Selective notes on the Witham entries. Especially about unemployment, the Urban District Council, and meeting places. Made by Janet Gyford, February 2003 et al.
The paper was founded in this year, 1929. There were very few photos in the paper at this time, and none relating to Witham; I have noted one re Dan Crittall of Silver End on page 2. Items in square brackets [ ] are comments added by JG. Items in quotation marks ' ' are exact quotations from the minutes. The rest of the text is in note form, i.e. notes written by JG to summarise the reports. For Braintree and Witham Times for other years up to 1939, search for the title or part of it in a Search box, to see how far I've got. For Rowley's Rooms, Hall, etc., the Grove Hall etc., and the East family, see: https://www.janetgyford.com/places/rowleys-rooms-etc-the-grove-hall-and-the-east-family/
1929 (didn’t get exact date)
Photo of front of car with cracked windscreen. Caption says ‘This is not an advertisement for Triplex Glass, but shows the windscreen of Mr D F Crittall [Dan]’s car after he had hit a pheasant whilst travelling at speed. The bird was of course killed instantly, and Mr Crittall had a lucky escape’.
25 October 1929, First issue, only four pages
Leader begins ‘Our ship is being launched in placid waters’.
‘Stroller’s notes’ … ‘Witham, for as long as I can remember, has remained the same old-fashioned country town, without vision or desire to get out of its well-beaten rut. Certainly, the traffic on this main thoroughfare has livened things up of later years, and if it gets much livelier, the authorities will have to see to the building of a new arterial road to relieve further congestion. With Witham on this important main road, it is curious that it still goes along without pretension or desire to live up to present-day requirements’
15 November 1929
Report of British Legion branch at ‘Rowley’s café’.
Anonymous letter from reader saying that water supply in Witham is ‘of the worst’.
Advert, just text, just saying ‘Metal Windows are the staple industry of Braintree, Witham and Maldon. Metal Window makers should insist on living in houses with metal Windows. If Braintree builders recognised this, further houses with wood windows would not be built. Advt Crittall’.
22 November 1929
‘Witham News …’
‘The next General Election. The Executive Committee of the Divisional Labour party met in camera at Witham on Saturday afternoon.. We understand that in all probability Major Herbert Evans will again be invited to contest the constituency in the Labour interest’.
Crittall Social Club celebrates first anniversary of its opening.
Whist drive organised by Women’s section of Witham Labour Party.
Miss E Luard and Girls’ Friendly Society are planning to put on ‘The King of Sherwood’. C L Dudley is to be Robin Hood and May West to be Maid Marion.
At Rowley’s Hall, Miss Marjorie Brown, M.O.A.D., and Miss Catherine Brown, M.O.A.D, ‘gave a dramatic recital and display of dancing in aid of the Witham Nursing Association and the Colchester Hospital’.
Witham Police Rifle Shooting competitions.
29 November 1929
Witham: Gramophone Concert at Church house in aid of Church House Repair fund. ‘Beautiful gramophone and records’, ‘kindly lent by Mr B C Afford’. Event arranged by Mr H B Peecock.
Horse ran amock in High Street on Saturday afternoon, belonging to Blunts Hall. Constable on duty at Maldon Road corner tried to stop it without success. Returned when reached Whitehall. Eventually caught. A good deal of traffic so caused hold-ups.
Women’s Institute Annual meeting at ‘the Hut’. Committee elected. Mrs Hancock rendered solos.
L.N.E.R. ad for excursions to London for Xmas shopping, 5/- return from Witham.
County meeting of British Legion at Witham in Rowley’s restaurant.
Witham Urban District Council:
Report of Housing Committee accepted, presented by Councillor Eb [Ebenezer] Smith. Approved plan for 44 new houses, ‘of the parlour type’ to be sold to owner occupiers in easy payment terms, the first 10 to be erected fronting Highfields Road.
[Note: this Highfields Road estate was one of several estates built by the Council for sale . Its progress is mentioned several times in later entries].
Public Health Committee. Water to be turned off at night for time being because No. 1 engine to be taken down for repairs.
Unspecified work to be done on road at Chalks Lane.
Ambulance – Problem with vibration. Messrs Charles Warren Ltd to be asked to alter springs.
Sub committee appointed re proposed cemetery.
Matter of abattoir to be deferred indefinitely because of expense.
National Union of Railwaymen had complained about overhead wires for telegraph and electric lights. To write back and say no problem, double deckers can pass.
Miss Mondy to be allowed to use field at rear of Cressing Road houses for Girl Guides Hockey team.
Advert from Witham UDC re. erection of ‘a number of good class houses of the parlour type in pairs for sale on easy term. Not less than £10 down. Applicants invited. F H Bright, clerk of Council, at 6 Collingwood Road’.
[note: parlour type houses had two living rooms, one of which would usually be the parlour and kept for best. The Council did try building some non-parlour type houses with only one living room. The idea was to be able to ask lower rents, but nevertheless they were not very popular]
More correspondence about water supply in Witham.
6 December 1929
Witham: Works at Crittall’s to be closed Xmas eve till the following Monday. The Saturday morning before the holidays will be worked.
Witham Labour Party Women’s section had whist ‘in the Club’.
Cribbage at the White Horse in aid of St Dunstans.
Legion. To visit Witham Brotherhood.
Fire in canteen at Crittall’s dealt with. ‘Great excitement was caused among the householders in Albert Road, whose dwellings are in close proximity’.
Sale of work in Rowley’s hall re church.
Rifle shooting at Territorial HQ in Guithavon Valley. Popular. Legion taking part.
Bowling club, held Whist drive at Constitutional Club.
Advert from Fred H Fuller ‘the butcher of distinction’.
Advert from ‘Rowley’s Rooms, Witham,. Dancing every Friday, 8 pm to 1 am; admission. Single 2/-, Double 3/6. Special late buses’.
Advert for Turner’s Mans shop ‘Ladies! Delight your men folk’.
Advert for Diana of Witham. Display of gifts for mothers and children. 4 o’clock ‘Vocal Solos and Wireless Selections’.
‘Stroller’. Reference to the aircraft hangar previously ‘on an isolated spot on the Essex Coast’ during the War and acquired after by Crittall’s. One half canteen at Witham, other half near Silver End factory.
[Note: the Witham half continued here through the life of the factory, and then I believe it was taken away for preservation, possibly to Stow Maries].
13 December 1929
Witham: Witham Musical and Amateur Operatic Society, 9th season, will present the Gondoliers.
Interest in the Witham Council’s proposed Highfields estate. Lots of applications and some allotted. ‘A distinct acquisition to the town’
Prize distribution re sales competition at Witham Co-op Soc. Names. Prizes include furniture and a gramophone. ‘Mr A G Bright presided over a crowded hall’.
Crittall’s athletic club Witham. New sports ground on Rivenhall Road to be ready next year.
Robin Hood performed at Public Hall, Girls Friendly Society. Miss Edith Luard. Mr C Dudley’s ‘beautiful tenor voice’. Names. Piano Miss L Croxall.
Adverts, Rowleys room again [note: and repeated thereafter]
Leader discusses traffic. I.e. not moving. Proposal to abolish horse traffic. Causes waste of petrol in London because of delays. Principal offenders the Post Office, brewers, railway cos, scavenging services, delivery services. Tax horses or horse traffic meanwhile. Some people say should keep them for security but don’t agree.
‘Stroller’: Rumour that King and Queen of Denmark in Witham. Actually passed through on train at 70 mph on way to Parkeston and home.
Advert for Navy and Army Stories. Braintree, Witham and Chelmsford. List of goods.
pages 4 and 5.
Lots of ads re Xmas gifts including W. Loveday Ltd., J Glover (‘wireless receivers’), Davies’ clothiers (72 High St), Lixall (the Corner shop Witham, confectionery), White’s (toy and present bazaar, 68 High St), Turner’s (men’s, 54 High Street), W Day and Co (leather goods toys etc., 95 High St; also why not have lunch or tea in Days café), Edward Spurge (big ad including umbrellas, 42 High St.), Diana of Witham (gloves, hankies, etc.), James Sorrell, (meat), W W Burrows (Guithavon Valley, coal). J M Barham (‘The Clock House, Witham’, gifts).
20 December 1929
‘Witham Post Office is to have electric light in the near future’.
Scouts dance, Legion Hut.
Rev Napier, curate, to leave.
Hockey Club dance in Rowley’s rooms. One of MC s was A C Askins.
Whist drive, Maldon Division Women’s Conservative Assoc. Witham branch, at ‘the Club’. Record attendance.
Whist drive in Catholic Schoolroom.
Footballers, first annual dinner re Crittall Athletic Football Club at White Horse.
Record success of Robin Hood.
Crittall Sports Club draw.
Crittall Manuf Co Gen Meeting. Record profits.
Branch of Labour Party formed a month ago at Great Totham. Concert held. W Burrows of Witham made speech on Labour Movement.
Ads as before, later pages.
27 December 1929
Xmas whist by Education Committee of Co-op.
Sacred cantata at Congregational Church by choir of 40, conducted by Ernest Mason. ‘The soprano solos were taken by Miss Eileen Little, always a favourite’. Miss Winnie Drake at organ.
Carol singers organised by Miss Milly Evitt raised money for charities.
Women’s Institute monthly meeting at The Hut. Mrs A C Mens organiser. Mrs P Brown retired from committee after 10 years and Mrs Dier retired as President. Miss E Luard to be President next year.
Prize for mother of most children under 10 years won by Mrs Hawkes. Prize for youngest mother by Mrs Driver.
Mr J V Stoffer, well known athlete, had motor accident a few months ago and right leg broken. Used to represent County. Also soccer.
Magistrates’ court, various motoring offences, speeding, lights etc. Also some for children not attending school [note: these were regular items].
Leader. Review of year. Gen Election gave Labour chance. Power shaken by disruption and narrow majority re Coal Bill. ‘The numerous financial crashes, the outpouring of gold to America … Floods.. Likely increase in taxation. From brightness into gloom. District has progressed rapidly including building houses.
Whitehall cinema ads and reviews [note: this in other weeks too]
Has been six pages in each edition. Will be back to four pages after Christmas.