Workington Local Board

The usual fortnightly meeting of this board was held on Tuesday evening.

Members Wanted. – At the hour of the meeting (seven o’clock) only Messrs J MILBURN, W G SCOTT, and T IREDALE were present, in addition to the clerk (Mr J WARWICK), the medical officer (Dr Alexander HOGG), and the surveyor (Mr EAGLESFIELD), and as there did not seem any probability of any more members putting in an appearance, Mr Eaglesfield was despatched to seek two other gentlemen in order to make a quorum. Mr W CARRUTHERS was found, but Mr Smith was unwell, and the surveyor was requested to find Mr BENSON. – The Clerk explained that he had sent out the notices of the meeting as usual, but the chairman (Mr H BOWES) and many of the other members were away from home. Mr R H HODGSON arrived at 7.40, thus making a quorum. – Mr Iredale was voted to the chair.

The Health of the Town. – Insanitary Lodging Houses

Dr Hogg read his monthly report, from which we extract the following:- "For the month of May there have been 70 births, - 38 males and 32 females. The annual birth-rate, therefore, is 57.4 per 1,000 as compared with 32.7 last month, and 37.6 for the same month last year. During the same period 29 deaths have occurred, being exactly the same number as were registered in the same month of last year, and equal to an annual death rate of 24 per 1,000 of the population. A fatal case of enteric fever occurred in 7 King-street. Since the death, two others in the house have contracted the disease, but are now recovering. Filth is the only cause that I can point to as being likely to originate the fever in this case. There is a plentiful supply of good water, well removed from sewage contamination, the water-closet is clean and in good working order, but the backyard, which is common to this house and the adjoining one, is very small and thoroughly out of repair. The house inside is very dirty. There are eight beds for three rooms, four of them being in the garret, where there is a very small fireplace, and into which no light or air is admitted, except by a small skylight about a foot square. This upper room is not fit for a bedroom and should not be used. Every person was ordered out of the house except a man and woman who were to act as nurses. The owner of a house in Derwent-street, who has, at present, a privy in the garden, wishes to turn it into a water closet, and connect it with the sewer. This won’t be done if the owner has to go to the expense of buying iron pipes. He would put in earthenware pipes as drain pipes, and, in my opinion, if the earthenware pipes are good, if they are well jointed, and well laid, they are superior to iron pipes." Dr Hogg added that he had been informed that as many as a dozen men slept in the garret which he had spoken of. There was no ventilation whatever to the place. – In answer to a question, the Surveyor said he did not know the name of the person who had occupied the house. – The Chairman (to Dr Hogg): What are we to do? – The Medical Officer: Compel them to repair the back-yard, and make proper ventilation in the garret. – The Clerk: We had better give them notice. – The Medical Officer (continuing): And don’t allow anyone to sleep in the garret until there are more windows put in, or a larger one. It is closed now. – The Chairman proposed that the doctor’s report should be received and adopted. – The Chairman: What state is the town in at present, as regards health? – The Medical Officer: Fairly good for the time of year. – The report was then adopted. – A number of plans were passed, and the board rose.