Phillip Street

From Hoole History and Heritage Society

Phillip Street has turned-up in the press several times over the years, and for some odd reasons including in a testimonial for back-ache pills and a case of "Music Piracy" in October 1906. There was once an argument in court as to whether Phillip Street even officially existed (as reported in the Chester Observer, 1st March 1902):

Terraced housing at the junction of Phillip Street and Walker Street (built 1880/81). The corner houses were originally all shops (note the large lintels) where shop windows have been replaced. Originally all the corner shops had corner doors like those seen on the left. Initially Phillip Street only ran as far as the trees in the distance, but it was extended when the final "infil" development in the south east corner of Hoole was completed after 1900.


At the Chester Castle Petty Sessions, on Saturday, before Mr. John Thompson (in the chair) and other magistrates.

Mr. A. E. Caldecutt, clerk to the Hoole Urban Council, attended the court in respect of the making of part of Phillip-street, Hoole, and the apportion ment of the cost under the Private Street Works Act, upon the respective owners. Mr. Caldecutt made an application a month ago, and their worships fixed at (Saturday) for the hearing of the objections. Mr. A. Wild now appeared to object to the apportionment on behalf of Mrs. Vernon, the executors of John Latham, Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Haslam, the whole of the owners. The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. Churton) said notice had been given of two grounds of objection. (1) That there was no necessity for re-making the street. (2) That it should have been adopted by the Local Board at the date when the work was done, as not only the specification was agreed to by the late surveyor, but he had agreed that it was satisfactory to the Board, and should have seen to its adoption.

It was agreed to hear the objection of Mrs. Vernon.

Mr. Caldecutt contended that the street never had been made and never was adopted. In 1894 the same objection was raised by gentlemen who brought up the same legend - that Phillip-street had once been made by direction of the Local Board. On that occasion it was shewn that the street had never been made to the satisfaction of the Council and never was adopted. An order was then made that this was a further part of the same street. This part was really a cul de sac until recently, and was only a short length leading from Westminster road.

A testimonial for pills from the Chester Observer. According to company advertisements, the original formulation of Doan’s Pills in 1832, was the secret of an old Quaker lady (Doan's aunt). Apparently, her neighbours had great reason to be thankful for its existence. Eventually, the secret was revealed to the world by James Doan (1846-1916), a druggist, and doctor who lived in Kingsville, Canada. Apparently, he prepared his medicine with his own hands, using shrubs, roots, and herbs. However, although sold as a remedy for lower back pain caused by kidney ailments, Doan’s Kidney Pills with potassium nitrate (as originally formulated) could actually irritate and possibly cause kidney damage. This was one of many example of advertising for Patent Medicines which frequently used "testimonials" from local people.

Mr. Wild said that portion which was objected to that day came under the supervision of the Board Surveyor and they claimed the difference in the circumstances in favour of the objectors. Mr. Caldecutt said the total cost was £51 whereas if they had not given credit for work done and existing material on the property, the cost would be £ 135. They gave credit for £34 and the £51 remained to be apportioned among the existing owners.

Mr. Charles Atkin, surveyor to the Council, was the first witness. He said the Council passed resolutions that it should be made and Mr. Hewitt, consulting engineer, was instructed to prepare plans and specifications for the purpose. The street was a private one and was never adopted to his knowledge.

By Mr. Wild The street had been made by tho owners.

The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. Churton): What do you mean by the street's being made?

Witness: Certain flagging has been done.

Mr. Wild: Do you know that the street was flagged, pitched, paved, etc., in 1880?

Witness: I know certain work has been done.

Mr. Caldecutt: I may say that after wading through all the minutes I have never found anything corroborating the statement that the street was made to the satisfaction of tho Council.

Mr. Wild: The Board's officer inspected the work and finally approved of it. It was the intention then and there to adopt the road. If through some omission the resolution was never passed, they are not entitled to turn round and say that although the road was made they could not adopt it.

John Hewitt, consulting surveyor to the Council, gave evidence as to preparing plans, specifications and estimates in regard to the work.

R. Cecil Davies, surveyor, said that in his opinion the specification and prices were reasonable. To his knowledge Phillip-street had never been acknowledged as a public street in Hoole.

Mr. Wild, for the objectors, said that the work had been already done to the satisfaction of the Board, and the Council ought to be bound by the- decision of their predecessors of years ago.

W. Vernon, builder, said he was compelled on behalf of Mr. Faulkner to make that portion of the street to the satisfaction of Mr. Grice, the, then surveyor, who inspected the work from time to time. Asked if he could say why the street was not adopted, Mr. Vernon said he understood that Mr. Grice, having certified it, would see to its adoption. He (Mr. Vernon) always thought it had been adopted.

W. Shone, estate agent. said he was agent for the owners of the land in 1879, when Mr. Vernon purchased it, and Mr. Vernon was under a covenant to complete it to the satisfaction of Mr Grice, whom he (witness) saw inspecting it. Asked why he left the matter entirely to Mr. Grice, witness said Mr. Grice was practically the Board; the Board met in his front bedroom at that time. (Laughter.)

The Bench retired, and on returning into court the Chairman said they thought somewhat reluctantly that they must make the order. The road was evidently made in 1881 in accordance with the approval of the then surveyor, and according to the then way of making it, and they believed that all that was necessary was done, but that they stopped short of getting the approval of the Local Board. The Bench declined to make an order as to costs.

Mr. Wild withdrew the other cases.