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Proposed Formation Of A Water Company At Wootton

Inaugural Meeting 12th March 1898

On Thursday a public meeting was called to consider the question of carrying on the village water scheme by the creation of a joint stock company. Those were present were, Mr E. Chatfeild-Clarke [chairman], Col. Cuthell and Messrs A. J. Mew, W. Please, G. Coffen, S. Coffen, J. Cooper, G. Burgess, T. Burgess, E. Mew, J. Cotton, J. Harbour, J. Thompson, W. Hobbs, C. Cooper, W. Souter, E. Brading, W. Phillips, H. Burgess, L. J. Souter and W. H. Please.

Correspondence between the secretary of the existing Water Committee [Mr.A.J.Mew] and the solicitors of Holford Estate [on which estate the reservoir and portion of the water main exist], was read out and discussed Note: It is assumed that the “reservoir” in question was sited in the field below Wootton farm adjacent to what is now Whitehead Crescent.

With regard to the objections which had been raised, Mr. Clarke reported: “That the solicitors agreed to the substitution of the word ‘village’ for ‘parish’ so that it should read “village of Wootton” not “parish of Wootton”.

The solicitors also agreed to the committee request that the diameter of the pipe would be 4 inches. And that the clause with reference to the power to intercept the water supply would not be included, providing the proposed company agreed to supply houses built below the level of the reservoir.

As to the liability of the trustees, Messrs Frere suggested a joint stock company would have more power than a committee currently elected
Col. Cuthell proposed, and Mr. Burgess seconded, that a meeting of inhabitants of the district to which the scheme applied, and as shown on the map, be arranged. Also that the advice of Messrs Frere, that a limited liability company be established to take over the water scheme with shares of one shilling each. This resolution was carried unanimously.

It was afterwards agreed that the proposed district would including Spreets Copse [New road] and the circle around the village below the reservoir level. Mr. Hobbs proposed, and Mr. Groundsell seconded, that the chairman be requested to approach Messrs Frere and discuss the matter. Mr. Clarke said he would be pleased to seek the views of Messrs Frere on the questions raised at meeting.

Afterwards there were many suggestions put forward and rejected concerning the workings of the company: Mr. W. Please thought that the number of shares should be at least 200 and that one should not have more than five shares at any one time, and only one vote.

Mr. Hobbs was of the opinion that they would want more capital and that the solicitors would require it to be more substantial.
Mr. Please said they would be obliged to work the company with profits, and though the shareholders money would be sunk in the funds, they would require more to carry on the future expenses incurred on laying of new mains etc. It was explained that the profits would go into the reserve fund.
Mr. W. H. Please thought that the shares should be five shillings because they would find the 200 shares at a shilling would only bring in ten pounds, and how far would ten pounds go towards laying 4 inch. mains? After some further discussion the meeting was adjourned for a fortnight pending Mr. Clarke’s discussions with Messrs Frere and Co.
A unanimous vote of thanks was accorded Mr. Clarke for presiding at the meeting.

14th April 1898

Follow up meeting to elect board members of the water company.

A public meeting was held at the Institute, [National School, New Road] on Thursday evening, when a proposal by Col. Cuthell seconded by Mr. W. Souter was put to the meeting, that Mr. Edger Chatfeild-Clarke be elected chairman. The motion was also supported by Col. Cuthell, Mr. C. G. Brodie and Capt. Osborne and others, he was elected chairman. There were also about 40 other members of the public present at the meeting.

Correspondence was read out as to the proposed formation of the water company, and it was stated that Messrs Fern and Co. would do the necessary legal business for an inclusive cost of 60 Pounds, this figure was accepted.

The original letter giving details of the availability of the water supply was then read out to the meeting and the following resolutions were adopted.

1. Mr. W. Hobbs proposed that a water company be formed to take over the existing water supply from Holford Estates on well-guarded lines. In his opinion this was the safest and cheapest plan to ensure success of the venture, this was seconded by Mr. W. H. Please, and the motion was carried unanimously.
2. Mr. W. Hobbs then proposed that the nominal capital of the company be 1000 Pounds, this was seconded by Mr. E. Mew and again carried unanimously.
3. Mr. W. Please proposed that the shares in the new company should have a value of 1 Pound; this was seconded by Mr. J. Y. Groundsell and again carried unanimously.
4. Mr. W. Please proposed that 5/- [shillings] should be paid on application for 400 1 Pound shares and a further 5/- [shillings] on allocation, this was seconded by Mr. G. Burgess. An amendment to this motion was then proposed by Mr. W. Hobbs, that 2s.6p be paid on application and 2s.6d on allocation, this was seconded by Mr. J. Cooper. The amendment was put to the vote and carried by 18 to 5. The revised proposal was then put to the meeting and carried with 1 person voting against.
5. Mr. W. H. Please then proposed that the rate of interest should not exceed 4%; this was seconded by Mr. L. J. Souter and again passed unanimously.
6. The chairman then said the next business was to elect a secretary; Mr. Mew who had been acting secretary did not wish to continue in the post as he had too many other commitments. Mr. W. Please proposed that the meeting should ask Mr. Mew to continue in office until the formation of the company was complete, as he had been involved in all the negotiations to date, Mr. Brodie agreed. The chairman agreed with the proposal, and put a resolution to the meeting ‘That Mr. Mew be asked to continue in the post as secretary’, this resolution was passed unanimously. In reply Mr. Mew thanked the meeting for their vote of confidence in him, but stated he still wish to stand down, however he would continue in post on a temporary basis until a permanent secretary was elected.
7. Mr.Brodie said that their next duty was to elect a committee of not less than seven to consider articles of association. They would have the power to, manage, and move the company forward until the board and officials were elected by shareholders. He thought it would be advisable to have one or two extra committee members than the statuary seven.
8.The following directors were appointed to serve on a temporary basis until a board was elected by shareholders: Col. Cuthell, Capt. Delano Osborne, Messrs Edger Chatfeild-Clarke, G. Brodie, W. Hobbs, W. Souter, E. Mew, G. Burgess and E. Brading.
9. At the close of the meting Col. Cuthell proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, this was seconded by Mr. J. Cottton and was carried unanimously.
Mr. E. Clake then thanked the meeting and hoped the company would succeed.

New Water Main 16th March 1901

On Tuesday evening the men employed in laying the new water mains for the supply of Ryde water to Fishbourne and Wootton were entertained to tea at Mrs Young’s home in Fishbourne by Lady Cochrane [Note: Widow of Admiral Cochrane of Quarr House] and Misses Cochrane. The event was to commemorate the linking of the village to the main water supply. Mr. Thomas Cochrane Deputy Governor of the Isle of Wight and his wife Adela were also present.

Water Supply 1905

At a meeting of the Rural District Council held on Thursday 12th October 1905 the question arose as to what money should be paid to Wootton Water Company for their undertaking. The committee for Whippingham and North Arreton had received a report from their surveyor and the Medical Officer of Health and in their opinion the council should lay a 3” inch water main to the bottom of Wootton Hill as soon as possible. In their opinion the council should offer a sum of 50 Pounds for the Wootton Water Company as it stands. Also an application be made to the Local Government Board for a loan of 250 Pounds to extend the water supply in the parishes of Whippingham and North Arreton.

Mr Brading [Wootton] spoke in favour of an increased offer being made to the company and said he was in a difficult position as a member of the council and an ex director of the water company. The clerk thought Mr. Brading should not vote on the matter, in response Mr. Brading suggested that an arbitrator be appointed, but this was rejected. The recommendation that 50 Pounds be offered to the Wootton Water Company was put to the vote and passed.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:50

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