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

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Rotherhithe 1859

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Rotherhithe]

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An apparatus for testing gas has been erected in the vault under the Vestry
Hall of St John's Horselydown, and experiments are being conducted to test the
quantity and quality of gas supplied in this District under the supervision of the
Committee appointed by this Vestry in conjunction with St. Olaves District Board
the proceedings of the joint Committee will be found in detail in the forty-ninth and
fifty-first Reports of the Medical Officer of Health.
On the 13th March last, the Vestry resolved that a sum not exceeding £50,
might be contributed towards the expense of passing the Metropolitan Gas Regulation
Bill, and referred the matter to the members of the Gas Committee for them to determine
upon the amount to be subscribed.
In consequence of the impurity of the gas supplied by the Surrey Consumers
Gas Company in January last, the Vestry presented a memorial to the Secretary of State
(see Appendix No. 3), proceedings were also taken under the Nuisances' Removal
Act against the Company, but the summons was dismissed by the Magistrate.
The Vestry having determined to provide means for watering the streets of the
Parish, two wells have been sunk, and pumps erected, viz.:—one at the north end of
Swan-lane, and one near Canada Wharf, Rotherhithe-street, and two water-carts have
been hired for the season, at £7 10s. each cart—the watering is being carried out
under the direction of the Surveyor of Sewers, assisted by the Clerk of the Works.
The Vestry have entered into a contract with Mr. S. Wright for the removal of
dust, &c., from the dwellings of the inhabitants, and for cleansing the paved streets
(for particulars of Contract, see page 4).
From the 25th of March, 1859, to the 25th of March, 1860, seventy-five notices
have been served in duplicate under the Nuisances' Removal Act, upon complaints
made by the Medical Officer and Inspector of Nuisances, thirty-seven of which have
been effectually abated by proper drainage being made from the respective houses
into covered sewers, and thirty-eight have been abated by removal.
Thirteen summonses have been issued, and Magistrates' orders obtained and
carried out.
Twenty-four notices to make drains and provide water-closets, ash-pits, and
water-supply have been served by order of the Vestry. In twenty cases, the owners
have properly complied therewith, and four are still standing over.