Parish Meeting – Water Question & Proposed New Magistrate – Lively Proceedings.

July 1887

Mexborough and Swinton Times July 15, 1887

Parish Meeting at Conisborough.
The Water Question and the Proposed New Magistrate.
Lively Proceedings.

On Friday evening a meeting convened by notices issued by the overseers of Conisborough, Messrs. Jos. Appleyard and Booth, was held in their national school room, Conisborough.

There was a good attendance of ratepayers. Mr Godfrey Walker was elected to the chair, and called upon Mr Hawksworth, assistant overseer, to read the notice of the meeting, which included the consideration of three points – the recommendation of an additional Guardian, the consideration of the water question, and the question of the assessing and reassessing of property.

An Additional Guardian

The Chairman called upon the overseers to give their reasons why there should be an Guardian,

Mr. Jos Appleyard said this question had been brought up several times, but it had never arrived at a head. He considered it almost indispensable that there should be another Guardian for Conisborough.”

Mr Ogley presented a list to the meeting of places which enjoyed two guardians – places about the size of Conisborough. – Tickill for instance, and added the names of several township with a population not exceeding two or 300 which were represented to the same extent on the Doncaster Board of guardians as was Conisborough.

Dr Hill’s having paid a high tribute to the excellency of Mr Ogley services to the parish during the seven years he had been Guardian, advocated the appointment of an ex-officio Guardian so that when an important point was brought before the board affecting Conisborough there would be two voices and two votes instead of one is at present. He suggested that a magistrate resident in Conisborough should act as an ex officio Guardian, and he thought this meeting should recommend this course.

The Chairman drew attention to the fact that the meeting was not called to consider the appointment of a magistrate, and was afraid they could do nothing legally in that respect.

Dr Hill’s thought it was high time Conisborough had a resident magistrate, and the place had been put to inconvenience times out of number because of this. If it so happened, to give a case in point, that an unfortunate is about to be sent to the lunatic asylum they had to scour and scour the whole country for miles and miles around before they could get the requisite permission. He again asserted his opinion that it was high time Conisborough was represented.

The chairman said while the question was on the tapis would Dr Hill’s inform them what would be the mode of procedure.

Dr Hill said the recommendation for a magistrate might go from that meeting.

The chairman reminded Dr Hill’s at the meeting had not been called for that purpose.

Mr Sharpe, although admitting the advantage which would occur from the appointment of another Guardian, submitted that the meeting could not consider the appointment of a magistrate. In giving his idea of how the meeting should proceed with the appointment of an additional Guardian they should communicate with the local government Board on the subject and receive their sanction, and he thought a recommendation from this meeting to the effect would lead to what they wanted.

In answer to Major Johnson, the chairman said Mr Chambers, as Guardian for the Doncaster part of Denaby certainly represents Conisborough Parish, and this put a different aspect on affairs.

The chairman remarked that there must be a special meeting convened if they intended to go in for a magistrate, the proper course to pursue would be to send the two or three names for which the Lord lieutenant could select.

Mr Geo Appleyard finally proposed that another Guardian be nominated.

Major Johnson remarked that before the meeting could nominate anyone they would have to communicate with the authority in London as to whether they should have, and it would be some considerable time before they could get things settled. The Chairman said in his opinion there would be more delay in getting the Guardian than in getting a magistrate.

Mr Ogley reminded the meeting that they had applied before for an additional Guardian, but the Board had said what was good enough for Balby, should be good enough for Conisborough.

Mr Sharp seconded Mr G Appleyard’s motion, suggested that if the board of Guardians did not take any notice of this resolution that they communicate at once with the Local Government Board where they would be sure at least of receiving a courteous reply. Mr Ogley said the communication was bound to for the guardians in the end and they would take no notice of it.

Mr Sharpe: They will at least have to give a tangible reason.

The chairman remarked that there were other places with 2000 population more than Conisborough which had only one Guardian – such places as Balby and Arksey with Bentley.

Dr Hills said if that was the case Conisborough had no locus standi at all.

Major Johnson proposed that for the present this matte be allowed to stand over, and this was eventually carried.

The Water Question

The meeting then took into consideration the water question.

Having been called upon by the chairman, Mr G. Appleyard said some of the inhabitants were much dissatisfied with respect to the water question. Mr Montagu had put in the 3 inch pipe and tapped the main. This other people could get none, and there was nothing said about it. (A. Voice, “but there will be.”)

The Chairman: Do you think Mr Montagu has no authority?

Mr Appleyard. Yes, he has no right. The marked mine up. But they didn’t pull Mr Montagu’s up. We have three parish wells in Conisborough and they are all taken possession of. Mr Nicholson has taken possession of one, the gasworks the other, and Mr Montagu the third, and if it is not time to say something about it – I think it is. People have to run all over the village for water. Mr Appleyard then stated the distance that people had to fetch the water, and said some had to go to Mr Godfrey Walker’s brickyard for it. (A voice: “But he’s stopped it.”)

The Chairman: Yes, because they stole the pipes and I could not stand that (laughter)

Mr Appleyard proposed that Mr Montagu’s pipes be cut off. (A voice: “put yourself off as well; you put yours in first.”) They have cut mine off.

Dr Fairburn thought the question affected the whole village, and asked the Chairman if that was not his opinion.

The Chairman said he could not answer that; some might think it did and some might think it did not.

Mr Downing: Who does it effect?

Mr Warburton. Said to his mind it ought not to matter who it affected. Was it right or wrong? Rights right, and it did not matter who it affected.

Mr R. Crowcroft seconded Mr Appleyard’s motion.

In answer to Mr Lee, Mr Appleyard said Mr Montagu’s pipe adjoined the parish main.

Mr Lee said if that pipe was cut off there would be a benefit. If the pipe from Pagden’s was carried down to the bottom of the hill it was supply the whole of Conisborough.

Mr Harrison asked if there was not an agreement between the sanitary board and Mr Montagu with regard to Mr Montagu allowing the parish to put the pipe through his land on condition that Mr Montagu’s property should be supplied you you from the pipe.

Mr J Appleyard said there was an old watercourse across that property ever since he could remember. And for that reason he did not believe that the pipe would interfere with Mr Montagu’s property at all. There was an arrangement between the board and Mr Montagu but he did not believe Mr Montagu knew anything about it. It was the parish watercourse and not Mr Montagu’s.

One of the meeting said the pipe did not go down the watercourse, but by the side of it, and Mr J. Appleyard asked how it was that it was put there.

Mr Nicholson said he understood that Mr Montagu was paid an acknowledgement of one shilling a year for allowing the pipe to go through his land. Mr Warburton said in his opinion the water question of Conisborough assumed a more serious aspect than the resolution took into account. It was not a question of Mr Appleyard and Mr Montagu, or Mr Appleyard and anyone else; it was a question which affected the whole town. (Here, here) He saw every day the  difficulties arising from the want of water, and there were many people who did not drink nor wash anything near the amount they would have if they got water, and more than that the water they now had, was it a good supply as to quality? He very seriously doubted the quality of any water except that over which Mr Nicholson had the monopoly. He moved as an amendment that “a committee be appointed to consider the question as a whole, and report to a future meeting of the ratepayers.”

This was seconded by Mr Lee, and carried by a large majority.

A committee was informed as follows: – Messrs. Ogley, Kilner, Nicholson, Blyth, WH. Chambers, Johnson, Smith, and Warburton.

“Salty” Thompson: “Are you going to have some working men on the committee instead of putting in a lot of old washerwoman on the job (laughter). Put half a dozen  on like me and we shall get it done.” (Renewed laughter.)

Mr Warburton remarked that the committee could do nothing except report to the ratepayers. They would then, on the receipt of the report, send a question to the sanitary authority of Doncaster, for, unfortunately for Conisborough, the Doncaster Union were allowed to get sanitary powers over Conisborough.

Mr C. Kilner: The appointment of the committee is all we can do tonight, and you may depend upon it, gentlemen, that there will be nothing done for the next thousand years. (Laughter)

Mr R. Crowcroft: It’s time there was something done.

Mr Kilner: It is high time indeed.

“Salty” Thompson: Who is it that makes gentlemen? If we don’t pay rates we pay rent don’t we? (Laughter)

Mr Crowcroft: They will do as they like; there’s not one of them who has to fetch water.

Assessment of Property

The meeting then considered the question of the assessing or reassessing of property.

Mr J Appleyard proposed that the same committee revise the assessments.

Mr Kilner: That is hardly good enough.

Mr Sharpe: Surely people ought to submit reasons to the meeting.

Dr Hills: It leaves us entirely in the dark.

The Chairman: Just explain yourself.

Mr Appleyard said there was some of the property which was not assessed and some wanted reducing, and some wanted raising. (A voice: “Why don’t you do your duty then.”)

“Salty” Thompson: Some of it wants pulling down altogether (laughter)

Mr Nicholson: If any wants reducing you will have to give notice to the assessment committee.

“Salty” Thompson: There’s more property wants pulling down than occupying in Conisborough (renewed laughter)

J Appleyard said the property was last gone over about 12 years ago.

Mr Kilner proposed that there be not a committee appointed, and he would give his reasons for doing so (here, here.) Some 12 or 14 years ago a committee was appointed, a committee of gentlemen belonging to the parish. No doubt they knew something about cottage property and about workshop, and that sort of thing. But he did submit that they knew nothing at all about manufactories.

Mr J Appleyard “They did not interfere with them.

Mr Kilner (continuing) said this committee came down to his works and valued it, and the firm were not satisfied, neither had they been satisfied since. He thought some people had an eye upon the works as regards the raising of the valuation. No gentleman from Conisborough would be allowed to value the work; if they were valued at all they would be valued by an independent gentlemen. (Here, here.) They had been paying more than they ought to have paid for some time. There was another reason the committee, if appointed, would not rest satisfied unless they did something, and the result would be there advancing of the rateable value of Conisborough. What the Conisborough benefit by that? The benefit was ghastly anything, because the money went into a general coffer belonging to 20 of 30 parishes, and Conisborough would get one a little portion of it (Cheers)

Dr Hill seconded.

Mr Sharpe supported, and said if an overseer was appointed for a special purpose to look after these things and there was anyone rated below what he should be rated at, it was the overseer’s duty to see that the assessment was put up. He was surprised that anyone should come to that meeting and acknowledge his own incompetency by asking the meeting do work which he should do himself (here, here.)

Mr Kilner’s proposition was carried by a large majority, and the meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the chairman.