The following were cases in which the Inspector could not interfere:—
Ranelagh-street, No. 8. The complaint here was of stone masons’ hammering during the day. At Mr. Croft’s, Pork Butcher, Knightsbridge-terrace, that of a nuisance caused by the noise of a sausage-making machine, erected at the rear of complainant’s yard. At Cumberland-street, No. 73, annoyance caused by the playing of an organ next door.
This Bill would empower occupiers or lodgers to require itinerant musicians or singers to desist from playing or singing in any public place near his house or premises, under a penalty of forty shillings or imprisonment for a period not exceeding fourteen days. The Board have presented a petition in favour of the Bill.
Band Performances by County Council.
The Vestry asked the County Council to arrange for band performances to be given within the Parish of Clerkenwell, and suggested that Spa Green would be a suitable place for the purpose, but the Council, in view of the heavy traffic in Rosebery Avenue next the open spaces referred to, and the noise occasioned by same, were not prepared to allow band performances in the places suggested, and therefore asked the Vestry to indicate some more suitable place, to which the objections referred to would not apply As, however, Spa Green is the only suitable place for the purpose the matter was dropped.
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.
[Description of Finsbury slums]
Many of the mothers did not know where their husbands worked or what their earnings were. Other mothers wished to conceal the occupations of their husbands. One such had stated that her husband was a carman. Later, they and their baby, 13 months old, were seen in a London square. The mother was soliciting money from passers-by. The father was playing a combination slum orchestra which included a violin, Pan’s pipes, drum, a triangle, and cymbals.
[. . .]
Lowest in the scale are fathers who “work pitches” outside public houses for a living, organ grinders, and those who “go busking” or singing to theatre queues. Those who are attached to public house “pitches” act as messengers, porters, cartminders, or hold horses’ heads. They earn from 1s. to 2s. a day, but are often remunerated by having ale given to them instead of money. The takings of organ grinders are said to have materially lessened during the last 5 years. It would appear that 10s. to 15s. is now a fair average weekly amount.
[. . .]
Some of the homes were in dark, dilapidated and domestically dirty basements or attics. It is noteworthy that families with numerous children are compelled by house owners in many instances to occupy the basements. Such families are precluded from living in upper rooms because when they occupy the higher storeys the children at play make much noise and interfere with the peaceable enjoyment of their holdings by those who occupy the rooms underneath. One mother observed, “If you have children, you are always pushed to the bottom of the house if you live with respectable people. My children have always been ill since we have had to live in these underground places.” Many of the tenements were verminous, many were crowded, a few were overcrowded.
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.