|Title||The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists|
For years the Corporation had been borrowing money for necessary public works and improvements, and as the indebtedness of the town increased the rates rose in proportion, because the only works and services undertaken by the Council were such as did not yield revenue. Every public service capable of returning direct profit was in the hands of private companies, and the shares of the private companies were in the hands of the members of the Corporation, and the members of the Corporation were in the hands of the four most able and intellectual of their number, Councillors Sweater, Rushton, Didlum and Grinder, each of whom was a director of one or more of the numerous companies which battened on the town.
The Tramway Company, the Water Works Company, the Public Baths Company, the Winter Gardens Company, the Grand Hotel Company and numerous others. There was, however, one Company in which Sweater, Rushton, Didlum and Grinder had no shares, and that was the Gas Company, the oldest and most flourishing of them all. This institution had grown with the place; most of the original promoters were dead, and the greater number of the present shareholders were non-residents; although they lived on the town,