History: Thurrock news from May 1914

GRAYS AND TILBURY GAZETTE – MAY 1914

Grays Urban District Council Election – April 1914

The monthly meeting of the Grays Trades and Labour Council was held on Wednesday [May 6th 1914] at the Victoria Hotel, Grays. Those present were: Messrs. C. McDonald [Chairman], W.G. Head,, A. Prentis, C. Smith, W. Thompson, A. Cooper, H.G. Franks, E.T. Jope, A. Goodyear, with the Hon.Secretary {Mr. Frank Day], and the Assistant Secretary {Mr. H. Hines].

The Hon. Secretary said they knew the result of the Urban Council election at Grays. They had a very hard fight, and they worked as hard as they could. They never had a better year for work. They had one of the strongest fights against capitalism this year they had ever had, and he thought they [Labour} did wrong in allowing the fifth seat to b given up without contesting it. If he or somebody else had been put up to hold the votes for that seat-not necessarily to be elected-they would have done better, but they could not get people educated up to the standard not to use the fifth vote on such an occasion. If anyone reckoned the result up, and took the fifth vote out of it, they would have got two of their men in. A letter was read from Mr. G.J. Baines, Gravesend, regretting that the Trades Council were not successful in getting their four men returned. He did not think they had anything to be disappointed about. They were fighting five of the very strongest opponents, and he considered the Trades Council candidates polled handsomely.

Mr Herbert Brooks’ absence was not a source of weakness to him, but of strength. The most satisfactory feature of the poll, and the one upon which the Labour Party was to be congratulated, was the way their supporters voted in accordance with the ticket. The Party [Labour] had the satisfaction of knowing that it had at least 700 supporters in the district who were opposed to the Liberals and Tories. Letters were also read from Mr. F. Newton, Gravesend, [Northfleet and Perry Street, Trades and Labour Council], and Mr. T.F. Smith [National Union of Labour], congratulating the Labour Party on the votes polled. The Chairman remarked that it was a kind letter from Mr. Baines, and suggested the Secretary should thank him on behalf of the Council. [Hear, Hear]. – The Hon. Secretary said he would do so. – The Chairman, continuing, said no doubt they were all disappointed with the result of the election, but the poll was larger than ever before, and they had to fight the strongest opposition they had ever had. He hoped that the defeat, instead of knocking them down, would buck them up, so that they would do better another year. [Hear, Hear].

If things had been carried out properly at the Quarry Hill booth, where a number could not vote, he believed they would have been more successful, because men were waiting to vote, and in connection with that, they must bear in mind that they take steps next year to try to get the time [for voting] extended to nine o’clock [p.m.]. [Hear, Hear]. Mr. Thompson said if they had had nine o’clock this time they would have probably got three candidates in. The Hon. Secretary thought they had roused the workers from their apathy, which was a great thing. The Chairman said they gave a harder knock last year than they received this year.

By the Way [Editors comment]
“J.W.H.”, whose identity is thinly disguised under the initials, has sent me “The Lay of the Ratepayer”. Here it is:-
If your rate Bill comes along,
Pay it up!
Is it more than you can bear?
You may curse and you may swear,
Rate collectors never care,
Pay it up!
If your rate bill comes along,
Pay it up!
You may fume and you may fret,
No abatement you will get;
They have caught you in their net,
Pay it up!
If your rate bill comes along,
Pay it up!
They care nothing how you feel,
You may squirm or you may squeal,
But I know of no appeal,
Pay it up!
If your rate bill comes along,
Pay it up!
Is it more than you could guess?
Far beyond the right assess,
Still you never get redress,
Pay it up!
If your rate bill comes along,
Pay it up!
If to meet it you should fail,
They will make you furnish bail,
Or else pop you into jail,
Pay it up!
To be hummed to the tune of “The Vanished Coin”.

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