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1905: New Club in Ansty to tackle rat and sparrow problem

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 28 March 1905

ANSTY. A Rat and Sparrow Club Formed.

—On Wednesday a well-attended meeting was held at the Green Cross Inn for the purpose of establishing a Rat and Sparrow Club. Mr. T. W. Best presided. It was unanimously resolved that in order to check the great increase in the number of rats and sparrows a Club be at once formed, and called "The Ansty and District Rat and Sparrow Club.” Mr. T. Best was elected President; Mr. F. Hounsell, Secretary and Treasurer; Messrs. W. Myram, A. Burt, M. Burt, T. Miles and G. Field, the Committee. All members to be resident within two miles of Ansty. Various rules were drawn up and agreed to, with the hope that all persons interested in the scheme will join by giving their names to the Secretary, from whom copies of the rules may shortly be obtained.

Ansty Cross c1900 (courtesy of Cuckfield Museum)

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 08 May 1906

ANSTY. THE RAT AND SPARROW CLUB.—The annual general meeting of the above Club was held at the Green Gross Hotel on Wednesday evening. Mr. T. Best presided, and there were also present Messrs. A. Burt, H. Burt. J. Gray, W. Myram, E. Upton, F. K. Hounsell (Secretary! and others.

The minutes of the last meeting having been read by the Secretary, and signed, the balance sheet was submitted. This shewed that the receipts were £5 14s. 3d. and the expenditure £5 16s. 11 1/2d, leaving the Club 2s. 8 1/2d in debt on the year’s working. By the generosity of Mr. Best, Mr. H. Burt and Mr. Myram the deficit was wiped off, and the Club now starts the new year with a clean slate.

The next business was that of paying the members for the rats and sparrows killed during the year. The scale of pay at the rate of 3d. per dozen for rats and sparrows killed and 1 1/2d. per dozen eggs and unfledged birds. Mr. W. Rowland was top scorer, having destroyed 513 rats, 387 sparrows, 13 unfledged birds and 33 eggs, and he received 19s. 2 1/2d. The other members accounted for the following:—

W. Myram, 381 rats and 309 sparrows; H. Burt, 607 rats and 26 sparrows; W. Byles, 339 rats and 122 sparrows; J. Gray, 210 rats. 81 sparrows, 73 unfledged birds and 40 eggs G. Field, 224 rats and 97 sparrows; H, Upton, 154 rats, 54 sparrows, 4 unfledged birds and 91 eggs: E. Upton, 103 rats. 45 sparrows, 6 unfledged birds and 68 eggs; H. Caffyn, 103 rats, 15 sparrows and 22 eggs: A. Burt, 30 rats ; T. Miles, 43 rats and 9 sparrows; the totals being 2,707 rats, 1,145 sparrows. 96 unfledged birds and 254 eggs, and the prizes paid amounting to £4 3s. 81/2d.

The election of officers for the ensuing year was next proceeded with. the proposition of Mr. H. Burt, seconded by Mr. Myram, Mr. T.Best was unanimously elected President. Mr. F. R. Hounsell again consented to fulfil the duties of Secretary and Treasurer, on the proposition of Mr. H. Upton, seconded by Mr. A. Burt. The Committee were re-elected en bloc, and Messrs. J. Gray and H. Caffyn were added.

A short discussion took place with regard to extending the area of the Club, which has been that of two miles’ radius of Ansty, and it was finally decided that the Club should be open to all residents in the Cuckfield parish, so as to include several at Brook Street who wish to become members. It was also resolved that the members’ subscription be one shilling per annum. Several of the members expressed the desire to see more subscribers to the Club so as to enable them to increase the scale of reward, thereby encouraging the members to exterminate the pests that do so much harm to the farmers. A vote of thanks to the Chairman brought the meeting to close.



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