In compliance with the Local Government Act (1894), the Local Board was superseded by an Urban District Council, to which the following members were elected:— Messrs. George Betts, C. F. Blinco, Wm. H. Burton, Wm. J. Calladine, Arthur Clarke, John Collins, Wm. Elkington, Wm. Fowkes, Thos. Houldsworth, Wm. Jacklin, James Richard Lees, John Orange, Wm. Pegg, Andrew Radford, Wm. Stainforth, Frank and John Whyatt, and the Rev. J. R. Macdonnell.

New members were elected on the Council at the triennial elections, as follow: —

1898.—Messrs. John Thorpe Barlow, James Bettridge, Thomas Bird, Samuel Dabill, Samuel Pegg, and Fred G. Shaw.

1899.—Messrs. George Robert Bamkin and Thomas Metcalf to fill casual vacancies caused by the death of Mr. Barlow and the disqualification of Mr. Fowkes.

1901.—Messrs. J. Bodill, G. Brecknock, Amos Brown, Arthur S. Douglas, George Gent, W. H. Moult, and John M. Raynor.

1904.—Messrs. W. T. Haslam, Wm. Houldsworth, John James, J. W. Merrick, Arthur Plumb, and Henry Spencer.

1907.—-Messrs. R. Davy, Joseph Foster, G. Harry Parkin,

Arthur D. Saxton, and John Wagg. Messrs. Chas. Cartledge and Wm. Foster were elected in September to fill casual vacancies caused by the deaths of Messrs. Davy and  Houldsworth.

Mr. Andrew Radford was chairman in the years 1894—1899; Mr. F. Whyatt in the years 1900-1-2-4; Mr. W. Jacklin in 1903; Mr. Metcalf, 1905-6; Mr. S. Pegg, 1907-8; and Mr. W. M. Burton, 1909.


The scarcity of water began to be felt acutely in the early seventies. The population then entirely depended upon the fluctuating yield of surface wells and open running brooks. The development of coal-mining, with the natural increase of population, was followed by contamination of these sources.

An outbreak of typhoid fever occurred, respecting which there was an enquiry by the Local Government Board, and in August, 1873, a resolution was passed by the Local Board requesting its then Chairman, Mr. Ellis, to consult Mr. Hawksley, the eminent engineer, respecting the provision of a public water supply.

On the 31st July, 1874, Mr. Hawksley reported to the Local Board that—

"There is no sufficiently copious and permanent source available to the Board at a proper elevation for a supply by gravitation, nor do I think that the quality of the water of any of the open rills, whether within or without the district of the Board, would be found satisfactory to the inhabitants."

He further went on to say: —

"The only other independent source to which a recourse can be had within a reasonable distance is the new red sandstone, or its underlier the magnesian limestone. Of these the water of the new red sandstone is to be much preferred, and this rock occurs within a moderate distance of Hucknall. I strenuously advise that the Board should, if possible, resort to it for the supply of the district under their jurisdiction."

He also said: —

"I am of opinion that an eligible and unobjectionable site may be obtained by the side of the road leading from the Nottingham and Mansfield turnpike road to Papplewick at or near a place called the 'Gravel Pit,' and he further remarked, 'I believe it will be necessary to obtain a Provisional Order to be ratified by Parliament, for the authorisation of this or any similar work, the notices for which must be published in November."

In the same report Mr. Hawksley indicated an alternative scheme in the following words: —

"The Nottingham Waterworks Co. have possession of Bestwood Park, under condition of affording a supply to the population to become located thereon; but t'hey have no Parliamentary powers to distribute water within the parish of Hucknall. It may, however, be that this Company would not be disinclined to sell water in bulk to be distributed by and through the pipes of the Hucknall sanitary authority."

This report was made public, and of course raised the whole subject, and, as often happens in these cases, a rather fierce and prolonged controversy arose. At first it was held by a section of the ratepayers that no new supply was needed, but this view did not last long. The question then at issue was, whether the Local Board should obtain its own supply or whether the parish should be absorbed within the area of the Nottingham Waterworks Company.

In November, 1874, Mr. Hawksley forwarded a letter from the Clerk of the Nottingham Waterworks Co. to the following effect:—"The directors of the Co. desire me to say that at present the Company is not in a position to give the required supply."

In 1875 several local authorities in the neighbourhood were seeking water, and consulted Mr. Hawksley, who, in a report dated 20th May, 1875, outlined a scheme for the supply of a large district including Hucknall Torkard.

In April, 1876, an enquiry was held before a Commissioner of the Local Government Board, with respect to this scheme. Shortly before this a strong opposition had arisen in Hucknall against it. It was insisted by the opponents that the area of Hucknall contained an ample and sufficient supply. To meet this feeling the Local Board arranged for four springs to be gauged, but the supply from them was found to be entirely inadequate.

By March, 1877, the parish of Bulwell (which had formerly joined in the united scheme of 1875) had become incorporated in the Borough of Nottingham, and therefore within the area of the Nottingham Water Co.

The Hucknall Local Board by this time, therefore, found all supply within their own area insufficient, and the united scheme being materially weakened by the withdrawal of Bulwell, they also decided to withdraw from it.

Strengthened by the growing public opinion which had manifested itself at successive elections of the Board, the Board determined to go forward on its own account, and consulted Mr. George Stevenson, of Westminster Chambers, London, an eminent engineer, Mr. Hawksley being engineer to the Nottingham Waterworks Co., who by this time were manifesting an intention of obtaining powers over Hucknall Torkard.

Mr. Stevenson presented a report embodying a scheme of public water supply. In order to be sure of their ground from a Parliamentary point of view, the Local Board put the following questions to the Nottingham Waterworks Co.: —

"1. What your Company would charge per 1,000 gallons to be supplied to the Hucknall Local Board at the boundary of the district, and to be distributed by the Local Board.
"2. The quantity to be (if required) up to 200,000 gallons per diem at first, to be increased by subsequent arrangement.
"3. The date when this supply  might be relied upon."

The reply from the Waterworks Co. ran:—

"The directors are not prepared to afford a supply in the form indicated in your communication, but they have under their consideration certain applications from other adjacent districts, which may induce them to include Hucknall in a more general scheme."

By the end of 1877, therefore, the matter stood thus—the Nottingham Waterworks Co. were promoting a Bill in Parliament to include Hucknall within their area, and on the other hand the Local Board were promoting, by way of a Provisional Order, a scheme of their own.

The Parliamentary proceedings in 1878 were very curious and interesting. On the 19th March in that year, the Nottingham Waterworks Bill came before a Private Bill Committee of the House of Commons. The Hucknall Local Board opposed their inclusion in the Nottingham water area. The battle before the Committee was a hard one. The Local Board found themselves taken in flank by some evidence in favour of the Nottingham Waterworks Co., from Hucknall Torkard itself. The evidence of the Company's witnesses was supported by a memorial signed on behalf of the then Duke of Portland and other house-owners to the extent of 223 houses out of 1,740 then existing in the parish. The value attached to the memorial, and the evidence of the small minority, who opposed the policy of the Local Board, was indicated by the fact that the Committee did not call upon the latter to submit any evidence against it.

The decision of the Committee is thus given in the official notes of their proceedings:—

"After a short time the counsel and parties were again called in, and informed by the Chairman that the Committee had decided to grant the petition of the Hucknall Local Board, but they wished the parties to prepare a clause giving a right of way or easement for the pipes of the Water Company to pass through, so as to reach the other points."

So the Local Board saved the parish from being included in the Nottingham Waterworks area to the enormous pecuniary advantage of the ratepayers, as will be seen later on. But so far only one step had been gained.

In June, 1878, the Provisional Order for carrying out Mr. G.Stevenson's scheme of public water supply granted by the Local Government Board to the Hucknall Local Board came before the Committee of the House of Commons. Its confirmation was opposed by the Nottingham Waterworks Co., by the Linby Colliery Co., and by Mr. Arthur Montagu, on whose estate the piece of land sought to be compulsorily acquired for a pumping station was situate. This opposition was successful, and, therefore, by June, 1878, the Local Board found themselves in the curious position of, on the one hand being saved from inclusion in the Nottingham Water Co.'s area, and on the other hand of being denied the power to carry out their own scheme.

In July, Mr. Ellis, acting on his own responsibility, privately saw Mr. Turner, the Agent of the Duke of Portland, and laid the whole case before him. He promised to consider it favourably, and agreed in a few weeks afterwards (on behalf of the Duke of Portland) to sell to the Local Board a site for a pumping station near Salterford Manor, on which the present works stand. The agreement thus provisionally entered into was ratified by the Local Board, and at a public meeting held on October 8th, Mr. Ellis explained the whole matter to the ratepayers.

Thus ended happily, and in the end with practically public unanimity, a controversy which had been waged more or less acutely for five or six years. It was an interesting and noteworthy case of educating public opinion, and when that public opinion had been educated it was irresistible. To the members of the Local Board of that day who supported the scheme, and to those even who hesitated but in the end approved, the ratepayers of Hucknall owe much. The name of Mr. Turner, too, should always be mentioned as that of a man who, directly he appreciated the facts, took a broad and sagacious view of the matter.

The following facts and figures respecting the initiation, progress, development, and present position of Hucknall water supply tell their own story: —                                                                        

Loan incurred when works were established 16,000
Cost of subsequent additions 3,978
Amount unpaid, 31st March, 1908 2,956
Gross income from water rate and other sources during year ending March 31st, 1908 2,325
Expended on maintenance of works for the year 1,193
Expended on developing and adding to the works 415
Amount paid for Interest on Loan 130
Amount paid for Reduction of Loan 712

Never did an undertaking of this kind better justify the anticipations formed and the expectations held out by its promoters. It would be difficult to find an urban district in England and Wales so efficiently and economically served with water.

The pumping engines work 120 hours a week and raise 233,000 gallons per day, and the average daily consumption in Hucknall is about 14 gallons per head. There is usually a depth of 40 feet of water in the two wells. When the Nottingham Corporation established a pumping station at Papplewick the Hucknall wells at Salterford had to be sunk to a depth of 125 feet.

The water is conveyed to Hucknall through six miles of 8-inch pipes to the reservoir near Long Hill, where the storage capacity is 500,000 gallons.

In 1897 the Nottingham Corporation sought Parliamentary powers to sink another well at Woodborough, which, if carried out, would have drained the Hucknall wells. The District Council successfully opposed this project, and the parish has thus every prospect of a constant, copious, and cheap supply of good water.


The effective disposal of sewage was another difficult problem which the Local Board had to solve.

A service of pipes was laid, and the sewage was emptied into dykes near the Leen. After being filtered, the clarified water ran into the river. This scheme proved unsatisfactory, so a system of bacterial treatment was started in 1892. By this method the sewage passed through four tanks (each holding 45,000 gallons), thence it ran over bacteria beds. The resultant sludge was dried by sun and air, and sold for manurial purposes, and the water flowed into the Leen. This system also has failed to give satisfaction, and now, at the end of the year 1908, an eminent firm of engineers are remodelling the sewage disposal works.


The following table shows the fluctuations of the death-rate during the last 108 years, in ten-year periods: —

1801—1810 16.0 per  1,000 population per annum.
1811—1820 17.9
1821—1830 18.9
1831—1840 18.8
1841—1850 19.9
1851—1860 20.0
1861—1870 21.7
1871—1880 23.4
1881—1890 19.6
1891—1900 19.6
1901—1908 14.7

The remarkable drop in the death-rate during the last few years has been mainly attributable to the improved sanitation.


Free library.
Free library.

The Free Library was built in 1887, at a cost of about £2,000, and given to the town by Mr. John Edward Ellis and Mr. Herbert Byng Paget. The fabric is a handsome structure of Queen Anne style of architecture, and contains a large reading room, library, rooms for conversation and games, also the librarian's residence.

There are 5,000 books on the shelves, and in the year 1906-7 the books issued to borrowers numbered 13,500. The institution is supported by a penny rate which last year produced £142, and by contributions from the Byron Charity and friends. The rooms have been very well frequented since the place was opened; the average daily attendance is 500. The Library is managed by a Committee of District Councillors. A popular feature of the institution since 1892 has been the Winter evening lecturettes which have always been well attended.

It is a truism to say the Library has been a most excellent, serviceable, and moral agency for promoting the welfare of the townsfolk.


There are five recreation grounds, which are used almost entirely by the young for cricket and football. The area of these is as follows: —


A. r. p. Owner.
Butler's Hill  4 3 27 Duke of Portland.
Albert Street 5 3 5 Duke of Portland.
Annesley Road  5 3 15 Duke of Portland.
Watnall Road  3 1 31 Miss Jackson.
Watnall Road  4    1  16 Miss Jackson.


The total length of highways in the parish is 15 miles, 179 yards, including nearly a mile of private streets. The County Council contributed last year .£256 0s. 0d. for the maintenance of 2 miles, 995 yards of main roads in the parish. These roads are illuminated at night by 238 gas lamps.


The District Council have leased an area of 37 acres, which are situate in the following districts of the town : —


Cemetery Road 7.485
Farley Lane 12 782
Annesley Road 8,515
Washdyke Lane 8.295

These are sublet to ratepayers in allotments varying in size from 600 yards (used as gardens) to four acres (tilled by the plough).


Under the recent Act the Duke of Portland arranged for the Broomhill Farm of 116 acres to be divided into small holdings this year (1909). Approximately the six holdings measure 8, 50, 21, 7, 12, and 18 acres respectively, for which the tenants pay £200 rent.