Here's what was making headlines in teh Argus 100 years ago today, March 30, 1920:

Newport water supply

All restrictions removed

Housewives' thankfulness

The fact that all restrictions on the Newport water supply cease today (Friday) will give the greatest satisfaction to residents of the borough, and those outside the town who are supplied from the local reservoirs.

For some months the restrictions have caused a great deal of inconvenience, but now the Waterworks Committee find themselves in a position to totally relax the restrictions, thanks largely to the heavy rains of the past weeks, and, to the strict economy practised by householders. This does not mean, however, that water should be used with reckless abandon.


On the contrary, the greatest care must still be exercised. If water is used lavishly and without thought, there is danger of a further shortage, particularly during the summer.

However, at the moment the feeling of Newport people generally is of great thankfulness, and with the removal of all restrictions, it is to be hoped that, benefitting from past experiences, the public will do their part to ensure that restrictions will be unnecessary in future.

Building trade wages

Employers' offer to men's demands

A special meeting of the Joint Council to the South Wales and Monmouthshire Building Trades Federation took place on Friday at Cardiff. Five employers and five operatives had been appointed to consider the operatives' demand for an advance to 2s, 6d, per hour for craftsmen and 2s, 3d, per hour labourers.

At the outset the employers pointed out that when the recent advances were conceded in October of last year it was agreed that no alteration, in existing rates should take place until May 1, when the 44-hour week would come into operation. The operatives asked to be relieved of their obligations, in view of the enormous rise in the prices of commodities.

The employers offered a flat rate of 2s per hour for craftsmen and 1s, 5d per hour for labourers, with the retention of the 47-hour week, and grading as between agricultural and industrial centres in South Wales. The offer, if accepted, will come into force on May 1.

The operatives are asked to record their votes on the employers' offer, the result to be considered by the full Joint Council.


Housing Tenders - A special meeting of the District Council was held on Thursday, when the Council considered tenders for the erection of 141 houses. Having regard to the small disparity in the price as between a concrete house and a brick house, it was agreed not to proceed with the erection of concrete houses were not prepared to build the exact type of house, in accordance with the drawings, specifications, and bills of quality. Messrs Thomas and Morgan architects, of Pontypridd, but desired to substitute their own type of dwelling. After a long discussion, it was resolved on the motion of Mr Harson, seconded by Mr Hayman, that the tender of Messrs Hybart and Broadhead, of London, for the erection of 134 houses, at a cost of £133,603 6s 6d, be accepted, and it was also resolved that their tender for the provision of sewers and preliminary formation of the roads for £10,330 1s be also accepted. Mr Magness voted against the resolution. On the motion of Mr Skuse, it was resolved to complete the contract with the Blaenavon Company for the purchase of bricks, and instructions were given that the necessary steps should be taken to proceed with the scheme without delay. The site upon which the houses will be erected, which is 18 acres, has been purchased at a cost of £1,250.

The Council experienced great difficulty at arriving at an equitable rent for these houses, having regard to the increased cost of erection, on the one hand, and their desire on the other hand to fix the rentals in accordance with the prevailing rents in the district, coupled with the allowances for the provision of better facilities, such as a bath room etc. It was agreed to obtain the approval of the Housing Commissioners to fix the weekly rents as follows: Type A house, containing five rooms, 10s 3d per week inclusive; Type B house, containing six rooms, 12s per week inclusive.