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

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St Pancras 1904

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St. Pancras, London, Borough of]

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Leigh ton Crescent is controlled by a Committee of the adjoining residents,
and the Secretary is Mr. Blunton, of No. 6, Leighton Crescent, N.W.
The Crescent, Euston Street, is owned by the London and North Western
Railway Company.
The enclosed Gardens adjoining Regent's Park Terrace and Maitland Park
Villas, are owned by adjoining owners of land, and are maintained by them.
It is to be observed that in their effect upon the atmosphere and the population
the two classes of open spaces produce opposite results. The open
spaces planted with herbage, flowering plants, shrubs, and trees purify and
cleanse the atmosphere, and afford the means of recreating and recruiting the
health of the people surrounding them, and the only noises heard within them
are the piping sounds of children's voices. The open spaces devoted to railway
purposes are bare of vegetation and from them proceed the smoke of railway
engines, the clanking of shunting trucks, the rumbling of trains, the vibration
of heavy moving weights, the explosions of fog signals, shrill whistlings, and
other disturbances of matter immensely conducive to the activities of the
nation, but not to the health of the people immediately surrounding. In
addition they form large enclosed areas inaccessible to the public, and
obstructive to local traffic, transit, and inter-communication. What contribution
outside the Parliamentary Acts of the Railway Companies does
the nation make towards the health and well-being of the local community
subjected to these ills, for the nation's welfare ?
Smoke. โ€” In the Annual Report for 1902 the enactments dealing with smoke
were set out in full.
There are 221 smoke shafts on the Register, 721 observations of these were
taken, and 40 re-inspections were made after notices served. These observations
or inspections and re-inspections occupy a considerable amount of time,
as the intervals between stoking are of considerable duration - at least twenty
Effluvia.โ€” Of various businesses or places producing effluvia or offensive
emanations there are 100 on the Registers, and of these 33 inspections and
30 reinspections were made.
House-to-House Inquiries and Inspections. โ€” (a) For the purpose of ascertaining
the mode of sub-letting, 599 inquiries were made as to the occupation of
houses in tenemented streets. (b) When the mode of sub-letting appears
to be such as to necessitate periodical supervision of the sanitary condition of
a house a complete enquiry is made into the mode of occupation of each
room of the house. (c) When it has been decided to register a tenement
house each room is measured as to its dimensions and capacity and recorded
in the Register.