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ICOLWYN BAY.

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80, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton, 22nd June, 1896. Sir,—When journeying from Colwyn Bay this morning, my attention was called by a fellow- passenger to your letter which appears in the Liverpool Mercury of this morning, and, though I have hitherto taken no part in the controversy now proceeding on the subject of the Pwlly- crochan Woods, I am:a ratepayer in the District, and in addition somewhat interested in the material progress and development of the place, and it was suggested that I should write you a letter, calling attention to some of the points in your letter which may not improbably be likely to mislead the public of Colwyn Bay. First let me, however, say that what seems to be a misconcep- tion on which your letter is based, very probably arises from your ignorance of legal forms, and not for a moment from any desire or intention to create a misleading impression. I have now before me a conveyance from the Estate Company of an important property in Colwyn Bay, and I find that it contains a list of the deeds in the possession of the Company. Such list commences with a conveyance of 30th December, 1865, by Lady Erskine to Mr John Pender, thus showing that the title of the Estate Company itself commences with a deed in the year 1865, so that they have no earlier title to give. Moreover, I may say that, as a solicitor, I have had occasion to investigate the title of the Estate Company in a number of it stances, and I am sure any solicitor in Colwyn Fr y will bear me out in stating that the title-deed of the year 1865 is universally accepted as the root of title. The rest of clause 5, which seems to possess some mysterious and occult meaning to your mind, is simply common form and the same remark would apply to clauses 6 and 7, which you quote. As regards clause 3, referring again to the conveyance I have before me, I find that the Company reserve all mines and minerals under the land but, as they do not reserve power to work them, this simply means that no one can work the mines. As regards the water rights, again I find that there is a reservation of the free running of water and soil from any adjoining or other lands, with liberty to enter upon the land for the purpose of inspecting the state and condition thereof, and of making, cleansing, repairing, and maintain- ing such sewers, drains, and water-courses respectively.' Now, Sir, you will see that so far the conditions to which I have referred disclose nothing new, and are common I believe to all the conveyances from the Estate Company, as you yourself can testify if you refer to any deeds of property which you may have bought from the Company. The only clause of importance to which you draw attention, is undoubtedly clause 9, and upon this I would point out it is only right that the ratepayers should maintain the fences of the Woods if they purchase them but I do not infer, as you appear to suggest, that it will be necessary to construct new fences, but only to make good any defects that may exist, and to keep the same in repair for the future. As regards the construction of main sewers which are intended for the benefit of any adjoin- ing property of the Company, I suggest that this is a matter for negotiation and discussion and I cannot but feel that, if the matter is approached in a fair spirit by the Council, and a deputation confers with the Estate Company, the serious objection which the present form of the clause appears to present may be removed. Certainly it is not reasonable that the Council should be called upon to construct sewers for the benefit of adjoining landowners, without proper contribution from the latter towards the cost. There is one other important point in connec- tion with this matter that I would fain refer to briefl- which is the alleged right of way. It so happens that the greater part of the years 1869 and 1870 I spent in the office of the Solicitors to the Commons Preservation Society, which at that time were engaged in defending the rights of the commoners in the various large commons around London, and in most cases with success but what I would point out from my experience gained at this time, is that such proceedings involve enormous cost, and could only be brought to an issue after a very long period, certainly not less than two years. Xow, Sir, assuming that those persons in Colwyn Bay who say that there are rights of way through the Woods are correct, I ask is the game worth the candle ? Remember that the Woods will be closed during the course of the litigation, and surely it is abundantly evident that the lodginghouse-keepers and the shopkeepers and the town generally must very seriously suffer. In fact, such litigation and the attendant evils would, I have no hesitation in saying, put Colwyn Bay back fifteen years. And even if the litigation were successful, would it do more than enable people from one side of the Wood to cross to the other, and could it be con- tended for a moment that it would prevent the Estate Company from cutting down every stick of timber in the Woods. Surely the remedy sug- gested to litigate the question is obviously to be deplored and to be avoided in the last degree. On the other hand, the Estate Company have allowed the feeling to prevail that the Woods will not be closed, and to this feeling must be ascribed the fact that they have been enabled to sell their land with such enormous advantage to their shareholders and I maintain that it cannot be too strongly impressed upon the Company how absolutely inequitable it would be not to give the Representative Body of Colwyn Bay the option of acquiring the Woods on fair and reasonable terms. Now, Sir, as to this, though I cannot agree with you that ^8,000 is more than the market value, because to value it simply as build- ing land, plus the value of the timber, is to apply an altogether unapplicable test; as well might you value a beautiful picture by the extent of its canvas and the amount of gilding on the frame. The Pwllycrochan Woods have attained their wondrous beauty through the beneficent influence of nature, extending over a long period of years, and you cannot assess its value to Colwyn Bay by any process of monetary standard. At the same time, I repeat that the Company have no right morally or equitably to ask for more than a very modest consideration and I do hope that your Council in its wisdom to-morrow will appoint two or three of its most trusted and capable members whose mission it should be to obtain the Woods on the best possible terms. If so, I feel no doubt that terms can be agreed, and you will then earn the lasting gratitude of the residents now and for generations to come.—I remain, Sir, yours faith- fully, SAM WELLS PAGE. Thomas Parry, Esq., Chairman of the Urban Council of Colwyn Bay and Colwyn, Llys Aled, Colwyn Bay." In addition to the above letters, "Pro Bono Publico sends us a lengthy letter whose argu- ments (forcibly put) are in the main substantially similar to those contained in the letters of Messrs "age and Bevan. He also makes it clear that the new sewers would only be made "in the event of the houses becoming so numerous on the hill- top that cesspools become dangerous to health," .-•nd states that" this sewer requirement will not be wanted for some years,-probably not at all,- few people prefering so windy a position." Pressure upon our space prevents our publication in extenso of this letter.—ED. IF. AT. SECRET MEETINGS OF THE DISTRICT COUNCIL. On Tuesday morning, June 23rd, notices were received by the local reporters to attend a meet- ing of the Colwyn Bay Urban District Council in the following terms Dear Sir,—A special meeting of the above Council will be held on Tuesday next, the 23rd inst., at 11.30 a.m., at the Council-room, Colwyn Bay, when your attendance is requested.—Yours faithfully, JAMES PORTER. Agenda: 1, To consider a further reply received from the Estate Company's solicitors with respect to the letting of the Woods 2, to consider the terms for purchase of the Woods 3, to consider a resolution received from a public meeting held on Tuesday night last. Note The members are requested to observe that this meetingdoes not interfere with the meet- ing called for 10 a.m. on the same day." Two representatives of daily papers accordingly attended from long distances—twenty-six miles in one case-at ten o'clock, but were told that the first meeting was to discuss the salaries of the officials. The reporters lounged about till 11.30, when, accompanied by half a dozen ratepayers, they again presented themselves. The Chairman, after they had been in for a few minutes, during which they ascertained that the salary of the surveyor had been raised from £ 150 to ;c200, to be increased by increments of £ 25 to £ 250, asked the reporters and the public to retire for a few minutes. They did so, and while waiting Mr A. Charles, of Birmingham, and his wife and daughter, who are staying in Colwyn Bay, arrived and entered the Council-chamber. He, too, soon came out, being informed that he would be told later on whether the public would be admitted or not. Mr Charles went away, but the reporters and others remained till they were officially informed that the the Board would sit in Committee. They thereupon left and met Mr Charles, who, on being informed of the denoue- ment, remarked sarcastically, This is the way you do your business with hola-and-corner meet- ing's this is the way you deal with the Woods question." The reporters were stranded for another couple of hours doing nothing. Great indignation was expressed by the evicted rate- payers. The Rev. J, G. Haworth, a member of the Council, was told that, as he was a share- holder in the Estate Company, he could not vote on the Woods question, and accordingly left the room. The Rev. Venables-Williams was at Oxford, else, as was remarked outside, the reporters and the public would not have been turned out.