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

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Merton and Morden 1940

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Merton & Morden]

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The first day nursery for the district was opened on
November 9th, 1942, at Middleton Road.
The building is a prefabricated hut consisting of reinforced
concrete uprights to which are bolted slabs made of sawdust.
The walls are lined internally with fibre board nailed direct
to the slabs, and the internal partitions are of hollow tiled blocks
flush pointed both sides and distempered to match the remainder
of the building.
The floor covering is of linoleum stuck to the oversite concrete
with the exception of the ablution rooms, where a patent
jointless floor is laid.
The roof is of corrugated asbestos cement sheets with flat
asbestos cement sheet lining.
Water heating is by means of a thermostatically controlled
three section "Rex" gas fired boiler with a hundred gallon
storage cistern. The heating of the nurseries is by means of
slow combustion stoves supplied by the Ministry, but in addition,
1 k.w. electric reflector fires are fixed at eaves level in the ablution
rooms and corridors. They are fitted in the nurse»ies also,
for the rapid warming of rooms in winter and for use if needed
in the morning and evening, when fires are not needed throughout
the remainder of the day.
Toy cupboards and other fittings are made of asbestos wood
sheets ½ inch thick, and the towel compartments (1 for each
child) are formed of asbestos cement sheeting. Each compartment
is 3 ft. 8 inches wide and 6 inches deep and is provided
with 3 hooks for hanging the towel, face flannel and hair brush.

The sizes of the nurseries are as follows-

LengthWidthStovesElectric firesElectric Lighting Points
Babies36' 3"18' 9½"233
Toddlers and Teenies34' 4½"18' 9½"364

The Second Nursery was opened at the Manor House,
Watery Lane, on April 12th, 1943. Suitable rooms were selected
for ablution rooms and sanitary appliances fitted. Other rooms
are furnished as nurseries, the chief adaptation work in these
cases being decoration.
The Third Nursery is approaching completeion at High
Path. This one also is a prefabricated building, but of different
construction from the one at Middleton Road, but similar in lay-