Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

3 articles on this Page

BRECON BOROUGH LEET DINNER.

News
Cite
Share

BRECON BOROUGH LEET DINNER. On Monday evening the usual dinner given by the outgoing Mayor took place at theAVeHington Hotel. A very excellent repast was placed upon the table, to which a large party, numbering about 100 persons, sat down. P, Bright, Esq., ex-Mayor, presided, and there were also present Howel Gwyn, Esq., M.P., H. P. Price, Esq., W. de Winton, Esq., Mayor; Major Prevost, Captain Molyneux, and Ensign Stone, 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers; Aldermen Thomas, Williams, and Lucas Councillors J. Davies, A. A. Walton, G. Cansick, J. Prothero, Thomas Trew, and H. C. Rich; George Overton, Mordecai Jones, Henry Ximenes, J. A. F. Snead, E. Gwynne, James Williams, S. B. Evans (vice-chair), Gabriel Powell, Lewis Hughes, David Thomas, John Evans, D. W. J: Thomas, Wm. Games, and E. Thomas, Esqrs.; Revs. J. D. Williams, R. Price, D. Price, Henry Griffiths, Professors Morris and Roberts, D. W, Davies, R. S. Williams, and W. S. Bestall; Dr. Tal- fourd Jon's; Messrs, R. Webb, E. Webb, P. Edwards, Watkin Williams, W. H. Edwards, Thomas Davies (Forge), B. Price, Thomas (Castle Farm), D. Evans, D, F. Evans (draper), J. E. Nott, John Morgan (draper), W. H. and L. Jones (Siddons), James Hall, Thomas Powell (Bank), John Morgan (Bank), James Williams (clerk), Henry Jones (Bank), Thomas Powell (Bank), Thomas Edwards, Bennett, D. Prothero, E. A. Wright, Tudor, Gibson, T. Arm- strong, T. H. Williams, John Williams (County House), John Kirk, D. Jones (draper), T. B. Jones, John Handley, W. J. Roberts, Henry Davies, Charlfs Boniface, Williams (Prince of Wales), Aneurin George, Morris, &c. On tne removal of the cloth the Chairman gave the health of the Queen, followed by that of the Prince and Princess of Wales, which met with the usual warm reception. The Chairman next gave the Bishop and Clergy of the diocese, and the ministers of all denominations," coupling with the toast the names of the Rev. R. Price and the Rev. H. Griffiths. (Cheers.) The Rev. R. Price, in responding, said he felt very happy that it fell to his lot to respond to the toast of the Bishop and clergy and the ministers of other denominations, with all of whom he was on terms of intimacy and friendship. (Applause.) There were many occasions on which they had the privilege of meeting together to promote the objects of their common Christianity. He was never happier than when they were able to meet together on a common platform, where they could, without sacri- ficing their own peculiar opinions, merge their differences, and. unite together for the promotion of good and glorious objects. (Cheers.) The Rev. Henry Griffiths did not think it necessary to add anything to what had been said by his respected friend. He had answered for them all. They, however, cordially reciprocated the sentiments he had advanced, and they felt great pleasure at being present on that festive occasion, and to have had the opportunity of cn-operating on such an occasion as that. (Cheers.) The Chairman then gave the Army, Navy, Militia, and Volunteers, referring particularly to the pleasure it gave all of them to see some of the red- coats present-a privilege of which they had been deprived for many years. (Hear, hear.) Major Prevost thanked the company for the very hearty reception given to the toast. They had never met with a more hearty reception than they had in Brecon they had found many friends there, and he hoped it would be long before they left. (Applause.) Mr. J. A. F. Snead briefly acknowledged the com- pliment on behalf of the Militia. Di. Talfourd Jones returned thanks for the Volun- teers. He thought the Brecon corps were a fine lot of men (laughter), and when called to fight the enemy they would do their duty. The Chairman next gave the Lord Lieutenant of the county a very worthy gentleman, who was beloved by all. (Ap'plause.) Alderman Thomas replied, and expressed the pleasure his lordship always felt when he was able to be at Brecon. The Chairman said the next toast was of a more personal character. He begged to propose the health of the High-Sheriff of Breconshire. (Applause.) That gentleman was a Brecon boy, he was the architect of his own fortune and he had risen to the high position he occupied' by his own persever- ance, industry, and talent—and all honour to him for it. (Cheers.) The Chairman said he was sure they would drink the next toast in a bumper it was that of the chief magistrate of the borough of Brecon. (Applause.) He was not the first of the name of de Winton who had occupied that high and honourable office. (Hear hear.) Connected with that town by birth, and bi business, and by all his associations, Mr. William de Winton, the Mayor of that town, must be extremely popular with them all. The father of Mr. de Win- ton had been popular in the extreme he was ready and anxious to do his best for the town and neigh- bourhood and he had a worthy successor in the present Mayor. He had brought to the Council Board an aptitude for business, and a perseverance which few excelled, and he had been a most able coadjutor to the members of the council, especially in matters of finance. He thought their choice of Mayor a very good and popular one. (Applause.) The Mayor said in acknowledging the handsome and cordial way' in which they had drunk his health, he must express his regret that, although their chief magistrate he was not a resident in the borough of Brecon. Had he been consulted in the matter he should certainly have recommended a gentleman who would have resided within the precincts of the borough. There were so many duties to be performed, and so many calls on his time and attention, that a man to do his duty pro- perly and thoroughly should reside on the spot. That morning Alderman Lucas, in his usual eloquent manner, had alluded to a matter of great importance, which he was happy to say had been carried thoroughly into effect since he had had the honour of a seat at the Council board. He alluded to the first-rate supply of water. That borough had suffered for many years from the want of that useful article, without which there was neither health, comfort, nor convenience. It was perfectly true that that supply had cost them a large sum of money; but now it was accomplished he was satisfied that no ratepayer would regret the large amount of money they had spent. There was another question of equal importance to which the attention of the Board had been called, and although it had been commenced, he mizbt sayeheartily, what was needed in all towns, whether corporate or otherwise, was a comprehensive system of drainage. To accomplish that purpose it would be necessary to lay out a con- siderable sum of money. But with a proper com- prehensive plan, with the valuable assistance of their surveyor, and the practical experience of so many members of their Board, they would be able to carry out the works without burning very much the pockets of the ratepayers. This would be one of the things which would tend to make the town what it ought to be, and render it attractive as it should be, not only to its residents, but to strangers who came there and were struck with the beauty of the neighbourhood. He believed that in many respects it could compete with almost any town in the United Kingdom. Among the other things which should make it attractive were its establishments for educa- tion, in which he believed the most fastidious would be perfectly satisfied that he would get an education of a sound practical character. He would not detain them further, but again return them thanks for the manner in which they had received his health and the remarks he had made. (Applause.) The Chairman then gave the health of the mem- bers for the county and borough (applause), and said he trusted that there would be no exhibition of partizanship that evening. He had great pleasure in bringing the toast before them. The hon. member for the county was well known as a good sportsman and a daring soldier, and he had perhaps served them as well as anyone else in the county. In reference to the member for the borough, that gentleman would not expect him to say anything fulsome. The way in which he had discharged the duties of the office he held, although not acceptable to some, was very much so to others. At all events they could give him his meed of praise, and believe that he had acted conscientiously in what he had done. (Hear, hear.) On the eve of what might prove a fierce contest, it would be well to sink their differences and give him a thoroughly hearty reception as the mem- ber for the borough. (Applause.) Mr. Howel Gwyn said he ventured in the first place to return his most sincere thanks to the chair- man for the kind and flattering manner in which he had been pleased to propose the toast, and to the company for the cordial way in which they bad received it. As the Mayor said, they did not always agree on public questions, and it was not to be expected. But this he could say, that since he had been the member for the borough he had done every- thing he could to promote the public and the private good of the country at large and his constituency. (Applause.) It gave him great pleasure to attend there, for two reasons—in the first place to support the worthy and excellent gentleman who had so ably filled the chair, and also to meet all the gentlemen connected with the borough of Brecon and its neighbourhood. They met there on neutral ground, and therefore he would not say anything to disturb the harmony of that meeting. He thought it was but right he should return thanks to them for drinking the health of his gallant friend, the member for the county, who regretted not being present himself to do so. (Cheers.) Alderman Lucas proposed the health of their excellent chairman, the late Mayor of that borough. (Applause.) On that occasion it was very usual to deal a great deal in flattery towards those who were made the objects of the toast. He did not know that he could very well exceed proper limits in expressing his sense of the way in which the late Mayor had discharged the duties of his office. Very little idea could be formed of the amount of labour and industry, patience and perseverance, required from the chief magistrate of the town. The attention of the Mayor was continually called to the various questions connected with his magisterial functions, and upon him in great measure rested the proper supervision of the many accounts which had to pass under his inspection. He had been delighted to find the energy, the clearness, and the precision with which he went through those accounts without allowing anything to pass by without notice. He thought they were under deep obligation to the late Mayor for his attention to these matters. It had been a matter of regret with them, however, that all had not been done in the way of presenting to the ratepayers of the town a more full statement of their expenditure, but he did hope that in the coming year something might be done. (Hear, hear.) The Chairman, in responding, said there were such things as extra-Parliamentary speeches. It would devolve upon him at that time, he presumed, in returning thanks for the toast they had been so kind as to receive so cordially, as briefly as he could to give them an account of his stewardship. He took it that one of the great advantages of Leet dinners was that of affording the Mayor and other members of the Corporation an opportunity of giving the burgesses, when assembled at the convivial board, some account of what had been done in the past, and their pro- spects in the future. He would first of all premise that, by way of lightening the business usually taking place on the 9th November, and which meeting was generally adjourned for a fortnight or three weeks- the Finance Committee anticipated the meeting of that day by presenting a statement of accounts to the Council on Thursday. He doubted not that most of those present had seen that statement in the BRECON COUNTY TIMES of last Saturday. The state- ment inserted in the paper last Saturday week as an advertisement brought down the accounts of the Corporation to the 30th August last, and the Board of Health accounts to the 30th December. The statement at their meeting of Thursday last was intended as a supplement to the other, and to bring down the general balance-sheet to the present time, except the Water Works. He congratulated the town upon the state of things as they then appeared before them. They had been in the habit of think- ing that they were involved in a complete Slough of Despond from which nothing but Herculean efforts could extricate them. He was happy to say, by the perseverance and energy of the Council, they had extricated the accounts from the state of con- fusion into a state of plain sailing. He would not enlarge in the way of mentioning any figures, but he would just remark that the rates imposed had been the smallest, with the exception of one, in any year since the establishment of the Board. The district rate for the borough of Brecon had only been Is. 4d. in the pound, and that was the only rate demanded from the burgesses for that purpose three or four years ago it had been ovily 15d.; but within the last nine years it had been 2s. 3d. in the pound. He mentioned this to show that the members of the Board of Health had been particularly anxious and careful of the disbursements of the money of the local district rate. The only other rate was the borough rate, which was never made in a direct form on the burgesses, but in the form of a precept on the poors' rate. For the exigences of the borough, in a corporate capacity, no rate had been made since last Feb. twelve months, and the total burdens on the burgesses had only amounted to Is. 7d. in the pound on their rateable value. That was a state of things which would challenge that of any other town of its size in Great Britain, and it was owing, in a great extent, to the way in which every member of the Board had attended to the business of the town. Another matter was the taking of Camden road by the Board, when the sum of £ 263 10s. was paid by the Railway Company to the Board to do so. There were three other sub- jects of great importance to the town, one ot which had been touched upon by the Mayor. These sub- jects were the supply of light, drainage, and the water. Although they had been unfortunate in some matters connected with the Water Works, he believed the result would be such as not to completely astound the ratepayers; and he might mention that 460 houses were supplied with the water from the water-works. The Chairman then referred to what had been done in reference to light- ing the town more thoroughly, and said he thought the arrangement would occasion but a small increase of expenditure to e,leh ineiviSual. The drainage was also alluded to, and the Chairman said he had been opposed to the reduction of the rate, as he wanted the Board to have X200 in hand so as to be ab!e to do the drainage of the town piece- meal. But the Board determined to set about it at once, and he thought the cost of the work would be made up by the increased rental and by a district rate very little in excess of what they had this year paid. If they could accomplish this, he hoped the town would approve of what they were doing. There had been a discussion for some time past in reference to the abstraction of water from the canal, and he wished to assure the ratepayers that it was not the intention of the Town Council in any action that might, be taken to expend one penny of the money of the ratepayers. (Applause.) But if the Corpora- tion could strengthen the hands of those who wished to remedy the present state of things, that they might do. Some time ago a building society had been established in their midst, and he most, sincerely hoped that the efforts of those who desired to make the town as attractive as possible would be success- ful. During the last year, also, two educational establishments had been erected for the middle and lower classes-the National Schools and the Dr. Coke Memorial Schools. Among the other educa- tional institutes he could bear testimony—from the fact of his having been one of the governors during the past year-to the very great energy and per- severance with which the duties devolving upon the masters of Christ's College were performed. One of the most pleasant acts he bad had to perform in connection with the office of mayor was that of dis- tributing the prizes to the boys at that college. The Eisteddfod for 1869 was also a matter which be must refer to. If they had a meeting at Brecon it must be, a successful one, or they would wish it had not come there. He attended the meeting at Ruthin, and if they had all been present and enjoyed it as he had, there would be still more warmth and interest felt in making the meeting in 1869 a success. It was one of the finest sights he had ever seen. The success of the Eisteddfod at Brecon must depend on the liberality of the people. It was intended by the local committee to have the entire control of the subscriptions raised, and they would be applied for the purpose of making it successful. He merely mentioned that to provoke the good wishes and good actions of those present. The subscriptions already amounted to Y,230, but to make the affair thoroughly successful they must not stop short of £ 500. He believed he had now gone through the whole of the subjects he had jotted down in reference to the past. For the support every one bad given him in the town, and the kindness he had met with, and for the numbers in which they had attended that dinner, he begged to return his most sincere thanks. He would now propose the health of the Masters of Christ's College. The Rev. J. D. Williams said he thanked the ex- Mayor very cordially for the kind reference to Christ College. The duties of president on the occasion referred to could not have been better discharged. He had to acknowledge also the kind liberality the ex-Mayor had shown to the boys of the school in himself contributing towards the prizes. In all things in which the ex-Mayor as governor and him- self as master had had to deal with one another, there was no year in regard to which he could better express his satisfaction. It was also gratifying to find the Mayor was one of his old pupils. For himself and his brother masters he thanked them cordially. He had been attracted to Brecon by motives public and private. He was almost a Brecon man and he had no greater pleasure there than in endeavouring to make Christ College an ornament to the town and the Principality and he saw no reason why it should not be (Applause.) The college was perhaps not all it might be, but it had existed in its present form only four or five years. During those years there had been some improve- ment, and he hoped it would go on progressing, and that they might have reason to be proud of Christ College. (Applause.) The Chairman next proposed "The Aldermen and Town Councillors." (Cheers.) Alderman Thomas said he had the honour of being elected an alderman very many years ago. He had taken very little part in carrying out the business of the Corporation, and he had trusted his judgment to others. When present, however, he was anxious to give the town the benefit of the thoughts that occurred to him. They had struggled through difficulties for many years, but they saw better things in store for them. Reference had been made to the Building Society, and he would say that he should be glad to lease any ground he had for the purpose. He was much obliged for the cordiality with which they had received the health of the Corporation. They had had the will to do more than they had done, but they had not always the ability. Other corporations had funds for carrying out improve- ments, but they had none. The speaker concluded by expressing his regret that no advantage had been taken of the offers of land for building made by a large landowner in the neighbourhood. The Chairman gave the health of the borough justices, who had supported him to the utmost in the discharge of his duties as chief magistrate. He would connect the toast with the name of Mr. James Williams. Mr. Williams not being present, Alderman John Williams was called upon, and in responding he said they were a young race of justices, but during the time they had been such their duties had been to them of some responsibility. It was considered that justices never did right. It was impossible to please all parties but they had endeavoured to do justice to all. (Hear, hear.) He was sure his brother magistrates would agree with him as to the admirable manner in which the Chairman bad performed his duties during his mayoralty, and he thought they might congratulate themselves that magistrates were a race of men who sometimes could do their duty. The Chairman next gave the foreman and jury of the leet, connecting the toast with the name of Alderman Williams, as High-Constable of Brecon. The office was now become absolete, though in days gone by important duties had to be performed by that officer. Alderman Williams briefly responded. The Chairman proposed the visitors, thanking them for their presence. Mr. H. P. Price, whose name was connected with the toast, said he felt considerable embarrassment as to how in any adequate manner, he should thank them for the compliment bestowed upon him. The toast had been proposed by the chairman with that felicity of expression which bad characterised his proposal of all the toasts that evening. He said embarrassed, because he came amongst them as an outcast and a stranger he could not hold in his hand any schedule ot topics upon which to speak, and if disposed to enter upon politics)18 was very properly reminded that they were banished for that evening. He could, therefore, only address a few words upon the only tangible subject that presented itself. A guest was an expressive term—a tender term and he was the guest that evening of the gentleman who occupied the chair, and for his attention and kindness he returned his btst thanks. Politics were forbidden but be might perhaps be allowed to observe, looking at the peculiar position he was placed in, being actively engaged in a con- test in this town which might stimulate bad feelings —he hoped they would all do what was in their power to eliminate from that contest all personal matters and feelings, and reduce it as much as pos- sible to a contest of principles. (Applause.) He trusted so far as it had gone he had not in any way transgressed this rule. (Hear, bear.) The Chairman proposed the health of their worthy Town Clerk. (Applause.) The Town Clerk, in replying, said all the topics of the locality had been exhausted, and upon them he had nothing to say. As allusion had been made to the coming contest, which inevitably must stir up some heat, he hoped all were convinced of the necessity of approaching it in a manly, fair and reasonable, and calm spirit, and that the contest would pass off in a manner which would be a credit to the borough. (Hear, hear.) The Chairman proposed the town and trade of Brecon, connecting with the toast the name of Mr. J. Davies. Mr. Davies responded at some little length, refer- ing to the fact that he had been a tradesman in the town for more than a quarter of a century, and had received great kindness during that time. He also referred to the water and drainage works. The Chairman then gave the Press, connecting with it the representative of the BRECON COUNTY TIMES, who acknowledged the compliment. The proceedings then concluded.

BRECONSHIRE CHAMBER OF AGRICULTURE.

ANNUAL MEETING OF BRECON TOWN…