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The Rushden Echo, 9th/23rd June 1899, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Infectious Diseases Notification Act

There were present on Wednesday night:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), John Claridge, J. Spencer, J. S. Clipson, G. Fountain, P. Cave, W. H. Wilkins, G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, G. Miller, and B. Mortimer, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. J. B. Martin).

Water Committee

A meeting of the Water Committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday, 31st May, 1899. Present: Mr. Fred Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), Messrs. P. Cave, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, G. Fountain, G. Miller, B. Mortimer, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Trial Well at Sharnbrook

The Chairman informed the committee he had hoped to have submitted to them a report from Mr. Eunson on the trial operations at Sharnbrook, but through a family bereavement Mr. Eunson had been unable to furnish such a report.

The Surveyor reported that the trial hole at Sharnbrook has been sunk to a depth of 28 feet of which 21 feet was a shaft and the remainder in boring.

The strata passed through was as follows:- 4 feet soil, 7½ feet loamy sand, 4 feet 3 inches gravel, the remaining 12 feet 3 inches being clay with the exception of a thin seam of gravel at 25 feet. The water level was at 14 feet 9 inches and the greatest quantity of water coming into the shaft was at the rate of about one gallon per minute.

Four bore holes have been made from the bottom of the shaft, the first coming into contact with a stone at 27 feet and it was impossible to go any deeper. A second hole touched the stone at 26 feet and the other two holes pierced to 28 feet without meeting stone but showed that at that depth clay existed.

These facts have been made known to Mr. Eunson and he was of the opinion that a further trial hole should be made to a depth of 50 feet or so.

Mr. Denton proposed that the Surveyor be instructed to sink a well to such depth as the Engineer might direct not exceeding 70 feet deep on the extreme west of the site and be authorized to procure all necessary materials for the purpose.

Mr. Wilkins seconded.


The Clerk was instructed to procure copies of the Beds Times of 5th May containing a report of the Parliamentary proceedings in the St Neots Water Bill and furnish each member of the Committee with a copy.

Additional Mains

A letter was received from Mr. Austin asking for water to be laid to the factory occupied by him in Lawton-road.

The Committee considered that under the present circumstances in connection with the water supply the Council would not be justified in laying a new main in that direction.

The application was therefore not acceded to.

The committee’s report was taken as read.

Mr. Wilkins asked if there was any fresh information on the subject of the trial hole at Sharnbrook.

The Chairman said that since the meeting of the committee it has been decided to sink another well at the extreme corner of the field near the railway. According to how the strata ran, it was thought well to get as far as possible from the existing trial well. The new well was being bricked and was now about ten feet deep.

The report was adopted.

Finance, Cemetery, And Sanitary Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Vestry on Wednesday, 31st May, 1899. Present:- Mr. Fred Knight (chairman), Mr. Geo. Denton (vice-chairman), Messrs. J. Spencer, G. Miller, G. Fountain, G. H. Skinner, and John Claridge.


Estimate. The estimate of the receipts and expenditure of the Council for the year ending 31st March 1900 was considered and agreed to and it was resolved that the Council be recommended to approve and confirm the same. A copy was ordered to be sent to each member of the Council.

Audit. The Chairman read a letter received from the District Auditor as to the method of book keeping in connection with the collection of water rates and water fittings accounts at present adopted and suggested certain alterations therein.

It was resolved that the District Auditors recommendations be adopted and the Clerk was instructed to confer with the Collector as to procuring suitable books.

With regard to the Fittings accounts, the Chairman was requested to see Mr. Sargent thereon and ascertain from him terms upon which he would undertake the collection of all accounts receivable by the Council including Green Tolls.

Oakpits. The Surveyor reported that he had been unable to obtain payment from Mr. Thompson of his rent for the Oakpits due at Lady Day last. The clerk was instructed to apply to Mr. Thompson for payment of the year’s rent within 14 days and in default of payment to take proceedings for the recovery of the amount due.


Caretaker. A letter was received from Mr. John Bayes, the Caretaker asking for an increase of 2s per week to his present wages. The committee agreed to recommend the Council to accede to the application.

Fences. The Surveyor was instructed to have the iron rails painted.

Seats. It was resolved that the Council be recommended to provide 4 additional seats similar to those already in use.


Sewage Farm. The spare land was let to Mr. Skinner as tenant up to the 29th September next at a rental of £15.

It was resolved that the following committee be requested to act as a Sales committee in respect of the farm produce, viz., Messrs. Skinner, Mortimer, and Swindall.

George Street. Resolved that the Council be recommended to sewer this street forthwith.

Brook. The Surveyor reported several repairs needed to the paving and arches of the brook and was instructed to have the same executed where he considered necessary.

Ventilating Shafts. The Surveyor produced a letter from Messrs. McDowal and Co., stating that in consequence of the rise in the price of iron they would be obliged to increase their charges for the ventilating shafts by 5s each. This was agreed to.

Unconnected Drains. Several cases were referred to the Inspector to inspect and report.

The Chairman proposed the adoption of the report and estimates, and Mr. Denton seconded the motion.

Mr. Mortimer called attention to the fact that £90 was spent on the hire of a steam roller last year, and now the Council had decided to purchase a roller. It seemed like locking the stable door after the horse had gone. He didn’t like the way in which the Council had been doing business. They had paid away more money than would have bought a steam roller. (“No, no.”)

Mr. Denton did not think their own roller would cost them less than they had to pay to hire one.

Mr. Cave thought it would.

Mr. Mortimer said the Council ought to have bought a roller last year, before the price of machinery had gone up.

The Chairman thought the discussion out of order.

The report was then put and adopted.

The Sub Post Offices

A letter was received from Messrs. J. T. Reid, of Wellingborough-road, and T. E. Tinkler, of Higham-road, asking for the sanction of the Council to the closing of their sub post offices on Thursday afternoons.

The Clerk said it appeared that the Post Office authorities would not give permission for the offices to close without the Council’s sanction.

Mr. Denton thought the public was entitled to some consideration, and though they would none of them wish to keep Mr. Reid and Mr. Tinkler at work, it would be well if their offices were open for an hour before the last mail went out.

After a short discussion the Council decided to accede to the application.

The Main Roads

The draft agreement with the County Council for the maintenance of the main roads in the Rushden District was sealed. It differed from previous contracts in being made to continue from year to year until notice is received from the County Council to terminate it. This provision was made to avoid the payment of 10s duty on fresh agreements.

An Obstruction

In reply to a letter from the clerk, Mr. J. Willmott, of East Grove, wrote that if he were obliged to remove a fence in front of his premises he would have to destroy 20 or 30 young trees, but if the Council would defer the matter till November he would be pleased to remove it.

The Council resolved that the Surveyor should remove the fence but should stay proceedings till November if Mr. Willmott will indemnify the Council against any loss in respect of action which might be taken with regard to the obstruction.

A Formal Report

on the late fire at the factory occupied by Mr. Jos. Barwick and Mr. E. Knight was made by the hon. secretary of the Fire Brigade (Mr. G. R. Turner).

The Notification Of Diseases Act

Mr. Cave, in accordance with notice, moved that steps be taken to adopt this Act. He said Rushden and Brackley were the only two places in the county which had not adopted it, and he thought it was very desirable that they should put themselves in line with other authorities. It would not involve them in great expense, and he thought they ought to be made cognisant of anything in the nature of disease.

In reply to Mr. Miller, the Chairman said he thought the expense would be very considerable.

Mr. Miller said he had been under the impression that the Council carried out the Act almost in its entirety. He would second the motion for the sake of discussion, but unless they were going to get more information than they at present received he did not think it was worth while spending money on it.

Mr. Denton thought the spirit of the Act was being complied with, but with the present disposition of the Local Government Board he was convinced that it would be necessary eventually to adopt the Act. There was an objection to it, however, inasmuch as the medical officer, who was their servant, had to notify diseases to him-self. Dr. Crew, of Higham, had broken through red-tapeism, and did the work for an inclusive amount. If they could come to some such arrangement, he thought they should adopt the Act, but, if not, he thought they had better hold their hands.

The Chairman said there was another way of looking at it, and that was whether the medical man was right or wrong he had his half-crown if he notified a case of infectious disease. Several cases in which the disease was not as stated had occurred in the Wellingborough Union, and the Act cost the Wellingborough Sanitary Authority £70 last year. It would tell very hardly on Rushden.

Mr. Wilkins had no doubt that many local authorities would like to rescind their resolution to adopt the Act, but the Local Government Board would not allow them. A great objection to the Act was that medical officers did not, from considerations of etiquette, enquire as to whether diseases were correctly notified or not.

Mr. Cave said he was quite prepared to add to his proposition the suggestion made by Mr. Denton.

In reply to a question as to whether cases of disease were not sometimes incorrectly notified, Mr. Claridge said that sometimes the doctors had not time to decide before they were obliged to notify. He believed the statistics with reference to Rushden were more reliable than those of places where the Act was adopted.

Mr. Clipson said he did not think it was worth while throwing away £50 a year if they could do without, and he moved that the consideration of the subject be deferred for twelve months.

Mr. Mortimer seconded the amendment.

The amendment was carried, the only dissentients being Messrs. Cave and Miller, Mr. Fountain did not vote.

Sanitary Matters

The Sanitary Inspector reported that a ventilating shaft was required from the drains in Mr. Joseph Green’s yard in High-street but that Mrs. Willmott objected to put one up.

The consideration of the report was adjourned for the Inspector to bring up a report on the condition of the drains.

An Alleged Nuisance

Mr. Fountain said that 12 months ago a resolution was passed to prevent Mr. Hooper washing his fish in front of his shop in High-street. The smell was very bad, however, and he wished to know what was being done in the matter.

The Sanitary Inspector said he did serve a notice on Mr. Hooper, but he was afraid it was not always complied with.

Mr. Cave said the fish were washed in the front of the shop two and three times a week. It was very offensive. That day Mr. Hooper had some boxes standing outside which had contained fish and they smelt very bad.

The attention of the Sanitary Inspector was called to this matter.

The Day of The Meeting

Mr. Spencer gave notice that at the next meeting he would move that the meetings of the Council be held once in three weeks.

23rd June 1899
There was not a long programme of business for the Rushden Urban Council to deal with on Wednesday night, but this fact did not obviate the necessity for a meeting, and the following members turned up to do what work was necessary:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), John Claridge, J. Spencer, J. S. Clipson, G. Miller, W. H. Wilkins, T. Swindall, and Paul Cave, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. J. B. Martin).

Committee Work

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday, 14th June, 1899. Present :- Messrs Fred Knight (Chairman), J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.


Plans were presented by.

Mr. H. R. Thompson (amended plan) of lock up shop, Kimbolton Road, and passed. The committee, however, expressed no opinion on or approval of the sufficiency of the pipes already in the water course.

Mr. Thomas Willmott, Jun. for 7 houses in Winchester Road and passed.

Mr. Jer. Jones for 6 houses on the Shirley Park Estate and passed.

Mr. James Marriott for two houses in Blinco Road and rejected for satisfactory water supply to be shown.

Mr. Samuel Saint for stone masons’ workshop on Newton Road and passed.

Mr. J. S. Rose for workshop at rear of 71 Glassbrook Road and passed.

Messrs. Knight and Lawrence for engine house to their factory in Manton Road and passed.

Mr. S. Skinner for additions to factory in Rectory Road and passed.

Mr. C. E. Bayes made an application to the committee to reconsider their decision ordering two connections with the main sewer of the drainage of the 12 houses now in course of erection by him in Spencer Road. The surveyor reported that the fall of the drain was better than that of the sewer and the committee acceded to the application.

Wooden Buildings

The Surveyor reported the erection of wooden buildings used as stable and coach-house at rear of Mr. J. Rogers’ house in Queen-street. It was resolved that the council be recommended to require the owner to show cause why the building in question should not be removed.


Locomotives (Model Bye Laws.) – The model bye-laws with respect to locomotives, a copy of which had been forwarded by the Clerk of the County Council with a request for the views of this Council thereon, were considered. The committee were not of opinion that any special regulations were required for this district, and referred the matter to the chairman and vice-chairman to make any suggestions they might think fit to the County Council.

Pigthles Estate. – A letter was received from Mr. E. Wrighton calling attention to the roads and pavements on this estate and asking for some explanation why the same were not completed. The Clerk reported that he had acknowledged the receipt of the letter and informed Mr. Wrighton that the Surveyor had received instructions to proceed with the work some time since and the delay in carrying out was entirely on account of the difficulty in obtaining materials. The committee thought Mr. Wrighton would be satisfied with the explanation so long as he knew the matter was receiving attention.

Road Materials

Granite. – Tenders for the supply of granite for the current year were considered and the Surveyor instructed to place his orders for about 1500 tons in quantities as required from the following firms at the respective prices quoted by him, viz. :-

2 inch


1½in Chippings

Mountsorrel Granite Co

9s 0d

9s 6d

10s 0d

Groby Granite Co

10s 6d

11s 0d

 6s 6d

Ellis and Everard (Bardon Hill Granite)

9s 9d

10s 3d

10s 3d

And divide such orders as far as practicable so as to take

700 tons of


400 tons of


400 tons of

Bardon Hill

150 tons of

Groby Chippings

Slag. – Tenders for the supply of slag were also received, and the surveyor instructed to place his order for 2,000 tons in quantities as required from the following firms at the respective prices quoted by them, viz. :-



T. Butlin & Co., Wellingborough

4s 6d

4s 6d

4s 6d

Kettering Iron Co.

4s 8d

4s 8d

Wellingborough Iron Co.

4s 6d

4s 6d

4s 6d

1in chippings

½in chippings

T. Butlin &  Co., Wellingborough

4s 6d

4s 6d

3s 6d

Kettering Iron Co.

4s 8d

4s 2d

4s 2d

Wellingborough Iron Co.

4s 6d

3s 6d

3s 6d

Steam Roller. – The Committee had before them prices from several firms for steam road roller, with scarifier and renewable rim. It was decided to recommend the Council to purchase one from Messrs. Aveling and Porter, of Rochester, for £526 15s 0d, payable in four instalments, as follows:- £122 10s 0d on delivery, £140 17s 6d, at end of first year, £134 15s 0d, at end of second year, £128 12s 6d, at end of third year.

Park Road Improvement. – The Surveyor reported that Mr. Farey required the wall proposed to be erected before his cottages on effecting this improvement to be in blue brick instead of common brick on which the cost had been estimated. He also required gates and minor alterations to steps. These requirements would make the actual cost considerably exceed the estimate. The committee were of opinion that £30 was the limit of expenditure which should be incurred and agreed to recommend the Council that they offer Mr. Farey this amount for the land required for this improvement, the Council undertaking to form the footpath but leaving Mr. Farey to do everything required for his own property.

Street Watering. – The Chairman reported that in order to use as little town water as possible for street watering he had agreed with Mr. Jeremiah Knight for the Council to take what they required from his spring near the moors at 2d per load. The committee considered the arrangement a satisfactory one and recommended its adoption by the Council.

Some conversations took place with regard to the Locomotive Model Bye-laws, but though several councillors expressed the opinion that certain streets and roads in the district were not suitable for locomotive traffic, the Council generally were not in favour of imposing any restrictions on the use of the public highways by any member or members of the public.

The report was adopted on the motion of the Chairman.

Alteration of Date of Meetings

Mr. Spencer in accordance with notice moved that the Council meet once in three weeks instead of once a fortnight. He said that if this plan were adopted all committees could meet before the Council meeting and have their reports ready. Under the present arrangements they practically only received one report.

Mr. Wilkins seconded the motion and thought it was the only logical development of the decision of the Council to divide up the work among committees.

Mr. Clipson and Mr. Swindall also approved of the proposal and it was pointed out that there would be a considerable saving of time at the Council meetings.

The motion was unanimously carried.

Shop Window Blinds

The Sanitary Inspector said he had spoken to a number of tradesmen with reference to leaving their shop window blinds up during Sunday. Some of them left them up and thus encouraged a lot of boys to congregate underneath them, especially in wet weather.

The Chairman asked whether any obstruction was caused.

The Inspector: Yes.

The Chairman said the Council had decided that tradesmen must not leave the blinds up.

Mr. Martin said he had spoken many times to the offenders but though they listened to him they did not do what he requested.

Several members expressed the opinion that the practice was a great nuisance, and the Inspector was instructed to tell the offenders that the Council would have the blinds removed unless they complied with their requirements and took in their blinds on Sunday.

The Drainage System

at the back of Mr. Green’s premises in High-street, was again brought to the notice of the Council and the surveyor and sanitary inspector were instructed to make an inspection with a view, if a nuisance is found to exist, of serving a notice to abate the nuisance.

Scarlet Fever

The Medical Officer (Dr. Owen) reported that four cases of scarlet fever had been notified since his last report – one in Winchester- road, two in Beaconsfield-terrace, and one in Windmill-road. In three out of the four cases, and probably in the fourth also, the disease had been imported.

Mr. Miller asked if those were the only cases in the town.

The Medical Officer said they were as far as he knew.

The Sanitary Inspector did not know of any others. In the cases mentioned, proper precautions were being taken.

Mr. Cave said it would be well when a case was reported if the shoe manufacturers of the town were informed. It would be better for a man who had suffered from the disease to have another week away from work than to spread the disease in a factory.

The Council agreed that such a plan would be beneficial, and it was understood that something would be done to give effect to the suggestion.


The Medical Officer reported that he had tested 30 samples of water from various sources of supply and had only found it necessary in two cases to issue notices that the water must not be used for drinking purposes.


Mr. Clipson mentioned that a rumour had been current in the town that there were rats in the town water, and some people had left off taking it.

The Chairman said there was not the slightest truth in the rumour as to anything being wrong with the supply.

The Trial Well at Sharnbrook

The Chairman reported that the trial well at Sharnbrook had now been sunk to a depth of 30ft, where a sand-bed was met with. On the morning of the day on which the sand was bored there was 12ft of water in the well. Unfortunately, the sand was only 3 feet deep but the water had to be pumped out, and it was possible that a steam pump would be required.

Mr. Clipson suggested that it would be well to go deeper with the well, say about 70 feet.

The Chairman said the Bedford people had been in a very similar position to what they themselves were. At Bedford they came across a bed of clay under a bed of sand, but on boring through the second bed of clay they found what was hoped would be an abundant supply. The Surveyor (Mr. Madin) had got permission from the Bedford Authority to inspect their works and their well and proposed to do so at an early date.

This was all the business.

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