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Woodborough’s Heritage

Woodborough, an ancient Sherwood Forest Village recorded in Domesday



Woodborough Parish Council - The origins of the Council in 1894/95



The first of two leaflets below (Fig: 1) show those eleven parishioners who were standing for the first ever election for the Woodborough Parish Council on 17th December 1894 under the banner of Moderate Men. They provide 6 reasons why they should be elected.


The ballot paper (Fig: 2) shows the full list of candidates. It is puzzling that the 11 Moderate Men candidates are shown in bold. Notes made in pencil, presumably after the election was declared, that those entitled to vote did not seem to do so entirely for the Moderate Men. The other 11 names were Liberal candidates and alongside all names are those pencil notes as to how many votes each received.


Woodborough Parish Council


In 1894 the Local Government Act was passed in Parliament. This dealt with the setting up of Parish and District Councils and Guardians, and Mr Buckland wrote a long article in the November 1894 magazine explaining in detail how the Act would affect Woodborough and who were entitled to vote at the first Parish meeting being held on 4th December 1894.


To the Parochial Electors.


As a wish has been expressed that I should serve on the Parish Council, I am prepared to give my services and therefore present myself as a Candidate. In doing so I wish distinctly to state that I am not the nominee of any party. I am here as Vicar of Woodborough to do my best for all Woodborough people without regard for the position or opinions which they may hold, and I am prepared to serve on the Council for the greatest possible good of the greatest possible number.


As an independent and moderate man I shall give my best attention to each question as it arises and shall endeavour to form a fair and impartial opinion. I shall endeavour to combine Economy with Efficiency in the general management of Parochial business.


The relief of the Poor is not the special business of the Parish Council, but I am strongly in favour of dealing liberally with the aged and deserving poor who have come to poverty through no fault of their own.


Allotments for Working Men will be a great help to many. I shall use my influence on the Council and with landowners and tenants to hire land suitable for Allotments by voluntary agreement. The Lighting of the Street will have my support if it can be done at a moderate cost.


The Parish Council should have attention to any filthy drains, closets or other nuisances which may be dangerous to health.


Certain plans which have been put forward for Baths and Washhouses, Recreational Grounds and Public Reading Rooms appear to me to be extravagant schemes which will get the Parish into debt and largely increase the rates. I shall oppose them on the ground that a Parish like this, depending upon the three industries of Agriculture, Hosiery and Market Gardening, of which the first two are very depressed and the third is not over prosperous, is not justified in incurring unnecessary expense. It is very easy to run up a bill; to pay it is a very different matter.


W.E. Buckland

December 1894



Copy of Minutes


The first parish meeting for election of parish councillors, for the parish of Woodborough, was held in Wood’s Foundation School, Woodborough, at 7 o’clock on the evening of December 4th [1894].


Mr G. Biggs was voted to the chair, after the meeting had been opened by Mr E. Robinson, overseer.


The chairman explained the order of procedure. The nomination papers were then handed in, and all were declared valid.


After an interval of 20 minutes, the chairman read the names of those nominated in alphabetical order, with the several proposers and seconders.


Various questions were then put to the candidates, and replied to. Opportunity was given to nominees to withdraw. None however did so.


The names were then put to the meeting in alphabetical order, and voted upon. The chairman announced the result, as follows:


The Chairman then declared that subject to a poll being demanded, and the demand not being withdrawn, he declared the candidates to be elected whom he named – the first eleven names on the aforesaid list. He then allowed a period of 10 minutes to elapse before the end of the meeting. During that time Mr W. Robinson junior demanded a poll in the following words –

“On behalf of my party, I am authorised to demand a poll”.


The Chairman then declared the meeting closed.


Signed: George Biggs


Note: Because of the demand for a second poll at the last meeting, sometime between 4th December and 17th December 1894 the following addresses were produced on behalf of the Moderate Men. The leaflet ‘address’ below and the ‘voting form’ further below were no doubt to encourage voting for the Moderate Men candidates. All other candidates were Liberals.



TO THE PAROCHIAL ELECTORS OF WOODBOROUGH


VOTE FOR MODERATE MEN


We, the undersigned, ask you to Vote for us for these reasons:


1. We stand as MODERATE Men, without regard to politics, and in opposition to the extravagant plans brought forward by other persons.

2. We are in favour of the Parish Council taking up ALLOTMENTS FOR WORKING MEN, and shall be prepared to use the compulsory powers of the Act, if suitable and convenient land cannot be procured by voluntary agreement.

3. We shall administer the business of the Parish to the best of our ability, and shall endeavour to KEEP DOWN ALL EXPENSES and REDUCE the standard of OFFICIAL SALARIES, that the money of the rate payers may not be wasted.

4. We shall support any plans for the necessary IMPROVEMENT of the VILLAGE which can be carried out at a reasonable cost.

5. We desire that LIBERAL OUT-DOOR RELIEF should be given to the aged and deserving poor.

6. We think that the Rents of the Woodborough POOR LANDS should be applied to the REPAIR of the POOR HOUSES, which should be let to the Poor Rent Free, and the balance given to Poor persons without particulars being given to the Relieving Officer.


ROBERT BENTLEY

WALTER E. BUCKLAND

ARTHUR BURNETT

GEORGE DRING

HENRY DRING

JOHN FOSTER

FRANCIS HARTSHORNE

WILLIAM HOGG

WILLIAM HOGG, JUNIOR

EDWARD ROBINSON

WILLIAM ROBINSON


Printed and Published by STAFFORD & Co., Netherfield, Notts.




VOTE FOR MODERATE MEN

_______________________


Put a CROSS against the name of each Candidate for whom you intend to Vote.

Do not Vote for more than Eleven Candidates, or your paper will be spoiled.
Do not sign your name.


FORM OF BALLOT PAPER

The eleven candidates elected on 17th December 1894 are:


BURTON John Edward

BUCKLAND Walter E.

DONNELLY Mark

ROBINSON Edward

ORANGE William

THURMAN John

CLAYTON John Edwin

CLAYTON Joseph

RICHARDSON William

HOGG William Junior

WRIGHT Elijah


Note: The candidates elected at the second vote were somewhat different to those elected earlier on 4th December


The first meeting of the Parish Council
held on 4th January 1895


The first meeting of the Parish Council was held on 4th January 1895 when the following officers were elected —

Chairman: R.J. Clayton, Vice-Chairman: J. Thurman, Clerk: E. Wright,

Treasurer: M. Donnelly.


A Committee, consisting of the Rev’d. W.E. Buckland and Messrs. J. Burton, E. Robinson, J. Thurman and E. Wright, was appointed to ascertain the names of persons desirous of obtaining Allotments, and the amount, character and position of the land desired.


At the next meeting it was reported that 72 applicants had asked for 146 acres of arable and pasture land, of which 38 acres was desired at the top, 65 acres in the middle and 41 acres at the lower end of the village.

Fig: 1



Acknowledgement:


____________________________________________________________________________________________________



Fig:2

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