|The Rushden Echo, 10th March 1911, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Proposed Cottage Hospital
Rushden As A Health Resort
King Edward VII Memorial
A meeting of this Council was held on Wednesday night, when there were present:-
Mr. F. Knight (chairman), Mr. J. Claridge (vice-chairman), the Ven. A. Kitchin, Messrs. G. H. Skinner, G. Miller, C. E. Bayes, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, C. Bates, J. Spencer, and W. Bazeley, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Medical Officer (Dr. Morris),
Plans Etc. Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 22nd February, 1911, when there were present:-
Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, and G. Miller.
were presented by:-
Mrs. G. Fountain for Motor Garage (corrugated iron building) in her yard off Griffith-street and no exception taken.
Mr. C. W. Horrell for a shed for gas plant to his factory in Fitzwilliam-street and passed.
Messrs. E. Claridge and Son, Ltd., for engine house and shed for gas plant to their factory in Rectory-road and passed.
Mr. Albert Franklin for Electric Theatre in the High-street and passed subject to the Surveyor being satisfied with the sufficiency of the girder carrying the gallery and also to the drainage arrangements being carried out to his satisfaction.
The Surveyor was instructed to arrange with the present Contractors for Team Labour to continue their Contracts until the 30th June next on the same terms and conditions as the past year with a view to the new Contracts starting from that date.
The Surveyor reported that certain parts of this Lane had fallen in, in consequence of defects in the culverts running under same. He was instructed to repair the Lane where necessary substituting 18” pipes for the brick culverts.
Railway Bridge, Washbrook Road
A letter was received from Mr. P. S. McCallum, the Company’s Estate Agent, with regard to the interview the Company’s Engineer had had with the Surveyor, asking the Council to contribute £10 towards the cost of raising the parapets of this Bridge.
The Committee could not see their way to recommend the Council to incur this expenditure and the Clerk was instructed to so inform the Company and to express a hope that they would see their way to carry out the work at their own expense with as little delay as possible.
The Surveyor reported that the drain rods at present in use were about worn out and was instructed to procure a new set.
The Clerk reported that only two of the abutting owners had at present paid their apportioned charges towards the making up of this road. He was instructed to write to the other owners concerned asking them to forward their respective amounts forthwith in order that the work might proceed at once.
The Chairman, referring to the Railway Bridge, said the committee did not feel that the Council would be justified in contributing to the cost of the alteration. He hoped the Company would before long carry out the work themselves.
The report was adopted.
Finance and Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings, on Tuesday, the 28th February, 1911, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, G. H. Skinner, and T. Swindall.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Committee examined the Collector’s accounts, from which it appeared that the following sums had been collected since the last meeting:-
The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the following balances were in hand on the under mentioned accounts:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts, amounting to £2,728/0/4 were examined and passed for payment.
The report was adopted
Health and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 1st March, 1911, at 7 p.m., when there were present:- Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), F. Knight, C. Bates, J. Spencer, G. H. Skinner, and T. Swindall.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that four cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., two of diphtheria, one of erysipelas and one of tuberculosis.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that the house No. 16, Duck-street, lately occupied by William Sears, was quite unfit for habitation. It was resolved that the matter stand over until the arrival of the new Sanitary Inspector.
Two books belonging to the Athletic Club Library found in an infected house had been destroyed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the books.
The Surveyor reported that the authorities at the Picture Palace were in the habit of depositing refuse, etc., on the vacant land near their building thereby creating a nuisance. He was instructed to serve a notice on the manager requiring him to abate the nuisance forthwith.
The Surveyor was instructed to arrange with the present contractor for scavenging to continue his contract for the supply of team labour until the 30th June next on the same terms and conditions as the past year with a view to the new contracts starting from that date.
The annual reports of the Medical Officer and Inspector of Nuisances for the past year were received and ordered to be circulated amongst the members of the Council. The Clerk was instructed to write to Dr. Morris requesting him to attend the next meeting of the Council.
Mr. Claridge, referring to the annual reports of the Medical Officer and Sanitary Inspector, congratulated those officers on the way those reports were presented. Several items were very interesting, and they were glad to know that the death-rate was very low indeed. It was difficult to arrive at the exact number of inhabitants by estimate, but, if the number was as estimated by the Medical Officer, the death-rate was exceptionally low. Another very gratifying feature was the very low infantile death-rate the lowest he remembered. He believed the rate had been as high as 130 or 140 per thousand, when as it was now little over 70 per thousand. It was very satisfactory, too, to notice that they only had one case of infectious disease in the town during the last 3 months of the year. He thought they might safely advertise
Rushden as a Health Resort
and might congratulate themselves on living in a clean, healthy town.
Mr. Spencer did not know that the County authority had not made a mistake in not putting the Sanatorium at Rushden. He knew of no other industrial town with so low a death-rate.
The Ven. A. Kitchin said it was very satisfactory to know that the death-rate was so low, but they must not lose sight of the fact that there was in the town an undue proportion of young people as compared with older people. Mr. Spencer and other gentlemen had, however, rightly prided themselves on living in a health resort, and it was very remarkable to find that what they regard as the most serious complaints, phthisis for example, were responsible for so few deaths.
Mr. Bazeley remarked that if the death-rate was low there was a good deal of illness, and at the present time the attendance of children at school was very much affected by whooping cough and measles. There was no reason for the Council to rest on their oars, but they must do all they could to prevent sickness as well as death. They could congratulate themselves on improvement effected, but there was still a lot to be done.
The Chairman said he was sure the Medical Officer, the Inspector, and the Sanitary Committee were always alert to do what they could to make the town healthy and comfortable to live in. He congratulated Dr. Morris on his report and hoped his future reports would be as favourable. He was sure the Council appreciated the doctor’s work.
Dr. Morris thanked the Council for the courtesy they had always extended towards him.
The report of the committee was adopted.
A meeting of the Trustees was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday the 15th February, 1911, when the letter of the 15th May last from the Secretary to the Charity Commission was under further consideration. The Trustees felt they could not ignore the strong expression of opinion by the Commissioners that the present method of distribution in doles is not in accordance with the spirit and intention of the Scheme of 1877 and proceeded to consider the suggestion contained in the letter “that the Trustees should be exercising their power to contribute to Dispensaries, Hospitals, or Provident Clubs under the latter part of Clause 15 (1) of the Scheme of the 29th May, 1877, endeavour to introduce a more beneficial administration of the funds for the benefit of the poor.” It was pointed out that the annual income of the charities, including May’s, amounted to about £24. Out of the May’s Charity 6/8 is payable to the Church and 33/4 to “the aged, poorest, and most infirm folk of Rushden” leaving a balance of about £22 to be dealt with in the manner suggested.
The Secretary informed the Trustees that by the death of Miss Susan E. Foskett, which took place on Sunday last, one half of the “Wilkins-Foskett” Charity was now available for the upkeep of a Cottage Hospital in Rushden; the yearly income from this Charity would amount to about £35.
The Trustees felt that the question of the provision of a Cottage Hospital might usefully be considered in conjunction with the Nursing Association, and the Chairman was asked to approach that Association with a view to their appointing a small committee to confer with the Trustees as to the possibility of providing such an institution in Rushden.
The Ven. A. Kitchin, at the request of the Chairman, moved that the report be received, and said he thought it was very desirable that the public should take note exactly of the present position. There was abroad
Some Little Dissatisfaction
that there was to be any alteration with reference to the administration of the charities, but the Trustees felt that after the strong expression of opinion by the Charity Commissioners they would not be justified in continuing the granting of doles as if nothing had happened. He was sure that all the Trustees were agreed in regretting the necessity of dealing with the matter, and they also regretted that any disappointment should be felt by those who had hitherto received small sums on May 1. At the same time he thought it was only right to point out that the granting of doles, though it had the force of some years’ practice in its favour, was in itself a departure from the original bequest, and he would place in the hands of the reporters some copies of ancient documents which threw considerable light on the intentions of the donors of those charities. At present the money could be used for various purposes, one of which was granting assistance to hospitals and convalescent homes. As they would see, it was possible, by means of the larger portion of the charity money supplemented by the bequest made by Mr. Wilkins, to form the nucleus of what might be a very valuable cottage hospital in the town. Empowered by the Trustees, he had laid the matter before the Nursing Association, who had appointed a small sub-committee to attend a meeting next Wednesday, and it was hoped that the doctors of the town would attend and give the benefit of their advice. The Trustees felt that the use of the charity money in helping to form a small cottage hospital, which in time would grow into a considerably larger one, would be a better way of using the money than in spreading over some 120 small doles as at present. The Nursing Association backed up the proposal very warmly, and it was felt that it would receive considerable support from the town.
The report was formally received.
King Edward Memorial
A letter was received from Earl Spencer referring to the proposed county memorial to King Edward VII, stating that it had been decided by the committee that the fund should be devoted to extending the Sanatorium at Creaton. Any surplus would be devoted to endowing a bed or beds.
The Chairman invited expressions of opinion as to what should be done with regard to supporting the memorial scheme.
Mr. Claridge did not think it would be of any use to call a public meeting, but he thought it would be well to adopt a suggestion made by the Chairman and start a subscription list for the town. It was very necessary for funds to be raised for the Sanatorium, but he was afraid the fees charged for patients were prohibitive for working people. He hoped that if the money was raised it would be possible to lower the fees so that the working people who suffered from the dreadful disease, consumption, might be able to take advantage of a stay at the Home.
Mr. Skinner asked whether Rushden would get any direct benefit would they be able to send a proportion of patients.
The Chairman: No special benefit. Anyone can go, if there is room, if he pays 30s. a week.
Mr. Swindall did not think an appeal could be made to the working classes.
On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Claridge, it was decided that the Chairman should open a subscription list in aid of the memorial, subscription cards to be hung at the Banks.