OVERCROWDING REVELATIONS. ¡ Astounding Evidence at Inquiry into Housing Conditions of Connah's Quay. ATTACK ON THE URBAN COUNCIL. Alleged to Have Defied the Wishes of the Public. LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD APPEALED TO. "Deplorable State of Affairs" in the Town. THE COUNCIL'S DEFENCE. Overcrowding Admitted: "Not as Serious as Represented." Astonishing details of overcrowding were given at a Local Government Board inquiry into the housing conditions of Connah's Quay, held at the United Methodist Schoolroom on Thursday and Friday eve- nings. There was a large attendance of cl the public each evening. The object of the inquiry, which was conducted by Mr. E. Leonard, was to con- fjider a complaint made under section 10 of the Housing and Town Planning Act, 1909, by four inhabitant householders of the urban district of Connah's Quay, that the Urban Council had failed to exercise their powers under part III. of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890, in re- gard to the provision of dwellings for the working classes. The complainants were represented by Mr. F. Llewellyn-Jones, and the Urban Council by their clerk, Mr. T. W. Hughes. The usual statistical information with re- gard to the urban district was given by Mr. Hughes, at the opening of the proceedings.
URBAN COUNCIL'S DEFENCE. When the inquiry was resumed on Friday evening, Mr. Llewellyn-Jones stated that he did not intend to call any further wit- nesses Mr. T. W. Hughes then addressed the inspector on behalf of the Urban District Council. At tlie outset he gave a brief history of the district, explaining that the urban area was formed in 1896. In 1891, the population was 2,477; in 1901 it had grown to 3,369, and in 1911 it was 4,597. The estimated population to date was 4875, based on a census taken within the last few days. At the time of the Order creat- ing the urban district, Connah's Quay was little more than a village, its chief indus- tries being shipping and fishing. Almost simultaneously with the formation of the district, Messrs. Summers acquired a large tract of land on the other side of the river and outside the district, and erected their large ironworks. Then came a great influx of population. The head offices of the firm were removed from Stalybridge to Shotton, which became tiie centre of their industry. From that date, a large number of work- people came from Stalybridge, Staffordshire and the Midland counties generally. At that time Shotton was purely agricultural land, and the houses there now had been erected absolutely by private enterprise. Nothing was done then by Messrs. Summers to provide houses for their workpeople. With this rush of population, and nothing being done by the proprietors of the works, he thought it spoke very highly for the district that private enterprise had been able to meet the demand, as they had done. The firm apparently recognised this hous- ing matter, and had been instrumental in getting the "Garden City" formed during the last few years. The scheme was for the erection of 450. Up to the present 211 had been built, and it was not intended to proceed further at present, owing to the de- pression in the iron trade. It was an im- portant factor to consider when talking about the housing conditions in the urban area, that these works were entirely outside the district, and the Council did not get a I penny of rates. If anybody was called upon to provide houses for these people it should be the authority in whose district they were —the Ilawarden Rural District Council. It was admitted there was overcrowding, and that workmen's dwellings were required, but why should the Urban Council, which was outside the district of the works, under- take a liability of this sort? It was a very important industry they knew; it was the only industry in the district; it was an in- dustry belonging to one firm, and the Coun- cil felt they would have to undertake a very great responsibility if they were to under- take an extensive scheme on their own re- sponsibility, without receiving assistance from them. Mr. Hughes went on to show that during the time the district had in- creased so enormously, the housing accom- modation had been met entirely by PRIVATE ENTERPRISE. SE At the time the Board's Order came into force, there was very little land available, but since then the Wepre Hall estate had been opened up extensively, and a large number of houses built, and it was likely that building would take place as rapidly as in the past. The Clough estate also had laid out plans for their estate, and they had an extensive scheme. Private enterprise had come to the rescue, and a large number of houses were being built or would be built. The Kelsterton estate, in another part of the district, were proposing to lay out their land for building purposes. When these schemes were it. en up, he had no doubt that in a short time there would be sufficient houses for the public. The popu- lation was of a migratory character. People came there for work, and did not look upon Connah's Quay as their home. They were moving about, and went at holiday times to their home. Yet the Council were asked to provide accommodation for this class of people. A census had beeu taken, and it would appear that the overcrowding was not so serious, taking it all round, as the other side had represented. "Of course my friend took the worst cases he could get hold of," said Mr. Hughes, "and I must say it looked very bad." Mr. Hughes quoted figures to show that the present number of dwelling- houses was 983, and the average number per house 4.95. The first witness was Dr. J. Humphry Williams, the medical officer, who was ex- amined by the Inspector. He admitted there was overcrowding, but taking the whole district through, and the character of the people- The Inspector: I am not speaking of the character of the people. Asked as to overcrowding from the public health point of view, he said there was a certain amount of such overcrowding, say, five per cent. to seven per cent. That is overcrowding which you should deal with under the Public Health Acts?— Yes. To what is that overcrowding due? Is it due to the smallness of the existing houses, or to taking in lodgers?—It is due to the houses being rather small, two bedrooms instead of three, and a scarcity of houses, which means that two families live in one house. Largeness of families?—There are some people, do what you will, who will take in somebody, if they can make a shilling by doing so. TOWN S RAPID GROWTH. As to the work of the Council, the wit ness said that with lodgers they had done a lot of good work, and the census given proved that they had been successful. There were, however, one or two instances where lodgers ought not to be in the house, but they had done fairly well, especially re- membering the sudden influx of population. Not many notices had been served, as they found they could get much better results by personal appeals. Would you agree with the evidence last night as to overcrowding?—I cannot deny them. At the same time, no matter what houses you have, you will have some people in exactly the same condition again. Are not a number of these cases due to the fact that families are living in houses with only two bedrooms, and that many of them would be only too glad to get three bedrooms if they could?—I understood the worst case we dealt with had three bed- rooms. You know from what you saw yesterday, and the result of to-day's inspection, there are a number of houses with only two bed- rooms, and there is not only overcrowding, but intermixing of sexes?—I will admit that. Can your Council, at the present time, deal with it?—No, they cannot. Are they hampered?—We are hampered because we have no houses to send the peo- ple to. It follows then you admit the need of more houses?—I do. The witness, further questioned, said the type of house wanted was one with not less than three bedrooms, and he would prefer a large kitchen with a small scullery to a small parlour and kitchen. The rents to be charged should be 4s. to 4s. 6d., with rates. There were not many houses which should be condemned, say, 10 to 15, and they were chiefly in courts You have reported the need of further accommodation to the Council?—Yes. What action did the Council take on your reports?—Nothing has been done. "AN ENORMOUS BURDEN." So far as you know have they considered any scheme for building?—The witness ex- plained that there had been many informal discussions, and the opinion was that to build houses at a rent the people could pay would throw an enormous burden on the Council, and the rates would be heavily taxed. Also, if there were bad times at the works, there was a great risk of having a large number of these houses on their hands. There also was a general com- plaint of owners that it was often impos- sible to get the rents. A large number of the councillors had property of their own. The Council had no scheme of housing be- fore them, having deferred the question. He admitted private enterprise had not met the demand. The Inspector: Does that not point to the view that the Council should build?— Tluv is what I have advised them to do in my reports. So far as the advice of the expen fficera is concerned, the Council have bee; J vised to build, but in their wisdom h; e not thought it wise to build?—That is my in- ference. How many houses do you think are re- (itilred ?-Seven ty- five to 100. Witness further said there had been diffi- culty sometimes in getting rents even of 4s. and 4s. 6d. The worst class of overcrowd ing they had were cases where people took in lodgers, who ought not to have done so— old-age pensioners and the like. At the same time, said the doctor, in Connah's Quay they had nothing which compared with conditions in London. They had no single families living in single rooms, and there were thousands of such cases in every large town. (A Voice There have been). The Inspector said he was concerned with Connah's Quay. He could not travel all over the country at that inquiry. SANITARY INSPECTOR'S EVIDENCE. Mr. Wm. Hughes, sanitary inspector and surveyor, said his recent census of popula- tion showed that there were 3166 persons over 14 years old, and 1709 under 14, giving a total population of 4875. The number of dwelling-houses was 983, and the average number of persons per house 4.95. The total number of living rooms was 2433, and the number of sleeping rooms 2628. The number of lodgers was 189. Between Janu- ary, 1911, and May, 1914, plans respecting 105 houses had been submtited to the Coun- cil. Of these 62 had been actually erected. All these were six-roomed houses, and the rents ranged from 6s. 6d. to 10s. and more. The number of houses inspected under the Housing and Town Planning Act was 201. 11 The inspection was not finished, and he had already made a statement that it would be completed by the end of this year. With one exception, he agreed with the particu- lars of overcrowding put in by the com- plainants. The exception was the case where there were 17 people in one house. Perhaps there might have been 17 when the enquiry was made, but now there were only 15. It showed a certain amount of overcrowding without a doubt. The witness went into detail with the Inspector as to the plans and schemes laid before the Council during the last few years for the building of houses. He added there were difficulties in gefcing improve- ments carried out, but they had not had to take proceedings against anybody. There was a dearth of cottages, and lie did not see how the existing overcrowding could be dealt with until more houses were erected. The Inspector: If closing orders were en forced where would the people go?—Into the road, I suppose. Further questioned, the witness admitted that in addition to overcrowding there was intermixing of the sexes. The type of house required was one at a rental of from 4s 6d. to 5s., with three rooms up and two down. He agreed there should be 75 to 100 houses built. The Inspector: Do you think private en- terprise is likely to meet the demand for that type of house?—I don't think so. Questioned in detail as to the habits of the people, the witness said they were, to some extent, migratory, as if their work was slack for a few weeks or a month, they often went away. There were now two or three houses to let, but they were not work- men's dwellings. The Inspector Why does not private en- terprise provide houses?—I believe SCARCITY OF MONEY for one thing. What is the price of land for building cottages per cubic foot?—Sixpence. The Inspector: You were thinking of the Town Hall for the moment, weren't you? (laughter). Witness subsequently gave the price as 4-^<L, and said that land could be bought. It was not "hung up" by the owners. 0 In reply to Mr. Ll. Jones, witness said that he now considered there were 30 to 40 cases of overcrowding. He had reported eight or ten individual cases of overcrowd- ing. Did you hear it suggested in the Council that there was no overcrowding unless peo- ple were lying one over the other?—I never heard it. The Inspector: Have they considered a building scheme, and taken estimates of the cost?—No. Have they ever discussed the Local Go- vernment Board's memorandum with regard to housing, and the type of plane suggested there?—No. Further questioned, witness said that Messrs. Summers were building jetties in the Golftyn township of the urban area, and this would mean the expenditure of a few thousand pounds. He (witness) had re- ported cases of overcrowding to the Coun- cil. The Inspector: Have they in every case instructed you to serve a notice?—No, sir. The Council were aware, added witness, of this overcrowding to some extent, but they did not think there were so many mixed tenants in the houses. The Inspector: But they took no action? —No, sir. The Inspector: Why was it? Because it was fruitless to take action?—They were waiting for more houses going up. They are still waiting for something to turn up?—Yes. Mr. T. W. Hughes: They asked you to see these people, and use your personal in- fluence!- Yes. A COMBINED SCHEME? ) Councillor J. W. Connell said:—I have been a member of the Connah's Quay Coun- cil for over 11 years. I wae chairman in 1912-1913, and I have been chairman of the Finance Committee since January, 1909. When the letter from the Traders' Associa- tion, referring to housing, was read at the General Purposes Committee, I moved the resolution regretting the inability of the I Council to move in the matter at that time. My reasons for doing so were as follows:- (1) I did not think it fair for the Connah's Quay Urban District Council to provide houses for people, who were employed at works outside our area, and which works were paying rates to another authority. (2) If houses were required to be provided by an authority other than the Hawarden Rural Council, which authority alone re- ceiveli rates from the Ironworks, then I con- sidered that the urban District Council should, in common with other authorities, provide houses on some combined scheme. This plan should provide for the bulk of the houses being built Ly the Hawarden Rural District Council, and other authorities, in whose areas people live who are employed at the works. They should build a number oi houses in proportion to the nearness to the works and the number of people em- ployed there. These authorities would be COnnah's Quay Urban District Council, Holywell Rural District Council, Flint Town Council, and Buckley Urban District Council. (3) In the absence of such a plan, 1 considered it would not be prudent to build houses, seeing that the prosperity of the whole district was depending, to a great degree, upon one industry, and that induisj/y confined to one firm. Experience gained when I lived in West Cumberland and Furness, during times of trade depres- sion, convinced me that it was well to move carefully. (4) If houses were built, and let at such a rent that no charge would fall upon the rates. I considered it would be unfair to the tenants, who would be really purchasing houses for the benefit of the ratepayers. (5) If houses were built, and let at such a rent that a certain amount of expenses would fall upon the rates, I con- sidered this would be unfair to the rate- payers not living in council houses also to owners of property, and especially to those owners who possess two or three houses. I am of opinion that houses cannot be built to let at a rent which will result in no charge being made upon the rates. For example, four houses have been built in Pennant street, three rooms up and three rooms down; these cost k230. If these were Council houses the result would be :— Repayment of principal and interest at 6 per cent., £13 16s.; rate on assessment of P9 at 6s. 8d. in the P-, E3; water rate, 14s; allowance for repairs, £1 103; total, P-19. "90 HUuSES WOULD MEAN 6d. RATE." If these houses were let at 56. per week the loss would be £ 5 per year, and if 6s. per week, a loss of £ 3 8s., assuming that the houses were all tenanted, that there were no arrears, and that the houses were I tenanted properly. Assuming that on each house there is a lexss of £ 4 10s. per year, then 15 houses would cost over a penny rate per year. If such houses are to be built and let at a loss, then I am of opinion that only those in receipt of the lowest wages should be accepted as tenants, and that re- gulations should provide against any possi- bility of overcrowding. I am of opinion that private enterprise is gradually making provision for further houses, and that this, I with the extension of the Garden City, and the further provision made in the Hawar- den district area, will provide sufficient houses. In reply to the Inspector, the witness said he had estimated on the repayment of the money loaned at 30 years. The Inspector pointed out that the Board now allowed 60 to 80 years at 3t per cent. Witness added that the real reason which influenced the Urban Council in not building was that it Z, was primarily the duty of the Hawarden Rural Council to commence building, as they were the people immediately concern- ed. If the Urban Council built houses they would be simply relieving The overcrowding in another district, unless all authorities moved together. He agreed there was overcrowding, and that the Council had Z, taken no steps to remedy it in the way of building. No communication had been sent by the Urban Council to the other authori- ties. He thought private enterprise Had been shaken by the experiences during strikes. Landlords could not get their rents. Mr. Jones: You heard it said they were raising the rent?- That does not mean they are getting them. Further questioned, the witness said that provided private enterprise failed, he would not object to expense being thrown on the rates. He did not admit private enterprise had failed; it had not coped with the in- flux of population. Councillor T. J. Reney also gave evi- dence in corroboration of the Council's case. The demand for houses had been wonderfully met, he said, by the enterprise of the old inhabitants, and had land been opened out earlier, there would have been more building. More of the lower-rented houses were not built, owing to the diffi- culty often experienced in getting rent, and the fact that the landlord was liable for the rates. Land for building was never cheaper than to-day. This closed the inquiry, and the inspector will report in due course.
COMPLAINANTS' CASE. Urban Council Accused of Defying Public's Wishes. Opening the complainants' case, Mr. Llewellyn-Jones said they were appealing to the Local Government Board under the powers of the Housing and Town Planning Act with a view to compelling the Urban District Council to provide houses for the working clases in that area, or failing that, to take such other steps as the Local Government Board might deem advisable. This question had been for some time be- fore the public of that district, and the Council had been approached with regard to this matter on more than one occasion. Their medical officer, in his reports, had called attention to various matters connec- ted with the housing conditions of the dis- trict. In 1910 he made reference to the infantile mortality rate, and also to the deaths from tuberculosis, five in num- ber. In 1912 the report stated that house inspection (under the Housing and Town Planning Act) had been systematically car- ried on, and all the houses of the district were within the cognisance of the inspec- tor. Nineteen new houses were built dur- ing the vear, and there was not so much tendency to overcrowding as previously. "Still," went on the report, "a larger sup- ply of workingmen's houses let at rents within the means of the ordinary working man will be of benefit, thereby rendering the occupying of small, badly lighted, bad- ly ventilated and badly situated houses un- necessary." The remarks which the medi- cal officer made in that report sTiould at once have called the Council to its duty in the matter. Evidently nothing was done. and in the report for 1913, the last report which was submitted to the Council, the medical officer again drew attention to the infantile mortality rate, which he consider- ed rather high. In his recommendations the doctor advised the Council to take the building of working men's houses into ser- ious and immediate consideration. One would have thought, that on the receipt of the last report the District Council would at once have had a committee to deal with this matter. Instead of that they evidently took no steps. "DEPLORABLE STATE OF AFFAIltS." He contended that the evidence available showed that there was serious overcrowd- ing in the urban area at the present mo- ment. He was sorry to say that the evi- dence revealed a deplorable state of affairs, not only from a moral and public health point of view, but from whatever point of view one caved to look at the matter. In one house, with three, bedrooms, there were sixteen people; in another, with two bed- rooms, there were twelve people, adults and children, male and female; one with two bedrooms had eleven inmates; another with two bedrooms had eight, there being six children, the eldest of whom was con- sumptive, and must sleep either with the parents or other children; still another house with two bedrooms containing father and mother, with a daughter aged 19, a younger daughter and two sons, and two men lodgers. One house with one living room, a bediobm, and a small boxroom. contained six people; there were seven in another, and eight in still another. From the schedules before him he found that in 67 houses there was a population of 599, giving an average of nine per house. Hav- ing dealt with the aspects of the question from the moral and sanitary point of view Mr. Jones argued that the evidence ha would call warranted the conclusion that the Council had not done their duty in the carrying out of their duties under the var- ious Public Health Acts. RISE IN RENTS. He also showed how the rise in rents in- dicated the demand for houses. The action of the Council, he urgeti, had been inex- 0 plicable. The inspector would see that the attitude of the Council was one not merely of neglect and letting the thing go on, but there was an absolute refusal to do the work; indeed, au absolute defiance of the workers and of the public. In view of this those interested in the housing of the work- ing clases had no option but to apply for that inquiry. He understood that tile in- spector had visited a large number of houses in the area, and he had had an op- portunity of forming his own impressions. He (Mr. Jones) thought that by their action during the past year or two the Council had shown a callous indifference to the de- mands of the working class for better hous- ing conditions. On reading the Press re- ports of the Council meetings he was sur- prised at the very flippant way some mem- bers had treated this question when it had been raised before the Council. After hearing the evidence lie was convinced that the inspector would agree that this question was one which would not brook delay, but must be taken in hand at once in the in- terests of the workers, in the interests of the inhabitants, in the interests of public health awd the higher question of morality (applause). NINE IN A ROOM. The first witness was Arthur Barker, of 24, High- street, Connah's Quay, one of the signatories to the memorial, and a member of the Trades and Labour Council. He said he was married two years before he got a house. There was a great need of working men's dwellings. To-day he had two rooms containing the furniture of a friend who had been married two years, and who was still in apartments with his wife and child, owing to the scarcity of houses. He thought there was not an empty house in Connah's Quay, but there were several business places empty. There were houses where the insanitary conditions were such that he believed they would not be allowed to exist except for the fact that there were no rooms for the people to go into. People were forced, through lack of conveniences for washing, loboil their clothes on the fire in a bucket. Yet rent raising was becoming somewhat frequent. The Inspector: It is evidence I want, not pious statements. The witness named a house in which, he said, there lived* a mother, two sons, aged 24 and 17 respectively, a grand-daughter aged 12, and a married daughter with her husband and seven children. The eldest child was a consumptive, and the mother and father and seven children all slept in one room ("Oh"). The witness presented a schedule, giving cases of alleged overcrowd- ing. Cross-examined, the witness said the only time they approached the Council was to ask them to receive a deputation to discuss the question of public buildings v. housing. Mr. Hughes: On the housing question alone you have never sent any communica- tion to the Council?—Not that I am aware of. By the Inspector: They had never ap- proached the Council with regard to part 3 scheme of the Housing and Town Planning Act. At least 100 houses were required. Jos. Hewitt, 16, Golftyn street (secretary of the British Steel Smelters' Approved Society, Connah's Quay district), also pre- sented a schedule of alleged cases of over- crowding. Some of the houses, he said, were not fit for Iiunian habitation. A num- ber of members were obliged to live outside the district, in Buckley and Chester, owing to the lack of houses. Eighty new houses, at 6s. a week clear, "would not make a bad start." S. Garner, 64, Farm road, Garden City, said the rent of the house he formerly re- sided at was raised from 7s. 6d. to 8s. a week. The landlord's agent, a member of the Urban Council, a week before raising the rent said, "Sam, we are going in for electric light. It will be a great advantage. You will get light for 6d. a week or less." "Afterwards," added the witness, "he put 6d. a week on the house to pay for it" (laughter). The Inspector: Is the electric light in yet?—No. That is in the future (laughter). "DANGER TO PUBLIC HEALTH." Joseph Mealor, 92, High street, Connah's Quay, a furniture dealer, said he was a member of the Traders' Association when it was in existence, but it was now defunct. Witness had a cottage, let at 5s. a week, which he thought would be let in three weeks, though he had not received the no- tice. The rumour, however, had got round, and already there were four good appli- cants for it, two being men with families who were living in apartments. Many young people were prevented from getting married because they could not get houses. It was well-known that young couples who had the courage to marry under such trying circumstances went to live with the parents of one or the other. The pre- sent overcrowding, with the insanitary con- ditions existing, was a danger to public health, and led to immorality and inde- cency. Cross-examined: The Traders' Associa- tion once appealed to the Urban Council to deal with the housing question, but they did no more. "The real reason," witness added, "was owing to the influence of mem- bens of the Urban Council who were mem- bers of the Association, and they stifled it." Councillor Joseph Forber said: The question of inadequate housing accommoda- tion was brought to the notice of the Coun- cil a number of years ago by the medical officer of health. The first occasion he re- ferred to the question, since I have been a member of the Council, was in 1907. Then for several years the question was not brought to our notice. But the medical officer has made reference to the question in his last three annual reports. In his report of April this year he became more insistent, and recommended the Coun- cil to take the question of erecting work- men's dwellings into serious and immediate consideration. Some twelve months ago the Connali s Quay liaders' Association for- warded a rcsoluiioii to the Council, re questing them to consider tne question oi erecting workmen's duellings. file letter was read at a meeting of tiie General Pur- poses Committee, when 1 proposed that a special committee be called to consider the question, but the proposition was not se- conded, the Council replying that they were unable to entertain the matter. When the medical officer presented his annual report in 1913, 1 suggested that the Council should seriously consider the question, when the chairman of the Health Committee, who is a large property owner, remarked, "You and your friends build them," which hae always been the general attitude adopted by the Council to this question. As a, trades- man in the district, coming in contact con- tinuously with a large number of people, I have frequently received inquiries from people wanting houses, as many as four and live callers in a day. Some of my re- latives are owners of property, and to my personal knowledge they have always a number of applicants waiting for a house. When there is a prospect of one becoming vacant the applications are so numerous as to make the letting of houses an unpleasant task, owing to the many persons who are necessarily disappointed. DEMAND FOR HOUSES AT MODE- HATE RENTS. During the past seven years there have not been built ten houses winch are to-day let at a rental of 5s. or 5s. 6d. per week. The demand is for chiefly houses of this elass to enable men earning small wages to live in decent and health-giving houses, which private enterprise has ceased to pro- vide. If as a result of this inquiry the Council were to carry out their obligations in this respect, I am sure a scheme could be worked out which, while not being a burden on the rates in any degree, would add greatly to the benefit and comfort of the district, and remove the danger to pub- lic health and morals caused by overcrowd- ing. Cross-examined: He was an ex-chairman of the Council. It was only during the last eighteen months that lie had fully realised the urgent demand for houses, and had become so active in the matter. Witness suggested houses let at 6s. a week with parlour, kitchen and scullery, and three bedrooms, and 100 were required as a start. There was plenty of land available, and lie cited the Butler-Clough and the Kelsterton estates, who were anxious to open out their land. lie admitted there were now 15 houses in course of erection, but- they were not workmen's dwellings, being let at 8s. to Its. a week inclusive. There were several blocks of houses for which the Council had passed the plans, but they were of the class mentioned, and two lots since had been abandoned. Evidence in corroboration was given by Jos. Prichard, Prince's street; Jas. Rogers, 7. New street; Geo. Brooklin, 28, N'roii road George Gamlin, Cestrian street; Leo- nard Salton; Wm. Bithell, 4, Park Hill road; Wm. Bushell, a departmental mana- ger at the works, which, he said, were be- ing extended; John Niciiolls, Dee road; Fred Heath, Cestrian street; Thomas Price, 65, High street, a butcher, who also owns some land Samuel Bennett. 55, Prim- rose Hill; and Capt. John Hughes, High street, a retired sea captain. The witness Salton remarked that on one occasion, when looking for a house, the landlord became irritable, and said he had had seventeen people there already. Thomas Hughes said he had received many complaints of landlords increasing the rents. He knew a large number of cases where men had to live in apartments. In High street there were cases where the rents had doubled in the last 20 years. John Nielioll-, said there was a large number of cases of mixed families living in houses with two bedrooms, and old and young sleeping in the same room. At 9.30 the inquiry was adjourned till 6 p.m. on Friday.
Feast of St. Winefride. CELEBRATION AT HOLYWELL. The celebration of the Feast of St. Wine- fride was on Monday at Holywell. During the preceding week a Novena was made by many pilgrims to the shrine, while OIl Sat- urday an exceptionally large number of people arrived for the week-end. Bishop Mostyn arrived on Saturday, and stayed with Mr. Broadbent at tne ion, a delight- fully-situated chalet OIl the wooded hillside at the rear of SL. Mary's College. His lordship attended St. Winefride's 011 Sun- day, but took no part in the celebrations. High Mass was celebrated on Sunday morn- ing, the Rev. Fr. M'cShane being the preach- er. In the evening, at Benediction, the Rev. Fr. J. Jaggar, S.J., preached, and afterwards there was a short service at St. Winei.ide's Well. At celebration of Pontifical High Mass oil .vi-v jiday. the altar was beautifully deco- rated with flowers, also the side altars of Our Lady and St. Winefride. Bishop Mos- tyn pontificated, and he was assisted by the Rev. J. Jarvis, Ph.D., as deacon; Rev. J. lleggins, sub-deacon, Rev. Canon Jennings, assistant priest; Rev. Dr. P. Horfk, and Rev. Fr. MeShane, assistants at the throne; Rev. J. Garrett and Mr. Jas. Brunton, M.C.'s; Bishop's train-bearer, Master Tom ii pastoral staff and mitre- bearers, Masters Sydney Catherwood and Bernard Roberts; acolytes, Messrs. Albert Hughes and L. Brunton thurifers, Masters T. and B. Carrey; book-bearers. Masters Willie and Walter Catherwood; silver candlestick bearers, Masters John and Jos. Conlon; assistants, Masters T. Bywater, T. Raves, and A. and J. Churchill. The choir, under the direction of Mr. Jos. Howard, rendered special music for the Mass in a highly finished and accom- plished manner. The Rev. Fr. J. Jaggar, S.J.. Professor of Theology at St. Beuno's College, Tre- meirehion, was the special preacher, and in his usually eloquent style he delivered a telling sermon in which he drew the anal- ogv between the pool of Betliesda and St. Winefride's Well, and the spiritual and temporal blessings that were obtained there. Just as the man sick with the palsy lay on the brink of the pool of Bethesda and no one to place him in the healing waters, so also were those sick, bodily and- spiritually in their days. Bethesda meant Tire liouse of Grace—the Church was the house of grace, in which the ills of souls were cured, and Christ; worked again through St. Wine- fride, her prayers and intercessions. What were they—living in this land, where St. Winefride lived and worked,—doing to bring the multitude of sick into the new B(,tllc-,da ? They must pray for the Pro- pagation of the Faith, and help the Church in its work by the example oÍ holy lives, and by taking an interest in this House of Grace. There was such a widespread ig- norance with regard to the teaching of Holy Church. If they could only get men to know what their doctrines really were much would be done to break down the prejudice against their holy faith. At the conclusion of the celebration of Pontifical high mass, the Bishop, with the assistant priests and altar boys in their vestments, supported by large numbers of the children of Mary dressed in white, the congregation carrying banners, proceeded in procession from the church to St. Wine- fride's Well, where a service was held, Bishop Mostyn officiating and presenting the reliquary of St. Winefride for the ven- eration of the worshippers as they passed the shrine in the crypt. The shrine was beautifully decorated with flowers. It was also noticeable that in the vicinity of the Church, down New Road, and about the Well H ouse. the streets were profusely de- corated with flags and bunting, while the Papal flag floated from the tower of the Church.
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