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Rushden Echo, 15th September, 1922, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Eight Additional Municipal Houses
“Not Satisfactory To Rushden People”
“Outhouses Absolutely Necessary”
The Problems of Unemployment

  Wednesday, present: Messrs. T. Swindall, J.P. (chairman), L. Perkins, B.Sc. (vice-chairman), C. E. Bayes, F. Knight, J.P., C. W. Horrell, C.A., F. Corby, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, C. Bates, and G. W. Coles, J.P., with the Acting Clerk (Mr. W. L. Beetenson), Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin) and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper).

Plans, &c., Committee

  A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 30th August, 1922, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), L. Perkins, C. E. Bayes, C. W. Horrell, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.


were presented for:-

  House in Oakley-road for Mr. George Thomas and passed.

  House in Oakley-road for Mr. Arthur Sanders and passed.

  Warehouse in Graveley-street for Messrs. Austin and Co., and no exception taken.

  Porch and open shed at the rear of his house in Robinson-road for Mr. Lockie and no exception taken.

  Shed for Messrs. Phipps and Co. at the rear of their warehouse in East-grove and no exception taken, subject to the consent of the adjoining owner being obtained.

  An application was received from Mr. William Caldwell, of 118, Harborough-road, for permission to erect an iron shed at the rear of his house there, and a similar application was also received from Mr. W. B. Woodward to erect a bicycle shed on a spare piece of ground in Montague-street.

  It was resolved to recommend the Council to take no exception thereto.

Infringement of Bye-Laws

  The Surveyor submitted a letter received from Mr. Herbert Smith with a plan of his building at the rear of 133, Cromwell-road, asking the Committee to accept the plan and to allow the building to remain.

  The Committee felt quite unable to sanction the building as a workshop and instructed the Surveyor to so inform Mr. Smith, but to intimate to him at the same time that, subject to his obtaining the consent of the adjoining owners, the Committee would consider as to whether it might not be allowed to remain temporarily as a warehouse or store-room.

  The Surveyor also submitted a letter from Mrs. Collins with regard to the open shed near her house in Griffith-street, undertaking that the building should not be used as a workshop.


  The Surveyor referred to the crossing of the footpath into Mr. Nicholson’s new factory and informed the Committee that a proper crossing should be forthwith constructed, and that he had requested Mr. Nicholson to carry out the necessary work, but had received no satisfactory response.

  It was resolved that Mr. Nicholson be requested to construct a crossing to the satisfaction of the Surveyor without further notice.

Census of Traffic

  The Surveyor reported on the census of traffic recently taken on the Wellingborough-road.  It showed a considerable increase on last year’s numbers, the total number of vehicles, &c., passing along the road during the week numbering 6,538.

Memorial Site Guide Post

  The Sub-Committee appointed to settle the details and arranging with the Electric Light Company for installing electric light on the new sign post reported that they had arranged for two lamps to be fitted, to be switched on and off by means of a time switch, the rental of which would be 4s. per quarter.  The cost of lighting the lamps for 3,265 hours to be £5 per annum and the Council to pay part cost of service, wiring of post, and supplying two lamps, amounting to £3.  All lamp renewals to be at the Council’s expense.

  The work had been carried out on these lines and the Committee recommended the Council to confirm the arrangement.

Dangerous Corners

  The Committee made the following recommendations:-

(a)     That Mr. Austin be asked to cut the hedge inside his fence at the corner of Church-street and Wellingborough-road.

(b)     That the danger signs at the top of Fitzwilliam-street and Crabb-street be re-painted.

(c)     That Mr. C. A. K. Green be approached with a view to improving the corner at the top of Hayway.

Road Act, 1920

  A letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council stating that the Roads and Bridges Committee had under their consideration the question of the desirability of an application being made to the Minister of Transport for an order under Section 7 (4) of the Roads Act 1920 prohibiting or restricting the driving of heavy mechanically propelled vehicles on district roads not suitable for such traffic, and asking if there were any district roads in the area of this Council which the Council were of opinion should be taken into consideration in making such an application, and if there were any such roads for detailed information in respect thereof.

  The matter was referred to a Sub-Committee consisting of the Chairman, Mr. Wilmott, and Mr. Bayes to consider and report to a future meeting.

Fire Station

  Upon the recommendation of the Fire Brigade Sub-Committee it was resolved that the station and cottage adjoining be painted.  The Surveyor was instructed to obtain estimates and the Sub-Committee authorised to accept the lowest.

Street Scavenging

  It was resolved to purchase two new hand trucks and the Surveyor was instructed to obtain prices and after consultation with the Chairman, to accept the lowest.

Upper Queen-Street

  Attention was again called to the state of the footpath in this street, and a small committee consisting of the Chairman, Mr. Bayes, with the Surveyor, undertook to see the owners on the South side with a view to inducing them to construct a footpath by voluntary arrangement without forcing upon the Council the necessity of putting the Private Street Works Act into force.

  The report was adopted.

Plans, Highways, & Lighting Committee

  A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the junction of church-street and Wellingborough-road on Wednesday, September 6th, 1922, when there were present Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), L. Perkins, C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.

  The Surveyor reported that Mr. Austin, on being approached with a view to cutting the hedge inside his boundary at the junction of Church-street with Wellingborough-road, had intimated his willingness to set back his fence some ten feet, if the Council so desired.

  The Committee inspected the site and unanimously resolved to recommend that the fence be set back and the footpath reconstructed in accordance with the plan submitted by the Surveyor.

  The report was adopted.

  Referring to the report on the site of Mr. A. Austin’s residence in Church-street, Mr. Swindall said that Mr. Austin had been most willing that the improvement be carried out, in fact he was as eager as were the Council that the work be done. (Hear, hear.)  He (Mr. Swindall) hoped that any other gentleman in the town who might be approached with a similar request would afford the Council similar facilities with equal readiness. (Hear, hear.)

  Mr. Hornsby asked if anything could be done to improve the corner of Harborough-road and High-street South.  It might prevent the loss of life.

  Mr. Swindall said that the corner where the hoarding was placed was certainly very dangerous.

Health and Sanitary Committee

  A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, September 6th, 1922, when there were present Messrs. L. Perkins (Chairman), T. Swindall, C. Claridge, G. W. Coles, F. Corby, J. Hornsby, and F. Knight.

Health and Sanitary Reports

  The report of the Medical Officer for the month of August was received.

  The Inspector of Nuisances reported that since the last meeting nine preliminary notices had been served calling attention to nuisances, etc., and the number of nuisances now outstanding was two.

  A quantity of pork and pork offal, all voluntarily surrendered, had been examined and found to be unfit for food and destroyed in the usual way.

  Eleven galvanised iron sanitary ashbins had been provided in Glassbrook-road by the owner after service of a preliminary notice.

  The Inspector gave a detailed report of his work and inspections during the past month.

Milk and Dairies (Amendment) Act, 1922

  A circular was received from the Ministry of Health calling the attention of the Council to this Act, the provisions of which came into force on the 1st inst., with the exception of Section 3.  The Act required a local authority in future to keep two registers, one being restricted to retail purveyors and the other containing all other persons, i.e., wholesale traders who do not sell milk by retail.  The Act also gave to the Council power to refuse to enter any person on the first of these registers or to remove him from the register if they were satisfied that the public health was likely to be endangered by any act or default of his in relation to the quality, storage, or distribution of milk.

Factory Acts

  An application was received from Messrs. Jaques and Son, Ltd., for a certificate that their new factory in Station-road was provided with sufficient and proper means of escape in case of fire.  The Surveyor submitted a report showing the number of exits, and in the opinion of the Committee such means were provided, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to grant the certificate applied for.

Refuse Disposal

  The Surveyor was requested to obtain further information as to methods of refuse disposal and submit to the Committee at a future meeting.

Public Conveniences

    A Sub-committee consisting of Messrs. Swindall, Hornsby, and Coles was appointed to make investigations as to suitable and available sites for public conveniences and report to a future meeting.

  The report was adopted.

  Mr. Perkins, referring to the Ministry of Health circular regarding the power of the Council to refuse to register a retail milk seller if there was a possibility of the public health suffering, said that that provision was very important.  Hitherto the Council had had no power to exclude any milk retailers.

Housing Committee

  A meeting of the Housing Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Thursday, Sep. 7th, 1922, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (Chairman), C. E. Bayes, J. Hornsby, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.

Further Houses

  Mr. Fisher attended the meeting and submitted plans of the proposed additional eight houses as approved by the Ministry of Health.  Mr. Fisher explained that the plans sanctioned by the Ministry were of the “A” type and were a modification suggested by the Architect to the Ministry.  The plans did not provide for barns, or out-buildings of any description, which the Committee considered absolutely necessary, but having regard to the fact that if these plans were not accepted it was very unlikely that the houses would be sanctioned, it was resolved to recommend the Council to accept same and to instruct Mr. Fisher to obtain tenders forthwith with an alternative tender including a barn for each house.

  The report was adopted.

  Mr. Knight said that the new type of house did not meet with the approval of the Committee, but it meant accepting those or none at all.  They were plans which the Minister or an official had prepared and which he was apparently “Very sweet on,” and which he thought were suitable for Rushden.  There were no barns to the houses and he (Mr. Knight) was certain that that would not be satisfactory to Rushden people, many of whom had allotment tools, bicycles, prams, etc., to store.  It was very inconvenient to put such things in the houses.  The Committee yielded only under the absolute necessity of so doing.  He considered that the housing question in Rushden got more acute every day.  He would like to be able to persuade the Ministry that barns were absolutely necessary.

  The Chairman said he was very disappointed with the plans.  The Ministry seemed to have altered their ideas on housing altogether.  Two of the proposed houses would take up as much frontage as three ordinary houses – a needless expense.  He preferred houses 24 feet from front to back and with 17 feet frontage instead of the reverse as was the case here.  It was that or nothing, but he was rather glad that there were only eight to be erected on the new lines.

(Several items of business are held over until next week).


22nd September, 1922

The Unemployment Problem
Suggested Improvement

  Wednesday week, Mr. T. Swindall presiding.

Finance and Estates Committee

  A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, September 6th, 1922, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), L. Perkins, C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, J. Hornsby, F. Knight, and T. Wilmott.

Ministry of Transport Act, 1919

  A circular letter was received from the Ministry of Transport stating that in approved cases the Minister was in a position to defray, by agreement with the local authority, a proportion of the salary of the surveyor or engineer to such an authority, in respect of the classified roads, and enclosing Form 163 (Roads) for completion on behalf of this Council.

  It was resolved that the form be completed and forwarded to the Ministry.

  The report was adopted.

An Improvement

  Mr. Knight asked if the Highways Committee considered the question of improving the triangular plot at the junction of Washbrook-road and High-street North.  He believed that with very little expense the site could be considerably beautified.  There were three fine trees on the plot which, with shrubs and a protecting fence, would be well worth the cost of laying out.  It would be appreciated by the hundreds who went to Spencer Park.

  The Chairman said that every member appreciated the idea.  He would suggest, however, that the work be postponed until the corner was set back, which he understood was going to be done.  They would then know better what area they could fence in.

  Mr. Knight said they could not do more in the distant future than they could now, and they did not know how long they might have to wait before the corner was set back.

  Mr. Spencer said that while he was in favour of the proposed improvement, he thought that the Council should not spend money in that way before public conveniences had been provided, as they were more necessary.

  Mr. Horrell said that the standpoint of expense was hardly worth considering.  He moved that the Surveyor be instructed to prepare plans and estimates for the proposed improvement.

  Mr. Hornsby seconded, and it was carried.

  The surveyor, replying to the Chairman, said that the County Surveyor had pointed out the place as suitable for providing work for the unemployed.


  Mr. Coles asked if the Council had introduced any schemes for the employment of the workless during the coming winter.  The need was likely to be very urgent.

  Mr. Swindall said that the Council had no plans at present.  Representatives had attended an area meeting at Wellingborough recently, and it was there decided that there did not seem any great necessity to bring forward any schemes, but that the Committee should remain in existence in case of future need.

  Mr. Spencer said there were people who had been unemployed for 12 months.  He was sorry to see the conclusion that the Committee came to.

  Mr. Coles said that the bowling greens and tennis courts in Spencer Park, which had been constructed to find work for the unemployed, were likely to prove a financial success.  Already the bowling greens had brought in £21, a very gratifying result.  If the Council could provide something on those lines the money would not be thrown away.  Something ought to be done.


  Mr. F. J. Sharwood wrote thanking the Council for the honour they had conferred on him in appointing him an Overseer (in the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. J. T. Colson) and promising to carry out the duties to the best of his ability.

  Mrs. Frank Knight, 47, Moor-road, sent a letter of appreciation of the Council’s letter of sympathy in the death of her father, the late Mr. J. T. Colson.


  A circular letter from the Ministry of Health advising the Council to draft new bye-laws regarding streets was referred to the Plans and Highway Committee.

  In response to a letter from the Board of Agriculture asking that a joint committee of members of the Council and allotment holders be appointed to control war-time allotments, it was agreed that Messrs. J. Spencer, T. Wilmott, J. Hornsby, and C. Bates represent the Council and that they co-opt members from the Rushden Allotment Association.

  The secretary of the Park-road Baptist Church wrote extending a cordial invitation to the Council and officials to attend a service on Rushden Feast Sunday morning in connection with the Bi-Centenary celebrations.  The writer stated that the Church had exercised a good influence on the life of Rushden and it made the officers of the Church desirous that the first of the series of services should be attended by the town’s administrative body.

  Mr. Spencer moved that the invitation be accepted.

  Mr. Swindall seconded and said that the Council ought to recognize the event.

  It was decided that the Clerk be instructed to invite all the Councillors, officials, members of the Board of Guardians, etc.

  The Chairman reported on the steps taken to celebrate Health Week from October 8 and said he hoped that all Churches and Sunday schools would recognise the Week by special features on the Sunday, and that the residents of the town would attend the meetings held during the week.

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