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REMINISCENCES OF NEWTOWN IMPROVEMENTS. A correspondent sends the following for publica- tion —I will thank you very much and feel deeply indebted by your inserting m y< ur valuable paper a few thoughta of Newtown—of the vast changes that have been made, and the great improvements brought about during the last 30 or 35 years. Out of so many it is no easy matter to select the first, but I will begin with the railway. Many of the inhabitants remember the coal famine in Newtown—the canal frozen up, and people yoked to loads of coul from the pits which, upon arrival, were as a drop in the ocean. Many remember that The only means at one time of bringing metcbandi^e to Newtown was by canal and Morgan and Sockett's waggons. We have in 1892 a first-class service of trains flying with goods to and from all parts of the world to our doors, and taking in vast numbers people from great centres of population to have a view of our dear old Wales, seeking restored health and vigour at one of our health-giving watering places, and giving us the chance of shaking hands with the metropolis of the world during the day and oe at night. The next great change is in the places of worship. We are struck with admiration at that noble Baptist Chapel on the New-road, built at a cost of some XS,000 or £ 10,000. The churches and chapels have also been built or restored, so that our town stands first as to the accommodation of the worshippers of the Most High. There is, however, one exception- one stain-the old church, which stands a monument of neglect and insult to religious and pious ancestors. Our factories—thanks to the enterprise and energy of the people—stand out in bold relief, and ar* a credit to Wales. There is first the Cambrian, from which Lord Sudeley, through many trials, has never withdrawn his support. Its neighbour, the Com- mercial, is in good hands; G. Morgan and Co., Limited, is doing a good trade; and the Severn Valley Mills are large and under able management. Great improvements have also been made in our warehouses and shops. First stands the Royal Welsh Warehouse, owned and worked by Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones. Other warehouses and etiops in High- street, Broad-street, Market-street, and other st, eete in the town haV1 been greatly improved. The last, and certainly not the least, i* the Bear's Head Hotel, formerly an eyesore, and the adjoining property has-thanks to the spirited owner, Pryce Wileou Jones-been entirely removed and a grand hotel built (of which he is the proprietor), as well as two very good shops—one in the hands of Dicks' Shoe Company the other held by the St ir Tea Company. May Pryce Wilson Jones be rewarded for his spirited enterprise. Other improvements of a private charaoter have been made. I had to do with the old sanitary committee some 30 years ago, and when the Local Board was first suggested I inspected various parts of the town. The sanitary state of the town was deplorable; few bouses had proper accommodation; yards, courts, and the smaller houses were almost entirely neglected some were in such a filthy state as to be nnnseaole; others close to pumps from which the inhabitants drew their water; and the death-rate about 25 in the 1000. The Board saw the responsible position they were in, but through prejudices and fear of the high rates some years elapsed before active sanitary measures were adopted. At length the Local Board settled to their work, a complete system of sewerage was laid out by competent engineers, every house in the town waa connected therewith, and the filth of the town was taken some two miles away. The cemetery was the next impor- tant improvement—a need much felt-not only a necessity, but an ornament to the county. At present a thorough paving of the side walks of the town has nearly been finished at a great cost. Whilst these great public improvements have been carried out private enterprize has not been asleep, A good supply of water, with a further small outlay, is within reach of all. All these improvements have been made to raise the town from the most insaoitary town in Wales to be one of the most healthy. The death-rate in 1892 was 14 per 1000. The rates are heavy, inasmuch os these improvements are all done upon purely sanitary lines, and from which very little direct income is received. There still remains much good work to be done- work which would be in the hands of the town profitable, and would much reduce taxes. Let me, in the first place, lay before you the important question of the markets of the town, over which the town at present has very little control. I am strongly of the opinion that with additional accom. dation a large surplus sum could be made. My second suggestion is that the waterworks should belong to the town. This is absolutely necessary, as one of the first necessaries of life should be given to the people at the least possible cost, and in such quantities as would be sufficient to meet the require- ments of the people. I am further of the opinion that water should be supplied as free, pure, and plentiful as nature gives and the ingenuity of man can convey it. My third suggestion is that the gas works, as yielding a necessity to our daily occupa- tion and comfort, should certainly be the property vf the inhabitants. Water, gas, and markets in the hands of the town would increase our comforts, add to the importance of the town, and much reduce the rates of the district I trust that I may see some member of the Local Buard taking the whole matter in hand—"water, gas, and market." A largo sum must be spent, but a large income would be obtained, and Newtown would rank as one of the cleanest, best governed, most enterprising, and most pros- perous towns of its population in the kingdom. I have spoken in these few remarks of sanitary and commercial questions; allow me to add my id-a as to our social position. Several efforts have been made to raise our social status amongst the towns of our county. This should be done before it be too late, as other suggestions are now before the county. My reasons for incorporation are many, of which you, air, are aware. ♦