Tuesday, January 16, 2007

West Middlesex Elections 1919

Labour Success in
West Middlesex 1919

On the 17th of April 1919 representatives of Uxbridge Divisional Labour Party
(which included Hayes) meet at the Assembly hall Yiewsley, to celebrate recent Labour election successes and make a presentation to William Henry Knowles of a “very handsome silver tea service with inscribed silver tray” for his work as Divisional agent to Harry Gosling in the recent (December 1918) General Election.

Councillor Robert W Hudson of Uxbridge was Chairman, also present Mr & Mrs Harry Gosling, County Councillor William Henry Knowles (West Drayton), Councillor Mrs B.A. Chard (Southall), Mr Groundsell (Southall), Councillor Robert William Gunton (Hayes) Councillor H. Ashby (Yiewsley), J. Worsell (Yiewsley). Councillor W. Tulett (Uxbridge and the Uxbridge Labour Party Divisional Secretary, Percy Osbourn Langton (Hayes).

While it had been a shock to the local Labour Party machine(and no doubt, Harry Gosling a high profile candidate) that they had not won the Parliamentary seat in 1918, they had built up an effective electoral machine which paid of in the Middlesex County Council and Urban District Council elections of 1919.

Percy Langton, Labour Party Divisional Secretary stated
“If they made progress at the present rate the Labour party would soon be in complete control of every municipal body within the area.
On Harefield Parish Council they now had three direct representatives of Labour, and two others pledged to support the policy of the party.

At Hayes they had one County Councillor (Ben Smith), two Labour Guardians, and seven Labour councilors out of nine on the Hayes Urban District Council.

At Southall they had a Labour County Councillor in Mr James Culley, two on the Guardians and held their own on Southall Urban District Council.

At Uxbridge Urban District Council they had five Labour Councillors.

At West Drayton three and at Yiewsley in addition to Mr W. H. Knowles as Middlesex County Councillor for Hillingdon district, they had a Labour Guardian and two Labour Councillors on the Urban district Council.

In all they now had thirty five Labour representatives on local and county bodies, as against seventeen last year, an increase of over one hundred per cent”.

Mr W.H. Knowles stated
“That if they were to win (the Constituency) they had got to understand one thing – that it was a composite constituency. They had a residential area, a rural area and an industrial area, and it was most necessary that they had assistance of the people in the residential areas – and all pull together”.

Other speakers included R.W. Gunton, Hayes Labour Party Honorary Organiser, as well as Mr Groundsell, Mr Tulett, Mr H. Ashby and Mrs B. A Chard


J. W Davies; Lancelot Fowler ; Robert W Gunton ; G Manley ; William Rawlings, F Woodard ; Fredrick V Mason

R.W. Hudson, H.W. Carlo, J C Barnes, W.E. Black, W. Tullett,

W. Roberts and H. Ashby

Dr Compton, G.M. Winwright, W. Watkins, S.E. Bishop, J. Bryant, and E. T Gregory,
 (Harefield Progressive Councillors) - Field, Jeffrey and Turner)

(to be completed)………

Labour secure two seats, first ever

1919 was the first year women (albeit over 30) could vote in local elections and the first Labour Women candidate to be elected as a Councillor was Mrs B. A Chard at Southall in 1919
Mrs B.A. Chard (Southall) and Mrs L. Groundsell (Southall) were elected to Uxbridge Board of Guardians in 1919
The other women to be elected in 1919 were Mrs E. F. Darlow (topped the poll) and Mrs St Clair Townsend at Rusilip-Northwood UDC
The only other Labour woman candidate was Mrs H.C. Allen who finished bottom of the Uxbridge UDC poll.
The talented Uxbridge Suffragette Society organiser Katherine Ann Raleigh had stood for Uxbridge in 1909 making her one of the first women council candidates in Britain.
Councillor Mrs B. A Chard came to Southall in 1898, helped found the Women’s Co-Operative Guild and the Women’s Railway (Union) Guild. During the World War 1 she helped women munitions workers, in groups of up to eighty to find accommodation in Hayes and Southall area.
Elected as Southall Labour Councillor in 1919 and onto the Board of Guardians, became Chairman of Southall Urban District Council in 1926