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SATURDAY, JUNE 6. 1914. I_Topical…

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SATURDAY, JUNE 6. 1914. I Topical Tattle. As usual at Ledbury the Whitsun holidays "wen) ppeiu very qupetiv, so far as attractions in the immediate neighbourhood of Ledbury were concerned. The only public events locally were criiket. matches and the Picture Palace per formances, and the latter was largely patronised at three houses on Whit- Monday. There was a good deal of motor traffic through the town, and a fair sprinkling of visitors, but against this Ledburians largely patronised Malvern and Hereford, and a few went further afield. On Tuesday business was resumed as usual. The most interesting item of business at Tuesday's meeting of the Lebbury Urban Council, was that with reference to the swim- ming bath scheme. This matter has dragged on an unconscionable length of time, and with all due respect, I must say it is rather late in the day to begin opposing the scheme, which has been before the public more than three years. A tender has now been accepted for the construction of a bath 75 feet long by 25 feet wide, enclosed in a fence 6 feet high, and the contract has been given to a loeal firm for 1296, with the proviso that the work be completed in eleven weeks. There is a matter of about X80 in hand, raised by voluntary effort, the last local Budget provided for 160 more, and the remainder will prob- ably be raised at the same rate each half- year. I mtist say that, with Mr Preece, I fail to see any reason why tenders should not be opened in opem Council, and not in Com- mittee. The Guardians open their tenders in open meeting, and so do most other bodies, and why there should be any occasion for opening tenders for the construction of the swimming bath in Committee I cannot realise. As to the supposed opposition to the scheme, I am inclined to think with Mr Carless, that the ratepayers are lukewarm about it. When the bath is completed swimmers and would- be swimmers will be ready enough to use it in season. The next move should be for washing baths. The Ledbury Urban Council move slowly but surely and Tuesday's meeting chronicled further improvements in the shape of the repair of the road leading from Bye-street to the electric lighting works, and that a further portion of Happy Land is to be kerbed. These are improvements long overdae, but I realise that in a small town like ours we cannot expect everything to be done at once, and it must be admitted that the Ledbury streets are far different to-day to what they were when the Council was formed. It would be interesting to know the amount of money the Council have spent on improving roads other than main roads during the 20 years of their existence. The meeting of the Executive Committee of the South Herefordshire Farmers' Union, held this week it Hereford, revealed the fact that although the meetings of the Ledbury Branch may aot be largely attended, they are productive of resolutions on subjects, which if only brought to pass, would mean a benefit to the members of the Union as a whole. I refer to the questions of the change needed in the Swine Fever Orders, and to the selling of live stock first at farm sales instead of last, as has been the practice hitherto. Both questions are being taken up in a manner that spells success, and I am quite prepared to hear that the movements inaugurated by the Ledbury Branch have been brought about ere long. ♦ The National Conservative League gather- ing at Ledbury on Thursday night in last week was certainly the most successful yet held under the auspices of the local lodge, due undoubtedly to the presence of the Member for the Division, Captain Clive, who delighted bis supporters with an address which served to demonstrate that as a public speaker be is vastly improving. I could not help contrasting this address of an hour's duration, with Captain dive's oratorical efforts of 12 years ago, w hen he first spoke in this district, and the improvement both in method of delivery and argumentative matter is really wonderful, and serves to show that Captain Clive takes a deep interest in his political work. It was easily the best speech I have heard him deliver. » I could not but think as I listened for a few moments to the Free Trade speaker who visited the town this week, of the many, many times, I bad read in Free Trade journals that Tariff Reform, or Protection, or whatever you are minded t9 call it, was dead as a door-nail. If I had not previously been convinced that such was not the case, I should have been after listening to portions of the speech, for as the speaker delivered himself of an argumentative address on what some of his political confreres have called a dead subject, then the thought came to me of slaying the slain. No, Tariff Reform cannot be dead, so long as Free Traders deem it necessary to attack it as the Free Trade Union continue to do. • A young couple were making the preliminary arrangements with a view to matrimony and the fair-or perhaps she is dark-maiden asked her beau to see the Clerk of the Church about publishing the banns of marriage. The following day he met the Clerk and asked him to publish the banns. The result was the following conversation The Clerk Is she a spinster ? The Married Man to be: No; she is a cook. ill • The uniform of Government is most attractive; everybody seems to tush for it. The other night a Free Trade public speaker was giving vent to much eloquence to at the time a very limited audience, when one of the gentlemen in blue came up to him and told him he was causing a block in the traffic. The speaker and a supporter dis- puted with the representative of law and order, and said th-ey were not blocking the4 traffie. And when the man in blue looked round he found that it was quite true, for his advent kad caused quite a crowd to gather round, and out of the way of the traffic.  At the date who: Colonel Wbitaker and those other unfortunates were making money out of private information," commissions on introduction of business, etc., it was nut so clearly understood 18 it is now that this kind of thing is very properly considered the prerogative of Cabinet Ministers and their relatives-a prerogative, needless to say, most jealously guarded, the infringement of which must be panished with most exemplary severity.—" The Bystander." I TATTLER.

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