Vestries, 1893

Buckingham Advertiser, 1 April

Vestry Meeting at Winslow.
  The annual meeting for transacting parish business was held on Thursday last at 10.30 a.m.  The attendance was not very large, but included most of the parish officials.
  The meeting opened with a very heated personal discussion between the surveyors, Messrs. Jas. King, H. Monk, and G. D. E. Wigley  The latter gentleman, on the proposition of Mr. East, was appointed chairman, and said he wished to explain that although at the last vestry it was proposed by Mr. East, and seconded by Mr. Vaisey, that he should be re-elected surveyor, yet since that time he had not been consulted one bit by the other surveyors, and he thought it was the greatest possible discourtesy to himself, as one of their representatives, to be ignored in this way [various accusations omitted] …
  Another altercation then took place with regard to some stones which Mr. Wigley had ordered for the Grandborough Road, and Messrs. King and Monk then left, taking the surveyors’ accounts with them.
  Mr. Hillyer then proposed, and Mr. Walker seconded, that the surveyors’ accounts not being produced, the matter should stand over to an adjourned meeting.
  Mr. Hillyer stated that at the last vestry meeting he attended it was agreed that the surveyors should not do anything to the footpaths without consulting the parish, and yet here was the Shipton footpath being done in direct opposition to the resolution.  He objected to the ratepayers’ money being wasted in that way.
  Reference was made to the minutes of the meeting in question (two years ago), but they could not be found, and it was stated that they had not been entered in the Vestry Minute book.
  The appointment of surveyors next came up.
  Mr. East and Mr. F. Monk nominated Mr. King.
  Mr. Hillyer said what on earth was the good of nominating men who would not work with anyone else.
  Messrs. Dunkley and W. H. Stevens nominated Mr. Monk.
  Messrs. Walker and Wise nominated Mr. Wigley.
  Mr. Wigley thanked them, but said he was sure Messrs. King and Monk would not work with him, so he must decline.
  They then nominated Mr. Hillyer who said if there was an entire change of surveyors he would not mind, but although he could get on with Mr. Monk, Mr. King must have his own way.
  Messrs. F. Monk and Wilford nominated Mr. East, who accepted.
  Messrs. Russell Hurlstone, Illing, Saunders, Egleton, and T. Walker were nominated as overseers.
  Messrs. East and Monk were nominated as guardians.
  Mr. East proposed “That the Sanitary Authority be empowered to employ a man to scavenge the town daily, or as often as he thought fit.”
  Mr. T. Walker seconded this, and it was carried.
  Mr. Willis said that the Medical Officer had reported that there was a scarcity of drinking water, and they might depend upon it there would be a man down to inspect, and then there would have to be stand pipes all over the place, and then they could irrigate, and do what they liked.
  The meeting did not view this with pleasure, several expressing that there was plenty of water, and that it was a shame to put the town to such an expense, for if the water was required it was the owners who should find it.
  The Shipton surveyors accounts were produced.
  Messrs. F. Dancer and A. Monk were re-elected surveyors for Shipton.
  This concluded the business.

The Easter Vestry for church business was held on 8 April and went off without any controversy. The churchwardens were even complimented on the improved state of the churchyard.

Buckingham Advertiser, 10 June

The Sewage Question at Winslow.
  A lengthy and excited vestry meeting was held on Thursday morning, June 1, at the Yeates’ School.  The attendance, although not so large as might be expected at first, kept gradually getting larger until the room really would not hold any more.  Among those present were- Mr. H. Bullock (who was elected chairman), Mr. T. P. Willis, Mr. Jas King, Mr. H. Monk, Mr. Geo. Ingram, Mr. A. Monk, Mr. W. Neal, Mr. G. Dunkley, Mr. J. Elley, Mr. J. East, Mr. F. Benbow, Mr. Sturgess, Mr. Warne, Mr. W. H. Stevens, Mr. Russell, Mr. F. Dancer, Mr. Wise, Mr. Whichello, Mr. T. Walker, Mr. W. N. Midgley, Mr. Welford, &c.
  The notice convening the meeting, signed by Messrs. Russell and Hurlstone, the overseers, was first read.
  The Chairman, in opening the meeting, said that doubtless most of them were aware from the reports in the local press that a proposal was made at the Board of Guardians that an engineer should be appointed to take the levels of the parish, and it was decided to refer the matter to the ratepayers of Winslow.  He might say that the question was one that he was not very well acquainted with, and, as their chairman, he should confine himself  to keeping the meeting as orderly as possible.
  Mr. James East said he had heard it expressed from one end of the town to the other that the meeting ought to be in the evening, and, if he was in order, he would move that it be adjourned to 7 o’clock that evening…
  Mr. H. J. Russell, as [one of] the overseers who called the meeting, said it was the usual time for holding Vestries, but he quite agreed that it would have been more convenient in the evening, still the intelligent part of the population were present now, and though he agreed with consulting the whole of the parish, yet they would not get a more intelligent meeting in the evening…
  Mr. John Varney (who, with a number of others, had recently entered the room) proposed that the meeting proceed with the business.
  Mr. W. H. Stevens seconded this, and it was put to the vote, when 21 voted for going on, and 14 for the adjournment.
  Mr. W. S. Neal then rose, and made a proposition that the drain running from Mr. Wise’s [63 High Street] to the Swan should be carried down Avenue Road, where, he believed, there was a good natural fall, and then continued into catchpits, and that the parish should employ men to clean the pits, and distribute the contents on the adjoining land.  This, he thought, would meet the difficulty, and not put the parish to any great expense which they could not afford.
  Mr. Hillyer found fault with the Sanitary Authorities for neglecting to see that the drains in the parish were properly trapped, thus causing these terrible stenches  Down the Station Road he could shew them drains covered over with bricks, simply because the stench was unbearable... Another thing, down the Station Road there was a steam pipe run into the drain [presumably from the Creamery].  This would soon rot the cement, and that would cause more trouble.
  Mr. H. Monk said, as regards the Station Road, the Company had always attended to the drains themselves.  The parish had never taken them over
  Mr. John Ingram- The Company did not lay the drains.  It was the owners of the property.”
  Mr. H. Monk- The railway company could be made to do it at any rate.
  Mr. Elley said the drain in the Station Road, next to the Police Station, was very bad.  He never knew such a nuisance.
  Mr. East said he could show that the drains belonged to the Company, because he often saw their man cleaning them out.
  Mr. Hillyer said it was the surface water the Company had cleaned out, not the sewage.  He proposed that the drains in the Station Road, and the others in the town requiring it, be trapped.
  Mr. J. Corkett seconded it.
  Mr. Monk said the parish never had done anything to these drains, and if they once began to, they would have to take them over.
  Mr. W. S. Neal proposed that the railway company be called upon to put the Station Road drains into proper order.
  Mr. Russell seconded this.
  Mr. Monk said the farmers had a thundering bad year, and this year would be worse, and if it was bad for farmers it would be bad for everybody.  If they could save expense, let them.  He knew this sewage affair must come.  But if they were to cut the main sewer in two, and let it run down Avenue Road, that would answer the purpose and save the parish for years…
  Dr. Vaisey [Medical Officer to the Guardians] (who was received with cheers) said he simply wished to say what he said in his report to the Guardians, that there was a very great nuisance existing, which he considered it was his duty to call attention to- the drains being nearly full.  He was prepared to second Mr. Monk’s motion, as it was exactly what he had expressed in his paper.  What they wanted was to take the sewer from Buckingham Road and the Police Station down Avenue Road, and cut the main sewer against Mr. Colgrove’s [75 High Street] and Mr. Coxill’s, and to have catchpits down the fields, where the sewage could be cleaned out by carts and distributed on the land.
  Mr. Geo. Ingram called attention to the great nuisance caused by the catchpits at the Union [=Workhouse].
  Mr. Thomas Walker confirmed this.
  Mr. East said it was a serious matter they were going into, and he should propose, as he had done before, that an engineer or other competent person be called in to take the proper levels, and advise them…
  Mr. W. Matthews seconded Mr. East’s proposal, and it was put to the meeting, and lost by 15 votes to 12.
  Mr. Monk’s motion was next discussed
  The Chairman said he understood from Mr. Willis that the Sanitary Authority would have to carry it out, and see that it was done properly if they decided on its being done…
  Mr. Monk said he didn’t propose to have a new drain up by Abercrombie’s [34 Buckingham Road] at all, but simply to cut the main sewer in two, and lay it down Avenue Road.
  It was pointed out that Mr. Monk’s proposition was different to Mr. Vaisey’s, and Mr. Vaisey was asked if he were willing to let Mr. Monk’s proposition stand and the additional work to be done next year.
  Mr. Vaisey replied- No; it would never be done if it was put off.
  Mr. Willis asked if Mr. Monk understood that the sewer from Mr. Coxill’s was three parts full of sand so that the water had to run on the top of it.
  Mr. Monk said it would last for years as it was.
  Mr. Arthur Monk having seconded his father’s proposition, it was put to the meeting and carried by 21 votes to 5.
  After some further discussion,
  Mr. Vaisey’s proposition was put as an alternative to Mr. Monk’s resolution, “that a new drain be brought from Sir R. Abercrombie’s stables and relaid from Mr. Coxill’s to Avenue Road, and carried down the same; and that proper catchpits be provided to all the sewers, to be emptied at the parish expense.”
  This was seconded by Mr. Elley, and carried by 13 votes to 10.
  A vote of thanks to the Chairman concluded the meeting, but an animated discussion was held outside the schoolroom, when we understand that three or four of the townspeople undertook at their own expense to have the levels properly taken.

Relevant reports of Board of Guardians meetings are included below. They were the Sanitary Authority with ultimate responsibility for sewers etc.

Buckingham Advertiser, 1 July

  …Mr. James King said he would propose that a Committee be appointed to formulate some scheme, and to bring the same before the Sanitary Authority.
  Mr James East proposed the following:- “As a plan, shewing the levels of the High Street and the Avenue Road, obtained by private subscription, was produced at our last meeting, and the question of the drainage of the town having been referred again to the parish for further consideration, and no Vestry having been called- neither do I believe it is intended to call one- I propose that the Local Government Board be now communicated with, and requested to advise us as to the proper and best method of drainage.”  He said the Local Government Board possessed men of experience and ability to enquire into these things, and he did not see why Winslow should not benefit by having one come to enquire into the question…
  The Chairman said they were trying to put the place to the greatest expense they could.  Last season was bad enough, and this would be worse.  He would second Mr. King’s proposition…
  The Clerk [T.P. Willis, owner of the field at the end of Avenue Road] said he should hold to the statement he had previously made as to an injunction if the sewage was brought to his fields.
  Mr East said they had far better spend the money in a new and efficient system of drainage than in law expenses…
  It was stated that if the proposal, as at present made, was carried out, two or three parties would have to be compensated, including Mr. Willis and Mr. Jas. King…
  After further consideration, the question was put to the vote, when Mr. King’s proposal was carried by 7 to 4…

Buckingham Advertiser, 15 July

The Winslow Sewage Question.
    A vestry meeting to elect a Committee to act with the gentlemen appointed by the Sanitary Authority was held on Thursday morning last, it being adjourned from the previous Thursday, as reported in our columns.  The meeting was held in the church porch, when Mr. James King was elected chairman on the proposition of Mr. Neal, seconded by Mr. Frank Monk, and those present then adjourned to the Infant School…
  The Chairman, after reading the notice convening the meeting, explained that himself and Messrs. Monk and East had been selected by the Sanitary Authority to formulate a scheme for the disposal of the sewage in Winslow, and it was for this meeting to nominate other gentlemen to assist them.  The first question was how many they would chose.  He thought two or three would be sufficient.
  Mr. W. S. Neal said the question was a very important one, and he thought the town ought to be well represented.  He should propose that four should be chosen.
  Mr. G. Dunkley seconded this, and it was carried.
  The following gentlemen were then nominated:- Mr. W. Matthews by Mr. East; Mr. Neal by Mr. F. Dancer; Mr. G. Ingram by Mr. East; Mr. Bullock by Mr.Neal.
  Mr. Hillyer then asked that the minutes of the last meeting might be read.  This was done, and he challenged their accuracy as regards one item, saying he certainly did not propose that the Railway Company be called upon to trap the drains in the Station Road.
  The meeting then concluded.

Buckingham Advertiser, 25 Nov

[Board of Guardians] Winslow Drainage.
  …The report of the Committee, signed by Mr. Herbert Bullock as Chairman, stated that they held their first meeting on the 15th of July, when, after appointing a chairman, they considered how far it would be possible or advantageous to meet the resolution passed at a Vestry in favour of sending a much larger volume of sewage than at present down the sewer laid in the Avenue-road.  As it appeared indisputable that the existing nuisance there was caused by the pipes in Mr. Willis’s field being smaller than the sewer in the road, and that Mr. Willis, objecting to the sewage passing in that direction would afford no facilities towards carrying out the resolution, the committee came to the conclusion that they would come to no decision without first ascertaining without doubt the legal position as affecting that sewer, by taking an opinion and scientific advice as to its practicability or desirability as affecting the sewage of the town as a whole.  As the Committee had no power to spend money, it became necessary to adjourn until the Sanitary Authority should sanction the necessary expenditure.

The Sanitary Authority having given this sanction at their meeting on the 26th of July, the Committee met again on the 28th, and determined to lay the case before Mr. Alexander MacMorran, an acknowledged authority, and the author of several works on the subject of the Poor Law and Local Government.  The committee also had meetings in connection with this portion of the subject on the 1st, 10th, and 14th August, when they considered Mr. MacMorran’s opinion, which was that the pipe sewer in Mr. Willis’s field joined to the sewer in the Avenue-road was undoubtedly vested in the Sanitary Authority, and that they had express power to enter and enlarge the sewer to any extent; but that on the other hand, if the sewer discharged on to Mr. Willis’s property, he could compel the Authority to continue the pipes to his boundary, or to purchase land upon which to dispose of the sewage in some lawful manner.

[This was a costly scheme, and the committee decided to spend £15 to call in a competent engineer to prepare a scheme to submit to the Local Government Board. They appointed Mr. A. E. Preston, C.E., of Bradford (son of Rev. Alfred Preston). Levels were taken, and schemes were discussed. The preferred scheme was to bring the Avenue-road sewer to a junction with the other sewers via the Back-lane, a lease would be sufficient for this, and would permit a slightly diminished rate. They decided to apply to the Sanitary Authority to submit this to a meeting of the ratepayers. If adopted, Mr. Preston would be employed as engineer to carry out the work.  Mr. Neal objected to sign the report.]

                                                                                    Ye Bell Hotel,
  I wish to inform the Sanitary Authority and place on record that the reason I objected to sign the report of the Committee is not that I disapprove of Mr. Preston’s scheme.
  I quite agree with the rest of the Committee, that as a scheme it is a very good one, but I do not consider that the report and the Committee’s investigation shew sufficient cause for such a comprehensive and expensive scheme.
                                                                                                WILLIAM S. NEAL,
To the Chairman of the Sanitary Authority.

It was said that the cost of the work was estimated at £3,800.
  A bill of £8/18/4 was received from Mr. Bullock.
  It was resolved that the consideration of the question should be adjourned for three weeks.

Buckingham Advertiser, 30 Dec

  In compliance with a requisition from the Rural Sanitary Authority to the churchwardens and overseers of the parish of Winslow, a vestry meeting was held on Thursday evening, December 21, to consider the sewage scheme formulated by Mr. Preston, C.E., of Bradford.  The meeting was first held in the porch of the parish church, where Mr. Bullock was selected chairman, and an adjournment was made to the Boys’ School…
  Mr. Hillyer strongly condemned the scheme, as a waste of money by spending thousands of pounds where hundreds were only necessary, and suggested that instead, Mr. Willis should be reasonably compensated for any damage, and the Avenue-road drainage taken, through his fields, into catchpits.
  Mr. H. Monk said the scheme was a great deal too expensive for one thing, and above all, for another, let them keep out of the Local Government Board’s hands.  Horn-street drains were good, and Sheep-street drains were good.  It was only a question of Avenue-road, and the work could be done for £120, instead of having a shilling rate for 30 years.  Mr. Willis must be compensated; but he could not stop them from sending the drainage down, because the water had run there this 100 years…
  Mr. Neal moved “That this meeting of ratepayers requests the Sanitary Authority to drain the Buckingham Road from Sir. R. Abercrobie’s stables, with part of Station Road, from Bellevue Terrace, and connect it to Avenue Road; also that the sewer from about Mr. Coxill’s to Avenue Road corner be put into a proper state, and then the sewer be carried through Mr. Willis’ Nordens, to a suitable spot in Mr. Maydon’s rabbit field, and that it be put at such a level that Mr. Preston’s scheme could be carried out at any future time, if necessary.  A suitable person be employed to superintend the carrying out of the drainage.  Also that the owners of the land be approached to ask their co-operation in the matter.”
  Mr. John Ingram seconded this, and Mr. Parrett and Mr. Geo. George supported it, the last two clauses being suggested by these gentlemen.  On being put to the meeting 32 voted for it and none to the contrary.
  Mr. Hillyer proposed “That the Sanitary Authority be asked to abandon Mr. Preston’s scheme for the present, and carry out only what was absolutely necessary to be done.”
  Mr. A. Monk seconded, and the resolution was carried unanimously.

Buckingham Advertiser, 3 Feb 1894: Board of Guardians

  The Clerk said that Mr. Maydn [sic] is on a visit from South Africa, and called upon him respecting the sewage passing through his field, and desired that he would convey a verbal message to the Board.  This he (the Clerk) declined to do; and most probably the result was the following letter from the solicitors:-
                                                                        Mill Street,
                                                                                                29th January, 1894.
  DEAR SIR,- We are instructed by the executors of the late Mr. John Maydn, to write you with reference to the state of the stream which divides his land at Winslow from land we believe is your own [i.e. T.P. Willis's]. The present condition of the stream caused by the outfall into it of sewage from part of the town is such as to cause a nuisance.  We must therefore beg you to call the attention of your Board at their next meeting to the matter, and ask them to comply with the provisions of the Act (55 and 457 Vic.,c.91) for the prevention of the further pollution of the stream.
                                                                        Yours truly,
                                                                                    CONQUEST &CLARE.
  T. P. Willis, Esq., Winslow,
            Clerk to the Sanitary Authority.

    The Chairman said the sewage always had gone down that way for the last century.  At a full meeting of the parish it was resolved that it should be adhered to.  He should say that that decision of the Vestry meeting should be upheld, let the expense be what it might.
  The Clerk reminded the Chairman of the Act of Parliament, and said he had repeatedly brought the sections bearing upon the case before their notice.  They could not pollute a water course with sewage.
  The Chairman [Henry Monk] said it might apply to large towns, but it was not required at Winslow.
  The Clerk said they were liable for allowing the sewage to run into the stream.  The owners could take action any day.  It was mentioned at the parish meeting that it was to go through the Rabbit Field, and no doubt the parties noticed that.
  The Chairman said that three-parts of the sewage of the town ran down his field, and it was all absorbed, except in times of heavy rain, when some of it reached the river.
  Mr. Hedges did not see that they need take much notice of the letter.  The whole of the question of the disposal of the sewage of Winslow had been referred to a committee, and they would in all probability deal with it.
  The Clerk and the Committee was dissolved.
  The Chairman said it could be called together again.
  It was mentioned that Mr. King was dead, and that one other member of the committee declined to act again.
  The Chairman said that when the parish meeting - and a full parish meeting - decided, as it did so unanimously upon the question, he should not think of attempting to go against it.
  The Clerk said he was informed by Mr. Maydn that he was shortly about to return to South Africa, and that he should leave full powers with Messrs. Conquest and Clare to act as they chose in the matter.
  The Chairman - Then we must fight them,and I am sure the parish will back us up.

Buckingham Advertiser, 2 Dec 1893

  The annual vestry meeting under the Lighting and Watching Act, was held on Thursday evening, at 7 p.m., and was very fairly attended.  Mr. W. S. Neal was appointed Chairman…
  Mr. Varney said there was some dissatisfaction that £10 a year was paid out of the Winslow rates for the engine and brigade, while the surrounding district got just as much advantage, and paid nothing towards the expenses.  He moved the passing of the Fire Brigade Accounts, with the addition that the vestry would like to see more voluntary subscriptions.  Mr. R. George seconded…
  Mr. Willis said there was one more matter; there was no convenience in the engine house for drying their hose, and they had to take it in Mr. Wigley’s sale yard to dry.  What they wanted was to pull the floor out of the top of the engine house, and put the hose from top to bottom.  The volunteers occupied the top room, but no rent had been got from them for years, although it had been asked for no end of times.  He believed Mr. Keys would take the floor out for £1, and the pegs could be shifted from the bottom to the top.
  After some discussion, Mr. John Varney proposed that the floor above the engine be taken out, and that proper notice be given to the volunteers, that they will be ejected  Mr. A. Monk seconded.
  Mr. George proposed an amendment, that the floor be not taken out, but that Capt. Fremantle have notice that unless the arrears of rent are paid, the room will be closed to the volunteers at once.  Mr. F. Dancer seconded.
  It was stated that the engine house was built on purpose for the engine by the parish, and that the volunteers owed four years at £1 a year rent.
  On being put to the meeting, the proposer and seconder only voted for the amendment, and Mr. Varney’s proposition was carried.
  A vote of thanks to the chairman concluded the meeting.


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Copyright 29 August, 2021