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.
6. — No person shall lay or cause to be laid in any street any litter or other matter in case of sickness to prevent noise without the permission of the Sanitary Authority, and having obtained such permission, shall lay the same so that it may be evenly distributed over the surface of the part of the street intended to be covered, and shall, when the occasion ceases, within 24 hours, or upon notice from the Sanitary Authority, remove or cause to be removed from such street the litter or other matter so laid in such street.
The Great Eastern Railway Company have fixed screens under the bridges at Stepney Station, Blount Street, and Brenton Street, to prevent drippings therefrom. Screens have also been fixed under the platforms in York Road. With the view of lessening the noise caused by passing trains, the Company have fixed felt under the sleepers of the bridge crossing Salmon Lane.
Conditions of tenancy of the Thurston and Holland Model Buildings, Newton Street
5.—The stairs, passages, and balconies are to be swept daily during the week, and washed on the Saturday by the Tenants of each floor in the order of the numbers of the rooms. Children are not to be allowed to loiter or to make a noise on the roof, stairs, or balconies. The door leading to the roof to be constantly closed. Clothes-lines are to be removed when not in actual use. The balconies must not be used for drying, or hanging out clothes or other articles, or for shaking carpets; nor must any article be thrown out into the yards.
Sir, Settles street school. The Sub-Committee on Repairs have had under consideration a report from Her Majesty’s Inspector stating that the lessons are greatly hindered on one side of the building by the traffic, and that a wood or asphalte pavement would be a great relief to the teachers. I shall be glad to hear, for the information of the Sub-Committee, that your Vestry will take steps to provide a pavement of the kind suggested by the Inspector, in order that the lessons may not be interfered with by the noise outside.
Yours, &c., G. H. Croad, W.H.H. The Vestry Clerk, Clerk of the Board. Vestry Hall, Bancroft Road, Mile End, E.
During last year I brought before your Sanitary Committee complaints received by me in reference to the following alleged public nuisances [. . .] xi. Noise from steam-whistles from works of Messrs. Woodhouse and Rawson, and Epstein Company.
A letter was received from the London County Council stating that it had been decided to endeavour to get clauses inserted in all Bills promoted by Railway Companies with a view to requiring the Companies among other matters to make all their bridges watertight, and to make provision for deadening as far as possible the noise of passing trains. The Council asked the Board to do all they could to second the Council’s efforts, and the Board replied that they would be pleased to Co-operate for the purpose referred to.
In consequence of representations made to the Board of Trade of the noise caused by the cable tramways belonging to the London Tramways Company at Brixton Hill and Streatham Hill and of the danger to the public and damage to houses along the route arising therefrom, a public inquiry was held by Major-General Hutchinson on the 8th December as to the renewal of the licence authorising the use of cable power. This Board did not object to a renewal of the license, but suggested that it should be renewed for one year only, and this course was adopted by the Board of Trade on the understanding that the Company would use every practicable means to reduce as far as possible the nuisance which was complained of.
Early in the year the Vestry received a letter from the County Council, stating that their attention has several times been called by local authorities and others to the condition of many of the railway bridges over thoroughfares in London. Some of the bridges are so wide that the thoroughfare under them is darkened for a considerable distance, and many of them are by no means watertight; and the Council were of opinion that considerable improvement might be effected if the railway companies were required by law to make all their bridges watertight, to provide openings between old and new portions of widened bridges, to face the walls underneath the bridges with white glazed bricks or tiles, and to make provisions for deadening, as far as possible, the noise of passing trains; and the Council stated that they had resolved to endeavour to get clauses for these purposes inserted in all bills promoted by railway companies, and would be glad if the various local authorities would do all they could to second the Council’s efforts. The Vestry replied that they approved of the action of the Council, and would be willing to assist in the matter as far as possible.
This street has been paved with asphalte during the year, and advantage has been taken of the alteration to remove posts at the eastern end which prevented vehicular traffic passing through. Objection was taken by the Girls’ School authorities that the noise of passing traffic would be a serious hindrance to their school work, and the Vestry therefore fixed a moveable bar, which could take the place of the posts if the fears of noise were realised. Up to the present time, however, no complaints have been made to the Vestry.
PUBLIC HEALTH (LONDON) ACT, 1891, SECTION 16. Bye-Laws made by the Parish of St. Mary, Battersea, in the County of London being the Sanitary Authority for the said Parish, For the Prevention of Nuisances.
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6. Every person who shall lay or cause to be laid in any street any litter or other matter in case of sickness to prevent noise, shall lay the same so that it may be evenly distributed over the surface of the part of the street intended to be covered, and shall, when the occasion ceases, within forty-eight hours after remove or cause to be removed from such street the litter or other matter so laid in such street.
Complaints were made of noise and dust together with smoke from the Atmospheric Grain Elevator Co., in the Anhalt Road. The allegation was found to be substantially correct. All the defects were subsequently remedied except the noise which does not come within the province of the department.
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.
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.
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.
Street Noises, &c.
The Vestry have had before them letters from the County Council asking the opinion of the Vestry as to the desirability of the Council making bye-laws to suppress nuisances from noise arising from shouting to sell goods, shooting galleries, roundabouts and steam organs, and also as to requiring vehicles to carry lights after sunset; and from the Paddington Vestry, expressing the opinion that, having regard to the varying conditions and requirements of different parts of the Metropolis, the Vestries and District Boards should have the power, subject to the approval of the Local Government Board, of making such bye-laws. On the question of street shouting the Council has received a letter from the Home Secretary expressing the opinion that a bye-law which is in force in Liverpool and many other places in the kingdom, in the following form, would be a valid one if adopted by the Council:—
“No person shall, for the purpose of hawking, selling or distributing any newspaper or other article, shout, or use any bell, gong, or noisy instrument in such a manner as to cause nuisance or annoyance to the residents or passengers,” and such bye law, if made, would be enforced by the police. The Home Secretary points out that the requirement that public annoyance must be proved is an important safeguard against the oppressive application of the prohibition, and that it is not likely that Parliament would accept a more stringent provision. The Vestry passed the following resolutions:—
(1) That the Council be informed that the Vestry is in favour of such a bye-law being made and applied in the County of London.
(2) That the Council be informed that in the opinion of the Vestry it is desirable that powers should be obtained for Vestries and District Boards to make bye-laws to control the nuisance arising from shooting galleries, roundabouts and steam organs.
(3) That the Council be informed that in the opinion of the Vestry it is desirable that all vehicles should be required to carry lights after sunset, such requirement being enforced by the Council.
(4) That the Council be informed that in the opinion of the Vestry it is desirable that powers should be obtained for Vestries and District Boards to make bye-laws to regulate the keeping of noisy animals. [. . .] Gambling in the Streets—The Vestry have had their attention called to the prevalence of gambling in the streets of Clerkenwell, especially among youths, and they have written to the Superintendent of Police for the Division asking his assistance to stop the nuisance. [. . .]
Fire Alarm. — At the suggestion of the Vestry the County Council have fixed a fire alarm in St. John’s Square.
He also, as directed by the Committee, submitted a report relative to the noises, &c., in the A 1 Biscuit Co’s. Works, Queens Road, and also as to the Sanitary conditions there. The Committee gave directions that the necessary notice should be served with regard to certain matters, and this was subsequently complied with.
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.
Ventilation requirements for registered tenement-houses:
Many houses are ventilated only by air currents coming in through the water-closets and drains, and down the cold chimneys. It must be realized that each fire carries up its chimney an average of 40 cubic feet of air per minute and that this large body of air cannot go out up the chimney unless counter-provision be made for its entrance into the room.
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The staircase face of the inlet should be guarded by a silk flap-valve. This works without noise. Being very light, it rises instantly under the suction of the fire and allows air to pass freely from the staircase into the room. But when no fire is alight the silk flap-valve falls down and closes the inlet. This prevents reflux into the staircase, which would be attended by a down-draught through the chimney into the room.
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.
STRAW OR LITTER IN THE STREETS.
The district of St. Marylebone possesses streets in which a large proportion of the houses are fitted up as nursing establishments. Patients come from a distance, suffering from serious maladies, and are received in these nursing homes, within easy reach of the physician or specialist. In many of them surgical operations are performed. All, so far as the writer is aware, are conducted by skilled nurses, and are well managed establishments. Such places are a great advantage to the wealthier class of suffering humanity, and supply a distinct want. There is one disadvantage, that is, some of the sufferers require the muffling of the street noises as far as possible, hence these nursing streets are almost constantly littered with straw. The Public Health Act expressly exempts from penalty any person putting down straw or litter in cases of illness. There is no definition of the term “illness”; it is open for any malade imaginaire to litter the streets as often as he pleases. Until the litter gets rotten and stinks, the Local Authority cannot compel its removal. The Vestry agree with the writer that it is high time, so far as St. Marylebone is concerned, that there should be power to regulate the deposit of litter in the streets. No one wishes to prevent it altogether, but the Local Authority should certainly possess a veto in cases’ where it is either unnecessary or where other means could be adopted of muffling sounds. The Vestry have therefore suggested to the London County Council the propriety of inserting a clause in one of their Bills, enabling Local Authorities to frame regulations as to the laying down of straw or other litter.
The new Equifex disinfecting machine has proved of great value during the year—the automatic record of disinfections being especially useful as checking the work of the man in charge. In connection with the machine several slight alterations and improvements have been made, including the covering of the boiler-feeder with a galvanised iron cover, fitting of a condenser on to the steam exhaust chimney, and the inserting of two steam traps between the coils and the drain—improvements which have reduced the noise in connection with the working of the machine to a minimum, and economised the steam.
20th September.— At this meeting the Committee also considered a complaint which had been made relative to alleged nuisance arising from the manufacture of water gas at the Nine Elms Gas Works, and also in connection therewith a report of the Chief Sanitary Inspector upon the matter; that the premises had been the subject of previous reports upon the matter, and had been kept for months past under constant observation. The complainant referred to stench, smoke and noise. Enquiries had been made in the neighbourhood of the Works, which did not bear out the complaints so far as stench and smoke were concerned, neither did the observations which had been kept upon the premises by the Vestry’s own officers, and that since his report of the 1st February he had again visited the premises and found the greatest precautions being taken, he was of opinion there was no cause for complaint. He reported, however, that the premises would be still kept under observation, and that as soon as nuisance was observed, the matter would be reported to the Committee. The question of noise was one outside the Committee’s jurisdiction under the Public Health (London) Act.