The Saga of The Silver St Pump
Extracts from the Parish Council Minute Book
Tuesday March 31 1959.
It was Resolved that the Mid Northamptonshire Water Board be asked not to close the Pump in Silver Street owing to residents still using it and that the Board be asked to give a month’s notice of their intention to close any other wells pumps etc.
Tuesday August 23 1960
It was reported that the pump in Silver Street was out of Order. The clerk undertook to inform the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board.
Tuesday September 27 1960
The Clerk reported that he had approached the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board about the defective pump but was informed that as the Council asked for this particular pump to be kept open the Parish Council were the responsible authority for repairing damage. Although he did not accept this he had arranged for Mr R to repair the pump. It was Resolved that the action taken by the clerk be confirmed but that the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board be informed that the Parish Council will not be responsible for the pump in future.
Tuesday January 31 1961
It was reported that the pump in Silver Street had not yet been repaired and it was Resolved that the Clerk make the necessary arrangements for this to be done.
Tuesday May 30 1961
It was reported that the Silver Street pump was defective and it was understood that neither the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board, the Rural District Council or the Parish Council were responsible for its repair. The Clerk was instructed to obtain an estimate of the amount required to repair the pump and to discuss the matter further at the next meeting.
Tuesday June 27 1961
The Clerk reported that Mr M. of Crawshaw Robins and Co. had stated that no estimate could be given for the repair of the pump, as the pump would need to be dismantled in the first place. The clerk was instructed to obtain the opinion of the District Auditor whether the Parish Council could bear the cost of the necessary repairs and also to enquire the probable cost to the owners of installing water to the premises now served by the pump.
Tuesday July 25th 1961
The Clerk reported that following a discussion with the District Auditor a letter was sent to the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board asking them to clarify the position as to whom the pump is vested and pointing out that the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board appeared to be the responsible authority.
The Clerk further reported that following a request to Mr M. of Messrs. Crawshaw Robins and Co., a letter dated 20th July had been received that the cost of installing main water to six houses in Silver Street would cost the owners of the Houses from £12 to £16. 7. 6d on the South side of the Road and from £7 to £21. 7. 6d on the North side. No reply had yet been received from the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board and it was agreed that the matter be further considered after the Board’s views were known.
Tuesday September 12th 1961
The Clerk reported a letter from the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board that Mr B the Engineer was on holiday and that the matter would be considered by him on his return.
Tuesday October 2 1961
The Clerk reported that although he had been in contact with the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board he had received no reply to his letter of July 17th 1961.
Tuesday November 28th 1961
The clerk reported a conversation with the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board Engineer and Manager Mr B. Mr B stated that unless there were special reasons for retaining the pump such as its architectural features or because of some historical connection it was the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board policy not to repair such pumps but for them to be dismantled and for the wells to be sealed. This would deprive about eight households in Silver Street of their water supply and the owners of those properties would then be required to bear the cost of a connection to the water main or be without a supply. Following a discussion the Clerk was instructed to enquire whether in the event of the pump being dismantled the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board would install a suitably covered tap at the site of the existing pump and for the occupiers of premises requiring water therefrom to be issued with a key.
Tuesday January 30th 1962
The Clerk reported writing to the Engineer and Manager of the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board on January 20th asking for confirmation as to whom the pump is vested and enquiring if a communal tap could be provided. He requested a reply by the date of the meeting but reported that no reply had been received. It was Resolved that the Engineer and Manager of the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board be asked to have the courtesy to reply to the Clerk’s letter.
Tuesday February 27th 1962
The Clerk reported writing to the Engineer and Manager of the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board on February 13th 1962 but no reply or acknowledgement had been received. The Clerk was instructed to take all possible steps to obtain a reply by the date of the next meeting.
Tuesday March 27th 1962
The clerk read a letter dated March 6th 1962 from the Engineer and Manager Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board confirming that the pumps and well vest in the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board and the Board only preserve them in special cases. It is not desirable to have stand pipes when supplies can be given in the houses.
After some discussion the Clerk was instructed to again request a stand pipe for the benefit of householders in the vicinity of the pump pointing out their ages and the hardship it would cause to have their houses piped to the main water supply.
Tuesday April 24th 1962
The Clerk reported that as instructed he had addressed a letter to the Engineer and Manager of the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board on April 6th requesting that he re-consider the position of installing a stop tap to serve those householders in Silver Street who rely on the pump for their domestic water, drawing attention to the ages of those persons. To date there had been no reply to that letter.
Tuesday May 29th 1962
The Clerk reported that there still had been no reply to his letter of April 6th.
Following a lengthy discussion in which views were expressed that householders relying on this pump for their domestic water might be prepared to contribute the whole or part of the cost of repairing the pump the Clerk was asked to obtain if possible an estimate of the cost of repairing the pump and for him to contact one of the Rural District Council’s representatives on the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board with a view to that representative taking up the matter with the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board.
Tuesday June 26 1962
Mr H (who lived in Silver Street) reported that he had contacted Mr R. who estimated that the pump could be repaired at very low cost and after consulting the Clerk he had authorised Mr R. to carry out the work.
Tuesday January 29th 1963
It was reported that the communal pump in Silver Street had been put out of action on the authority of the Brixworth Rural District Council for the reason it was understood that the new sewer had caused pollution to the water supply. The Clerk was instructed to enquire of the Brixworth Rural District Council Surveyor whether the closure was permanent and whether in which case steps can be taken to obtain a main water supply for the properties affected.
Tuesday February 26th 1963
The Clerk reported that he had seen the Surveyor of the Brixworth Rural District Council who had informed him that the closure was not necessarily permanent and the pump would be re-opened if the state of the water was shown to be normal. The Surveyor had stated that the Brixworth Rural District Council had considered the question of obtaining Main water for the houses concerned some years ago but had decided to take no action.
Dr T. (who was also Chairman of the Brixworth Rural District Council about this time) strongly criticised the Clerk for not treating the matter as one of urgency as he understood the clerk only saw the Surveyor of the Brixworth Rural District Council the day before the meeting. He further stated that the Surveyor of the Brixworth Rural District Council was taking the matter up with the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board in an endeavour to obtain a standpipe for the householders concerned.
Tuesday March 26th 1963
Mr C. reported that a stop tap had now been installed near to the site of the Village pump.
Tuesday October 29th 1963
Mr H asked if the users of the tap in Church Street (sic) could be informed that the tap was not the responsibility of the Parish Council and any damage or defects should be notified to the Mid-Northamptonshire Water Board in Cliftonville Northampton. Any safeguards from frost must be the users own responsibility. The clerk undertook to send a letter to the householders.
Parish Council Minutes Researched by Dennis Coles
An early 1900's photograph looking up Silver Street