Saxilby and District History Group

We were recently given an article from the Lincolnshire Echo, which seems particularly relevant given the recent concerns about overnight street lighting.

It is hard to imagine that before the early 1930's, there was no street lighting in the village, and all households would have been lit by oil lamps or candles.

As far as I can ascertain, the only public lighting provided was by oil lamps on the station and the canal swing bridge.

For the elderly and infirm, venturing out after dark must have been a disturbing experience, with badly lit and muddy roads.

One of the reasons for the building of St Andrew's Church in 1879, on the corner of Station Approach, was that it was impossible for the residents of the lower part of the village to reach St Botolph's Church during the winter months.

The Parish Council was approached in 1932 by a private company, the Mid Lincolnshire Electricity Supply Company to include Saxilby in its 1933 works programme.

A committee was formed in December to canvas the village to see how many households wished to have electricity installed. 100 were needed for the supply. As less than that number were forthcoming, the works were not included in the 1933 supply programme.

A further approach was made to the Parish Council in October 1933 to supply electricity by the Yorkshire Electric Power Company, who were already laying a supply to Torksey.

In September 1934, the Parish Council called a public meeting to consider the installation of nine street lights, with 100 watt lamps, to be lit from dusk until 11 pm. The installation cost was £40.50, with an annual running cost of £23.40. In order to cover the cost, a separate rate was to be levied.

The meeting was in agreement with the plan, with 63 for and 20 against.

Works began in June 1935, and by the end of the year, the new street lights had been installed.

The Echo reported – 'Saxilby's long-expected scheme of street lighting, inaugurated on Christmas Eve by the Chairman of the Council (Coun. C. F. Shaw), is the outcome of many year's planning and negotiations, and the coming of electricity to the district has at length made it possible to provide this much-needed improvement.

Nine lamps have been erected at the principal corners and road junctions in that part of the village which lies to the north of the canal, the other side not yet having the necessary facilities.

The lights are automatically lit and extinguished, and are proving a great boon to the community'.

The lights were placed at Mill Lane Corner (Mill Lane/Queensway junction), Globe Inn Corner (West Bank/High Street junction), Sykes Lane/High Street junction, Opposite Wesleyan Chapel (High Street now Richard Forman Car Sales), Corner near Mr Hardys (High Street near South Parade), Hutson Bus Terminus (Church Road/Church Lane junction – the Tree), Rainbird's Corner (after Dr Rainbird – Church Road/Sturton Road junction) and Mays Lane Corner.