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

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Finsbury 1960

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Finsbury Borough]

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Since the single stack system of drainage was first introduced in
1955 some 13 subsequent applications to use this system have been
provided by the Council In each instance the work has basically
complied with the recommendations of the Building Research Station and
satisfactory syphonic tests have been carried out on completion of the
work In all but two instances the installations have been in blocks
of new or converted flats
Prom time to time it has been considered necessary to open up
drams as a matter of urgency and appropriate action has been taken
under the Public Health London) Act 1936 0 Such necessity did not
arise in 1960,
COMMON LODGING HOUSE
There is a Common Lodging House for men situated at 88 Old Street„
E.C. I. which is owned and maintained by the Salvation Army, The
premises are licensed for 313 inmates on the basis of the standards
laid down by the London County Council prior to the transfer of
functions in 1933,
Separate quarters are provided for the Deputy Keeper and staff.,
but generally, the common sleeping rooms are on the upper floors, the
kitchen, dining room and office are on the ground floor, and the
washing facilities and lockers are in the basement The main sanitary
accommodation is situated in the ground floor yard„,but additional
toilet facilities are also provided on each bedroom floor.
The conditions in this lodging house are far from satisfactory,
although standards of hygiene reasonable in all the circumstances, are
maintained A large number of occupants stay there only for a very
short period, but probably some 50 to 100,, mostly older men,, maKe the
premises their home for a considerable time
The number of inmates is too great to allow of any real comfort
being given or Welfare work being undertaken by the limited staff
During 1958 a survey of the conditions prevailing in this lodging
house was carried out by a voluntary organisation with which the
Borough Council was associated
It is clear from the results of this survey and from other investigations
that this place does serve a very useful purpose in helping
a number of men who are unable or unsuitable to settle down in ordinary
domestic life, but that there are opportunities offered here to which
use have never been made, to help them in their many social problems,
12 visits of inspection were made by the Public Health Inspectors
during the year„ There has bean no other known lodging houses licensed
in the Borough.
32


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