Woodnewton Parish Council celebrated 100 years  in 1994, and snippets were taken from the Minute Books for the celebratons that took place that year.

The information contained in the minutes is very limited in that they either did not have much to discuss or they just did not minute all that was discussed but just recorded the resolutions passed.

4th December 1894

This was the date of the first Parish Council meeting held in Woodnewton following the passing of the Local Government Act of 1894. This meeting was principally to elect the Parish Councillors for the following year and the candidates were as follows:

Rev. H.L. Bagshawe
Phillip Cooke
George Fitzjohn
Eusabious Herpath
Thomas Mould
Charles Simmonds
George Staniland ( elected )
Thomas Wells

There were also candidates for the District Council as follows:

Albert Bellairs
Phillip Cooke

31st December 1894

At this meeting the chairman, vice chairman and clerk were elected for the following twelve months.

Thomas Mould – Chairman
Joseph Henry Landin – Vice Chairman
Watson Parsons – Clerk

(It is interesting to note that the Clerk was part of the Parish Council but was paid for the work carried out as Clerk and subject to re-election each year, whereas now the Parish Clerk is a part time employee of the Parish Council.)

No record is available in the minutes of who was elected to the District Council.


14th January 1895

This was the second meeting of the Parish council at which the manager of the Boston Banking Company was appointed Treasurer and reference was made to the Mildmay Charity, the sand and mortar pits together with a minute that two Parish Councillors were asked to enquire into the price of a safe.

It was not until 6th January 1902 when it was recorded in the minutes that a safe had been purchased.

Mention of the need to purchase a sparrow net but there is no explanation of what this was for.

17th February 1899

Councillor Collin was appointed as Village Constable.  This is the first time this is mentioned, and there was to a Village Constable appointed each year for the next 42 years. (See special section on Parish Constable.)

3rd May 1901

The Chairman sought advice regarding the Parish Clerk being a member of the Parish Council.

30th May 1901

The Parish Clerk resigned as a Parish Councillor to continue in the post of paid Parish Clerk. Mr Parsons was elected as Clerk and there is a reference to a payment of £2.2s.0d. per annum being made for this position.

The clerk since this time has been an employee of the Parish Council.

6th January 1902

There is reference to the stile used for crossing Mr Lindsey’s field w

hich was eventually to become Lindsey Close.

14th April 1902

Quote from the minutes:-
“Proposed by Mr Walker, seconded by Mr Wells, that the council considers that the present postal arrangements for the village are not the best considering there are 27 market gardeners, farmers and tradesmen in the village, we do not ask for a post office where stamps and postal orders may be purchased and that the mail cart in the outward journey from Peterborough and Wansford do call at Wood Newton and the same on the return journey leaving and taking up of mails and we consider the journey in so doing would not be more than eight minutes each way”. This point was obviously of great concern in that it continued through the next three meetings.

7th July 1902

Quote from the minutes:
“Proposed by Mr Walker seconded by Mr. Wells that the Clerk write to the Member for the County and also the Post Master General”.

19th August 1902

Quote from the minutes :
“Proposed by T. Mould seconded by F. Walker that the Post Master General be asked to reconsider his decision with regard to the Mail Cart coming round Woodnewton and the Council think it will save expense”.

Note the spelling of Woodnewton in that in the previous minutes it is two words but in this last one it is one word.

22nd February 1913

There is reference to a wooden bridge by the mill. This was eventually replaced by the stone bridge which can be seen by Conegar Farm.

Quote from the minutes:
“Back Way or Old Green Lane? A letter from Mr Brassey re the Back Way was read by Mr Fenn.
Proposed by Mr Wells, seconded by Mr Collin that Mr Brassey be allowed to proceed with the suggested improvements to erect a Notice Board near the gravel pit to read as follows.


“This pit is to be used for the deposit of all tins + other refuse. Persons found depositing same on the Back Way will be prosecuted.

By Order.”

The clerk was instructed to write to Mr Crisp thanking Mr Brassey and informing him as to what the Council propose doing”.

Note the alternative name of Back Way as Old Green Lane now of course Orchard Lane.

25th February 1918

Mention of Mr H J. Pike (Jack Pike) being co-opted on to the Parish Council. (He was subsequently elected to the Parish Council in April 1919).

6th November 1919

Quote from the minutes:
“Allotments – The Draft Conveyance of the Allotments was produced by the Clerk and duly approved, the Clerk being instructed to return same to the Solicitors with notification to that effect”.
The Clerk offered to do the work of letting and collecting rents for an increase in salary of
£2.10s 0d. per annum, but was not accepted by the Parish Council.  Instead they proposed it should be done by the Parish Council.

1st December 1919

The Parish Council changed its mind about the management of the allotments and approved the increase in the Clerks salary of £2.10s.0d. per annum. The rent of an allotment was set at 5/0 per annum and pig sties at 2s/6d per annum.

14th September 1920

Quote from the minutes:
“Water Scheme – This matter was again brought forward and it was resolved that the scheme be declined and the Clerk was instructed to write to Mr Coombs to that effect”.

19th February 1925

Reference is made to the approval of a resolution to make an application to Oundle Rural District Council to join the Rushden Electrical Scheme.

16th April 1931

The question of two wells being condemned was discussed but a proposal to have it analysed to discover the cause for them being condemned before the Parish Council could discuss it was rejected. It was decided that the Council should wait for further developments.

16th December 1931

The subject of the water supply was again raised and a proposed scheme identified at a cost of between £200 and £250 to be covered by a loan with the approval of the Ministry of Health.

Quote from the minutes:  “After an exhaustive discussion it was decide to reject the scheme, deeming the proposed supply unnecessary, there being plenty of good water conveniently situated already in the Parish”. Rejected unanimously.

Quote from the minutes: “Water Question – Dr Elliott kindly attended this meeting. The Chairman held a letter from Mr Coombs enclosing copy of a letter from the Ministry of Health together with the analysis of 12 wells in the village. Mr Coombs stated in his letter that it was the wish of the District Council that this should be brought before a meeting of the Parish Council.

Dr. Elliott kindly explained the contents of these analyses and the analysis of Apethorpe water.
Mr Spademan asked Dr Elliott if other village wells would show similar analyses, he replied that they probably would, but the idea was the prevention of epidemics and the reason why Woodnewton was picked out for water supply was the proximity of Apethorpe water and the opportunity of having it installed. Dr Elliott’s opinion was that the water of the said wells was polluted and bad to drink.  Mr Leonard raised objections as to 2 inch pipes not being able to supply a sufficient quantity.
The question was also raised, would the water be on meter or at wholesale rate?  The opinion of the meeting was that the proposed supply of water not be proceeded with”.

There is no mention of this subject in any of the following minutes of meetings so it is not recorded how water finally came to Woodnewton.
The Mildmay Charity Trust was set up to give financial assistance to young apprentices in Woodnewton and the surrounding villages to buy tools and assist them during their training or education. Members of the Parish Council have served as trustees of this trust since it was first recorded in 1898 and as such have been involved in the assessment of applications for financial assistance.

28th April 1932 – Two such applications are recorded in the minutes:

Quote from the minutes of 28th April 1932: “An application from Mr Gilbert for his son to be apprenticed to Mr Barfield was considered and it was agreed to grant a sum of £23.8s.0d to be paid as follows: £5.4s.0d. 1st year, £7.6s.0d., 2nd year, £10. 8s.0d. 3rd year to augment the wages to the boy during the period of 3 years by 2/0 per week, 3/0 per week and 4/0 per week the 3rd year, providing wages satisfactory to the trustees are agreed to as between Mr Barfield and Mr. E. Gilbert.”

8th May 1935

Quote from minutes of: “An application was received from Mr E Freshwater for the Charity in favour of his daughter Joyce. This was made under the re-organised scheme enabling the Charity to be used for general assistance for the advancement in the life of duly qualified beneficiaries. The trust agreed to grant the sum of £2.14s.11d. to meet the expenses as follows:-

a) L.M.S. railway fares to Peterborough, season ticket £1.7s.5d.

b) Dinners at C.S.G. at Peterborough, Summer term – £1. 7s. 6d & £2.14s.11d.
And to grant similar necessary sums as they become due.

15th February 1937

Rural District Council asked for information as to so what building sites there are in the village. The clerk was instructed to write and suggest that the RDC should inspect the village themselves and state their requirements. Mr Green, the Clerk resigned due to ill health.

3rd March 1937

Mr Gilbert was appointed as clerk to the Parish Council.

5th December 1941

The post of Parish Constable discontinued.

9th December 1946

First recorded reference to a letter asking what the position was for street lighting in the village.
Mr Edwin Gilbert, the Clerk, has passed away, so Cllr E Freshwater was to act as Clerk until someone could be appointed

9th January 1947

Miss E. Black of Nassington applied for the post of Clerk and was duly appointed.

22nd May 1951

Reference to a plan being received from the Electricity Board asking for positions of street lights to be marked on it so that an estimate could be given.

6th October 1951

It was recorded that a reply had been received from the Electricity Board with a street plan showing the number of street lights to be installed. There was a separate meeting after the PC meeting to
“Adopt the Lighting and Watching Act” and ” Consent for the Parish Council to ask for powers to levy the necessary rate to cover the cost for 5 years “. There was also a letter from the Postmaster regarding the fixing of a post box at the bottom of the village.

Quote from the minutes: “(The Council were satisfied to abide by the Remember all the requests to the Post Master General in 1902! Did the village have to wait all that time to get a postal collection? This apparently was not the case in that Mr Brothers became the village Postman in 1918 and served for 30 years until 1948 when Mrs Mears, his daughter, took over until 1951

A precept of £24. 10s. 0d. was made for the street lighting and the Parish Council continued to correspond with the Peterborough Postmaster about the letter box. Speed limit signs were also mentioned with the Clerk to write to the Oundle R.D.C. for some to be erected.

11th March 1952

It is recorded that four street lights were put into commission on 15th February 1952, however the Clerk was instructed to ask for a date when the entire installation would be completed ?
An application was decided to be made to the County surveyor for Speed Limit signs, the reasons given being street lighting, dangerous corners, danger at approach of school, very narrow parts of the village street and many houses opening directly onto the road.

A reference to “Sycamore Close housing site” was made in the minutes as it would appear the houses were being built at this time.

16th June 1952

Reference was made to the Council’s copy of the Agreement for Street Lighting together with a plan received from the Electricity Board.

22nd September 1952

It was recorded that a reply had been received from the County Council that an order would be made imposing a speed limit of 30mph on the section of Main Street not already restricted by virtue of the street lighting.

5th September 1979

The last recorded minutes in the Minute Books after this date the
minutes were typed and circulated to all the Parish Councillors after each meeting.

6th May 1963

Voting for renaming Back Lane was taken: Orchard Lane, (5 votes),Cherry Lane( 3 votes) and Cherry Tree Lane (2 votes) – these were sent to the RDC. Mr Gilbert also proposed that Main Street be changed to Brooke Road but no seconder could be found so it was left as it was.

10th February 1964

Miss Black resigned from the post of Clerk after 17 years. However, she was asked if she would continue until the post was filled.

6th April 1964

Mr E. Freshwater was appointed Clerk.

From February 1964 to April 1983

One of the subjects to occupy the Parish Council the most was the development of the Horse and Jockey field (original playing field with the cricket pitch) which was eventually to become Lindsey Close.

1st April 1979

Mr Freshwater tended his resignation and finally retired from the post in 1979.
Mrs P. Jones was appointed Clerk.

From then on the use of the Minutes Book, where all the minutes were handwritten, was discontinued and the minutes in future were typed.

18th June 1980

Members were informed that the owner of the ‘Blacksmith Shop’ site intends to apply for planning permission to erect a dwelling on this site. It was decided to abandon, for the time being, any efforts to have the site landscaped.

20th May 1983

Mrs Jones was leaving the village later in the year and she would therefore have to resign.
Mrs Bridget Wilson applied for the post of Clerk and attended an interview with Councillors Platt and Bullock. It was agreed that Mrs Wilson would take over when Mrs Jones left the village.

7th October 1983

Mrs. Bridget Wilson attended her first meeting as Clerk and is still the Parish Clerk in 1994.

1983 to the present day 1994

Tthe Parish Council has been occupied with the normal everyday matters such as planning applications, village development, street lighting, complaints, holes in the road, precept, ie., raising money to pay the bills, allotments, dog mess, etc, etc.

The Chairman is still elected each year for a period of twelve months and if he or she wishes to continue has to be submitted each year for re-election.




Parish Constables were appointed each year to serve for the ensuing year and as can be seen in the following list some of the Councillors served for several years. The post was eventually dispensed with in 1941 due mainly to the policing of Counties, Towns and Villages by the National Police Forces.

Mr Collin

Mr Mould

Mr. Jacobs

Mr. Fredrick Jackson

Mr Joseph Barfield

Mr. George Spademan

Mr Hull

Mr. Fred Walker

Mr. Fenn

Mr. Wade

Mr. George Fitzjohn

Mr. Thomas Wells

Mr. Ernie Freshwater

Mr. Sharman

Mr. Briggs

Mr. Walter Knight

Mr. George Spademan also served as a Special Constable during the Second World War