Parishioners' meeting 1924

Printed notice distributed before the meeting

The notices come from the collection of the late Norman Saving.

A FEW FACTS AND SUGGESTONS For the consideration of the Inhabitants of WINSLOW.

The Parish Council have in response to the request of a number of Ratepayers called a PARISH MEETING
For TUESDAY, MARCH 25th, at 8 o’clock, in the ODDFELLOWS HALL.

Because it is felt by many that consequent on our having no Urban District Powers and only the very limited powers of the Parish Council, some organisation is necessary to provide for the betterment of the trade, amenities and character of the Town.

It is suggested that a Committee of energetic and public spirited men should be appointed by the Parish Meeting to investigate and report to a further meeting what steps should be taken with this object in view, particularly bearing in mind that we are under 50 miles from London and very centrally situated.

This is left to the Committee to advise on, but it is thought that the matters referred to later should all be considered, and if possible on the Committee reporting, should be acted on.

A town flourishes according to the enterprise and foresight of those governing it, and the pride and initiative of its inhabitants in its betterment.

Situation, facilities for travel, educational advantages, enterprise in trade, good local government, good sanitation, a pure water supply and many other matters, are considerations which intending residents will consider, and until we have those the town has no chance of development either as a residential district or otherwise.

An improved and growing town would stimulate the trade of the town and ensure employment for more.

Will you help?
What will you do?  Are you satisfied to see the town declining?   If not, will you come to the meeting and show by your presence and support that you will take a pride in your old town?

A Retrospect.
Within the memory of most Ratepayers we had three private Boarding Schools in the town, which also catered for daily pupils.

What facilities does Winslow now offer in this respect when a child goes beyond the kindergarten stage?

The town has decreased approximately 200 in population during the last decade.

What new houses have been erected?  How many pulled down?  How many would-be residents have been driven elsewhere, and have built elsewhere through the absence of “the amenities”.

The final payments in respect of the two loans will be made in June 1933, and December 1934.

The two loans amounted to £7,750 – the balance and principal on both loans as on 12th December last being £3,678 14s. 7d.

The only Factory we had has gone.  Other Factories that might have been in Winslow have gone elsewhere, because the town had lacked foresight.

Has not our cry been – What was good enough for our grandfather is good enough for us?  A town cannot stand still.  Either it must progress or decay.  What has Winslow done the last 20 years?

Some Matters for Consideration.

The Aylesbury Borough Council have offered the district terms for the supply of electricity.  Such terms need not put any burden on the district.

Are they satisfactory?  Are they such as to enable those in the villages to do their shopping in Winslow; or is trade being driven to other towns adjoining?

Can anything be done to get an improved Bus service?  Is it possible to get an Omnibus service to the villages and so bring more trade to the town, and could such service be subsidised by the tradesmen?  This is a suggestion for their consideration.

On this subject there is a lot of misunderstanding.  A number of residents are subscribing towards the costs of an Engineer to make a survey and preliminary report on a scheme which will be brought before you at as early a date as possible.

It is necessary to remind you of certain facts and to give you certain figures so that you may better appreciate what it might entail.

Supposing it was decided to get a loan for Waterworks, and that such loan had to be repaid in 30 years, the rate of interest for such a loan would not be more than 4½ per cent.

On an ordinary rate basis (full rates on buildings and ¼ rate on land) :-

            1s. Rate produces about £390 per annum
            1s. 3d.           “            “    £487   “        “
            1s. 6d.           “            “    £585   “        “
            2s.                 “            “    £780   “        “

A Rate is levied on the Rateable Value and not on the rent, and a tenant can only be charged this amount and no more.

£8,000 Expenditure means about £491 per annum for 30 years,

and would practically be covered by a 1/3 rate, whilst a 2/- rate would provide for a scheme costing about £12,500.

                                                                                                Cost per House per annum
                                                                                                 2/- rate.  1/6 rate.  1/3 rate.
5 Cottages, Avenue Road – Rateable value …   7 16  0       15  6     11   7       9  8
4        “               “           “              “            “       8   7  6      16  9     12   7     10  6
3        “               “           “              “            “       7   5  0      14  6     10 11       9  1
5        “               “           “              “            “      5 10  0      11  0       8   3        6 10½
9        “         Piccadilly                  “            “       2 17  6        5  9       4   4        3  7½

These cases are taken as being easily identified and solely for the purpose of example.
What do the above examples mean?

That on the lowest rated houses mentioned the rate would cost the tenant less than 1d. per week on a 1/3 rate and about 1¼ d. per week on a 2/- rate;  whilst in the highest rated houses mentioned it would be 2¼ d. and less than 4d. per week respectively.
Isn’t it worth this small sum to have the water at your house, with plenty of it?
That is a direct advantage.
What is it worth to have plenty of water to flush the drains, and in the event of fire?

Buckingham Advertiser, 29 March

Live Committee Appointed to Boost the Town.
Mr. Wigley Carries the Banner of “Progressives” to Success Despite Mr. Monk’s Onslaught

The Oddfellows’ Hall, Winslow, was packed on Tuesday evening, when a parishioners’ meeting was called for the purpose of considering what preliminary steps should be taken for the advancement of the town’s interests.  The outcome was the appointment of a strong committee of 17 business men, who will consider suggestions for the betterment of the town and make recommendations which will be submitted to further parish meetings, which, in turn, will decide whether to pass on the recommendations to the Parish and District Councils.

One of the first questions the committee will consider will be that of the provision of a water supply for Winslow.

Mr. S. P. Wigley gave an exhaustive statement of the purpose for which the meeting had been convened.

Amongst others present were Captain and Miss Lambton, Messrs. J. C. Hawley, J. Colgrove, W. H. Stevens, H. A. Paine, D. Walker, A. G. Walker, J. G. Wynne, J. E. Mynott, W. G. Wise, W. M. Neal, S. R. Holden, W. Emerson, W. N. Midgley, D. Sanderson, E. A. Byford, W. E. Woodman, E. A. Illing, JP, CC, and Mrs Illing, L. J Hawley and Mrs. Hawley, F. Walker, E. W. Green, T. D. Curtis, W. T. George, W. R. Monk, E. Parrott, W. T. and R. J. Matthews, F. J. M. Coates, H. Croft, A. J. Illing, G. O. Long, A. O. Fulks, R. Benbow, A. Coates, A. Meanwell, A. Moores, S. P. Wigley, A. J. Clear (Chairman of the Parish Council), W. Wise (Vice-Chairman), and H. J. Ray (Clerk), Mrs. Shapland and Miss I. M French.


Mr. Ray first read the notice convening the meeting and the requisition, which read as follows:-

Winslow, Bucks.
February 25th, 1924.
To the Clerk of the Parish Council.

Dear Sir.- We, the undersigned ratepayers in the parish of Winslow, beg to call the attention of your Council to the following matters:

In consequence of lack of organisation for the betterment of the town as exists in the majority of towns within such a short distance of London, the trade and character of the town are seriously suffering …

… We would advocate the formation of a special committee to consider the report to a public meeting what steps should, in their opinion, be taken for the betterment of the town, whether that involves the institution of a water supply, electric lighting or advertisement, with a view to the development of the town and district generally, whether as a residential district or with a view to getting a factory or factories opened up here to find more employment.  We would point out that the lack of a water supply in Winslow has in the past been the cause of preventing factories opening, and at the same time has prevented the building development generally which would otherwise have taken place.

If the town can be made to develop, bringing in its train an all-round improvement in trade, then something should be done, and we feel that if the competition of adjoining towns is to be met some steps must be taken at once, or the town will go down to posterity and become nothing more or less than an over-grown village, the benefit of whose trade will centre in the surrounding and more progressive towns.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas G. Dickson, Isabel M. French, E. R. Neal, S. R. Holden, A. O Fulks, R.J Matthews, J. C. Hawley, E. A. Illing, S. P. Wigley, P. H. Walton, F. French, Herbert A. Paine, Joseph Colgrove, W. E. Woodman, S. R. and D. F. Midgley, Arthur Meanwell, Dennis G. Smith.

Mr. Clear was voted to the chair, on the motion of Mr. A. Moores, seconded by Mr. W.R. Monk.


… I ought to draw a certain amount of contrast between what the town was and what it is.   For a number of years – and, at any rate, in my lifetime – there was a friendly rivalry between this town and a neighbouring town.  They were going ding-dong, and for a number of years they kept more or less apace.  That neighbouring town pretty nearly cut its head off twice by refusing to have the railway through it.  Winslow has cut its head off many times, but we are still alive, although we are what I might term a puny child.


Forty years ago, we had the opportunity of getting a big factory here which is now at Aylesbury [Nestlé].  I only want you to bear this in mind, that if that factory had come here it would have employed a great many hands; it would have necessitated an increased number of houses, and the tradesmen would have benefited from that increase in building development.

On the question of population, the town has decreased by 166 persons, according to the last Census …


If we go to the District Council, we find that we have two representatives on that body, and what can two men do with all the rest of the members against them?  It means that the town of Winslow is practically ruled by the villages surrounding it, instead of by the town and what the town wants.  (Applause.)  At the present time, I am afraid that our population is too small to think of our having an Urban District Council for the town …


Now I come to matters to which I want you to pay particular attention.  There is the question of electricity.  If we were going to ask you to put your hands in your pockets to form a company, or if we were going to tell you that there was going to be a charge on the rates as regards electric lighting the signatories to that letter would never have probably put their names to the requisition, but in consequence of what the Government are advocating and the creation by the Government of statutory undertakings throughout the length and breadth of the land, the Aylesbury Borough Council have written to our District Council a letter following on the recent conference held by representatives of various Councils, giving them three alternatives by which we might get electricity here.  The first of these alternatives I will not deal with.  The second alternative suggests that there should be a Joint Electricity Board, which would necessitate the District Council putting up contributory funds.  The third alternative is a very different matter, and is in the following form on the questionnaire sent to the District Council by the Aylesbury Corporation:   Would your Council prefer to allow a supply of electricity delivered by the Aylesbury Corporation to the premises of consumers in your area?

Is that not just what we want?  If this meeting expresses its views on that question, it must have a bearing on the decision of the District Council …


Another matter which this committee should consider is the question of shopping hours, but I am not sure that that is a matter which concerns parishioners and ratepayers, and if it does not then I hope that your committee will strongly recommend to the tradesmen of the town that they should do something to retain and get back trade which I for one am confident they have lost.

It is impossible for anyone to stand at a certain place in the Market Square, where people come in and go out, and listen to what they have to say without knowing that trade is being lost to Winslow.  You cannot go into the villages around without hearing other complaints, and you cannot go about with your eyes and ears open without knowing that trade which used to come to Winslow is going to other places…


Now I come to the bone of contention – the question of water works.  Here, the committee are very anxious that you should not be committed to an undertaking;  you should not commit yourselves this evening to anything until you know the facts of the matter.

In order that full particulars may be placed before the committee and in order to enable them in turn to report very fully to another parish meeting, a number of gentlemen have subscribed towards the fees of an engineer whom they are inviting down to make a preliminary survey and report regarding a water supply for the town….

..The question of whether it will be practical to go in for a water supply on that report, I am not prepared to go into this evening, because until I, for one, as well as the rest of the committee, and in conjunction with you, have the full facts before us and know whether the benefit to be derived will warrant the expenditure, will not give approval to a water scheme. We can only reach a decision when we have received the engineer’s report…

COST £8,000 TO £12,500.

Supposing we did find from the engineer’ report that a water scheme was practicable and that it could be carried out at a certain cost.  In the circular you have all had, or should have had, I have dealt rather exhaustively with that and the question of its relation to certain properties.

My idea was originally confined to the whole of the houses on Avenue Road, but somebody told me that there was a certain gentleman living at the top of the town who would be very dissatisfied if he did not find set out what his rates would likely be in a water scheme.  Therefore, in order to oblige him, particularly having regard to the interest he took in the last parish meeting we had on the water works, the Piccadilly houses were put in. (Laughter.)

In this example, there are two amounts set out, from £8,000 to £12,500 and the rates it would entail.  You have also had set before you in the circular, as regards the Avenue Road and the Piccadilly houses, exactly what certain rates, if levied, would entail per annum on these houses…

… And if we embarked on a water supply scheme at the present time, we might get a grant from the Unemployment Committee …


The Chairman remarked that the population of Winslow was at its highest sixty years ago.  It was then 1,861, and it had now gone down to 1,532.  The peculiar part of it was that the town now possessed more houses than it did 60 years ago.  He would leave it to others who were wiser than he to explain the reason why.

Mr. W. R. Monk asked whether there was any proposition before the meeting.

Mr. Wigley : I propose first that we appoint a committee of 15 business men to consider the whole scheme and report to a further meeting.

Mr. W. T. Matthews seconded.


Mr. Monk stated that he did not wish to criticise a great many of Mr. Wigley’s suggestions.  “I am here only on behalf of the ratepayers,” he declared …

… Continuing, he remarked that Mr. Wigley had missed several things. For instance, Winslow was a centre of agriculture, but Mr. Wigley had never said a word about agriculture – (applause) – yet he had more to do with agriculture, or should know more about it, than anybody else.


We agriculturists have gone through rotten times (proceeded Mr Monk) …

...There is another matter I want to bring to your notice.  Twenty years ago we had a sewerage scheme.  That was carried through by a Parochial Committee and Mr. Illing and myself are the only remaining members of that committee.  The scheme we adopted was formulated by Mr. Johnson, who told us that his scheme would last for 100 years.  The work was carried out by Messrs. Curtis, under the supervision of Mr. Wise, and I have every confidence that the scheme, as far as their work is concerned, will last the period stated.


But the sewerage farm has been choked up for years.  It doesn’t function.  It doesn’t filter.  Tuckey Farm is the sewerage farm.  (Loud laughter.)  Years ago I could have made the Council spend a lot of money, but I have never put the town to a farthing’s expense, but when we hear of schemes afoot to raise the rates of Winslow, I am going to put my foot down and say that the first charge on the public money is going to be to put the sewerage farm in order and stop my nuisance…


…Mr. Wigley is very kind to come to Winslow and tell us what to do.  Mr. Wigley lives at Steeple Claydon – (laughter) – and if we have a water scheme, electric light and other things, Mr. Wigley won’t come and live at Winslow.  He has the alternative, if he doesn’t like the way we exist, of staying at Steeple Claydon.  I should be very sorry, though, as I like him because he amuses me.  (Laughter.)…


,,,The Chairman remarked that the Parish Council had no power over a water supply, and that it could only suggest it to the Rural District Council…


Mr. W. Wise said he had a few remarks to make which might enlighten the audience a little.  During the 35 years he had been in the parish there had been twelve houses pulled down in the town, while 86 new houses had been erected, so that at the present time there were 74 more houses in the town than there were 35 years ago.  He could tell them where they were…


…With regard to building development, he had erected ten of the 74 houses alluded to, and he had raised the ratable [sic] value of Winslow more than another single individual living during the past 35 years.  A water scheme would be very useful and very convenient for many people and many properties, but when they tried to bring on a water scheme 22 years ago it could have been carried out then at a cost of £4,000.  They heard now from Mr. Wigley that the cost would be £8,000 or £12,500, and whether the music could be faced now rested with the ratepayers.  For his part, he was not going to oppose the scheme although he and his son had spent £150 to get water for their property and had overcome the difficulty that stood in their way some 20 years ago …


…The resolution was then put and carried by 107 votes to three, and a committee was appointed, as given elsewhere.


Mr. Wigley said that he had a further proposal to make, which was that they should request the District Council to agree to Aylesbury’s third alternative scheme for supplying electricity – that was of allowing the Aylesbury Corporation itself to supply direct to consumers in the district.

Mr. H. C. Stock seconded.

Replying to a question, Mr   Wigley said that electricity would be supplied on the same principle as gas, namely, that the company would take it as far as the property of the consumer, who would have to bear the cost of his connections on his own property.

The resolution was carried.


The following were elected as members of the Town Advancement Committee at the meeting:

            Mr. S. P. Wigley.
            “     G. O. Long.
            “     R. Matthews.
            “     W. Wise.
            “     W. H. Stevens.
            “     L. J Hawley.
            “     E. A. Illing.
            “     W. N. Midgley.
            “     A. J. Clear.
            “     H. C. Stock.
            “     W. Neal. 
            “     W. E. Woodman.
            “     W. G. Chowles.
            “     F. Walker.
            “     J. Colgrove.
            “     E. T. Lines.
            “     Coates (of Shipton).

A “Stirring” Ballad from the Winslowites’ Little Garden of Verses.

They called a Parish Meeting, and they fixed the hour at eight,
They said to us come early, or else you’ll be too late
To listen to the sermon – I mean the facts we’ll state
About a better Winslow and its influence on the rate.
So to the City Fathers we will give an urgent call,
To meet the City Mothers at the Oddfellows’ Hall.
We have the “Foot and Mouth Disease,” but, by George, we’ll let you know
That we’re not quite dead at Winslow, and we still have got some “go.”
But the burden of my song is this, - it droppeth like the rain,
We all went into the meeting there – and we all came out again!


            We only met one golden day, and then we had to part,
            For you it was an hour or two, with me it was my heart.
            You will forget, and I shall try – but ‘tis an idle dream,
            For I must sing to you again, my one and only theme.

We all went into the meeting there, the fair men and the dark,
The men who are out for progress, and the men who built the Ark.
An hour or two we borrowed, because the time was Lent,
In the midst of Fire and Water the hours were quickly spent.
But, like the Israelitish Children, we came forth unconsumed.
Again to take our places when the subject is resumed.
So matters were debated, restated, agitated
And to a Town Committee at last were relegated.
And here once more I’ll state the fact – your feelings pray restrain –
We all went into the meeting there – and we all came out again!

(Second Interlude.)

            Little drops of water, little beds of sand,
            Make a good beginning for a better land,
            While a few more houses, or a factoree,
            Are the sure precursors of more £ s. d.

The odours from the Sewage Farm were wafted on the breeze,
And whether “public spirited” were quite the men to please.
But at last we got to business and the names were taken down
Of the men who are appointed to “elevate” the town;
But whether their number’s up or not, and whether the water’s cold or hot,
And whether we shall or we shall not, well this deponent knoweth not,
Still, whether we break, or whether we bend,
            we pay our rates “world without end,”
And finally I would append, that from all evil “grace defend.”
But whatever else may be in doubt, there’s one thing I’ll make plain,
We all went into the meeting there – and we all came out again!

(Grand Final Chorus.)

            Waft, waft, ye spicy breezes,
            And you, ye waters, roll,
            Till Winslow much increases,
            Or else it’s “up the pole”!

And now, of course, you’re asking – who can this writer be?
So I’ll at once enlighten you, and thus solve the mysteree,
For it’s Jick, Jock, Jonathan Jock, all in a kind of frenzy,
He is supposed to be lying in bed, suff’ring from Influenzy,
So all the Policemen and Private Detectives are looking in vain for
                                                            JONATHAN JOCK MACKENZIE [actually W.N. Midgley]


Second printed notice

For the consideration of the Inhabitants and Ratepayers of WINSLOW.
The Parish Council have (in response to the request of a number of Ratepayers who regarded the last Parish Meeting as unrepresentative on so important a matter) called for a POLL OF THE PARISH
STREET, WINSLOW, between 12 noon and 8 p.m.

Because it is felt by many that there should be an adequate Water Supply for the town for domestic and sanitory purposes and as a safeguard in the event of fire…

Engineer’s Report.
A number of residents subscribed towards the costs of an Engineer to make a survey and preliminary report on a scheme, which report, with the approval of the Committee, was published in full in the “Buckingham Advertiser” of Saturday, July 5th.

Duty of Committee and their Report.

A very largely attended Parish Meeting held on Tuesday, 25 March last, decided by an overwhelming majority to appoint, and appointed a Committee to consider the matter and report to the Parish Council who in turn were to call another Parish Meeting.

The Committee met (and although a minority abstained from voting) they decided to recommend a Water Supply for the town, and the following resolution (without any minority report) was sent to the Parish Council:-
            “This Committee considers that a Water Scheme is quite necessary and advantageous for the town, and that a scheme should be instituted on the lines of the report submitted to them.”

With this resolution was enclosed a copy of the Engineer’s Report, which was not only thorough, practical and exhaustive, but went far beyond anything that it was reasonably expected or contemplated would be done, until the District Council took the matter in hand.

The Engineer naturally commits himself to none of the three schemes dealt with until the quantity of water can be ascertained under suitable conditions.

He estimates the cost of the Schemes (exclusive to connections to the houses which is invariably done by the property owners) as under:-
            Horwood Scheme,                           £11,500, entailing a rate of 1/9 in the £.
            Mursley Pumping Scheme,           £13,000, entailing a rate of 2/- in the £
.           Mursley Gravitation Scheme,        £12,000, entailing a rate of £1/10 in the £.
            Working expenses, the Engineer reports would amount to about a 6d. rate.

The rate that it would be necessary to levy would therefore be 2/3, 2/6 and 2/4 respectively.

The Council could, as is done in other towns and villages, make special charges for water used other than for domestic purposes and thereby reduce the above rate.

Examples of Cost to Tenants on 2/6 rate.

            17 Cottages in Avenue Road, varying from 13/9 to 21/- per annum.
            9 Cottages, Piccadilly,                                       7/3 per annum each.

What is your time worth?  How much does the time occupied in carrying water represent in a year?  If you are one of the lucky ones having a well of water and a pump, how much time does pumping take and what is it worth?

A few of the Mis-representations

“The Scheme has been rushed.”
All the Committee had to do was to report as to the advisability of a water scheme.  They have taken three months to consider that question.

“The Expense will be much more than estimated.”
A practical Engineer with engineering experience at his back has carefully prepared his estimate and allowed for contingencies.
Who should be in the best position to judge?

“Cost of connections will entail another 7d. or 9d. rate.”
If the Council were foolish enough to undertake the connections at their expense, is it conceivable that the cost could be anywhere approaching the capital the figures represent?
Assuming one connection for every two houses and that there were 400 houses in Winslow : the connection, pipe and stop cock should not exceed £3 or a total of under £600 – or about a penny rate. 
The cost of taking a pipe and fixing a tap in the houses need not be an expensive matter.

“Winslow is richly endowed with water.”
Is it?  That is for you to say.

“A Poll will cost £30.”
It is estimated that about £12 should easily cover this.


If you are of the opinion that a 2/6 water rate, with a full and efficient water supply, would not be to the benefit of the town, then vote against a Water Scheme, but if you take the long view and have the welfare of the Town at heart and think that –

To provide an adequate supply for Domestic and Sanitary purposes and
fire risks, and as an insurance against an epidemic, is going to be
a benefit to the town and your fellow townsmen, then

Please record your vote in favour on Monday next.

Buckingham Advertiser, 2 Aug 


The poll of the parish of Winslow demanded on the water supply question took place on Monday last, the polling station being the schools, Sheep Street, and the hours 12 till 8.

A certain liveliness prevailed during the day, the rival parties issuing posters – “Vote for water and a progressive town” on the one hand and “Vote against paying £11,500,” and “This water scheme means paying more rent.  Can you afford it?” on the other.

The result was announced at 8.50 p.m. by Mr. A. J. Clear, the Returning Officer, as follows:-

            Against the proposal           …        …        …        …        299
            In favour                    …        …        …        …        …        102

                        Majority against        …        …        …        …        197

There was one spoilt paper.   Mr. H. J. Ray acted as poll clerk.

Copyright 23 June, 2022