LETTER – Re Public Lighting

Accreditation the Redcar-and-Saltburn-by-Sea Gazette 27/08/1869.

To the Editor of the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette.

            Sir, – – – The Redcar Local Board of Health and the Redcar Gas Company, we are told, are just now about to enter into a new contract for the lighting of the public lamps. Let us hope that the Board of Health will stipulate for a better light than we have previously hard, and that we may not be so often left thoroughly in the dark, during the goal 40 nights of the winter, North have the lights extinguished so early in the evenings.

Would it not be more to the advantage of the town if the Board (who on behalf of the ratepayers have the gas to pay for.) should exercise more control over the number of evenings and the length of time each evening that the lamps should be lighted. Hitherto, I understand, the Gas Company have charged by the lamp, and have themselves been the sole judges as to when and for what length of time the public lamps should be burning. This may be all right between buyer and seller so long as the vendee has full confidence in the vendor or, (and no doubt the Redcar Gas Company are all honourable men;) but it is a bargain all on one side and it certainly makes it the interest of the Gas Company to use as little gas is possible for the money, which they receive, and leaves it open to the suspicion that any how too much will not be given. It is not the position in which any tradesmen in the town would place himself to pay for his gas per light and the Gas Company to come and the light it for him when they thought proper, and then to come and shut him off when they deemed he had had enough. Here tradesmen would prefer to burn his gas by meter, and liked his shop when he policed, and dispense with the light when he no longer needed it; and why should not the Board of Health adopt the same plan? Surely some way can be devised of supplying the streetlamps by meter, that there may be no restriction as to the time of lighting or putting out, of the exact day of the moon’s age, on which the lighting make amends or terminate, without regard to the state of the atmosphere. If the be any implement a fair and equal to bowl arrangement between the Board of Health and the Gas Company. One may be excused for asking why the Board of Health do not take the management of the Gas works into the own hands, and so be able to effect such improvements as may be for the general benefit of the ratepayers, without necessarily increasing the amount raised in rates? A vigorous and conscientious board, determined to carry out the objects of the Act under which they are constituted, would do this, but the Redcar Board. I fear are either too timid or too parsimonious. They meet, debate, and cavil, but do not think that involves the outlay of any money on permanent improvements. For this, there is only one remedy, which is for the ratepayers to elect more useful members of the Board.


I am, Sir,



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