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The Rushden Echo, 10th & 24th March 1916, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Accidents in the Darkened Streets
Advice to Foot Passengers
“Keep to The Right”
Public-Spirited Action of The Boot Operatives’ Union
Election of Overseers

Wednesday, present Councillors T. Swindall, J.P. (chairman), John Spencer (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., J. S. Clipson, W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, T. Wilmott and G. H. Skinner, with the clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).

Mr. John Claridge

The Chairman said that their esteemed friend and fellow member, Mr. Claridge, had somewhat recovered from his illness, and had hoped to be present that night, but owing to the unfavourable weather, thought he had better not come out. However, he hoped that in the near future he should be able to attend the meetings again.

Council in Committee

A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 9th February, 1916, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), J. Spencer, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. S. Clipson, Jas. Hyde, F. Knight, G. H. Skinner and T. Wilmott.

Wellingborough Road

The Surveyor submitted a report on the condition of this road owing to the excessive traffic of the motor buses. The Committee did not feel justified in recommending any extraordinary expenditure, and instructed the Surveyor to repair the road in a normal manner.

Office Staff

The Surveyor reported that his assistant had attested under Lord Derby’s scheme and his group had now been called up. He would find it almost impossible to carry on the business of his department, which included that of the Water Board, without competent assistance, and it was resolved that he be instructed to make an application to the local Tribunal for postponement.

Public Lighting

In view of the Order restricting public lighting, it was resolved to discontinue public street lighting except in the High-street, and the Surveyor was instructed to make such arrangements with the Police Authorities as they might consider satisfactory.

Loan from The National Union of Boot Operatives

A letter was received from the General Secretary of the Union calling attention to the rate of interest upon the Council’s loan and asking that consideration might be given thereto, with a view to a higher rate being agreed upon. At the request of the Labour members of the Council, the consideration of the matter was adjourned until the next meeting.

With regard to public lighting the Chairman said that the police asked that several other lights in other parts of the town besides High-street should be kept alight, and the Surveyor agreed.

The report was adopted.

Plans, Etc., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 23rd Feb. 1916, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), J. spencer, J. S. Clipson, F. Knight and T. Wilmott.

Plans

were presented by:-

The Windmill Club and Institute for an additional w.c. to their Club Buildings in Windmill-road and passed.

Mr. W. Packwood for barn and w.c. to No. 184 Cromwell-road and passed.

Mr. G. Warner for additions to his factory in Harborough- road, including a new sanitary block and passed.

Public Lighting

The Surveyor reported that he had conferred with the Police Authorities as to the public lamps to remain lighted and had agreed upon 15, in various parts of the town.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Tuesday, the 29th Feb. 1916, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), C. Bates, F. Knight and T. Wilmott.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-


£

s

d

Week ending 3rd February, 1916 

27

10

 6

Week ending 10th February, 1916

29

12

 1

Week ending 17th February, 1916

29

12

 8

Week ending 24th February, 1916

27

19

 9

Collector’s Accounts

The Collector’s accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums since the last meeting:-


£

s

d

General district rate

807

  5

 6

Fittings

    9

18

 0

Green Tolls


15

 0

Burial fees

  10

  5

 0


Treasurer’s Accounts

The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-


£

s

d

Collector, General District Rate

807

  5

6

Collector, Fittings

    9

18

0

Collector, Green tolls


15

0

Collector, Burial fees

  10

  5

0

Various Licenses


  6

0

T. Smith, Chimney on fire


  2

6

Collector, Cottage rents

  40

13

3

Free Library fees, fines, &c

    6

  8

2

Total

875

13

5

And that the balances were as follow:-


£

s

d

General Account

2733

  8

  7

Loan Account No. 16

  144

15

10

Loan Account No, 19

  387

17

  6

Loan Account No. 27

  251

17

10

Loan Account No. 28 o/d

  254

12

  6

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts amounting to £2,091/5/1d were examined and passed for payment.

Loan from National Union of Boot Operatives

A further letter was received from the General Secretary stating that the Council of his Union had again considered this matter and would be willing to agree to the interest being raised from £3/15/0 to £4 per cent.

The Committee considered the proposal a very reasonable one, and resolved to recommend the Council to agree to it.

Mr. Clipson said that the action of the Boot Operatives’ Union was very satisfactory.

The Chairman endorsed this and said that the committee were greatly pleased with the action of Mr. Bazeley and Mr. Bates in the matter.

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, 1916, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Spencer (Chairman), T. Swindall, C. Bates and W. Bazeley.

Health and Sanitary Report

The report of the Medical Officer of Health for the month of February was received.

The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the month of February 38 preliminary notices had been issued, calling attention to nuisances, etc., which were receiving attention.

Four books from the Free Library found in an infected house had been destroyed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the books.

A quantity of bedding had been destroyed after a death from consumption, and the room sprayed and fumigated. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the bedding at a cost not exceeding £1/5/0.

The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.

The report was adopted.

Parks Committee

A meeting of the Parks Committee was held at the Council Buildings, Rushden, on Wednesday, the 1st day of March 1916, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), T. Swindall, J. Spencer and T. Wilmott.

Opening and Closing

It was resolved to recommend the Council to give instructions for the Park to be opened at 7 a.m. and closed one hour after sunset, until further notice.

Bandstand

With a view of making suitable arrangements with the various bands of the town for the use of the bandstand during the coming season, the Clerk was instructed to communicate with the secretaries, asking them to make applications for the months of April, May and June, and to suggest to them that it might be convenient if they would meet amongst themselves to discuss the matter before sending in such applications.

It was also resolved to recommend the Council to issue instructions that no collections be allowed at the entrance to the Park or on the bridges connecting the high and low parts.

Rushden Feast

The Chairman reported that Mr. Thurston had again made application for the use of the ground for the Feast on the same terms as last year.

The Committee agreed to recommend the Council to accede to the application, reserving the power to cancel the arrangement at any time previous to the date, if in the Council’s opinion the state of the owing to the war made it undesirable for the feast to be held.

The report was adopted.

Overseers

Messrs. John Claridge, J. T. Colson, T. W. C. Linnett and L. Baxter were re-elected overseers, and thanked for their past services.

The Snow

The Chairman said that a large quantity of snow had fallen lately, and, as the Urban Council had very few men to spare to clear the streets, he thought it advisable that the inhabitants of the town should clear the pathways in front of their own houses. The snow plough, which the Surveyor had improved, had been used in the streets and had done its work remarkably well. (Hear, hear.)

Keep to The Right

The Chairman said that in the darkened condition of the streets it was certainly advisable that the public should keep to the right in going along the streets. If people using the footpaths would keep to the right it would save a good deal of annoyance and it would tend to the safety of the public.

Mr. Bazeley said that a few years ago he moved that notices be affixed to some of the lamps containing the words, “Keep to the right,” and he was sorry the Council did not adopt the scheme at the time. They would not be experiencing the present difficulty of traffic if they had educated the people to keep to the right; but owing to the expenditure (and it would not have been large) the council then did not see their way to adopt his suggestion. At that time Rushden had grown from a village into a small town, and a great number of the inhabitants had not got out of their village ways and did not keep to the right as the people did in the larger towns, and this caused a great deal of trouble. With the new lighting order the traffic had become a great deal more dangerous. If these notices were put up the people would see them in the daytime, and this would do a great deal to educate them, so that in the dark they would keep to the right. There had been a number of accidents already by people colliding with each other, and this was not to be wondered at, because it was a very rough and tumble way they had got in Rushden in respect to the traffic. He thought it would be a good idea if the Council would adopt the suggestion, and put up notices on some of the lamp-posts. This was the best way of getting people in the habit of keeping to the right.

With regard to the lighting restrictions at Rushden, Mr. Bazeley thought the authorities were very much more strict here than in other towns. He saw a great deal more light in Kettering a night or two ago than could be seen in Rushden. He thought Rushden was a little bit overdone in the matter of lighting restrictions. He thought it was hardly fair to the tradespeople to have these serious restrictions.

Mr. Wilmott suggested that it would also be a good thing to put receptacles here and there for orange skins, banana skins, etc., which were a source of danger to pedestrians.

The question of the notices, “Keep to the right,” was referred to the Highways Committee.


24th March 1916

Firemen and The Army
Exemption from Military Service Asked For
Town’s Expenditure Reduced
A Saving in Each Department

Wednesday, present Councillors T. Swindall, J.P., (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., J. S. Clipson, W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, T. Wilmott, G. H. Skinner, with the clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).

Finances

A number of cheques for tradesmen’s accounts were signed, to clear up the year’s accounts.

Mr. Bazeley: Shall we show a saving in each department?

The Clerk: There is not the least doubt about that. There will be a considerable saving on the expenditure.

Mr. Bazeley: The Lighting Order has cost us a great deal?

The Clerk: Yes, about £20 in all for curtains for the Council Buildings, darkening the Free Library, etc., but we shall save it on gas.

Firemen

Mr. Bates raised the question of the members of the Fire Brigade and their position with regard to military service. He said that some of them were of military age, and he thought the Urban Council should appeal for these men to be exempt from service with the Colours.

The Clerk did not think it would be right to apply for exemption for the whole of the men in a body, but the cases could be dealt with individually.

Mr. Knight (who is captain of the Fire Brigade): Five of the members of the brigade are of military age, and three of these are badged. It would be impossible to do the work of the fire brigade if you have men who do not understand it, and especially if you have a night call.

The Chairman: Members of a Volunteer Fire Brigade are not exempt.

The Clerk: But there is no reason why the Local Tribunal should not grant postponement.

It was stated that members of whole-time Fire Brigades were starred men.

Mr. Bazeley: If the town is of such a size that they cannot engage permanent firemen they ought not to be in a worse position than towns which can afford whole-time firemen.

Mr. Bates: Shall I be in order in moving that the Urban Council ask the captain of the Fire Brigade to appeal for the postponement of the firemen?

The Clerk: It will be better if you leave it on the understanding that the Captain makes the application.

Mr. Knight: I will undertake to do that. The firemen are not employed by the Urban Council. They have no employers, as they are volunteers. If they went, it would put me in a very awkward position, seeing the nature of our staple trade and the importance that nothing should be left to chance. I shall be prepared to apply if the firemen are called upon.

Mr. Bates: That satisfies me. I think it is necessary that these men be kept back.


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