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The Rushden Echo, 17th November 1899, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

This Council had apparently a lot of business to transact at the meeting on Wednesday night, but the best part of the real work had already been done in committee and only needed confirmation. The members present were Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), W. H. Wilkins, J. Claridge, G. Fountain, G. H. Skinner, B. Mortimer, Paul Cave, G. Miller, T. Swindall, and J. Spencer, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), the Medical Officer (Dr. Owen), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. J. B. Martin).

Waterworks Committee

A meeting of the Waterworks Committee was held on Wednesday, 25th October, 1899. Present:- Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), P. Cave, John Claridge, J. S. Clipson, G. Fountain, G. Miller, B. Mortimer, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Mr. Whitaker’s Visit. – The Chairman reported that Mr. Whitaker in company with Mr. Eunson visited Rushden on Friday and Saturday last week for the purpose of making a thorough inspection of the district preliminary to preparing his report on the water supply.

On Friday Mr. Whitaker, after visiting the site of the present supply at Wymington and the Bedford-road well, took the district of Chelveston, Addington, and Irthlingborough.

On Saturday, the Sharnbrook district was taken, the trial wells at Stoke Mills examined, and Bletsoe, Radwell, Felmersham, and Sharnbrook carefully inspected.

The Chairman and Surveyor accompanied Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Eunson each day and the Clerk on Saturday.

The Chairman had impressed upon Mr. Whitaker the necessity of a speedy report especially with reference to the best means of augmenting the present supply at the earliest possible moment.

Two reports would therefore no doubt be received from Mr. Whitaker, the first as to best and quickest manner of providing for the immediate requirements of the district and the second as to a larger, more comprehensive, and permanent scheme.

The first report would probably be received in the course of a day or two.

Bedford-road Well. – The Chairman further reported that the pumping operations having ceased at the Bedford-road well, he had consulted with Mr. Eunson as to whether the present pump would be of further use, and on his advice Mr. Sparrow and Messrs. Timmins had been notified that the engine and pump were no longer required and might be removed at once. The hire would therefore now cease. The Committee approved.

Portable Engine at No.2 Well. – The Surveyor reported that the portable engine at No.2 Well had broken down. Mr. Stafford had made an examination of the engine and reported that it was completely worn out and not worth repairing. Under these circumstances the Committee decided to provide another engine and appointed a committee consisting of Messrs. Clipson, Mortimer, and Skinner to make an immediate purchase.

The same Committee were also authorized to dispose of the old engine.

Wymington Pumping Station. – Various matters in connection with this station were considered. The Committee report will be presented to a future meeting.

A meeting of the Waterworks Committee was held on Wednesday, 1st Nov. 1899. Present:- Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), John Claridge, J. S. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Mr. Whitaker’s Report

This report, which had been printed and circulated amongst the members, was considered. With regard to:-

Wymington. – The Committee were favourably inclined to the suggestion that further efforts should be made to obtain an increased supply from the sand and gravel beds in the valley at Wymington and the Clerk was instructed to communicate with the Midland Railway with a view of arranging terms whereby the Council might dig some trial holes and drive headings in their field between No.2 well and the main line.

Bedford-road. – The Committee were under some doubt as to whether Mr. Whitaker had over-looked the fact that a boring of 22 feet had been in Mr. Middleton’s time made from the bottom of the old well. The Clerk was requested to put this before Mr. Whitaker and enquire if he had obtained any information thereon from Mr. Middleton.

As to further operations at this site the Committee expressed a disposition to act on Mr. Whitaker’s suggestion but preferred the idea of sinking a new well rather than enlarge the present one. If Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Eunson favoured this course it was decided to request Mr. Whitaker to select the site of the new well having regard to the best direction for galleries.

It was also resolved that on Mr. Whitaker’s indicated site, Mr. Eunson be at once instructed to proceed with specifications and estimate of the proposed works with a view to an application being made to the Local Government Board for sanction to a Loan to carry out the work.

Portable Engine for No2 Well. – The sub-committee reported the purchase by them of a portable engine from Messrs. Lewis & Son for £50 at their works at Kettering.

The Chairman reported that the portable engine at No2 well had been placed in position, and was working. There was nearly 4 feet of water in the reservoir.

Plans, Etc., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held on Wednesday, November 1st. Present:- Mr. F. Knight (chairman), Messrs. P. Cave, W. H. Wilkins, John Claridge, B. Mortimer, J. S. Clipson, and T. Swindall.


Plans were presented by:-

Messrs. Crick and Patenall for additions to factory in North-street and passed subject to suitable cross ventilation to sanitary block and additional exit being provided.

Mr. T. A. Knight for slaughter house, stable and cart shed on the Wymington-road and passed. The Surveyor to point out however several requirements as to water supply, ventilation, etc., which must be complied with before a licence could be granted.

Mr. A. E. Marlow for two houses in Allen-road and passed.

Mr. Jere Jones amended plan for back buildings to his house in Portland-road and passed.

Robinson-road. – The Committee considered and approved the Surveyor’s specifications, estimate, and provisional apportionment for making good the upper portion of this street, and it was resolved that the same be submitted for confirmation at the next ordinary meeting of the Council.

Messrs. Skinner and Miller’s Building Estate. – The Surveyor reported that the contractor for the roads on this estate had great difficulty in obtaining sets of Mount Sorrel granite as specified for the work, and asked permission to use in their place sets of Atherstone granite according to a specimen submitted. The Committee agreed to this.

Footpath near Oakley. – The Chairman, Mr. Wilkins, and Mr. Swindall were appointed a sub-committee to meet Mr. Praed on the site on Friday morning with reference to this matter.

Washbrook-road. – A letter was received from Mr. John Denton as to the state of the footpath in front of his houses on the Washbrook-road. The same sub-committee were requested to inspect and report thereon.

East Grove. – The matter of Mr. John Willmotts fence on this road was also referred to this sub-committee to inspect and report.

The Chairman said the committee had met Mr. Praed with regard to the footpath near the Oakley, and had arranged for the Council to make a footpath the width of the existing paths, Mr. Praed undertaking to make good the space between that part and his buildings. The sign post had been removed.

The Surveyor formally submitted his provisional apportionment with regard to the upper portion of Robinson-road.

The Chairman said it was hoped that an arrangement might be made with the owners of the lower portion of the road so that the whole of the work might be done together.

Mr. Denton said they were practically taking the same steps as they took with regard to the Windmill-road.

The apportionment was approved and the report of the committee was adopted.

Council in Committee

At a meeting of the Rushden Urban Council in Committee, held on Wednesday, November 8th. Present:- Mr. Fred Knight (chairman), Messrs. G. Denton (vice-chairman), P. Cave, J. Claridge, John S. Clipson, G. Miller, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Tram-roads. Mr. Sellon, the engineer for the construction of a line of tram-roads for the district, attended the meeting and fully explained his scheme. From the plan submitted it appeared that the line would enter Rushden parish near Knuston Spinney and run along the Irchester and Washbrook roads direct to Higham Ferrers. Branches were also shown running from the four roads to the junction of Wymington-road with High-street. South, from this latter point down the High-street to its junction with Higham-road and along the entire length of Station-road. Mr. Sellon explained that he was entirely in the hands of the Council as to which of these branches he constructed. He did not ask the Council to approve of any details of the scheme at present but he would like the views of the Council as to route with as little delay as possible. He also asked for an expression of opinion on the principle of the scheme.

Without passing any formal resolution the Committee generally approved the principle of the scheme and decided to meet again on Saturday evening at 6 o’clock to consider line of route through the town.

The report was adopted.

Finance, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held on Wednesday, 8th Nov. Present:- Mr. Fred Knight (chairman), Mr. G. Denton (vice-chairman), Messrs. J. Spencer, G. Miller, and John Claridge.


A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.


Infectious Disease Notification Act. – The Clerk submitted a circular letter from the Local Government Board calling the attention of Sanitary Authorities to the fact that this Act comes into operation in all Districts on the 1st January next. It was resolved that a copy of the circular be furnished to each member of the Council.


Cemetery. – A letter was received from Mr. Saint, Stone Mason, and its consideration adjourned to the next meeting of the Committee.

The report was adopted.

Council in Committee

A meeting of the whole Council in committee was held on Saturday, 11th November, 1899. Present:- Mr. Fred Knight (chairman), Mr. G. Denton (vice-chairman), Messrs. P. Cave, John Claridge, John S. Clipson, G. Fountain, G. Miller, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, W. H. Wilkins, and B. Mortimer.

Tramroads. – The route of the proposed tram line was considered.

Mr. Clipson proposed that the Council approve the Promoters taking power to carry their lines over the entire route shown on the plan subject to a clause being inserted in the Bill providing that the portion shown in High-street from the Wheatsheaf Inn to the Station shall not be proceeded with except with consent of the Council but giving the Council power to require the construction thereof at any time.

Mr. Fountain seconded.

Carried unanimously.

The report was adopted.

The Pightles Estate Roads

The Chairman said Mr. Skinner was continually receiving complaints that the roads on the Pightles Estate were not finished. The Surveyor had, however, got the material on the roads and the steam roller they were hiring was expected on the following day.

The Purchase of The Gas Works

Mr. Spencer gave notice that at the next meeting of the Council he would introduce the question of the purchase of the Gas Works and would move a resolution on the subject.

The Swimming Bath

Mr. Denton asked when the Swimming Baths Committee was going to meet.

Mr. Claridge: Rare weather for it. (Laughter.)

Mr. Denton observed that the Council must prepare for another year.

The Fever Outbreak - A Case of Typhoid

The Medical Officer reported that 13 cases of scarlet fever had occurred since his last report, all mild cases. The cases had occurred mostly in Queen-street, but there were also cases in Pemberton-street, High-street, Duck-street, Cromwell-road, and Crabb-street. There was also a case of typhoid fever in High-street South – a very mild case. The typhoid patient had been on a visit to Finedon, and it was thought the disease must have been contracted there. At any rate no other cause could be traced. Most of the children suffering from scarlet fever had, he believed, attended the Newton-road schools.

The Sanitary Inspector said most of the patients were better, and he did not believe there had been a case from Newton-road schools since they were fumigated.

Mr. Denton: Is the fever increasing?

Mr. Martin: I think not.

Dr. Owen said he thought it was decreasing. In several of the cases the patients had contracted the disease from previous sufferers in the same house.

In reply to a question the Doctor said he had heard that there were cases where no doctor had attended.

Mr. Skinner: That’s ignorance; they don’t know what it is.

Mr. Denton thought that if handbills were sent out as he had suggested in committee the nature of the disease should be set out.

It was understood that handbills would be circulated, the matter being left in the hands of the Clerk and the Medical Officer.

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