Light v Darkness – Gas Lights on Station Road

August 1879

Mexborough and Swinton Times, August 15.

Light v Darkness

On Friday evening last, a meeting was held in the Conisborough Church Sunday school – room, in compliance with the following notice:

“Light v Darkness. The ratepayers of the parish of Conisborough, are invited to attend a meeting to be held in the Church Sunday school, on Friday evening, August 8 at 7:30 PM to take into consideration the lighting with gas the Station road during the winter months,”

at the time named a goodly number of ratepayers had assembled, and Mr J Blyth, was called upon to preside. The chairman explained the object of the meeting, and said that the desire of the promoters was not to levy a rate; but, to propose some means of lighting the Station Lane with gas, by subscription.

Mr Thomas fears and Mr Joseph Sharman here strongly objected to the legality of the meeting, and called upon the chairman to inform the meeting by whose authority, the meeting was called.

The chairman explained that this was not a vestry meeting, but a meeting of gentlemen who were about to put their hands into their own pockets to confer a great boon upon the parish.

Mr G Kiner, said he came to that meeting with the decided intention of opposing to the uttermost any attempt to increase the rates of the parish; but as gentlemen were proposing to provide such a boon in the generous manner proposed, he would not only withdraw his opposition but give his share towards the promotion of the scheme.

Mr Charles Leger said five lamps would light the lane well. The cost of the lamps would be about £3 each if they were to be the property of the subscribers, and cost of gas and attendance about eight shillings per week; or say £10 for the six winter months.

Rowland Hills, Esq urged that for the safety of persons travelling to and from the station, the matter ought to be at once set about, and proposed that a deputation be appointed to wait on the directors of the Gas Company, at their meeting next week, and also to canvas inhabitants to obtain as many subscribers as possible.

Mr D Smith said he should for one be on the “shady side.” The question on account of the exorbitant price of gas. He considered that it would be far more to the company’s advantage to charge 5s (25p) per thousand than 6s 8d (34p), I should propose that no action be taken to light Station Lane until the price be reduced.

Mr J. Scarborough rose and appealed to the ratepayers not to be let in by the Gas company. He contended that this was the thin end of the wedge, and when they had got them all, they would let them see if they would not have to pay the rates. He would give as much as anybody of his own voluntary free well, but he would not be forced to pay a penny.

Mr Greaves: how much do you propose to give of your own voluntary free will?

Mr Scarborough: not a penny. (Laughter.)

The following gentlemen were then chosen to constitute the deputation;

Messrs J.Blyth, E.Greaves, T. Booth, S.Simpson, R.Hills and Kilner

A vote of thanks was then proposed by Mr Hills, seconded by Mr Booth to Mr J Blyth for so ably presiding at the meeting.

Mr G Harrison moved that this meeting not be separated without according a vote of thanks to Mr E.Greaves for taking the initiative in this matter, seconded by R.Hills Esq and carried amid great applause.

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