Brentford Urban District Council Election, 1911
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The period for which you elected me as one of your representatives on the District Council having expired I have again decided to seek a renewal of your confidence.
I have always supported and shall if elected continue to support any measure which in my opinion will contribute to the welfare of the inhabitants of our town, and I strongly favour the idea of acquiring ground both for recreative and allotment purposes and thereby securing for our working classes the privileges which are enjoyed by neighbouring districts.
If you deem my past services worthy of your support kindly favour me with one of the four votes you will have at your disposal on Monday next.
I am Ladies and Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
The illustration on this page needs no special description as Mr J. Clements, the present Chairman of the Council, now once again a candidate for a seat on that body, is so well known to all residents of the County Town of Middlesex.
A brief history of Mr. Clements’ share in the public and social life of Brentford will not be without interest at the present phase in his career.
Mr. Clements is a native of Brentford who by hard and unceasing effort has won himself a prominent place in the life of the town . He is the founder of the firm of lightermen, tug owners, and contractors, Clements and Knowling, whose expanding business has been in striking contrast to that of some industries that have wilted under the high pressure of modern business life. The active part taken by the firm of Clements and Knowling is well known in business circles, and a glance at the large scheme of reclamation at the Ferry Iisland, one of the firm’s premises, will show that so far as that firm is concerned it is taking its share in the development of what should be one of Brentford’s most valuable resources, the bank of the Thames.
It is however mainly with the public career of Mr Clements that this notice is concerned. his first step into public life was when he joined the local Fire Brigade some 18 years ago, when the late Major K. Montgomrey was chief. At that time the Brigade had a most home at the Ham and lived in seclusion. Mr Clements however has never given up his early love for the fire fighters and today he still remains with the Brigade at its new home in High street, he having been for some years the Deputy Superintendent of the Brigade.
Mr. Clements took a short term as a member of the Ealing and Old Brentford Burial Board but finding that the duties clashed seriously with his private work, he resigned and made way for a more effective member.
His serious attempt to take part in the administrative life of Brentford was is 1894 when the Local Government Act came into operation and the old Local Board was transformed into the present Urban District Council. The first election was for an entirely new body and 22 gentlemen contested with spirit for the 12 vacant seats.
In that ardent contest he was returned in the eighth place, and on every succeeding election he has – with one exception – secured his return at the head of the poll.
Twice since he has been a member of the Council, his colleagues have honoured him by electing him to the honourable position of Chairman. On the first year of his selection for that office, the historic event of the opening of the new Kew Bridge by His late Majesty King Edward VII took place. Mr Clements then presented the Brentford Council and was duly presented to their Majesties the King and Queen; and with the Chairman of the Chiswick Council presented on behalf of both Councils an antique silver tankard to the King.
During his municipal career, Mr Clements has twice been vice-chairman of the Council; has been Chairman of every Committee of the Council except one; and has devoted a great amount of his time to the conduct of the administration of Brentford.
Mr Clements is an ardent supporter of all sporting and athletic associations, his interest in these bodies extending over his working life in the town.
As a Vice-President of the Liberal Club he was selected for the post of President of the new cricket club formed in connection with that institution; and he has been associated with football and rowing clubs that have been formed during past years in Brentford. He is still a strong supporter of the Brentford Football Club.
In other walks of public life Mr Clements has given much time to the local Lodge of the Oddfellows “The Loyal Sons of Freedom”, an institution that still claims his allegiance; and he is also a member of the Orders of Buffaloes and Druids, and a generous supporter of that respected Association the Brentford Philanthropic Society.
In connection with his present candidature Mr Clements in an interview with a Press representative said that the leading plank in his platform was the acquisition of the Carville Hall estate as a public pleasure ground for Brentford. At first he stated, he was an opponent of the scheme, but when he inspected the estate his objections vanished and he thought the site was most admirably situated for the purpose. The need of providing a play field for local youth is felt keenly by Mr Clements, and he is strengthened in his advocacy of the purchase by the fact that the vendor has so far relaxed his original conditions of sale as to agree to the kitchen garden of the estate being used for allotments. The garden is estimated to be sufficient to provide 30 allotments, and although none now exist in Brentford, Mr Clements is confident that they would be readily taken up. he also considers that the existence of a public pleasure ground there will materially assist in the profitable development of the urban area.
Mr Clements added that he had every confidence that the market would within a short time not only pay its way, but would become a source of revenue to Brentford; and with regard to the eternal High-street question he would prefer to see that desirable work done before any new road was made as suggested by the authority at Whitehall.
The record of Mr Clements, as outlined above, is such that he may without any undue vanity, claim that he is worthy of being once more returned as a member of the local authority, where for so many years he has endeavoured to do his duty conscientiously.
Supplement to the Middlesex Independent, March 25th 1911