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The Rushden Echo, 16th November, 1900, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Mr. F. Knight presided at the meeting on Wednesday night, when there were present Messrs. G. Denton (vice-chairman), W. H. Wilkins, John Spencer, J. Claridge, W. Bazeley, T. Swindall, J. S. Clipson, G. Miller, G. Fountain, and G. H. Skinner; G. S. Mason (clerk), and Madin (surveyor).

The following minutes were received from the

Plans &c. Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held on Wednesday, 31st October, 1900. Present :- Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), William Bazeley, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.


were presented by :-

Mr. T. Swindall for stables with loft over in Wentworth-road and passed subject to ventilating shaft to drain being erected to surveyor’s satisfaction.

Mr. T. Swindall for two cottages in Allen-road and passed.

Messrs. Groome and Son for sanitary conveniences to their factory on Higham Hill and passed subject to means of ventilation and light to urinal being provided to satisfaction of surveyor.

Mr. T. Willmott, senr., for three houses in Griffith-street and passed.

Messrs. Jaques and Clarke for engine house to their factory in Midland-road and passed.

Mr. Geo. Tailby (amended plan) for villa residence on Higham Hill and passed.

Public Seats. – It was resolved to purchase 5 Park Promenade Seats 8 feet long with 3 Standards from Mr. John Nattrass at £1 18s. 6d. each to be delivered in March next.

Fire Escape. – A discussion took place as to the provision of a fire escape. The general opinion was expressed that one might be purchased at once provided suitable accommodation could be provided in the present Fire Engine Station. The Chairman and Surveyor were requested to ascertain this and report to the next meeting.

Mr. Caswell. – A letter was received from Mr. Caswell as to the fence line on his property on the Wellingborough-road, and a sub-committee consisting of the Chairman, Mr. Swindall, Mr. Wilkins and the Surveyor, were appointed to visit the site and agree to the line.

Bricklayers. – Mr. Bazeley in accordance with notice, introduced the question of the Council’s labourers being employed on brick-layer’s work. The Surveyor explained to the Committee that in every case where skilled labour was required he employed a local builder to do the work, and that the Council’s men were only so employed in connection with works of a trivial nature.

The Committee did not see how at present the arrangements made by the surveyor could be improved upon.

Public Lighting. – It was resolved to place a new lamp in Pratt-road.

With reference to the fire escape, the Chairman said that he and the Surveyor had taken the measurement and found there was room for the fire escape. He moved that the recommendation of the Lighting Committee be adopted.

Mr. J. Claridge seconded and the motion was carried.

The remainder of the report was adopted.

Finance &c. Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1900. Present – Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), Geo. Denton, J. Spencer, Geo. Miller, G. Fountain, G. H. Skinner, and John Claridge.

A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Sanitary Reports

Medical Officer

The following report was received from the Medical Officer –

There have been two cases of infectious diseases reported since the last report – one of enteric fever and one of erysipelas, both of which have died after a few days’ illness. I visited the house in Victoria-road and inspected the house and premises, but could find nothing at all likely to cause the disease. I examined samples of water sent by your inspector and found it good. How the disease arose is a mystery, there being nothing to account for it on the premises. The girl’s father told me there was a nuisance from the sewer some distance away, viz., in East Grove Road. I therefore went with him to see the place but failed to find anything wrong. He admitted there was nothing then, but said it was unpleasant at times. Perhaps your surveyor will inspect it and if necessary put a ventilator.

With regard to the complaint as to East Grove, the Surveyor reported that during the dry weather some of the gulleys had dried up, which might account for the smells referred to, but these had all been properly attended to and the sewer ventilated. The sewer was now in very good order.

The Inspector reported that the bedding of the typhoid fever patients had been destroyed, and on his suggestion it was agreed to pay compensation for same, viz., 10s. in the case of C. A. Barringer and £1 in the case of Deborah Jones.

Cemetery. – The following tenders for painting, etc., in accordance with the Surveyor’s specification at caretaker’s house and chapel were received :-

£ s d
Mr. A. T. Nichols
12 10 0
Mr. W. Mole
13 15 0
Messrs. Wheeler & Son
8 10 0

It was resolved that the tender of Messrs. Wheeler and Son be accepted.

Insurance of Engine Boilers. – The Clerk was instructed to take the necessary steps for insuring the boilers of the portable engines at Sharnbrook and at No. 2 well.

Pightles Estate. – The Clerk submitted a statement of the expenditure by the Council in respect of the roads on the first portion of this estate. It was resolved to close the account charging 7½ per cent. for establishment charges in accordance with the contract and crediting the balance, if any, to the account of the second portion. The roads on the first portion to be at once declared Public Highways.

Windmill Estate. – The Clerk also submitted a statement with regard to the Windmill Estate. It was resolved in this case to at once declare the roads public highways and carry the unexpended balance to the credit of District Fund.

The report was adopted.

Red Tape

With regard to the payment of £90 for the engine purchased by the Council, for use at Sharnbrook, the Clerk said that as the amount was above £50 it would require the seal of the Council and a 10s. stamp.

Mr. Denton protested against the red tapeism which necessitated an expenditure of 10s. Surely it would never be insisted upon. He thought they ought to make a representation to the Local Government Board and fight the matter out, letting the auditor surcharge them and then fighting him on the surcharge.

The Clerk said that if the Council liked to take the responsibility he was perfectly willing to do so.

Mr. Denton : I am quite prepared to take my share of it.

Mr. Claridge said he should be prepared to petition the Local Government Board.

Mr. Miller thought they would not be justified in using the ratepayers’ money to fight the question.

The Clerk said it would cost them nothing. They could pay the account without the 10s. stamp and then at the audit next June the auditor would surcharge them.

It was decided to pay the 10s. for the stamp, Mr. Denton objecting.


With regard to the deaths reported as resulting from typhoid fever, Mr. Swindall said that at the last meeting the Medical Officer gave it as his opinion that the cases were not typhoid.

It was pointed out that the Medical Officer never saw the patients and therefore could not say for certain.

Triennial Elections

At the last meeting Mr. Wilkins had given notice of motion that the County Council be asked to sanction triennial elections for the Urban Council. Mr. Wilkins now withdrew his notice, saying, “I hoped the proposal might have been discussed on public and not upon party grounds, and that considering the needless expense of annual elections we might have come to a decision on its merits. The Conservatives, however, have informed me that they are going to make it a party question, and therefore, however desirable it may be, I do not propose at present to move the resolution of which I gave notice.”

Mr. Miller asked if there was to be any discussion of the question.

The Chairman : There is nothing before the Council.

Mr. Miller said that Mr. Wilkins suggested that the Conservatives had made this a party question. He (Mr. Miller) was quite prepared to give reasons why he should vote against it.

The Chairman : Seeing it is not before the meeting I do not see how you can give the reasons.

Mr. Miller said he could entirely refute Mr. Wilkins’ suggestion that it was a party question.

Mr. Wilkins : Mr. Skinner informed me that it would be a party question.

Mr. Skinner : I told Mr. Wilkins we should oppose it as I did not think it would be to our interest.

Mr. Miller : I am not aware it is on party lines. When aspersions are thrown out that the question was to be discussed on party lines, I think we ought to have the chance of reply.

The Chairman : Seeing that Mr. Miller and Mr. Skinner do not agree, I do not think there is anything to be gained by a discussion. Mr. Miller says it is not on party lines and Mr. Skinner says it is.

Mr. Claridge : If there are any party considerations I think Mr. Wilkins is quite wise in withdrawing it. At the same time I think it would be to the advantage of the town that triennial elections should take place.

The matter then dropped.

Railway Station Accommodation

The debate on this question is referred to in our editorial columns.


Mr. Spencer moved that application be made for a sub-post office on Wellingborough-road and said the present provision was inadequate.

Mr. Wilkins said the difficulty to get any one to take the office after Mr. Reid resigned it was because of the small sum allowed – 2/6 a week, for which someone had to be at the call of the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Then they had a farthing commission on each postal order.

Mr. Miller : I am afraid they do not pay trade union rates. (Laughter).

Mr. Claridge seconded the motion, which was carried.

The Electric Trams

Permission was asked by the Tramways Co. to put down certain granite setts.


On behalf of residents in this street Mr. B. Vorley writes complaining of lads playing football in the street so as to be dangerous to property, and of card-playing on the doorsteps with a free use of chalk.

Mr. Wilkins suggested that Mr. Vorley, as a member of the School Board, should call the attention of the teachers to the extraction of chalk from the schools.

Mr. Vorley’s letter was handed to Inspector Onan, Mr. Spencer hinting at the need for a recreation ground.

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