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The Rushden Parochial Sanitary Committee

Wellingborough News, 6th September 1879, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Brook

The following communications were read by the Clerk:—

Rushden Rectory, Higham Ferrers, August 16th, 1879.

DEAR SIR,—I am requested by the Local Sanitary Committee to ask you to lay the enclosed before the Rural Sanitary Authority at your earliest opportunity. I am to add that unless some steps be taken in the matter, the Parochial Committee purpose resigning, as they are unwilling any longer to occupy a position which seems to charge them with the responsibility of a nuisance which they are unable to remove.

I am, dear Sir, yours faithfully,

M. Reid Sharman, Esq.

The Rushden Parochial Sanitary Committee desire to call the attention of the Rural Sanitary Authority to the following particulars relative to the brook running through the village of Rushden. The Medical Officer of Health, in a report upon the parish of Rushden, dated 22nd April, 1879, states— "That part of the brook, which is now used as a thoroughfare for horses and vehicles, should be arched over, and a roadway constructed. The remaining part of the brook should be paved like the upper part for, say, 70 or 80 yards. The brook being a watercourse and not a sewer, these structural works would be, I apprehend, carried out by the Highway Commissioners."

The Parochial Sanitary Committee, under instructions from your Authority, carefully considered the above statements, unanimously agreed to them, and in report to you, dated June 16,1879, urgently requested you to take what steps you deemed advisable for carrying out at once your Medical Officer's suggestions. No further communication on the subject has reached the Parochial Committee. No steps have been taken for abating the admitted nuisance. The hot weather is making the stench from the brook intolerable to inhabitants in its vicinity. Deputations of these inhabitants wait upon the members of the Parochial Committee with earnest and repeated complaints. The Parish of Rushden, in Vestry assembled, decided some time ago that the best method of abating the nuisance complained of was by works similar to those recommended by the Medical Officer. Under these circumstances the Parochial Sanitary Committee appeal to your Authority for counsel and help. On behalf of the Committee,

JOHN T. BARKER, Chairman.
Rushden, August 16th 1879.

To the Rural Sanitary Authority, Wellingborough.

Mr. Siddons : At our last meeting, or meeting before that, we referred this matter to the Highway Authority for them to take such steps with regard to it as they thought proper.

The Clerk: There was a difficulty as to the competency of this Authority to deal with it. The Highway Board declined to consider the matter because the carrying out of the necessary work would throw too great an expense upon the whole district. If it was a highway matter it could be attended to by the Highway Board, but the Highway Board do not think they are called upon to do the work at the expense of the district for the parish of Rushden.

Mr. Watts: I see no way out of the difficulty except by constructing a sewer by the side of the highway, and the expense of that would be very great.

Mr. Denton: We estimate it would cost some £200.

Mr. Siddons: Could this Authority take the matter up legally?

The Clerk: If they deem it necessary to construct a new sewer they have power to do that, but they would be acting illegally if they converted the water course into a sewer.

The Board instructed the Clerk to write to Mr. Barker, the Chairman of the Committee, that this Authority saw no way out of the difficulty except by constructing a public sewer, and that they would be glad to know at their next meeting whether the parish would be willing to go to the expense of having a sewer constructed.

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