A bathing grievance on the part of the Women Munition Workers

Public baths offered both a swimming pool and washing facilities – particularly useful for workers living in rented rooms with no bathrooms. In a more modest era, single sex facilities were normal.

Thursday, June 14th, 1917

Analysis of Flour

The Acting Inspector was requested to take action under the Order of the Food Controller and to obtain samples of the flour used by the bakers in the manufacture of Bread.

Baths – Hours for Women

The Mayor stated that there existed a grievance on the part of the Women Munition Workers in consequence of their inability to use the Public Baths on account of the hours on which the Baths were open to women. The present hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11 am to 6 pm, Saturday 11 am to 1 pm.

The Committee decided that the Baths should be open to women in addition to the above, on Tuesdays and on Sundays from 9.30 am until 12.30 pm. The baths would therefore cease to be open to men on the two evenings of the week mentioned, and children would not be admitted on Sundays between 9.30 am and 12.30 pm.

Newbury Borough General, Sanitary, Baths and Cemetery Committee minutes (N/AC1/2/8)

Impress upon the children the urgent need for the prevention of waste in food

Schools in Newbury were struggling thanks to the war.

Thursday, May 24th, 1917

Resignation of Teachers

Mr G H Keen, an assistant master at the Council Boys’ School, had been called up for military service on May 18th, and it is recommended that his appointment be kept open for him.

The secretary was instructed to press for the release from military service of one of the Authority’s teachers who since his enlistment had been medically classified as low as C3, and in the event of this teacher being discharged from the Army to appoint him temporarily to the Council Boys’ School.

It may be mentioned that there were eight Assistant Masters in the service of the Local Education Authority before the war; but now there are only two in the whole of the Borough Schools, and one of these is filling the position temporarily….

Food Economy

A letter was received from the Board of Education calling attention to the urgent need for economy in food and especially for saving in bread, and stating that information had reached the Food Controller that there was waste among the children who brought their midday meal to school. The Sub-committee were informed that the matter had been brought to the notice of the Authority’s Head Teachers, and that they had been asked to impress upon the children the urgent need for the prevention of waste in food.

The Sub-committee were also informed that “Empire Day”, Thursday May 24th, was made the occasion in the Borough Schools for giving the children a special lesson on the subject of Food Economy, and also that copies of the recent Proclamation of the King were distributed in the schools.

The Sub-committee considered the question of providing a Public Kitchen for the use of children who bring their midday meal to school, and the secretary was instructed to ascertain the number of these children in the Borough Schools, and to submit a report on the matter to the next meeting….

Finance, School Management and General Purposes Sub-committee of the Newbury Borough Education Committee (N/AC1/2/8)

Stop the lavish display of eatables in many provision and food shops

Some people were keen to ensure the authorities cracked down on food waste.

Friday, May 18th, 1917

Food Economy

A communication from Mr G S Shaw, Hon. Secretary of the Food Economy Bureau, Newbury, was read, drawing attention to (1) the lavish display of eatables in many provision and food shops; (2) the waste of bread; and (3) the waste of other food material suitable for pigs; and suggesting the establishment of co-operative kitchens under the control of the Corporation.

The Committee fully appreciate the seriousness of the matters to which their attention has been called, particularly with regard to the reported waste of bread, and the Town Clerk was requested to issue public warning of the heavy penalties to which persons are liable who in any way infringe the Regulations under the Defence of the Realm Act with regard to such waste.

Newbury Borough Council: Finance, Watch and General Purposes Committee minutes (N/AC1/2/8)

The use of the Wash Common Recreation Ground as allotments

Newbury Borough Council was prepared to hand over a local recreation ground for vegetable growing.

Tuesday, January 16th, 1917

Cultivation of land for food production

A communication was received from the Newbury District Gardeners Mutual Improvement Association, urging the importance of utilising available land for food production purposes. The Committee desire it to be known that they would be prepared to entertain applications for the use of the Wash Common Recreation Ground as allotments, at a nominal rent, the applicants being responsible for the clearing and preparing of the ground.

Cultivation of Lands Order, 1916

A circular letter was laid before the Committee from the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries relative to the Regulation made by Order in Council under the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Act, 1914, with the object of increasing the food supplies of the country by extending the existing powers of providing land for cultivation.

By an Order made by the Board in pursuance of this Regulation, allotment authorities in urban areas are empowered to exercise on behalf of the Board the powers conferred by the Regulation, viz the taking possession of (1) unoccupied land, without the necessity of obtaining any consents; (2) occupied land, by agreement with the owner and occupier, and (3) common land, with the consent of the Board. The Board out that in exercising the powers conferred by the Order, Councils will be acting on behalf of the Board, and that no charge will fall on the local rates. The Committee considered the desirability of utilising the powers thus conferred upon the Council, and, while it would seem that the terms of the Board’s letter preclude the use of such a site as Northcroft, the Committee feel that the owner of the vacant land on the eastern side of Rockingham Road might be approached with a view to the acquiring of a portion of such land, should a demand exist for additional land for cultivation as allotments.

Distribution of Seed Potatoes

A letter from the Agricultural Organiser for Berkshire was received, asking the Council to appoint a local correspondent for the carrying out in the Borough of the scheme for the distribution of seed potatoes, as supplied through the Board of Agriculture. In view of the early date by which returns have to be presented as to any quantity of potatoes it may be desired to acquire on the special terms offered by the scheme, the Town Clerk was directed to pass on the communications which had been received to the Newbury and District Gardeners’ Mutual Improvement Association, with a suggestion that they should utilise the scheme in accordance with any local needs of which they may have knowledge.

Newbury Borough Council: Estates, Markets and Bye-laws Committee minutes (N/AC1/2/8)