Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

4 articles on this Page

[No title]



Colwyn Bay and Colwyn District…


Thomas Parry, Justice of the Peace for Denbighshire, Chairman of the Urban District Council of Colwyn Bay and Colwyn. To this letter a reply was quickly re- turned, saying that enquiries would be made at once, and by that morning's post he had received the following letter :— 8th June, 1896. Sir,—With reference to your letter of the 26th March, I am directed by the Postmaster-General to in- form you that he has arranged with the London and North-Western Railway Com- pany on your request that the up-mail shall stop regularly at Colwyn Bay from the ist of July next [The Rev. Venables Williams Hear, hear," I to pick up the mails which have hitherto been transferred to the train by the apparatus. "-Proceed- ing, the Chairman said that he thought it Z!1 would be a great boon for them to have the mail stopping at Colwyn Bay, as they had felt it very difficult to come to Colwyn Bay from the west at night, as there was no train after 8.15 p.m., and if they wanted to go from the town to London or elsewhere, it would be impossible to start after 8.15 p.m. It would be a great con- venience for them as residents to have this done, for the sake of the travellers going round the country, and visitors as well. This stoppage was to commence on the 1st July. He thought that it was their duty as a Council to pass a vote of thanks to the Postmaster-General (the Duke of Norfolk) for the trouble he had taken in this matter, and for what he had done towards getting this train to stop at Colwyn Bay. [Hear, hear]. Mr Blud begged to second that, and he also thought the thanks of the Council and of the District were due to the Chairman for the trouble he had taken in this matter. Mr Bevan said that he thought it was the correspondence of the local Postmaster (Mr I. J ones) which had shown the Post- master-General the inconvenience of the present system, which had resulted in the granting of that great boon to Colwyn Bay. Of course, he did not wish to depreciate the services of their worthy townsman the Chairman but they had all been trying to secure this boon for a long time. The Chairman I ought to say that a great amount of correspondence has passed since I wrote that letter, between the Station-master and others. The vote of thanks was carried unanim- cl". COWLYD WATER. With regard to a minute respecting this matter which appeared in the report of the special Council meeting of May 29th, the Surveyor, replying to Mr Bevan, said that b had got the plans for a new main from Sarn Mynach to Colwyn Bay nearly com- pleted. They were, however, simply Ordnance plans. In reply to Mr Porter, who asked a question as to a resolution passed by the Council as to the pressure, the Surveyor said that he had written on the subject several times, but he did not know that a formal resolution of the Council's had been sent. The pressure had been very satisfactory during the past week. The Clerk said that he had mentioned the matter to the Engineer, who had said that to keep up at Conway Bridge such a pressure as the Council required, meant the blowing-up of pipes higher up. He, however, had done it, and, as a result, pipes had been blown up. The Vicar asked whether it was not the smallness of the mains from Sarn Mynach which was the cause of the pipes being unable to bear the pressure. The Chairman said that he could not understand anyone laying all the blame on Colwyn Bay, when the pipes at Conway and Llangwst enin, were only 6 inches all the same. Mr Blud pointed out that, though they had heavy pressure in January, they had no pipes burst. The Surveyor said that that was so, but the reason they had not so much pressure now as in January, was that the con- sumption had so largely increased. The. Chairman said that if the valves and pipes at Conway were left alone, they would have plenty of water at Colwyn Bay. Mr Blurf proposed that the Surveyor be instructed to go on with the plans and specifications for the new mains from Sarn Mynach, even if it cost them a little money. Mr Robert Evans seconded. Replying to Mr Evans, who wished to know what steps had been taken as to arbitration, the Chairman said that there would be no need ot doing anything if an agreement was arrived at. The Rev. W. Venables Williams said if these matters were so much in dispute he was of opinion that, in the interests of Colwyn Bay, the only way to settle them would be by arbitration, under the 23rd Section of the Act. The minutes of the last Council meeting, and of several special meetings, were then, with some slight corrections, con- firmed. THE SANITARY COMMITTEE. The minutes of this Committee were also confirmed. THE HIGHWAY COMMITTEE. The Highway Committee's minutes con- tained, among other items, the fellowing:- Newspaper Reports The Clerk read a letter from the editor of the Liverpool Daily Post, with respect to the report under the heading Whitsuntide Bank Holiday,' concerning Colwyn Bay, con- tained in the Liverpool Daily Post of the 26th May, 1896. It was resolved that the letter be published in the newspapers.— Pwllycrochan Woods It was carried unanimously that the Clerk be instructed to again apply to the Colwyn Bay and Pwllycrochan Estate Company for their terms for the sale of the Woods.— Obstructions along Public Footpaths The Surveyor reported that, owing to several complaints having been made as to the r, obstruction caused along public footpaths by sun-blinds and awnings, he had caused notices to be served on each person having the same at a lesser height than 8 feet above the footpath, but that up to the present time very little attention had been taken of the notices served. It was re- solved that the Surveyor be instructed to again serve a three days' notice, and that unless the same is complied with proceed- ings be taken.—New Footpaths in Con- way Road The Surveyor reported that he had seen Mr Hutchings herein, and that the latter had now consented to the plan submitted to the last meeting, with a slight alteration, and that he now intended proceeding with the work. It was carried unanimously, thatthe Denbighshire County Council be supplied with copies of the plans for the new footpath.—Telephone Poles The Surveyor reported that he had received an application from the National Telephone Co, for consent to fix 6 poles along the old highway under the Woods, so as to connect Queen's Lodge with their system. It was proposed by Mr George Bevan, seconded by Mr John Blud, and carried unanimously, that this Committee recommend the Council to request the Telephone Co. to fix the poles inside Mr Houghton's wall." Mr John Porter (Chairman of the Com- mittee) proposed the adoption of the minutes. Mr Bevan called attention to the para- graph headed" Newspaper Reports," and asked whether the Council intended to send the letters referred to to the news- papers as advertisements, because if they did, they would get a bill for it. The Chairman I don't know. Mr Evans You had better hand them to the reporters. The minutes were confirmed, the letter from the editor of the Liverpool Daily Post not having been read. THE FINANCE COMMITTEE. The Clerk read the minutes of the Fin- ance Committee held just before the Council meeting that morning. A letter was read from the Postmaster, pointing out that his assessment was the same as last year, and requesting the return of a sum of £ 2 ios. ovF-r-paid. It was resolved to draw out a cheque for the amount and refund it. A letter was also read from Mr Benjamin Powell, resigning his position as Rate-Collector, and the Committee recommended that Mr Powell's salary be raised to and that the Council pay the guarantee-bond of his assistant. On these conditions being submitted to Mr Powell, he consented to withdraw his resignation. The minutes were confirmed. VOTE OF CONDOLENCE. On the motion of the Chairman, a vote of condolence with Mr John Roberts, on the death of his daughter, was passed, Mr John Roberts briefly acknowledging the vote. THE WOODS. For a considerable time, a large deputa- tion of tradesmen and property-owners had been seated in the Council-chamber, for some purpose not indicated on the Agenda. On this Agenda, the Rev W. Venables-Williams had placed the follow- ing motion, of which he had given notice:— That, if there is on the Minutes of the Council a resolution not to rent or purchase the Pwllycrochan Woods, the same be forthwith rescinded, and that the Colwyn Bay and Colwyn District Council do forth- with take into consideration the resolution passed at a meeting of Ratepayers, held in the Public Hall, on Monday evening, June ist, by an overwhelming majority, 'That the Council be authorised to rent the Woods at ^50 for one year.' After the vote of condolence with Mr John Roberts had been passed, the Vicar said,—Mr Chairman, I do not know whether it will be in order or not to take subsection two of No. 10 on the Agenda now,but I would point out to you that there is a deputation of gentlemen here to-day, waiting upon this Council to represent their views upon the question of the Woods. The Chairman said that he had no objection, but there was a letter from Mr Edwin Jones which might as well be read first. The Clerk's clerk then read a letter from Mr Edwin Jones, regretting his inability to be present as one of the depu- tation. He was decidedly of opinion that the Woods should be either rented or purchased, and could not too strongly impress that opinion on the Council. The Vicar then formally moved his resolution and moved also that the depu- tation, be heard on the question. Mr Blud thought that it would be more in order if they had the views of the depu- tation before any resolution was submitted. The Vicar said that his object was to get the deputation fairly before the Council. The Chairman: We will, as a Council, be glad to hear what the deputation has to say. Mr E. H. Davies (Uxbridge House) said that, with regard to the Woods, they, as ratepayers in the Bay, thought that the Council would find that, if they did not rent or purchase the Woods, the trades- men might as well close their shops. They might as well try to move the sea as remove the Woods. The visitors were complaining, and, if the Woods were not opened, shopkeepers would not be able to pay their way. As to the increase of the rates after buying or renting them, why, they would be better able to pay a larger rate having the Woods, than a smaller one without them. [Hear, hear.]. A member of the deputation had letters from various people, saying that they would not come to Colwyn Bay this year as they had intended, because the Woods were closed. Mr Lockyer said that, in consequence of the reports in the papers that the Woods were closed, as they were con- sidered the chief object of attraction in the place, several people had written to him announcing their determination of going to Folkestone this year, instead of coming to Colwyn Bay as they had intended. Mr Barker also spoke, giving instances Z, of the ill effects on the town of the closing of the Woods. The Vicar: As the deputation appear to be rather shy of speaking, I would venture to ask them it it is their unanimous opinion that this policy should be carried out. Mr Nunn said that the deputation was a rather unorganised one, having been hastily appointed, but, he was sure, they were all of opinion that the matter was an important one. In the case of Colwyn Bay it was not so much a question of the sea as of the Woods; they were primarily essential to the good of the place as a resort for visitors and retiring merchants to settle there. [Hear, hear.J. They thought that the matter ought not to be in any doubt. Fifty pounds was a very moderate rent indeed, and they thought there should be no hesitation in the Council in accepting that offer, and having it wired through the whole world (if neces- sary) that the offer had been accepted, and that' for the present, at any rate, that terrible source of danger, had been averted. [Hear, hear.]. As for the future, they left matters entirely in the hands of the Council to deal with the question of footpaths. But the Woods were essential to the place, and. by renting or purchase, must be got hold of. [Applause.]. The Chairman: Well, gentlemen, the matter is before you. Mr Blud May I ask the deputation a few questions ? Mr Evans I think we ought to point out to the deputation that we, as a Coun- cil, are not to blame for not purchasing these Woods. We have asked the Estate Company for their terms, which we have not got. Mr Bevan Our friend is out of order. That explanation should be given by the Chairman. Mr Evans I am giving it to the Chair- man. Fifty pounds is for one year only it might be raised next year, and, before jumping into the water, we should know how deep it is. Mr Porter seconded the Vicar's motion. The Vicar It is clearly understood the Woods are to be rented for one year, as from the ist of June (say) to the ist of June next year. But there is till the 31st December for the Council to consider whether they will pay ^8,000, and, if we don't determine to rent the Woods for ^50 for one year, then the whole matter drops through. Mr Blud Will the renting of the Z, Woods for ,CSo bmd us afterwards to pur- chase them for ^8,000? The Clerk here read the letter from Mr Howarth, Secretary to the Estate Com- pany, with respect to the Woods. The letter was written without prejudice." Mr Blud Should we rent the Woods without prejudice ? The Rev. J. G. Haworth It says so. Mr John Roberts After hearing that letter, I have great pleasure in supporting the Vicar's motion. The Vicar You will understand, Mr Chairman, I have not yet spoken to my motion. Mr Roberts, proceeding, said that he thought it only a matter of detail as to the conditions, and a matter to make the best possible bargain in the purchase. The Company, he supposed, would not budge from the ^"8,000 asked. He firmly believed that the Woods were the back- bone of Colwyn Bay. [Hear, hear.] It was an absolute park, and, if a few more paths were made, there would be nothing pleasanter for visitors, especially invalids. It would be a place where they could go to have a shelter from the heat of the sun. He had great pleasure in supporting the motion. M r Blud Without prejudice? Mr Roberts Without prejudice, ac- cording to that letter, and, at the end of December, if the ratepayers object to pur- chase the Woods, let them do it, but I don't believe they will, and the best way to get at their mind on this question is to poll the District. That is a fairer way than calling a public meeting. I am quite willing to do it, between this and the end of the year. I believe our rateable value is now ^44,000, and we must pay from ^1,500 to C,2,000 of the principal every year, so that it will be continually decreas- ing, and I think, by getting the beach and the Woods, we are securing the two most substantial improvements Colwyn Bay will ever require. [Applause.] The Chairman Any amendment ? A pause. Mr Blud said that the proposition put before the Council that morning was a different one to the recommendation which came from the public meeting last week. The words without prejudice were not in, which made all the difference. He was quite willing to support it, since the Council had refused to assert its rights to the paths going the Woods. He had spoken to a gentleman the other day, 60 years of age, who was willing to go into any Court to prove that the Woods were open in the days of his youth. But the Council had already refused to assert its rights to these paths, and what the result would be he did not know, but his opinion was that if they conceded their rights to the Estate Company now, they would have to follow suit with other landowners. A short time ago, they resolved to fix some finger-posts pointing out public paths, and then they were advised, against his wish, to write to the owners asking them if they had any objection to these finger- posts being put up. The result was, that they had a basketful of objections from the owners. The Chairman Not all. Mr Blud said that there was a large number at any rate, which, to him, was a sign that these people, if they got the least opportunity, would stop up all the paths in the district, and then Colwyn Bay would indeed be ruined. If the Council were going to refuse to enforce the provi- sions of the Acts which gave them the rights, they might as well hand over the government and control of that district to I the Estate Company at once. Now that they had come to face the Estate Company, they had allowed them to beat them again. If they took a valuer into these Woods, he would ask at once, Whose paths are these?" and on the answer to that question would depend his valuation of the Woods. It was their fault that the Woods had been closed. It was a question, not of £ 8,000, but of ^14,000. They would cost ;6150 a year to keep up. [Mr Porter No.] Well he would call it ^50. A meeting the other night sent them a resolution binding them to renting the Woods with- out having any conditions before them. There was another matter. Those Woods, which were valued at £ 8,000, were as- sessed at ^24 a year. If they capitalised that, they had £ s°°y and that was the agricultural value, and was, he believed, the value of the land. It was another example of the way wealth escaped taxa- tion. Those facts should be sent to Mr Lloyd George and others who were oppos- ing the Rating Bill. He believed .£24 a year represented the value of this land as agricultural land or as woodland. They had felled some trees there, and could not get more than the cost of felling them for timber, and yet they were told the Estate Company would fell the woods and thus ruin Colwyn Bay But those who said that forgot to tell them that it would in- volve the ruin of the Estate Company as well. They should calmly consider this question, and they must bear in mind what their liabilities were. They were now over ^60,000, and their borrowing powers only amounted to ^80,000. And where was the money coming from for the big sewerage scheme which was looming ? It was a question of being starved to death or taxed to death, and he for one preferred to be starved to death rather than be taxed to feed capitalists. Mr Porter said that he must call their attention to one remark of Mr Blud's, who sneered at the idea of a farmer from Anglesea giving evidence on this subject. He (Mr Porter) could tell them that Mr John Roberts, farmer, of Anglesea, was a Z, most respectable man. And even Mr Owen Williams would bear him (Mr Porter) out that he (Mr Williams) was not at all certain that the Woods were ever public property. He (Mr Porter) main- tained that these Woods were private property, and had been bought and paid for, and their duty as citizens was to secure them for the town. The Chairman: You will notice there is a difference between private property and rights-of-way. Mr Porter, proceeding, said that Mr John Jones. of Llandudno, could also bear testimony to the fact that there was never any right-of-way through these Woods, to the public. But suppose they bought the Woods for ^8000. It was said that they would have to keep them up. Well, had they not to keep up every property they held ? He asserted that a matter of £ 50 a year would serve to keep up the Woods. In buying the Woods, they would be going in for a bit of valuable property, and their successors would say, "NVell, these people had sorre sense about them, and knew what to do," and, in his opinion, the right thing to do, was to get the Woods, which were the great attraction of Colwyn Bay. Mr Bevan congratulated the Board on the great change which had come over the spirit of its dream, since the last meeting. [Laughter.]. The Chairman asked the Vicar whether he meant to rent the Woods only, that day; to accept the renting only for one year, because they had till the 31st De- cember to decide on the purchase. He could see no difficulty in accepting the motion.-the rent "without prejudice." The Vicar said he did not know that he was prepared to do that. Mr Bevan: The resolution is on the Agenda. The Chairman: Well, I am certain there will be an amendment to that. Mr Bevan Well, let there be an amend- ment. I proposed that Mr Williams's motion be adopted without any prejudice to the rights-of-way, but Mr Blud came down, with his benchmen [Laughter], to oppose it. I should like to know what is the reason of the change that has come over the spirit of his dream. When Mr Blud rose in the Public Hall, in a dramatic manner, expecting to have a large follow- ing, he was only followed by his man Friday [Laughter, and interruption.]; 0 yes, and his black dog [more laughter]- The Chairman: You must stick to the Woods. Mr Bevan said that the idea was put forward that the public rights would be prejudiced by the renting of the Woods. A public meeting of ratepayers had em- phatically told the Council to rent the Woods at £ 5°, on the terms of the Com- pany's letter that was to be their first object and anything that would put that in peril, let it go. Moreover, where was the danger of compromise when the Clerk said that any agreement drawn-up by him will contain conditions that would leave them in the same position as that day. He (Mr Bevan) had not the slightest doubt that before Christmas they would have come to terms with the Company as to the purchase of the Woods. [Hear, hear]. Now that the question of water was out of the way, the question of con- ditions could be amicably arranged, and it would be a very small matter indeed to come to terms that day, so as to have the woods open the next day. He could assure them that it was a great and serious complaint that the Woods were closed, and he hoped, as Mr Osborne said, that they would sweep away these cobwebs, and get at the root of the matter, and have the gates opened so that the invalides and others in the Bay might go into the Woods and enjoy them. [Applause]. Mr Owen Williams, in a long speech imperfectly heard, said that he knew the person Mr Porter had referred to as Mr John Roberts of Angleses. He was a nice honourable and respectable man. So was he (Mr Williams), he hoped. [Laughter, and "hear, hear,"] but he was not a solicitor, and he could not say that from the beginning the paths were private property, or public either. No doubt Lady Erskine had the footpaths private for the family, though, after she went away, nobody kept much away from the footpaths. He had been over them hun- dreds of times himself, and saw no keeper or anyone else, and he saw hundreds of people going there too. Whether that made them public or not, he could not say. Mr Blud Certainly. Mr Williams, proceeding, said that the paths had been open for about 20 years as far as he knew, though he understood that they had been closed a day- or two every year, for some years now. Perhaps that had something to do with the ques- tion. He believed that the acquisition of the Woods would be a great thing for Colwyn Bay, if only for the visitors, but they must understand this,—he must not vote for them, because he was a member from Old Colwyn. [Laughter]. Mr E. H. Davies said that all the deputation needed, was that it should go forth that the Woods were opened that day. [Loud applause]. The details as to the purchase, &c., might safely be left to the Council and their able Clerk. [Hear, hear]. The Rev. J. G. Haworth said that the Council had heard that friends in London and other parts of the country, would be quite satisfied with the Woods as they were. Therefore they were not bound, even if they bought them, to spend a large amount of money on them. Let them employ one man. He would say buy them, secure them, and then, if they saw proper, lay some money out on them. They were making a great deal of fuss about the £ 50 rent. There were two offers of ^50 in the Hall the other night. They had said nothing about that. The fact was it was not the ^50 at all. It was a miserable jealousy as to who should be in power- [Tremendous applause],—and, when his time was up, he would say good-bye to them. [Cheers]. Mr Blud said that he understood the resolution to be seconded with the addition of the words "without preju- dice. The Vicar I said I would not accept that. Mr Blud said that, as he had been mis- led, he must move an amendment that, unless they could rent the Woods for ,t-50 for one year without prejudice," a poll of the ratepayers be taken on the question of the Pwllycrochon Woods, and that previous to such poll, all information be laid before the ratepayers as to rights-of- way, the preservation of the Woods, con- ditions of sale, &c. The conditions of sale, were everything in this question. Mr Evans seconded Mr Blud's amend- ment. The Vicar wanted to know why, if these gentlemen stood so much upon their rights, they did not have the courage of their convictions, and propose that finger- posts be put up on these footpaths. Mr Blud said that he had proposed it. The Vicar Well, the Council does not do it. Mr Blud has suggested that a poll be taken on this question. I have a suggestion to make, that some six of us go to our constituents upon this very point. I am quite prepared to suggest that the Chairman and Mr Blud and Mr William Davies should go to their constituents, and I and Mr Porter and Mr Bevan will go to our constituents upon this point.-Pro- ceeding, the Vicar said that he was still there to say that a gentleman would pay the ^50 for one year, and would purchase the Woods for them and hold them in trust for them for ten years, and they would then have an opportunity of purchasing them, when, perhaps, they would be in a stronger position to do so. The question of heavy liabilities had been dealt-with, and he thought that they had got as far as 130,000. [Laughter]. There was a place called Ramsey with a rateable value of ^32,000, and they had borrowed up to the tune of t-ioo,ooo and had got a stand- ing debt of ,Cl i oo,ooo, and had lately had to have a Government Inquiry to give them larger borrowing powers. If it was not announced far and wide that the Woods were being secured at this rental for one year, Colwyn Bay, he would venture to say, was ruined for this summer, and would be seriously affected for all coming summers. It was reported in every paper throughout the Kingdom that these Woods were closed, Mr Blud And reports of the Cowlyd Scheme. A Member of the Deputation Chair, chair, chair. The Vicar If rude interruptions are allowed, Mr Chairman,— The Chairman Order. The Vicar, continuing, quoted the example of Manchester, which proposed to purchase Trafford Park, for a sum of £ 350,000. Mr Blud A mere flea-bite in Manches- ter. Continuing, the Vicar said that, if they wished to get on, they must have improve- ments, and must pay for them. [Applause]. He summed up by repeating that gentle- men ought to have the courage of their convictions, by having fingerposts put up on these paths, or do that which the rate payers almost unanimously decided upon, —at any cost, rent and purchase the Woods. [Applause]. The Chairman I will put it to the meeting, that the Council be authorised to rent the Woods at £ 50 for one year, and I must say that I have the courage of my convictions, I will vote against it. Mr Bevan suggested that the Clerk should add a few words to the effect that things should stand exactly as they are now at the end of the year. The Chairman: That will satisfy me. Mr Blud thought that they were now in sight of one another, and, if the resolution was so amended, he was quite willing to withdraw his amendment. The Vicar agreeing, the resolution was finally submitted in this form:—"That the Council agree to-day to rent the Woods at ^50 for one year, and, in the event of the Council not purchasing the Woods before the 31st December, the rights, if any, of both parties are to remain the same as before June ist, 1896." Mr Blud having withdrawn his amend- ment, the resolution was put to the meeting, and was carried with one dis- sentient, amid great applause. Mr John Roberts suggested that the Clerk should wire to the Estate Campany at once, informing them of what had been done, and asking that the Woods should be opened at once. This was forthwith agreed-to. THE CEMETERY. It was decided to buy four acres of land in Nant Field for ^300 an acre, and to rent the other part for burial purposes. THE RAILWAY CROSSING NEAR PENRHOS COLLEGE. The Surveyor reported the result of an interview with Mr Dawson (the Railway Company's Engineer) on this question. Mr Dawson had said that the cost of a footbridge would be £ 300, and that in his opinion the Railway Company would re- quire the Council to pay half of the cost. It was resolved that the Council pay jQioo, provided that the bridge be six feet wide.