthwith and making it a public highway. The Surveyor was instructed to prepare an estimate of the expenses of the works required and apportion the same between the owners of property abutting on the street.

Higham-road Improvement. - The surveyor was instructed to purchase the pipes required for making the new storm water drain.

Queen-street. - A letter was received from Mr. Enos Wooding and others, owners and occupiers of several houses in Upper Queen-street, calling the Council’s attention to the state of the footpath there from Mr. Green’s factory to the houses in question, and requesting that something might be done to improve it. The Clerk was instructed to reply that as the street in question was not yet taken over as a public highway the Council could not incur expenditure thereon and that the Committee did not at present see their way to recommend the Council to put in force the Private Street Works Act. If, however, the owners on that side of the street would bear the expense of constructing a proper asphalted footpath forthwith the Committee would as far as they were able undertake that when the work of completing the street was taken in hand, credit for the expenses now incurred should be given to the owners in the apportionment of expenses then incurred.

House Numbering. - It was resolved that as far as possible the numbering of houses should be completed before the 1901 census.

The report was adopted.

Finance, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held on Wednesday, Dec. 19th, 1900. Present :- Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), Geo. Denton, J. Spencer, G. Fountain, and J. Claridge.

Finance

A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Cemetery

Burial Act, 1900. - A circular letter from the Home Office with a copy of this new Act of Parliament was received. The Clerk explained to the Committee that although the Act made many important alterations in the Burial Laws they would not affect Rushden with the exception that it would be necessary to prepare a new table of fees, including ministers’ fees, for approval by the Secretary of State. The consideration of this matter was deferred until the next meeting.

Sanitary

Medical Officer’s Report - The following report was received from the Medical Officer.

“Since my last report, I have visited Rushden and inspected Messrs. Groomes’ factory at Higham Hill. Two closets have been built outside as suggested some time since and are satisfactory. There are, however, two at the end of the building which have not been altered and are not at all satisfactory, there not being sufficient ventilation and therefore causes unpleasantness in the workroom. There has been one case of scarlet fever reported in Wellingborough Road which, from information obtained, is of mild type.

FRED H. MORRIS, M.D.”

Inspector’s Report - The Inspector reported the blockage of drains from several houses on the High causeway which communicate with a sewer laid there-under. He recommended that the Council relay the sewer, which was not in a satisfactory condition, and call upon the owners to connect therewith. It was decided to adopt the Inspector’s suggestion, and the necessary orders were given thereon.

The Surveyor further reported that the drainage for the houses in Queen-terrace had not yet been put in order and were still in a very unsatisfactory condition, creating a nuisance injurious to health. It was resolved that the Surveyor be instructed to serve formal notice on the owners’ agent requiring the necessary work to be carried out within 14 days.

With regard to the closet accommodation in Messrs. Groome’s factory, as to which the Clerk submitted a letter from the Factory Inspector enquiring what steps the Council had taken in the matter, it was resolved that notice be at once served upon Messrs. Groome requiring them within 14 days to provide satisfactory ventilation to the two closets mentioned in the Medical Officer’s Report.

Arsenic in Beer - A circular letter from the Local Government Board was received drawing attention to the powers the Council possess under the Sale of Foods and Drugs Acts of purchasing and submitting samples of beer for analysis by the Public Analyst, and recommending that samples of beer and other articles should be taken forthwith. The Committee were given to understand that the County Council were taking active steps in the matter and thought this Council might be quite satisfied with what was being done by that Authority.

Mr. Wilkins said the question of the arsenic in beer raised the question as to whether they did all they ought to do in analysing food generally. They had not, perhaps, done all they could have done.

The Chairman said it was not long since the Inspector was at Rushden, and he was there again last week.

Mr. Claridge : The County Council are taking up foods as well.

The Chairman : If we took the matter up, we should incur a lot of expense, and the County Council have an Officer for that special work.

Mr. Swindall : Do they take beer as a food or drug?

Mr. Claridge : A drug. (Laughter).

Mr. Spencer : They should condemn all alcohol as poison.

Mr. Claridge : They wouldn’t like beer without alcohol. (Laughter.)

The report was adopted.

Additional Accommodation at the Railway Station

At a meeting of the Council in November a resolution was passed asking the Midland Railway Co. to take steps to provide better accommodation at Rushden Railway Station.

The Clerk now read a letter he had received to the effect that at the last meeting of the directors the Council’s resolution was read. The question of improving the accommodation at the station was receiving careful consideration and when the Directors were next in the district on a tour of inspection they would personally visit the station. Perhaps, under those circumstances, it was not necessary to put a deputation to the trouble of visiting the Directors.

The Clerk was instructed to ask the directors to notify the Council as to when they would visit Rushden, so that a committee could meet them.

Re-Appointment of Medical Officer

Mr. Denton moved that Dr. Morris be re-appointed Medical Officer for the ensuing year and said the arrangement decided on last year appeared to have worked fairly satisfactorily, though they had hardly yet had time to give it a fair trial.

Mr. Swindall asked if the committee had considered the question of having a medical officer from outside the town.

The Chairman said they had, and Mr. Denton’s motion was the outcome. There had been no delay through the arrangement whatever and Dr. Morris had always been ready to come whenever they wanted to see him. They considered the doctor had been very attentive to his duties, and fortunately they had been very free from epidemics.

Mr. Spencer seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously.


The Rushden Echo, 25th January, 1901

At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night, there were present Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), J. Claridge, W. H. Wilkins, J. S. Clipson, J. Spencer, W. Bazeley, G. Miller, G. H. Skinner, and T. Swindall, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).

Council In Committee

A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held on Wednesday, 2nd January, 1901: present - Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, J.P., S. Clipson, G. Fountain, G. Miller, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Nene Valley. - The Vice-Chairman reported that he, with Messrs. Clipson and Swindall and the Surveyor, had visited Ditchford and Stanwick, but could obtain no information leading them to believe that any considerable quantity of water was to be found at either place. They had also visited the well at Finedon, where the quantity pumped was comparatively small. It was now reported, however, that a further strong spring had been struck.

Sharnbrook. - The Surveyor reported the digging of the trench as recommended by Mr. Middleton to be complete, the daily yield of water now measuring about 123,000 gallons. It was resolved that Mr. Middleton be requested to at once inspect the work and advise as to further operation.

The report was adopted.

Plans, &c., Committee

Plans were presented by :-

Mr. J. A. Young, of Sandy, for cottage on the Rushden Court Estate, and passed.

Mr. C. E. Knight for house in Station-road, and passed subject to walls of w.c. being made 9 in. and window ventilation provided.

Mr. J. Crook for Mission-hall in Station-road, and passed.

Mr. Charles Wright for house and shop in Washbrook-road, and passed.

Highways

Robinson Road. - The Clerk reported that no notices of objection to the proposed works had been received. The surveyor was instructed to advertise for tenders forthwith.

Lighting

Public Lighting. - It was decided to place an additional lamp in Milton-place, and also in Newton-road between Park-road and High-street.

The Council adopted the report.

Waterworks Committee

A meeting of the Waterworks Committee was held on Wednesday, 9th January, 1901. Present, Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), George Denton, William Bazeley, J. S. Clipson, J. Claridge, G. Fountain, G. Miller, G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Sharnbrook Operations. - The Chairman reported that Mr. Middleton had visited Sharnbrook to-day. He found the quantity of water pumped to be about 130,000 gallons per day; this he thought might and probably could be considerably increased by further trenches but on the whole he was greatly disappointed with the results obtained. Mr. Middleton suggested that these operations should be stayed for the present and that he should be instructed to make a survey of the District with a view of ascertaining the best situation for a water supply whether by gravitation or otherwise. It was resolved that Mr. Middleton be instructed in these terms and requested to act forthwith.

Wymington Supply. - With a view of meeting present demands and obtaining further supplemental supplies it was decided to employ Mr. Wm. Stone to make an inspection of the Wymington district and report as to the best means of utilizing any springs he might find in the vicinity of the present pumping station. Mr. Stone’s fee to be £10 10s. 0d. and out of pocket expenses.

Bedford-road Well. - The Surveyor reported the completion of the work of putting down the pump. There was some difficulty in getting the water to pass through the mains freely and the surveyor was instructed if he found it necessary to construct a tank at the site of the well.

The report was adopted.

Finance, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 1901. Present - Messrs. Geo. Denton, G. Miller, G. Fountain, and J. Claridge.

Finance

A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Sanitary

Medical Officer’s Report. - The following report was received from the Medical Officer :-

“There has been one case of infectious disease reported since the last meeting, viz., erysipelas in a youth aged 19 years.”

FRED H. MORRIS, M.D.
Jan. 15, 1901

Inspector’s Report. - The Inspector reported with regard to Messrs. Groome’s factory that further ventilation had been provided for the closets complained of, and he would like the Surveyor to inspect the property with him. This the Surveyor was instructed to do.

The Clerk was instructed to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from Messrs. Groome in reply to a complaint made to them by this Committee as to their treatment of the Inspector and Medical Officer on a recent visit, to inform them that their reply was considered very unsatisfactory, and to point out that the Council’s officers made these visits in the course of their duty and in pursuance of statutory authority.

The Inspector also reported that the work required to the drains at Queen’s Terrace had not yet been commenced.

The Clerk was instructed to inform the owner’s agent that the Committee would recommend the Council at their next meeting to order immediate proceedings to be instituted if the work had not then commenced.

Carbolic Acid. - A circular letter from the Local Government Board with copy Order declaring Carbolic Acid a poison was received, and the necessary orders given to the Inspector thereon.

The report was adopted.

Rates

The seal of the Council was affixed to a general district rate (at 2s. in the £) and to the water rate.

Mr. Wilkins presented a tabulated statement setting out the irrecoverable arrears on the last general district and water rates, and the Council resolved to write them off.

The Forthcoming Urban Council Election

The Clerk read a letter from the Local Government Board to the effect that owing to the census being taken on Monday, April 1, Urban Council elections would, this year, in the absence of an order by the County Council fixing another date for special reasons, be held on Monday, March 25.

A Nuisance To Tradesmen

A letter was received from Mr. J. A. Langley, secretary to the Rushden Tradesmen’s Association, stating that the Association, at its last monthly meeting proposed a resolution by which they wished to call the attention of the Urban District Council to the fact that a grave nuisance was caused by persons congregating in the doorways of business premises after closing hours and respectfully requested that some means should be taken to remedy the evil.

The Chairman pointed out that in some cases the doorways were set back and the space thus caused was really private property, over which the Council had no control.

Mr. Claridge said there was undoubtedly a nuisance, but the Council seemed to have no power.

Mr. Denton suggested that the letter should be handed to the police.

Mr. Bazeley said he had heard complaints that the nuisance not only existed while the business premises were closed but while they were open, insulting remarks being addressed to those inside the shops.

It was decided to call the attention of the police to the matter.



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