Street lighting by gas and electricity

Notes of meetings of the public bodies concerned

See also the separate report on gas in general

If not from a newspaper, the items from the Witham Board of Health, the Witham Urban District Council (UDC), and the Witham Gas Company are from the original documents in the Essex Record Office. The Board minutes are ERO A5405, the Council or Committee minutes are ERO D/UWi, and the Gas Company minutes are D/F 27/7/1

Board of Health meeting, 25 January 1890 (reported in Essex County Chronicle, 31 January 1890, page 3)
Mr Mead of Chelmsford had inspected the lamps. Thought many were wasteful of gas, burned more than they should. Recommended different burners and frequent cleaning. Committee to meet gas company.

Board of Health minutes, 8 March 1890 (also report in Essex County Chronicle, 14 March 1890, page 6)
Deputation from Witham Ratepayers Association attend to ‘protest against the idea of lighting the town with oil and strongly urge the Board to postpone the question until the coming vacancies are refilled’. Mr Davies stated the views of the deputation. Mr Brown as proposer agreed to defer the matter till the first meeting after the election. Amendment proposed by Mr Speakman – do not proceed with oil lighting – accept Gas Company’s terms – carried.

Witham Ratepayers’ meeting, 10 March 1890 (Essex County Chronicle, 14 March 1890, page 6
Long report. Two hundred householders, following circular by Ratepayer’s association, to receive rules etc. drawn up by Committee. They proposed support for three candidates for Board of Health. Mr Wakelin objected that there weren’t any farmers, and that members couldn’t be bound to support specific candidates. Latter was amended to ‘seek every legitimate means’ but lots abstained. Original problem was the lighting.

Chelmsford, 14 April 1890 (reported in review of year, Essex County Chronicle, 26 December 1890, page 6).
‘Inauguration of the electric light at Chelmsford. The lights were switched on by the Mayoress (Miss Brown) and the Ex-Mayoress (Mrs Chancellor)

Witham Gas Co., 11 October 1907 (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter from clerk of Urban District Council ‘asking that all the public lamps be lit every night from 15th August to 15th April (instead of 1 Aug to end April minus “moonlight” nights as at present)’. Mr Croxall said this means addition of 40 long extra nights compared to 30 short ones taken off. Also think inhabitants would complain if not continued till 1 May. Agreed to write saying would need rebate if so.

Witham Gas Co., 10 January 1908 (D/F 27/7/1)
No reply from UDC but Chairman (Mr W B Blood) said as clerk of UDC, that the Council had no remarks and matters would be left as at present.

UDC, January, 1908 (Essex Weekly News, 31 January)
‘A memorial signed by 13 residents in Maldon Road asked the Council to erect lamps in that locality. Mr Bawtree moved that the request be granted. The Chairman [Philip Hutley] said the town was not in a position to spend money on more street lamps. Motion defeated by 4 to 3’.

Witham Gas Co., 30 July 1909 (D/F 27/7/1)
Urban District Council wanted three additional lamps in Maldon Road. Agreed.

Witham Gas Co., 8 October 1909 (D/F 27/7/1)
Lamps in Maldon Road had been erected.

Witham Gas Co., 11 February 1910 (D/F 27/7/1)
Considered moving lamp near the Railway Bridge, left to Urban District Council and Mr Croxall to decide where to put it in more convenient place. 

Witham Gas Co., 14 December 1911 (D/F 27/7/1)
Urban District Council had asked for main and lamps in Guithavon Road. Agreed, usual payment.

UDC, 18 December 1911
pages 7-8. Clerk to write to Witham Cartage Co, because the board on their manager’s house in Maldon Road obstructed light of gas lamp. Be good enough to move it.
page 9. Gas Company agrees to lay gas main in Guithavon Road and erect lamps at usual cost per lamp. Agreed to have four.
‘Petition for gas lamps from residents of Chalks Road and Braintree Road’, refer to next meeting.

Witham Gas Co., 11 January 1912 (D/F 27/7/1)
Urban District Council wanted 4 lamps in Guithavon Road. [?doesn’t give decision]

UDC, 29 January 1912
page 14. ‘Petition for gas lamps from residents of Chalks Road and Braintree Road was read also a further petition for lamps from residents of Albert Road’. Discussion. Mr Pinkham proposed Gas Company be asked if would lay gas mains and put up lamps if the Council acceded to petition. Approved nem. con.

UDC 26 February 1912, page 20.
Gas Company agreed mains in Albert Road and extension in Braintree Road and Chalks Road to be further considered. Accept.

Witham Gas Co., 4 March 1912, Emergency meeting (D/F 27/7/1)
‘Electric Lighting. The Secretary announced that Mr Girling of Maldon had had an interview with him about a proposed Electric Lighting company for Witham, that Mr Girling was anxious to meet the Directors and explain the matter to them.’ Agreed. Engineer to be asked to attend.

Witham Gas Co., 14 March 1912 (D/F 27/7/1)
‘The Chairman asked Mr H P Girling of Maldon to explain Electric Lighting Scheme.
Mr Girling made a statement giving details of what had been done at Maldon and other towns of similar size and explained the proposed scheme for Witham producing provisional plans and stating the amount of capital required and the general idea for working the Electric Lighting Supply. He suggested that a separate Company would have to be started, giving if desired, the Gas Company Shareholders an option to take shares with possibly the same Directorate as the wish of the promoters was to act in no antagonistic spirit with the Gas Company’. Questions asked and discussion. Further meeting to be held to consider.

Witham Gas Co., 19 March 1912 (D/F 27/7/1)
‘Mr E W Smith [engineer] made a statement as to Mr Girling’s interview with the Directors and informed them that he had come to the conclusion that it would be unwise for the Directors to attempt to run the Electric Lighting Supply’. Discussion.
Proposed to thank Mr Girling for his statement and say Directors ‘cannot see their way to incur any responsibility with regard to the institution of Electric Lighting at Witham’.

UDC, 25 March 1912
page 27. Ask Gas Company for additional terms for lighting street lamps every night from 1 August to 30 April instead of leaving out five nights every full moon as now.

Witham Gas Co., 11 April 1912 (D/F 27/7/1)
Manager reported as to extension of mains in Braintree Road and Chalks Lane. Agreed to tell Urban District Council that willing to extend main in Braintree Road and Chalks Lane provided Council willing to pay for 4 or more lamps. 

UDC, 29 April 1912, Annual meeting
page 34. Move that Witham Gas Company be asked to stop closure for full moon and reduce price generally 

Witham Gas Co., 9 May 1912 (D/F 27/7/1)
UDC asked Company to have the street lamps lighted every night from 1 Aug to 30 April ‘instead of leaving out 5 nights at every full moon and also that the charge per lamp be reduced’
Secretary to write that ‘Company’s assessment [presumably rates] more than doubled’ and price of coal risen, so can’t reduce and compares very favourably with other places. Can’t increase number of nights. If UDC wished them lighted, should pay in proportion.

UDC Road Committee, 28 May 1912, page 69
Re Gas lamps. Agreed three to be erected in Braintree Rd, two in Chalks Rd, two in Albert Rd.
‘Agreement in reference to the installation and supply of electric light. Mr Girling (Engineer) and Messrs Crompton’s representative attended and the latter fully explained the proposed scheme and pointed out that the contractors mainly required the permission of the Council to break the Streets to lay the necessary mains and erect the poles. The agreement was then read and the various clauses explained.’

Witham Gas Co., 19 July 1912 (D/F 27/7/1)
Urban District Council asked for reduction in price again. No action at present. 

UDC Waterworks Committee, 26 July 1912, page 76
Met to consider question of ‘letting the old Waterworks buildings to Messrs Crompton and Co Ltd for an electric generating station’. Recommended opening negotiations for letting Buildings.

UDC, 29 July 1912
page 53.‘Captain Abrey’s proposition, seconded by Mr Hubbard, that lamp post opposite the Veterinary Surgeon’s be removed, and placed in centre of the crossing opposite the George Inn with a view to obviate the dangers to vehicular traffic, was lost’.
page 55. Letter from Miss H E Chalk ‘complaining of annoyance cause her by Lamppost in Braintree Road being placed immediately in front of her window’ agree to remove it. 

Witham Gas Co., 22 October 1912 (D/F 27/7/1)
New workshop and showroom almost complete.
‘The reduction of the Street Lighting which had taken place pursuant to the Home Office’s and Chief Constable’s notices was considered’. Agreed to write to Urban District Council that Company ‘not allowed to light the full number of Street Lamps’ as in agreement. 

UDC 26 October 1914
page 219. Letter from Witham Gas Company. Orders from Home Office and Chief Constable for Essex, not allowed to light full number of street lamps as in the agreement with the Council.

UDC 13 September 1915, extraordinary meeting
page 279. ‘In view of the recent and frequent visits of enemy aircraft the lighting of any street lamps was considered a source of danger’. Clerk to tell Gas Company not to light any in future.

14 September 1915, page 597, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
‘Dear Sir
At a meeting of the Council held last night the matter of street lighting was discussed, and it was resolved that in view of the recent and frequent visits of enemy Aircraft the lighting of any street lamps was considered a source of danger, and as a precautionary measure I was instructed to give you notice that as from this date no public street lamps were to be lighted. W Bindon Blood to Mr J Croxall, manager Witham Gas Light and Coke Co Ltd, Witham.

Witham Gas Co., 18 July 1916 (D/F 27/7/1) 18 July 1916
‘The Manager brought up the question of Street Lighting and the Witham Urban District Council and stated that the Chelmsford Town Council had allowed the Chelmsford Gas Coy 20 % on their outlay’. Decided to make a claim on Witham UDC. 

12 September 1916, page 710, D/UWi 1/4/2 Urban District Council Letter Book
On 22 October 1914, Gas Company told Council not allowed to light full number of lights. ‘Since then have charged for what lighted. Since September 1915 … no lamps have been lighted and no charge …’ Gas Company now want compensation. To Secretary of UDC Clerks Association

Witham Gas Co., 17 October 1916 (D/F 27/7/1)
Correspondence with Witham Urban District Council re ‘non-lighting of lamps’. Decided to take Counsel’s opinion. 

Witham Gas Co., 27 October 1916 (D/F 27/7/1)
Discussion about Urban District Council. Letter sent forthwith and proceedings taken. 

UDC 30 October 1916 page 349.
Writ from Gas Company against Council for not adhering to agreement (probably about street lighting). To be a meeting.
Letter from Mr F Hayward suggesting ‘band of luminous paint … round the lamp posts and telegraph posts that stand upon the paths edge with a view to preventing accidents’. Forward to authorities concerned.

UDC 27 November 1916
page 355. Letters from Post Office and Gas Company agreeing poles and lamps painted at Council’s expense. 

Witham Gas Co., 7 November 1916 (D/F 27/7/1)
Deputation to meet Urban District Council.
Letter from UDC ‘as to painting the Gas Standards with Luminous paint’. Agreeable if at expense of UDC.

Witham Gas Co., 14 November 1916 (D/F 27/7/1)
Joint Conference with UDC representatives.
For the company, Mr E M Blyth, Mr W E Shee and Mr David Brown plus secretary and manager.
UDC represented by Mr P Hutley (chair), Mr W Pinkham and Mr A W Garrett. Also Deputy clerk and surveyor.
Discussion. Agreement about liability and payment.

Witham Gas Co., 19 November 1918 (D/F 27/7/1)
Urban District Council had asked that ’50 % of the normal number of lamps be relit’.
Write and agree if UDC pay ‘contract price of £2 5s per lamp for the 50% lighted and half the £65 13s per annum for the 50 % not lighted’.

UDC Roads Committee, 18 January 1919, page 260
Letter from Witham Gas Light and Coke Co Ltd, terminating agreement because of increased costs. Resolved to ask for details.

Witham Gas Co., 21 January 1919 (D/F 27/7/1)
Complaints received ‘as to lamps being unlighted for five nights when Moon was full’. Discussed.’ It will now be unnecessary to light the Lamps during the month of August, owing to the Daylight Savings Bill’ Write to Urban District Council suggesting date for commencement be altered from 1 August to 1 September and then continuous lighting from then to 30 April ‘as this would be of a greater benefit to the public, although the Lamps would have to be lighted 9 nights more than under the present arrangement’.

Witham Gas Co., 20 February 1919 (D/F 27/7/1)
UDC agreed to lighting proposal. ‘The letter also suggested automatic lighting of the Public Lamps’. To be considered.

Witham Gas Co., 15 April 1919 (D/F 27/7/1)
Public Gas Lamp standards to be painted this year.

UDC 30 June 1919 (reported in EWN 4 July 1919)
Witham, Gas Co wrote giving six months notice to terminate at Xmas the agreement for lighting street lamps ‘owing to the considerable increased price of coal and labour’. Mr Pinkham said Gas Co ‘had done very well out of the Urban Council during the War’, and surprised. ‘The Gas Co. was about 50 years behind the times when compared with other towns of equal size with Witham; and he suggested that self-lighters to the lamps would effect an economy in gas’. Letter referred to Roads Cttee.

Witham Gas Co., 28 July 1919, (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter from South Yorkshire Coal Supplies Committee, owing to strike no coal could be delivered. Urging strict economy. Notice to be sent out to consumers. Difficulty in fixing price of street lighting at present because of strike. 

UDC 28 July 1919 (reported in EWN 1 Aug 1919)
Witham Gas Co wrote offering to light as many lights as necessary in town at £4 per lamp from 1 Sept to April 30. Couldn’t see far ahead though. Present contract £2 5s a lamp. Referred to lighting committee.

UDC 25 Aug 1919 (reported in EWN 29 Aug 1919)
Roads Committee had asked the Gas Co to submit terms. H F Bawtree was sec to W Gas Co said couldn’t reply ‘until the coal question and the labour market were in a more settled state’. Gas Co only limited supply of coal. So couldn’t undertake definitely to light 50 per cent of lamps. Suggested corner ones only. Chair said contract price till Xmas £2 5s per lamp and after that £4 per lamp. ‘Mr Pinkham asked if the Committee had yet considered the possibility of lighting the streets by electricity’. Reply that first wanted information about gas. ‘Mr S C Richardson stated that the time had come when the Council should prepare to make a stand against the Witham Gas Co. which was a very good paying concern. To put up the prices of street lamps from £2 5s to £4 was a serious matter. On the proposition of Mr W Pinkham, the whole question was referred to a Committee of the Council, when electricity and gas will be considered for street lighting’.

UDC Roads Committee 3 September 1919, page 7
Question of lighting public lamps considered. Letter from Suffolk Electricity Supply Co Ltd read. Considerable discussion. Resolved to write to ‘various well known firms’ asking for schemes and estimates for ‘such lighting’. Adopted

UDC, full Council, 29 September 1919, page 61
Electric Lighting.
Letters from Messrs Crompton, Mr H P Girling and Suffolk Electricity Supply Co read. Referred to Roads Cttee

UDC 29 Sept 1919 (reported in EWN 3 Oct 1919)
‘The Council received two approximate estimates for providing the town with electricity – viz. Messrs Crompton and Co., Chelmsford, omitting street illumination, £9,000: and the Suffolk Electric Co., who proposed making the town a centre, with power from Braintree and underground wires, £16,000.- Mr Girling, of Maldon, wrote suggesting that he be appointed consulting engineer for the scheme at a fee of £50, to be refunded if he were employed to superintend the installation. – Referred to the Road Committee.’

UDC Roads Committee, 30 September 1919, page 112
Letter from Suffolk Electricity Supply Co Ltd. ‘relative to proposed installation of Electric Light’. To be asked to send a representative to Witham to explain. Adopted

UDC, full Council, 21 October 1919, page 64
Street lighting
Mr Napier Prentice, Secretary of Suffolk Electricity Supply Co Ltd. attended.
Questions.  Replies.
Advisable to install system of overhead conductors to distribute electricity.
Council could do work, or if Council decided not to go into Electricity Supply for selves, Company could do work.
In view of ‘proposed developments for Electricity Supply a Generating Station should not be built at Witham’ but if his company did supply they’d bring it from Braintree by overhead wires. In near future his company would probably promote a large Power Stn in Essex.
Cost of installation would be approximately £1,000 for 104 lights, and interest, upkeep, electricity etc. would be £3 per annum per lamp.
Clerk to ascertain ‘whether Messrs Crittall were anticipating installing Electric Light at their new Factory, and would be willing to undertake the lighting of the Town’.

Essex Weekly News, 24 October 1919, page 3, col 5
UDC met for two hours in committee, to consider various matters including the proposal for electric lighting.

UDC, full Council, 18 November 1919, page 69
Street lighting. Letters from Suffolk Electricity Supply Co Ltd. confirming the statements of their Secretary at the Oct meeting, read.
Letter from Crittall Manufacturing Co ‘stating that they were not in a position to supply Electric Light to the Council’
Clerk to write to Suffolk Electricity Supply Co Ltd. that if prepared to state definitely that liability of Council for lighting their 104 street lamps with Electric Light’ would not exceed £3 per lamp per annum, Council willing to proceed. Gas agreement expires Xmas next. To write to them for terms.

UDC 18 November, in Essex Weekly News, 21 November 1919, page 3 ‘The lighting question and other matters were dealt with in committee’.

Witham Gas Co., 2 December 1919 (D/F 27/7/1)
Street lighting discussed. Proposal of scale which would alter if price of coal fell. Write to Urban District Council and point out increase cost of labour and materials.

UDC Roads Committee, 16 December 1919, page 21
Street lighting. Letter from Witham Gas Light and Coke Co Ltd. Willing to light the town or as many lamps as required at £4 per lamp, to be lighted from 1 September to 30 April inclusive, and usual 6 lamps only to be lighted between 1 May and 31 August. Charge would reduce if cost of coal fell. If any lights not lighted for any cause out of control of Gas Co ‘the same proportion of the £65 per annum now paid to be paid for such unlighted lamps’. Resolved to enter agreement for one year. Effort to be made to modify the £65 or proportion on the basis of minimum of 80 lamps.
Letter from Suffolk Electricity Supply Co Ltd read, confirming charge per lamp per annum ‘at £3 provided they carry out a general supply in Witham’. Resolved to accept the terms, the supply to be available from 25 December 1920 with a minimum of 100 lamps. Adopted

UDC 16 Dec 1919 (reported in EWN 19 Dec 1919)
Witham Gas Co ‘wrote stating now prepared to light the street lamps at £4 a lamp from Sept 1 to April 30, six lamps to be lighted from May 1 to Aug 31’. Could reduce to £3 15 if price of coal for gas be reduced by 10 s a ton. These figures the minimum be of cost of labour and materials. There were 102 street lamps. Road Cttee recommend acceptance for one year. Mr Pinkham hesitant because of cost. But adopted.
‘The Suffolk Electricity Co wrote that they would be prepared to light the street lamps at Witham for £3 per lamp per year, provided they carried out a general electric supply at Witham. The Chairman said the Council could not undertake any responsibility in regard to a general electricity supply at Witham, and that clause would have to be deleted: but otherwise the Council would accept the offer of street lamps at £3 a year each. The Council agreed. ‘It was ordered to be entered on the minutes that Captain Abrey did not vote on either of these questions affecting street lighting’ [note by JG: Captain Abrey was a director of the Gas Company]

UDC Roads Committee, 10 January 1920, page 25
Decided ‘Lamps not to be lighted’ be: One opposite the Red Lion, High Street. One opposite Chignall House in Collingwood Road
Lamps to be Lighted: One opposite the Bungalow, Collingwood Road. One opposite St Johns Terrace, Church Street. Adopted

UDC, full Council, 13 January 1920, page 76
Letter from Suffolk Electricity Supply Company, now East Anglian Electricity Ltd, read. Agreement would be considered.

Witham Gas Co., 30 January 1920 (D/F 27/7/1)
Discussion of Urban District Council proposals. Not agreed.

Witham Gas Co., 19 February 1920 (D/F 27/7/1)
Agreement on street lighting (no dets).

UDC, full Council, 31 May 1920, page 97
Letters from East Anglian Electricity Ltd. Difficulty in obtaining material. So couldn’t undertake supply of electric light in Witham till next year. So not to terminate agreement with Gas Company this year. 

Witham Gas Co., 24 June 1920 (D/F 27/7/1)
Re price of Gas. £1,000 extra may be required in coming year. Agreed to increase price from 5s 8d to 7s per 1,000 c ft.
To write to Urban District Council asking for increase of 10s per lamp as from 25 Dec 1920.

20 August 1920, EWN, page 7
Story about explosion of oil lamp in house in Mill Lane, ‘the bursting of an oil lamp which was being carried upstairs’ by Mrs Emma Thompson, which fatally burnt her daughter Elizabeth Anna Shelley aged 11, who was in front of her. A small paraffin lamp.

UDC Roads Committee, 10 August 1920, page 59
Application of Manager of Witham Gas Co, re number of lights during coming season. Resolved same as before.

UDC 30 August 1920, in EWN 3 Sept, page 3
On recommendation of lighting committee, decided to light same no of lamps as last year. 

UDC, full Council, 25 October 1920
Letter from East Anglian Electricity Ltd. Company at present negotiating with Railway Company re way-leave and for permission to put High Tension Line along railway Braintree to Witham.

UDC Coal Emergency Committee, 29 October 1920, page 72
Resolved Mr A F Claydon be asked to undertake duties of Overseer ‘during the present emergency’; salary to await what work carrying out of regulations and orders would involve. Mr Croxall (co-opted) [manager of Gas Works] said that under directions of Clerk, he had reduced number of lamps lighted to 10, ‘at the most essential points’. Confirmed by Committee.

UDC, full Council, 20 December 1920, page 125
Electric light. Letter from East Anglian Electricity Ltd. Company being reorganised. Appealing to public for capital. So not possible to obtain capital and complete line to light Witham by midsummer next.

UDC Roads Committee, 4 January 1921, page 78
Street Lighting considered ‘in view of the determination of the present agreement with the Gas Company at midsummer next’. Decided to recommend that ‘the Street Lamps be lighted only at junctions of roads and dangerous corners, which would necessitate about 16 lamps’.

UDC Emergency Coal Committee, 9 April 1921, page 95
Appointed Mr A F Claydon Coal officer. ‘It was resolved that summer time lighting of street lamps be resorted to forthwith’. Resolved that permits for ‘normal consumption of gas be granted to essential industries, the situation to be reviewed if necessary’. Also permits for coal to ‘be issued for steam rolling and ploughing having regard to the situation and that the granting of permits for coal in cases of sickness and emergency be left to the discretion of the coal officer’.

UDC Roads Committee, 7 May 1921, page 100
Gas Co wished to open certain road for new mains. Agreed.
‘In view of the early termination of the agreement with the Gas Company for Street Lighting, the Clerk was directed to ascertain on what terms the Gas Company would light lamps at dangerous corners etc to the number of sixteen’. 

Witham Gas Co., 19 May 1921 (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter from Urban District Council re street lighting, asking for Company’s terms for lighting 16 of the public lamps at the expiration of the present agreement in June. Agreed to quote terms to be subject of new agreement, i.e. £5 per lamp if 16 lighted, £4 10s per lamp if 32 lamps, £4 per lamp if 52 or more, and all unlighted ones to be paid for at 2s per month per lamp for the eight lighting months.

 Witham Gas Co., 16 June 1921 (D/F 27/7/1)
Urban District Council would not agree terms for lighting. Agreed to leave letter on table.

UDC, full Council, 25 July 1921, page 150
Electric lighting. Letter from Messrs A S Payle and F S Leatherdale, ‘asking permission to erect overhead Electric Mains in the Town with a view to installing Plant for supplying the Town with Electric light’. Clerk to write for details and their financial position.

UDC, full Council, 20 or 29 August 1921, page 154, also reported in Essex Weekly News, 2 September, page 3
‘Mr E Smith asked whether any more lamps would be lit in the town – Mr Pinkham said they had 104 lamps; 52 had been lit, and they had to pay a retaining fee for the other 52. The Council had got to make up their minds whether they could afford any lamps at all. It was decided to ask the Gas Company for terms for lighting all the lamps’ (EWN)Correspondence with Leatherdale and Payle. Resolved to do nothing at present. Gas co for revised terms.(minutes)

Witham Gas Co., 5 September 1921 (D/F 27/7/1)
Long discussion about correspondence with UDC to date. Proposed that offer be withdrawn and instead offer to light 52 lamps at £4 per annum, to include lighting, cleaning and keeping in order by the company, and remaining 52 unlighted lamps to be paid for the by the Council at 2s per lamp per month for the eight lighting months. Or as an alternative to offer Council whole of lamp standards, lamps and fittings, Company supplying gas by meter at 10% discount.

UDC Roads Committee, 10 September 1921, page 114
Letter from Witham Gas Co, 6th inst. Company would light not less than 52 lamps at £4 each per annum Council to pay 2 shillings per lamp per month for the unlighted lamps for the eight lighting months. Or alternatively, Company offered to sell ‘the whole of the lamp standards, lamps and fittings by valuation and to supply Gas’ at 10% per 1000 ft below price charged for private consumption. Recommended not accept.

UDC Council meeting, 26 September 1921 (Essex Weekly News, 30 September 1921)
‘Mr Eb Smith said he was quite in agreement with the Council when they decided not to accept the terms of the Gas Company for lighting Witham’s streets, but he did not think they ought to face the whole winter in complete darkness. The Committee considered that 16 gas lamps would be sufficient, and he proposed that until such time as a better system could be adopted 16 hurricane oil lamps be affixed where needed. – The Vice-Chairman said they had already decided not to pay the charges asked by the Gas Company, and had also agreed not to light the town this winter: therefore, he said, let the town be in darkness. They did not want to decorate the town with fairy lamps, which were practically useless for the purpose intended – Mr Pinkham said he did not want to see the town in darkness. They could retaliate if they chose by ordering he Gas Company to remove the lamp standards from the streets, which would cost them £250. He suggested that the Council send a deputation to talk the matter over with the Company. The Chairman said the Council had appointed a committee for the purpose, but the Gas Company said they had made up their minds. He could not see what good a deputation would effect. Only the proposer voted for the resolution, which was declared lost’.

Witham Gas Co., 20 October 1921 (D/F 27/7/1)
UDC reply. Would not accept. Would involve a 4d rate. Discussion. Meeting suggested. Agreed to leave letter on table.

UDC Roads Committee, 11 November 1921, page 121
Letter from Witham Gas Co and Witham Co-operative Society, urging Council to meet the Gas Co re terms re street lights. Members appointed to do so.

Witham Gas Co., 14 November 1921 (D/F 27/7/1)
Correspondence with Urban District Council discussed. Propose joint conference.
Manager suggested charge for unlighted lamps should be based on capital value which he put at £500 for 52 lamps instead of 2s per lamp per month for the eight lighted months.

Witham Gas Co., 15 November 1921 (D/F 27/7/1)
Joint meeting with UDC representatives. For the Company Mr E M Blyth, Mr N L Howlett and Mr H B Peecock and secretary and manager.
For UDC, Mr J E Smith chair, Mr C S Richardson, Mr E L R Pelly, with clerk.
General discussion on situation. Agreed that any agreement should only go to end of April. UDC suggestion that not necessary to light the lamps for seven days at full moon each month, thrown out. Company agreed to charge £3 per lamp per annum instead of £4 per lamp per annum, for 52 lamps. Re the 52 unlighted lamps, capital value agreed at £400, agreed £20 per annum representing 5% per annum on capital value.

Note: UDC special meeting on 18 November 1921 unanimously accepted terms.

Witham Gas Co., 3 March 1922 (D/F 27/7/1)
To be reduction in cost of coal from Stafford.
Mr Johnson not paid account for tar – writ to be taken out.
‘Application from Mr C Warren to use the lamp (not in use by the UDC) at the entrance to his Garage was discussed.’ Chair and manager to agree terms.

Witham Gas Co., 18 April 1922 (D/F 27/7/1)
Charge of 12s. per annum to Mr C Warren to use lamp standard outside his garage.

UDC Roads Committee, 22 May 1922, page 143
Letter from Witham Gas Light and Coke Co Ltd, temporary arrangement for street lighting expired on 30th ult., what arrangement to make now. Read

Witham Gas Co., 13 June 1922 (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter from Urban District Council re terms for 52 lamps. Agreed price be £2 15s on similar terms as recently excluding seven days on or before each full moon. Or £3 12s 6d per lamp if wanted seven days on or before each full moon.

UDC Roads Committee, 22 June 1922, page 147
Letter from Witham Gas etc Co, quoting £2 15s per lamp per annum for 52 lamps from 1 September to 30 April next, plus 5% per annum on £400 the capitalised value of the 52 unlighted lamps. Resolved to leave in abeyance a month ‘in view of the reported reduction in the price of coal’.

UDC, full Council, 26 June 1922, page 194
‘Electric Lighting – A letter dated the 22d instant from Messrs Girlings Ltd was read putting forward a suggestion for lighting the Town with electric light. No action was taken in the matter’.

UDC Public Health Committee, 22 July 1924, page 328
Gas Company to be asked to quote for lighting the street lamps during the coming winter season.

Witham Gas Co., 25 July 1922 (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter from UDC. To write and say that Company had already taken into consideration the reduced price of coal.

Witham Gas Co., 17 July 1923 (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter UDC re street lighting. Agreed to reduce price from £2 15s to £2 12 6 per lamp.

Witham Gas Co., 8 August 1924 (D/F 27/7/1)
Secretary had written to Urban District Council after discussion with Directors, offering to light the 52 street lamps as before at £2 12s 6d per lamp from 1 September to 31 March 1925. UDC accepted.
UDC had asked whether Company would provide and light Gas Lamps ‘along the Cressing Road adjoining the Council’s Housing Site, and on what terms’. Long discussion.
Agreed to write and find out ‘whether the Council would fit up their houses, already erected and to be erected, for Gas consumption, this to include the service’ [i.e. beyond the first thirty feet]’ and also the approximate number of street lamps required.

UDC Housing Committee, 20 August 1924, page 1
Letter from Witham Gas Company. Terms for gas main in Braintree Road, asking how many street lamps. Surveyor instructed to ascertain cost of putting gas to Council houses for gas stoves.

UDC Housing Committee, 30 August 1924, page 10
Cressing Road lighting – estimated cost of pipes for gas stoves £2 per house. Resolved that Gas Co be asked to put main to ‘Braintree Road corner’ and put two lamps, one at the Bridge and the other at the corner, and that laying gas to houses be deferred.

UDC Public Health Committee, 22 September 1924, page 19
Applications from occupiers near Red Lion and occupants of almshouses in Guithavon Street for lighting and additional lamps. Surveyor to inspect.
Letter from Witham Gas Co. Shouldn’t be asked to continue main to Braintree Road corner for 2 lamps only till decision on lighting Cressing Rd.

UDC Housing Committee, 15 October 1924, page 32
Gas Co need assuring that all houses will want gas before continuing main along site. Tenants to be asked if prepared to use gas.

UDC, full Council, 17 October 1924, page 314
Resolved to light lamp at Woolpack in Church Street. Mr W Pinkham dissented.

UDC Public Health Committee, 19 December 1924, page 58
Cressing Road lighting. Correspondence with Witham Gas Co. Deputation to directors didn’t consider purpose in discussing further.

Witham Gas Co., 16 January 1925 (D/F 27/7/1)
Further correspondence with UDC re Cressing Road. Let drop pending further reply from Council.

UDC Public Health Committee, 23 January 1925, page 74
Letter from Witham Gas Co. Saying extending main to houses now being erected by Crittall in Braintree Road. Does Council still want two street lamps nearby. Resolved one on right hand side opposite Cressing Road.

UDC Public Health Committee, 23 January 1925, page 76
Petition by nine inhabitants in Mill Lane requiring lamp opposite Poplar Terrace be lighted. Agreed.

UDC Public Health Committee, 19 February 1925, page 89
Cressing Road lighting. Letters from Witham Gas Co received. Company prepared to place a ‘gas Standard opposite the entrance to Cressing road and light the same’ but not available till September because main not laid yet.

Witham Gas Co., 6 March 1925 (D/F 27/7/1)
More correspondence re Cressing Road. Agreed would lay main and services at 30s for each house.

Witham Gas Co., 17 April 1925 (D/F 27/7/1)
UDC did not accept terms for Council Houses. Leave letter on table. Nem Con.

UDC Public Health Committee, 22 May 1925, page 131
Letter from East Anglian Electricity Ltd read ‘asking for permission to erect overhead mains in certain Streets in Witham’ and also letter the company sent to the County Surveyor asking same about the roads he has charge of. Decided to give permission.
Clerk directed to point out that according to the plans, no provision made for Cressing Road where Council’s houses were erected.

Witham Gas Co., 7 July 1925 (D/F 27/7/1)
Application from Mr R W Wakelin ‘for leave to display sign on lamp-post opposite his Garage’. Said need agreement of UDC. But Company would not object if reasonable rent paid.

UDC Public Health Committee, 14 October 1925, page 180
Letter from British Oxygen Co asking for three lamp standards in The Avenue. Owners of Avenue would be prepared to provide if lit. Recommended OK.
James Sorrell, wrote letter re lighting the lamp near the telegraph post near his shop in Newland Street. Decided to inspect.

UDC Public Health Committee, 16 December 1925, page 195
‘Letter from Witham Gas Light and Coke Co’. Stating that as so many complaints are unfairly and erroneously levelled at their Directors, in regard to the bad and inefficient lighting of the streets, they felt that the time has now come when the Council should seriously consider the lighting of all the lamps. The same distance has to be covered in lighting the lamps at present in use as would be covered for the whole if lit, and the cost for the complete lighting of the town would not be a very great extra, and undoubtedly a well lighted town is a great inducement to prospective residents.’ Clerk to find out cost.

UDC Public Health Committee, 2 January 1926, page 206
Cost given re lighting all gas lamps. Wait till further terms later in year.

Witham Gas Co., 8 January 1926 (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter from UDC asking cost for lighting all the lamps.
Proposed that £2 11s 6d be quoted per lamp for rest of contract. Capt Abrey proposed amendment, that terms should be as now. Not seconded. Original proposal accepted nem con.

Witham Gas Co., 3 August 1926 (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter from Urban District Council asking terms for street lamps. Agreed could not quote ‘under the present position of the Coal industry’ but would when ‘Emergency Regulations removed and normal supplies of coal resumed’ and expect to be able to offer same terms as last year.

UDC Public Health Committee, 25 August 1926, page 270
Letter from Gas Co. ‘Under the present position of the Coal Industry they regret that they are unable to quote terms for street lighting’. Will when Emergency Regulations removed and then at same terms as last year. Emergency regulations ‘debar public Authorities from street lighting except at dangerous points on the road’. Deferred.

Witham Gas Co., 10 September 1926 (D/F 27/7/1)
Letter from UDC re lighting street lamps at the dangerous corners. Resolved they should be, price to be left open for moment. [end of minute book, next one doesn’t survive]

UDC Public Health Committee, 22 September 1926, page 278
Street lighting. Letter from Witham Gas Light and Coke Co. Directors agreed to light lamps at dangerous corners in the town, price to be left open for now. Surveyor and manager had agreed on 24 lamps which should be lit. Resolved yes.

UDC Public Health Committee, 14 October 1926, page 285
Letter from Gas Co. Price for 24 lamps agreed. Difficulty because of uncertainty in coal industry and price of gas coal rising and already abnormal. Price quoted, Clerk to obtain cost for unlighted lamps.

UDC Public Health Committee, 17 November 1926, page 296
Gas Co say now 84 unlighted lamps, charge will be £8. Agreed.

UDC Public Health Committee, 11 December 1926, page 305
Gas Co will light ‘the remainder of the lamps usually lighted at 5s per lamp’. To 31 Dec. From 1 Jan to 30 April 1927 will accept 30s per lamp. Accept.

UDC Housing Committee, 31 January 1927, page 317
Census of people requiring gas on Council estate taken. 87 people said required. Letter from Witham Gas Co about cost. Need guarantee that minimum of 75% of the houses will be fitted up for consumption of gas. No loan under Housing Acts. Negotiate with Gas Co.

UDC, full Council, 28 January 1929, page 412
Street lighting. Resolved that seal affixed to agreement with East Anglian Electricity Supply Co for lighting of three lamps, one each at the following points, Collingwood Road corner, Maldon Road corner, and corner near Gasworks where Bridge Street adjoining Newland Street.[previous reference in index to street lighting is 26 July 1926, when lighting for the coming season lighting referred to Public Health Committee]

Public Health Committee, 19 July 1929, pages 260 – 261
‘Street Lighting. The Clerk reported that he had written to the Gas Company for prices for lighting the street lamps for the ensuing Winter, and further that he had enquired from the East Anglian Electric Supply Co Ltd, the price for lighting three further lamps in the main street. He has not yet heard from the Gas Company as the Directors have not yet met and that the East Anglian Electric Supply Co wrote stating that the price for the lamps will be £7 15 6 per 300 watt lamp the lights to be placed on the Standards.
Resolved to recommend that the main street be lighted with electric light and Councillors Pinkham and Manning were asked to inspect the High Street and ascertain the positions of the lamps and report on the number of Gas Standards that could be dispensed with. The acceptance of a price be referred to the Finance Committee’.

Finance Committee, 24 July 1929, page 266
Street Lighting. Quote now received from Gas Company. i.e. for lighting all lamps except seven, £2 12 6 per lamp. For ditto except 17 lamps, £2 15 0 per lamp.
Councillors Pinkham and Manning had inspected, and ‘came to the conclusion that if twelve electric lamps are lighted between the Catholic Church and Poplar Hall then 33 gas lamps could be dispensed with. Approximate position given of 12 lamps.
Prices would be similar to doing it by gas but electricity ‘much more efficient’.
Resolved to recommend that electricity be adopted from Poplar Hall to Catholic Church and that Gas Company be asked to quote for lighting remainder of lamps as last season.

Public Health Committee, 9 Aug 1929, p 268
Street Lighting. East Anglian Electric Supply Company Ltd had written quoting for lighting nine further lights during ‘lighting season’ i.e. 1 September to 30 April inclusive. i.e. £7 10 6. Also in conversation between Clerk and manager, quoted £7 15 6 to light all year round from sunset to 11 p.m.
Committee looked at main street and decided 14 lamps would be needed.
Resolved to recommend they be all lit from sunset to 11 p.m. throughout year, provided Company quote same price as quoted for the further nine.

UDC, full Council, 17 August 1929, page 426
Resolved to adopt report of Public Health Committee re street lighting ‘so far as the number of electric lamps is concerned, and to request the East Anglian Electricity Supply Company to agree that the number consists of six 300 watt and six 200 watt lamps at £67 14 6 per annum, the lamps to be lighted from sunset until 11 p.m, from September 1st 1929 until April 30th 1930 inclusive. Left in hands of Chairman and Clerk to make best terms possible.
Gas lamps ‘The Witham Gas Light and Coke Co Ltd having quoted £2 16s per lamp for lighting all the street lamps as per last season with the exception of 33 in the main street’, resolved to accept.

UDC, November 1929, in Braintree and Witham Times, 29 November 1929, page 2
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.

UDC, 24 February 1930, in Braintree and Witham Times, 28 February 1930, page 3
Petition from residents of The Avenue, asking for better lighting. Clerk to write saying would be reviewed at next lighting season.

Public Health Committee, 16 July 1930 page 56.
Street lighting. Surveyor has asked for prices from Gas Co and Electric Co. Latter has tendered. Gas still to meet.

Pub Health Committee, 28 July 1930
page 62. Street lighting . Tenders from Gas Light and Coke Co and East Anglian Electricity Supply Ltd. Details. Recommend accepting Gas Co for 84 lamps at £2 16s 0d per lamp from 1 September 1930 to 30 April 1931, same as last year.

Public Health Committee, 15 October 1930, page 89.
Representations from various areas re inadequate street lighting.

Public Health Committee, 20 October 1930, page 91.
Street lighting. Prices obtained for extra lamps from Gas and Electricity Companies. Committee then visited The Avenue, The Market, Chipping Hill Bridge, Highfields Road, Millbridge Road. Recommend:
1. Electric light at end of Avenue in Newland Street moved and put in centre of junction.
2. Gas Company asked to increase power of lamp ‘on the Green opposite the Market’.
New electric light at Chipping Hill bridge. New ditto in Highfields Road. New ditto in Millbridge Road.

UDC December 1930, in Braintree and Witham Times, 2 January 1931, page 3
East Anglian Electricity Supply Co intended to put overhead main in White Horse Lane. Resolved to ask for underground main here as narrow and no footpath.

UDC, full Council, 23 February 1931 page 482
Electric light poles. Councillor Ebenezer Smith referred to minute of Public Health Committee of 16 November 1928 re removal of ‘electric light pole which is in a dangerous position near Millfield Terrace, Guithavon Valley, and that the pole has not yet been moved’. Resolved to instruct Clerk to draw attention of Company to it and request removal.

UDC Public Health Committee, 13 May 1931, page 182.
Cross Road. Street lighting. Ask Gas Company to arrange for supply of two gas standards in Cross Road, and move the two near junctions at each end of Cross Road, to light up Cross Road better.

UDC Public Health Committee, 15 July 1931, page 198.
Tenders received for lighting. Gas and Electricity. Agree to meet Braintree Manager of East Anglian Electricity Supply Co to discuss positions. Also question of removing some poles in dangerous positions.

UDC Public Health Committee, 22 July 1931, page 202.
Revised arrangement from Electricity Supply Company. Recommend that Committee ‘of opinion that the lighting of the streets will be better served by electricity’. Accept E A Supply Co tender. Subject to agreement. This was for ‘60 lamps in various positions’, according to plan, lighted from sunset till 11 p.m. from August 22 to April 30.
Gas was to be £2 6s per lamp for 86 lamps from 1 September to 30 April.

UDC, 27 July 1931, in Braintree and Witham Times, 30 July 1931, page 9
[implication that already some electric street lights]

UDC full Council of 26 July 1931, reported in Braintree and Witham Times, 30 July 1931?
‘STREET LIGHTING. Tenders were received from the Witham Gas Light and Gas Co. Ltd Ltd and the East Anglian Electricity Supply Co Ltd.

The gas company’s price is £2 16s per lamp for 86 lamps from 1st September to 30 April – £240 16s.

The electric light company’s price is for 56 lamps in various positions according to the plan deposited by them, from 9th August to 9th May (sunset until 11 p.m. – £150); Annual charge for equipment for 7 years – £80; Total £230. At the end of the 7 years the equipment would become the property of the Council. Alternatively the company would provide the equipment in the first instance for the sum of £500.

It was resolved to meet the Braintree manager of the East Anglian Electric Supply Company as to the positions and sufficiency of the lamps. The question of the removal of certain poles which are in dangerous positions would also be dealt with.

It was further reported that the Public Health Committee met two representatives of the East Anglian Electric Supply Company Limited in connection with their tender and the plan of proposed lamp positions. The suggested positions were visited and various alterations suggested, with the addition of four extra lamps, and the representatives of the company were requested to submit a revised price for the consideration of this Committee.

Subsequently the Public Health Committee considered a revised price from the East Anglian Electric Supply Co. Ltd., as follows:-

Sixty lamps in various positions according to the plan deposited, and as agreed by the committee on the 18th instant, lighted from sunset until 11 p.m. each evening from August 22nd to April 30th, the company to maintain all time switches and lamps, also renew lamps when necessary. Per annum – £156 10s. Annual charge for equipment for seven years – £88 10s. Total £245.

It was resolved that as the committee are of opinion that the lighting of the streets will be better served by electricity, the tender of the East Anglian Electricity Supply Co. Ltd be accepted, subject to an agreement being entered into to cover the whole of the existing and new lamps, and the insertion of a clause that in the event of the general charges for current being reduced in this area, the contract price shall receive consideration with a view to reduction.

The chairman [Mr Pinkham] said the price fixed would be the same as the electricity company charged Braintree. Witham was now entering upon something different than heretofore and they wanted to do so with their eyes fully open. After the matter was once settled it was settled for seven years. He did not see how they were going to get their lighting at a cheaper rate, and if the rest of the town was lighted with the efficiency demonstrated in the High Street the street lighting of Witham would certainly be improved.

Mr Burrows: I think it will make a big improvement.

The chairman added that by lighting the street by electricity it would be better in the long run for the tradespeople, because the more electricity there was consumed the cheaper it might eventually be.

The motion was then carried’.

UDC Public Health Committee, 13 January 1932, page 250.
Street lighting. Tender from Electricity Company re Powers Hall End and district. Defer.

UDC Finance Committee, 25 May 1932, page 21a.
Eb Smith had had complaints about distribution of street lights.

August 1932 in Braintree and Witham Times, review of the year, 29 December 1923, page 2
‘Braintree Council decides to continue use of gas for street lighting’.

UDC Public Health Committee, 14 September 1932, page 35.
Residents in Hatfield Road want street lights. Contact Electricity Co about this and other matters.

UDC Public Health Committee, 19 October 1932, page 49.
Electricity Company quoted for lights in Powershall End and Hatfield Road (five and four lights respectively). Ask them to proceed but negotiate terms for whole system. Put new light outside Police Station in Guithavon Street. Consider lighting of Lockram Lane.

UDC Public Health Committee, 25 October 1932, page 51.
Street lighting. Inspected at this meeting. Ask East Anglian Elec. Supply Co to ‘suspend the lamps across the following roads’ Collingwood, Avenue Road, The Avenue, railway Bridge. Newland Street and Bridge Street. Also various detailed alterations and movements of lights mentioned.

UDC Public Health Committee, 16 November 1932, page 57.
Enter new agreement with East Anglian Electricity Co for street lighting for 7 years.

UDC Public Health Committee, 14 December 1932, page 66.
Rev Campbell has suggested ‘that the light now at Chipping Hill immediately opposite the cottage site purchased from Mr Richards, be moved nearer the Pillar Box close to Mr Doole’s shop. This spot is in darkness and formerly a gas lamp was there which was very convenient for persons using the box at night’. Yes.

Also ask Gas Company to ‘move a gas standard now standing on the island in Avenue Road outside Messrs Cooper Taber’s factory, ‘to make room for the electric lamp now on that corner to be removed there to improve lighting there’.

UDC Public Health Committee, 15 November 1933, page 185.
Various alterations in arrangement of electric light poles, details given.

UDC Public Health Committee, 8 May 1935, page 14.
Recommend adopting report of Sub-Committee appointed by Public Health Committee re street lighting. Braintree Road, moving and some extra lights. Rickstones Road ditto. Church Street, Powershall End, Highfields Road, Guithavon Road, Guithavon Street and Newland Street and Bridge Street. Some places to have ‘tri multi reflector’ strung between two poles. Details. Improvement needed. Recommend beginning lighting half an hour after sunset instead of at sunset, and continue up to 11 30 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. Thanks to Mr McKinley, representative of East Anglian Electricity Supply Co Ltd, for his assistance and advice during inspection. 

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 18 December 1935
Extension of street lighting beyond Sauls Bridge proceeding.

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 16 December 1936, page 627.
Street lighting East Anglian Electricity Company submitted quote of lighting all year round at extra £10 3s 1d. At present from 9 August to 9 May, for £378.7.3 from half an hour after sunset to 11.30p.m. More on Silver End. Investigate and consider later.

Quotes from Gas Company for two lights at Homefield Road [electricity also seem to have quoted but gas a bit less and accepted]

UDC Water, Highways and Works Committee, 13 January 1937
page 663.
Street lights failing in Highfields. Take it up with Electricity Company.

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