Conisborough Election – All About Mr. Baker (photo)

March 1907

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 23rd 1907

Conisborough Election
All About Mr. Baker

Messrs. John Brocklesby and George Kilner can sparsely complain of lack of interest in their rural Council election campaign. Monday’s meeting in the Morley Place school attracted some hundreds of the (more or less) rate paying public, and, wonderful to relate, having regard to the place and circumstances, the crowded attendance was thoroughly orderly, and only interrupted the speakers for the purpose of making the roof ring with its plaudits. And the crowd received a further insight into rural district administration of the past, and was also told a few useful and instructive things as to how that administration would be carried out in the future (provided the electorate had sufficient common intelligence to return protegees of the ratepayers Association).

Mr Joseph Marsh was the chairman, and the candidates had the very substantial support of Mr C. D. Nicholson, C. C., Mr W. W. Norwood, Mr Caleb Kilner, J. P., Mr G. T. Nicholson; while the presence of sundry ladies in the front rows was a continuous inspiration to candidates to valorous effort.

Mr Marsh spoke with two voices. He devoted the early portion of his address to a laudatory description of the two candidates in particular; and of the Ratepayers Association in general. Then he turned upon Mr Baker (photo), smote him hip and fire, left him helpless, bruised and battered. Never before had even this man of storms been the subject of such a terrific verbal castigation.

But, alas! All the string was taken out of the fact that Mr Baker was not present to receive the full force of this succession of blows. Judging from the number of candidates in the field, said the chairman, it would appear that the parish council was an important body. In fact, he said in effect, it made the position rather embarrassing for the Elector, who, when he had succeeded in sorting the fit and proper 13 out of the 37 aspirants, they may be said to have accomplished a fairly good day’s work. Then he turned to the Parish Council of the past. They had had experience of what one of the candidates had done.

“I think,” he said, “he has gained for us a notoriety that we did not want. We have got a name in Conisborough for having meetings which are more like pandemonium than parish council meetings and there has been no real necessity for it. Mr Baker had used his position as a parish councillor to abuse those who have happen to differ from him. He has used every opportunity that he has had to bring them into contempt, if possible. That is not what we send people to the Parish Council for.”

Further, the chairman opined that, however strong a fighter a man might be, he could still remain a gentleman; and he felt perfectly satisfied that the parish was not pleased with the way in which Mr Baker had conducted himself at the parish council meetings. As to Mr Baker’s membership of the Rural Council, he ascribed the reason of his election three years previously to the general lack of interest on the part of the electorate.

Meeting continued