|Rushden Echo, 12th October, 1906, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Steam Fire Engine to be Purchased
The Agricultural Show
Plans, &c., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Water, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday, the 26th September, 1906, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Ballard (chairman), T. Swindall, J. S. Clipson, A. J. Dobbs, G. Denton, A. Mantle, and Fred Knight.
The Surveyor reported that he had now dismantled No. 2 Pumping Station and had arranged with Mrs. Harris to leave the shed now standing over the well and belt race, the same to remain her property.
The Committee approved.
With regard to No. 3 Station the Surveyor stated that he had been unable to see the owner, Mr. Goosey. He had met the tenant on the site who had asked that a board fence with oak posts might be constructed round the tank. The Surveyor, however, had suggested to him that in lieu of this the Council should make a pecuniary payment of £10. The Surveyor also offered to sell to the tenant the boards of the old fencing at ½d. per foot run.
The pumping mains were now all up and the Surveyor was about to have the slabs moved from the inspection chambers and the latter filled in at once.
On Lady Wantage’s land a drinking place had been provided at the brook, and the drinking troughs, supplied by the Council, removed.
The Surveyor informed the Committee that the mains taken up from the temporary pumping stations at Wymington had been removed to the town depot and that the Water Board were prepared to take them over at £5 per ton.
The Committee considered this a reasonable offer and resolved to recommend the Council to sell the mains to the Water Board at this price.
With regard to the portable engines, vertical steam boiler, Tangye’s pump, oil engine and lift pump with shed over, also used by the Council in connection with their auxiliary works, it was resolved that the same be advertised for sale by tender, advertisements to be inserted in Contract Journal and local papers.
A letter was received from Mr. J. F. Knight calling attention to the state of the footpath outside his business premises in High-street and asking if Victoria pavement could not be substituted for the present brick pavement.
The Surveyor stated that he had visited the site and had put a new granite kerb in at the corner, the old one being very much worn. With regard to the curb round the cellar light, this appeared to be the framework of the light, and as such Mr. Knight’s property, and the obligation to repair same would therefore fall on him.
The Surveyor reminded the Committee that some year or two since the Roads and Bridges Committee of the County Council were applied to with regard to this particular footpath, but refused to sanction the bricks being taken up and Victoria pavement substituted.
The Surveyor was instructed to inform Mr. Knight that the footpath was a matter in which the Committee could only move with the sanction of the County Council and also to ask him to be good enough himself to repair the curb to the cellar light.
The Surveyor reported that the whole of the High-street between Queen-street and Wymington-road had now been treated. There were 5977 square yards at a cost of 7/10ths of a penny per yard, £18 in all.
It was arranged that the Fire Brigade should give an exhibition on Saturday afternoon next with a view to showing the pressure of water in the mains in the higher and lower parts of the town in case of fire.
The report was adopted.
Finance, &c., Committee
A meeting of the Finance, Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday, the 3rd Oct., 1906, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, J. Claridge, G. H. Skinner, and J. Hornsby.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
By the Collector’s accounts produced it appeared that he had during the month collected the following sums:-
Collector’s Fittings Account
The Committee examined the Collector’s fittings account, from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums during the month:-
Cemetery Registrar’s Account
The Committee also examined the Cemetery Registrar’s account, from which it appeared that the following sum had been paid to him during the month:-
From the Treasurer’s accounts produced it appeared that the following sums had been paid to him during the month:-
And that the following balances were in hand on the under-mentioned accounts:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that three cases of scarlet fever had been notified since the last meeting.
The Sanitary Inspector gave particulars of the notified cases, all of which occurred at the beginning of the month and were doing well; no case had been notified since September 6th.
The Inspector stated that during the month returns of out-workers employed by the Rushden manufacturers had been sent to the Sanitary Inspectors of the various districts in which they resided, and on the 24th September an inspection of the caravans in the feast field had been made, which were found to be in a satisfactory condition.
This being the last meeting at which Mr. Martin would attend as Sanitary Inspector, the Chairman on behalf of the Committee thanked him for his services to the town during the time he had held the office of Inspector of Nuisances.
The Chairman reported that Mr. Hunter, the new Sanitary Inspector, took up his duties on the 1st inst.
The quarterly report of Mr. Bainbridge was received, in which he stated that on the 28th, 30th, and 31st August he visited 29 premises belonging to 27 cow-keepers and examined 271 milk cows and heifers. The cows as a whole he found healthy and in good condition; there was nothing to call for special comment.
Sanitary Officer’s Requisites
Mr. Hunter attended the meeting and was authorised to obtain certain forms and books, a list of which he submitted.
The Clerk was also authorised to obtain for the use of the Council Officers Glen’s Book of Public Health.
Damage to Trees. Messrs. Thompson and Smith attended the meeting with their sons, C. Thomson and Jesse Smith, with regard to the damage to the fences reported by the Caretaker at the last meeting. The boys were reproved by the Chairman. They expressed their regret and promised not to repeat the offence.
Sunday Opening It was resolved to recommend the Council to give instructions that after Nov. 1st the Cemetery be opened on Sundays from 12.30 p.m. to sunset.
The Farm Sub-committee reported a very satisfactory sale of crops on the 1st instant, realising the highest price on record, viz., £172/19/0.
The report was adopted.
Vote of Appreciation
Mr. Denton moved that the Council’s appreciation of the services of Mr. J. B. Martin, the late Sanitary Inspector, be recorded on the minutes and an intimation be conveyed to Mr. Martin.
Mr. Clipson seconded the motion and said that Mr. Martin had a great deal to do while he (the speaker) was Chairman of the Council, and he did it in an excellent manner.
The motion was carried unanimously.
Steam Fire Engine
Mr. Bates, in accordance with notice, moved that the Council purchase a steam fire engine for the town, and that a loan be applied for for the purpose. He said the question had been brought before the Council three times, but had been deferred each time. On the first occasion it was put off because there was no water, on the second on account of the expense, and on the third to wait and see whether the pressure from the new water supply would be enough to cope with a fire without an engine. The tests they had a week on Saturday were not fair because the hydrants were turned off and the full pressure put into the main. A test ought to be made just as thing would happen in case of fire. He understood it would take perhaps a couple of hours to shut off the hydrants. The pressure, when they tested it in the High-street was fair, but it was not good enough at Messrs. Green’s factory to cope with a fire. He understood, too, that the cost of a steam engine in use would be 2/6 per hour, and so would be far less than the cost of pumping when using the manual. The Fire Brigade were quite prepared to make themselves thoroughly efficient with a fire engine. They had some good men if they had some good “kit” to work with.
Mr. Dobbs seconded the motion and said that the last time the question was before the Council it was practically promised that if the pressure was not sufficient a fire engine should be purchased. He did not consider the pressure was sufficient.
Mr. Skinner asked what difference it would make to the rates.
The Chairman said if they got a loan for ten years they would have to pay about £45 a year.
Mr. Skinner: Would there be much depreciation if the engine stood still.
Mr. Clipson: Very little.
Mr. Knight: Practically none if it was not used.
Mr. Ballard supported the motion. He considered that the pressure at Messrs. Green’s factory was anything but satisfactory, and thought it was necessary to have a fire engine. He was no more in favour of spending money than anyone else, but he thought it was a necessary expenditure, and that if the cost could be spread over ten years he did not think the town would feel it much.
Mr. Denton opposed the motion and thought it would be a great waste of money. He did not think it would be wise for the town to burden itself with what he thought would be a white elephant. Besides, he believed that a manual engine was quite sufficient for a town like Rushden. He was surprised at the Labour members voting for anything to do away with manual work. (Laughter.) That did not really weigh with him, but in the present state of the town he thought they should be content with what they had. He understood, too, that it was a question among experts whether the use of water for fire extinction would not be superseded by the use of chemicals. With the town’s present burdens, he thought it behoved them to watch their expenditure very carefully.
Mr. Skinner quite agreed with Mr. Denton’s remarks, and thought the town would be strongly opposed to any addition to the rates. The pressure was good in the centre of the town and a fire perhaps would not occur elsewhere for ten years.
Mr. Bazeley thought Mr. Denton and Mr. Skinner looked at the matter in a very narrow way. When a fire was likely to occur, no-one could tell, because fires were accidental sometimes. (Laughter.) The Labour members had a sense of responsibility with regard to life and property. When there was a fire the workers felt the greatest pinch. He thought it was time they had a steamer and he was surprised to find owners of factories against the proposal, for he believed they would save the small amount they would have to contribute by having reduced insurance premiums. At Datchet the net cost of maintaining the steamer was 14/- for the year 1905. The only objection to the proposed purchase was the objection as to expense and that would be very little if they got a loan as they had just done at Wellingborough. The exhibition of the pressure in the water mains they saw the other Saturday was a “fizzle,” though it was very well worked up.
Mr. Knight: Who worked it up?
Mr. Bazeley: I don’t know, but we know it was done.
Mr. Bates: I know that.
Mr. Knight: I am quite sure the Surveyor has no feeling in the matter, though it has been insinuated.
Mr. Bazeley: I didn’t insinuate it, but I thought somebody was showing some feeling. I had understood that we were to have a test under normal conditions.
The Surveyor said the reason he gave instructions for the water to be turned on full in the main was because they had already had tests as to what could be done under normal conditions, and he wanted to give the best conditions obtainable in the case of a fire. He stated that at the time.
Mr. Bates: How long would it take two men to turn the valves and hydrants off in case of fire?
The Surveyor: Perhaps half an hour, but everything would depend on where the fire was.
In reply to other questions, the Surveyor said the present 2 inch water pipe near Messrs. Green’s factory would not be large enough to supply a steamer.
Mr. Bazeley: But you could obtain a supply from a larger pipe by means of hose.
The Surveyor: As long as the hose would stand it. It would really be necessary to enlarge some of the water mains. A steamer would, of course, use less water in the end, because it does its work more effectively.
Mr. Hornsby said he intended to support the motion, because the pressure of water was not sufficient in the higher parts of the town. The possession of a steamer, too, might result in the saving of life in case of a fire.
Mr. Clipson: Is the old manual worn out?
Mr. Knight: No, it’s in good condition.
The Chairman believed Insurance Companies would contribute to the costs in case of fires, and might reduce the premiums.
Mr. Claridge: Is there any danger of life being sacrificed through the want of a steamer?
Mr. Bazeley thought there was.
Mr. Skinner said his idea was that factories ought never to be left. There ought to be some one on each floor day and night.
Mr. Denton did not see how a steamer would save life more than a manual.
Mr. Claridge did not see his way to support the motion unless it was necessary, and would save life.
The Chairman said he should support the motion.
Mr. Claridge: We have not had an expression of opinion in favour of a steamer from the Fire Brigade.
Mr. Knight believed the Brigade would like a steam fire engine, but, speaking as a fireman, he did not think the town would suffer by using their present apparatus. At the same time, he would not stand in the way if it was thought necessary by the Council in order to provide for a few places on high ground. If they had a steamer they must do the thing thoroughly, and there were other things which were needed if they decided to purchase a steamer.
Mr. Ballard pointed out that the fire Brigade were willing to maintain the engine in good condition voluntarily.
Mr. Bates briefly replied, and the resolution was carried by seven votes to four. The voting was as follows:-
Visit of The Agricultural Show
The Chairman said the matter of inviting the Agricultural Show to Rushden had been considered and six gentlemen were appointed at a preliminary meeting to ascertain whether the necessary funds would be forthcoming. That committee had issued circulars and seen various gentlemen, and they had been sufficiently encouraged to recommend that a town’s meeting be held to consider whether an invitation should be sent. The promises of support at present totalled up to £150. He moved that a town’s meeting be called for October 24 at eight o’clock.
Mr. Bates seconded the motion, which was carried.