In the Belgrave Sub-district, several complaints were brought against Marine store dealers, whose premises require constant supervision. Slaughter-houses and butchers’ premises, owing to the state of the weather, and the rapidity with which decomposition took place in meat, contributed so much to annoy several persons, as to cause more inspections than usual. One of the former required frequent visits, in consequence of its being a public slaughter-house. Besides the owner, who killed a great number of pigs, four or five butchers also destroyed sheep; and another pork butcher, from the in-wards, killed 40 or 50 pigs weekly. Besides the evils, in a sanitary point of view, from this excess of business, the noise occasioned by the animals was something terrific. Hitherto it has been usual for the magistrates to grant licenses unconditionally, but in consequence of the preceding case, Dr. Aldis brought the subject before the magistrates, Mr. Thrupp and Colonel Bagot, at the recent Petty Sessions, when the former told two of the butchers that their licenses were to be used only for private slaughtering.
The register book of complaints and nuisances contains 174 cases, which admit of the following classification:—
Defects of drainage and untrapped gulleys 32
” ” water supply 6
Dirty state of premises, water closets, urinals, stagnant water, percolations, &c 38
Offensive trades, marine stores, frying of fish, ballast burning bad meat, &c 24
Overcrowding and bad ventilation —
Smoke nuisances 2
Animals being dirtily kept, and noises from 4
Smells from the Canal Basin —
Accumulation and deposit of manure, garbage, refuse, dust, dung, &c 50
Smells from decaying and putrid substances 1
Defective cleansing of Roadways —
Dangerous Structure —
Miscellaneous other complaints 17
The Inspectors of Nuisances discovered several instances where nightly lodgers have been taken in, and these have been registered as common lodginghouses. There are coffee-houses in this Parish known to the Police as brothels, and as nightly lodgers are taken, they ought to be brought under the surveillance of Police Authority as common lodging-houses. Poultry kept in London. Poultry keeping increases to a great extent in London, and frequent complaints are made to me that fowls should be done away with as a nuisance. It ought to be more generally known that I cannot proceed against the owners of domestic animals for the noises they may make. It exceeds my province to interfere with fowls, pigeons, and dogs if kept in a cleanly state. Cock-crowing at 1 a.m , the barking of dogs, the cooing of pigeons near your chamber window, or any other nuisance arising from noise, by which the sleep of nervous people is disturbed, is a serious annoyance, and probably ought, as in the manner of the street music, to be under control, or to be put down by law ; but I cannot treat them as Sanitary nuisances.
The Slaughter and Cow-houses received their annual inspection during the year. [. . .] Perhaps even of more importance to the community than the condition of the Slaughter-house is the condition of the place whence comes one of the most indispensable parts of our daily food supply. In speaking of Slaughter and Cow-house regulations, it may not be irrelevant to the subject to press the importance of having piggeries either prohibited in populous places, or strictly licensed and regulated. There is no more offensive and disgusting sight or smell than that of a piggery, to say nothing of the nondescript character of the sties in which the animals are usually kept, or the hideous noises with which they invade even the silence of the night. The odour they create is one of the most sickening conceivable, and, to delicate persons, positively injurious. In order to gratify their filthy appetites, the most offensive garbage is collected for their food, which, especially in hot weather, emits noxious and dangerous odours. It is highly desirable and necessary that suburbs, upon whose salubrity and amenities the greatest city in the world places such high value, should not be made offensive and even unhealthy, that a comparatively unimportant though lucrative trade should exist, and be possessed of privileges denied to many less disgusting occupations.
The Board have again had under consideration the subject of the desirability of bye-laws being made for the control or suppression of street cries or noises in the Metropolis. The Board in April, 1894, suggested to the London County Council that they should make bye-laws relative to (a) obstruction of thoroughfares by offering goods for sale ; (b) annoyance by shooting galleries, swing boats, &c.; (c) occupation of land by squatters, gipsies, &c., and the Council have now asked for the opinion of the Board with regard to bye-laws being made as to (1) street noises; (2) shooting galleries, roundabouts, &c.; (3) lights to vehicles; (4) keeping noisy animals. The Board approved of such bye-laws being made and they suggested that the operations of the bye-laws should extend to itinerant musicians, and that those persons should not be allowed to carry on their vocation in the streets after 10 p.m. The Council were also informed that the Board were still of opinion that the matters mentioned in their letter of April, 1894, should be dealt with by bye-laws. A Bill on the subject has been introduced into Parliament and the Board have presented a petition in its favour.
It is required by a memorandum of the L.G.B. that I inform you of all matters affecting, or likely to affect, the health of the inhabitants, either collectively or as individuals. I desire to briefly refer to a few of the oft recurring and ever-increasing sources of nerve irritation in our midst. Those that we find in the home, whether due to the constant reaction of married folk upon each other, to chronic ill-health, to servants, or other domestic worry, we cannot control, though we may be frequently and painfully aware of their existence, but those that are thrust upon us from without we can or ought to be able to check, or certainly to regulate or diminish.
I refer to the number of petty annoyances that keep us perpetually on the alert night and day, such as street calls and shouting, whether during the day or at the closing of the public houses, loud, vulgar, insane choruses by half drunken men in vans and brakes, especially on Sunday nights along the main road, the majority coming from the direction of Harrow and the regions beyond, vulgar horse play by lads at or near the station at night, perpetual barking of dogs often all night, especially in Ranelagh Road, epidemic of organ grinders in our streets, fiercely shrill and apparently unnecessary whistling from the railway engines of fast trains approaching or passing through Wembley, add to these a chime of eight bells if not actually discordant, certainly in no way melodious, and you have a few of the noisy nuisances that we could so easily do without.
I happen to know a number of nervous people who have come purposely to reside here to be away from the bustle and noise of the great city, to enjoy the quiet and the semi-rural character of the place, to do their gardening or to read in peace, and go to bed at nine or ten, but who often find it impossible or difficult, when even night is made horrid with these nuisances. I suggest that the County Council bye-laws be more rigidly enforced, that the mounted police wait upon the blackguards on the vans, that the Railway Companies be asked to be less vindictive with their whistling, that some concerted action be taken to reduce the number of street organs, householders patronising only one a week instead of three in the space of a few hundred yards, as was seen in Wembley a few days ago. I feel that many of these nuisances could be abolished, and I am sure you will not regard these matters as too trivial for your notice when you come to consider my report in detail.
The Borough Council has also made the following by-laws under the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, the Local Government Act, 1888, and the London Government Act, 1899:—
Noise from Organs connected with Shows, &c. No person shall, in connection with any show, roundabout, exhibition, or performance held or placed on any vacant ground adjoining or near to a street, make or cause or permit or suffer to be made, any loud or continuous noise by means of any organ or other similar instrument to the annoyance or disturbance of residents, and any person offending against this by-law shall, on summary conviction, be liable for the first offence to a penalty not exceeding forty shillings, and for every subsequent offence to a penalty not exceeding £5.
Noisy Hawking. No person shall, for the purpose of hawking, selling, or advertising any goods, call or shout in any street, so as to cause annoyance to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. Any person who shall offend against the foregoing by-law shall be liable, for every such offence, to a fine not exceeding forty shillings.
BY-LAWS FOR THE GOOD RULE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COUNTY OF LONDON.
By-Laws made by the London County Council in pursuance of the provisions of Section 23 of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, and Section 16 of the Local Government Act, 1888. By-Laws made on 19th July, 1898.
Steam Organs, Shooting Galleries, Roundabouts, &c. No person shall in any street or on any land adjoining or near thereto, use or play, or cause to be used or played, any steam organ or other musical instrument worked by mechanical means to the annoyance or disturbance of residents or passengers. No person shall in any street or on any land adjoining or near thereto, keep or manage, or cause to be kept or managed, a shooting gallery, swing boat, roundabout, or any other construction of a like character, so as to cause obstruction or danger to the traffic of any such street.
Noisy Animals. No person shall keep within any house, building or premises, any noisy animal which shall be or cause a serious nuisance to residents in the neighbourhood. Provided that no proceedings shall be taken against any person for an offence against this by-law until after the expiration of a fortnight from the date of the service on such person of a notice alleging a nuisance, signed by not less than three householders residing within hearing of the animal.
Street Betting. No person shall frequent and use any street or other public place on behalf, either of himself or of any other person, for the purpose of bookmaking or betting, or wagering, or agreeing to bet or wager, with any person, or paying, or receiving, or settling bets.
Penalty. Any person who shall offend against any of the foregoing by-laws shall be liable for every such offence to a fine not exceeding forty shillings, except in the case of the by-law relating to street betting, the fine for the breach of which shall be an amount not exceeding £5.
During the year 30 complaints of noise were received, eleven relating to nuisance at night (rowdy disturbances, door slamming, etc.), four to motor vehicles, four to operation of machinery in industrial premises, three to roller skating on the public way, three to itinerant newsvendors, two to dogs, two to milk delivery, and one to street hawking.
Street Musicians and Singers.
On the 28th July, 1938, the Council made the following bye-law in pursuance of section 38 of the London County Council (General Powers) Act, 1938:—
“(1) No person shall sound or play upon any musical or noisy instrument or sing in any street or public place within 100 yards of any dwelling-house, office, or business or professional premises to the annoyance or disturbance of any inmate or occupant thereof, after being requested to desist by any constable, or by any inmate or occupant so annoyed or disturbed, or by any person acting on his behalf.
Provided that this byelaw shall not apply to—
(a) any person taking part in a properly conducted religious service, except where the request to desist is made on the ground of the serious illness of any inmate of the house; or
(b) any person (i) whilst playing under the order of his commanding officer, in any band belonging to any branch of His Majesty’s Naval, Army, Air Reserve or Territorial Forces; or (ii) whilst playing in any band performing with the sanction of and in a place appointed by the London County Council or the St. Marylebone Borough Council.
(2) Any person offending against the foregoing byelaw shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £5.”
The bye-law was duly confirmed by the Home Secretary and came into operation on the 1st November, 1938. Eight complaints were received and dealt with informally.
Wireless Loudspeakers, etc.
During the year, seven complaints were received relating to nuisance from wireless loudspeakers, gramophones and similar instruments. In six cases, abatement of the nuisance was secured without the service of formal notice. In the remaining instance, the issue of a notice was necessary to obtain a remedy.
In securing attention to the several provisions relating to noise nuisances, the temporary streets nuisance inspector rendered valuable assistance, and also cooperated with the police in regard to a number of the complaints received.