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Theatre Royal, Merthyr.

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I Tabernacle, Merthyr.I

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in and Out of the Merthyr County Borough Council. [By COUNCILLOR DAN THOMAS.] Cur Mayor, I notice by the daily press, was made High Constable on Tuesday last. This was following-' precedent thac the Mayor should also be High Constable. But the ceremony was a most formal and undignified one. Where were the Mayor's friends and admirers? It was far different at Aberdare. However, I am informed that our Mayor took his new hon- our unblushingiy—to the manner born, as it were—and he took it sitting down. The negotiations for the acquisition of Cy- farthfa Castle and Park have at last termin- ated—I hope happily and satisfactorily to all concerned. There can be no gainsaying the fact that so far as Merthyr is concerned its rate- payers ^hava had a decided bargain, thank;* to Air. \V. R. Crawshay, whoso benevolence in this direction indicates hp has hot banished all thoughts of the district from his mind. The draft. conveyance has at last been settled, and t here only remains its engrossment, executi >n, and the inevitable corollary—paying over £18,500. Residents in the parish will soon real- ise the benefits of the Corporation's wise spec- ulation, and what with delightful music by the L'vfarthfa Merthyr Municipal Band and gon- dolas on the lake, not to mention the other pos- sible attractions, we shall shortly be in an en. viable position amongst the towns on the hills. We must have a formal opening and a re- loic'ng to celebrate the openjng of the Castle and Park to the people of Merthyr, and I think a fitting opportunity is afforded during Whitsun week-say on the Thursday, when an al fresco entertainment, of music and singing might be provided, and a small charge for ad- mission made to establish a. fund to j-uppcrt our Municipal Band. I am not advocating opposition to local enterprise, for with the 1fn mense populations of our surrounding towns, I can truthfully say, there is room enough for all. The Council, represented by its Parks and Cemeteries Committee, has consented to the Band giving, on Sunday evening during the summer months, Sundav concETts and 1he sa- cred music of the band—and I trust vocal per- formances by individuals and choirs will be a feature of the concerts—must have an educa- tive tendency for good. In listening attentively and quietly to such music, and in encouraging the performers there cannot, I imagine, be a desecratIOn of the Sabbath. rhe Libraries CümmiÜee 1£ a pcculiary con- stituted body, as I have in previous notes had occasion to mention—peculiar in the sense that its component parts know little about books., but their assumption is unbounded. Thanks to generous donors they are given opportunities of acquiring knowledge in this direction; they are to decide upon the suitability and propriety of placing such intellectual food as the follow- ing- volumes present for the consumption of Abercanaid frequenters of its reading room: "Penny Comequicks," "Humour Sanctified," "On the Human Understanding" (it was not srated if this was a novel or Locke's master- piece) and a work on "Manners for Men." I am inclined to think the donor of the last work intended to be somewhat satirical. Members from all the wards may be instructed by a study of itslessons.solpurpose taking the first available opportunity of reading the work. Very reluctantly we are learning something about the much discussed, in town if not with- in the Town Hall, Auditor's report. Until the Council's quarterly meeting we had no official knowledge of the receipt of the com- munication. At such an important gathering with' a full muster of members, the report should have been presented, if not read, and referred to some committee or other. As your readers rre aware the Town Clerk said it would, in the first instance, go beforo the Finance Committee, and the Mayor suggested the Gen- eral Purposes Committee. This committee, be- ing constituted of necy member of the Cor- poration, I favour its selection to that of the Finance Committee, 'jor-sntuted, as it is, of a few members. Why unwillingness to mclte public such a public document, I cannot for the present un- derstand. The keeping of it back envelopes the contents with a mystery, and provokes unfavourable comment. The subject was very gingerly approached at the iinance Committee on Monday evening, but the report was not read. Its voluminous character was not, it strikes me, the real reason for further post- ponement of its contents. Surely it should have been read, and if its importance justified such a course, it ought to be printed, so that members might give due consideration to Mr. Propert's conclusions and recommendations, for I understand the report to contain a few. Now a special meeting of the General Purposes Com- mittee to be held prior to Monday's Coun- cil. meeting, is to be he'd. The subject must. then again be shelved, for a hasty perusal and the short time at the disposal of the Commit- tee, will not permit sufficient or due attention riven to the report. A return presented to the Housing Commit- tee in reference to the Council houses at Twyn- yrodyn, is a real eye opener. houses were erected-35 small ones and 15 larger. The builder's contract for the 35 was J3118 10s. j per house, and for the 15 JB159 10s., but the ex- tras on these fifty houses amounted to £335. But there are other common charges which must. be taken into account before one can ar- rive at the cost per house. For instance, the contract for street works amounted to £437 I3s. 2d.; Clerk of Works, £119 3s. 4d. å:nd£53 4s. 9d. sot down as workmen's wages and materials used. This, I conclude, was Council's material and Council workmen's wages, and should be dubb- ed, "Extra No. 2." With legal, lean, and other charges and proposed new doors said letter boxes, an expenditure of £8,605 gs has, or will be incurred—no les3 than £545 9s. in excess of the acquired loan. More borrowing and its attendant expenditure must follow. The cup of misery is still not full, for we hear of sub- sidences and warped doors, and what is far more important, the houses are let not to the people they were primarily erected for—the poor and dishoused—but to tenants who can well afford to pay the rents imposed. As long as private enterprise is thwarted in this way so long will we suffer from a house famine. One of the most important items on the agenda of the Education Committee's meeting, on Wednesday evening, was "Notice of motion by Coun. John Davies (Cyfarthfa)" (this 'dis- tinction being necessary so as not. to confusc the mover with his namesake, the energetic miners' agent at Dowlais). The motion read, "That all head teachers in charge of a. school where a school house is provided be required to pay the annual value of such school house." When members perused their agenda and jn- quired where the proposal emanated from, it was evident the drafter had made a tactical error for unless there was malice in the busi- ness it was a leveling up and not a leveling down that was sought for, and which school teachers invariably try for. No doubt what was in view was the provision of a school house in connection with the Georgetown School, or the rent equivalent in augmentation of salary, so as to be in the same position as other head- teachers. Coun. John Davies, of Georgetown, did not persevere with his notice of motion. I regret his action inasmuch as I intended se- conding his economic and rate-saving proposal. We have a very specious proposal before the Council—one which I trust will not be enter- tained. When the sale of Penydarren estate took place the Corporation sought to acquire a small portion of one of the lots for the exten- sion of the Penydarren School playground. The Committee dealing with the purchase were lead —it is said—to beiieve that the little area re- quired—a spot whereon some three cottages can be erected—would be spared the Council a.t the same rate per yard as paid for the lot purchased. There being no binding contract to this effect, the speculator, or speculators, who acquired the land are now offering the land at building rate, and not at cost price. I hope this will not come off. Included in the list of expensive projects ad- vocated by certain Councillors, is the purchass of the Brecon-road Hospital ground with a view to the demolition of the buildings, and the provision of a playground for children of the locality. I am a strong advocate of open spaces for our little ones, but strenuously object to this site because of its restricted area. It might further be contended that a playground was not required there by reason of the close prox- imity of the playgrounds of the large schools in the locality. Brecon-road children have also the wide roads and paths of Penydarren Park to saunter about. This question prompts me to ask when will the Labour Group members advocate the opening of all schoolyards in the parish. as playgrounds for children I should explain that I am not adverse to ac- quiring the freehold of the land on which the hospital stands. Secured at a. reasonable sum a number of workmen's dwellings could be erected thereon. There cannot be much oppo- sition to such a scheme if we do not take cog- nizance of the disinterested Mr. Rice, of Bre- con-road. Though we have to deplore the want of a general centrnl library worthy of the town, and of an art gallery where çenerotls citizens who are patrons of art can consign lovely examples for the public good, it has occurred to me that something can be done in the way of preparing for this much desired consummation. Mer- thyr should honour her talented sons, and I have no doubt will do so when suitable build- ings are provided wherein to exhibit specimens of their handicraft. Fancy the future central j library of Merthyr without a lifesized paint- ing of our distinguished townsman—Mr. Thos. Stephens, whose "Literature of the Cymry," and other productions have given him a world- wide reputation amongst literati. I appeal.to you, Mr. Kditor, to initiate a subscription list with this object, for there are many of Mr. Stephens's Still living friends, and hundreds of his admirers, who would subscribe for such an object. Until the library the portrait might be given a place in ure Town Hall. The exits frdmhailrswhere children attend performances is a very important question, and has been so recogniscd by the Council. Our Temperance Hall is a building not very suitably placed or arranged in tho matter of exits. Should a panic arise in a crowded hall, or such an event occur when filled with excited child- ren we may anticipate deplorable results. The same may be said about some of our chapels, especially two in Pontmorlais, in which largely attended concerts, "cynnufaocdd," and like gatherings are held. The halls beneath and alongside other chape's in which meetings are 'if-'ip \-bicii little ones assemble in icccc ihould be seoa iu this to:; I.-Uiom j 1

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