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The Wellingborough News, 10th January, 1902, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Water Supply and the Opposition

The ordinary meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday evening, when there were present :- Messrs. G. Denton (chairman), J. Spencer (vice-chairman), F. Knight, W. H. Wilkins, J. Claridge, G. Miller, C. Bates, G. H. Skinner, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, with Mr. W. B. Madin (surveyor), and Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk).

The Podington Opposition

A special meeting was first held to confirm a resolution passed on October 30th on the motion of the Water Committee, authorising the Council to promote the Bill in Parliament. – The Chairman moved a resolution confirming the motion, and Mr. F. Knight seconded, and it was carried. – Mr. J. Claridge asked if the Bill had been printed. – The Clerk replied in the affirmative. – Mr. Claridge said that there were clauses in the Bill which some seemed to take exception to, because of the interception of water springs. – The Chairman remarked that he might say for the information of the Council that a committee was appointed by the Bedford Rural Council, which met at Podington on the previous day. Probably they had seen the report of the meeting held at Bedford at which Mr. Orlebar called attention to the great injustice caused to Podington by them taking powers under the Bill to collect, en route from Sywell, the water springs and deprive them of their water supply. The Bedford Council appointed a committee to make enquiries and they met there yesterday, with their clerk, medical officer of health, and Mr. Turnbull, and when they came to look into the matter they found that there was no such intention on the part of the Joint Board, and that they only asked for powers to bring a pipe from the reservoir to Rushden, and it did not run through Podington, but came along the boundary of the parish. When the committee saw this they said they would not make any objection and practically assured them they would render any assistance for carrying through the work. Mr. Orlebar was not present, although he understood he was appointed on the committee. – In reply to Mr. Miller, the Chairman said the misconception perhaps arose in reading one or two clauses of the old Act, in which the company took power to collect water in the area of the impounding reservoir, and this was read as empowering the company to take water where their mains passed. – Mr. Claridge: There is no clause of this kind in the Bill. – The Clerk : No, there is no clause to empower us to take water from Podington. – Mr. Claridge : They must have misunderstood it. – The Chairman said that Wollaston had as well, in connection with the Wellingborough Rural District Council, but they were holding a meeting next week, when the clerk or someone would be there to explain the matter. – The Clerk stated that all necessary requirements had been observed, and that morning he had obtained the consent of the Local Government Board to the promotion of the Bill.


The Surveyor submitted a letter received by him from the county surveyor asking that the work of removing the bank and setting back the fence on the Higham-road adjoining the Fitzwilliam Building Estate might proceed, and instructing him that the actual cost might be debited to the main road account. – The committee were satisfied with these instructions, and authorised the surveyor to carry out the necessary works.

Irthlingborough Bridge

A communication from the county surveyor was received asking the Council to contribute with other local authorities towards the expense of improving the approaches to this bridge. The clerk was unable to advise the committee that the Council could contribute out of the rates towards such an improvement, and under the circumstances he was requested to reply that the committee were unable to make any recommendation to the Council. – The Chairman stated that the London and North-Western Railway had practically refused to give up the land, so that the matter had entirely dropped.

Sanitary Reports

The medical officer reported the notification of two cases of infectious disease since the last meeting – one of typhoid fever and one of scarlet fever. He had visited the typhoid case and found the sanitary arrangements in perfect order. No trace of the origin of the disease could be found. – The sanitary officer reported that he had visited and inspected both cases reported by the medical officer and supplied disinfectants.

The Midland Railway Accommodation

Mr. Fred Knight referred to the proposed improvement at the station, and asked the clerk if he had received any communication from the Midland Railway. Receiving a reply in the negative, Mr. Knight said that it was time they moved in the matter. Only last Christmas there were men and women standing in the pouring rain for ten minutes, and after the train should have started many people could not get their tickets. – Mr. Claridge said that it was time they heard what the intentions of the company were. At present the station was very dangerous, and it was unfair to the public that they had not better accommodation. – The Chairman considered they should draw the attention of the company to the verbal promise they made some months ago. He expressed surprise that nothing had been done. – It was decided that the clerk should communicate with the company on the subject.

The Wellingborough News, 31st January 1902

Rushden Urban District Council

The ordinary meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday evening, when there were present :- Messrs. G. Denton (chairman), W. H. Wilkins, Fred Knight, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, G. H. Skinner, with Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk), and Mr. W. B. Madin (surveyor).

Rushden Station Accommodation

Mr. F. Knight enquired if the Clerk had received any reply from the Midland Railway respecting the proposed improvement at the station.

The Clerk produced a letter from Mr. J. Mattison stating that he was “looking into the question,” and would communicate further.

The Bathing Scheme Dropped

A meeting of the Bathing-place Committee was held at the clerk’s office on Friday, 17th January, 1902. Present :- Messrs. O. Parker, T. Patenall, and C. S. R. Palmer (Higham Ferrers), and Messrs. G. Denton and Fred Knight (Rushden). – Mr. Madin submitted plan, specification, and estimate of the proposed works near “The Wharf” at Higham Ferrers. From the estimate it appeared that the total cost of providing a swimming bath at this site would amount to about £400, and it did not appear that any modification of the scheme would materially reduce this cost. After full consideration the committee agreed that they could not recommend their respective Councils to incur the expenditure of so large an amount in respect of an undertaking of such a nature. – Mr. Bazeley asked the surveyor what were the plans for the bathing-place. – Mr. Madin replied that the bathing-place was proposed to be 60 yards by 30 yards, with 17 dressing boxes. The excavations necessary entailed heavy expense, there being 1,200 cubic yards to excavate. – The Chairman remarked that when it was first talked of it was thought it would be a matter of a few pounds, and he did not suppose anyone expected it would exceed £100. When it was found it would be £400, and that the scheme was only a temporary or make-shift one, it was not thought advisable to carry it out. Besides, there was no fund available for the work, which would make it a complicated matter, as they would have to get a loan from the Local Government Board. – Mr. Wilkins: On the ground that it is out of the district? – The Clerk: That is so. – Mr. Claridge thought that the provision of bathing accommodation was very desirable, and the committee should consider the possibility of having a bathing-place in their district, by the locks. This place was greatly used. – The Chairman said that the committee thought the bathing-place would only serve a limited number and would not be of a permanent nature. The idea of the Higham Representatives was to erect proper swimming baths, but owing to the present state of their water supply they could not do that, but perhaps in a few years’ time something of this kind could be done. – Mr. Claridge still thought they should make some provision for bathers. – Mr. Wilkins: Reserve our resources and to it properly when we have a water supply. – The Chairman: The committee went into the consideration of this matter, and had to admit that it was not possible. – Mr. Claridge: Not there. – The Chairman: No, nor anywhere else. – Mr. Bazeley supported Mr. Claridge, and thought it would be more safe and convenient for the bathers if something was done to accommodate them. – Mr. Skinner said that if the matter was taken up by the working-men themselves it could be worked successfully. He would let them a field for nothing, and 1,000 men at 1d. a week would be sufficient. – The report was adopted.

Medical Officer

Dr. Morris, of Wellingborough, was re-elected medical officer.

Fire Engine Station and Town Depot

The clerk reported that as the result of negotiations with the West Ham Corporation he had received an offer from the borough treasurer to advance to this Council £3,000 at 3¾ per cent, for the erection of the fire station and town depot. It was resolved to recommend the Council to accept this offer.

The Ratable Value Of The Town

Mr. W. H. Wilkins enquired if the recent fire had seriously affected the rateable value. Information on this point, he thought, would be interesting. – The Chairman replied that the total of the present district rate, at 2s. in the £, amounted to £2,940 7s. 11d., as compared with a corresponding two shilling rate in July last amounting to £2,932 16s. 10d., being an increase during the half-year of £7 17s. 1d., and this notwithstanding that property destroyed by the great fire, of the rateable value of £934 15s., the total now stands at £35,713, or a nett increase of £141 5s. New property had been rated during the half-year to the value of £1,076, as compared with the £934 15s. destroyed by the fire. This showed that the town had developed, in spite of the great drawback occasioned by the fire. – Mr. Wilkins said that the figures would be received with general surprise, showing that they had already recovered to that extent.

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