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The Rushden Echo, 2nd, 16th & 30th September 1898, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

The members present at a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night were Messrs. John Claridge (Chairman), F. Knight (vice-chairman), T. Swindall, G. H. Skinner, G. Miller, Paul Cave, W. H. Spencer, G. Denton, B. Mortimer, G. Fountain, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. Madin) and the Sanitary Inspector ( Mr. Martin).

Committee Work

The minutes of the committee meeting were:-

Typhoid and Scarlet Fever – The Inspector reported on a case of typhoid fever in High-street and it was resolved to make an inspection of the drainage and sanitary arrangements of the block of buildings where the case occurred. The inspector also reported a case of scarlet fever on the Newton-road.

Plans – Plans were presented by Messrs. Allebone and Hyde for an iron building as a leather warehouse on Glassbrook-road, and rejected, there not being sufficient distance from the adjoining building.

The Brook – The Chairman drew attention to the filthy state of the brook at the extreme south end of the town caused chiefly he believed from the drainage from the farmyard of Mr. W. W. Smith and the sewage of some cottages running into it. The surveyor was instructed to take the necessary levels and ascertain the best means of taking the objectionable matter into the sewer. He was also instructed to have the brook cleaned at that place.

Sewers – A letter was received from Mr. John Jaques complaining of an overflow of sewage from the sewer in Duck-street into his cottages there. The Surveyor was instructed to visit the site and report as to the best means of remedying the mischief.

Public Lighting – A sub-committee consisting of the Chairman, Messrs. Miller, Spencer, and Brawn, were appointed to consider and to report as to the lighting of the street lamps and were empowered to approach the Gas Company with a view of obtaining the terms upon which the Company would undertake the lighting.

The minutes were adopted.

The Experimental Waterworks

The Chairman said the first business was the consideration of the raising of a loan for experimental works for water supply. The question came before the Finance Committee some time ago and he (the Chairman) was requested to see Mr. Ashdowne, manager of the Union Bank, and ask him whether a loan could be negotiated at the Bank. He had seen Mr. Ashdowne, who was quite prepared to let them have the money at a very satisfactory rate of interest, the amount to be repaid by yearly instalments. He (the Chairman) proposed that the loan of £650 be negotiated.

The motion was agreed to.

The Main-Road Contract

The next business was to seal the contract with the County Council, for the repair of the main roads.

The Clerk said there was no alteration in this year’s contract, except that a 10s duty had to be paid.

The Chairman: Have we to pay it?

The Clerk: Oh, no.

The document was sealed.

The Chairman’s Eyes

Mr. G. Willmott applied for a renewal of his game licence.

After partly reading the letter of application the Chairman handed it to the Clerk, saying he did not know what had come over his eyes lately.

A Councillor suggested it might be biliousness. (Laughter.)

Mr. Wilkins: It’s excessive thinking.

Mr. Mortimer said the Chairman would have to get some spectacles.

The application was granted.

The Typhoid Fever Cases

In the absence of Dr. Owen, the Medical Officer, Dr. Crew forwarded the following report as to the case of typhoid fever reported at the last meeting: “Gentlemen, a case of typhoid fever having been reported at Mr. Robert Hooper’s in High-street, I visited the house and, in company with your sanitary inspector, made an examination of the premises, as well as of the yard of the adjoining house, through which the drainage of both houses has to pass in order to reach the sewer in West-street. The drains, as far as the construction of the houses will permit, were in a satisfactory condition and I fail to find any sanitary defect that would have been likely to cause typhoid fever. It should be remembered that the patient has been living away from Rushden for a time and that it is possible he may have contracted the disease before he returned home. I have no doubt it would be advantageous, from a sanitary point of view, to have the houses connected with the West-street sewer if that sewer were provided with a proper ventilation shaft.” In a letter accompanying the report Dr. Crew referred to the case of a Mrs. Denton, of Cambridge-terrace, who was reported to be suffering from the same disease, and said he hoped it would not develop into a true case of typhoid.

The Sanitary Inspector said there was another case in Park-road. The patient was a lad named Horace Green, 13 years of age. About a month ago he went to Kettering and stayed there a week. After his return, he was not well and during the past fortnight he had been taken worse, the doctor stating that it was a case of typhoid. He (the Inspector) thought it was a mild case. He had supplied disinfectants.

The Chairman: What is the condition of the drains?

The Inspector said it appeared to be good. The boy’s mother had told him that her son was going on very well.

Mr. Denton asked whether the drains on and adjoining Mr. Hooper’s premises had been inspected by the Surveyor. He thought they ought to be thoroughly inspected.

The Surveyor said he had not been aware that the drains needed inspection. They had all been put down within the last 18 months.

The Chairman: I suppose it is impossible to say where this boy Green got his fever?

The Inspector: The mother says he must have got it away.

The Chairman: There are no fresh cases of scarlet fever?

The Inspector: No, and the case in Newton-road is getting better.

The Chairman: And the measles?

The Inspector: I think they are dying out.

Mr. Spencer thought it would be well to make a general inspection of all the town drains.

Mr. Swindall thought it would be impossible.

The Inspector: If I smelt anything bad, I should soon be fishing round, and there’s a man round every day seeing to them.

The New Well

The Surveyor reported that the well sinker had dug to a depth of 30 feet at the new well, and was still in the boulder clay. Mr. Cameron told him (the Surveyor) that he thought they would strike the limestone at about 30 feet.

Mr. Skinner: The well-sinker gets some water now, doesn’t he?

The Surveyor: About six gallons a day.


It was resolved to advertise for tenders for painting the engine-house at the water-works pumping station.

A High Street Improvement

The Chairman said it was thought by the Plans Committee that it was advisable to raise the footpath adjoining Mr. Northern’s premises three or four inches. He moved that this be done.

Mr. Spencer moved as an amendment that the work be deferred until a public urinal had been provided. Improvements were perpetually being brought forward and then knocked on the head. It was of no use to carry resolutions unless they carried them out. Some improvements seemed to be favoured and others to be out of favour.

The Chairman: You know the difficulty of finding a suitable site. If we could find that, we should not hesitate.

Mr. Spencer: The difficulty will be just as great in six months’ time.

The Chairman: But this year we have not much money to spend on improvements, and this is a very small matter. I believe the Surveyor has been doing something to see whether a convenience could not be erected.

Mr. Denton did not like Mr. Spencer’s reference to favoured resolutions. The resolutions must be subject to the means at their disposal for carrying them out.

Mr. Spencer said he was not contending that the improvements he had referred to were not necessary.

Mr. Cave said the matter was not on the agenda paper, and he thought they ought to stick to the agenda. It was time they had standing orders and stuck to them.

Mr. Spencer said he was quite prepared to support that, but sometimes there was no other way of calling attention to a subject than the step he had taken.

No one seconded Mr. Spencer’s amendment and the original motion was carried.

The Rushden Echo, 16th September 1898

Breaches of Bye-Laws

Mr. John Claridge presided at the fortnightly meeting on Wednesday evening, when there were also present:- Messrs. P. Cave, W. H. Brawn, G. Denton, T. Swindall, G. Miller, G. Fountain, W. H. Wilkins, B. Mortimer, G. S. Mason (clerk), C. R. Owen (Medical Officer), W. B. Madin (Surveyor), and J. B. Martin (Sanitary Inspector).


Plans were presented by Mr. Bailey Mortimer for two houses in Harborough-road and passed subject to the party wall being made 9 inches throughout and ventilation of sewer provided to the satisfaction of the surveyor.

Infringement of Bye-Laws

The Surveyor reported an infringement of the building bye-laws by Mr. A Franklin in proceeding to build three cottages in Franklin-road not in accordance with the plans for the same passed by the council. The surveyor was instructed to call Mr. Franklin’s attention to the matter and to report to the next meeting.

Sewer Ventilations

The Surveyor submitted his report as to sites for ventilating shafts. A sub-committee (Messrs. Claridge, Knight, Fountain, and Miller) was appointed to obtain prices for suitable columns and shafts, to consider the sites as recommended by the surveyor, and, if approved, to notify the owners of the intention of the Council to erect the shafts.

Public Lighting

The Lighting Sub-Committee reported in favour of the following additional public lamps to those already decided upon – One at the corner of Denton’s-lane, one in Hayway, one in Winchester-road, and one in East-grove. The report was adopted and the work ordered to be carried out forthwith.

Another Infringement

The Surveyor reported an infringement of the bye-laws by the erection of a wooden building adjoining the house of the Rev. J. Crook on the Oakley Estate. The Surveyor was instructed to require Mr. Crook to remove the building.


were received for painting at the pumping station, house, and fence, as follows:-

A. T. Nicholls



Wheeler and Son



W. Spencer



G. L Shelton, Higham



G. L Shelton, Higham £23 0s

For re-painting the infectious isolation hospital:-

A. T. Nicholls


Wheeler and Son


W. Spencer


G. L. Shelton


On the motion of Mr. Miller, seconded by Mr. Fountain, both tenders of Messrs. Wheeler were accepted.


The Chairman said he was sorry to report that a fire had occurred at No. 2 pumping station. The shed had been completely burnt down and the engine damaged. The strap which drove the engine was burnt and they had had to procure a new strap. The worst part was that the fire involved the loss of a great quantity of water.

Mr. Cave: Was it insured?

The Chairman: No.

The Recent Prosecution

The Clerk reported the result of the prosecution of Mr. C. C. Ward for contravention of the bye-laws.

Mr. Denton thought it would have been much more satisfactory if the Council had detected the offence earlier so that the matter could have been remedied without any great expense.

Some dissatisfaction was expressed at the remark of the justices that the case should never have been brought into Court, and the Chairman said that in some cases it would suit an offender to pay a fine and to continue an offence.

The Clerk said the Council had two courses – the offender could be called upon to pay the fine and the Council could at the same time remedy the defect.

Mr. Wilkins said the Council ought to have pulled the wall down without bringing the case into Court.

Mr. Denton thought the Council ought to be satisfied with the penalty now and not proceed any further.

It was decided to call upon Mr. Ward to show cause in a month why the bye-laws should not be enforced.

The Rushden Echo, 30th September 1898

State of Water Supply

At the fortnightly meeting of the Council on Wednesday night, Mr. John Claridge presided, and there were also present: Messrs. F. Knight (vice-chairman), G. Denton, T. Swindall, B. Mortimer, W. H. Brawne, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, Paul Cave, G. Fountain, and G. Miller, with the clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the sanitary inspector(Mr. J. B. Martin).

Committee Work

The minutes of the Council in committee were as follows:-

Plans – Were presented by the Rushden Brick and Tile Company for offices and stables on the Wellingborough-road and passed.

Slaughter House – The Surveyor’s suggestions for putting Mr. Joseph Green’s slaughter house into a sanitary state of repair were explained and agreed to. The Surveyor also submitted a scheme for putting the drainage of the house, yard, and slaughter house and also the adjoining house of Mr. Hooper in a satisfactory state. This scheme was also approved.

Sewerage – The Surveyor reported that the work hitherto carried out by contract had been most satisfactory, and it was decided that the work be continued under the same conditions. The Surveyor was instructed to proceed with the work in Alfred-street and Brawn’s-row.

Water Supply – The Surveyor reported that in consequence of the drought the water in the reservoir was sinking fast. It was resolved that for the present no further applications for building water be entertained. The special arrangement at present in force for supplying water to the steam laundry were also ordered to be discontinued from the following Saturday.

The New Well – The Surveyor reported that the new well was now sunk to a depth of 53 feet and the cutting was still in boulder clay.

Storm Overflow – The Surveyor recommended that a storm overflow be constructed from the sewer in Midland-road to relieve the sewer in Duck-street. This was agreed to.

Wellingborough-road – An estimate was received from the Surveyor for the suggested improvement near the water running, amounting to £61. The matter was adjourned.

Ventilating Sewers – The sub-committee appointed to view sites and select shafts were empowered to act with regard to the immediate erection of a shaft in West-street.

The minutes were adopted.

Sewage Load

The Finance Committee reported that they had made arrangements with the West Ham Municipal Corporation for the additional sewerage loan of £4,130.

The Chairman said they had now spent £1,300 on the additional sewerage works, and it was quite time the money was raised.

The Street Lamps

The Committee on Public Lighting, appointed to approach the Gas Co., reported that the directors of the company had considered the proposals very favourably and were prepared to supply gas by meter at 2s 6d per 1000 feet, a reduction of 3d and to light, clean, and repair the lamps at 11s per lamp per year. The committee thought this was a very reasonable offer and had no hesitation in recommending that the offer be accepted.

The Chairman thought the Council would not only be the gainers from a monetary point of view but the lamps would be looked after better. The Gas Co. proposed to put new governor burners on every lamp. These governors would regulate the light.

The offer of the company was accepted.

Damage at The Cemetery

The cemetery keeper complained of a man doing damage at the cemetery.

It was decided to prosecute the offender.

A Complaint

was made by the Inspector of improper drainage and no water supply on premises on the Bedford-road, belonging to Mrs. Henry of Wellingborough, and occupied by Samuel Robinson. Mr. Martin recommended that the premises be properly drained, that a new water closet be put in, and that town water be laid on. In justice to Mrs. Henry he ought to say that she was willing to put the place in order but hardly knew what would be the best thing to do.

An Alleged Encroachment

Mr. Miller said that outside the Council it had been alleged by Mr. Hooper that Messrs. Cave’s factory projected on the town land. He (Mr. Miller) had mentioned the matter to the Surveyor and requested him to take measurements, and he should now like to hear the Surveyor’s report.

The Chairman: This is a matter which should be before the committee.

Mr. Miller: I think it should be made public.

Mr. Denton thought the matter should have been raised formally by Mr. Hooper or somebody else laying a complaint.

The Chairman said he understood Mr. Hooper was going to write to the Council on the matter. The matter was not on the agenda.

Mr. Miller thought it was about time they had standing orders, so that they would know what to bring before the Council and what to bring in the Committee. He gave notice that at the next meeting he would ask for the Surveyor’s report on the matter.

The Water Supply

The Chairman said that Mr. Eunson was in Rushden last Friday.

Mr. Miller: Is it on the agenda? (Laughter.)

The Chairman said it had been customary at each meeting lately to mention what was being done with regard to the water supply.

Mr. Miller: Rather a nice distinction.

The Chairman, continuing, said the Mr. Eunson had suggested that instead of digging any further at the trial well near Knuston Spinney they should bore. The Surveyor had now made arrangements with the contractor to bore.

The Surveyor said they had dug to a depth of 58 feet and had then started boring. The boring had been carried to a depth of 70 or 80 feet and they were still in the same kind of clay as before.

Mr. Mortimer: Are there any signs of water?

The Chairman: No.

Mr. Mortimer: Then I propose we ask Mr. Eunson for his bill and square up. (Laughter.) We might have a very long bill.

The Chairman: I am afraid we shall. We shall get the bill soon enough.

Eventually Mr. Mortimer gave notice that at the next meeting he would propose that they ask Mr. Eunson for his bill.

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