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

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St Pancras 1910

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

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At the North London Police Court in April, 1911, the owner of some
houses let in tenements to working men was summoned in consequence of
alleged deficiency in the water supply. On behalf of the Islington Borough
Council it was shown that, although two or three families resided in each
house, the water supply was only obtainable in the scullery, and there were
no taps upon the landings. The defendant claimed that the water supply
came direct from the main and was adequate, and that when he provided taps
on the landings they were liable to be meddled with by children, with consequent
damage to the house. This would bring down the ceiling of the floor
below, and the landlord would have to restore it at his own expense. The
magist'ate made orders for the conditions complained of by the Borough
(Council to be remedied. Taps may be so arranged that children are unable to
interfere with them, and provision may be made for waste water to be carried
off without inflicting damage, even if the taps are left running. The taps
need n t necessarily be placed on the landings, they may be placed in some of
the rooms.
Inscribed Dwellings.
For the purpose of periodical inspection a list of Inscribed Dwellings is
kept. This List includes —
1. Cottages of one, two, three, or more rooms occupied by one family and
which cannot be registered, e.g. Equity Buildings.
2. Dwellings over Stables which require periodical inspection but cannot be
registered, e.g. Wakefield Mews.
3. houses in crtain areas represented under the Housing of the Working
Classen Acts, some of which are registrable and some not, e.g., Chapel Grove
and Eastnor Place areas.
4. Tenement Houses let in separate dwellings but in which the dwellings are
not separately assessed, or, if separately assessed, in which the dwellings do not
differ in arrangement or construction from those in an ordinary tenement
house, but which houses, it may be contended, are not registrable as a whole.
5. Working Class Flats habitually overcrowded or kept in an insanitary
(e) Underground Duelhings.—At the end of the year there were on the Register
471 underground rooms which had been illegally occupied as dwellings, and
had been ordered to be closed, and of which 116 inspections had been made and
46 re-inspections after notices served. Time is allowed to the occupants of these
rooms to find rooms elsewhere, and during the time allowed the illegally occupied
rooms are kept under observation and the number vacated or otherwise
occupied ascertained and reported. The houses in which these dwellings are
found are added to the register of registered tenement houses.
(d) Common Lodging-houses.—There are 19 registered Common Lodginghouses
in St. Pancras, and these are supervised by the London County
Council, including the one Salvation Army Shelter in South St. Pancras.
Rowton Houses are not so registered; of these there are in St. Pancras one at
the southern end of King's Cross Road, in South St. Pancras, and another at
the northern end of Arlington Road, in West St. Pancras.