Urban and Rural District Council
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Council Meetings

A Retrospect


February 5 - Col. LUARD, Local Government Inspector, held an inquiry at the Barrett Browning Memorial Institute in consequence of the Ledbury Urban Council having applied to the Local Government Board for sanction to borrow £300 for works of sewage. The Inspector said that the sewerage was in a filthy state. In company with several Councillors he visited the open ditches in New Town, and recommended a thorough and complete system of sewerage. No opposition was given to the scheme.

March 2 Messrs. E. H. HOPKINS and H. GRIFFITHS were unanimously re-elected overseers for the parish of Ledbury Urban.

March 9 Ledbury Rural Council Election took place at the Board room, Workhouse. Very little interest was manifested in the proceedings. The old Council were re-elected, with the exception of Mr. Tom HODGES, whose place was taken by Mr. W. R. HARMAN

March 13 a meeting of ratepayers was held at the Town Hall, which was called by Mr. C. W. STEPHENS, County Councillor and Urban Councillor, to decide which they preferred: “The original arrangement decreed by the Locals of the Urban Council should Government Act, 189l, that five member retire annually, or that the whole Council should retire at the 5 once in three years." The members decided, by a large majority, to petition the County Council for annual elections for 5 members.

March 14 Meeting of the Herefordshire County Council, the resolution passed at the above meeting was brought forward. but the matter was adjourned till the April meeting, the election for five members in the meantime taking place.

March 16th Twelve members were nominated for the five seats on the Ledbury Urban Council.

March 26 Mr. W. A. C. GABB (chairman of the urban council), entertained the members of that body to dinner at the Old Talbot Hotel.

March 27 The new candidates for Urban Council honours, viz.: Messrs W. BOLT, H. BRAY, A. J. HALL, and W. MADDERS, addressed a crowded meeting in support of their candidature.

March 28 evening the retiring candidates (who sought re-election) also addressed a crowded public meeting in the same hall. The candidates present were Messrs. T. HODGES, E. H. HOPKINS, and W. R. WALKER.

March 30 was a most exciting day, the occasion being the election for the five Urban Councillors. Three of the retiring candidates headed the poll. as follows : Messrs. M. BIDDULPH, M.P. (283 votes), E. H. HOPKINS (“2239), W. R. WALKER (241), W. C. BOLT (218), H. BRAY (200). The defeated candidates were Messrs. T. HODGES, who sought re-election (186), W. MADDERS (142), and A. J. HALL (127). On the same day the election for three Guardians resulted as follows : Messrs. J. BANNER (313), J. D. EVANS (220), R. LOMAS (177). The two defeated candidates were Messrs. T. BADSEY, who had been a guardian for a great many years, (171), and C. H. BASTOW (80).

April 3 At the monthly meeting of the Urban Council the Ledbury water question was discussed at length, and it was decided to analyse the water in twelve wells in different parts of the town.

April 3 Mr. HAYARD was appointed inspector of nuisances for Ledbury Rural on the 7th.

April 10 a special meeting of the Urban Council was held to consider the question of an isolation hospital, in consequence of the smallpox epidemic at Gloucester, and it was decided to invite the Rural Council to a conference with the Urban Council with reference to the fitting up of a suitable place for infectious diseases.

April 14 The conference between the Urban and Rural Councils concerning the proposed isolation hospital was held, when the latter council agreed to pay half the expenses of the hospital.

April 21 Mr. W. S. LANE was re-elected chairman of the Ledbury Rural Parish Council at the annual meeting.

April 24 The annual meeting of the Urban Council was held, when Mr. W. A. C. GABB was re-elected chairman; the various committees were re-appointed.

May 4 The monthly meeting of the Urban Council the Sanitary Committee reported that they had obtained samples of water from the 12 Wells in the town for analysis. The committee recommended the Council to purchase a horse and cart and undertake the work of scavenging after May 5th, The finance committee recommended a l/- rate for the ensuing half-year. Both recommendations were adopted.

June 1 Evening monthly meeting of the Urban Council, Mr. BIDDULPH, M.P., moved a resolution that the County Council be asked to take such steps to prevent a recurrence of the traction engine accident of the 26th. The Sanitary Committee reported that the analysis of each of the 12 wells had been received; three were reported as unfit for drinking purposes, four were of undesirable quality, and five were pure.

June 8 An adjourned meeting of the Urban Council was held to consider 66 applications for the post of inspector, surveyor, and collector, at £75 per annum; Mr. John ELLIS was appointed.

July 22 Ledbury Urban Council held an adjourned meeting to further deal with the sewerage question, and it was unanimously agreed that Mr. BERRINGTON, C.E., of Wolverhampton, be engaged to formulate a scheme for the re-modelling of the drainage system and disposal of the Sewage.

September 7 At a meeting of the Urban Council it was reported that the water supply was limited to 15 minutes daily.

September 11 Special meeting of the Water Supply Committee was held, when the Council conferred with Mr. CAVE-BROWNE-CAVE, respecting the scheme known as the St. Pewtress’ Well scheme. The meeting, which was not unanimous,was adjourned.

September 19 Col, COKE, Local Government Inspector, visited Ledbury to confer with the Urban Council with reference to the Water supply in consequence of representations having been made to the Local Government Board as to the inadequacy of the water supply. Col. COKE advised the Council to have the well in Long Meadow pumped out and gauged ; at the same time they could go on with the Eastnor scheme.

September 21 A meeting of the owners and ratepayers of the Urban District was held in pursuant of a requisition signed by 20 ratepayers or owners, for the purpose of submitting a resolution in accordance with section 166 of the Public Health Act 1875, consenting to the Ledbury Urban District Council to have and to exercise the powers over certain market rights The proposed transfer to the Council was carried by 20 to 6.

September 22 The Council resolved to ask Mr. STOOKE, the engineer, to come to confer with the Council with regard to the Long Meadow Well.

September 24 Mr. STOOKE came and after a conference with the Council went to view the well, and gave instructions to the surveyor as to the pumping and cleaning out of the Well.

October 6 At the monthly meeting of the Urban Council, the Streets Committee reported that the water in the reservoir had decreased in quantity since the previous meeting. The Committee recommended that 12 incandescent lamps should be placed in different parts of the town, to take the place of 12 of the old ones which were beyond repair; afterwards the Council again considered the water question, especially with respect to the Long Meadow Well, the opinion being generally express ad that it was useless to go on with the scheme. Mr. CAVE-BROWNE-CAVE having communicated with the Council with regard to a supply being: obtained from St. Pewtress’ well, near the British Camp, it was decided to ask him to furnish a written statement of the probable quantity and cost of the water.

October 21 The Urban Council held a special meeting to consider Mr. STOOKE‘s (the engineer’s) report on the test pumping at the Long MeadowWell. in accordance with the instructions of the Council. Mr. STOOKE said he could not advise the Council to go on with the scheme, and again expressed the opinion that the only solution he could see of the difficulty was to sink a well at Bromesberrow, in the new red sandstone. He was asked to prepare a tabulated statement to be submitted to the Local Government Board.

November 2 Evening, at a meeting of the Urban Council, Mr. Edward MADDISON, of the National Provincial Bank, was appointed treasurer of the Urban Council, in the place of Mr. A. BROWN, of the Capital and Counties Bank who had left Ledbury. The water question was again considered, and Mr. M. BIDDULPH moved “That a Committee, not to exceed five in number, be appointed to consider the question and expense of storage of the surplus water from the Conygree and Brickyard schemes, with power to consult a competent authority on the subject, and to report to the Council.” Mr. BIDDULPH said he should be pleased to place hisstone quarry at the disposal of the Council for a reservoir without serious expense to the Council. The motion was adopted.

November 11 A special meeting of the Urban Council to consider the report of Mr. R. E. W. BERRINGTON, C.E., F.G.S., with reference to a comprehensive scheme of sewerage and sewage disposal for the district. which it was stated would cost £8000. The meeting was adjourned, and Mr. BERRINGTON was requested to prepare a less expensive scheme and to utilize the present sewers where practicable.

December 7 At the Urban Council Meeting a Rate of 1s. 3d. in the £1 was sealed for the ensuing 6 months.


January 4 the Urban Council considered Mr. BERRINGTON’S report on the amended sewerage scheme for the district, and a resolution requesting Mr. BERRINGTON to formulate a scheme to deal with Newtown separately was carried.

January 11 the Urban Council held a special meeting to further consider the proposed sewerage for the town. The Newtown separate scheme, estimated to cost £ 1,364, was produced. Mr. BIDDULPH’S motion, “That Mr. BERRINGTON’S scheme be adopted pro forma, and that a sub-committee be appointed to confer with Mr. BERRINGTON on various points” was carried by one vote. The following committee was appointed: Messrs. W. A. C. GABB, C. W. STEPHENS, H. BRAY, J. DAWES, and J. FLOYD.

February 1 In the evening the Urban Council held their monthly meeting, at which it was decided to fill up the Long Meadow well.

February 1 The 10th annual ordinary general meeting of the Ledbury Markets and Fairs Company was held, the balance sheet showing that the Company was in a very flourishing condition. It was resolved to authorise the Directors to sell to the Urban Council, on the basis of a valuation, all the land, buildings, pens, tolls, rights,&c., belonging to the Company.

March 1 The Ledbury Urban Council re-elected Messrs. E. H. HOPKINS and H. GRIFFITHS overseers for the ensuing year. It was resolved “That in the opinion of this Council, all vehicles should carry a light after sunset." Dr. WOOD was re-appointed medical officer for the ensuing l2 months.

March 10 A special meeting of the Urban Council was held to consider the question of the proposed new reservoir and the markets question. The consideration of both matters was adjourned.

March 16 The Rural Parish Council passed a resolution in favour of lights on vehicles.

March 18 The Ledbury Rural Parish Council held their annual meeting for the election of 11 members. No poll was demanded, and the names of those elected will be found in a subsequent page of this Almanack.

March 18 the election of Ledbury Rural District Councillors took place the same evening, and was void of any interest.

March 19 The Urban Council conferred with Mr. BERRINGTON on the proposed reservoir, as to £1000 worth of stone which would be raised from the quarry in preparing for the reservoir, over and above what would be required for the making of the reservoir. Mr. BERRINGTON explained that he was first of all under the impression that the Council would have all the stone that came out of the quarry, but he had since been informed that such was not the case. He did not propose excavating nearly such a depth as he originally intended, which would be a saving of expense.

March 29 Mr. MARTIN wrote to the Urban Council objecting to the proposed reservoir, on the ground that it would interfere with his pool. It was decided that a Local Government Board Inquiry be applied for to enquire into the intended work, and also the objection.

April 5 the election for five Urban Councillors resulted as follows : Mr. W. A. H. MARTIN (338 votes), Mr. J. DAWES (224), Mr. J. PREECE (223), Mr. W. H. HATTON (222), Mr. J. BANNER (218), and Mr. W. S. LANE (147) ; the defeated candidates were Mr. B. JAMES (114) and Mr. B. BASTOW (76).

April 6 Col. Ord HASTED, R.E., held an inquiry re the reservoir and Mr. MARTIN’S objection thereto.

April 20 The annual meeting of the Urban Council was held, when Mr. M. BIDDULPH, M.P., was elected chairman and Mr. C. W. STEPHENS, C.C. vice-chairman.

May 3 at a meeting of the Urban Council, the report of the Local Government Board with respect to the proposed reservoir was read, from which it appeared that the Board could not recommend the scheme, as there was not sufficient proof of the quantity of water obtainable.

May 7 A hastily summoned meeting was held in private, at which it was stated that Mr. BIDDULPH had been to the Local Government Board, and that all hopes of the scheme need not be abandoned.

May 7 A hastily summoned meeting was held in private, at which it was stated that Mr. BIDDULPH had been to the Local Government Board, and that all hopes of the scheme need not be abandoned.

May 24 a Special Meeting of the Urban Council was held when a letter was read from the Local Government Board, with order sanctioning the loan of £5,000 for Reservoir and Water Mains.

May 27 the Ledbury Rural District Council protested against the muzzling order which came into operation on June 1st.

June 5 At the Urban Council Meeting, a rate of 1/- in the £ for the ensuing half-year was ordered.

June 16 the Urban Council appointed Mr, W. E. JONES Collector. Considerable opposition was given to the proposed Reservoir, on the terms offered by Mr. BIDDULPH, viz that a site be leased by the Council for a term of 99 years at a pepper corn rent of 1/- per annum. The Meeting ended with the intent of approaching Mr. BIDDULPH to sell the site outright to the Council.

July 12 in the evening, the Urban Council approved of the specifications for reservoir and extension of mains.

August 3 the Urban Council agreed to the draft deed of water rights from Lady Henry SOMERSET for £500 and the lease of the quarry for the reservoir from Mr. BIDDULPH for 99 years. The sewerage question was also fully considered.

August 11 the magistrates signed a rate for Ledbury Urban at 7d. in the £ on agricultural land, and 1/2 on houses and buildings.

August 16 Mr. BERRINGTON met the Urban Council, and he was instructed to get out a scheme for dealing only with the Southend, Happy Land, and New Town sewerage .

September 6 a meeting of the Urban Council was held, at which the sewerage and water leakage questions were again dealt with, but no decision in either case was arrived at.

September 21 the Urban Council decided to overthrow the reservoir scheme, and resolved to vote £100 for boring operations.

October 4 at the Urban Council meeting, an increase of 3d. in the £, in the rate was reported, as compared with the previous half-year. It was decided that the Institute clock should be lighted every night at a cost of £12 per annum.

November 1 at the Urban Council meeting, it was stated that Mr. BERRINGTON had decided to bore for water near Lower Mitchell. During the week they had bored nearly 30 feet and had come to a small quantity of water.


January 3 The Urban Council adopted the sewerage scheme as formulated by Mr. BERRINGTON, which proposed that the defective sewers should be made good and the sewers extended, taking in the whole district, at a cost of £3,200.

February 23 Mr. C.W. STEPHENS was re-elected, unopposed, for the County Council for Ledbury Urban, and Mr. C. A. HEWITT for Ledbury Rural.

March 7 At the monthly meeting of the Urban Council, it was decided to test the water mains and pipes, in consequence of the discovery of a serious leakage. It was reported that the boring operations in connection with the water supply at Massington were progressing favourably. Mr. Ernest H. HOPKINS was re-elected Overseer for the Urban District, and Mr. Thomas S. SMITH was appointed his colleague.

March 14 The Parish meetings for the election of Ledbury Rural Parish Councillors, Rural District Councillors and other neighbouring Parish Councillors were held.

April 4 The town underwent the turmoil of the Annual Election for five Urban Councillors, the voting for the successful candidates being as follows :- Messrs. C. W. STEPHENS 356; W. A. C. GABB 309; E. FREEMAN 205; W. MADDERS 166; and H. HODGES 145; the defeated candidates were Messrs. J. FLOYD 142 (an old member), and Frank T. HODGES 67.

April 19 The Annual Meeting of the Urban Council was held. Mr. C. W. STEPHENS was unanimously elected Chairman for the ensuing year, and Mr. E. H. HOPKINS, Vice-Chairman. At this meeting it was resolved to ask Mr. BERRINGTON to at once report progress of the boring operations at Massington, and the amount of money he had spent in the work.

May 3 The order for the muzzling of dogs was revoked, and our canine friends were allowed their freedom from the troublesome head-gear.

May 9 A special meeting of the Urban Council was held, when Mr. BERRINGTON reported that there was a plentiful supply of good water at the Massington site.

June 2 Mr. C. W. STEPHENS, C.C., Chairman of the Ledbury Urban Council, invited the members of the Council to accompany him on a visit to the Gloucester Water Works at Oxenhall.

August 18 A Local Government Board enquiry was held respecting the application of the Urban Council for sanction to borrow £3,200 for works of sewerage and sewage disposal.

September 5 The Urban Council decided to light several of the dark alleys in the town.

September 26 It was decided to place the Jubilee seats in different parts of the town and district.

October 3 Mr. BERRINGTON submitted plans of the proposed Massington water scheme, and reported that there was an enormous quantity of water at the site of the boring operations. The necessary pumps, engines, pipes, etc., would not cost more than £5,500. There would be a reservoir at the Cross Hands, capable of holding 75,000 gallons. Much satisfaction was expressed that the Council had at last settled the “vexed” water question.

October 24 At a Special Meeting of the Urban Council, Messrs. JOHNSON Bros.’ (Hereford) tender of £2,528 for the general sewerage scheme was accepted.

December 13 An inquiry was held at the Barrett Browning Institute by Col. LANGTON COKE, respecting the application of the Ledbury Urban Council to borrow £5,500 for works of the proposed water scheme. There was no opposition.


March 19 Four out of nine Candidates for the five seats on Urban Council withdrew. Messrs. C. H. BASTOW, G. W. SUTER, J. M. ROGERS, W. H. HATTON, and T. S. S. GARDNER returned unopposed.

April 18 Mr. C. W. STEPHENS elected Chairman of Ledbury Urban Council, and Mr. W. S. LANE re-elected Chairman of Ledbury Rural Parish Council.

October 1 A General District Rate of 1/8 in the £ was made by the Urban Council.


January 29 Proclamation of King Edward VII., at Ledbury Cross, by Mr. Charles Wesley STEPHENS, Chairman of the Urban Council; and a fanfare of trumpets. At a meeting of the Urban Council immediately afterwards the health of the King was drunk right loyally.

February 27 Mr. C. W. STEPHENS re-elected (without opposition), County Councillor for Ledbury Urban; and Mr. C. A. HEWITT for Ledbury Rural.

March 4 Parish Councils and Rural District Councils Elections.
March 18 Messrs C. W. STEPHENS, E. FREEMAN (old members), J. BOYD. D. DAVIES, H. HARRINGTON, and C. BIXLEY, elected Urban Councillors, without opposition.

June 12 Mr. E. J. WALKER, Hunstanton, appointed by the Urban Council, Surveyor and Inspector of Nuisances, vice Mr. J. ELLIS, resigned.

September 2 A General District Rate at 1/8 in the £ for the ensuing half-year ordered by the Urban Council.

November 4 at the monthly Meeting of the Ledbury Urban Council it was reported that the Gas Company had resolved to reduce the price of Gas for the public lamps from 4s. 5d. to 4s. 2d. per 1000 feet.


February 1 At this date the local litigation case, in which Miss Bishop, of Ledbury, sued the Ledbury Urban Council for alleged pollution of a well in Bye Street, was settled by the Council paying £100 damages and the costs on both sides.

March 3 The Urban Council ordered a General District Rate at 1/8 in the £.

April 7 Ledbury Urban Council Election : Messrs. H. BRAY, E. H. HOPKINS, W. R. WALKER, W. F. EVANS, C. BIXLEY, and J. C. DAVIES, elected without opposition.

April 16 Mr. C. W. STEPHENS elected Chairman of the Urban Council.

April 18 Mr. W. S. LANE re-elected Chairman of the Rural Parish Council.

December 8 Special Meeting of the Urban Council to receive the resignation of the Surveyor and Inspector, Mr. J. E. WALKER.
1914 - 1918 World War One Ledbury Guardian Newspaper Articles
2021 Visit the Ledbury Town Council Website

1897 - 1980 A Retrospect Tilleys Almanacks - Herefordshire History
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Cuttings from Old Ledbury Reporter Newspapers