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

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St James's 1883

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St James's, Westminster]

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On the 25th March, 1884, the number of lamps was 745, shewing a
decrease of 8 in the twelve months; the proportion of different lamps
now being 540 cannel gas street lamps, 186 common gas street lamps,
4 urinal lamps, and 15 refuge lamps. The whole of these lamps are
lighted, extinguished, cleaned, and maintained by the Gas Company
under an arrangement with the Vestry; the agreed sum being
£2 13s. 10d. per annum for each ordinary street lamp, whether
burning cannel or common gas, ft. of cannel gas being supplied
per lamp per hour, and 3 ft. of common gas. As regards the refuge
lamps, payment is made according to the consumption of gas as
registered by meter. The total cost of street lighting for the past
year amounted to £2,473 5s. 6d., exclusive of new lamp-posts,
lanterns, and fittings, which cost a further sum of £137 2s. 2d.
The price of cannel gas for street lighting was reduced from'
3s. 11 d. to 3s. 6d., and of common gas from 3s. 2d. to 2s. 10d. per,
1,000 cubic feet on the 1st July last. A further reduction in the
price of cannel gas to 3s. 4d., and of common gas to 2s. 8d. per
1,000 feet took effect on the 1st January.

The following statement illustrates the enormous increase in the demands of the Metropolitan Board of Works and the School Board for London during the last ten years:—

Metropolitan Board of Works9,57711,68110,95611,44211,59414,00815,35716,54617,61417,583
School Board for London5,1536,7059,97412,36412,19513,11515,06415,94116,46619,075

The cost of street lighting shows a diminution of £102 16s. 5d
for the year, as compared with the cost for the previous twelve
months, the difference being entirely due to the above-mentioned
reduction of price.
Few alterations have been made in the street lamps during the
year, although the subject of street lighting has been almost