Tag Archives: Hooper

1877 : The School Board Election

10th February 1877

The School Board Election.
Stormy Public Meeting.

– On Thursday a public meeting of the ratepayers of the parish, convened by Mr. T. Allen, was held Lower Mitcham schools. The room was filled in every part, and the proceedings were of the most uproarious character. It is simply impossible to give any adequate idea of the stormy nature of the meeting, but all that determined interruption, personal and insulting remarks, loud laughter, groaning, and shouting, could do towards making it a “good old” election meeting was persistently carried out.

The election is to take place on Thursday next, and there have been ten gentlemen nominated for the seven seats, viz., Messrs. Allen, Wade, Harwood, Wilson, Nobes, Coles, Hooper, Bridger, Legg, and Nicholls, Mr. Czarnikow being the only member of the present Board who declined to stand. About half-past eight Mr. Henry Wood was voted to the chair.

– The first candidate who addressed the meeting was Mr. Allen, who commenced by stating that he was a labouring man, and proceeded to object to a distinction being made between such men as himself and those described as “gentlemen” in the nomination papers. He entered into a tirade against the expenditure of the School Board, and stated his detestation of what he described as the “ iniquitous system” that was being carried out. He attacked the Board on many points as to harshness until one might have thought that the School Board for Mitcham was a veritable modern “ Court of Inquisition.” Mr. Allen also directed the flashes of his eloquence against the Act of Parliament itself.

– After a time Mr. Nobes rose and asked whether the speaker was right in going away from his subject as he had. This was the signal for uproar, roaring and shouting becoming the order, or rather the disorder, of the day. Ultimately, the chairman ruling that Mr. Allen was in order, certain of the meeting addressed themselves to Mr. Nobes and shouted “Turn him out.” Mr. Allen continued his speech and expressed his belief that nothing further should be imparted to the children than reading, writing, and arithmetic up to compound addition. The patience of the audience becoming somewhat exhausted, he was greeted with cries of “time,” when he coolly informed his hearers that he would only detain them “ten minutes longer.” The remainder of his observations were not listened to so attentively as the rest, various interruptions taking place. One individual especially devoted himself to personalites, amid cries of “order,” “turn him out,” &c. This gentleman having been silenced — for a time — the other end of the room was the scene of some disturbance, something having occurred to tickle the fancy of this part of the gathering. Upon Mr. Allen resuming his seat, he was greeted with cheers and demonstrations of an opposite nature.

– Mr. Wade followed, and rendered an account of his stewardship during the past three years. He said the Board had endeavoured to carry out the Act of Parliament with flrmness but gentleness. He touched upon the word “gentleman,” so complainingly alluded to by Mr. Allen, and advised the meeting to take no notice of the term. He explained the action of the School Management Committee, challenging anyone to say that they had treated persons coming before them with anything but courtesy. The individual previously referred to here caused some amusement by remarking that the Queen’s Speech ought to have been read. A gentleman in the audience appealed to the Chairman to silence this obnoxious person, whereupon the latter proceeded to the spot where the gentleman was seated, and, so it is said, requested him to fight. Of course the gentleman again appealed to the Chairman. A scene of confusion ensued, a number of the candidates and some of the audience remarking that if the Chairman could not keep order they would leave the meeting. The difficulty was in some degree surmounted by the disturber spoken being accommodated with a seat on the platform, where — for a time — he behaved himself much better. Mr. Wade, upon continuing, referred to the fallacy of the statement that the children were in danger of being over educated, and quoted figures in support of his remarks. Mr. Allen then rose and asked several questions amid some laughter and disturbance. and having obtained replies, went on to address the meeting again.

– Mr. John Harwood, the next candidate, waived his right to speak, and the Rev. D. F. Wilson next occupied the platform, and was received with cheers. He gave particulars as to the vast increase in the number of children receiving instruction during the last few years, and expressed bis helief that the work of the School Board had been a success. (Cheers, applause, and hisses.)

– Mr. Nobes, the next speaker, was received with cheers. He referred to the term ” gentleman ” harped on so much throughout the evening, and expressed his conviction that it was very ungentlemanly on the part of Mr. Allen to bring forward the subject so prominently as he had done. (Hear, hear.) With regard to the charge of harshness he would give £20 to any local charity if any ratepayer could say that he had used a harsh word to them in connection with the duties of the Board. (Mr. Allen – l did not mean you). As to the charge of extravagance, this was also unjust, as although the Board might have made some mistakes, they had never spent money carelessly. (Hear, hear.) He also announced that he had written to Mr. Blake to withdraw his name from the list of nominees. This statement was received with regret by the audience, and Mr. Allen expressed his conviction that Mr. Nobes was a gentleman, a voice from the audience confirming this statement in treble notes, amidst some laughter. Mr. Allen again attempted to speak, but the audience by this time not being in a temper to submit to any further infliction, met him with hisses and cries of “Chair,” ” We don’t want to hear you all night,” &c., until Mr. Allen, after remaining on his legs some time, was obliged to resume his seat, but eventually rose again and made other remarks.

– Mr. Coles, who was received with deafening cheers, commenced by making a further reference to the word “gentleman.” He also spoke of the necessity that had existed for the establishment of a School Board. He told the meeting he wanted to play a solo while on that platform, although he had noticed that while other speakers had been there, Mr. Allen had been indulging in a kind of double bass behind. (Laughter.) Proceeding humorously and effectively to combat some of the arguments of Mr. Allen, he alluded to circumstance to which the latter had referred, when he (the speaker) had told him he was showing his ignorance. In the course of his remarks he expressed his belief that Mr. Allen, on the occasion in question, was like a “maniac. ”

– Mr. Alien rose, and, in excited manner, demanded to know whether this was gentlemanly conduct, but Mr. Coles having apologised, rather spoiled his victory, by designating that gentleman as a “madman.” (Load laughter.) When the speaker concluded Mr. Allen rose once more, but was met with cries of “Question,” Sit down,” “Chair,” &c. Ultimately he sat down again, and Mr. Coles also resumed his seat amidst applause.

– Mr. J. P. Hooper also addressed the meeting, defending the action of the School Board. He did not think also that Mr. Allen could produce any proofs of extravagance.

– Mr. Allen once again assumed an upright position and asked a question, which was answered, and Mr. Hooper also explained at what standard children could be exempted from attendance at schools.

– Mr. Allen rose and yet again put further questions, and two or three times more endeavoured to address the meeting.

– Mr. J. Bridger was not able to be present.

– The Rev. F.S. Legg, in the course of his remarks, stated that he came forward as a candidate for the district of Singlegate. He referred to his practical experience of schools, expressing his sympathy with the children, parents, and teachers. He was listened to attentively and applauded.

– Mr. Nicholls shortly addressed the meeting, promising that if elected he would do his best for the ratepayers.

– Upon his resuming his seat, person in the room wished to ask question of Mr. Allan, and upon receiving permission, came forward and, with true sarcasm, enquired of that gentleman whether, if were elected, would work with the Board would have a Board of his own? (Loud laughter.) Shortly afterwards the meeting concluded, having lasted till close upon eleven.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 10 February 1877 from the British Newspaper Archives (subscription required)

The Mitcham School Board Election. The polling took place Thursday. For some weeks past there has been a considerable amount excite ment prevalent the parish. The supporters of the various candidates have been animated in the discussion of their particular friends’ good qualities, and the advantages that were likely to accrue to the parish should they be elected. But very little ill-feeling, however, seems to have been engendered. Printer’€™s ink does not appear to have been very much used, the candidates’ addresses and one or two other manifestoes being the only outward and visible evidences the contest which was going on. The uproarious meeting of Thursday week certainly contributed in large degree to give the parishioners interest in the election, in fact the gathering has been one of the most lively subjects of conversation during the week. The shop windows of the town were the principal – almost the only – means of displaying the addresses of the various candidates, and it was a noticeable fact that in most places the utmost impartiality was observed, most of the shopkeepers exhibiting the addresses of all, without respect to party. On the day the election a stranger would not have been struck with any particular stir in the parish, in fact nothing but the aforesaid bills was observable to lead to the conclusion that so important an event as a School Board election was transpiring. The voting took place at three stations, situate at the Lower Mitcham Board Schools, the School Chapel, Upper green, and the Board schools, Merton-lane, and every arrangement was made the returning officer to ensure the proper carrying out of the privilege of voting. During the morning and afternoon the voters were comparatively few and far between, but in the evening, between the hours of six and eight, more animation was to be noticed, and close upon the hour for closing the poll there was some amount of rush.€ The utmost diversity of opinion existed with regard to the names of the three unfortunate candidates who would be at the bottom of the poll, and on enquiry of certain of the local celebrities different persons were mentioned as likely to be thus left out in the cold shade of defeat. One or two opinions, however, were generally prevalent. The Vicar was considered certain of election. Mr. Allen was confidently pointed to as being the candidate who would head the list, and Mr. Nobes was generally believed to be sure re-election. We heard it surmised that Messrs. Wade, Nichols, and Harwood would the defeated candidates, and others, again, would state their doubts as to the re-election of Mr. Hooper. The Singlegate people made considerable efforts secure the election the Rev. Mr. Legg and Mr. Nobes, calling upon the parishioners to give four votes to the former and three to the latter. The remaining candidates came in for their share public gossip. But few the gentlemen who had been nominated were noticed during the day, although most of them, should think, presented themselves at the polling books at different times to give their own votes. We heard of one the candidates, certainly the most energetic, riding about in a cart, from which at various spots delivered addressee to the electors, but this information cannot vouch for, although we think it a likely move on the part the individual referred to. The counting of the votes took place on Friday (yesterday), and the following were the numbers polled :-


Mr. Allen 1006
Mr. Legg 704
Mr. Wilson 589
Mr. Nobes 559
Mr. Nicholls 532
Mr. Wade 374
Mr. Hooper 362


Mr. Coles 359
Mr. Harwood 213
Mr. Bridger 148

On looking at the above figures the first feature which particularly strikes one is fact that Mr. Allen has no less than 302 votes in excess of the gentleman whose name appears second. This result must be attributed to Mr. Allen’s personal popularity amongst a section of the parishioners, and perhaps in some degree to a feeling of dissatisfaction which exists amongst a portion the parish at the doings of the late Board, although it is—or ought to be well known that they are blamed for carrying out that which they could in no way avoid. The ratepayers, it would appear, expect great things of Mr. Allen. We earnestly hope they may not be disappointed.

Mr. Legg’s friends have certainly exerted themselves to place him in the position he occupies.

With regard to Mr. Wilson’s position other result was expected. Against this gentleman and Mr. Wade a dead set has been made by some of the inhabitants, and they were apparently censured for doing that which the very Act of Parliament lays down, and the entire Board has sanctioned. It is therefore matter for satisfaction that both gentlemen have been returned.

Mr. Nicholls we do not know, but apparently he is well known of the parishioners.

Mr. Hooper is the last elected candidate, and what is rather remarkable he has only received three votes above the next lowest, Mr. Coles, who with Mr. Harwood and Mr. Bridger are the rejected candidates.

By this election four members of the old Board will retain their seats, while new blood to the extent of three members will be imported. Two of the rejected candidates were members of the Board which has lately ceased to exist.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 17 February 1877 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Hooper’s Telegraph Works

News Stories

Morning Advertiser – Wednesday 16 February 1870


Incorporated under the Companies Acts, 1862 and 1867. Capital, £250,000, in shares of £10 each, payable as follows:-

    £1 per Share on Application. 
    £2     "        Allotment.
    £2     "        1st April, 1870. 
    £2     "        1st June, 1870. 
    £1     "        1st August, 1870. 


        John Dunlop. Esq. 
        Hon. L. Agar-Ellis, M.P. 
        C. Seymour Grenfell, Esq. 
        William Hooper, Esq., Managing Director. 
        Frederic Lubbock, Esq. 
        Admiral Sir Wm. Wiseman, Bart.  


        Messrs. Robarts, Lubbock, and Co. 
        Bank of Scotland (Edinburgh and Branches). 


        Messrs. Ashurst, Morris, and Co. 

Temporary Offices:- No. 114, Gresham House, Old Broadstreet, E.C. 

This Company has been formed to takeover and the well-known works of Mr. William Hooper, for the manufacture of Indiarubber Core for Telegraphic purpose, and add thereto the business of Covering the Core for Submarine Cables, and sub-merging and maintaining the same, whereby the Company will enabled execute the largest contracts for the manufacture of Submarine and Land Telegraphs. 

The value Mr. Hooper's process for the manufacture of Core is now fully recognised. He has successfully carried on his present business, and with a comparatively small capital has made vary large profits, sufficient to ensure out of that branch of the alone a handsome return on the whole capital of the Company; and when the other branches have been added, it is but fair conclude that the profits this undertaking will favourably compare with those of the existing Companies. 

Mr. Hooper has already manufactured according to his process the Cores for the following Cables, all which are in  perfect working order, viz.: 

       Ceylon to the Mainland of India. 
       The Persian Gulf Cable, laid last year by the Indian Government.
       England to Denmark. 
       Danish-Russian Cable (one section). 
       Scotland to Norway 
       Sweden to Russia. 

Besides upwards of 500 miles laid in various parts of India, Brazil, Australia, &c. Mr Latimer Clark, while engaged as Engineer and  Electrician to the Indian Government, in a letter addressed to Mr. Hooper from Bombay, so recently as the 18th October, 1869, says, in  reference to a Cable submerged in the Persian Gulf: - 

   “We have been examining, and I am bringing home a specimen of the very first sample Core which you sent out in 1863 to the Persian Gulf, and which has had no special care taken of it; it is as perfect as when it first left England, and can in no way be distinguished from a new sample fresh out of the factory.” 

The Company, while possessed of the exclusive right use Mr. Hooper's process for the manufacture of Indiarubber Core, will be prepared to contract for Cables with Guttapercha Core. 

Mr. Hooper has contracted with the Great Northern Telegraph China and Japan Extension Company for the manufacture of their cables, 2,300 miles in length, for £896,000; and it is one of the terms of the agreement between Mr. Hooper and the Company that two-thirds of all profits from this contract shall belong to this Company, which will thus enter on actual and highly remunerative operations at once. Mr Hooper has already made considerable progress with this contract. Mr. Hooper’s works at Mitcham, which are capable of executing large contracts for Core, will be taken over for £65,000. Mr. Hooper’s consideration for Patents and Goodwill will be entirely contingent on the success of the Company, and consists of one-half the net profits of year, after 7 1/2 per cent per annum had  first been paid to the Shareholders. At the end of 10 years the whole the profits will accrue to the Company. 

Copies of the Articles of Association and of the Agreement with Mr. Hooper can be seen at the Offices of the Solicitors of the Company.

Applications for Shares, in the form annexed, accompanied by a deposit of £1 per Share, can be left with the Bankers of the Company.Deposits will be received at any of the Branches of the Bank of Scotland. If no Allotment is made the Deposit will be returned in full. 

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 21 June 1873

“The Hooper.”

—It may, perhaps, be interesting to our readers to know that the Hooper Telegraph Company (limited), whose extensive works are at Mitcham, have had a vessel built bearing the above name, the first ever constructed entirely for telegraph purposes, and embracing every improvement in the paying out machinery and appliances for picking up a damaged or lost cable, which experience up to the present time has suggested. She is 350 feet in length, 55 feet beam, 35 feet in depth, and of 5,000 tons register, with engines of 400 nominal horsepower, working up to 2,000, and realises a speed of 10.5 knots an hour. She has taken in 1,500 miles of cable from the Hooper Works, at Millwall, belonging to the Western Telegraph Company, which is about to lay 2,500 miles of cable along the east coast of South America, which left on Saturday. After coaling and taking in stores at Plymouth the Hooper will sail direct for Pernambuco.

This Cable Ship was later renamed the Silvertown, see History of the Atlantic Cable

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 19 June 1875

Presentation to Mr. John P. Hooper.

—On Saturday, the 12th instant, pleasing ceremony took place at the offices of Hooper’s Telegraph Works Limited,” 31, Lombard-street, E.C., the occasion being the presentation of a handsome epergne and dessert stands to Mr. John Hooper in anticipation of his wedding, which announce in another portion of our journal as having taken place on Wednesday last. The epergne and stands, which were the work of Messrs. Elkington and Co., bore a suitable inscription, stating them to be the gift of the officers and workpeople of Hooper’s Telegraph Works, Limited, at Millwall, Mitcham, West Ham, Lombard-street, and of the cable steamship Hooper, with whom Mr. John Hooper now holds the chief position. The presentation was made on behalf of those assembled by Mr. A. Maclachlan, for many years connected with Hooper’s Telegraph Works, who in addressing Mr. John Hooper, said—

“I have been requested to undertake the pleasing duty of presenting to you on the occasion of your wedding this testimonial on behalf of those so long associated with you in connection with Hooper’s Telegraph Works, Limited, at Millwall, Mitcham, West Ham, and Lombard-street, and of the officers of the cable steamship ‘Hooper.’ This duty is the more pleasing because it gives me the opportunity of expressing in the name of those thus connected with you the high respect and esteem in which you are held by them. I know that ever since your first connection with our works you have always merited and possessed the cordial respect and affection of all who have the good fortune to be associated with you. In begging your acceptance of this testimonial, we heartily wish you every happiness in your married life, and that you may live long to enjoy the comforts of your own home.”

In reply to Mr. Maclachlan, Mr. John Hooper said —

“I am sure I thank you each and all for your kindness in presenting me with this handsome testimonial. I need scarcely that I shall always bear in mind the good feeling and good fellowship which must exist between us, as evinced by your present, and while such good fellowship does exist, I am certain that all our undertakings will prosper. I have doubt that if those connected with the three factories and with our ships, coupled with those working at Lombard-street, are prepared to pull together as heretofore, our present undertakings will be as successful as the past. I am sure it is most handsome on your part to present me with such a gift and I can only say again that I thank you each and all very much.”

Sussex Agricultural Express – Saturday 20 October 1888


MESSRS. BLAKE. HADDOCK, & CARPENTER WILL SELL BY AUCTION, at the Mart, Tokenhouse-yard, City, E.C., on WEDNESDAY, 7th November, Two o’clock precisely, by direction of the trustees under the will of the late James Bridger, Esq., the valuable and important MANOR of BIGGIN and TAMWORTH, with the quit rents, fines, heriots, &c., extending over large area, and including the Fair Green. Also, nine acres of capital MARKET GARDEN GROUND. A compact property fronting the two greens. Also, four FREEHOLD GROUND RENTS, amounting to £29 5s. per annum, the important PROPERTY of HOOPER’S TELEGRAPH WORKS, occupying an area of four acres on Mitcham Common, and let at £225 per annum. Particulars and conditions of sale, with plan, may had of J. Penfold, Esq.. Solicitor, 21, John-street, Bedford-row, W.C, ; Mr R. M. Chart, Surveyor. Lower Mitcham; and at the At Auctioneers’ Offices, 45, High-Street, Croydon. Note.—At the same time will be sold other Property at Croydon and elsewhere.

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 24 September 1898


Messrs. BLAKE & CARPENTER Will Sell by Auction, at the King’s Head, Mitcham, Monday. October 17th, at Six o’clock the evening, 1 FREEHOLD COTTAGE PROPERTY, known as Hooper’s Cottages, situate at Commonside East, Mitcham, the annual rental value of £49 10s. Particulars and conditions of sale may be had of the Solicitors, Messrs. Andrew and Cheale. Tunbridge Wells ; R. M. Chart, Esq., Mitcham ; and of the Auctioneers, 45, High Street, Croydon.