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The ambulance was a horse and cart for many years, if an emergency was required, then the motor ambulance was summoned from either Accrington or Blackburn. The horse and cart was stationed in the Council buildings in Brook Street, and was used for non-infectious and accident cases.

The Blackburn Ambulance, in 1925 was charged for at a cost of 1 shilling a mile (5 pence).

Rishton motor ambulance was bought during 1934, and was first used on the 5th April of that year. During the year the ambulance was used a total of 151 times, and was mainly used for infectious deceases.

During 1935 the Ambulance was used for Sickness, 198 times, and for Accidents, 10. This increased to 330 occasions in 1939.

The recommendation of appointing an ambulance driver and caretaker, dated 21st February 1935, was rescinded on the 21st May 1936.  The duties of Caretaker to the Library, Ambulance Driver, and caretaker of the Harwood Road waiting rooms was to be co-ordinated. It was resolved by the Council that they would approach Mr. W. Barnes, Motor Garage proprietor, and the Accrington Town Council, to be asked if they would be willing to undertake to attend to our Ambulance calls in the evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays, and what would be their charge for the same. An advert was placed in the Rishton Advertiser, on the 4th June 1936 for the position of Caretaker of Library, Cleaner of Harwood Road Conveniences, and Motor Driver of the Ambulance. The Caretaker of the Library, Cleaner of the Harwood Road Conveniences, and Ambulance Driver was to be paid 3 per week, with an allowance of 2 nights per week and 1 week-end per month from the 18th June 1936. Mr. P. Bailey was employed as caretaker. Mr. W. R. Cartledge was appointed Motor Driver at a salary of 3 1s 0d per week all in, to also carry out Ambulance Duties 2 nights per week and 1 weekend per month, his duties commencing Friday the 3rd July 1936.

From the 1st April 1939, a charge was to be made of 3d per mile for use of the Ambulance in respect of all mileage in excess of 10 on any one journey.

A letter was presented to Rishton Urban District Council on the 6th July 1939, from Mr. J. Clarke with reference to the use of the Ambulance for removal of a patient from Manchester to Rishton. The Council resolved that having made regard to the financial circumstances of the applicant, no charge was to be made for the use of the ambulance.

Mr. W. R. Cartledge was paid 1 per week for covering the normal Ambulance driver who was away on holiday for 2 weeks in December 1939.

The Council wrote off the charge of 10/- due from Mrs. Treverton of 3 Victoria Street, for the hire of the ambulance on the 11th January 1940. The reason for this is unknown.

On the 8th February 1940, It was proposed by the Council, to build a wooden garage in the Council yard to house the ambulance supplied by the County Council. As and when sanction was received from the County Council, the surveyor was instructed to advertise in "Northern Daily Telegraph" inviting tenders for the supply and erection of the garage. The Sanitary Inspector was also instructed to have the brakes adjusted and realigned and two of the tyres retreaded.

On the 11th April 1940, No charge was made for the use of the Ambulance for Mr. Goodall of 12 Howard Street. She was also paid 1 compensation by the council after the destruction of a flock bed which she owned.

A claim for compensation amounting to 6/6 for damage to clothing by Mr. W. R. Cartledge caused while on duty as Ambulance Driver was paid by the Council on the 11th February 1943.

The following subscriptions were made to hospitals, by the Urban District Council on the 9th December 1943, in accordance with powers under Section 181 (3) of the Public Health Act 1936:- Manchester Royal Infirmary 5 5s., Blackburn & East Lancashire Royal Infirmary 2 2s. and Accrington Victoria Hospital 2 2s.

A letter was read to the Council on the 9th December 1943, from the Superintendent of Police concerning the use of the Council's ambulance at a fatal accident on December 6th. W. R. Cartledge was called for interview before a Sub-Committee and that the Sub-Committee consisted of Councillors Bridge, Sanderson and Worsley, together with the Clerk and Sanitary Inspector.

Correspondence was read from the Accrington and District Joint Hospital Board on the 11th May 1944, stating that Darwen Corporation was prepared to enter into an agreement for the admission of infectious disease cases to the Bull Hill Hospital, Darwen, with, those Constituent Authorities of the Board who wished to participate in such arrangements on the following terms:-

Maintenance, medical attendance, etc., 4/4/- per patient per week, subject to a minimum payment of 80 per year, together with the cost of any serum used and any special fees for the services of Consultant and any operative treatment required. Ambulance charges of 35/- per patient for each journey.

Any balance of the minimum payment of 80 after each Authority taking part in the agreement have paid their own maintenance expenses will be borne by Authorities on a population basis.

The Accrington and District Joint Hospital Board were informed that this Council is prepared to enter into an agreement on the above terms.

The Sanitary Inspector reported the absence from duty of the ambulance driver and the difficulties being experienced in maintaining the service on the 10th August 1944. Arrangements were made, if possible, with Great Harwood Urban District Council for responsibility for the evening and night time ambulance service for both districts on alternative weeks, Rishton Council taking the remaining responsibility for both districts, and the thanks of this Committee were expressed to Mr. Woodcock for his additional services during the period of absence of the ambulance driver. That arrangements were to be made to install a private telephone line from the residence of the ambulance driver to the County Branch Library.

The report of the meeting on the 12th October 1944, with the representatives of the Great Harwood Urban District Council were circulated. In any further discussions on the question of a joint ambulance service, the Council's representatives shall insist upon the division of expenditure on a population basis.

The Clerk reported on the 9th November 1944, that an offer had been made for the disused horse-drawn ambulance. Tenders were to be invited from the three local firms mentioned and that the matter be given further consideration at the Council Meeting. The Council Clerk reported that no tenders had been received in writing in response to the invitation on the 12th November 1944. That the use of, the vehicle by the Council be considered by Councillor Leeming and the Surveyor and a report made to the next Building & Highways Committee. On the 14th December 1944, The Chairman reported that, after consideration of other possible uses of the vehicle, it was decided that there was no use to which the vehicle, or any part, might be put by the Council. The vehicle was sold to Mr. T. Rogerson and that his offer of 35/- was accepted.

The account for 1 1s. 0d. rendered to Mrs, Mitchell, of 10, Knowles Street, Rishton, for use of ambulance, was wrote off on the 19th April 1945.

The Sub-Committee appointed to consider this matter reported on their findings and it was Resolved - That as from the 1st October 1945, the following charges be made for the use of the ambulance: For cases taken to Blackburn and Accrington, 3s. per case, but where more than one case is taken on a single journey the charge shall be 1s. 6d. per case; journeys to other places than above to be charged at the rate of 6d. per mile for residents and 1s. per mile for non-residents.

The Clerk submitted an account received, on the 8th May 1947, in respect of cases taken to the Preston Isolation Hospital. The Council Resolved that a letter of protest, against the excessive charge, be sent to the Preston Corporation, and that the account be not paid pending a reply.

References

1925 Health Officers report for Rishton U. D. C.

1935 Health Officers report for Rishton U. D. C.

Council Minutes.