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The Rushden Echo, 19th May 1899, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Purchase of a Steam Roller
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. S. Mason (clerk), C. R. Owen (medical officer), W. B. Madin (surveyor), and J. B. Martin (Sanitary inspector).

Committee Work

The following committee minutes were presented:-

Plans. Were presented by Mr. Houlton for additions to a factory in Lawton-road; Mr. T. Swindall for three cottages in Station-road; Mr. H. Hobbs for engine room to factory in Queen-street; Mr. C. E. Bayes for 12 cottages in Spencer-road; Mr. M. Bates for workshop to house in Spencer-road, passed in each case subject to slight alterations.

Park-road Improvement. The Chairman reported that Mr. Robinson had offered to give up the land, about 60 yards, necessary to effect this improvement, for £15. Mr. Claridge reported that Mr. Farey would give up sufficient land to make a road 27½ feet wide at the narrowest point, on condition that the Council make good the boundary wall and construct a footpath. The committee recommended the Council to effect the improvement on the terms stated.

Steam Roller. The Surveyor reported that the steam roller had been worked 113½ days during the past year at a cost, including man and coal, approximately, of £130 11s 6d. Deducting £40 for cost of man and coal, the net hire of roller would be £90. The committee recommended the Council to purchase a ten-ton compound steam roller on the four years’ purchase system, and to buy a street sweeping machine at an approximate cost of £20.

The plate off the last steam roller
The plate off the last RUDC steam roller

Road Material. The Surveyor produced the following estimate of materials required for the current year:- Main roads, 930 tons of granite, 50 tons of slag, and 100 tons of chippings; footpaths on main roads. 100 tons of chippings; district roads, 425 tons of granite, 1150 tons of slag, 130 tons of chippings; footpaths on district roads, 200 tons of chippings; asphalting, 350 tons of chippings.

Asphalting. The Surveyor was instructed to asphalt the footpath in Church-lane from Mr. Ward’s new warehouse to Park-road and also the footpath in Wellingborough-road from Brookfield-road to Glassbrook-road.

Channelling. It was resolved to put down asphalt channelling on each side of Fitzwilliam-street and Church-street.

The High Pavement near Succoth Chapel. A memorial was received from property owners and others near Succoth Chapel calling attention to the inconvenience suffered by the business premises through the difficult access to the street path and asking for additional steps to be put there from the road. The committee did not consider it necessary or desirable to grant the application owing to the danger which would arise to vehicular traffic.

Main Road Improvements. The Finance Committee were asked to provide £250 for main road improvements.

A Long Debate

took place on various items in these minutes.

Mr. Denton: Some of us have heard nothing about these items. We should like to know more about them before we adopt the recommendations.

Mr. Swindall thought the minutes would have to be supplied to the Councillors beforehand.

Mr. Wilkins: It is rather a big order to confirm all those recommendations without discussion.

It was subsequently resolved to go through the items seriatim.

With regard to the steam roller, Mr. Spencer said he favoured its purchase.

Mr. Skinner: I suppose you will get a loan for this roller?

The Chairman: I think not.

The Clerk: The recommendation is to purchase that on the hire system.

With reference to the estimates, Mr. Spencer said this was a new procedure. He complained that the Finance Committee had not been called together. “I do not object,” he added, “but I can see through it.” There had been no meeting of the Finance Committee since the formation of the new Council.

The Chairman: We have not been able to get one in unless you have two or three meetings on one night.

Mr. Wilkins protested against Mr. Spencer’s remark and contended that there was nothing for Mr. Spencer to “see through.”

Eventually the whole of the minutes were adopted.


Mr. Skinner called attention to the bad smells from the drain in the Back Way near the station.

The Sanitary Inspector said that a ventilation shaft was badly needed there.

Church Clock

Mr. H. M. Fisher wrote stating that it was usual to clean the church clock every four years, and as this was the fourth year he asked for instructions.

On the motion of Mr. Cave, seconded by Mr. Spencer it was resolved to have the clock cleaned.

Infectious Diseases (Notification) Act

Mr. Cave said that Rushden was practically the only authority in the county which had not adopted this act. He gave notice that at the next meeting he should move the adoption of the Act in the Rushden Urban District.

A Source of Danger

Mr. Cave asked if the Council had any power over advertising hoardings which might become unsafe to the public. One which was recently put up near the station had been partly blown down and it might have been very dangerous.

The Surveyor was instructed to look round the town at these hoardings and to report.


Mr. G. Chettle’s knackers slaughter licence was renewed.


Overcrowding at Rushden

At a meeting of the Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday the Medical Officer (Dr. Owen) reported a case of overcrowding in South-terrace. In a house with only two small bedrooms there were husband and wife, eight children, and a lodger.

The Sanitary Inspector said the oldest child was 11 years of age. There were both boys and girls. The lodger was a man. The Inspector added that the woman was looking for a larger house. She added that the lodger’s financial help was of great assistance as there was such a large family.

It was resolved to give the tenant notice to get rid of the lodger in 48 hours, failing which proceedings would be issued, and notice to remove into a larger house in a given time.

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