Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]
opinion that this trade should be regulated by by-laws under section 19 of the Public Health (London)
Act. The medical officer of health of Holborn reports that proceedings under section 21 were
instituted against a rag warehouse, and the business removed from the district.
Brickfields.—The medical officer of health of Kensington states that no nuisance was experienced
from brickburning during the year. The medical officer of health of Hammersmith had occasion to
report on complaint of offensive odour from a brickfield in Shepherds-bush. Ballast burning in
Camberwell gave rise to nuisance and was dealt with accordingly.
Other trade nuisances referred to in the annual reports are as follows:—
Hammersmith.—Nuisance from fumes from a shaft at carpet cleaning works ; effluvia from the
roof of the retort house of the Great Western gas-works; nuisance caused by the discharge into the
main sewer of a product of the compression of a mineral oil.
Holborn.—Nuisance from fried-fish shops. The report also states that additional condensers
have been constructed at a metal refiners, and coppers and tanks have been reconstructed at a tripeboilers
to prevent nuisance.
St. Olave.—Nuisance caused by the manufacture of articles from the windpipes and bladders
of animals was abated. The medical officer of health thinks that the by-laws of the Council regulating
the conduct of a trade in which gut or intestines are manipulated should have been made to include
Poplar (Poplar and Bromley).—Nuisance from discharge of chemical refuse into sewer, from
escape of acid fumes from sulphuric acid works, from the condensing apparatus of lamp black works
being out of order, from treating cuttings in indiarubber works with chemicals, from escape of fumes
from wooden smoke-holes during fish-curing, scraping and drying of skate and other fish skins, from
defective roof of waste-hole of bone-boiling works, from vapours from fat-melting pans, from burning
paint-tins in the open, from deposit of fish offal.
(Bow).—Nuisance from chimney of pipe-making kilns being below windows of adjoining houses,
from vapours from mixing-tanks of felt-works from boiling whalebone in an open pot, from burning bass
refuse, from burning cork in the open, from escape of noxious gases from the main shaft of chemical
Battersea.—Nuisance caused by the furnace used for the cremation of dogs, nuisance caused in
the cleansing and drying of hair of ox-tails, nuisance from throwing water over clinkers drawn from a
Greenwich (Deptford).—Nuisance from the tripe-boiling factory in the foreign cattle market.
Limehouse.—Nuisance from the premises of a gut-scraper.
References to the subject of smoke nuisance appear in the majority of the annual reports of
medical officers of health, thus—
Hammersmith.—The report of the vestry states that in several cases it became necessary for
action to be taken for preventing the recurrence of smoke nuisance. Letters of caution were addressed,
but in no case was it found necessary to institute proceedings against offenders.
Chelsea.—In 8 cases smoke nuisance was dealt with.
St. George, Hanover-square.—In 3 cases smoke nuisance was dealt with.
Westminster.—The medical officer of health reports that nuisance from the shaft at the vestry's
depot was the subject of complaint. An increase of the height of the shaft was recommended by him,
but it was found that to comply with this recommendation the provisions of the Building Act would
require the re-building of the shaft; no action was taken. A penalty of £20 and £5 costs was imposed
upon the owners of Queen Anne's-mansions for allowing dense black smoke to issue from a chimneyshaft
in the buildings.
St. James, Westminster.—In 9 cases smoke nuisance was dealt with.
Marylebone.—26 complaints of smoke nuisance were dealt with.
St. Pancras.—" In 2 cases smoke nuisances were suppressed."
Islington.—Among the duties of the male inspector of workshops is the dealing with smoky
Hackney.—The number of complaints was 14. The service of notices was found to be sufficient.
Strand.—" During the year much good has been done in the district by abating nuisances
caused by smoke. . . . Such orders have been made in regard to chimneys sending forth black
smoke in such quantity as to be a nuisance, and in each case has been complied with."
Holborn.—" The smoke inspector, Mr. Thomas Madden, reports that there are 59 furnaces and
boilers on the register, and that he makes periodical inspection of them, to see that they are in a proper
working order and consumed their own smoke. Three notices were served and complied with."
Clerkenwell.—3 smoke nuisances were abated.
City.—49 cases of smoke nuisance were dealt with.
Shoreditch.—In 45 instances intimation as to smoke nuisance was received from the London
County Council. In 29 instances smoke nuisance was abated ; in 1 case legal proceedings were
instituted. The cause of complaint was the burning of wood turnings in a furnace, the charred
remains escaping with the smoke to the annoyance of the neighbourhood. The vestry proceeded under
section 23 (2) of the Public Health (London) Act, but it was held this section did not apply.
Whitechapel.—In 7 cases smoke nuisance was abated.
St. George-inr-the-East.—In 7 cases smoke nuisance was remedied.
Mile-end Old-town.—In 2 cases smoke nuisance was abated.
Poplar.—In 38 cases smoke nuisance was abated. The cause is stated to be the burning of
inferior fuel and-the use of defective apparatus.
St. George-tlie-Martyr.—Smoke nuisance was discontinued in 7 cases.