Tributes To Surveyor – Parting Gift to Mr. H. Thirlwall at Conisbrough (picture)

April 1946

South Yorkshire Times, 27th April, 1946

Tributes To Surveyor.
Parting Gift to Mr. H. Thirlwall at Conisbrough.

Img_0297 thirlwall

Mr. Harry Thirlwall, recently retired surveyor to Conisbrough Urban Council, receiving gifts from Coun J T E Collins (Left) on behalf of the Council members, and from the Clerk, Mr B W Birch (Right), on behalf of the Clerk’s, Rating & Treasurer’s Departments, Coun D Sheldon, Council Chairman presided.

Eulogistic references to the great work performed in the transformation and development of the Conisbrough and Denaby area by Mr. Harry Thirlwall, who retired on April 5th after 25 years’ service as first surveyor and engineer to Conisbrough Urban Council, were made at a happy gathering in the Council Chamber last Thursday, when Mr. Thirlwall was the recipient of gifts from councillors and Council staff.

On behalf of the Council members, Coun. J. T. E. Collins ‘father’ of the Council in length of service, presented Mr. Thirlwall with a door chiming apparatus, and on behalf of the staff in the Clerk’s Rating and Treasurer’s Departments. Mr. R. W. Birch (Clerk) presented Mr. Thirlwall with a breakfast service and fountain pen. Coun. D. Sheldon, Chairman of the Council, presided over an attendane which included all the members of the Council except Couns. G. Cheshire (vice chairman), F. Kelsall and A. Wellings (unavoidably prevented from attending) ex-councillors in Messrs. A. M. Carlin and J. L. Webster, an ex-employee in Mr. L. Sheldon, newly-appointed highways superintendent to Dover Corporation and Messrs A. W. R. Taylor (surveyor), C. Urch (deputy surveyor), H. Otley (treasurer), G. R. Hill (rating officer who was responsible for the arrangements) and A. Jones (clerk’s department).

Couns. Sheldon Collins, H. Gomersal, M. P. Knowles, B. Roberts, I. Houghton, R. H. Shephard, G. Oldfield and Messrs. Birch, Carlin, Webster, L. Sheldon, Hill, Taylor and Urch all spoke and wished Mr. and Mrs. Thirlwall a happy and long retirement at Paignton.

In the Old Days

Coun. Sheldon said they were met to pay tribute to a deserving servant of the Council. Those who remembered Denaby and Conisbrough in the old days would remember a picture which they were all glad had been erased from the memory at last. The year 1921 saw the birth of the Urban District Council of Conisbrough, and one of their first officials was now taking his leave after 25 years’ strenuous work, and the Council were pleased to think that after such a strenuous life in the serving of the district he was going to live a life of leisure.

They could place in the district and it was Mr. Thirlwall who had brought them about. The policy was enacted in that Council Chamber, but it was the officials who carried out the policy. Mr. Thirlwall had left his mark in the district – there were two memories he would leave behind him: the first was the delightful little Memorial Park at Denaby and the second was the Council’s Daylands Estate. He had been round both the estate and the park with people from outside the district and the general opinion was that they were two little beauty spots.

Both of them were memorials to Mr. Thirlwall and he was grateful that the Council had decided to keep his name in memory in the town by naming on the first streets in their new housing estate ‘Thirlwall Avenue.’ As an official, Mr. Thirwall had always been willing to co-operate with them, and his advice had always been sound. Coun. Sheldon said he was very proud to be bale to be there to say a word in favour of what he had done. Mr. Thirlwall had been paid for what he had done, but he thought he had given good value.

Many Memorials.

Making the presentation, Coun. Collins said they all felt keenly the fact that Mr. Thirwall was leaving them. Mr. Thirlwall had made himself highly respected and had undoubtedly made a name for himself that would live as long as Conisbrough lived. There were monuments which would be there long after he and the Council had passed away.

They had seen progress in the urban district, and one mark of progress had been the abolition of the privy middens at Denaby and Conisbrough. When the urban district was formed Denaby could be looked upon as a black spot so far as sanitation was concerned, but that had gone by the board, and it was largely due to their ex-Surveyor that it had been done so quickly. He had been largely responsible for the improvements that had taken place. When new policy had been put forward by members of the Council which made for progress, Mr. Thirlwall had been able to put his hands and mind to it. Mr. Thirlwall had made and suggested improvements in many directions and he felt that those who had been members of the Council for a great number of years would say to Mr. Thirlwall ‘All honour to you. We will be bidding you farewell, but not goodbye. We shall be happy to see you in this Council Chamber when you are over on any future visits.’

Mr. Birch made a witty and brief speech in making the presentation from the downstairs’ officers’ staff, and Coun. Gomersall referred to the great effect the abolition of the privy midden system at Denaby had been in reducing the very high infantile morality rate in the area. County Coun. Roberts, J.P., said that he had been living in Denaby and Conisbrough since he was 11 and he thought that the character of the people had altered with the improvements that had been made in the district. He had every wish that the new surveyor would carry on where Mr. Thirlwall had left off.

None Finer.

Mr. Carlin declared that if they wanted to see a housing scheme to surpass the Daylands Estate they would have to go to the South of England, where the atmosphere was clear and grime-free. There was none finer in the North of England.

Mr. L. Sheldon said he owed a great deal to Mr. Thirlwall, whose retirement was probably hastened by the tremendous amount of work he accomplished during the war on civil defence problems.

Replying, Mr. Thirlwall said that it was almost overwhelming to have to reply to the nice things that had been said, and he thanked them all, on behalf of his wife and himself, for their good wishes.

Mr. Thirlwall referred to the principal features of the development work which had been undertaken during his 25 years’ service and wished his successor the same happiness he had experienced. Mr. Thirlwall said it had given him the greatest pleasure to lay out the Memorial Park, and with regard to the Daylands Estate he had taken a great deal of pride in that. It had been done by direct labour, and in his opinion it was a paying proposition because they got a better type of work.

Mr. Thirlwall added that one of the strong points of the members of the Council had been their kindness and tolerance of him and his strong-headedness. He had been strong headed. He had had to be, but they had got thing done.