Much has been done during the past year to diminish the offensiveness of the trades carried on in Green-street. [. . .] Amid the din the bustle, the dust, the confusion and smoke of traffick, we cannot expect that our sense of smell shall escape offence, our hands remain unsoiled, our ears be not deafened by discordant noises. It is upon commerce that the glory and prosperity of this country has been built, and its lofty superstructure stands safe thereon. But hamper our industrial enterprise and energy, as some of the Bills before Parliament propose to do, and the price we shall be called upon to pay for our refined delicacy will be far too costly. There are certain trades which from their nature, such as those where chemical processes are carried on, or where the storage of combustible and explosive materials are necessary, should at once be sent to a distance. In these cases not only the convenience but the health and lives of the surrounding population are at stake. All possible means of lessening offence from trades should be rigidly enforced, but I doubt the propriety of either stopping them or sending them away.
With reference to the danger and nuisance to the public cause by the noise from the Borough Road Bridge of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway Company’s line, although numerous letters have been sent to the Company requesting them to adopt some means prevent the noise, nothing further has been done by them than the removal of the corrugated iron ceiling from under the bridge, and the decking and corking of the surface of the bridge, this has the effect of preventing the percolation of water on to the road and footways, but the noise still continues. I have suggested among other methods the adoption of longitudinal sleepers in place of the cross ones, but the Company’s Engineer is of opinion this plan will not be of much service. Other railway bridges of equal span are comparatively noiseless. I would suggest that unless the Company adopt some effectual method without delay to prevent the noise, the Vestry proceed against the Company by indictment, as accidents are of daily occurrence.
Complaint has been made by inhabitants of Yalding Road, of noise, smoke, and dust from Donkin’s factory. I have visited the premises, and consider there is a nuisance arising from the dust, but at present am doubtful whether this case can be dealt with under the Sanitary Acts.
Resolved — That the Clerk be authorised to write in reply, stating that in the opinion of the Vestry it is advisable that a By-law should be framed prohibiting the throwing of orange peel on the footways, and also that a By-law should be framed to obviate as much as possible noises in the streets after 12 o’clock at night, and that in the meantime posters be printed and circulated in the parish cautioning persons against throwing orange peel on the footways.
Upper Grange Road.
Petitions have from time to time been presented to the Vestry, asking that, as the traffic from the Tower Bridge had largely increased and the noise thereby created had been considerably augmented, the roadway within the Parish might be paved with wood. The roadway needing considerable repair, an opportunity occurred for the Vestry to comply with these requests. The Vestry of Camberwell agreed, on this Vestry consenting to execute the work, to contribute £180 towards the cost. This arrangement was agreed to by the Vestry on the 9th March, 1897, and the work will shortly be proceeded with.
On 5th May. 1896, the Vestry received a deputation headed by Rev. S.M. Bardsley, the Vicar of Christ Church, relative to the paving in front of Christ Church. It was pointed out by Mr. Bardsley that the annoyance and inconvenience occasioned to those officiating at and attending the Church by the continual noise of the traffic was very considerable, and he urged the Vestry to take into their favourable consideration the question of wood paving. The matter was referred to the General Purposes and Works Committee for consideration and report.
Report on correspondence with the London County Council
Q. As to suggesting regulations for the further suppression of street cries, railway whistles, and other objectionable and unnecessary noises, within the County of London?
A. We are of opinion that these are matters which more particularly concern the police, who ought to have authority to enforce such regulations as may be considered necessary.
Miscellaneous Nuisances abated, with Localities.
Effluvia and Noise from Motor Omnibuses — New Kent road.
Devon Buildings and Abbey Buildings are in a good sanitary condition, while Wolseley Buildings are very far from satisfactory. One point to be noted about children living in buildings is that they frequently get too little sleep. When they inhabit the higher storeys their parents seldom think to go down to the playground to fetch them at bedtime, while when they live in a lower storey, the noise of older children at play effectually prevents sleep. Children as young as two years may be seen playing in the yards till 10 p.m. summer and winter.
An important change in premises occurred in May, when the former Hostel at 110, Grange Road was transformed into a Welfare Centre [for Expectant Mothers] for the mothers who formerly met in the Shelter, behind the Town Hall. The advantages of more room, and light, were immediately felt, and especially was the garden a joy to mothers and toddlers alike. The absence of noise and smell, which were inevitable accompaniment to any work done in the Shelter, was gratefully noted by mothers and workers alike.