Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Denton Parish Council History

Highlights from the Minutes

This information has been gleaned from a number of sources notably a Parish Council minute book which covers, in one volume, all the meetings between 18th April 1900 and 6th October 1970. Some "highlights" extracted from these minutes are recorded below.

It is hoped to fill in the gap bewteen 1970 and the Archive of more recent Council minutes which starts in 2008.

Early Years

Before the first World War the council rarely met more than once per year. Their main activities seemed to be to appoint two Overseeers to manage the Poor Law system, three Parish Constables and the School Manager. One recurring theme was the need to repair foot-bridges and stiles on the footpaths in the Parish.

At the start of this period meetings were normally held in the Old Schoolroom but, once it was available, they moved to the Village Hall.


16th April 1900

The first Council meeting recorded in the old Minute Book. This is a leather bound volume of 262 pages specialy printed to hold Parish Council Minutes by "Knight & Co., Local Government Publishers" of 90 Fleet Street, London.

The business consisted of appointing: a Chairman, Mr R Todd; a Vice-Chairman, Mr J Revell; two Overseers, Mr E Goode and Mr Balls; four Trustees for the Denton Town Charity, Messrs J B Pauson, G Mayhew, H Fairhead and W Mayhew; and serving a precept of £10 on the Overseers.

11th January 1901

The first of three meetings of the Council during the year, the only business of this one was to appoint a committee, of five, to "make the New Valuation List". This was required under the Poor Law.

25th April 1901

This was the first meeting of the newly elected Council. It appears that only five out of the seven positions were filled: Messrs A R Todd, J Revell, E Aldrich, S Howard and J Oakley.

8th March 1904

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. The previous members were joined by H Hitchcox and J B Pauson.

20th April 1906

Mr S Howard resigned and was replaced by Mr Alfred Skinner.

2nd March 1907

Parish Meeting to elect new Council.

The Council decided, responding to consultation from the Board of Agriculture & Fisheries and the County Council re the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 2007, that "there is no necessity for the providing of either Small Holdings or Allotments in this Parish"


19th February 1910

The Council are informed that St Andrew's Glebe Farm, currently occupied by Mr Alfred Skinner, is to be sold by St Andrew's Church in Norwich. The Council decide not apply for any portion of the land under the Glebe Lands Act 1888. It seems Mr Skinner purchased the farm; it has been occupied by the family ever since.

12th March 1910

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. All the seven previous councillors are returned unopposed.

15th March 1913

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. All the seven previous councillors are returned unopposed.

14th February 1914

Mr W Battell elected to replace Mr Pauson; caused by his "going away".

Depwade RDC enquire about the supply of cottages in the Parish. The Council responds - "As there are 70 cottages (5 of them empty) and 34 other houses in the Parish there is no demand nor necessity for new cottages."

25th February 1914

Meeting with Mr Wallace of the Charity Commission re the regularisation of the Parish Charities. This is achieved two months later and four trustees appointed.

17th April 1915

Mr Percival George William Pointer elected to replace Mr Burtt.


There is no record of any PC elections this year. They may have been cancelled due to the war.

2nd March 1917

A circular on National Service discussed. The Council responds: "There is no one in the Parish who is not engaged in essential work." A local War Savings Committee is established.

17th March 1919

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. All the seven previous councillors are returned unopposed.


14th March 1922

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. Edward Aldrich is replaced by William Minns.

14th April 1924

The Council decide to write to the Highways Committee (of the County Council) re "the shocking condition of Denton roads." The loose stones scattered all over the roads especially near the King's Head, Darrow Green Road and Trunch Hill are "a danger to the public."

17th March 1925

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. Herbert Hitchcox is replaced by John Charles Bayliss.

23rd February 1928

The first Meeting to be held in the new Village Hall.

12th March 1928

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. All the seven previous councillors are returned unopposed.


27th February 1930

A meeting of the Council was held but "There was no business."

11th March 1931

A meeting was held at Chapel Farm "to appoint members to serve on the Council for the next three years." but "There were no candidates."

23rd April 1931

Another meeting to elect a new Council. This time there were five nominations, three former councillors plus Mr J Wade and Mr J Wooltorton. Amongst those standing down, James Revell and James Oakley had both served since at least 1900.

11th April 1933

The bridge at Vale Farm is in need of repair (again!).

20th March 1934

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. All the five previous councillors are returned and they are joined by Simon Brookes and the returning James Oakley.

16th April 1934

Percy Pointer takes over as Chairman; replacing Albert Todd who had served in that position for over 35 years. H G Battell appointed Clerk at a salary of 30 shillings per annum.

19th September 1935

Items discussed include the village's water supply and the availability of the Harleston Fire Brigade.

17th March 1937

Parish Meeting to elect new Council. Messrs Todd (member since 1900), Brookes and Wooltorton did not seek re-election. Replaced by Jack Wade, Revd. Lavers and F W Disney. Mr Frank Revell was also nominated but could not be elected as he had not "resided in the village the specified period."

29th April 1937

A request from the allotment holders for a new access footbridge was agreed to. It cost £1.7.0.

21st July 1937

Three members of the Council were appointed Air Raid Wardens.

3rd August 1938

The death of Mr J E Wade was reported. Dangerous corners, the provision of a playing field and the housing needs of rural workers were discussed.


26th April 1940

At the "Annual Parish Council Meeting" H J Battell was re-elected as a councillor. Mr D Cobbald and Mr W Johnson were also elected. James Oakley, a member almost continuously since 1900, stood down.

2nd April 1941

This included a full Parish Meeting at which seven Salvage Collectors and a Sorter were appointed.

16th July 1941

The Clerk was instructed to write to the Superintendent of Police re "the dangerous speed of heavy motor traffic through the Village." A fire watching squad was to be appointed for the harvest period.

7th May 1945

This seems to be the first meeting since 1941!
V Day celebrations were discussed. Mr F Revell was co-opted to the Council.

11th March 1946

Parish Council Meeting to elect new Council. Messrs Johnson and Disney did not seek re-election. Replaced by J Hilson and C Woolnough
Issues discussed included: the provision of mains water in the Village, the bad state of the roads and a request to the County Council that signposts (removed during the war in case of invasion) be re-erected.

29th January 1947

It was reported the Revd. Lavers had left the parish and that the resulting vacancy on Depwade RDC should be filled. Depwade were proposing to introduce a Refuse and Night-Soil Collection service.

21st April 1947

Jack Wade replaced Percy Pointer as Chairman. R C Northcote replaced Henry James Battell as Clerk. From this point there seems to be much more on the agenda at each meeting. Unfortunately, Mr Northcote's handwriting is much more difficult to read!
Issues discussed included: the need for a bus service to serve the Village and the progress with installing mains water and electrical services.

20th October 1947

A meeting with three members of Depwade RDC (including Mrs Lee Warner the local member) to discuss the latter's housing policies and Denton's housing needs. The current drought, a temporary piped supply had been provided, and the need for a mains water supply were also discussed. This topic was frequently raised at subsequent meetings.

19th April 1948

Mr William Johnson was co-opted to replace Revd. Lavers. A meeting with three members of Depwade RDC (including Mrs Lee Warner the local member) to discuss the latter's housing policies and Denton's housing needs. The current drought and the need for a mains water supply were also discussed. A letter had been received from a Mrs Francis requesting that "there be allocated a space for children to play". This was then the subject of a special Parish Meeting where a Playing Fields Committee was appointed to pursue the issue.

20th September 1948

This was the second meeting of the Playing Fields Committee. They started raising money to purchase land for a playing-field "opposite the Village Hall". A whist-drive was to be organised; tickets 1s.6p (7½p) per head.

27th September 1948

This PC was now meeting more regularly, at least bi-monthly. Items discussed included: the provision of suitable meals at the Village School, the failure of the Depwade RDC to provide a refuse collection service and the poor bus service.

21st March 1949

The Council's Annual Meeting, no members of the public in attendance. Leaflets had been distibuted re the, new, NHS. Possible sites for new Council Houses proposed by the RDC, were discussed: 12 in all, 4 at each - Manor Farm Road, Norwich Road and near the Rectory.

20th May 1949

It was minuted that six of the previous members of the Council had been re-elected with the DC Cllr Mrs Lee-Warner of Denton House replacing Mr Cobbald. One issue raised was delayed appointments at Norwich Hospital.


17th April 1950

The siting of new council houses to replace a number of recently condemned houses was discussed. Later, at a meeting in July, four new houses opposite the blacksmith's shop (the future Globe Terrace) were mentioned. This was the year in which the Council joined the Norfolk Association of Parish Councils.

29th March 1951

A proposal to fund a new Village Sign to celebrate the Festival of Britain was turned down on the grounds of cost.

1st October 1951

Just two meetings with, as in previous years, the precept being made in two instalments totalling £25. The Year of the Aged and UN Day also appeared on the agenda. The Council was consulted by the CC re Rights of Way, including all footpaths, in the parish.

24th March 1952

Two meetings on the same day, of "Parishioners" and "DPC". At the latter it was reported that re the School Canteen it was "in full operation and very successful". The Clerk, Mr Northcote, was persuaded to carry on for another year.

26th May 1952

Following the elections, with Mr Battell replacing Mr Pointer (a member since 1915), Mr J Hilson takes over as Chairman from Mr Wade. Two meetings recorded on the same day, of "Parishioners" and "DPC". At the latter it was reported that re the School Canteen it was "in full operation and very successful".

6th October 1952

The impending closure of the Waveney Valley railway line was reported to the Council.

31st March 1953

It was agreed that all old parish papers should be stored in the Parish Box and placed in the church.

10th September 1953

An approach would be made to the RDC re the provision of a Bus Shelter at "Wash Corner".

31st March 1954

Mr Northcote stood down as Clerk and was replaced by Major L C A Fox. Mr Wade, in moving a vote of thanks to Mr Northcote, noted that "since 1947 their Clerk had been successful in achieving: a water supply, electricity, bus service, repairs to the main roads, school meals, etc, which gave great cause for satisfaction".

24th May 1954

The new Clerk was requested to circulate type-written copies of the minutes.

31st January 1954

Tree preservation was discussed at length and five important sites identified to be notified to NCC.

12th April 1955

Mr J C Owen appointed Clerk. At the subsequent elections: Mrs Lee-Warner and Mr Revell stood down and Mr W H Constance and Mr AE Skinner joined the Council

13th March 1956

The Clerk was asked to write to the Highway authorities to point out that the depth gauge at the ford opposite the school was very inaccurate. He was also asked to supervise the traditional distribution of bread to the poor on Good Friday.

22nd March 1957

The RDC were approached to hasten the demolition of the ruined Chapel Manse on Trunch Hill.

10th February 1959

Due to lack of charity funds the Good Friday distribution to be limited to a small loaf of bread and no money. At the next meeting, in March, the distribution was cancelled completely.

22nd June 1959

Rev J C Pallister welcomed as a member, presumably co-opted to replace Mr Woolnough.


28th August 1962

New members, Mrs Thomas and Mrs Todd elected. It was agreed that the Village Hall should be used as a polling station for future elections, replacing the school.

11th October 1962

A special meeting to discuss the allocation by the RDC of a new tenant for one of the council houses. The Council felt is was unfair on applicants who had lived in the village for some time.

3rd December 1963

A special Parish Meeting to discuss the new Village Envelope proposed by NCC.

31st March 1964

Three vacacies on the Council were filled by co-opting Mr J A Woods, Mr T Seaman and Mr R Gunton to replace: Mr Wade, Mr Johnson and Mr Skinner. The condition of several roads in the parish was raised.

3rd June 1965

New members, Mr R Mayhew and Mr B Wade replaced Mrs Todd and Mr Seaman. The new Trunch Hill Sewerage Scheme was discussed and the RDC requested to replace the ford near the church with a bridge.

10th February 1967

The Council resolved to send at letter protesting at the proposed closure of Bungay Grammer School. Comprehensives were arriving!.

17th April 1967

The meeting welcomed the new County Cllr., Col. C Scrope, and were told the the District Cllr., Mr F Revell, was seriously ill. The state of the fords near the school was causing concern. The Council decided to discontinue membership of the Norfolk Association of PCs.

24th June 1968

Six former members seem to have been re-elected unopposed but Mr Gunton had to be co-opted to fill the last position so, presumably, he had failed to submit a nomination paper. Mr A Battell succeed Mr J Hilson as Chairman. It was agreed to register the parish's interest in land on Outney Common.

21st March 1969

The Clerk, Mr J C Owen, resigned and was replaced by Mrs Hilda Thomas. Her place as a councillor was taken by Lt Col Scropes by co-option.

16th October 1969

The sudden death of Mr Jack Hilson, "a past Chairman and member for 23 years" was reported. Mr Michael Hanner was co-opted to replace him. The sale and rent of land owned by the parish charities was discussed. The ford near the school was again causing concern and a meeting with the County Surveyor requested. The Maud Report, on the reorganisation of local government, "was discussed and unanimously condemned by all members". It was agreed to continue the practice of a Christmas gift to "poor widows". Six ladies were identified.


22nd January 1970

Mr John Sprake, solicitor, attended the meeting to explain the procedure for selling the Rev John Porter Charity land and the management of Outney Common. On his advice the Council decided to withdraw its application for registration. Plans for a new road in the Waveney valley using the old railway line were shown to the meeting.

6th October 1970

It was agreed to invest the £300 received from the charity land in a Charity Commissioner's fund. Confusion over council-house numbering was reported. The WI were offering to present the village with a decorative Village Sign, sited near the school, to commemorate the Institute's Golden Jubilee. The Council thanked the WI and agreed to take responsibility for its maintenance.

This is the last meeting recorded in the old minute book.

And Then?

It is hoped that in due course the gap between the old book' minutes and the present day will be filled.

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