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The Rushden Echo, 11th & 25th March 1898, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Mr. John Claridge presided at the fortnightly meeting in the Vestry-hall, on Wednesday, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (vice-chairman), G. H. Skinner, W. H. Wilkins, B. Mortimer, G. Denton, T. Swindall, and P. Cave, together with the clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the medical officer (Dr. Owen), the surveyor (Mr. Madin), and the sanitary inspector (Mr. Martin).

Committee Work

The minutes of the Council in committee were adopted, as follows:-

Plans were presented by Mr. A. Franklin for three houses in Franklin-road and passed subject to the wall between living-room and bed-room as shown on ground plan being 9 inches; Mr. J. T. Mackness for one house in Queen-street and passed, subject to slight alterations; Mr. C. R. Owen for additions to house in Harborough-road and passed; Mr. W. Mackness and Mr. S. Peck for two houses in Oswald-street and passed subject to slight alterations; Mr. G. Denton for factory and stables at the rear of the Lightstrung Cycle works and passed; Mr. J. Jones for four houses on the Victoria estate, two of them with a frontage to a proposed new road, and rejected for the plan of proposed road to be submitted.

Public Lighting – The sub-committee suggested additional lamps in the following positions:- Pightles estate, Essex-road and Grove-street. (2), Denmark-road and Oswald-street. (2), Windmill estate, Glassbrook-road (5), Brookfield-road, Windmill-road, Sartoris-road (2), and Irchester-road; Oakley estate, Wellingborough-road, Windmill, Victoria, Washbrook, and Park-roads, together with Manning’s-lane. They did not recommend the fixing of the whole of the lights but that three should be fixed on the Pightles estate, one on Washbrook-road, and five on Windmill-road, as early as possible. The report was received and the recommendation adopted.

Team Labour –Upon Mr. Mortimer’s notice with regard to this matter it was resolved that a sub-committee consisting of the chairman, vice-chairman, and Messrs. Mortimer, Brawn, and Skinner, report as to the cost and means of stabling two horses and carts.

Water Supply – It was resolved that a sub-committee consisting of the chairman, vice-chairman, Mr. Denton, and Mr. Brawn, be requested to inspect the springs of water near the moors and report as to the means of using the same to augment the town supply.

Mr. Eady Robinson – The Clerk was instructed to write to Mr. Eady Robinson, of Irthlingborough, informing him that unless he immediately complies with the surveyor’s notice requiring him to cut his hedge on the Newton-road proceedings would be taken without further notice.

The Sewerage Loan

The Clerk read the following letter from the Local Government Board:- “I am directed by the Local Government Board to state that they have had under consideration the report made by their inspector (Mr. Meade-King) after the inquiry held by him, with reference to the application of the Urban District Council of Rushden for sanction to borrow £3,250 for purposes of sewerage and sewage disposal. The board are advised that proper arrangements should be made by the Urban District Council for flushing of their sewers by means of flushing chambers and that the whole of the land at the outfall commanded by the sewage tanks should be laid out and used for the filtration of the sewage effluent. The Board will, therefore, defer further consideration of the application until they learn that the Urban District Council are willing to carry out these works. The Board should at the same time, be furnished with a large scale plan of the land at the outfall, showing thereon the extent of the land commanded by the sewage tank with the contour levels and level of the outfall from the tank. I am to add that the Board will be prepared to consider an application for sanction to borrow any further money for the execution of the works suggested above upon receiving detailed estimates of the cost of such works and a copy of the resolution of the Urban District Council directing the application. The Board would also require to be satisfied that the ventilating shafts as proposed by the Urban District Council would be erected at once after the sanctioning of the loan.”

Mr. Wilkins thought there was nothing unreasonable in the request of the Board. – Mr. Knight proposed that the surveyor prepare plans and estimate of the works necessary to satisfy the Board. – This was carried.

The School Board

An application from the School Board for permission to hold the next two or three meetings in the Vestry-hall was granted.

Water Supply

The seal was affixed to the contract for boring the trial hole, and the Chairman said it was hoped to begin the work next Monday. – Several members complained of the great delay. – The Chairman said the committee went to Wymington the previous day and looked at the chief spring there. They had directed the surveyor to take the quantity of water in one day. They also thought it advisable to sink a well in the middle of a field near the railway, occupied by Mr. Desborough.

25th March 1898

A Breezy Debate

Mr. John Claridge presided on Wednesday evening and there were also present:- Messrs. F. Knight, G. Denton, H. Brawn, B. Mortimer, J. Spencer, W. H. Wilkins, G. Miller, and G. H. Skinner, with Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk), Mr. Madin (surveyor), and Mr. Martin (sanitary inspector).

Committee Work

The Council in committee reported:-

Plans were presented by Mr. John Ridgeway for six houses and house and shop situated in a new street off Cromwell-road and passed subject to slight alterations; Mr. J. Jones, for four houses on the Victoria Estate and rejected on account of the insufficient block plan and also on the ground that the erection of two houses fronting the occupation road is the commencement of the laying out of a new street for which a plan should be submitted; Mr. G. Rogers for house, shop, and outbuildings in Spencer-road and passed; Mr. Joseph A. Button for house on Park-road and rejected for correct block plan; Mr. Amos Wright for alterations to houses on Wellingborough-road and passed.

Team Labour. – The sub-committee reported that the hiring of satisfactory stable accommodation for horses was practically out of the question, and they were unanimously agreed that it was not desirable. The committee recommended the Council to forthwith proceed to erect stables and cart sheds on the Council’s land in Newton-road at an estimated cost of £420. The cost of purchasing two horses with carts and harness they estimate at £136. The committee reported that they had carefully considered the question of the annual cost of maintenance, which, including the annual instalments in respect of loan, they estimated at £200 a year. The committee recommended the Council to refer it to the Finance Committee for consideration with the annual estimates.

Sewerage Scheme. – The Surveyor was authorised to negotiate for local assistance in preparing levels, &c., of outfall for the Local Government Board. He was also instructed to proceed with the second outfall sewer at once.

Stone Throwing. – A report from the police as to stone throwing on Wellingborough-road was received and no order was made.

The recommendations were adopted.

Mr. Parkin and The Clerk

The Chairman said that statements had been made by the Rev. M. E. Parkin at a Liberal meeting seriously reflecting upon their clerk (Mr. Mason) who would like to make a statement.

Mr. Mason: At a recent meeting in connection with the forthcoming election a complaint was made by a gentleman on behalf of Mr. Thos. Wilmott that the latter had not been treated with the courtesy due from me as clerk to him as a member of the Council in respect to a letter addressed by him to me with regard to the Windmill Estate. The letter in question had reference to certain expenses incurred by the Council on this estate and inquired how it was that several owners had received no demand for payment. I assumed the letter referred to the street works then just completed, and, if certain owners received no demand, the position might have been a serious one. I could not understand (after the great trouble taken) how such a thing could have happened, and in view of the consequences which might have ensued had such been the case. I saw Mr. Wilkins, he having as chairman at the time of the provisional apportionment rendered Mr. Pare, the late surveyor, considerable assistance in making it. Mr. Wilkins undertook to see Mr. Wilmott and ascertain from him what he referred to. Mr. Wilkins subsequently reported to me that he had seen Mr. Wilmott and found that his letter had reference to the sewer and not the streets, that he had explained to Mr. Wilmott the position we as a Council were in with regard to the sewers; and that thereupon Mr. Wilmott was satisfied. I considered the matter ended. It was not a question that could, with any advantage, have been discussed by correspondence, and I had more than once considered the same point with the Council. I regret Mr. Wilmott should have thought he had been treated otherwise than with the greatest respect and I am sure the Council would not for a moment think I should wilfully treat a member whose views have always been most carefully considered by them, otherwise than with the greatest courtesy. (Hear, hear.) I regret that my name should have been introduced in connection with election matters at this stage, because as returning officer for both elections it is my duty to abstain from any part in the elections otherwise than as an absolutely impartial officer.

Mr. Wilkins quite confirmed what Mr. Mason had said. He (Mr. Wilkins) saw Mr. Wilmott and explained matters fully to him, and, as far as he could understand, Mr. Wilmott was perfectly satisfied with the explanation.

Mr. Spencer said they could all testify to Mr. Mason’s courtesy to all the members. (Hear,hear.) The remarks of Mr. Parkin were uncalled for in any shape or form.

The Chairman said that Mr. Mason’s conduct was to be commended.

Mr. Spencer: I think Mr. Parkin

Wanted A Free Advertisment.

Mr. Wilkins said that Mr. Parkin’s statement was also a serious reflection on the Council. Mr. Parkin said that Mr. Wilmott could have attended more meetings and would have done but for his treatment by the Council.

Mr. Skinner said that all the members had been pleased to see Mr. Wilmott at the meetings (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Spencer: I have had many conversations with Mr. Wilmott but I have never heard him complain of the treatment of any of the members, and it seems strange it should have cropped up now. I have my doubts whether Mr. Wilmott stated it.

Mr. Mortimer: It was only mentioned at a Liberal committee meeting.

The Chairman: But it gets into the papers and is talked about.

Mr. Mortimer: It has been in the papers that the Conservative members are no use, that they are good for nothing, and are not fit to sit on a Board or Council of any sort. (Laughter.)

The Chairman: But this is a reflection upon our clerk. We are all satisfied with this explanation.

Mr. Knight told Mr. Mortimer that public men were always subject to criticism.

Mr. Mortimer: This was said at a meeting of the Liberal Association and it is a disgrace. We as Conservative members can do as good work as any of the members of the Board.

The Chairman: Order, order.

Mr. Mortimer: I feel this very strongly and I shall not let it drop yet.

The Chairman: Order, order.

Mr. Mortimer (warmly): It is disgraceful.

The Chairman: Order.

Mr. Mortimer: It is disgraceful. You may laugh, Mr. Denton, but it is disgraceful.

The little breeze then subsided.

Insufficient Sewers

The Sanitary Inspector complained of a nuisance caused by a sewer from six cottages and a factory in Sandpit-lane emptying near Mr. Checksfield’s property. He recommended that the sewer be extended about 60 yards.

Messrs. Claridge, Knight, and Miller were appointed a committee to inspect and report.

Election of Overseers

Mr. Denton moved that the retiring overseers, Messrs. Wilkins, J. T. Colson, and John Claridge, be re-elected, and Mr. Spencer seconded.

Mr. Mortimer thought there should be four.

Mr. Miller was nominated but he withdrew, asking, however, that the names should be put separately. He did not think any one had any objection to Mr. Wilkins or Mr. Claridge. He had no objection to Mr. Colson except that he was not a member of the Council. He thought they should appoint only members of the council.

Mr. Denton’s motion was carried. Mr. Skinner remained neutral, and Mr. Miller and Mr. Mortimer voted against.


Mrs. Wheeler resigned her post of caretaker of the Vestry-hall and Mrs. Walter Lovell, of Church-street, was appointed.

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