From the Parish Archive
Thanks to our new Parish Councillor Judy Jones for compiling these articles - see relevant Newsletter for previous articles
100 years ago this month, December 1919: a death, a memorial, and a most unusual gift! Setting the national scene: If you’re anything like me it’ll be helpful to have a bit of a refresher about what was happening 100 years ago in 1919. So, ever the ‘girly swot’, I did a bit of research and found that there were some really interesting events, and not just in Northlew. Just to give you a flavour of what was happening on the national scene a century ago this month…. on 3rd February 1919 Éamon de Valera, the leader of Sinn Féin, and two other prisoners escaped from Lincoln Prison in England in a break personally arranged by Michael Collins and Harry Boland. On 31st July the Housing, Town Planning, &c. Act 1919 provided government subsidy for the provision of council houses, with the target of completing 500,000 houses by 1922. On 15th August the Restoration of Pre-War Practices Act provided for returning servicemen to get their old jobs back, and on 11th November the first Remembrance Day was observed with a two minutes silence at 11:00 hrs. On 1st December Nancy Astor (Viscountess Astor) became the first woman to take her seat in the House of Commons having stood at the Plymouth Sutton by-election to succeed her husband as a Unionist member. On 15th December meat rationing ended. On 22nd December a bill ‘…to provide for the better government of Ireland’ was introduced into the House of Commons, proposing two parliaments: one for the six counties of north-east Ulster and one for the other twenty-six. And for women there was a particularly important event; on 23rd December the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act removed legal impediments on women entering the secular professions stating that… ‘A person shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or for admission to any incorporated society (whether incorporated by Royal Charter or otherwise) …’ It’s hard to know what real difference this made to the women of Northlew and how it impacted upon the Council in the short term. I could have missed something, but it seems from my review of the Parish Minutes that the first woman Councillor (Mrs. Lacey) wasn’t appointed until 45 years later in 1964. (Can anyone in the Village tell me if this is correct, or give me any information about Councillor Mrs. Lacey? If you can please send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org - I’d love to find out more about what is potentially a land-mark event.) Click here for full article
Next time...…. the early years, from the Council’s inaugural meeting in 1895 to December 1905. Find out what was decided about rating and valuation, the commissioning of a ‘parish chest’, elections, appointments of overseers, local education, the diamond jubilee, telegraph to the village, restoration of the old village cross and (you guessed it) the state of roads and paths around the village.