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.
There is also a class of nuisances which, although apparently of a petty nature, may and do inflict much serious injury and annoyance, more especially to invalids. I refer to unnecessary street noises — to dog barking, cock crowing, railway whistling, noise of machinery, &c. I have seen patients dangerously ill suffer severely from these nuisances, the greatest injury being prevention of sleep; yet they, and the authorities, are powerless to suppress or remove them, complaints made to the selfish owners of such nuisances being generally treated with indifference or derision. Although these matters appear trifling, they are always more or less injurious to some, and, in many instances, not only assume dangerous proportions, but produce serious and fatal results. I have therefore not thought them unworthy of passing allusion, and hope they will obtain more definite notice in forthcoming health legislation. Rest is not only essential in disease, but for the preservation of health. How can this be secured in London, if the noises inseparable from day-time are perpetuated throughout the night in still more hideous and injurious forms? The best efforts should be directed to obtain the benefits of nocturnal rest for toiling Londoners, they would then feel less necessity for artificial stimulation during the day, enjoy better health, do more work, and have longer lives.
North Metropolitan Tramways.
The North Metropolitan Tramways Company issued notices, and deposited plans and Bill for the formation of various lines of tramway in the Metropolis, including lines in Vernon Place and the South side of Bloomsbury Square. The formation of these tramways, with their objectionable noise, the occupation of the public ways by the tram cars, and the inevitable ruts and dangerous condition of the paving, which seems to be necessarily attendant upon all tramways, was considered by your Board would be highly detrimental to the class of property in Bloomsbury Square and its vicinity, and would moreover be in direct contravention of an Act of Parliament, passed in 1806, instituted, “An Act for ornamenting and embellishing the centre or area of Bloomsbury Square,” and which Act expressly prohibited the plying for hire of any hackney coach within the Square, or within the distance of 300 ft. of any house forming part of the said Square. Your Board accordingly petitioned the House of Commons against the Bill, and appeared by Counsel before the Parliamentary Committee in support of its petition. The Board’s opposition was successful, and that portion of the scheme of the Tramway Company was rejected by the Committee.
I have the honour to remain, Gentlemen, Your obedient Servant, G. WALLACE, Surveyor.
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.
To the Chairman and Members of the Vestry of St. James’s, Westminster. Vestry Hall, Piccadilly, March , 1880.
Reverend Sir and Gentlemen. The lists of the more important Works undertaken and executed by the Vestry of St. James’s, Westminster, during the twelve months ending March 25th, 1880, require no additional explanation as such Works have been previously decided upon by the Vestry or their Works Committee, with the exception of some unlooked-for matter that must of necessity arise from time to time in the maintenance of so important a Parish.
In these lists nothing very new, or special will be found, although there is a great deal in abeyance.
The Work at present entrusted to the Local Authorities, that attracts the most attention on the part of the General Public, are the Paving Works, for the simple reason that everybody can see all that is done. As a fact a large Paving matter becomes almost a source of Public amusement, and challenges much criticism, but this view is taken only by those who have no interest whatever in the result, or think they have no interest. The whole community have the most deep interest in results, although they have perhaps little voice in the actual methods employed to ensure their safety and comfort, — safety by adopting such materials and way of applying them as shall be the most secure from accident to man or beast, and even property — and comfort to obviate as much as possible the discomforts arising from those inseparable companions of busy traffic, Dust, Mud, and Noise, and the not to be forgotten element of smell.