Witham Urban District Council, Council minutes, the volume for 1911-1918 Reference E.R.O. D/UWi 1/1/3 Notes by Janet Gyford
Not comprehensive notes. Mostly looking for various specific subjects, sometimes by looking in the indexes in the original volumes. Page numbers given below are pages of the actual item, not the beginning of the meeting. 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 minutes. For other volumes of Council minutes, and for Committee minutes, search for minutes in a Search box, to see how far I've got.
7 November 1911
page 2. ‘Surveyor reported he had inspected Mr Blyth’s bakehouse and recommended same should be condemned owing to its being structurally unfit and also on a/c of a drain opening into the premises … decided to give the occupier notice to conform with the Factory Acts by the 31st December 1911.’
page 3. ‘Building Committee. Mr Hutley read report of Committee held on the 13th November 1911 which was adopted’.
page 4. ‘Read letter from Clerk of Essex County Council inquiring the Council’s reasons for applying for an extension of the motor car speed limit area when the Clerk was instructed to draft a letter in reply and submit same to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman’.
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 8. Insure against damage sustained from explosion of fire engine boiler, £300[?].
Get tenders for 150 willow setts for sewage farm.
page 9. Gas Company agrees to lay gas main in Guithavon Road and erect lamps at usual cost per lamp. Agreed to have four.
Royal Oak Benefit Society wants to hire a room for 30-50 persons. Refer them to the Public Hall Co Ltd.
‘Petition for gas lamps from residents of Chalks Road and Braintree Road’, refer to next meeting.
‘Letter from Horsemen asking for additional time in the morning to attend to their horses’ and enquiring as to Sunday work. Surveyor to instruct them.
Capt Abrey and Mr Bawtree proposed Boxing day as additional holiday on usual terms.
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.
26 February 1912
page 18. Plan of a new Fire Station referred to Building Committee.
The seven dead lime trees in Collingwood Road to be replaced.
page 20. Gas Company agreed mains in Albert Road and extension in Braintree Road and Chalks Road to be further considered. Accept.
page 21. Dr Gimson would ‘hire shooting’ over Sewage farm for coming season as before, £2 payment.
25 March 1912
page 24. Seven lime trees planted in Collingwood Road to replace dead ones. Write to Gas Company informing them that gas escape in Collingwood Road detrimental to trees, please remedy.
page 25. Surveyor prepared two sketch plans of proposed hospital. Refer to Hospital Committee and Building Committee,
Building Committee report adopted, plan of proposed fire engine station, stand over.
page 26. Invite applications for hire or purchase of fire engine house. Put notice on Council office and on Fire Engine House.
page 27. Appointment of Overseers, C Brown, H W Murrells, W Pinkham and J E Smith re-elected.
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.
29 April 1912, Annual meeting
Mr Pinkham proposed and Mr Hubbard seconded that Mr H F Bawtree be elected chairman.
Amendment from Mr Cranfield and Capt Abrey that Mr P Hutley be re-elected.
For amendment, Abrey, Brown and Cranfield. Against, Messrs Bawtree, Garrett, Hubbard, Pinkham and Smith. Original proposition, voted for by Messrs Bawtree, Garrett, Hubbard, Pinkham and Smith, rest not voting. Mr Bawtree took the chair.
Mr Bawtree and Mr Hubbard, proposed Mr J E Smith to be vice chair. Amendment by Capt Abrey and Mr Hutley, that Mr Cranfield be vice chair. Amendment lost. Original proposition carried nem. con.
Note: Philip Hutley was chair 1895-1919 except for this year when the proposal to have him as chair was defeated.
Five were against him i.e. William Pinkham (proposer, Liberal agent), James Hubbard (seconder, working men’s candidate), Hugh Francis Bawtree (the other candidate), Arthur William Garrett (possibly Liberal), Joseph Ernest Smith (Liberal, who was elected Vice Chair)
Three were for him were all Charles Cranfield (proposer), Capt Shafto Abrey (seconder) and Charles Brown
Philip Hutley himself did not vote.
page 32. Report of overcrowding in one of Guithavon Road almshouses. Serve notice.
‘Building Committee. Mr Hubbard inquired position of matter in reference to proposed erection of workmen’s dwellings when the clerk was instructed to again inquire of the Charity Trustees the purchase price of Bell Field.’
Hospital plans accepted with amendments.
page 33. Meeting held recommended to accede water supply to Messrs Cooper Taber and Co ‘at their trial ground’.
Gas Company said roots of trees caused the escape of gas. Told to write and say ‘the gas escaped before the trees were planted’.
Messrs Blyth, tender to purchase or hire Fire Engine House, refer to Fire Brigade Committee.
page 34. Move that Witham Gas Company be asked to stop closure for full moon and reduce price generally.
page 35. Gas Company agreed to gas mains in Braintree Road and Chalks Lane, on conditions.
Letter from Messrs Beaumont and Bright ‘on behalf of Messrs Crompton and Co’ enclosing draft agreement re ‘a scheme for electric lighting of Witham, and appealing to the Council for their permission to break the streets to lay the necessary mains and re-erect the poles’. Refer to Roads Committee.
Mr Glover wants pump removed ‘opposite his new garage in Newland Street’. Approved if at his expense and refixed if and when required.
29 May 1912
page 38. Letter from Mr C Roberts about ‘the amount allowed him viz. £3 10 0 per week for isolation of patient at his house was far from generous’. Agreed ‘to allow him £7 being two full weeks’ [Charles Roberts was at the Angel Inn].
page 39. Electric light. Proposed by Mr Hubbard seconded by Mr Brown, that permission be granted to Messrs Crompton and Co Ltd ‘to break the streets to lay the necessary mains and erect the poles’.
page 40. Trustees of Witham United Charities ‘not unwilling’ to sell Bell Field. Would have to have independent valuation. Agree.
Refer question of Hospital accommodation to Hospital Committee.
At the request of the ‘Witham Swimming Club’ permission was granted ‘for the use of the Bathing Place by Ladies for two hours on two mornings per week, also for the erection of the necessary notice boards at the club’s expense’.
[The Bathing Place, which belonged to Witham UDC, was in the River Blackwater, next to Whet Mead]
William Bindon Blood resigned from clerkship of UDC. Sympathy and regret. Ask him if he would keep his name as clerk, with Mr D Trotter as Deputy ‘to perform the duties’.
24 June 1912
page 45. More on hospital.
page 46. Letter from Mr H P Girling offering to lease old water works Buildings ‘for electric generating station’ if terms could be arranged, refer to Water Works Committee.
Agreement with Messrs Crompton and Co Ltd re ‘installation and supply of electrical energy’ was sealed.
11 July 1912, Extraordinary meeting
Letter from Essex County Council re scheme under National Insurance Act 1911, scheme for ‘District Dispensaries’. Agree. Confer with Dr Thresh re National Insurance Act.
29 July 1912
page 52. Many of footpaths ‘getting in a bad state.’ Surveyor suggests they be tarred. Instructed to tar and repair where necessary as in former years.
page 53. Get tenders for ‘repairing roof of old water tower’.
‘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’.
Waterworks. Mr Smith read report of meeting 26 July 1912 as to negotiations opened with Messrs Crompton for letting part of the old waterworks buildings to them at £30 p.a. on a 15 year lease, no option of renewal. Adopted.
‘Surveyor was instructed to procure two hydrants, at an approximate cost of £5 and place one between the Cherry Tree Inn and Elm Hall Farm, the other at the Waterworks’.
page 54. Recreation Ground. ‘Mr Cranfield reporting annoyance to users of the Ground in consequence of the disgraceful and disgusting language of the Boy Goody’, Mr Pinkham proposed and Capt Abrey seconded, write to him, give notice that would be prohibited if any further complaints. Amendment that he be prohibited straight away was lost. [The boy Goody probably suffered from Tourette’s syndrome; he was mentioned by some of the interviewees].
page 55. Letter from Witham United Charities, Mr W Gardner acting re valuation of Bell Field.
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.
Council in camera. Plan for wood and iron Hospital prepared on instruction of Hospital Committee. Proposed to approve. Site discussed. Council consider ‘present site’ undesirable because of water and sewers. Ask County Council if would sell about two acres ‘on west side of Maldon Road next Sauls Bridge’, part of Lot 1 at recent Pitt Estate sale. Agreed. Amendment to three acres lost.
24 August 1912
page 60. Mr A C Mens had had connection made to water supply for water for cattle and horses ‘in the Retreat Meadows’. Write. Not legal.
page 62. Letter from ‘Acting postmaster Witham in reference to adopting a uniform system of numbering houses in the Town’. Let it stand over.
page 63. Water for new factory of National Glove Company.
30 September 1912
page 67. ‘A runaway horse having knocked a tree down in Collingwood Road, this tree and other defective trees were ordered to be replaced’. Write again to Gas Company about damage from their defective mains.
pages 67-68. Don’t pursue original proposed hospital site because of drainage problems. Make offer to Essex County Council for two acres ‘of the field abutting on the Main Road and Howbridge Hall Lane, opposite Poplar Hall, at £50 an acre’. Adopt.
page 68. Delay in attending fire at Howbridge Hall on 7 September 1912, and reports re ‘conduct of some of the firemen’, referred to Committee [see photos M151, M152, M153].
Re Library. Mr Gilbert leaving neighbourhood, couldn’t continue as Hon Librarian. Vote of thanks to him. Capt Abrey also thanked for ‘the valuable books he had presented to the library’.
page 69. Complaints from Factory Inspector re ‘sanitary convenience’ at Messrs Richards and Sons Factory’. Unclean. Surveyor to inspect.
Mr Mens offered to pay for town water for cattle. Agreed.
Deputy Clerk, report re ‘conference in London as to the Motor Car Speed Limit through Witham High Street’. County Council taking time to consider whether they would support this Council’s application to Local Government Board. ‘Local Public Inquiry would follow unless opposition withdrawn’.
28 October 1912
page 72. Guithavon Road Bridge unsafe, decay of timbers, refer to Committee and put up notice board that dangerous for heavy traffic.
pages 73-74. Essex County Council said different site for hospital better as the piece the UDC wanted was valuable Perhaps another site belonging to Mr H F Bawtree in Maldon Road. Refer to Committee.
page 74. Re fire at Howbridge Hall. Committee report recommends letter be ‘sent to the Fireman who was undoubtedly the worse for drink’ reprimanding him. Charge against other firemen unfounded [see photos M151, M152, M153].
page 75. Library. Mr Stiff willing to be librarian. Agree to purchase books but Council to approve list.
Petroleum licences to Messrs Beard, Co-op, Doole, Glover Bros, Kettley, and Ortlewell and Son.
25 November 1912
page 78. Plans of proposed Slaughter house in Newland Street. Letter from Mr R Sorrell informing that he has purchased cottages at rear of premises to convert one block into slaughter house, would they grant licence if done. Passed.
Hospital. Essex County Council suggests Dengie Farm. Refer to Committee
page 79. Letter from Mr E Pelly as to extension of Motor Car Speed limit. Acknowledge [no details].
30 December 1912
page 82. Lay hardcore on Albert Road.
page 85. Charity Commission authorised sale of Bell Field at £375. Refer to Council in Committee.
13 January 1913
Council in Committee. Re Bell Field for housing. Agreed it is a desirable site. Agreed to buy the field if Local Government Board agree loan.
27 January 1913
page 90. ‘Brown horse “Prince” and Bay Horse “Captain” being reported unsafe owing to old age’, leave to Sewage Land Committee.
page 91. Letter from Recreation Ground Trustees. Would paint railings this year. Considering plans to erect Drinking fountain ‘as a memorial to the anonymous donor of £1,000, and the planting of additional trees and shrubs’ Agreed this would be acceptable if no expense to ratepayers now or afterwards.
pages 91 and 92. W Stock had resigned ‘owing to old age’. Asked if his son Fred could be appointed ‘to attend to the sewers’. Surveyor reported ‘Fred Stock was not a desirable person’. Appoint C Barber instead.
24 February 1913
page 96. C Barber resigned. C Algar appointed ‘to attend to the sewer’.
Agreed ‘the water trough near the Catholic Church which was recently damaged by a Motor, was ordered to be replaced’.
Tell Recreation Ground Trustees the Elm Tree nearest ‘the caretakers hut’ is dangerous.
page 97. Local Government Board letter. Need certain information re Bell Field. Small subcommittee to prepare scheme.
‘Letter enclosing Order extending the Motor Car Speed Limit area to the Red Lion Inn, and also 50 yards of Collingwood Road and Maldon Road, produced and read.’
Canon Ingles had complained of trees ‘being lopped so short’ in Collingwood Road. Resolved on casting vote of chairman they be not lopped this year.
pages 97-98. Letter from Witham postmaster, ‘asking Council to consider matter of renumbering of Streets’. Mr Pinkham and Mr Garrett proposed refer to Road Committee but amendment on proposal of Mr Smith carried, that lie on table.
Ask Postmaster to have the pillar boxes cleared Sunday nights.
Clerk’s costs £5 in connection with obtaining extensions of 10 mile speed limit for motor cars, passed.
31 March 1913
(Mr Bawtree still chair)
page 99. Congratulations to Mr Hutley on promotion to Aldermanic Bench of County Council. ‘In view of his 42 years membership of the Local Board and this Urban Council’ hoped Mr Hutley ‘would live long to enjoy the confidence of his constituents in this Division’. All spoke in favour.
page 103. Buildings on site of old Carpenters Arms. Set back Building line if County Council would pay compensation. Prepare estimate.
page 104. Dr Thresh proposed to hold inquiry about hospital. Pointed out Small Pox hospital at Cressing, ‘a model hospital’.
page 105. Application from Thomas Crow for licence ‘for a Model Lodging House at the premises of the Old Bell Inn’ Surveyor refused, Surveyor said not suitable in present condition.
Sanction to Messrs Burrows and Co Ltd ‘to issue a pocket guide to Witham’ provided no expense to council.
28 April 1913, Annual meeting
Capt Abrey and Mr Wakelin proposed Mr Hutley as Chairman.
Amendment Mr Pinkham and Mr Hubbard that Mr Smith be elected Chair. For amendment Messrs Pinkham , Garrett and Hubbard, Against, Abrey, Brown, Cranfield and Wakelin.
Original proposal put, Abrey, Brown, Cranfield and Wakelin for it, Garrett, Hubbard, Pinkham and Smith against. Temporary Chairman i.e. Mr Brown, voted for Mr Hutley who was therefore elected Chair
Hutley and Abrey proposed Cranfield as Vice Chairman. Amendment by Mr Smith and Mr Hubbard that Mr Garrett be Vice Chairman, Mr Garrett withdrew. Original motion put; for it were Messrs Abrey, Brown, Hutley and Wakelin. Against it were Messrs Pinkham, Smith and Hubbard. Mr Cranfield therefore elected Vice Chairman.
[ Note: This shows Philip Hutley returning as chairman.
Robert Wilfred Wakelin had replaced Hugh Francis Bawtree on the Council so Philip Hutley got it by the casting vote of the temporary chairman, Charles Brown, who thus got two votes. For the vice-chairman Mr Garrett would not stand, and Hutley voted for Cranfield, who thus got it.]
page 100. Letter from Chelmsford Brewery re licensing ‘Old Bell Inn’ as Model Lodging House. Tell them do work on Health Act requirements then will consider it.
County Council not willing to sanction proposed site for hospital because in river valley and part liable to flood. and not good for diphtheria and scarlet fever. But if Local Government Board approved then County Council wouldn’t object. Clerk to reply that not in a river valley and not liable to flood.
Deputy Clerk leaving for Montreal in a fortnights time. Regret. Thanks. Able.
26 May 1913
page 113. Resignation of John Woodwind, caretaker at Recreation Ground.
Bad smell from drain opposite the Red Lion. Investigate.
page 114. Letter from employees asking for wages to increase from 15 shillings to 17 shillings per week. Refer to Committee.
Deputation of Ratepayers ‘in reference to establishing Swimming Baths for the District’. Mr E Pelly said Reservoirs at Old Water works could be converted and set out costs. Deputation left. Refer to Committee of whole council to meet later.
Meeting held at Hospital site. There Dr Thresh had suggested approaching neighbouring authorities. Adopted.
page 115. Agreed Post Office could erect ‘overground telegraph line along the White Notley Road’.
page 116. In Camera. Write to Colchester Hospital re taking infectious cases.
30 June 1913
page 119. Plans for old Bell Inn. Proposed improvements not yet done.
Meeting had recommended that ‘crossing setts be removed when adjacent roads were made up’. Get an iron drinking cup ‘to attach to the pump opposite Catholic Church’.
Sewage Land. Increase 1s a week to workmen except [???] must have typed the name wrong as it doesn’t make sense]. Carried. Letter from C Barber wanting additional pay for Sunday at Sewage Farm. Let it lie on table.
A Sneezum interviewed for caretakers job at Recreation Ground and appointed at 18s a week. Proposed adopt uniform of frock coat and cap. Amendment that cap and straw hat with band inscribed WUDC, was carried.
page 120. In Committee. Meeting had been held which recommended
(1) Adopt Baths and Washhouses Act.
(2) get estimate for converting reservoirs to Swimming bath, and get MOs opinion ‘as to proper temperature of water for bathing in safety’.
(3) Write to Lord Rayleigh for consent to use water for this.
page 121. Letter from Chelmsford Brewery. Plan drawn up for the Bell, and ‘pointing out class of Lodgers Mr Crowe proposed to cater for’. Capt Abrey presented petition signed by upwards of 250 residents ‘praying that premises be not registered as a common lodging house’. Letters from Messrs. G Bradshaw, and W Goodchild ‘withdrawing their previous testimonials’. Agreed not to register it. Capt Abrey and Mr Hubbard and Messrs Cranfield, Garrett, Pinkham and Smith voted for proposition not to. Messrs Brown, Hutley and Wakelin against the proposition.
Application from Post Office for ‘underground telegraph line’ along Newland Street and Bridge Street. Approved.
In Camera. Hospital. Colchester wouldn’t take cases. Write to Maldon.
28 July 1913
page 126. Condolences to Mrs Hubbard and family on great loss in death of Councillor J Hubbard, long associated with Council and Board of Health.
page 127. Plans for Electric Theatre. Refer to Council in Committee. Surveyor suggested setting back.
page 129. In Camera. Hospital. Maldon stated terms. Meet them.
25 August 1913
page 132. Architect of Electric Theatre agreed to set it back. Refer to Building Committee.
Letter from Mr G P Bath, danger to children, young men playing cricket on Recreation Ground. ‘Growing practice of the use of bad language by young men and lads’ reported by Pinkham, refer to Committee.
page 133. Factory Inspector, report on Mr J D Dean’s workshop in Bridge Street. Needs cleansing. Also National Glove Factory, gas ‘stove for heating irons discharging fumes into puffing room’. Inspect.
In Camera. Terms from Maldon re use of their Hospital. Meeting held. Accept terms as from 26 August 1913.
29 September 1913
page 138. Surveyor had inspected ‘Mr Dean’s wheelwright’s shop’. Didn’t see need of cleansing. Glove Factory is seeing to the problem.
Drinking cup on pump opposite Catholic Church recently broken. Get wrought iron one.
page 139. Recreation Ground Committee, said nothing to be done re Mr G P Bath letter and recommend letter to lad Goody. Adopt, except say Goody will be forbidden and not banned.
page 141. Letter from Churchwardens, resolution from Vestry meeting. Not much room left for burials at All Saints. Find out if Council could legally contribute sum to Churchwardens for a Burial Ground.
Support petition received, and send it to Great Eastern Railway Company, i.e. asking for improved train service from London.
27 October 1913
page 144. Re Road Committee. Resolved that ‘matter of numbering houses and affixing name plates for streets’ be referred to Road Committee.
Thanks to Revd E M Edmunds for services as Council representative on Managers of Witham Council Schools. Appoint Captain Abrey instead (J E Smith suggested but defeated).
pages 145-46. Council could not legally contribute to Churchwardens for Burial Ground. A Committee of whole Council to meet Churchwardens.
24 November 1913
page 148. Consumption of coal by the engines increasing. Perhaps inferior coal. Investigate and also overhaul engines.
page 150. Letter from Mr H Page, that Market Company proposed to put fence round property Offered to sell Council part of land for widening footpath. Council meet there to confer.
2 December 1913, adjourned meeting
page 151. At market field. Land offered would not be enough to improve. Price asked.
To Council chamber to discuss burial ground. Urgent. Resolved that enlargement of All Saints graveyard ‘is inimical to the best interests of the Town, would not be beneficial to the health of the town, would seriously decrease the value of adjacent house property and thus decrease the rateable value, would only be sufficient … for a short period’. So agreed Council provide under Burial Acts of 1852 onwards. Sent to Local Government Board.
29 December 1913
page 154. Burial Ground. Discussed. Tell churchwardens.
Mr Wm Courtauld of Halstead had told Surveyor that there is ‘no 10 mile limit post erected in Mill Lane’. Ask County Surveyor to put up warning posts where necessary.
Re meeting of Road Committee, 29 November, recommending ‘that owners be asked to have their houses numbered and that no street name plates be put up’ was referred back to the Committee.
Letter from Postmaster re desirability of numbering. Reply that being considered.
page 157. Application from Post Office for consent for erection of ‘overground telegraphic line’ across Guithavon Street. Approved.
Secretary of Witham market offered to sell area required for widening path, refer to Road Committee.
Letter from Chelmsford Brewery Company, would Council consider further plans for Model Lodging House at Old Bell. No, must adhere to previous decision.
Letter from R W Wakelin, asking permission to carry electric wires from his house to Collingwood Road. Refer to Road Committee.
page 158. Witham United Charities had sent ‘ages’ of Parochial charities [in accordance with earlier request from Council not noted; probably means ages of people receiving charity]. They didn’t give names of recipients of bread and coal, and amounts. Ask them.
26 January 1914
page 161. Brown horse (Boxer) ‘unfit for work owing to farcy[?]’ Mr Horner, MRCVS, was treating him. Report referred to Sewage Land Committee, as was the purchase of another horse.
page 162. Letter from Superintendent Engineer of Post Office Telegraphs, complaining of delay re Guithavon Street permission. Agreed to delegate to Surveyor in future.
‘Read letter from Local Government Board with reference to an Inquiry as to Housing conditions, when the Officers of the Council were instructed to afford the Inspector all necessary assistance in the prosecution of his Inquiry’.
pages 162-163. Witham United Charities, re. periodical distribution of coal, would send list in due course.
Report that would provide a cemetery endorsed. Ask Lord Rayleigh if would sell fields 84 and 122 on OS map adjoining Highfields Road near railway bridge, also to Mr E Larn for price of field near Victoria Cottages.
Witham market to be asked price.
Re cemetery, Mr Larn offered ‘Wheelers field’ near Victoria Cottages at £330, refer to Committee.
page ? Road Committee report of 2 January 1914 adopted. No details.
30 January 1914
page 164. Tell market would not pay what they asked.
Brown horse Boxer ‘had been killed’. Don’t retain the horse received from Mr A C Mens. Mr Hutley and Brown to buy another.
23 February 1914
page 168. Brown horse Boxer has been killed on advice of Mr Horner. Horse Prince unfit. So Messrs Brown and Hutley to buy two.
page 169. Advertise for tenders for new bridge over Brain in Guithavon Road.
Agree request from Secretary of Witham Cricket Club to close the Recreation Ground on Wednesday and Thursday June 24 and 25 for ‘the County Cricket match in the Park’.
Re cemetery, Lord Rayleigh would sell fields 84 and 123 if favourable offer. Ask him price.
30 March 1914
page 175. Reference to doing work to Mr Goodey’s Cottage, Old Waterworks Cottage, and Sewage Farm Cottage.
Tender accepted for new bridge over Brain. Messrs McLaughlin and Harvey.
page 176. Mr Brown had purchased a brown horse from the Witham Cartage Co, Mr Horner said it was sound. Make other purchases subject to vet’s opinion also.
page 177. County Medical Officer has said the sewage system is unsatisfactory. Overflow, etc. Tell him it is receiving attention.
page 178. Re cemetery, Hon E G Strutt said he was not keen to quote prices for Lord Rayleigh’s land unless it is a serious prospect. Tell him it is. Ask Mr Blood too, for field of approx 9½ acres on right hand side of Braintree Road.
List of recipients of Barnardiston coal charity sent by Charities [no details].
27 April 1914, Annual meeting
page 181. Mr Pinkham proposed J E Smith be chairman, seconded by Mr Garrett. Amendment proposed by Mr Hutley, seconded by Mr Richardson, that Q D Greatrex be chair. For amendment, there were the proposer and seconder, and Messrs Abrey, Taber Wakelin. Against it were Messrs Garrett, Pinkham and Smith. So Mr Greatrex chosen.
Capt Abrey and Mr Greatrex proposed that Mr Hutley be vice chair. Amendment by Mr Pinkham and Mr Garrett that Mr Smith be Vice Chairman. Amendment lost. So Mr Hutley to be Vice Chairman.
[Note: This is a continuation of ‘Conservative’ chairmanship, this time with Q D Greatrex instead of Philip Hutley.
There had been more changes of Council membership, i.e.
James Hubbard [Working Man’s] had died. Off was Charles Brown [Cons] and Charles Cranfield [Cons]
On were Charles Stewart Richardson, Quintin Dick Greatrex, Walter Taber [all probably Cons]
Voting for Joseph Smith [Liberal] were William Pinkham [Liberal] and William Garrett [probably Liberal]
For Q D Greatrex [Cons] were Philip Hutley, Richardson, Capt Shafto Abrey, Taber, Robert Wilfred Wakelin.]
page 185. Ask Mr Partridge to send a horse on approval.
Messrs Duffield And Son, want lodging house at Old Bell Inn. Let it lie on the table and acknowledge.
25 May 1914
Condolences to Mr Cranfield on sudden death of his wife.
page 188. Proposal from County Surveyor re classification of roads, and suggestion for census of traffic.
Diving stand at bathing place, ladder, seat, and posts, need repair.
[this reference and others below, relate to the bathing place in the River Blackwater which had been run by the Council for some time.]
Letter from Secretary of Witham Swimming Club that Diving Board unsafe, club would contribute to good one. Surveyor to get prices etc. Refer to Committee.
‘Hammond was appointed to watch Bathing place as usual’.
Committee authorised to purchase the mare which had on approval.
page 189. Surveyor, estimates for street name plates and door numbers. Messrs Garnier and Co’s tender accepted, i.e. Street name plates 3d. per letter net. Door numbers 27s. per gross, net.
Proposed to agree with Barking Urban District in protesting at proposed erection of offices at Chelmsford by County Council for £50,000. Proposal to support protest was lost, let it lie on table
29 June 1914
page 193. Some hospital bedding, bedstead etc in store. Ask Maldon if want it.
page 194. Brown horse Prince to go to Witham market for auction. Adopt Sewage Land Committee recommendation, re purchase of chestnut mare on approval from Mr Partridge.
Accept tender from Messrs Richards for new diving board et al.
Recreation Ground, get estimates for repair of seats and new see-saw.
Broken glass and tins had been used to fill ruts in ‘chaseway leading to Bathing Place’. Surveyor to get gravel instead.
page 196. Still against lodging house at Bell.
Letter from Mr E Pelly re deputation a year ago for swimming pool at water works. Would the Council lease to one or two ratepayers to do it? To Committee.
Messrs Cullen and Nichols, licence to keep petroleum.
27 July 1914
Brown horse Prince sold at auction for £13 2s 6d.
page 201. Owing to finances at present, couldn’t convert the waterworks for swimming pool, but if Committee would pay then would consider it.
page 203. Messrs Blyth and Son, wrote, would Council sell Fire Engine House. Write that not willing to sell at present.
19 August 1914, extraordinary meeting
Letter from County Surveyor for ‘schemes for useful road widenings that could be carried out by unskilled labour in view of the possible distress that may be caused during the War’. Surveyor to prepare scheme.
31 August 1914
page 207. Supplying company can’t sign contract for basalt because of war. Refer to another meeting.
page 208. Postpone census taking on the roads because of the present position.
Letter from County Council, please constitute District Committee to assist the Special Committee appointed for County ‘to assist them in dealing with distress caused by the War, and where necessary in distributing relief, and also in collection of subscriptions to the National Relief Fund’. Form Committee, of Council representative Q D Greatrex, Board of Guardians representatives Capt S Abrey and Mr W Pinkham, one, representative of railway Trade union to be appointed by selves. Mr M Hanson Pullen. The Misses Gimson, Howard-Vyses, and Pattisson as representatives of the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association.
‘Issue public notice of resolution forwarded by Home Office, which was unanimously adopted at conference all the leading London retail traders: That it is neither desirable nor necessary in existing circumstances to dismiss any assistants, but that if economies in the carrying on of business are necessary they should be met by other means’.
Memo from Local Government Board re Local Authorities giving leave of absence to employees ‘called out for active service’ and making payments. Surveyor reported that N Barber joined 2nd Essex Regiment. Resolved to pay his wife 8s. a week and not to fill his place permanently.
Letter from Witham Co-op applying for representation on Committee of Prince of Wales National relief Fund. Give to the Committee.
21 September 1914, extraordinary meeting
Letter from County Council Medical Officer of Health, suggesting applying to Local Government Board for permission to make measles and chicken pox notifiable, ‘in view of the possibility of Troops being billeted in the District’. Agreed.
28 September 1914
page 213. Guithavon Road bridge would be completed this week.
Letter from Post Office, intend to break up highway for ‘underground telegraphic line’ [doesn’t say where].
Salary of Assistant Overseer to be increased for this year.
‘Soldier employees’ wives’ to be allowed 4s. a week instead of 8s. after 1 October
page 215. Clerk reported position of proposed purchase of Bell Field. Refer to Council for future.
26 October 1914
page 218. ‘The charge to be made for water where soldiers were occupying empty houses, warehouses, etc. was fixed at 1s. per day per building’. Surveyor to get payment. Pumps at work for 70 hours last week, as against 58 hours the first week of the month. If this continues Mr Goody would need help.
Letters complaining of ‘slippery condition of the hills near the Jubilee Oak and opposite the Avenue Entrance, and asking for sand. Tell Surveyor.
page 219. Local Government Board have approved extension of infectious disease scope.
Letter from Sir Fortescue Flannery Bart suggesting that Council thank the Great Eastern Railway Company for the improved train service. Yes.
Letter from Miss Howard Vyse suggesting that some of amount allowed to Soldiers’ employees’ wives be kept back for the men ‘when they returned home’. Telling Council she proposed to start a Savings Club, the sum of money could go to that. Write and say in sympathy but not able to carry out.
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.
23 November 1914, extraordinary meeting
Letter from Mr P E Laurence. Committee formed with view to establishing ‘some hot and cold water baths for the benefit of the troops in Witham’. Would council meet deputation to discuss site to adapt or construct temporary Building ‘to cover 4 or 5 baths’ and supply the water. Ask Council to help but get expense from private enterprise.
Mr Laurence said site proposed was the old water works, existing coal shed could be adapted, using water which at present runs away, he should arrange the use of the water with Lord Rayleigh. No burden on rates. Small charge for use. Will Council support. Proposed that Council give the Committee power to do it. Carried nem con, Mr Garrett didn’t vote. Present water supply ought not to be used because consumption had increased 30 or 40 per cent, but OK ‘to tap the old main in Mill Lane, failing the scheme at the Old water works’.
30 November 1914
page 225. Plans for Bookstall, also to be used at Refreshment Stall ‘at the new Rifle Range’ for Messrs W H Smith. Temporary so no objection.
Request from Mr G J Hicks, ‘the refreshment caterer at the stall’ for permission to draw approximately 30 gallons of water per day ‘from stand pipe at Victoria Inn’. Agreed, he to pay 2s. a month.
Report of Waterworks Committee recommends waste land at new water works be offered in lots to Council’s workmen rent free, and Mr Goodey to have assistance whilst troops at Witham. Adopted.
page 226. Resolved on proposal of Mr Pinkham, clerk ‘to write to Colonel Commanding 7th Warwickshire Regiment; suggesting that War Office be approached re provision of ‘a Disinfector’ for use of troops in Witham.
Letter from Local Government Board of 3 November 1914, together with letter 9 July 1914, re housing conditions of District, refer to Housing Committee.
28 December 1914
page 229. Medical Officer of Health reported case of Enteric fever, viz. Private Cross Ar.C. billeted at Sewage Farm. Sent to isolation hospital.
Correspondence with Lieut Col Elton and ‘Mr P E Laurence (Chairman of the Baths Committee)’ re provision of a ‘Disinfector’. Clerk write to Col Elton suggesting a ‘Thresh Disinfector’ at cost of War Office.
Granite delivery delayed.
pages 230-231. Mr W E Shee resigned as Assistant overseer because of ill health. Regret. Appoint Mr A F Claydon to assist pro tem.
25 January 1915
Mr Cranfield had died. Condolence to his family.
page 234. Case of scarlet fever viz. Miss Aldridge of London House Drapery Stores, to Heybridge Hospital. Also diphtheria Serjt Palmer billeted at Mrs Ellis’s Newland Street, sent to Heybridge by ‘the Military’.
Extra cost of some materials, re granite.
Surveyor couldn’t get labour to clear recent heavy snow. ‘Empowered to approach the Military‘ at rate same as given to casual labourers.
page 235. Local Government Board asked was the district being inspected in accordance with Housing regulations. Re insanitiaryness etc. Refer to Housing Committee.
Letter from Lieut Col 7th Batt Warwickshire Regt, ‘War Office said provision of Disinfector for use at the Baths superfluous’.
Applications for assistant overseer. Appoint Mr A F Claydon.
In camera: re charging patients for maintenance whilst at Heybridge Hospital. Resolved specific contributions
Fred North: 4s. a week viz. £2, actual cost is £30 12s 9d.
Mrs H Jones: half actual cost, viz. £11 9s 1d a week (cost £22 18s 3d).
Jack Smith: £1a week, actual cost is £21 12s 6d.
Alice Candy: £1 a week, actual cost is £17 15s 3d.
22 February 1915
page 240. House inspection being proceeded with. 86 inspected to date. Record cards made out.
Letter from Lieut Col R A M C re charge for water supplied ‘at Pelican House’ viz. 1s per day, which he said was ‘excessive in comparison with White Hall’. Also letter from ‘Deputy Assistant Quarter Master General S M Division in reference to water supply to other houses occupied by Military. Discussion. Tell them ‘as the Military in larger houses used an abnormal quantity of water the charge of 1s on the smaller houses counterbalance the extra water used in the large houses’.
page 241. Application from Council’s employees for increase of 2s in wages because of increased ‘cost of living caused by the War’. Granted.
Dr K C Gimson to shoot over sewerage farm as before for £2.
page 242. Increased cost of wagon hire from coal contractors.
29 March 1915
page 246. Guithavon Road bridge passed test. Mr Smith remarked on ‘unsatisfactory manner … of the finish of the bridge’. Surveyor to tell contractors the rough finish and amend.
Letters from County Surveyor and Road Board informed him that War Office requested that ‘nothing but rehydrated or refined tar’ be used on roads ‘owing to crude tar, which contains certain bye products, being required by the Government for manufacturing high explosives’. Agreed.
Bad state of ‘Main Road footpath’ because of telegraph lines. Tell the authorities.
page 247. Deputation to visit Dr K C Gimson re his resignation as Medical Officer.
Re Housing Committee ‘Mr Pinkham reported that as the Local Government Board were not prepared at present to sanction any further loans for building houses’, meeting was not convened.
26 April 1915, Annual meeting
Mr Greatrex proposed and Mr Wakelin seconded Mr Hutley for chair. Unanimously elected. Mr Hutley and Mr Pinkham proposed Mr Greatrex for vice chair, unanimously elected.
page 252. Couldn’t make allowance to Mrs N Barber whose husband in National Reserve.
Re Recreation Ground Committee, report of 1 April 1915 re. Military using Recreation Ground, adopted.
Re Finance Committee, adopt recommendations, e.g. asking War Office who is responsible for rates on houses occupied by military.
page 253. Dr K C Gimson unable to withdraw resignation. Regret. Thanks. Courteous manner, assistance and advice.
Local Government Board letter, re progress of house inspections, and erection of cottages. no reason why scheme couldn’t be submitted for carrying out later. Refer to Committee
Letter from Mr C C Roberts ‘with a quotation for insurance against Bombs’ read. Resolved not to effect it.
31 May 1915
page 256. Arrangements for having the Bathing Place watched.
Finance Committee report including asking landlords for rates on houses occupied solely by troops.
In camera. Cemetery Committee of whole Council reported that considered three acres of Cocks Farm estate suitable for cemetery. Negotiate with Mr Blood. Mr Blood offered to sell field 170 for £325 proposed to accept.
page 257. Accepted Finance Committee report of May 10th recommending that waterworks manager’s salary be increased by 3 shillings per week from 3 May last and Surveyor’s salary by £10 per annum from ditto.
(monthly payments to waterworks manager (Mr Goodey), extracted from minutes on other dates:
|28 December 1914||£6||£1 10s x 4|
|25 January||£6||£1 10s x 4|
|22 February||£6||£1 10s x 4|
|29 March 1915||£7 10s||£1 10s x 5|
|26 April 1915||£6||£1 10s x 4|
|31 May 1915||£8 5s||£1 13s x 5|
|28 June 1915||£6 12s||£1 13s x 4|
|26 July 1915||£6 12s||£1 13s x 4|
|30 August 1915||£8 5s||£1 13s x 5|
|27 September 1915||£6 12s||£1 13s x 4|
|25 October 1915||£6 12s||£1 13s x 4|
|29 November 1915||£8 5s||£1 13s x 5|
|20 December 1915||£6 12s||£1 13s x 4|
21 June 1915, extraordinary meeting
Letter from Mr J Daldry, enclosing plan of temporary ‘Recreation Hut which the national Committee of the YMCA had been asked to erect for the use of His Majesty’s Forces billeted in Witham’ and asking permission to put it up on site ‘near the old water tower’. Proposed yes and compensate tenant for loss of crop. For it was Pinkham, Smith and Garrett. Against, Abrey Greatrex, Richardson Wakelin, lost. Refer to Building Committee with power to act if site secured.
28 June 1915
page 263. Re enteric fever cases. Put up notice at Sewage Farm and other places warning of ‘the danger of eating uncultivated water cress’.
Building Committee report, sanctioning erection of YMCA hut, adopted.
Finance Committee adopted including, fixing completion of purchase of field for cemetery, for Michaelmas 1916.
page 264. Importance of having signal for firemen at present time, and additional hose. Refer to committee.
One application for Medical Officer of Health, Dr E Bertram Smith. Agreed to appoint.
page 265. Complaints from Mr Blyth about effect of Guithavon Road bridge on his mill. Acknowledge.
[The bridge was new built. Before this there had been a wooden bridge]
26 July 1915
page 268. More cases of enteric fever. Discussion about possible origin. Inspector of nuisances suggested fowls in yard at back of cottage where fever started. Abate.
Write to ‘Colonel Commanding the Royal Engineers informing him of nuisance in Avenue Road, reported by Mr Richardson, arising through manure heaps being left at the side of the road’.
page 270. Dr E A[?] Smith came, thanks Council for appointing him Medical Officer of Health. Said might be leaving ‘for a few months on War Service in France’ so leave appointment in hands of Council. Decided to proceed.
Letter from Mr J Daldry agreeing on behalf of YMCA to conditions re ‘recently erected Hut’.
Circular from Local Government Board re National Registration Act.
page 271. Suggest public service in Church on 4 August at 6 p.m., being anniversary of declaration of war, to coincide with service that King and Queen would attend in St Paul’s. Ask Canon Ingles. Also resolved to hold a Public Meeting afterwards.
30 August 1915
pages 273-74. Mr Blyth came. Complaint of earth against wooden fence. And detrimental effect on mill power of bed of river being one foot higher when bridge put up. Resolved that Council do not admit liability. Agreed with Surveyor that river bed not appreciably higher.
Mr Edward Cooper had died of Phthisis at Bridge Street. Disinfection done.
Apparent increased water consumption. Pumps not lifting enough, perhaps sand corrosion. Refer to Water works Committee.
Local Government Board limited sanction to new Medical Officer of Health to 31 March, as decide should hold office on same terms as he holds for North Essex Combined District.
Letter from Dr Smith saying Red Cross Society ‘desperately in need of a medical man for service in France at once’, had consulted chairman and decided to go on Saturday 21 August. Dr Gimson promised to act while away. Agreed.
Unanimous vote of thanks ‘to the gentlemen’ for voluntary services under National Registration Act 1915.
13 September 1915, extraordinary meeting
Letter from Mr Asher Prior for Messrs Blyth re damage as before. If no satisfactory settlement, injunction and damages will be sought. Long discussion. Committee of three to report.
page 279. Aircraft Insurance. Clerk instructed to insure Council’s property against ‘damage by Aircraft’.
‘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.
Mr Garrett said ‘a quantity of Gun cotton was stored at Witham House’ and he considered it danger because near other property. So bring to attention of ‘Officer Commanding South Midland Royal Engineers’, and say please take precautions ‘to safeguard the residents of Witham’ if it is necessary to store it there.
17 September 1915
Write to Asher Prior that Council no liability re Mr Blyth’s mill.
27 September 1915
page 284. Finance Committee recommend inter alia that no charge against patients whose cases came before Committee for maintenance in hospital.
Letter from Board of Trade. Importance of accumulating stock of coal, and arrange with merchants to limit price.
Letter from Lieut Col Royal Engineers saying all proper precautions are taken re explosives.
page 285. Sealed agreement to purchase cemetery site.
25 October 1915
Serious illness of Mr S Richardson’s wife, letter of sympathy.
page 288. Fire Brigade Captain had instructed Firemen ‘that when hostile aircraft were in the neighbourhood to assemble at the Fire station on hearing the military whistles’. Agreed.
Read letter from Lieut Col Royal Engineers informing the Council he was arranging a scheme to be put into operation in the event of air raids on the Town which might cause conflagrations, and asking the Council whether they would work in co-operation and inquiring what provision the Council had in the shape of a Fire Brigade and Fire appliances. ‘ Reply willing to co-operate as far as possible and tell him arrangements so far.
Recreation Ground Committee. Reported death of caretaker’s son wounded in France. Letter of sympathy to Mr Sneezum.
School Medical Officer of Health has joined the forces, will UDC Medical Officer of Health do schools. Ask him.
Dr Smith, to have leave of absence for four months from 29 September.
Letter from Lady Paget[?whether I typed this right] asking for co-operation on November 18th, to be known throughout British Isles as ‘Russias Day’ and arrange flag day. Ask Miss Pattisson to do it.
Letter from Joint Secretaries of ‘Maldon division Parliamentary Recruiting Committee’ asking for member to serve on Committee. Elect Mr P Hutley.
Local Government Board approved Dr K C Gimson as Deputy Medical Officer of Health temporarily.
page 291. Application from ‘officer commanding Royal Engineers for water to be laid on the Horse Lines[?] in Mill Field’. Leave to Surveyor.
4 November 1915, Extraordinary meeting
To consider format of ‘Local Recruiting Appeal Committee’ as required by Local Government Board. The following were unanimously appointed to Committee, Capt S Abrey, Mr Q D Greatrex, Mr P Hutley, Mr J E Smith, Hon C H Strutt (or Mr A W Garrett if Strutt wouldn’t).
Clerk had invited ‘3 Ladies’ to undertake work re Russias Day but other duties meant they couldn’t. Ask Miss Edith Luard.
Circular from Sec ‘National Committee for Relief in Belgium’ suggesting special appeal on 15 November for funds and explaining schemes. Carry out as far as possible.
29 November 1915
page 294. D Jopson applied for increase in wages as ploughman as he understood ploughmen were now getting £1 per week. At present he gets 18s. Decided to review all wages.
Finance Committee report includes recommendation that payment of compensation to Mr J Brown for cemetery field be left to Committee.
Mr Pinkham reported a landlord had increased rent of a cottage from 4s 9d to 7s a week. Occupier was married soldier now in France. Rent Bill now before Parliament. So propose to urge on Government, the need that a bill prohibiting raising of rents on small houses should apply to all UK and not just certain areas. Carried.
page 296. Letter from Lieut Col J Colvin, together with proceedings of meeting at Chelmsford to discuss County organisation for co-ordinating Voluntary work. Agreed no further steps because independent organisations in District carry on the work contemplated.
20 December 1915
page 299. Finance Committee had resolved that any of employees engaged in ploughing should get £1 a week.
Letter from Mr W J Perry . Dangerous condition of the three wooden bridges over ditches from Witham to Little Braxted. Surveyor to fix if Clerk thought Council was responsible.
Bad condition of path from Lockram Lane to Valley. Instruct Surveyor to make it up. Also tell Mr Blood about bad condition of his path leading from Collingwood Road.
31 January 1916
page 303. Mr Garrett enquired why no plans presented for ‘the Building standing in Mrs Claydon’s Meadow, Mill Lane’. This was because it was portable and temporary. But draw attention of Overseers to rating.
page 304. Report of Finance Committee recommended that Mr C Roberts be instructed to collect ‘the rates owing in respect of the property occupied by the troops, from the owners’.
Telegram from Lord Derby to County Council, encourage recruiting under Lord D’s recruiting scheme.
9 February 1916, Extraordinary meeting
To appoint Local Tribunal under the Military Service Act 1916. Proposed that the five members of the existing local tribunal viz. Messrs Abrey, Greatrex, Hutley, Smith and Strutt be appointed under Act. Agreed.
Also resolved on proposal of Mr Greatrex that Messrs Ebenezer Smith and Edward Wood be appointed as ‘Labour representatives; if they consent’.
Also resolved that Mr Walter Taber be appointed.
28 February 1916
pages 307-308. Letter from Council’s employees, want increase of 2s. a week because of extra cost of living in War. Resolved to grant extra 1s. a week.
page 309. Letter from Brigadier General H Greenfield enquiring whether Council would ‘undertake the display and distribution of notices warning the public as to the possible harm caused by indiscreet discussion in reference to the war or of any matters connected therewith’. Resolved to give all assistance and obtain 100 notices.
27 March 1916
page 313. Owing to ‘Hammond joining the Army’, arrangements for Council employee to ‘inspect horse each day’, pay 1s. a week.
Draw attention of Mrs Hammond to resolution earlier, barring tenant of Sewage Farm cottage from taking in lodgers.
page 315. Overseers re-elected. Thanks for able manner dealt with.
26 April 1916, Annual meeting
Mr Hutley unanimously elected chairman. Mr Greatrex vice chairman unanimously. Committees re-appointed en bloc.
page 319. Circular from Local Government Board, regulations made under Defence of the Realm Act re ‘visitation of houses to inspect the Certificates of all Male persons who are or ought to be registered under the National Registration Act 1915’. Proposed by Mr Pinkham and Mr Smith to ask enumerators to do the canvas. Amendment by Mr Taber and Mr Richardson to take no action was carried.
In camera. Re cemetery. Invite Revd Father Donelan, Rev F W Galpin, Rev D M Picton to confer in future re cemetery proposal. Ask tenant to sow land with permanent pasture.
page 320. Letter from eleven of Council’s employees asking for increased wages. At present 19s. a week. Capt Abrey and Mr Smith proposed increase to £1. Amendment by Mr Greatrex and Mr Garrett that increase to £1 1s. Amendment lost. Proposition carried. Apply to all.
29 May 1916
page 323. Letter from Mr J Goodey re long hours ‘he and Duncombe’ were working because of summer approaching and the number of troops. Suggest Duncombe made full time, or otherwise additional pay. To Water Works Committee.
26 June 1916
page 327. ‘Surveyor reported the mischievous conduct of Hammond’s children at Sewage Farm by untying horses opening the stable door and gates and driving cattle from one field to another. He had repeatedly warned the children and also their mother but without effect’. Could be serious. Clerk to approach Mrs Hammond.
Letter from Lt Col R E Stores enquiring possibility of extension from three inch water main to stores in Maldon Road. Resolved that ‘as the Council were supplying three camps with water the extension of the Main could not be entertained at present’.
Chairman ‘mentioned the extraordinary traffic of Army waggons, motors etc passing along Powers Hall Road.’ Surveyor instructed to take a census.
Water works Committee, re extra help by Duncombe going in at 2 p.m. instead of 4 p.m., adopted.
pages 329-30. Letter from eight employees of council for further increase in wages. Refuse.
31 July 1916
page 333. Medical Officer reports tuberculosis at Grove Cottage occupied by Mr Perry, ‘also Military case of Scarlet Fever at Maldon Road Camp’, latter to Heybridge hospital.
Surveyor reported ‘Consumption of water had increased enormously during the month and suggested that a strong protest be made against the watering of Military horses from the Town supply and that private individuals be warned that they must not use the town water for this purpose without the Sanction of the council or its officers. Mr Smith reported that a number of horses were watered recently from the Avenue Supply. ‘Resolved that Council could not allow town water to be used for watering horses in future. Tell Mr Laurence ‘and another private individual to whom it may concern’.
Request from the D O R E for further tapping of water mains in Maldon Road. No, in view of ‘quantity of water already being supplied to the Military’.
Resolved that Military authorities be requested to desist from using water from Council mains for watering horses. If they didn’t in a week, put before Waterworks Committee.
Clerk instructed to ‘draw attention of Police to excessive speed of Motorists passing through the Town, notwithstanding the existence of the speed limit, and with a view to prevent accidents’.
page 335. Mr R W Wakelin absent from Council for six consecutive months ‘engaged on military duties’. Unanimously approved reason of his absence.
28 August 1916
Letter from Mr E H Ronnebeck[?] asking permission for temporary YMCA sign board in town. Yes.
25 September 1916
pages 341-42. Mr Blyth wanted to meet Council again about river. No.
page 342. Surveyor reported ‘Bay horse Captain’ is ‘unfit through old age’ and police had warned him not to work him again’. Resolved to slaughter him.
Obtain blinds ‘to obscure light at the engine house’.
Adopt Sewage Land Committee recommendation not to sell bay gelding Major. Surveyor may hire a horse when required during next month.
Finance Committee reported Mr Roberts joining HM forces so resigned, and Mrs Mens application for vacancy [probably rate collector].
page 343. Support appeals of Mr Daniel and Mr Claydon to local tribunal.
Finance Committee report adopted including that surveyor instructed to interview the Military authorities re scavenging roads.
page 344. Letter Mr C C Roberts resigned as deputy rate collector, thanks. Letter from Mrs M A Mens for same job. Accepted.
Proposed that all water supplied by Council other than domestic, should be metered, because of reports of wastage. Refer to Water works Committee.
Letter from Local Government Board wanting ‘certain information in reference to execution of works after the war’, read.
page 345. Application from Secretary of ‘the Gifts of Fruit to the Navy Charity’ for exemption from provisions of War Charities Act 1916, agreed.
30 October 1916
page 348. Waterworks Committee recommend meters for non domestic water. Carried though some wanted to defer.
page 349. Hon C H Strutt resigned membership of Local Tribunal for Witham ‘owing to absence abroad for the next five months’ resolved to elect Mr C W Parker if willing.
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.
Letter re arranging ‘a Rumanian Flag Day;. Write to Miss Luard and ask if she with Miss Afford and Mrs Hanson Pullen could do it.
? November 1916, extraordinary meeting
page 351. Serious illness of clerk, so S M Daniel be authorised to sign cheques in his absence.
C W Parker declined tribunal appointment because of pressure of business. Ask Mr Walter Whitehead Boulton.
27 November 1916
page 353. Because of shortage of labour, employ caretaker of Recreation Ground on road work.
page 354. Sealed conveyance from W B Blood to Council of cemetery site. John Brown, late tenant, be paid £15 compensated for giving up.
Mr J E Smith wanted the council meetings to be altered from evening to morning. Defeated.
Letter from County Council, what steps to open ashpits which weren’t scavenged and so offensive matter for long time near dwellings. Inspectors to be asked to prepare list.
page 355. W W Boulton agreed to act on Local Tribunal.
Letters from Post Office and Gas Company agreeing poles and lamps painted at Council’s expense.
In Camera: Re Gas Company. Terms in letter accepted.
18 December 1916
page 358. Bad condition of the Terling Road.
Adopted Finance Committee re, increase in wages and in Surveyor salary
29 January 1917
page 360. Great loss by death of their clerk Mr William Bindon Blood. ‘Untiring devotion to promote the welfare and happiness of the community would long be remembered’. Letter of condolence.
page 364. Explained regulations from Board of Agriculture, under Defence of Realm Consolidation Act 1914. With the object of increasing food supplies, are extending powers of providing land for cultivation. Chairman and Mr Taber to inspect cemetery site about cultivation.
Also ‘write to the Co-operative Society inquiring if it was the Society’s intention to cultivate their field at Chipping Hill known as Pains Havens
Open ashpits. Inspector reported 120, periodically inspected, where desirable he is persuading owners to ‘substitute Sanitary bins’ and so ashpits gradually being abolished. Tell County Council.
Circular from Young Women’s Christian Association re collection day for ‘Women Wartime Workers Fund’.
page 365. Circular received re Flag day for Lord Kitchener Memorial Holiday Home
Letter received enclosing memo of suggestions ‘for War Loan Campaign’ from National War Savings Committee.
Letter from Essex War Agricultural Committee as to distribution of Scotch Seed potatoes.
Advertise for appointment of clerk at £50 p.a.
Appoint Mr S M Daniel as Deputy Clerk from date of Mr Blood’s death at present salary.
26 February 1917
Two applications for Clerk i.e. Mr F G Bright and Mr S M Daniel. Resolved to appoint Mr Daniel. Unanimous.
page 369. Adopt Water works Committee including Mr Goody’s salary 6s per week.
Cemetery site. Mr Taber recommended harrowing it. Agreed.
Letter from Witham Co-op informing Council that Pains Havens Field would be cultivated as hitherto if it remained in the occupation of the Society.
Dr KC Gimson to shoot over sewage farm, £2 for year.
Obtain 250 copies of water regulations, and issue a notice saying copies could be obtained at office for 2d.
Two letters from County Council with circular from Local Government Board re organising a ‘Recruiting Campaign for enrolment of National Service Volunteers’. Decided more effective if organised by County Council.
14 March 1917, extraordinary meeting
Re National Service Volunteers, as referred to in last meeting, Committee to be nominated with power to add to membership.
26 March 1917
page 374. Letter from Mrs Mens (Deputy Rate Collector) she observed the water rates were to be collected quarterly under the new regulations, if so she couldn’t do it. Resolved that they be yearly during war and every 6 months after.
[Problems with pumps etc as often were, but not noted separately in these notes]
page 375. Finance Committee report adopted, including increase 3s per week for workmen’s wages except old age pensioners 2s a week.
Overseers. Mr Charles Brown ill so have Mr A P Brown instead and re-elect the others.
page 376. Letter from Mr W W Boulton asking Council for Contribution to funds of ‘3/2 Battalion of Essex Volunteer regiment’ which recently formed. Council not legally empowered to give.
Letter from Lady Carson, re street collection for British and Foreign Sailors Society. Refer her ‘to Miss Luard who doubtless would organise a collection’.
30 April 1917, Annual meeting
page 377. Unanimous, that Mr P Hutley be Chair. Ditto Mr Greatrex Vice Chair. Committees re-elected.
page 379. Surveyor has got supply of water meters. Confirmed purchase.
Recreation Ground Committee. Surveyor suggested that Council’s horse should be turned on the Recreation Ground at night. Surveyor to use his discretion.
W P Perkins to be Deputy Assistant Overseer during absence of the Assistant Overseer A F Claydon ‘who was called up to join the army.’
Ploughing cemetery site left to surveyor.
Letter from Mr W W Boulton saying no legal problem about Council contributing to funds of volunteers. Ditto from Local Government Board though latter would have to give sanction. Leave on table.
Letter re holdings ‘France’s day’ in aid for French Red Cross. Forward to Miss Gimson with view to her organising it.
Letter re holdings a ‘Jutland Day’ for funds for cottage homes for disabled sailors. Resolved that it was the duty of the Government to provide homes and provide for disabled sailors and soldiers.
Letter from Mr H F Bawtree re ‘dust nuisance’ in High Street. Say this because of shortage of labour.
[Difficulties in obtaining road materials at right price as always, not noted generally]
Letter from Clerk of Witham United Charities. Do Council propose to proceed further with purchase of Bell Field. Refer to Housing Committee.
No increase in wages to assistant caretaker of recreation ground. which had had asked for.
21 May 1917
page 384. Housing Committee report adopted, recommending purchase of Bell Field subject to sanction of Local Government Board.
page 385. Don’t need Bye-laws re Employment of Children in this district.
Mr W P Perkins to be ‘officer under Local Authorities (Food Control) Order (No 1) 1917’.
Mr C S Richardson absent for 6 consecutive months on military duties. Approve this reason.
25 June 1917
page 388. Letter from Local Government Board re housing. Refer to Housing Committee.
Charities waiting to hear from Charity Commissioners re Bell Field.
Letter from Sheppy[sic] Chemical Works, re ‘importance of saving bones and fat owing to the Glycerine they produced’. Surveyor to ‘instruct his men to collect these materials when emptying dustbins etc.’
page 389. To get two sprayers for potatoes to prevent disease, for use of allotment holders. Invite Applications for spraying at 3d per rod.
Council would support Clerk’s appeal for six months’ further exemption at the Tribunal.
30 July 1917
page 392. Surveyor said duties under Food Control Order took up more time than expected. Question of remuneration referred to Finance Committee.
page 393. Fire Brigade captain’s report refers to ‘outbreak of fire at Mr Blyth’s mill’ (no details though there might be in Committee).
Letter from Dr Harrisson (coroner). Jury recommended on the occasion of the inquest on the late Captain Shuttleworth that ‘the hedges at the corner where the accident occurred should be considerably lowered’. Do it.
[This was the junction of what are now Cressing Road and Rickstones Road. Captain Edward Kaye-Shuttleworth (grandson of the Victorian reformer) had been killed there when his motorbike ran into the shafts of a greengrocer’s cart.]
pages 393-94 Letter from Witham United charities. Charity Commissioners had declined to sanction sale of Bell Field at original price because of lapse of time, and provisional consent couldn’t go on for ever. Write and ask what was their lowest price now.
Letter from P E Laurence re ‘trees which had been destroyed on Recreation Ground by Horses turned out there.’ Recreation Ground Committee to meet there.
page 394. Surveyor said Old sludge cart was ‘done for’. Get tender for new one.
20 August 1917, extraordinary meeting
Re Recreation Ground. Accept a conveyance from the Trustees and take over the ground.
page 396. Necessary to appoint Food Control Committee. To be the seven ‘active members’ plus representative from Co-op, and also ‘Mr Ebenezer Smith’ as ‘labour representative’. Also Miss Afford be asked, and also Messrs F J Hayward and Mr E C Quick.
27 August 1917
page 399. ‘Mrs Hammond’s children had again done damage to the Council’s property at the Sewage Farm’. Write ‘strong letter’, any more damage and would get notice to quit.
Recreation Ground, three hawthorns and three birch trees damaged by horses and several shrubs dead.
page 400. Letter from Local Government Board ‘as to the question of the provision of Houses for the working classes at the conclusion of the War’. Refer to Housing Committee.
Complaints from Mr T Hasler that Mr Jones of the Spread Eagle put a ‘barrell beside his Shop window’ and it is an obstruction. Surveyor said not on path. Clerk to inspect and write accordingly.
Letter from ‘Officer I/C[?] Barracks Chelmsford’ re rates allowance. No.
page 401. People invited to Food Control committee had agreed.
Resignation of Clerk because called up for military service in October next. Accept with regret.
10 September 1917, extraordinary meeting
Clerk willing to withdraw resignation if deputy to his satisfaction is appointed. Committee of two to be appointed to consult with the Clerk and Mr Naylor as to Mr Naylor agreeing to act as Deputy Clerk for Mr Daniel during his absence.
24 September 1917
page 403. Mr Naylor willing to be deputy as above.
page 405. Surveyor presented plan of proposed alteration to ‘dangerous corner at Cocks Farm’, estimated cost £55 15s. Refer to Road Committee.
Conditions for taking over Recreation Ground accepted.
page 406. Accept Finance Committee report; re letter from ‘Mrs Mens (Collector)’ ‘ for more money. Give her £7 10s for extra work done and no additional salary.
Charity Trustees again communicated with Charity Commissioners re Bell Field.
Re Cemetery Committee. Letter to Canon Galpin, what were terms of gift of land by late Miss Morrell for Burial Ground, and how long would it last [i.e. at All Saints].
Re Library Committee. Discussion about ‘the condition of many of the Library Books and old Rate Books in Council Chamber’. Suggest selling ‘what were useless’. (Proposed by Mr Garrett and Capt Abrey). Mr Taber proposed amendment that Rate Books should not be sold. Not seconded. Ultimately decided that ‘the useless Library Books and Rate Books up to within the last seven years should be sold’.
page 407. Mr Taber proposed that future meetings of Council be at 10 am instead of the evening. Agreed on Chairman’s casting vote.
Circular re forming Retail Coal Prices Committee. Yes.
29 October 1917
page 410. Brown horse ‘had fallen lame’, attended to by Mr Horner, and subsequently ‘killed owing to a broken leg supposed to have been caused while the animal was ‘haned[?]’ out. Get a new one. Chair and Mr Taber to arrange it.
Road Committee. Report adopted recommendation that proposed alteration ‘to the corner at the junction of the Rivenhall and Braintree Roads be not carried out but that the hedge be kept well cut down’.
page 411. Auditor has said that ‘the Rate Books could not be sold by the Council without the Permission of the County Council’. Mr Pinkham said in view of Auditor’s opinion, rate books should not be sold, seconded by Mr Greatrex, carried unanimously.
Letter from Can Galpin re new burial ground adjoining All Saints Churchyard, gift of late Miss Morrell. Refer to Cemetery Committee.
page 412. Letter from ‘Essex County Farmers Union as to the erection of cottages’. Acknowledge.
Witham United Charities would consider any specific offer for Bell Field. Refer to Housing Committee.
page 413. Report of Food Committee. Accept and thank ‘Mr Gallop the Executive officer for his excellent work’.
Local Government Board said appoint an inspector under Meat Sales Order. Don’t appoint one (Chairman’s casting vote).
26 November 1917
page 415-16. Housing Committee report, take in camera (f 213 CMB). Read and adopted. People who didn’t vote were trustees of Witham United Charities.
page 416. Letters from Rt Hon Bonar Law about investing surplus funds in National War Bonds. To Finance Committee.
page 417. Letter from Home Office ‘re drinking water at factories and workshops’. Surveyor to do what necessary.
Consent for erection by Post Office ‘of overground telegraphic line in Collingwood Road’ has been signed.
What arrangements were there re ‘warning the Fire Brigade in the event of their services being necessary during Air Raids. The Surveyor as Captain of the Fire Brigade replied that the orders were in the event of hostile air craft being in the vicinity that the Brigade was to “stand by” until the danger was past’.
10 December 1917
page 418. Mostly about seed potatoes.
Letter from Sir Arthur Pearson re collection ‘for the Blinded Soldiers Children’s fund’ ‘Ask Miss Pattisson if she could arrange for the Boy-Scouts to distribute and collect envelopes for subscriptions as suggested in the letter’.
31 December 1917
page 421.’ Bay horse rising 5 years’ Received from Roland Partridge. ‘had been worked constantly since that date and found quite and a good worker’.
page 422. ‘The Bay Horse … was inspected’. Proposition to get a cheaper one not seconded. So pay £130 cheque for it.
Re Road Committee, meet Witham Co-op at Albert Road re nuisance.
pages 422-23. Deed of Grant of right of way from Newland Street to Recreation Ground – should it could be included in the conveyance?
page 423. ‘Death of fireman Harry W Porter on active service in France’. Write to widow.
page 424. Mr Gallop couldn’t continue as Food Control Executive Officer. So far no successor found.
Communications received from ‘Garden City and Town Planning Association, Hon Secretary Association for provision of comforts for Road construction and Quarrying Companies in France, Local Government Board re heavy Motor Cars, Committee on War Damage ..’ et al. No action on any.
28 January 1918
page 429. Ask tenant to deal with overgrown hedge ‘between the corner turning to Railway Station and the main entrance to the Albert Hotel at Chipping Hill’.
Great Eastern Railway complained of state of road at entrance to Railway Station. Do when possible.
Discussion in general that the roads needed improving. Included letter from ‘Mr C W Parker of Faulkbourne Hall complaining of the bad condition of the Road from Powers Hall End past Highfields Farm which was almost impossible to cyclists to travel over’. Problem about getting material and labour. Surveyor to try and get ‘300 tons of material from some source’.
page 430. Floods recently in Mill Lane. Clerk to check liability.
page 431. Letter from Essex War Agricultural Committee re ‘cultivation of as much land as possible in allotments’. No action necessary.
Communication from ‘East Anglian Institute of Agriculture’ re obtaining sittings of eggs of pure breed of poultry. Put it on ‘Council Board’.
Letter from French Red Cross (British Committee) re arranging ‘France’ Red Cross day. ‘Ask some Witham Ladies to try and fix a date’.
25 February 1918
page 435. Dr E B Smith recently ‘returned from Foreign Service for a period’ came to the meeting. General discussion. Agreed ‘how glad the Council were to see him with them again and hoped that his time with them might be for more than the six months period of leave given to him’.
page 436. Mr E Ashby smallholder Dengie Road. Complaint about road. Do what can.
Footbridge near Blue Mills Bridge bad state, also brick work. Look at.
page 437. Re letter from National War Savings Committee ‘as to “Business Mens week” campaign, leave to Mr Pinkham to see Mrs Peecock, Secretary of War Savings Committee at Witham.
pages 437-38. Discussion how best to cultivate cemetery field, e.g. allotments. Decided to ask ‘Messrs Crittall if they would let their field in Braintree Road to the Council for purposes of allotments for duration of the war’.
Library. Disposing of ‘old and useless books for waste paper.’ Mr Garrett said ‘the Books had recently been overhauled and he did not think there were any such books’. Discussion. Mr Garrett empowered to dispose of ‘any such’.
page 439. Deputy Clerk resigned, not enough time. Consult.
‘Read letter from P E Laurence esq. as to working of public baths at Witham during 1917.’ [no details]
25 March 1918
page 440. In camera. ‘Child Welfare’. Medical Officer of Health, long statement ‘as to the preservation of Infant lives’. Local Authorities generally were taking it up. Suggest Council ‘should appoint the Witham Nursing Association’s qualified nurse as health inspector’. Refer to Housing Committee.
Chairman recommended increasing workmen’s wages. Increase 2s a week, carried unanimously.
pages 441-42. No luck with getting Deputy Clerk. Letter from Clerk hoping for appointment to be kept open when return to civilian life but would resign if necessary. Agreed to accept and advertise for new one.
pages 443-44. Letter from Witham Co-op re Albert Road. Suggest meeting re widening road. ‘Send courteous reply’ but adhere to previous decision [no details].
page 444. Seal conveyance from Witham Recreation Ground Trustees to Council. In answer to a question, the caretaker should be there on Sundays.
Appointment of overseers – re-elected.
page 445. ‘Read letter from Mr W Gardner of 12th inst. as to 7 acres of land of the Crittall Manufacturing Company Limited which was available for allotments.’ Ask press to record facts in their reports.
pages 445-46. Local Government Board letters, ‘re execution of works after the War, re Housing of the Working Classes, and re national Salvage Council. No action at present.
29 April 1918, Annual Meeting
Mr Hutley to be chair. Mr Greatrex vice chair. Re-elect Committees. All unanimous.
page 450. Write to Recreation Ground Trustees thanking them for giving Recreation Ground to Council and great appreciation.
page 451. Adopt Housing Committee report (f.222) re Child Welfare, also letters from Mrs Pelly and Miss G Luard. Adopt though some wanted to refer it back.
Only one application for clerkship i.e. Mr F H Bright of Maldon. Accept. Capt Abrey expressed ‘regret that the Clerkship had gone out of the town’. Deputy Clerk to make arrangements. Thank Mr Naylor for work as Deputy and regret he couldn’t carry on.
page 452. Allotments. Interview with Mr Jacques Inspector of allotments from Food Production Department, Whitehall, and ‘inspection of Painshaven field. Mr Gardner (agent for Messrs Crittall, the owners) also attended and stated that Messrs Crittall had received permission of the Government to commence building on the field at any time and he had received instructions to provide storage in the neighbourhood for the machinery etc which was ready. Also that arrangements had been made with the Great Eastern Railway Company to construct a Railway Siding’. Agreed that to explain to Mr J that Council willing to hire but would have to be short notice.
[Painshaven (or Pans Haven)] was the field in Braintree Road which the Witham Co-op sold to Crittall’s for their Witham factory]
Letter from Witham Co-op withdrew offer ‘of frontage of land offered some time ago for widening Albert Road’. Acknowledge.