London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Plumstead 1893

Annual report 1893-94

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inhabitants having found they were a convenient receptacle for
dead cats and dogs and other refuse. One ditch has been piped
in by the football club, but the one along the Arsenal wall,
belonging to the Crown, continues to be a nuisance, and so far,
in spite of repeated applications, the Arsenal authorities have refused
to undertake any permanent remedy.
23. Table XI. shews that 22 cases of overcrowding were
discovered by the Inspectors, in all of which 1 visited the houses
and directed what measures were to be taken. With one or two
exceptions they were all cases of overcrowded sleeping rooms only,
and the standard of minimum air space required per head was
taken as 300 cubic feet. For many cases it was found sufficient
to advise a re-arrangement of sleeping accomodation, such as the
use of living rooms for sleeping by older children. In other cases
notices were served, involving the seeking by the family of a
new house. These are difficult cases to deal with, as being
usually due to poverty the people cannot pay for more accomodation,
and if turned out of one house will probably go and
overcrowd another.
24. Where there is overcrowding the people and their rooms
are usually dirty. They are almost invariably occupants of
houses let to more than one family. For this reason I recommended
the Board to adopt the L. G. B. Model Bye-laws for
lodging houses or else to put in force the Bye-laws which the
Board adopted many years ago. I consider that this course
would facilitate dealing with cases of overcrowding and would
make it easier to enforce cleanliness.