Tag Archives: street lighting

1889 : Mr Bidder and Surrey County Council

Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 05 January 1889

MR. BIDDER AT MITCHAM

On Friday evening in last week a meeting convened by the Colliers Wood, Singlegate, and District Ratepayers’ Association was held at the Singlegate Board School, Merton-lane, when Mr. G. P. Bidder, Q.C., delivered an address on the new County Council. Mr. Gibson was voted to the chair, and there were also present the platform Mr. G. P. Bidder, Mr. C. Dungate, and Mr. F. D. Sandell.

Among those present in the body the room were Messrs. C. Doughty, W. Clark. K. Fleming. S. Leonard, C. Elliott, C. Combes, W. H. Talbot, T. Allen, and G. PedwelL.

The Chairman having briefly opened the meeting, Mr. Sandell read letters of regret stating inability to attend from Messrs. W. P. Brown, F. S. Lcgg, Billing, and Thomson.

Mr. Bidder, on rising, said he felt great satisfaction in the invitation from the Ratepayers’ Association to attend a meeting of the electors who resided in that part the parish. and should not have come forward as a candidate it had not been for that invitation and request from several others whom he looked upon his best supporters. It had been said that was busy man and would not have time to attend the duties of county councillor, but that point was fully discussed at the Vestry Hall in week. He said if elected as councillor would do his best in that position. Referring to the Act, Mr. Bidder said there was no doubt it was the commencement new era, which it was difficult overrate ; in short, it was to transfer all the administrative and financial business of the county hitherto done by the justices at Quarter Sessions to the County Council. One the most important features in the new Bill was the representative principle wherein those who paid the county rates would in future have voice in the election the representatives. It was nothing whatever with politics. One thing necessary for a councillor was that he should have a certain knowledge of the neighbourhood represented. There was such a thing as having too local government, and he pointed out the fact that vestries were not the best kind of local government. With regard Mitcham, he did not think they had been fairly treated, for they ought have had two representatives, and he had tried for it, but was too late. Whoever was elected on the Council ought to make it his business to get that altered. It would be the duly of the councillors to be always on the lookout and keep their district in touch with the governing body. There were many authorities which now overlapped each other, for instance Boards of Guardians, Rural Sanitary Authorities, &c., and all these would be reorganised, so to speak, and subordinate to the County Council. Singlegate was a little on one side of Mitcham, and he did not know whether any of the justices knew the wants of that particular locality. There was no doubt it had suffered a great deal through inattention. Lunatic asylums, industrial schools, reformatories, county buildings, roads, bridges, &c., would come under the Council, also the granting of music and dancing licenses, and the administration of the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act. The police would be under a joint committee of the Council and County Justices, and the appointment of medical officers would be done by the Council. Where the local authorities did not exercise their proper functions the Council would report them to the Local Government Board. The local authorities in many small places were not strong enough to overcome individual interests, and it was essential that they should have a body who could do so. The Rivers Pollution Act had been almost a dead letter, and nobody knew what had been put in the Wandle at different times, but this the Council would have power to deal with. Bills were often brought into Parliament which interfered with the public rights and were prejudicial to the county, and the Council would have power to oppose them. People had said that he did not take any interest in local affairs. He would just remind them that seven or eight years ago the London, Brighton, and Coast Railway Company wanted to straighten their line at Mitcham Junction, and for which they would lave required some 20 or 30 acres of the Common, when he with other gentlemen opposed the Bill, and it was thrown out. Several efforts had been made to take away water from the Wandle and the South-West Spring Water Compony wanted to take it to Lambeth. Then there was Croydon, with whom they had had three or four fights, and fortunately succeeded in them; and, lastly, Sutton, and they had also stopped them. Some other duties of the Council would be to arrange the electoral divisions and levy county and police rates. The County Councils altogether would receive a grant of £3,000,000 for the local taxation, which was very important, as Mitcham were about 7s. 9d. to 8s. in the £ for the year. They would have the issuing of Stock, which would materially decrease the rate of interest for their loans by something considerable, seeing that the county debt of Surrey was at present about £300,000. In conclusion, Mr, Bidder said he had not asked for a single vote, but if they thought he was the best man for the post they should elect him, and if not they should elect someone else.

Mr. John Bull, who said spoke on behalf of the working class, then put the following questions :

1. Was Mr. Bidder in favour of the parish lamps being kept alight all night, and also foggy nights?

2. The taking over of roads which ore partly occupied, and are not in sanitary condition, for instance Palestine-road?

3. That the River Wandle be protected where it was very dangerous, both for foot passengers and vehicles?

4. The appropriation of public places for public meetings.

5. That gas and water companies be under the control of the local authorities?

6. The establishment of a free library in Mitcham, where papers and books of all sections should be allowed free circulation?

7. That public meetings be held in open spaces provided they do not interfere with business traffic?

Mr. Bidder said he entirely agreed with all these suggestions, subject to each question being taken in a broad and comprehensive view.

Mr. F. D. Sandell then moved That Mr. G. P. Bidder is a fit and proper person to represent the parish of Mitcham on the Surrey County Council.”

Mr. W. H. Talbot seconded the motion.

Mr. Dungate supported, and said with all due respect to Mr. Harwood, who was the waywarden, there were some roads which were disgraceful. The lighting question he had often called attention to (cries of “Shame”)—but they had not yet got the lamps alight every night, and as to the stinking ditch in the Merton-road the Inspector to the Local Government Board had said it was necessary that it should be covered in. He (Mr. Dungate) had 60 feet frontage to that ditch, which he did not think was a great deal.

Mr. T. Allen, who said he had been a ratepayer for 42 years, said they were complaining of the high rates, and yet they wanted all these improvements. The ditch in question would cost £2,000 to cover in.

Mr. Dungate said it was quite true that an offer was made by the local authorities some time ago to pay half the expense of covering the ditch, but when they estimated it at twice the price for which it could be done for one should not fall in with their views.

Mr. Clark said Mr. Allen had assured him that it could be done for 15s. per foot. The resolution was then put and carried nem. con., and a vote thanks having been accorded to the chairman and Mr. Bidder the meeting closed.

Lighting Tramway Path

From the minutes of the Mitcham Parish Council
Volume 11
April 1913 to March 1914
Report of the Lighting Committee
28th October, 1913
page 106

Report of Sub-Committee appointed to inspect Gorringe Park Avenue and Tramway Path, with a view of ascertaining whether or not additional lamps are required thereat.

Present – Messrs. A. Dendy and J. Snelling.

Gorringe Park Avenue –

Your Sub Committee are of the opinion after careful inspection and consideration, that the question of increased lighting in Gorringe Park Avenue should be deferred until the Church now in course of erection is completed and the road made up.

Tramway Path –

This path, from Mitcham Park to the Double Bridges, is about 650 yards in length, the nearest Gas Main is at the Mitcham Park end of the footpath, and to light this footpath effectually, at least six lamps would be necessary; and it is doubtful if the Gas Company could be induced to lay the necessary main even if this number of lamps were erected. There is only one house on the route to take the gas if the Council were to light the path. There are many others throughout the Parish of a similar description which would have to be lighted, and your Sub-Committee there do not recommend that any lamps be erected.

The Committee having considered the Report beg to recommend –

That one additional lamp be erected in Gorringe Park Avenue, and that Messrs. J. M. Leather and J. Brewer be appointed to select the most desirable position for its erection.


From the minutes of the Mitcham Parish Council
Volume 11
April 1913 to March 1914

Report of the Lighting Committee
meeting held on November 24th, 1914.
pages 110-111

The following letter was read from the Gas Company quoting terms for laying the necessary main and service pipes for lighting three lamps in Tramway Park.

                                   Wandsworth Wimbledon and Epsom 
                                              District Gas Company.
                                                    Fairfield Street, 
                                                         Wandsworth,
                                   Tuesday, 17th November, 1914.


Dear Sir, 

                      Tramway Path, Mitcham.

With further reference to your letter of the 30th October, addressed to Mr C. W. Braine, this matter has had the consideration of my board, and I have to say this company will be pleased to lay the necessary level of Gas Main (200 yards 4 inches) and the Service Pipe (1,000 yards, 1 and a half inches diameter) to give an adequate supply of gas for three public lamps in Tramway Path, vision, and the annual charge per lamp, per annum, for No.s 2, 3 or 4 “Kern” lamps would be, respectively, as follows: –

No. 2 “Kern” … £14 11s. 0d
No. 3 “Kern” … £14 6s. 9d
No. 4 “Kern” … £15 9s. 0d

These prices would be for Gas and Maintenance, and they are based on the assumption that your Council would accept the terms for a minimum period of five years, after which time we would be pleased to further consider the matter.

I shall be glad to hear from you with reference to this matter.

I may add that we have ascertained that at present there is very little prospect of further houses being erected in the vicinity of the house already built and the occupier of which would be willing to use Gas.

                             Yours faithfully,
                                         (Signed) H.O. CARR,
                                                  Engineer.

The Committee make no recommendations, as they consider the terms prohibitive.

1910 OS Map showing Tramway Path


Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Parish Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Street Lighting – From Gas to Electric

NB: These notes will be added to when more are found in the council minutes.

From the minutes of the
Highways and Lighting Committee
8th May 1959
page 937

Street Lighting Improvement Scheme, Stage XIVc

the following tenders have been received for Stage XIVc of the Street Lighting Improvement Scheme (Class B Lighting):-

Company £ s. d.
Concrete Utilities Ltd. 2920 10 0
O. C. Summers Ltd. 7054 8 0
Erecon Ltd. 7091 0 0
Machinery Installations Ltd. 7192 0 0
Revo Electric Co. Ltd. 7391 5 0
Pengam Engineering Ltd. 7416 10 0
Bagshaws Contractors Ltd. 7445 10 0
Harland and Wolff Ltd. 7472 4 0
Cohen Bros. (Electrical) Ltd. 7506 15 0
Abacus Engineering ltd. 7562 15 0
Robert Mullen Ltd. 7723 0 0
S. A. Inston and Co. 7723 19 8
C. Maurice Contractors Ltd. 7911 19 2

Concrete Utilities Ltd. have withdrawn their tender

It is recommended that the tender of O. C. Summers, Ltd., in the sum of £7,054 8s., be accepted.

From the minutes of the
Highways and Lighting Committee
11th December 1958
pages 512 to 514

4. Borough Engineer’s Report. = The Borough Engineer submitted the following report:-

9th December, 1958
To the Chairman and Members of the Highways and Lighting Committee

Mr. Chairman and Members,

Street Lighting Improvement Scheme, Stage XIVB

(a) London Electricity Board. – I have been informed by the London Electricity Board that the cost of affording supply and contribution towards the provision of service lines in connection with the eighty lamps comprising Stage XIVB of the Street Lighting Improvement Scheme will be £1,773 10s. The increase in the annual charge for maintenance will be £75 1s. per annum.

(b) South Eastern Gas Board. – I have been informed by the South Eastern Gas Board that the cost of cutting off and plugging at the main the services to the gas street lamps in the roads to be provided with electric lighting in Stage XIVB of the Street Lighting Improvement Scheme will be £4 7s. 10d. each in respect of the thirty-eight lamps concerned.

I shall be glad of the authority of the Committee to place orders with the London Electricity Board and South Eastern Gas Board.

Resolved
(a) Street Lighting Improvement Scheme, Stage XIVB – The authority be given for the placing of orders with the London Electricity Board and the South Eastern Gas Board for the carrying out of the works set out in the report at the cost indicated.

From the minutes of the
Highways and Lighting Committee
13th November 1958

Street Lighting Improvement Scheme, Stage XIVb.
The following tenders have been received for the erection of eleven 140 watt. sodium discharge lamps and sixty-eight 100 watt. tungsten filament lamps comprising Stage XIVb of the Street Lighting Improvement Scheme:

Company £ s. d.
Revo Electric Co. Ltd. 1767 19 0
O. C. Summers Ltd. 1887 4 4
Machinery Installations Ltd. 1929 14 10
S. A. Inston and Co. 1937 11 0
The General Electric Co. Ltd. 1946 8 0
Erecon Ltd. 1949 4 0
Harland and Wolff Ltd. 2015 6 6
Abacus Engineering ltd. 2015 13 0
Bagshaws Contractors Ltd. 2025 19 0
Robert Mullen Ltd. 2031 0 0
C. Maurice Contractors Ltd. 2100 9 11

Revo Electric Co., Ltd. have withdrawn their tender.
It is recommended that the tender of O. C. Summers, Ltd., in the sum of £1,887 4s. 4d., be accepted.

From the minutes of the
Highways Committee
11th March 1954

Street Lighting Improvements stage III: Completion of London Road (A217) and Upper Green East (A236).

The following tenders have been received for the provision of 140-watt sodium discharge lamps in London Road from the Cricket Green to Tooting Junction and Upper Green East: –

Company £ s. d.
Revo Electric Co., Ltd. 3,557 5 4
General Electric Co., Ltd. 3,557 5 4
North Midland Engineering Co., Ltd. 3,557 5 4
Treforest Electrical Services, Ltd. 3,634 12 0
Harland and Wolffe, Ltd. 3,693 10 0
Erecon, Ltd. 3,846 15 4
Clough Smith and Co., Ltd. 3,847 5 4
Cohen Brothers (Electrical), Ltd. 4,034 3 1

It is recommended that the lowest tender, that of Revo Electric Co., Ltd., in the sum of £3,557 5s. 4d., be accepted.

Street Lighting Improvements stage III: London Electricity Board

I have been informed that the contribution in respect of 73 services required for Stage III of the street lighting improvement program is £1279, based on the costs and wages and materials as at 8th March and subject to variation in the event of difference in either prior to the completion of the services.

In addition, the estimated cost of connection is £39; the actual cost being charged on a time and material basis.

Authority is required for placing an order with the London Electricity Board on these terms.

Lamp Columns

In connection with the street lighting improvements, I shall be glad of the authority of the committee to invite tenders for the removal and disposal of the steel and cast-iron columns at present used for gas lighting.

Yours obediently,
Riley Schofield,
Borough Engineer and Surveyor.

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 20 1953-54, pages 711-2


Total estimated cost of replacing 73 gas street lamps, with electric was £4,875 5s. 4d., equivalent of £121,600 in 2016 values.


Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Street Lighting – Gas

Merton Memories photos

Next to milestone, without glass
1950 opposite Kings Head
Causeway
Three gas lamps along Causeway in 1909
Outside Vestry Hall in 1902
1870 from Causeway towards White House

Stories

Saturday 7th September 1889

MITCHAM.

The Lighting Question.

— A public meeting the ratepayers the parish was held the Vestry Hall on Thursday evening for the purpose of considering the expediency of rescinding the following resolution, passed at meeting of the ratepayers of the parish the 29th day of October, 1853 ; “Resolved unanimously that the number inspectors carry into execution the provisions of the Act, third and fourth William IV., cap. 90, in this parish (so far as relates to lighting) be seven,” and of passing resolution enabling the Vestry elect such inspectors with those already in office will make a total number of twelve inspectors of lighting for the parish.

— Dr. J. Ferrier Clarke, Vicars warden, having been voted to the chair, he informed the meeting that solicitors’ and counsel’s opinion had been asked upon the question, and a telegram had just been received to the effect that it was impossible, in consequence of being vacation the Courts, get counsel’s decision until Monday, when the matter could be considered at the adjourned Vestry meeting to be held on that day.

— Mr. Dungate, of the Singlegate Ratepayers’ Association, moved that the business on, and his motion was seconded by Mr. Wortley and carried.

— Messrs. Nobes, John Nicholls, and Dr. Love having spoken against, and Dr. Kemshead, the Rev. Mr. Richman, and others, in favour, it was put to the meeting with the following result: For 31, against 28.

— As the beaten party challenged the figures, it was decided that all ratepayers present should have their names taken down by the chairman, which resulted in the figures being altered to : For 34, against 23.

— It was then proposed by Mr. Wortley and seconded by Mr. Newman that the number increased to 12, and as only six voted against it was carried.

— Mr. Phil. Sampson, senr., as usual, interrupted every speaker who did not agree with him, and the Gas Company whipped up all their officials to oppose the rescinding of the resolution vote thanks to the chairman closed the meeting, which was of a rather lively character.

Source: Croydon Advertiser and East Surrey Reporter – Saturday 07 September 1889 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


Saturday 10th August 1889

MITCHAM AND THE LIGHTING QUESTION.

PROPOSAL TO LIGHT WITH OIL.

An Adjourned meeting of the Mitcham Ratepayers’ Association was held in the Boys’ School, Lower Mitcham, on Wednesday evening, to again discuss the question of the lighting of the district. Mr. Sandall was voted to the chair, and amongst those present were Messrs. W. Jenner, J. Brown, Wright, G. Bullock, W. Thomas, Dungate, Gardner, Muad, W. Tilley, A. R. Harwood, Wortley, Hill, Langridge, Blackstone, Tomlin, Jordan, W. Barter, and Dr. Kemshead.

The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, explained the objects of the association to those who were not yet members of it, assuring them that by attending Vestry meetings and keeping a watchful eye on those officers who were paid by the ratepayers, their interests were safeguarded and abuses rendered next to impossible. Public officers were likely to become lax in the performance of their duties if such a body as the Ratepayers’ Association were not in existence to watch their movements. Coming to the subject to consider which that meeting was held, he unfolded the plan the sub-committee, previously appointed, had resolved to recommend. At present the parish was lighted by the Gas Company for nine months out of the twelve from sunset to half-past one o’clock in the morning at a charge of £3 per lamp per annum. What the committee suggested was that oil should be adopted instead, when the lamps could be lighted every night all the year round at a charge that would not exceed £2 9s. 6d. per lamp per annum. He pointed out that this estimate was a literal one, and would allow them a fair margin to work upon, as Wimbledon, which had adopted oil lighting, was able to carry it out satisfactorily at an annual cost of £2 6s. 8d. per lamp. The present system of lighting by gas, he said, was a most unsatisfactory one. Reckoning each lamp to burn five cubic feet of gas per hour, and the cost 3s. 10d. per 1,000 feet, he was certain that they were paying the Gas Company more than they ought to. They were therefore justified in the course they proposed to take, and if they were well supported it would probably have the effect of bringing the Gas Company round, and making an offer to light the lamps every night all year round, at £3 per lamp, the old terms. If the ratepayers resolved to adopt oil lighting, it would mean saving to them every year over the price of gas of 10s. 6d. per lamp, and that surely was something worth striving after. (Applause.)

Dr. Kemshead then presented a report on the subject he had been instructed to prepare. He said as at present arranged, with no lamps from May to August, they might take it that if the lamps were lighted for the period ending in May from 8.30 p.m. to 1.30 a.m., and for the period ending December from 3.30 p.m. to 1.30 a.m., the average would be 7 1/2 hours per night ; whilst if they were kept alight every night in the year the average would be nine hours per night. Now, what was the consumption gas? Each lamp consumed five cubic feet of gas per hour, which, calculated at nine hours per night all the year round, would give a consumption of 3,304 cubic feet per lamp per year, which, again, at 3s. 10d. per 1,000 cubic feet, would amount in the year to £824 18s. 8d. or for nine months to £6lB 14s. At 7 1/2 hours per night all the year round the cost would be £687 8s. 7d., and for nine months £464 0s. 6d. Thus while the Gas Company at present lighted the lamps for an average of 7 1/2 hours per night for nine months and charged £804 12s., while gas consumed at their own price cost £6l8 14s., they evidently charged a good deal more than they had a right to. The cost of oil-lighting he estimated as follows:- Oil, per year, £351; labour of five men in the lighting, extinguishing, and cleaning of the lamps 30s. per week each, wicks, breakages, and sundries, £34; total, £645. This gave cost of £2 9s. 5d. per lamp per year, and this showed annual saving, compared with gas, of £167 14s. Along with this saving there would light all the year round from sunset to sunrise. Dr Kemshead suggested that the Gas Company should again be communicated with, and another meeting of the ratepayers held before the August Vestry meeting, to decide upon their final course of action. He believed if the company were properly approached they would not object to a compromise.

Mr. Wortley next addressed the meeting. He contended that the oil lamps the association had on view gave a much better light than gas, and could see no feasible reason why oil should not be adopted for future lighting purposes.

Mr. Dungate pointed out that better gas was made in the Workhouse at 1s. 6d. per 1,000, and 3s. 10d. per 1,000 charged by the Gas Company was exorbitant. He believed that the Lighting Inspectors would not move without pressure from the ratepayers through the Ratepayers’ Association, many of the ratepayers being afraid of them. He held that if once they resolved to have oil they would never again resort to gas, but before they did anything he was of the opinion that it would be wise to again approach the Gas Company. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Tomlin then moved the following resolution:- “That the secretaries of the two Ratepayers’ Associations be instructed to write to the directors of the Gas Company asking if the company is prepared light all the street lamps from sunset to sunrise all the year round for per lamp per annum.’’ Mr. Tomlin remarked that they did not wish to do the company any harm, but they were determined to have value for their money. (Applause.)

Mr. Thomas seconded the resolution, which was then adopted unanimously. The following resolution was also unanimously adopted on the proposition of Mr. Dungate, seconded by Mr. Wortley:- “That no person be voted for at the coming election of inspectors unless such person pledges himself to obtain considerable reduction in the price of gas, or failing that to consent to light the parish with oil.””

Tbe Chairman urged upon those present not to forget to attend the next Vestry meeting, and to do their best place the question of oil-lighting before tbeir fellow-ratepayers. After some further discussion, a vote of thanks was accorded to the chairman, and the proceedings concluded.

Source: from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)


Two advertisements requesting tenders for 50 iron lamp posts and a supply of gas. From the South Eastern Gazette 8th November 1853

CONTRACT for the SUPPLY of FIFTY IRON LAMP POSTS, with lamps and fittings complete for lighting the same with Gas, for the parish of Mitcham, at per post, etc., including the fixing in such parts of the parish as may be determined by the inspectors.
Persons desirous of contracting for the above are requested to send in their tenders to the Buck’s Head Inn, Mitcham, on or before the 22nd November instant, directed to the Secretary to the Inspectors. The Board will not pledge themselves to accept the lowest or any tender.
By order of the Board,
FRANCIS NEWMAN,
Secretary.
Nov, 4th, 1853.

CONTRACT for the SUPPLY of GAS in the Public Lamps of the parish of Mitcham, at per 1000 feet. Persons willing to undertake the above contract, during the winter months, are requested to send in their tenders to the Buck’s Head Inn, Mitcham, on or before the 22nd November instant, directed to the Secretary to the Inspectors. The Board will not pledge themselves to accept the lowest or any tender.
By order of the Board,
FRANCIS NEWMAN, Secretary.
Nov. 4th, 1853.