There were three polling stations in this division, viz – at Broadway, Badsey and Hampton. Both candidates – Mr Isaac Averill and Mr Thomas Byrd – have been actively engaged in the contest for some time past and the general expectation was that Mr Byrd would win by a good majority as he seemed to carry the votes of the labourers and allotment holders. As time advance, however, his chances appeared to diminish, as some of his supporters had made rather wild statements which told against him in the estimation of public opinion.
At Broadway there can be no doubt that Mr Averill polled a heavy majority. The voting proceeded steadily all day, 128 having recorded their votes by noon, 214 by five o’clock and 268 when the poll was closed at eight o’clock. Conveyances were freely used on both sides. Viscount Lifford and Messrs T W Wilson, J T Haines, A Williams and W H Pearman assisted Mr Averill’s candidature in this way and several gardeners from Badsey and Aldington lent their carts to Mr Byrd for a similar purpose. The proceedings throughout the day were orderly, the only excitement being that certain persons were cheered or groaned at as they appeared by the crowd near the polling station. There was an exciting incident in connection with the election when a horse, belonging to and driven by Mr Haines, bolted and was stopped by Mr Byrd. Fortunately no one was injured and the only damage done was to the harness.
A large number of market gardeners’ carts were used in Mr Byrd’s interest at Badsey and there is no doubt that he had very much the best of the poll at this station. 235 out of 280 on the register recorded their votes and the poll was really closer than appears from these figures because there were about 20 duplicate voters in that district. Several others were on the register for Evesham as well as Badsey, some of whom voted while some were challenged and in accordance with the rules adopted by the presiding officers were not permitted to vote.
Both candidates visited the station in the course of the day, Mr Byrd being very heartily received when he put in an appearance. The same activity prevailed at Hampton, the supporters of both candidates being very energetic in bringing voters to the poll.
The counting took place on Friday morning, Mr Thomas Cox, the deputy returning officer, being in charge. Mr Averill was present and Mr Byrd was represented by Mr W Field. Just before twelve o’clock the poll was declared as follows:
- Mr T Byrd 339
- Mr I Averill 299
There were four spoilt papers. Mr Averill proposed a vote of thanks to the returning officer for the courteous and able manner in which he had conducted the election, and he also congratulated Mr Byrd upon his victory. This was seconded by one of Mr Byrd’s supporters and unanimously accorded.
Considerable excitement was caused in the village of Badsey during the afternoon by the triumphal progress of Mr Byrd, the newly-elected county Councillor. He was placed in a cart and drawn by a number of enthusiastic supporters along the street, cheers being given for Mr Byrd himself and his leading friend, and groans for prominent local adherents of the defeated candidate.
BROADWAY, Friday afternoon
Crowds were waiting outside the Post Office for the result of poll which was received with much dissatisfaction. Mr Averill’s supporters had a coach and four to meet him at Whitechapel and brought him up through Broadway where crowds awaited him, giving him most hearty cheers as he was driven to his residence.