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ECHOES OF THE WEEK. ♦ [BY "SIRIUS."] I THE NORTH PEMBROKESIRE BILL. I The promoters cf the North Pembrokeshire and Fishguard Railway Bill have been indiffer- ently successful in the bill which appeared before a parliamentary committee last week end. No Llanellyite, at any rate, need offer any apology for a feeling of satisfaction at the all-but complete failure of those who stood as sponsors to the bill, which, if translated into an ] act would have done no good to this district. The purpose of the proposals seemed to exhaust itself, insofar as the proposals related to this district, in an attempt to divert traffic, legiti- mately belonging to Llanelly, to Swansea. This was clearly pointed out at meetings of the Chamber of Commerce and Borough Council. My reading of the bill goes to shew that the promoters were successful in respect of a few details only relating to the railway arrangements of Pembrokeshire, the broader objects of the bill receiving no parliamentary sanction. The promoters will no doubt essay on a future occasion to obtain parliamentary consent to the greater girth of their scheme, but I am convinced that when that future occa- sion comes, the authorities entrusted with the overlook of Llanelly affairs will have induced the promoters of the undertaking to materially amend the bill in our favour. SOME FURTHER PARTICULARS. Since the above was written I have been in conversation with a gentleman who was in- terested in the undertaking—interested, at any rate, to the extent of being invited to London to give evidence on behalf of the promoters- and from what I have gathered from him, I fear that I was labouring under some misappre- hension in respect of some of the statements which are embodied above. He was present in the committee room when counsel delivered their speeches and the evidence was heard, and he assures me that, whatever the original intention of the promoters may have been in relation to the position of Llanelly under their scheme, they certainly did not assume any hostile attitude towards this town in presenting their bill to the Lords' committee. On the contrary, my informant assures me that the counsel for the promoters in opening his case, stated definitely that the body for whom he acted desired to give Llanelly a connection, and affirmed that if the G.W.R. Company refused to guarantee this by a junction with the pro- posed new line some miles off, the promoters would connect with Llanelly themselves; This seems to shew that the overtures to the promoters of the bill by the Llanelly Borough Council were availing in a marked degree. THE REGULATIONS OF THE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT. Nottheleast interesting and instructive item in the recent proceedings held under the auspices of the Pupil Teachers' Centre was the -address of Mr. Duckworth, B.A., dealing chiefly with the frequent and apparently whimsical and valueless changes in the regulations issued .by the department in relation to the tests im- posed upon pupil teachers. Mr. Duckworth s comments are invested with additional import- ance by reason of another threatened change— threatened since the proceedings now under review occurred. It now seems probable that a rule will be instituted that one of the sciences that a pupil teacher may put in for scholarship, if an elementary stage, must include Physio- graphy. It is difficult to discover the reason for this arbitrary restriction, especially in view of the fact that the whole question of the pupil teacher curriculum is now under treatment by a Royal Commission. THE STEPNEY ESTATE AND THE COUNCIL. It is to be regretted that the Stepney Estate authorities are so unmindful of the best interests of the community as to refuse the sensible suggestion of the Borough Council that a new, road should be opened between Andrew-street and Swansea-road. The proposal is an exceedingly reasonable one, and if carried into effect would make material contributions to the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants residing in that district—comfort and convenience that would be enhanced by reason of the fact that the Council are prepared to span the Lliecli at the spot named with a fine bridge. However, the authorities of the Estate are not disposed to act upon the suggestion of the Council, and a most urgently-needed improvement, therefore, falls to the ground. It is no wonder that people are saying that the Stepney Estate authorities have a lot to answer for. PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF FOOTPATHS. Another big proposal affecting the highways in the district covered by the administration of the Llanelly Borough Council is likely to come up for consideration at an early date on a report which the surveyor has been instructed to prepare. For some time past, the Highway Committee have been castingtheir eyes longingly II towards the admitted need of the proper con- struction of footpaths throughout the borough, and the position is now such as to lead one to conclude that something definite in this direction may be hoped for at no distant date. The question was incidentally discussed at a meeting of the Highway Committee on Friday last, when the surveyor intimated that his estimate for completing the work would be £ 2,674. The upshot of the discussion was an instruction to the Surveyor to submit a detailed report giving particulars of each footpath proposed to be formed. 1 think my readers will agree with me, from the figures I have quoted, that the undertaking proposed is a fairly extensive and costly one, and having regard to the number of big schemes which the local authority has now in hand, I for one hasten to express the hope that the Highway Committee will give the question very careful consideration before they determine to carry out the work. It is necessary work, I" readily concede. The question, however, re- solves itself into this: Is it urgent, and can we afford to wait ? THE PROPOSED STOPPAGE I The threatened stoppage oftinplate works in the first week in May is deferred. Much as I ap- preciate the good intentions of the Executive of the Tin-plate Workers' Union in advocating this measure-advocated, as my readers are afware, for the purpose of depleting stocks and improving the market—I am unfeignedly glad to hear of the decision to defer the time of putting the proposed remedy into operation. We have, during the last few'years experienced so many bitter hardships arising out of the idleness of tinplate works that the very name of stoppage has become a hateful one. I am perfectly aware that the golden era of the tin- plateindustry has gone-perhaps never to return —and for some time yet to come the dis- location consequent upon the inauguration of the tlew conditions will give rise to not a few periods of enforced idleness. This bek'g the case, I will be excused for hailing with satisfaction the determination of the Executive of the Council to defer the re- medial measure proposed. Meanwhile, it is gratifying to hear that the result of this de- ferring will not improbably be the reinstate- ment of the 1874 list of wages all along the line, and the promise from more than one quarter of a long period of continuous work on those satisfactory conditions. SCHOOL BOARD OFFICES. A great deal of dissatisfaction exists in the town by reason of the fact that despite the large amount of money expended on the palatial Town Hall constructed in the People's Park, no accommodation has beenjprovided for school board offices, within the precincts of the structure. Personally, I am disposed to share the dissatisfaction. When the local authorities had the question of municipal buildings in hand, ordinary prudence should have been sufficiently operative to guarantee that accommodation would be provided for all the town bodies. This, I venture to state, was fairly generally understood when the buildings were in progress. During the last few weeks, however, the rate- payers have discovered from disclosures made at the Borough Council, that the School Board officials have been obliged to clear out from the buildings in the Park to find a fugitive home in Vaughan Street, where the facilities for carry- ing on the educational supervision of the dis- trict are mnsatisiactory to a degree. The Borough Council may be living in a fool's para- dise and may cherish the hope that the accom- modation in the town hall is all that can be desired, and this it may be, with the School Board left out in the cold. For this, however, the ratepayers of Llanelly did not for a moment bargain. THE LLANELLY 1 LOWER SHOW. I lior some years, the Llanelly Horticultural Society has suffered an interregnum to inter- pose in the interesting shows which have been held under its auspices. No one has re- gretted this more than I have-leastwise, no one more outside the ardent company of com- petitors whose passion for prize-taking in consequence of the break has had time to develop into inordinate proportions. How- ever, as an ordinary spectator of shows held under the regis of the Society, few extracted more pleasure out of the exhibitions than myself, and it has been humiliating to my town pride to find our friends at Burry Port and Kidwelly going one better than ourselves. Llanelly's inability to preserve the continuity of these exhibitions has been incomprehensible to me, having regard to the undoubt- edly wide-spread interest in horticul- ture in this neighbourhood. It is useless, albeit, to mourn over the failure of the last few years. A far more agreeable occupation is that of contemplating the restora- tion of the interesting and enjoyable institution this year, for, from what I have been given to understand, it is now guaranteed that the Society will be resusciated immediately for the purpose of arranging a show in the coming sea- son. I am glad to chronicle this fact and will add thereto the expression of the hope that the Society will not fade with the year, but main- tain its virility in order to give hostages of an unbroken succession of shows in the years to come. A BOARD OF GUARDIANS' QUESTION. I I I In his interesting resume on Thursday last before the Llanelly Board of Guardians of the proceedings which occurred at the annual conference of the poor law guardians of the country, Mr. Seymour, the chairman of the Board, appropriately referred to a praotice much too extensively in vogue on the body over which he presides, I mean the practice followed by a great many guardians of intro- ducing to the Board cases from their own district and advocating the claims of the applicants with special fervour-a fervour for which a district-fellowship may not unreason- ably be held largely accountable. Mr. Seymour informed the Board that the practice was severely animadverted upon at the Conference he attended, a reference which goes to shew that the practice is common in other unions besides our own. The prevalence of the practice, however, does not serve to justify its perpetuation. On the contrary, the fact of its popularity is an additional call to those specially concerned in the administration of our poor law to exert stronger efforts to suppress the common vogue. The evils of the system are so obvious that one need not go into detail. Everybody will recognise the undesirability of the Board of Guardians ignoring the functions of the relieving officer for the unsupported ipse dixit of a guardian from the district." By all means, let the guardian of the district "see that all the poor in his neighbourhood are pro- perly treated, but when he has any special appli- cations to advocate let this be done after the relieving officer has made the customary investi- gations and reported to the board in the usual way. Mr. Seymour is to be thanked for direct- ing attention to this much-needed reform. I THE PURCHASE OF THE ROYALTY. I I I The conditions under which the Royalty Theatre has been purchased by Mr. Fred L. Rees carry with them the obvious conclusion that Llanelly, as at present constituted, and with the population at the existing figures, is unable to keep a theatre going continuously- not, at any rate, on flourishing lines. A good company a week every month is about all, I imagine, that the drama-loving section of Llanelly people can support. What I have called this obvious conclusion leads me to express the hope that Mr. F. L. Rees when be proceeds to float his company—and this, of course, I suppose he will do—will make it clear in the prospectus that the premises will serve both as a theatre and a public liall-a public hall chiefly. That there is room in Llanelly for a public hall cannot for one moment be gain-said. It is one of our crying wants, and the man who takes steps to meet this want will be hailed as a public benefactor. I had been living in the hope that the Borough Council intended to do something in this direction by a series of altera- tions at the Atheyseum. Whatever the inten- tion may be, I see no sign of it bearing fruit. That being so, I take the first opportunity of urging that accommodation on the lines proposed be made at the Royalty. Whatever Llanelly is not, this it certainly is: A music-loving and concert-going people, a fact that guarantees the success of a large building offering accommodation of the kind needed. As a con-i cert hall, the market is simply a monstrosity. I was there last Friday night, attending the rehearsal of the Choral Society, a rehearsal which was an exceedingly interesting and en- joyable one, but the cold and dreariness of the hall were depressing and discouraging to the last degree.







THE CENTRE CLASS. . ——————*…