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ABEUGAVKNNY. | PUBLIC MEETING FOR IMPROVING THE GAS- LIGHTING OF ABERGAVENNY, In conscqucnce of hand-bills to the following eflect, having been extensively circulated in this town during the previous week, a public meeting was held in the Town Hall oil Monday last. The bill ran thus :— I>rrr.ovF.ME\T OF THE GAS In pursuance of a resolution passed at the commissioners' meeting, held in the Town Hall on Friday, the 14th instant, it was resolved tlut a public meeting be hplel on Monday, the 24th inst., at the same place, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, for the purpose of taking into consideration the best means for improving the gas in the said town, to which all rate-payers and consumers of gas are earnestly requested to attend. Signed, by order of the Board of Commissioners, C. H. PHILLIPS, Clerk to the said Commissioners." The meeting assembled at eleven o'clock, when Mr. John Morgan proposed that William Steele, Esq., take the chair. The motion was seconded by Mr. Baker, and carried. Mr. Steele rose, and said he was sure there was not one pre- sent who would not most readily approve of the objects of the meeting, and co-operate in carrying them out. (Cheers.) lie fully agreed with the inhabitants in their disapproval of the present gas lights, which reminded people of the oil lamps with which the town was lighted fifty years ago. The gas light now dimly spen in the streets is very little better than that which the oil lamps afforded. (Hear, hear, and "It is worse!") He was one of those who formed the original agreement with Mr. Davies, relative to the introduction of gas-light into the town and as that agreement was of importance in their proceedings, he thought it would be well for the clerk of the commissioners to read it to the meeting.. Mr. Charles K. Phillips then read the agreement, which ex- tended to a great length. The following is an abstract of its contents :—After setting forth that the said Mr. Davis did covenant with the said commissioners that he would, within six mouths, build at Abergavenny the neccssary works for ma- king gas, and lay down iron pipes through the streets and lanes, for supplying the inhabitants with gas-lights, it bound the con- tractor to supply the commissioners, gratis, with sufficient pwe gas for twenty public lamps, for seven months in each year, md supply, at their ex pense, sufficient gas for as many more pub- lie lamps as should be required by the commissioners, through him and his heirs for the term of a thousand years. Incase Jhe contractor neglected to supply gas according to stipulation, titer one month's notice from the commissioners' clerk, all the ;ai I gas works, "-c.. should be forfeited to the commissioners The Chairman said he thought there could be but one opinion 13 to that agreement, and the engagement it contained. (Hear, iear.) As there were gentlemen present who could gi ve in- formation on the subject, he would not iuvtlier detain them. Mr. Hiley Morgan, in rising to propose the first resolution, ;aid ■Gentlemen—When the Beard of Commissioners issued :heir notice to convene this meeting, it met with the cordial ipprobation of all of us, and that the business of this day night be efficiently carried out, twelve or fourteen tradesmen net at the Greyhound on Friday evening last, to lay down the dan on which it would be desirable to conduct it. By them I ] vas requested to move the first resolution. This will account •o you why I take my stand here thus early in the day. It j" a natter of considerable importance at a public meeting, to have 1 sufficiently clear-headed to see at a glance the various points on all sides of the question brought before him, t'tdatthesame time possessing moral courage enough to de- ride on its merits, irrespective of party. At this meeting we lave been particularly fortunate in the selection of our chair- nan. He has been known to all of us for many years, as a varm advocate of everything that will benefit and improve our own. He has often been our chairman on similar occasions, end, as on former instances, so he will to-day, I haye no doubt, ill the chair with L'reat credit to himself, and Hint h advfuitnge 0 the meeting. The days in which we live are stirring days, n which <u'eat events are rapidly passing before us—events that rill tell upon future ages. The last half century has perhaps i ■ecu the most important of any for the previous thousand years, • ml no nation has been allowed by Providence to play so con- picuous a part in fixing the destiny of man as England. In he early part of it we were engaged in a most fearful conflict ( rith the genius of war, whose aims and desires were universal ( mpire, and the height of whose ambition was to number ( Britain amongst his conquered provinces. The Iron Duke said Jo! and the subjugator of Europe fell before the energies put ( jith by tlfe "nation of shopkeepers." Yet it must be borne 1 mind, while those energies were necessarily employed in 1 arrying desolation, misery, and ruin abroad, that the sons of cience were actively engaged at home in making discoveries, evising schemes, al1l1 maturing pbns, hy which the social COIl- ition of man might be improved, and to make happiness and omfort the inmates of every dwelling. Steam has been so t ompletely made subject to the hand of science, that in addition J ) its being the power by which merchandise is transmitted from i, ne end of the world to the other, and wheeled through the j ountry with the rapidity of an arrow, it is become a necessary j gent in the management of our domestic affairs. Ship-build- lg has so fully occupied the scientific mind, that the readiness ith which the ship answers the helmsman's hand, is so asto- ishing, as to almost persuade us she is a creature of life, rather ian a mass of dead timber; and the smallest craft arc so admi- ibly constructed, as to be navigable in the most boisterous ;as. Thus we sec how scicnce progresses. Though the know- ;dge of gas, as a natural production, has been known for ages, 1 nd was occasionally uf-foht in the ni^c^that .,J iroduced it—such as Wall3end, where a stream of light, eiglat *1 r nine feet long, may be seen, illuminating the surrounding juntry for:1 considerable distance, the gas issuing from an old jlliery, and is conveyed by pipes above the works—it does not ppear that until 17')'2 it was thought of, other than as a philo- ophical curiosity, thongh previously, even as early a.3 1739, as ] ecorded in the Philosophical Transactions of that year, it was < btained from coal by the lion. Robert Boyle, collected in blad- < ers, and afterwards burnt for the amusement of his friends. 11 the former year, 1792, Mr. Murdock, an engineer atlledruth, ) I Cornwall, so far succeeded in experimenting on gas, as to ) btain it in sufficient quantities and purity, so as to light up his OI1SC and offices. In 179S, he was cugagcd to light up Messrs. Soulton and Watts' establishment at Soho, Birmingham Not- -ithstanding the superiority of gas, as a light, over oil, it did rj ot make much way in public estimation till the peace of .miens, when the establishmecnt of Soho was so brilliantly luminated, that all Birmingham turned out to gaze at, and ad- rre this new light. It was laid hold of by the newspapers, nd the manufacture of gas explained, its brilliancy spoken of, bile its safetv and cheapness were lauded by all; and at many parlour and kitchen fire, as the evenings closed in, a mmia- are gas manufactory was made, by conceiting tobacco pipes lto retorts. About this time, Mr. \V msor got up a company )1' supplying London with gas. It was many years before sue- ess crowned these efforts, inexperience in its purification, and ublic prejudice against it, being the principal obstacles. At mgth science cleared it—prejudice yielded, and the dull, red, eavy flame of the oil lamp was superseded by the brilliant atwing. Almost every town in England was lighted with gas, rior to 1820, bnt in Monmouthshire and Wales, darkness was till visible. In 1822 one of the enterprising tradesmen of this IWl1! knowing that valuable goods appear 70 the best advan- ige in a good light, erected a small gasometer in his back itehen, from which he produced a beautiful light in his shop, nd lighted a large lamp over his door. This Gentleman's was le first gas-lighted shop this side the Severn. Mr. Watkins's rilliancy occasioned a depression in the value of oil lamps mongst us, and a talk was soon raised about the town being ghted after tins new plan. A gentleman named Broad- ledow, who had laid down gas pipes in Cardiff, and was sub- squently engaged to construct a gosometer in Brecon, came ere in 1S23, and delivered a lecture in the ball-room, at the -ngel, on the manuf:1.cture of gas upon an improved method J :ently discovered by himself. Mr. Davis being at that time 1. treaty wiih the town commissioners for supplying the town ïth gas, fell III with Broadmeadow, who, prossessing the ower of persuasion to a very considerable extent, induced him Mr. D.) to join him in taking out a patent for this (supposed) nproved method of making gas. The pateut was a failme- Ir good gas could not be made upon this new plan at least, I idge so from the circumstance, that soon after the establish- ment ef the gas works, in one of the periodicals of the day ap eared a notice to this f'ffect AheI"O"ëtyennv.-It is said that patent has been taken out at this place for an improved icthod of making gas—Qy. In what does the improvement insist, for there is not a worse lighted town in England." It iems then gentlemen that we have had bad gas from the time Ie contract was made until now, It might he deemed illl- ertinent in me to question the collective wisdom of the board f commissioners,in entering into that contract, but it does ?rtainly appear to me something like a stretch of power, to en- age and bind over for a thousand years, the inhabitants of this • ,wn to the tender mercies of a monopolist! Besides, it pre- ludes us from availing ourselves of the advantages of science. t possibly may be that in these days, when new light is thrown pon everything else, some new light may be discovered, by hichonr streets and houses may be lighted for lOfL or 12s. or venless, per burner; but that contract prevents us availing urselves of such a discovery, for it binds us for one thousand ears to burn HIS gas, and that. too at HIS price, so that it docs ot exceed 50s. per annum per batwing. The resolution I have ) propose is this: "That in consequence of the insufficient uantity, and very impure state, ol the gas, with which the iwn is supplied, the town commissioners be earnestty requested > rigidly enforce tin; fulfilment of the contract between them nd the proprietor of the gasworks." To complain, is not at ny time pleasant work but in the present state of society, we Ie often called upon to make complaints, and hear them made, bout the non-fulfilment of engagements. It would be far lore congenial with my feelings, to heap the meed of praise in ?rms loud and long, rather than even whisper a complaint gainst the proprietor of the gas works His duty to the town mounts to tbis—to supply it with pure gas, and plenty of it. Jow, gentlemen, if I fail to substantiate my charge, that the upply IS insufficient, and Impl1relD quality, do not, 1 pray you, o Mr. Overton so great an injustice as to carry the resolution. iow for the proofs. Begin at Tudor-street gate, and trace the He of lights up to the King's Arms, and yon find a strong jet 1 every lamp, as well as in those shops where gas is consumed t Tudor-street. It is tolerably strong from be King's Arms p N eville-strept, and occasionally in lligh-street; but at thc jp of Cross-street, where the descent begins, is the commenee- ment of the really-bad line of bmps, for long before you reach lill-street gate, you generally lose the light altogether; but -hen the lamps do happen to bo lighted, the flame more resem- les the dying effort of a farthing rushlight, than that of a irty-shilliiig batwing. If the locality were not well known, it TOulll be necessary oftentimes to procure a candle to find the imp-post. Mount-street is little, if anything, better than .lill-street; awl if proof were required that the gas was im- ure, it would be unnecessary to do more than show you the imps. The filth from the gas seems to be well nigh grained in he glass and were It not for Ins unpleasant sensation along is olfactory nerves, a stranger would hesitate in deciding whe- her we burnt oil or gas. The ceilings of many shops are pa- ired, and where the precaution of having it varnished has not een taken, a second year requires a second papering. In seve- al shops the ceilings are black as a chimney back. In towns vhere gas is pure, it is not necessary to clean the insides of lany shop-windows more frequently than perhaps once in every onr or six weeks. If left here more than two weeks, you night write on the glass, in very legible characters, GAS CONTIIACTOII'S IMPURITY lie commissioners have received repeated complaints, and have icen ur"ed to adopt measures, that would secure to the town he fulfilment of the contract, but feeling an unwillingness to dopt coercive means against an individual, and yet anxious to to their duty to those who are not commissioners, have com- dained to, remonstrated with, and threatened, Mr. Overton, iheir complaints, remonstrances, and threats, might as well lave been made to the whistling wind. In October, 1841, the hreat was changed into a regular notice, drawn up by a pro- essional gentleman of considerable standing in the town, that he works would be taken to by the commissioners. The .larmed proprietor attended the next meeting, and pledged limself, that if time were allowed him, until May in lö-l;), he J- vould make such alterations in the works as would prevent the >ossibility of any more complaints being made. The town ;ommissioners, still unwilling to press their claim, to the injury )f the proprietor, gave him the required time, and during the uinnncr of this year. he commenced the promised improvement, jut left off almopt as soon as he began. He laid down a few lipes in Cross-street and High-street of a larger bore than was ilready there, but did 110 more than this. Now, how a few j jipes laid down in the middle of the town of a larger size than were there before, could give a larger supply of gas in Mill- street., is beyond my comprehension. I he summer months was 1 iot the time to test the alteration. The winter came, and we p:nd that Mill-street is as badly supplied as ever, and the gas is •j foul as filth can make it. As every cause must have some •I sffect, I have endeavoured to lay before you the effect. 1 lie •\ cause is this. Mr. Overton has not the means of fulfilling his J contraet-the plant is not sufficiently extensive. TIt:- gasometer ] was made, and pipes laid down to supply the town, when the j population was absut 20 pet cent less than it is now; and with the infit'u&ud of the population, an addition at povnapa 400 lights Uavo been taken. Now, how is it possible, with thb comparatively small gasometer and pipes, a sufficient quantity of gas can be made for an increasing town like this ? Gentle- men, the situation in which the board of conllaissioncrs is now u' circumstanced, is a very serious one. Anxious as they always arc to do justice, they are nevertheless unwilling to seize upon this gentleman's property—which they may do, in accordance with their agreement. As we do not have our money's worth for onr money paid, I most earnestly call upon you to urge the commissioners to adopt those measures which will give the town pure gas, and plenty of it. (Cheering.) Mr. C. Daniel rose and said: Fellow-Townsmen,—I am not going to inflict upon you a long; speech, but I trust the few observations I may make will not be found irrelevant to the subject in hand. In seconding the resolution proposed by Mr. Morgan, allow me to say that, as a native and an inhabitant of the town of Abergavenny, it is but natural I should feel a deep interest in everything that, regards its welfare and prosperity; and I trust that on all occasions I shall be found amongst the number of those who arc ready to lend a helping hand to further any measures that may be proposed with the view to j promote the social comfort of its inhabitants, or to raise the town itself in point of municipal regulations and sanitory im- provements, to a level with other towns in the kingdom, which, I regret to sav, have left us at so great a distance behind, in the march of social advancement. The object which has brought us together to-day, is one in which are interested notmerely the private consumers of gas, but the inhabitants of the town at large; and I am happy to say that my fellow-townsmen are fully alive to the importance of the sabject; and I rejoice to know that they are determined to use every legitimate means to remedy the evil of which we have so much reason to complain. Mr. Chairman, if a stranger were to pass through the streets of our town after night falr, possessed of no other source of information, but. judging from the public glimmering, flickering emanating from our lamps, he would be led to conclude that Abergavenny was, at least, half a century behind the spirit of the age, and still among the number of those unim- portant towns and obscure villages that have not yet availed themselves of the superior mode of lighting which earbonetted hydrogen affords. Now that such an inference could, by any possibility, be drawn by a stranger, lays us all open, in some degree, to the charge of apathy and past indifference. But, gentlemen, wú have met to-day to wipe away the stain from our municipal escutcheon, and to deal a blow at monopoly, which, if it does not at Oilce annihilate the monster, will, at all events, 50 a great way towards the accomplishment of that desirable abject Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen,—1 shall now, with your permission, call your attention to the document which has just read in your hearing and if. in doing so, I should pass jver the same ground traversed by my friend Mr. Morgan, I must beg your indulgence, as the nature of the subject renders it almost impossible to avoid doing so. For the more clear comprehension of that contract, I shall divide it into three icctions. The first section embraces the conditions to be 011- served on the part of Mr. Thomas Davies, his heirs, executors, idministrators, and assigns; the second section embraces the I'oiiditions to be observed on the part of the commissioners of Lhe town of Abergavenny; and the third section embraces the penalty annexed to a violation of those conditions, on the part )f the said Thomas Davies, and his legal representatives. But first I solicit vour attention to the conditions to be observed on the part of Mr Thomas Davies, the original contractor and his legal r epresentatives and they are pledged to supply the town )f Abergavenny wiih twenty street lights gratuitously, and free 01 all charge whatever. Here I would remark in passing, that the commissioners are not obliged to take more than those twenty lights, unless they think proper so to do. They engage to supply us with as many lights as may be required over ami above the twenty lights adverted to, at a cost of 10s. per annum. They engage to supply the town with gas for seven months in every year, from sunset Lo sunrise, excepting at the occurrence of the full mocn, when they arc released from the obligation for five nights—the night of the full moon, and the two nights preceding and two nights succeeding that event. They are engaged to supply the town with gas—sufficient in quantity and pure in quality. They have engaged to furnish houses, shops, and premises, with good and pure gas, batwing burners, it a cost tor each light, not exceeding 5().s. per annum. These, Mr. Chairman, are the conditions to be observed by Mr. Davies, his heirs, and :).llmi1listr.ltors, .xc. I now come to the iecond general division of the subject, which embraces the conditions to he observed on the part of commissioners of the of Abergavenny. They engage to prevent anv person ir persons breaking up or removing the pavement, ke., with die view of supplying the town with gas. They engage not to contract with any person or jJPtsOllS to light the town, with gas )r any other light, during the term of 1000 years, provided the ;aid Thomas Davies, See., shall fulfil all the stipulations con- fined. in the saill contract. I must not dwell on this subject, jut consider strictly the penalty incurred by Mr. T Davio;&< jy a violation of the contract. The clause relating to this reads as follows: If T. Da vies refuse or neglect to supply the town, houses, diops, and premises, with gas when required, or in any manner 'efuse, or neglect to observe and fulfil all the stipulations and igreements the said contract contains, after one month's no- ace given him by the commissioners' clerk, then all the build Lngs, pipes, meters, and other apparatus of the said T. Davies, shall be forfeited, and become the property of the said commis- sioners, who shall and may take possession thereof, and use and dispose of them in any manner they may think proper." Now, Mr. Chairman, the matter appears to me to turn upon two points—first, has Mr. Overton, the present representative af Mr. Davies, fulfilled all the conditions of that contract? I contend he has not; »rul here I must revert to the 4th clause iindcr the 1st general division, wherein he is pledged to supply thettwn with gas-, sufficient fc q..MM!tS.y,-aD<t pirt e'nr^uatiity;. iVith respect to-fhe first, any gentleman who, during the last nonth, may have walked from Frogmore-street, to Mill-street ;urnpike, after iiiglit-ftil, will be able to bear ample testimony .0 the insufficiency of the supply and with respect to the 2nd part, if the gas were submittted to chemical analysis, its qua- .ity would be found as impure as its quantity is insufficient. Secondly, has Mr. Overton received a month's notice of the state of things, accordiug to the requirements of the contract ? [ am informed, on competent authority, that such notice has jeen given more than once, and I believe the commissioners' jook will prove that beyond all doubt. Fellow-townsmen, that document contains the fetters by which we are bound, but let me tell you, that document contains also the instrument by which those letters may be broken. Gentlemen-commissioners of Abergavenny, that document arms you with a power which v. a and our descendants for a thousand years to come, are alike bound, and in the name of the meeting, I call on you to use the power with which you are invested and let me tell you, by re- sponding to tins call, you will lie doing an act of justice lo, and conferring a benefit o:i, generations yet unborn. (Cheers.) Mr. Ililey Morgan said before the resolution was put to the meeting, he wouid read the ludicrous remarks made by the policeman, directed by the commissioners to report on the state of the gas lights throughout the town:— lMO. H.Rr<)HT OF THE OAS IN MtLL-STREliT. Oct. 10—Bad gas in Mill-street. 11—.Bad gas in Mill-street.. 15-Full moon. 17-lhd gas in Mill-street. 18—Bad gas in Mill-street. 13-Snnday, gas very good. 20-Bad gas in Mill-street. 21—All lamps out in Mill-street, and one in Frogmore-st. 22—AH lamps out in Mill-street. 23-Alllamps out in Mill-stree bad gas in town. Nov. I-Dad gas in Mill-street 2- Sunday, good light in Mill-street. 3-llllw lamps in Mill-street out, from theCrowu, down .1 -lbtl gas in Mill-street. ;)-1)al1 gas all over the town. C, — Good light in Mill-street. 7-1hd light in MiM-stroet and Monk-street. •' Bad light in Mill-street and-Monk street. 0—Sunday, good light in Mill-street. 10 -Bad light in Mill-street and Monk-st.rcet. 11 -Lad hgiitin Mill-street and Monk-street. 14 —Full moon. 17 No gas light in Mill-street, from the Crown Inn. downwards, and had tlirought the rest of the town. lB-.1\Iunk-strcet and Mill-street in darkness, from the Crown Inn downwards, and bad gas throughout the rest of the town. Monk-street and Mill-street, in darkness, bad gas in town. ".isn bile rea.(Ung the above Mi. Morgan was frequently inter rupted by bursts of laughter. The Chairman then put the resolution to the meeting, and it was carried unanimously. After which he said that Mr. Daniel had remarked on those who were party (of which he himself was oru*) t0 the formation of the contract to light the town with gas. lie had only to remark that when it was made they had the assistance ot Mr. Jones, who was deceased, a very clever man, and they thought all would be well. However, the time had arrived when they might break that contract, owing to its nou fuhdment by the proprietor. (Hear.) And he thought it should be done as soon as through accidents which might happen, the commissioners may become responsible. He understood it was only the other day that the mail coach was neaily overturned,owing to the darkness. He then asked the solicitor of the commissioners if Mr. Overton had been served with a notice on the subject of the meeting, and the steps the commissioners had taken on the point. Mr. Baker replied such a notice had been served, and since that time t he lights had been much worse than previously. He suggested that the proprietor had better be served with another notice. Mr. Phillips then read the resolution passed at the last com- missioners'meeting, to call a public meeting of the inhabitants to take the sense of the town on the subject of gas lights. At the suggestion of iMr. John Morgan, all the Rcntlemen then present who were non-commissioners, came forward and signed the following resolution, which tHd been previously pill to the meeting and carried: "We the undersigned being present do most carnesly request the commissioners will call a special meeting, at an early da v to take the subject into their mature consideration. Klmes Y. Steele, M. Moses, Thomas Vauglian Moigan, Samuel .(ones, Thomas Morgan, (Angel Hotel), Wm. J. I!. Hurst, Henry Thompson, Charles Pnniel, John Daniel, JamesSaunders, .). H. Kvins, James Williams. Thomas Hail, William 1'rin, Thomas Griffiths, K. Michael, George Williams, J. P. Williams, John iUton, William Pnchaid. Seth Kvans, WilliamCrump, Charles Jemiinss, Timothy Wallington, W m. Wiiliams, T. Bigijleton, John Tucker. Thomas hvans, Lewis and Sons, pro. William Vaughan, Charles Williams, James Jenkins, Isaac Isaacs, Henry Morgan. Henry Vaughan, D. Lewis, Hiley Morgan, Jeremiah Jacobs, William Jones, In pursuance of the above, wo the undersigned being commis- sioneis ol the town of Abergavenny, do hereby call a special of sa*(i lie 'I meeting of tlm said commissioners, on the 12th day of Decem- ber, at the hour ot II o'clock in the forenoon William Steele, David Lewis, W. Baker, Isaac Isaacs, Charles Itogors, Joseph Meredith, John ;\ior»a;i, John Michael, James Powell, John Jenkins. A lengthened conversation ensued on the priecs or the gas lamps, after which Mr. Hiley Morgan proposed, and Mr. Charles Losers seconded a vote of thanks to the chaiiman. Mr. Steel returned thanks in a brief and apposite address, sta'jn¡:; his wiJiinL;ncss on all occasions to assist the inhabitants in any movement for the benefit of the town, and closed the meeting by thanking his iellow-lownsmen for the honour due linn by their selection of him as chairman.





To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…



[No title]