|Wellingborough & Kettering News, December 11th, 1880, transcribed by Kay Collins
SIR, For the past week the footpaths of the parish have been SO abominably dirty as to render it a matter of opinion only as to whether the roads were not less muddy than the paths. On Sunday, the walk to Church was a muddy pilgrimage, the discomfort attending it causing, I fear, not a few anathemas at the offending road people. That such filthy paths should be permitted is intolerable, but the difficult point is how to remedy the evil. To complain to the waywarden of the parish is futile, for he is always ashamed to admit that his office is more ornamental than useful. Outside the Boardroom he wields no authority whatever, and the road men work, or don't work, just as its suits them, quite indifferent to any supervision he might be disposed to exercise. An order from him for the footpaths to be cleaned would be received by the road men with a look of incredulity, even if it did not produce which is much more probable a blank refusal. The roadmen look only to the surveyor, and the latter considers only the Highway Board, the poor waywarden cutting rather a sorry figure between the lot, his power being limited to making a few remarks, which may or may not be listened to at the quarterly meetings of the Board. There being no other remedy I appeal to the News, trusting that publicity may lead to some improvement.
Rushden, Dec. 7th.