PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS. 235
though they had intimated ten months previously that the scheme would be approved.
At the first election no fewer than 61 candidates were put forward, and though many withdrew, yet 34 finally competed for the 12 seats.
At the first meeting of the Board on August 30th, 1884, the Rev. C. W. P. Crawfurd was elected chairman without opposition, and he held this office throughout the whole of the Board's existence. The earlier meetings were often the occasions of stormy scenes, but the Chairman's tact in time led to smoothness of working, and the Local Board served its purpose and did a good public work.
Mr. Hastie, the first clerk and solicitor, gave good advice to friend and foe alike, and when two years later the exigencies of his London business compelled him to retire, his partner, the late Mr. H. S. Little, was elected to succeed him, and on his death Mr. E. P. Whitley Hughes stepped into the breach.
First a Mr. Brown and then a Mr. Gordon held the position of surveyor, but the Board never got on well with the holder of that particular office until Mr. W. W. Gale was appointed. When he came, the late Mr. G. Ranger, who died on June 5th, 1891, was relieved of the rate collectorship and for the sake of economy the offices of surveyor, sanitary inspector and rate collector were amalgamated. The combination of these multifarious duties was not found to work well and in time the offices were again divided. Mr. S. J. Huggett became the Rate Collector and Mr. R. Wilds succeeded Mr. Gale as Surveyor and Inspector of Nuisances. The present holder of the latter position is Mr. W. E. Woollam. The post of Medical Officer of Health was held first by Mr. G. Covey and then by Mr. P. E. Wallis.
The Board came to an end in order to give place to an Urban Council in December, 1894, and during the decade which covered its existence the town in all its public thoroughfares was well lighted; High Street and London Road paved, channelled and properly metalled; the