Lot 1 - Hartley House, a comfortable house of moderate size with stabling, gardens, orchard, containing together 3a 1r 4p, in a bracing and healthy locality. With possession.
Lot 2 - a small villa residence known as Bay Lodge, with good garden etc. Let on lease at £16 per annum.
Lot 3 - Brick built Cottage, blacksmith's forge, garden etc.
Messrs Cobb at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, London EC on Friday, July 1st at 2 o'clock precisely."
There was a blunt softness in the air, because across the Kentish downs the wind met no resistance, and was good-tempered accordingly.
The Darracq hummed smoothly along.
We could of course, have trained it straight to Fawkham Station, but we wanted to see what our neighbours were like.
The 1.37 from London Bridge had run us to Dartford in 30 minutes with only one stop.
The 'Bull' - memorable to lovers of Pickwick - was having its front elevation repaired, and was of no interest to us at the moment. We were faring for Fairby Farm, and could do no more justice to the splendid open road than to skim over it, noting the presence of good breaking up gravel in the soil of the fields and ignoring the romance of a ruined Roman Villa to our right. Because after all, we were concerned with the present - with its beneficent alloy which we term promise for the future.
A short cut through Fawkham Station over a stile, and we were tramping the good brown loam, over the protesting heads of young turnips (at this time of year!) up a slope crowned with woodland.
Here a hard, dry path revealed itself, carpeted with acorns.
Mr H pointed to a curly monarch on our left with scarse a leaft unmoored from its anchorage yet.
""What would you give for that oak in your garden? £5? £10?""
""Yes, and be glad of it.""
The Valley Road
Leaving the wood we stood before long on a shelving slope with a wide view in front of us: undulating land leaning gently to a valley road, with flaming beeches in the middle distance, and away off in a hazy dip, more trees in diminishing masses.
""There is Fawkham Church just below, and a little to this side of it is the site of Fawkham Castle - an ancient keep now belonging to the legends. Here where we stand would be a fine take off for your aeroplane: plenty of room, no chance of dangerous currents, and open to the west and south. A few acres would serve your turn - ""
""The last aeroplane I had was a ____ ""
""____ But this land"", went on Mr H, ""is almost too good for a mere jumping on and off place. It is meant for a permanent alighting ground, with kisses at the front door, and tennis on a lawn and pottering about with a dibber and pruning hook and watching goldfish in a pond - just here, say.""
""Well the friend I told you about has lately been married, and is thinking of coming to the country in order to be free from noise and the least suggestion of business. This place is not far from the City, as the train flies it is as near as Hampstead or Brixton. I know you told me so, but I came along to see for myself. What my friend wants is my report of the best 2 acre plot you have got, and it's your turn now.""
We located this plot, but I shall not indicate it. I will just mention that it included a bit of woodland, whether for appearance in the front or quiet enjoyment in the rear pleasance, I decline to say - and a delightful uninterrupted view.
I took out a chart. Some people might call it a meaningless scrawl, but if you had drawn it yourself you also would refer to it as a chart. Then I came to grips with Mr H.
""These are my friend's instructions. First, as to the a house, he doesn't want anything reminiscent of the City; it must be, er, redolent of the soil __""
""In other words, a cottage. We will make him a plan, free, to any style he desires__""
""With a billiard room?""
""And a motor shed?""
""And, let me see, a poultry run?""
Pleasure and Profit
""And the eggs, I suppose there will be eggs?""
""If he will put himself in the hands of our manager and is willing to take poultry seriously, he could pay for his two acres in two years, out of the poultry and what he takes out of the land.""
""Oh! Will he have to work?""
""No need to. But 10 to 1 this Fairby air will seduce him into doing it. And you can't worry about business while you are gardening.""
""Most true. Personally, I confine myself to looking on at the gardening, and I know I don't think about business then. I can only think what a silly way the other chap has of doing things.""
""Your friend can choose just how he will have his land laid out. A well known firm of designers will make him a plan free, flowers here, for instance, vegetables there, fruit trees over yonder, or he can keep the garden for flowers and vegetables and take a portion of an orchard. One of hte orchards we have is full of 5 year old trees and the price of the land would include the trees in their present perfection.""
""Can you advise as to suitable furniture?""
""We will not only advise but supply, if your friend wishes - and at practically wholesale prices - the kind of furniture that seems to me eminently countrylike and homely. The sort of thing you pay dear for, as a rule, simply because it is both artistic and appropriate, but of course you friend will choose what pleases him.""
""In a sentence - your friend simply tells us what he wants and we supply it. Land, house, plotted garden, poultry, furniture; and if he buys now the best can easily be ready for him by the summer - the ideal time, of course, for a country life.""
""And for health. By the way, the water ____""
""Is company's water.""
""Council road frontage wherever he selects.""
""Access to town easy enough""
""There is a splendid service of trains. You can get to the city in 37 or 50 minutes, according to your choice of train, both morning and evening. There are even theatre trains from Victoria, Holborn Viaduct and St Paul's at midnight, reaching Fawkham about 12.50.""
""Tell him that, in order to make the first year at his cottage more memorable, we will present your friend with a season ticket to town which will hold good to the end of June 1913. We do not offer free trips to prospective buyers; this free season ticket is only for householders on the residential section of Fairby Farm. We make the offer as one means of settling the land quickly.""
""It is possible he may come down and check my report.""
""He can do it this way; occupy all the morning with business, take the 1.37 from London Bridge to Dartford, and motor from there. He could have an hour on the estate, 315 acres you know, get the 4.15 from Fawkham, and be back in the office to wind up business. Or he could devote midday to the matter; take the 11.20 and return by the 2.46.""
""How do your plots work out in shape?""
""We give, to an acre plot, at least 100 feet of frontage and about 400 feet of depth, for £120 to £130 the acre. If you work out the latest offer I know of anywhere else you find the 20 feet frontage and 100 feet depth ome ou at £2,500 per acre - and more than that. Our local rates, again, are very low, about 4 shillings in the pound.""
""And suppose my friend, as we rather think he has, has got rid of most of his immediately available cash over his recent celebration___""
"" We are providing for any such case. We will take 25 per cent down, and the rest can be paid next year or in 5 years or in 12 years, with a modest 5 per cent on the balances. As you need hardly be told, all the money he pays is so much to the good, nor lost forever as in the case of rent; in fact, if he chose to avail himself of the 12 year period he would be paying less than rent and making hte place his own all the time.
Really, seeing how easy it all is, he could hardly do better if he had Aladdin's Lamp! We are the slaves of the ring and lamp. Utter your wish - tell us what you want - and you become automatically a landlord!""
This majestic wind up dazed me for a time, and we next drove slowly round the farm, Mr H pointing out everything with a modest, no not exactly a modest pride; merely the statistical kind of pride of the man who knows that what he is talking about is a good thing without the possibility of question.
We now took in the features of the land appropriated for small holdings - land into which, I was told, thousands of pounds have been put in fertilisers. Certainly the look of it was decidedly promising; rich, dark land with a sufficiency of gravel for aeration. As a sample of fertility, Mr Hu pointed to a field of standing brussels sprouts. There was £600 worth in view, he said.
I saw a dozen or so of labourers' cottages on the estate; Fairby Grange, which did not pass with the land; orchards mature, and one lovely stretch of 5 year old beauties, trees so regular that one might expect see them labelled 'With care! From Noah's Ark Limited.' This particular orchard is to go at £100 the acre.
The farm buildings, apart from the cottaage, cost some £2,000 and it is here that lessons will be given in dairying and agriculture.
""We will take the small holder's milk and separate it and make the cream into butter for him, if he likes. If his produce, in fruit, vegetables, poultry, and the rest, is good enough, we will introduce him to a connection with hotels or institutions who must have the best, and with our methods and organisation we can always supply the best.
We are in the midst of
A Specially Fertile District
as you can see for yourself. As for poultry, Orpington is not for all, to give an example. Let the smallholder send us his produce; our manager will see to the rest. Freedom from trouble again, you see our very object, one of the leading features which make our proposition different from any other. That is the idea of the season ticket and of making you a home complete.""
""And the price for this agricultural land?""
""From £32 per acre, and you can buy from 1 to 50, every acre with a hard road frontage. We have 218 acres set apart for the smallholders; the residential sites account for 97. That is a council school we are passing. Grammar schools you can get at Rochester or Chatham, not far.""
""Grammar schools remind me of golf. I don't know why.""
""There are links at Gravesend, 4 miles away. At Rochester is the Royal Medway Club.""
""Golf suggests church - naturally.""
""There are three within a few minutes: Longfield, Hartley and Fawkham.""
""Coming once more to the agricultural land, I notice that most of it is turned.""
""Yes, cultivated right up to the date we transfer it"".
""You have certainly thought the matter out very thoroughly. I see no flaw in the proposition.""
""My dear sir, we knew from the first what we were looking for. It is the bare fact that we examined or considered hundreds of estates before we pitched upon Fairby Farm.""
""Well you have partly verified our claim that your friend can do the business in half a day. We shall catch the 4.15 badk to Town (we could have taken an earlier train at Fawkham), and a short talk in our office in our office over cottage plans, garden plotting and selection of furniture would relieve him of all trouble. He would simply await our note to the effect that his cottage was ready, furnished and aired, the garden laid out, and the hens clucking out there are eggs, fresh eggs, for tomorrow's breakfast. Let him ask for me at the offices of Small Owners Limited, in Temple Chambers, Temple Avenue, London EC. I shall be pleased to see him, whether he is quite ready to proceed or not. Let him ring up 13183 Central or he can call upon our surveyors, Messrs Leopold Farmer and Sons, 46 Gresham Street, EC.""
I am asking my friend accordingly to meet Mr H. I believe he will thank me next summer at 'Woodland Cottage' Fairby Farm.
At Fairby Farm, Fawkham, Kent, 37 minutes from town. This estate is being arranged on the new idea of colonisation - producer and consume on the same farm.
Acre sites on the residential section adjoin the station, have charming views, company's water, and no road charges, with a FREE SEASON TICKET (lasting till June 1913) for every householder on the residential seciton.
Small holdings on the agricultural section have council road frontage. Land in splendid condition. Many buildings have established orchards with a FREE COURSE IN PROFITABLE POULTRY KEEPING for small owners on the colony.
EASY TERMS OF PAYMENT
Ask for these booklets (A) Fairby Farm, Fawkham, agricultural section illustrated; (B) Fairby Farm, Fawkham, residential section illustrated; (C) To Own or Rent, from the smallholder's point of view; (D) What Small Owners Ltd Do, business methods applied to small holding.
From Small Owners Limited, Temple Chambers, Temple Avenue, London EC."
Fawkham is in Kent, between Swanley and Chatham, and the fruit to be displayed will undoubtedly demonstrate the remarkable success of the cultivators, many of whom have never been fruit-growers till this year.
The aim of the company is to develop the estate of 315 acres on a '5 per cent philanthropy" basis, and as an experiment in cooperative small ownership the success has been outstanding. // There are 3,000 people on the waiting list, the Daily Mirror was assured yesterday by the secretary and other estates are being acquired for similar sub-division.
Small capitalists or men of business capacity with accessory permanent employment, to which they can travel daily, are the best material.
The speical feature of this scheme is that there is a central farm depot with £5,000 worth of machinery and implements, from which, for instance, a seed drill may be hired, with a man to operate it, at 12s 6d per day, with it 2 acres can be sown in a day.
An isolated smallholder would have to work many days to obtain the same result, or hire at great espense.
A Fruit foreman advises growers about their crops. One man was warned the other day that there was blight coming on his trees, and was shown how to deal with it. He did not recognise the signs himself.
There were 12 owners diligently picking strawberries at 3 o'clock this morning for the London market. Picking continued all day.
One man sells 80lb of strawberries daily at 6d a pound at the office at which he works in the city.
Another man paid £400 for his holding in January. He has just sold half of his gooseberry crop for £35, and will make £200 this year out of his fruit.
Two great jam makin gfirms have taken respectiely 3 tons of gooseberries and 5 tons of strawberries from the estate since the beginning of this week. The sales made by the company for holders yesterday totalled £165 - a typical day.
One holder is a bootmaker, and lives upon the profits of his land, combined with his earnings as a bootmaker on the estate. Another is a chimney sweep, a third is a peer, a fourth a retired marine captain.
A fitth man is a farm labourer, and cultivatees an acre and a half of his own, besides giving help where required to other holders, of course for wages. His land cost him only £60. He bought it outright, but need not have done so, and is buying his cottage by instalments.
"Only a very exceptional man can prosper as a smallholder by himself," said the secretary to me today. "We believe we have solved the 'back to the land' problem by combining the Irish Government land purchase scheme principles with perfect organisation and collective effort."
"A man can pay the whole or part of his purchase money by instalments. Suppose he has £250 capital. He can pay £100 down towards the purchase of 5 acres worth £400, and the balance of £300 he will pay off monthly or annually at the rate of £33 a year for 12 years, which includes interest. He will want £100 to live on for the first year and can stock his land for £50."
"After the first year it will support him. I know a man who makes not less than £220 a year profit from 5 acres, but he works very long hours, from 6am to 8pm."
"We are not a land development company. We buy estates which are actually working farm or orchard land, adn purchasers have no pioneer work to do. Any extra labour required is obtainable in the district - there is no 'foreign' labour. A very nice house we can put up for £195, which can be paid for by instalments."
"One man here has come back after 24 years in Ontario, and thinks he can do better here. Another man is sure of making £28 a year out of a single rood by fowls alone."
"Take a man with only £100. He can have 2 acres of strawberry land and half an acre of arable, which woud cost £146, paying £36 down and the rest in quarterly instalments of 3 guineas each. He rents a cottage for 4s a week. The second year he should get £75 in 3 weeks from strawberries alone. The cost of strawberry farming is under a penny a lb, and any price obtained over 1¼d is certainly clear profit."
Mr Green, a working man owner, told me his 150 fowls had already paid all their cost and were bringing in 10s a week. He grows strawberries and vegetables also. His little daughter Hilda, aged 7, and an infant daughter, who were in the Great Ormond Street Hopital last autumn, are now bonny and healthy. He paid down one-fourth of the cost of his holding of 4½ acres, £375, when he came in January."
The object of the booklet is to persuade people to keep bees and to show what can be done with honey. Gathering from the advertisement at the beginning of the book that this was not the rector's only publication, but that he had other works in various edition - one in its fourth, another in its fifth, and a third sold in a 'revised' form to the number of 30,000 - Mr Fyfe began to feel very curious about Mr Bancks, and wrote to 'a most unusual phenomenon' - as author who had reached a large public without the assistance of a publisher - and asked if he might go and see him. The result was that he spent with him a most pleasant and interesting day. He found that Mr Bancks's little books have gone all over the world. He get letters about them from all the corners of the earth, and orders as well. 'Of Honey and its Uses' he has sold 40,000; of 'Mead and How to Make It' and of 'The Production of Vinegar from Honey', 20,000 each. The vinegar he makes from honey, calling it melegar.
Mr Fyfe tried, too, some home made British wine from Mr Bancks's cellar. He found the damson wine, in the 11th year of its age, a clear, dry wine, in colour like a generous sherry, most refreshing and pleasant of flavour - far better for him than fortified continental clarets and sherries and hocks; and, of course, far cheaper. Mr Bancks makes a gooseberry wine too, which in its fizzy state (bottled before the fermentation is over) is declared by ladies to be as good as 'real champagne'.
Thus the writer is led to ask: Why have we neglected for so long the wholesome liquors that can be made from the produce of our own land? Once they were in common use. So they might be now. Every farmer might have his stock of home made wine, as farmers do in wine bearing countries. It only needs care in the making to supply the table all the year round with a healthful, enjoyable drink, aiding digestion and making glad the heart at the same time.
It is this keeping up of the practice of our great-grandfathers and grandmothers wich partly accounts for the delightful leisurely, yet busy, active but unhasting atmosphere of Mr Bancks's life. Writing and publishing only represent one side of his activities. In the garden is a studio where he both paints and photographs. He is a collector of prints, of china, of old furniture. He has a good collection, too, of flint arrow heads, sling stones, and other weapons and implements worked by the patient hands of our ancestors in the dim childhood of the human race. His latest publication deals with 'Man in the Old Stone Age', and gives a lucid summary of the great additions to our knowledge made during the last 60 years.
Mr Bancks began his publishing with a story for children called 'A World Beneath the Waters'. It was very kindly reviewed, but, as he says, it wanted advertising. Then it might have had a really big sale. One cannot get at the big public without advertisement. The honey pamphlets are different. They appeal to a special class. Here is the balance sheet for the first.
(Debit) 40,000 copies at 15s a thousand - £30
(Credit) Sale of 40,000 at 1d each less discounts on large quantities - £150
The Mead and Vinegar booklets cost him £18 each to print, and in either case he cleared about £40. He does all his own business. There are no office expenses, nothing whatever but the cost of the books themselves."
At the Gravesend Town Hall, on Thursday, the Borough Coroner held an inquiry into the death of George Arthur Wiliam Monk, aged 10, who died on Tuesday. Mr W Lowe was chosen foreman of the jury.
Emma Monk, of Hartley Hole, Longfield, identified the body as that of her son, who was taken ill on Friday evening. He had been to school all that day and then complained of pain. He slpt all day Saturday and the following night. On Monday she sent for Dr Lace, of Sutton at Hone, who came on Tuesday, having meanwhie sent medicine and a powder. When he came he ordered the child's removal to the hospital. The boy had been eating damsons and blackberries before being taken ill. Witness expressed the opinion that had the doctor attended when summoned he might have been able to save the child's life. The doctor lived 5 miles away.
Dr Herbert Temple Williams, house surgeon at the hospital, said the child was brought in early on Tuesday afternoon, in a very collapsed condition, and died about 6 o'clock. He was too ill on arrival for anything to be done. Witness made a post mortem and found obstruction of the intestines. There were some damson stones in the intestines, and the only remedy was an operation. Had deceased been operated upon on Monday, he might have been saved.
George Monk, a bricklayer's labourer, father of deceased, said when he went for the doctor he explained his son's condition. Dr Lace told him he had several cases of persons eating sour fruit to attend, and he would come in the morning.
"He has got a motor car and it would not have taken him ten minutes", witness added.
The Coroner, addressing the jury, said it might be difficult for them to understand the action of Dr Lace, but had a proper explanation of the case been given him, he would no doubt have endeavoured to attend the child. As it was, directly he saw the boy, he appreciated the seriousness of the case.
Eventually, after a long deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony, and added a rider to the effect that had Dr Lace been in a position to attend immediately he was notified, the child's life would probably have been saved.
In the corner by the judges was an oblong wicker basket which imprisoned four defective birds. One, or possibly two of the birds had to be taken from the basket by the candidate and the defects pointed out. After this each candidate entered a room where two judges with a plucked chicken, an incubator and an egg tester. Here his knowledge of the utility side of the profession was examined. The most interesting competitor was Captain Pearson Webber, who while on service in India, lost his eyesight [He would later visit Hartley with his students from St Dunstans in 1915] the searching questions in the two examination papers were dictated to Captain Webber; he took them down with a pin in Braille shorthand, and, to the astonishment of the judges, typed his answers on an ordinary typewriter. In telling the poultry food, Captain Webber's sense of touch served him with complete fidelity. In two cases in which knowledge of the colour of the birds was almost essential to identifying their breed his lack of sight was a handicap, but in one case, by feeling the texture of feathers, he was able to describe not only the breed and the defects, but also the colour with perfect accuracy. The candidates came one from each county in the UK and Ireland. The candidates with their friends attended the London Opera House in the evening, when, during the performance, Mrs O'Grady was declared the winner, and was presented by Mr Ben Natham, the general manager, with the title deed of a farm at Fawkham, Kent, valued at £1,000. Mrs O'Grady received a great ovation from the audience...." [The farm is now called Johns, John's Close, Hartley]
[also mentioned in Kent Messenger 29.3.1913]
Great sympathy is felt with Mr R W Davies, of Treffgan, Braintree, headmaster of the Council School, in the lamentable death of his youngest daughter (nee Miss Rosa Gwynne Davies), who was married to Mr Robert Bleakley, manager to Small Owners Limited on April 17 last, at Bocking Chapel.... The young couple had returned from their honeymoon, the husband's residence being at Longfield, Kent.... when the bride was compelled to undergo an operation for her eyes. this was performed at the National Hospital, London, and was quite successful, on Monday, but the patient failed to recover from the anaesthetic, and after remaining unconscious for several hours, during which secondary haemorrhage supervened, she died at 6.30pm......" Description of funeral, Mr Bleakley was accompanied by Mr George Humphrey, managing director of Small Owners Ltd. Wreaths sent included those from Mr Hamilton Edwards; London Staff of Small Owners Ltd; Small Owners at Fairby Farm; and from the Farm Staff at Longfield.
A million daisies (Marguerites) have been gathered from the small owners' farms and sent to all parts of the country for Empire buttonholes and decorations today. The farms on which they were grown are at Great Leighs in Essex, the Histon District of Cambridgeshire and Fairby at Fawkham in Kent.
This is the first year that hardy English daisies have been grown for Empire Day. It is a crop that pays the small holder very handsomely, as much as £83 having been made by one grower from an acre. Last year the daisies grown for the market made more per box than sweet peas Now that they have become the flower of Empire - the white petals representing the Dominions and the golden centre the Mother country - their cultivation is expected to become increasingly profitable.
For purpose of decoration few flowers, if tastefully arranged, are more graceful. The novice is sometimes apt to crowd too many in a vase. Five or six blooms, as a rule, prove far more effective than a crowded bunch.
One result has been quite a boom in the commercial cultivation of the daisy. 'Daisies are of many forms' explained Mr LJ Humphrey, of Small Owners Limited, to a representative of the Daily Citizen yesterday, 'but the ox-eye or marguerite is the most valuable from a commercial point of view. Smallholders find it a profitable crop, and there are many holdings in Cambridgeshire, Kent and Essex where great preparations are being made for the demand which is anticipated tomorrow.'
'It is a comparatively new industry, and it is interesting to note that the flowers sell much better in the north of England. The reason is that in the south of England there is so much foreign competition. But daisy cultivation is getting to be quite a profitable industry. They pay even if the wholesale price is 1s 9d per box of 48 bunches, but often it is possible to obtain 6s or 7s per box. The opening up of the industry has come as quite a boon to the smallholder, whose first crop of the year it is. It is quite common now to see 2 acres of land under daisy cultivation.'"
[The land at Kent referred to is Hartley]
Mr Hamilton Edwards, the chairman, and Mr G H Humphrey, the managing director of Small Owners Limited, write to the editor of the Express.
Sir, We have been much interest in reading in your today's issue Lord Lansdowne's remarks on small ownership at Matlock Bath, on Saturday.
As a result of our experience in the past few years in facilitating the establishment of smallholdings on English land on a basis of small ownership, we are heartily in agreement with his suggestion to apply the principles of the Irish Land Purchase Act to the English Small Holdings movement. We feel, however, there is one important point to which sufficient prominence is very rarely given by speakers on agricultural subjects, and that is the provision in smallholding districts of organised farm centres where agricultural instruction, farm implements, horses and casual labour are at the disposal of the small holder. In our opinion, such facilities are absolutely essential if the small holder is to be successful.
Lord Lansdowne referred in his speech to the success of small ownership on the continent. This success has been largely due to the willingness of the continental peasant proprietors to combine by means of a system of credit banks and cooperative societies for the purpose of working the land and disposing of produce. In spite of the considerable attention which ahs been directed by the English authorities to the establishment of credit banks in this country, little or no progress has been made. Agricultural students, when questioned, ahve come to the conclusion that the Englishman is too essentially individualistic to merge his private business in the somewhat altruistic relationship which membership of a credit bank or cooperative society must involve.
Security Problem solved
the security for a credit bank loan in this country necessitates the personal guarantee of two fellow members of the borrower. Very few Englishmen would care to make the necessary disclosure of their private affairs, and some other system must therefore be designed to take the place of the facilities which a continental small owner enjoys. We have found that this want is filled by our system of organsised farm centres, and we write to suggest that the new Unionist land policy should include the provision of such centres as an integral part of their new land scheme.
On our Fairby Farm estate, we have now completed the establishment of the various departments which go to make an ideal central depot. Established in the centre of the estate, worked by a colony of small owners, it comprises stabling for the horses which are hired out to them, and a farm office, equipped with a telephone, by means of which produce is sold either in our associated retail shops in London or to distant markets where good prices may be ruling.
There is also a jam factory, to which fruit is sold at a price fixed at the beginning of the season. This for example, obviates the risk of sending strawberries to an overcrowded market, with its resultant loss to the producer. there are also on hire full sets of farm implements, appliances, baskets and measures. There are stables, cow sheds and pigsties for temporary accommodation for small owners who desire to keep stock and prefer not to invest capital in buildings until they have placed their smallholding on a profit earning basis. In addition to these facilities, there is also a club room, serving as a village hall, and containing a reference library of books suitable and useful to the small holder, maps, a barometer, weather forecasts, and a supply of agricultural periodicals.
There is also a general store, from which anything can be bought, worked on a mutual profit sharing basis between the company and the customers.
Loans from Credit Banks
Last of all, there will be established on July 1 the final link in our scheme of agricultural small holding organisation - the credit bank.
The credit bank will lend to small holders on the security of their interest in their holdings, and subject to a report by the farm manager that their holdings are in good order and under profitable cultivation. these loans will be granted without any sureties, and in dealing with this bank a small holder will be able to rely on the privacy which any customer of ajoint stock bank expects as a matter of course. No-one except the bank manager and the directors of the company need know from whom he gets the money to buy anything he needs. // Nobody but the farm superintendent will have any right to advise him on the way to manage his holding and produce profits.
It is by the provision of such centres as these that the small holder movement will be placed on a really sound successful basis. As far as we ourselves are concerned, we are quite prepared to place all our experience and the whole perfected organisation of the company at the disposal of either one of the great parties.
In addition to the advantages of the small holder which our system gives, a government department would be able to place at the disposal of the cnetre the services of its experts and the valuable records which are always at the disposal of the Board of Agriculture.
Hamilton Edwards, Chairman; G H Humphrey, Managing Director, Small Owners Limited. June 23."
Kent (Beautiful part of the county, within hour of London) - FAIRBY, Longfield - very fine old residence. Perfect repair; approached by long carriage drive; containg briefly, porch entrance, old world hall, billiard, 3 reception, 11 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, complete domestic offices, capital stabling, motor garage, 3 cottages, finely timbered pleasure grounds, gardens and paddocks about 20 acres. Electric light; company's water; telephone connected; hunting and shooting. Close to Catholic Chapel. // Millar Son and Co will sell the above by auction at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard EC 15th July next. Illustrated particulars of auctioneers, 46 Pall Mall SW."
The bouquets and floral decorations of the Royal saloon in connection with the visit of HRH the Princess Henry of Battenberg to Herne Bay to open the King Edward VII Memorial Hall were supplied by Fairbys Limited of 17 Buckingham Palace Road, the distributing department of the Fairby Small Owners' Colony of Fawkham, Kent."
[When Smallowners Limited bought Fairby, this was bad news for the people who lived in the existing properties on the estate, because Small Owners did not want to be landlords, so they would have been evicted so the cottages could be put up for sale.
Ideal Weekend Cottages - Kent, 23 mies from London]
Some weeks ago Mr. Tollemache's book, The Occupying Ownership of Land, was reviewed in The Outlook. Exception was taken to some of the author's views with regard to agricultural cooperation, and it was argued that the extremely well-organised group of small holdings at Fairby, to which he refers, though a great advance on the unorganised groups of the past, must in turn be surpassed by groups organised on genuinely cooperative lines. I believe that contention to be incontrovertible. It elms not follow however that the Fairby group is not destined to be entirely successful. There is no reason why it should not become cooperative. Its success indeed seems to be already assured, and it is with sincere satisfaction that I see it tending more and more towards cooperative methods. If, as I believe will be the case, the plan adopted at Fairby proves merely an approach to cooperation through the temporary employment of outside capital on joint-stock lines, co-operators need not object to it. The example may well be one which in similar conditions they might follow. It is said in support of the Fairby plan that when it is proposed to settle men on the land who have little or no experience of either agriculture or cooperation, some kind of paternal administration is essential to begin with, and that cooperation, if later considered desirable by the settlers themselves, will follow. I am not prepared to assert that in the circumstances indicated the Fairby plan may not be the best.
Some account of the Fairby settlement, and the means by which it was brought into being, may be interesting. At the is outset it may be said that the admirable work accomplished at Fairby has been done by Mr. George Humphrey, the present managing director, and his brother, Mr. Leonard Humphrey, the chief agricultural expert and formerly an official of the fa Irish Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction.
The estate has recently been added to considerably, and the original number of fifty small holdings will probably be more than doubled within the next few months. When the land was purchased it consisted of fruit-orchards, pasture, and the arable land, all in very good order. The scheme of the syndicate which bought it was to cut it up into small holdings, building a house on each in accordance with the requirements of the occupier. Each accepted applicant was advised as to the class and size of holding most suitable to him and as to the employment of his capital. As a rule a cash payment, but equal to 25 per cent, of the price of the house and land, was, demanded on taking possession, the balance being payable in instalments spread over twelve years. An arrangement has since been made with a building society by which the payments may, if desired, be spread over twenty years. All the sale occupiers must become purchasers either for cash or on the then instalment system. There are no permanent tenancies.
In a central position there is a depot, which is at once the social and business centre of the group. Each small holder over can hire labour, implements, or horses at reasonable rates. Through the depot he can market his produce and buy his requirements. There is a store where domestic necessaries may be purchased; and a credit bank is being established to supply capital, if required, to those who, having invested in the estate, have a sound security to offer. There is also a well-equipped jam factory and fruit-bottling establishment. Skilled technical advice is provided, so that the least experienced men can hardly go wrong and will gradually gain knowledge in a practical school which is always up to date. The deptot also serves the purpose of a dub, possessing a library and common reading-room. Social and business meetings take place frequently. The settlers' wives have formed themselves into a ladies' guild and are already organising a supplementary industry, which will probably take form of carpet-weaving, to be carried on in their homes.
It will be seen that the system makes it especially easy for those who are not adepts in agriculture to set up on the land.
Experience is not insisted on as a qualification. In selecting from the many applicants energy and character are considered far more than technical knowledge, and the wisdom of this course has been completely vindicated. If the settlement had done nothing else, it would have served a most useful purpose in establishing beyond a doubt that, with sound advice and expert guidance at command, the intelligent but uninstructed man who will work may confidently set up as a small farmer and at once become successful.
Fruit and vegetables form the bulk of the output from Fairby. Most of the small holders also keep poultry, though poultry-keeping is not generally recommended to the inexperienced man except as an auxiliary industry. Some pigs are kept and there is a range of pigsties at the depot, where those who have no accommodation for pigs on their holdings may house them for 6d. a week apiece. The only dairying : is done by one settler, who supplies the others with milk, and in doing so finds a sufficient business. The holdings vary in size from two to twelve acres.
I must record, as an example of the manner in which smallholders settled in a group and working together can obtain advantages which individually would be quite out of their reach, the way in which the important strawberry-crop is said dealt with at Fairby. The fruit is gathered soon after 4am, and a motor immediately conveys it to London, where it is on sale by 8am the same day. In the evening any fruit which may remain unsold is brought back to Fairby by the same motor and at once made into jam or " pulped " for winter jam-making. Similar methods are applied to other kinds of produce; and when difficulties arise about the disposal of anything produced on the estate, the matter is carefully thought out by good business brains, and if a solution the is possible it is sure to be arrived at.
So far all the settlers have cultivated almost exclusively in the open, and there is little glass to be seen on the holdings. But the management have just erected a long range of glass for experimental purposes. It is proposed to test various kinds of hothouse crops; and when it has been proved beyond a doubt that any particular form of produce can be raised profitably, the syndicate will be prepared to advance money to settlers to put up the necessary glass for themselves. It may perhaps surprise some readers to know that without any glass a good worker can extract a reasonable living from two acres of ground. It is found that the net is income from that area at Fairby comes to about £70 a year.
It will be seen that the Fairby system provides not merely to the economic advantage of buying or selling in common, but some of the social amenities which co-operation affords. And it is clear that ultimately the settlement can become entirely co-operative. Already it has been decided is to offer the store to a co-operative society consisting of the settlers. I understand that another co-operative society for sale and purchase is contemplated by some of the settlers themselves. And when the original syndicate has sold and been paid for all its land it will have fulfilled its function, and all the central institutions created by it can then be taken over by the settlers.
I may add that a portion of the Fairby estate has been set aside for what are residential rather than agricultural small holdings. Houses costing £800 or £1,000 or more, with two or three acres of land attached, are obviously not intended to be supported from such small landed estates. But it seems very sound policy to associate with the community at Fairby a certain number who do not rely on agriculture for their living. It takes all classes to make up a complete community.
The Fairby system is simplicity itself, and for that very reason its originators deserve the highest credit. Like Columbus with the egg, they have shown how easy of solution a baffling problem may be when approached intelligently. What they have done may be done again, and their system may be applied to many forms of agricultural enterprise. They have rendered a great service to the cause of rural development. They do not profess to be philanthropists, but nevertheless they have brightened the lives and added to the happiness of those who have taken advantage of their scheme.
An article which must be of great interest at the present time, when Small Holdings and their creation are so much in the public mind, appears in the March Official Circular of the Central Land Association, from the pen of Mr G H Humphrey. The scheme, which is here outlined, and with which Mr Humphrey is so clearly associated, is claimed to be the most successful experiment of the kind in this country.
At the outset the writer of the article says it is gernerally admitted that agriculture should employ a larger number of the population of this country than it does at present. Compared with other European countries, the area under agriculture in the United Kingdom employs barely one third of the number which aa similar area employs in other countries. It was after investigation of small holdings and small holding societies in this country that the organisation under which Fairby Farm is developing was formed in 1911, Mr Humphreys continues:
"We found that small holdings suffered from lack of capital, and the failure and limited success which are generally associated with the movement is due to this fact. I came to this conclusion that unless it could be proved that small holdings were sufficiently commercially successful to attract capital just in the same way as in any other industrial enterprise, all the propaganda work which was being done by the societies was to no purpose.
Investigating the price of land, it was found that under the Small Holdings Act 1907, many small holders were paying 50 shillings and some even more per acre, or a rent in many cases 50, 60 and 100 per cent more than the rental farmer had paid for the land as a large farm But enquiry from some of the large estate agents showed that there were many estates in this country which were as suitable for small holdings as any which were being let for 50 shillings per acre, to be purchased at from £18 to £30 per acre. Land which would be bought for £20 per acre was as good as that which was being let under the 1907 Act at 40 shillings and 50 shillings per acre. Here then was an opportunity to prepare a scheme of land settlemen which should prove a sound commercial investment.
A scheme of small holding purchase by instalments was prepared and put into operation with such success that a small farm was secured in Essex, divided up into small holding and rapidly disposed of. This land was sold to th esmall holders at £27 per acre. As evidence of its suitability for the purpose, one of the small holders told me at the end of the second year that he had made a return of £50 per acre, and that he expected in a year or two's time to make £70 and £80 per acre nett profit from his holding. I should mention here that I believe him to abe an exceptionally capable small holder, and therefore his figures are above the average return which may be expected. But his fact also emphasises that a small holder who knew his beuness chose land which could be sold at £27 per acre, and has done extraordinarily well on it. He has told me that he considers this land equal to much of the land which is offered in Cambridgeshire at £80 and £100 per acre, where the demand for small holdings alone has sent up the price of land. As had been expected, the success of this samll farm had the result of securing outside coercial capital, enabling the organisation, which had been started by my brother and myself, to purchase Fairby, a property sufficiently large for the development of those ideas of organisation and administration which we deemed essential in any large scheme for the creation of small holdings.
Fairby Farm in 1911 was 315 acres in extent and is situated 23 miles from London on the main Chatham line. From the agricultural point of view it is a fair type of many farms to be found in this country. It had been cultivated as an average Kentish farm. 50 acres were under fruit, about 40 acres under market garden crops, 60 acres under pasture, and the rest was farmed with straw and root crops. The fruit plantations were 5 and 6 years old, and gave us admirable data as to what an established small fruit holding woudl produce. The farm generally was suitable for almost every form of intensive agriculture. This area was offered for sale in small holdings in the autum of 1911, and was very rapidly taken up. There are altogether some 60 small holders on the farm, and most of them go in for a mixed semi-intensive form of cultuvation. With regard to the selection of applicants, as a commercial concern it is not possible to influence these very directly, but our policy has been to encourage rather the better type of agriculturalist and the small businessman than the ordinary agricultural labourer. Although agricultural experience is of course invaluable in farming, it is not so necessary, and has proved indeed sometimes a hindrance when a man takes up a small holding.
The distinction between small holdings and farming has not been sufficiently defined in the past. A small holder is not a little farmer, and to be successful has very little indeed to learn from a large farmer. Niether have we found that the men who win the prizes at the local flower shows and grow the largest cabbages and the finest rhubarb become the best small holders. The important thing fo a small holder to learn is to grow what he can sell profitably, and in this way many men who have had something of a ound business trianing, bu tno agricultural experience, become excellent small holders. A man who came to use 2 years ago with no experience and took up a 5 acre holding (??? fruit) last year made £180 nett profit after paying all expenses. I am persuaded in my own mind that there should be no difficulty in creating hundreds of similarly successful small holders in other parts of the United Kingdom.
In dividing Fairby a basis of ownership was decided upon for two reasons. Firstly that ownership would be more attractive to the commerial poeple we desired to interest, as it would offer a better return on their capital. Secondly, we found that ownership had much greater attraction for the best small holders than any system of tenancy. With the Fairby system which is now fairly well know as the 'depot system' of agricultural organisation, we carry on the farm staff, buildings, horses, implements, just as they were conducted under the later owner and farmer. Most small holders in other districts have a stable, a horse or pony, a cart, a plough [.......................................................................] labour is used to cultvate the farm and to keep all the unsold land in at least as high a state of cultiviation as it was when we took it over. Similarly, the requirements of small holders wiht regard to seeds, implements, netting, fencing etc are met through the Buying Department. The farm staff is in charge of a foreman who is chosen for his experience of market garden and fruit crops. In additiona to the use of the buildings as a Depot, ertain portions of them have been adapted to provide the other departments which the scheme includes. In the Machinery Building there is an efficient oil engine and shafting runs to the chaff cutting machine, root pulpers and oat crushers, also to the Joinery Shop where the window frames and other joinery used in the Building Department for the erection of houses and temporary buildings are made. Teh power is also used in connection with some of the machinery in the Jam Factory. With the Jam Factory on the spot the small holder at Fairby is sure of anett market price on his holding which is nearly always better than the nett price that he could expect on an exceptionally good day at Covent Garden. In connection with the Depot there is also a 5 acre market garden, including a long glass and mushroom house whih is being developed to provide experimental data for the small holders. It is hoped during the coming year to instal several similar glass houses on the small holdings. Many small holders would go in for glass were it not for the captial involved. It is proposed at Fariby to build glass houses for the small holders and sell them to them on a deferred payment system over a term of years.
Another development which is also under consideration is a plant for the dessication of vegetables. This it is considered will deal wiht the surplus of vegetables just the same as the Jam Factory deals with the surplus of fruit. We have always considered that a small holding colony should not only produce successful small holders, but should promote the prosperity of the district in which they are situated. That this has been the case at Fairby is very evident. Under the old system of farming, Fairby in 1910 employed only about 7 men per 100 acres. Under present conditions the estate is employing 25 men for each 100 acres. The local tradesmen testify to the increased prosperity which they have experienced as a result of the settlement at Fairby. Even the Railway Company last year considered it advisable to open a new stateion in the district. With these facts in mind we welcomed the opportunity which arose last year to purchase an adjoining 600 acres, being the Hartley Manor Estate, which in its turn is developing as satisfactorily as Fairby has done.
In conclusion, I consider that we have abundantly proved at Fairby the economic soundness of small holdings and the suitability of the Englishman for intensive cultivation. Further we have showen that the United Kingdom can offer better opportunities than any of our Colonies to any man who wishes for an agricultural life and is willing to work hard. Several of the returned Colonials who have settled down at Fairby have made similar remarks to me. One in particular who approached us 2 years ago would not believe, afeter 22 years' experience in Canada that a living could be made off less than 100 acres of land. After being assured that 5 acres under our system was sufficient to provide a good income, and with the additional proisse that if he could not make a living from it, we would take his house and 5 acres of land back at the price he paid for them, he decided to settle at Fairby. Last year he tells me he made £164 nett profit off his 5 acres. Comment is needless. What has been done at Fairby can be done in many other parts of the country. Fairby is the first serious attempt to bring sound finane, business organisation and suitable applicants together, for the extension of small holdings in this country.
With regard to the question of cooperation, I feel sure that ultimately Fairby will become entire cooperative. Our system of organisation takes the place of cooperation for the time, as the capital it represents provides the implements and organisation for combined working When, however the small holders have put their individual undertakings on a osund comercial basis, they will know aht they require and jut how far cooperative management will benefit them."
Fairby Farm Estate: A company was formed to acquire and organise smallholdings, conducted as a money making business, not charity. The experiment amply justified itself. Land and buildings were taken on 12 years' purchase system, 25 per cent was paid deposit on taking possession, and this deposit is kept as a reserve in case the smallholder gets behind through inexperience. The company then return him the 25 per cent, but retain the land, thus helping him to tide over his loss. So the company is really a credit bank to the smallholder. The Fairby Farm smallholders have teh enormous advantage of agricultural organisation. A farmhouse has been turned into a depot, and it is close by. From this central depot expert advice is given to the new smallholder, giving him every information he requires as tot eh size and division fo the holding, the cottage, amount of capital to be outlayed on the purchase of stock and manure. this help is so thorough that eveen experience in cultivation was not needed, provided the man had energy and character. At this depot they have a competent foreman, a poultry expert, and sufficient implements for all the holdings. The depot cultivates the land not taken, gives them help and advice when necessary, and horses, implements and labour are hired from the depot at a profit to the depot. The advantage of this to the 50 smallholders now can be gathered from the fact that not one of the 50 has found it necessary to buy a horse or build a stable! The depot is the social and business centre of teh whole area. The smallholder buys at the lowest market prices what implements he may want, and sells his produce direct to the big markets. The produce is sold through the depot to salesmen, who like to buy in big quantities. Last year the Fairby Farm estate smallholders sent their produce to Belfast, Wigan, the North of England as well as London. The depot farm manager superintends the carting and packing of fruit, and the preparation of poultry for sale. Consignments are bulked, saving railway carriage and leaving the smallholder free to devote his time to the holdings. Compare this with our poor Welsh farmer trudging to market with 2 or 3 fowls, 2 or 3 dozen eggs, and a few pounds of butter!"
An action to restrain a nuisance brought by Mr E Hallick of Verbena Lodge, Hartley Green, against the Small Owners Ltd, London, came before Mr Justice Warrington in the Chancery Division on Friday, resulting in a settlement which was announced on Monday.
Mr Hallick, who bought a small holding from the defendants on which to cultivate market flowers, complained that defendants manufactured jam in premises adjoining his land and allowed quantities of black smoke to be emitted from a chimney. The smoke and soot, he said, spoiled his flowers, rendering them unmarketable. The price paid for the holding was £275.
In announcing a settlement, Mr Terrell KC, for the plaintiff, said that the defendants would buy back the holding for £450 and pay £150 in respect of costs. The plaintiff and his wife were prepared to start life again elsewhere, with they hoped, better success. His lordship sanctioned the settlement and expressed his approval of it." [Verbena Lodge was later called "The Nutshell" and was demolished to make way for Culvey Close]
1½ miles from Fawkham Station, 22 miles from London.
A perfectly unique freehold property, comprising picturesque small residence, approached by carriage drive with pretty gardens and lawns in front, and containing 3 reception rooms, kitchen, scullery, 3 bedrooms, bathroom (h & c) etc. Company's water. Modern drainage
4 acres thriving fruit plantation. A part of the property has been highly cultivated for market gardening, and the remainder includes paddock and poultry runs, the whole extending to about 14 acres.
Denyer and Collisn are instructed to sell the above by auction, at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, EC, on Friday June 26th at 2 o'clock precisely....
William Packman, aged 74, who had been employed for a number of years by Mr Joseph Thornton, New House Farm, Hartley, died suddenly on Saturday morning last. He was heard as usual about the house at 6.30am by his sister, Mrs Russell of Russell Villas, Ash, with whom he lived. Shortly afterwards she heard him calling to come downstairs, and on arriving found him lying prostrate on the kitchen floor. Dr Smith was sent for, and on arriving shortly afterwards found that life was extinct. The cause of death was attributed to heart trouble, and the coroner decided that an inquest was not necessary.
[The Packmans originally lived for many years at Hartley Hill Cottage, and William was still employed at New House Farm.]
Tuesday at Dartford Police Court, Zeina Pol, described as a Hungarian, an old man, was charged with being an alien enemy, who had failed to regiter himself, at Ash on August 30th.
Accused said he did not know that he had to register.
PC Prall said he was called by a special constable on Wednesday night at Haven Hill, where he found the prisoner, who had several papers. When asked whether he would be tried at this court or not, prisoner said (through his interpreter) that he would like to be taken to London to se Mr Luber and the Acting consul. He also said he thought the people were going to poison him with tea.
Mr E T Lincoln, official interpreting, said that a book and papers with pictures of two airships were found on the accused, who said he did not know what they were. "He got these things because he wanted to be arrested."
Prisoner was sentenced to 1 month's hard labour. [Later the interpreter Mr Lincoln would write that they thought he was a spy but couldn't prove anything, hence the vagrancy charge.]
[Gravesend Reporter 17.9.1914 said Gravesend Recruiting Committee holds meeting at Longfield Working Men's Club on Tuesday to "stir up right spirit in surrounding villages" (to Gravesend)]
[Also mentioned in Gravesend Reporter 10.10.1914]
Mr Philip Champion has received instructions to sell by auction, upon the premises as above, on Friday 23rd October 1914 at 1 o'clock pm, the live and dath poultry farm stock, comprising:
500 head of pure bred fowls (all Cook's strain direct), including White and Buff Orpingtons, White Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds, Red and Speckled Sussex, White and Salmon Faveroiles and Indian Game, 60 portable houses and sheds. Poultryman's living house, portable stable, 5 incubators, 10 foster mothers, fatting coops, a large quantity of wire netting and stakes. 2 stacks of hay. Mare, Van and Harness The very complete and extensive equipment of a new and up-to-date appliances and utensils and a few lots of household furniture,.. [Hartley Poultry Farm was at Fairhaven, Manor Drive.]
The site of the Roman building at North Ash has now been completely dug over and prepared for planting apple trees, a very appropriate crop for the site of a Roman farm, as the Romans are said to have introduced the culture of the apple into Britain. It is thought that the walls already laid bare represent only a very small portion of the whole building, and although this portion has been obliterated, yet it is expected that much more of the foundations may be hidden under the strawberries in the next plot, and as the strawberries will be exhausted in about 2 years, and more ground perhaps be cleared for apple trees, it is hoped that more extensive remains may then be laid bare."
The parishioners of Longfield met in the schoolroom on Tuesday, with a veiw to adopting, if necessary, the Lighting and Watching Act. This would empower them to place their voluntary fire brigade under the direct control of the council, and to make the improvements, of which, in teh general opinion of the village, the brigade is in need. But instead of adopting the Act, it was decided to abolish the fire brigade!
Mr F Hickmott presided, and among those present were: The Rector (The Rev E Smith), Messrs R Forsyth, WF Sandeman, R Gilham, A Robson, J Blackman, J Kirk, J Croak, T Coleman, J Sims, J Calaby, H T Baker, G Hills, R Hales, F Cannon, F Langford, and F Lynds with the clerk ot the council (Mr W Wright).
The Chairman said the fire brigade was formed in 1902, and the appliances at the outset cost £123. Since then the upkeep of the appliances had cost £33 13s 6d, while the cost of running the brigade had been £231 17s 9d. The Rector: Against that, what assets have you got in the way of property? The Chairman: I should not like to say (laughter). I think thre are two hose carts and a hose.
In reply to further enquiries, the Chairman said the question was: 'Was the cost of running the brigade too great?' the rent of the shed was £10 a year. Mr Sandeman: Will these expenses continue under the new authority? the Chairman: You see, the present brigade is voluntary, and we, as a council have no control over it. By the scheme we have in hand we shall have one fire house. Mr Sandeman: It is a long way to Tipperary (laughter) - I mean, from one end of the village to the other, in the event of fire. I think, in this case, safety lies in decentralisation.
The Rector: If you adopt the Lighting and Watching Act you will have to put up a building of a certain character. The Chairman: Yes, I believe that is so. A voice: The cost to be borne by the ratepayers.
The Chairman: Yes. The next point is to consider the retaining fees, which amount to £12 10s a year. Under the new system we thought of working the brigade with 5 men instead of 10, and in lieu of retaining fees, to pay each man 1s 6d per drill. Mr Gilham: They will then be going to a drill every night, and wear our machine out jolly quick (loud laughter). the Chairman: Oh! There will be a maximum number of drills (renewed laughter). In answer to the question, the Chairman said about £15 would be spent on the building. Mr Gilham: We shall never get a suitable building for that sum.
In further remarks, the Chairman said they intended to work the brigade at half the cost by having only half the men. The Rector: Are you going to keep it on the rates? The Chairman: Yes, it will be entirely on the rates. The Rector: Who gets the insurance money paid to the brigade. The Chairman: It goes to the committee. The Rector: Who are they? The Chairman: I don't know.
Mr Cannon, speaking as a member of the brigade, said that the men at the bottom of the hill, never received any instructions from the captain, and they had lost two of their men.
Mr F Lynds proposed the abolition of the brigade. Mr Coleman seconded. Mr Sandeman asked whether they had met to abolish the fire brigade (laughter). It was necessary to have some apparatus on the spot. Mr Coleman: The only time we have had a fire in Longfield recently was when we tried to get the brigade together in the daytime. One man turned up; he was Mr Smith, and for a long time he could not find the key. When he did find it the fire was out (loud laughter). A variety of propositons were here made.
Mr Gilham moved as an amendment to Mr Lynds' proposition that they should still have a fire brigade, and not adopt the Lighting and Watching Act, but help the brigade 'out of the threepenny rate'. The Clerk: That is exactly what we are doing now (laughter). Mr Gilham: that's all right, but I should like to see a little improvement. You could improve it without extra rating. Mr Sandeman: By personal endeavour (laughter).
Mr Gilham's amendment was lost, nine voting against it and five for it. Mr Lynds' proposition abolishing the fire brigade 'at one fell swoop' was carried by a good majority. Needless to add, the Lighting and Watching Act was not adopted."