|The Rushden Echo, Friday 1st July 1898, transcribed by Sue Manton
Rushden and Higham Ferrers Gas Company - A successful year
Last Thursday night the seventh annual general meeting of the shareholders of the Rushden and Higham Ferrers Gas Company Limited, was held at the board room at the Gas Works. Mr. Paul Cave (chairman of the company) presided. There were also present Messrs. G. H. Groome, G. S. Mason, W. Radburne, W. B. Sanders, W. H. Wilkins, J. Cave, S. H. Kimble, A. A. Ashby, C. Bayes, C. E. Bayes, Jas Bennett, J. Brawn, W. H. Brawn, Thos. Baker, T. Burton, Arthur Cave, Amos Cave, Fred Cave, E. Claridge, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, A. Colson, J. T. Colson, G. Denton, A. Gadsby, C. Jolley, Fred Knight, Samuel Knight, J. S. Mason, C. R. Owen, G. Perkins, E. B. Randall, G. H. Skinner, G. Skinner, J. T. Lewis, W. Spong, W. Webb, Sam Knight and T. Watson (manager) with Mr. Hayes. The report of the directors spoke of a very satisfactory and profitable year’s trading, the net profits amounting to £1914 15s 4d against £1463 2s 6d last year.
A change of managementship had occurred during the year. The Directors had fortunately secured the services of Mr. T. Watson, of Gibraltar, an engineer and manager in whom both shareholders and consumers might have every confidence. It had been decided to reduce the price of gas 2d per 1000ft. from June 1st. the balance sheet was satisfactory. The gas sales at Rushden were £5,346 and at Higham Ferrers £1,171. The balance available for dividend and bonus to shareholding consumers was £1,914 15s 4d. The directors recommended a dividend of nine per cent per annum. This was agreed to.
The Directors are Messrs Paul Cave, E. Claridge, J. Claridge, G. H. Groome, C. Jolley, F. Knight, J. S. Mason, W. Radbourne, E. B. Randall, W. B. Sanders and W. Spong of whom Messrs. P. Cave, Knight and Radbourne retired by rotation. Mr. Paul Cave, Mr. Fred Knight, and Mr. Radbourne were re-elected and Mr. Owen Parker was elected in place of Mr. J. T. Lewis, who retired in 1896.
On the motion of Mr. Burton, seconded by Mr. Wilkins, £50 was voted to the directors as remuneration, to be divided according to the attendances made.
The Auditorship Mr. J. Claridge moved the re-election of Mr. Wilkins as auditor and said they could not have a more capable man. The motion was unanimously carried.
Proposed development A special meeting of the shareholders was then held to consider the advisability of passing the following proposition:-
“That the company make application in the ensuing sessions of parliament, for an Act of Parliament, or to the Board of Trade for a provisional order (under Gas and Waterworks Facilities Act, 1870), as the directors may decide, for empowering the company to maintain their existing gas works, to construct additional gas works if necessary, to manufacture and supply gas in Rushden and Higham Ferrers and the districts adjacent thereto and for such other purposes as the directors may deem desirable, and that the directors be, and are hereby authorised, to take such steps as may be necessary for obtaining such an Act of Parliament of provisional order.”
The resolution was moved by the Chairman and seconded by Mr. Randall, and carried.
|The Rushden Echo, 19th August 1898, transcribed by Jim Hollis
The Rushden & Higham Ferrers Gas Co
Shall The Town Buy The Gas Works?
This question was raised on Wednesday night at a meeting of the Rushden Urban Council.
The Chairman (Mr. J. Claridge) said there was a matter which would soon have to receive the serious consideration of the Council, and that was with reference to the Bill which was being promoted by the Gas Company for obtaining Parliamentary powers to protect or safeguard the interests of the shareholders and also the consumers. The Bill would also affect the Council. The question was whether now was not an opportune time for the
Council to Purchase The Works
or not. The Bill would soon be drafted and printed and when this had been done he would suggest that the members of the council should carefully consider the matter, and then he hoped they would come to a wise decision upon it. In the meantime he would ask every member of the Council to give the subject their best attention so that when the matter came before them they would be able to discuss it and arrive at the wisest decision. It was a big question.
Mr. Wilkins: Would it be well to arrange that as soon as the Gas Company have approved of a draft of the Bill a copy should be sent to the Council?
Mr. Mason (the Clerk): That shall be done.
The Chairman: We as a Council are
and, if we do not go in for purchasing the works, we ought to see that our interests are protected. It would be as well to call a special meeting to consider the question when we get the draft of the Bill.
Mr. Denton: As we are mostly interested in the Gas Company it is hardly possible for us to give a disinterested opinion on the Bill.
The Chairman: I think we can judge the mater without bias.
Mr. Spencer thought it might be wise under such circumstances to get an opinion outside the Council.
Mr. Miller: I think the members of the Council will rise to the occasion and put their own
to one side.
Mr. Brawn: I think so.
Mr. Wilkins: In the present day Parliament is particularly jealous of the interests of public bodies, and will take care that the interests of the Council are considered. They consider the interests of the town far more than those of the company.
The Clerk: That is so.
Mr. Spencer asked what would be the position of those members of the Council who were directors of the Gas Company.
The Clerk: They could note vote.
Mr. Spencer: Could the shareholders who are on the Council vote?
The Clerk: No.
The matter then dropped.
|Rushden Echo Friday, March 18, 1921, transcribed by Sue Manton
Rushden and Higham Gas Co. - Further increase in price this year - Still cheaper than London.
Mr. G. H. Groome presided at the annual meeting of the stockholders of the Rushden and Higham Ferrers District Gas Company on Friday evening, the other directors being Messrs. F. Knight J.P. (vice-chairman), John Claridge J.P., C.C., John S. Mason, J. T.Colson and W. B. Sanders.
The directors in their annual report, announced a satisfactory year’s working. During the year £145,569,478 cubic feet of gas were sold. The directors proposed a dividend for the half year ending December 31st, 1920 at the same rate as the interim dividend declared in September, making total dividends for the year at the rate of £8 10s on the original £5 19s on the additional stocks, less tax. The net amount of the half year’s dividend was £845.
The Chairman, in proposing the adoption of the accounts and directors’ report said the past year had been one of anxiety on account of the continental increases in price of coal, wages and stores. Whether they had reached the top limit of these matters was uncertain. With keen regret the Directors, after careful consideration, found it necessary to increase the price of gas from 4s to 4s 6d per 1,000 cubic feet from January 1st 1921; but hoped no further increase might be necessary this year. This depended almost entirely upon the cost of coal and wages and at present there was no certainty as to what might happen in the near future. Should further increases in these items take place, it might become necessary to further increase the price of gas, as the present margin of profit was very small. The price at which the company had been supplying gas since 1914 had been remarkably low compared with other companies. With one exception, all the London companies were charging considerably over 5s per 1,000 cubic feet and the one exception was 4d above the Rushden Company’s present price. Since 1914 the price of coal had increased 170 percent, stokers’ wages 100 per cent and the price of gas only 74 percent. As regard dividends, the amount distributed among shareholders in 1914 was £3,379 12s 2d and in 1920 £1,689 18s 0d a decrease of 50 per cent. The decontrol of the coal industry at the end of March was apparently a move in the right direction and the result later on would he felt confident, be a drop in the price of coal.
The report was adopted. Messrs. Claridge, Colson and Sanders were re-elected directors and Messrs. Hopps and Bankart were re-appointed auditors.
The Secretary (Mr. G. S. Mason) and the Manager (Mr. T. Watson) were heartily thanked for their services.