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WILLIN6TON QUAY 




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REPORT 


OF THE 


Medical Officer of 




FOR THE YEAR 1894. 


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Sanoto : 

Printed by Thos. Robinson & Co., “ Express” Office, Ormonde St. 

1895. 

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WILMINGTON QUAY 







R E P O R T 

OF THE 


JVIedical Officer of health, 

FOR THE YEAR 1894. 



j^arrofo : 

Printed by Thos. Robinson & Co., “ Express” Office, Ormonde St, 







Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2018 with funding from 
Wellcome Library 


https://archive.org/details/b30279124 


TO THE 


Willington Quay Urban District Council, 




Gentlemen, 

I beg to submit my Report for the year ended December 31st, 

1894. 


MORTALITY. 

General Mortality. During the whole of the year 92 deaths (48 
males, 44 females) were registered. 

Estimating the population at the end of the second quarter at 6,784, 
this gives a death-rate of 13*6 per j,ooo. The subjoined table gives 
the death-rate for the last ten years, also the average of the large 
English town districts. 


Death-rate. 

1885 

1886 

1887 

1888 

1889 

1890 

►— 4 

CO 

CO 

I — 4 

1892 1893 

: 

1894 

Average 
10 Years. 

Wellington Quay. 

19 7 

14-6 

11*8 

19-1 

17-6 

18-6 

181 

16.0 

1T7 

13.6 

16.1 

Large English Town 
Districts. 

19 -6 

19-5 

18-9 

18-4 

18-7 

19-5 

2D0 

18-8 

191 

16*0 

19-0 


The death-rate for 1894 is low, being 2 '4 below the average of the 
large English town districts. 


At the end of this Report will be found a Tabulated Form, in which 
the deaths are classified according to ages and diseases. 






































4 


Mortality among Children. Thirty-eight deaths occurred in 
children under 5 years, this being equal to a percentage of 41-3 ; last 
year the number was 40 or a percentage of 51'3. It will thus be seen 
that nearly half of the deaths occurred in young children. 

Infant Mortality, measured by the proportion of deaths under one 
year to births registered, was equal to 112 per 100, as against 132 for 
last year, and 143 for the 67 large English town districts. Taking the 
average for the last 10 years we get a rate of 130; this means that, 
on an average, of every 100 children born in this District, 13 die 
before they are one year old. 

Mortality above 65 Years. Fifteen deaths occurred above 65 
years, being 16-3 per cent, of the whole number. 

Mortality from Seven Principal Zymotic Diseases. These 
diseases which include : Small-pox, Measles, Scarlet Fever, Diphtheria, 
Whooping Cough, Fevers, and Diarrhoea, have caused 7 deaths, or 76 
per cent., the number last year being 4, percentage 5*1. 

The Zymotic Death-rate for this year, therefore, is 103, as against 
o-6o for last year, and 2-29 for 1892, the average for the 67 large 
English town districts being r68. Typhoid Fever and Whooping 
Cough each caused two deaths; Measles, Scarlet Fever, and Diarrhoea 
each one death. 


The Zymotic Rate, as will be seen, is less than that of the 67 large 
English town districts. This is partly accounted for by the absence of 
any epidemic during the course of the year. 


J 

Zymotic-rate 

Meas¬ 

les. 

Scarlet 
F ever. 

Diph¬ 

theria. 

Whoop¬ 

ing 

Cough. 

Fevers 

Diarr¬ 

hoea. 

General 

Zymotic 

Ratel394 

General 
Average 
10 Years. 

Willington Quay. 

015 

0 15 

0 00 

0.29 

0-29 

0 15 

L* 03 

1*7 7 

Large English 
Town Districts. 

0-31 

0.16 

019 

0-38 

0-20 

0-40 

1 *68 

213 


Mortality from other Causes. Diseases of the Respiratory 
Organs, including Bronchitis, Pneumonia and Pleurisy, caused 10 
deaths; Phthisis, 7; Heart Disease, 10 •; Rheumatic Fever 2; 
Injuries, 5. 




































Summary of Mortality Percentages. 


Zymotic Diseases 

7-6 

per cent 

Under 1 year 

26' 1 

per cent 

Rheumatic Fever 

2 ‘2 


1 & under 5 years 

15-2 

* j 

Phthisis 

7*6 


5 „ 15 „ 

6-5 

f) 

Respiratory Diseases 

io’9 

>> 

*5 „ 25 „ 

7-6 

?} 

Heart Disease 

io’9 


2 5 » 6 5 „ 

28-3 


Injuries 

5*4 


Above 65 ,, 

16-3 

J) 

All other Diseases 

55*4 








IOO'O 


1 

OO’O 

J5 





Mortality Classified according to Localities. 


George St. 6 

Gladstone St. i 

Norman Terr. i 

Bewicke St. 6 

Church St. 2 

Stephenson St. 15 

Tyne St. 3 

Palmer’s Terr. 7 


Hill st.; 4 

Carlyle St. 2 

Boundary St. 1 

Potter St. 11 

White Cottage 2 

N elson St. 9 

Philipson St. 1 

Rosehill Rd. 1 


Hodgson St. 
Headiam St. 
Argyle St. 
Western Rd. 
Ravensworth St. 
Keelman’s Row 
Station Rd. 
Willing-ton Gut 


8 

4 

1 
o 

2 

3 
1 

1 


BIRTHS. 

The births for the year number 213 (119 males, 94 females), equal 
to a birth-rate of 31*4 per 1,000, against 35^4 for last year and 30*3 for 
the 67 large English town districts. The gain to the population (i.e. the 
excess of births over deaths) of this District is, therefore, 121. 


NEW CASES OF SICKNESS. 

Smallpox. I am glad to say that since June, 1883, no cases of 
this disease have occurred. 

Measles. Two cases occurred in November in Potter Street, one 
of which terminated fatally. 

The infection was brought from Sunderland. 

Scarlet Fever. This disease has been slightly prevalent during 
the greater part of the year, but at no time could it be said to have 
assumed the proportions of an epidemic. 









6 


In February 2 cases occurred, one in George Street, the other in 
Tyne street, the latter case, a police-constable, was removed to the 
Hospital for Infectious Diseases. In March there were 4 cases, in 
Norman Terrace and Stephenson Street; April, 4 cases, one at the 
Police Station (fatal), the other in Palmer’s Terrace. In September 
the largest number, namely, 7 cases, was reported. They occurred 
in Western Road, Headlam Street, Nelson Street, and Boundary 
Street; four of these were removed to the Hospital. October, 5 cases. 
November, 4 cases, in Headlam Street and Nelson Street; one 
removed to the Hospital. December, 4 cases, in Headlam Street and 
Rosehill Road; one removed to the Hospital. It will, therefore, be 
seen that altogether 30 cases occurred, principally in Nelson Street and 
Headlam Street. One death was recorded, but the 7 cases which were 
sent to the Hospital all made good recoveries. 

It is to be regretted that more cases could not be induced to go to 
the Hospital, as it is very difficult to secure efficient isolation when 
patients are treated at their own homes. 

Not only are great ignorance and carelessness displayed by most 
people in the treatment of infectious diseases, but the instructions of 
the medical attendants, with regard to isolation, are often wilfully 
disregarded. The proper ventilation of the sick room, too, is very 
seldom thought of; few persons seem to be aware of the fact that a 
free supply of fresh air is not only necessary for the well-being of the 
patient, but is also a most important means of lessening the infective 
power of the disease. 

Disinfectants, although of great value in Typhoid Fever and Cholera, 
are of very little use in diseases which spread through the atmosphere, 
such as Scarlet Fever and Measles; plenty of good air, frequently 
renewed (with isolation of course), is far more effectual, and the success 
which has attended the treatment of infectious diseases in properly 
constructed hospitals is in a great measure due to the large amount of 
air-space allotted to each patient. But ventilation, so necessary in the 
treatment of the sick, is none the less important as a preventive of 
disease. I have often been surprised, in walking along the streets 
in the morning, to see so few windows open even in warm weather. 


7 


The great majority of people, evidently, fail to grasp the fact that 
thorough ventilation of all dwelling-rooms (and especially of bed-rooms), 
whether there is sickness or not, should be a matter of daily routine. 

Typhoid Fever. In January 3 cases of Typhoid fever, in 
Pochin’s Buildings, were reported. 

The Inspector and I examined the premises and found one of the 
drains defective. 

A notice was sent to the owner, who promptly put in a new drain. 
In June a case occurred in Keelman’s Row, and in November another 
case in the same house, the latter ending fatally. The house, like all 
the other houses in Keelman’s Row was found to be in a damp and 
defective condition. 

In October a case of continued fever, in Boundary Street, was 
notified, but I could not find any sanitary defect, to which to attribute 
the disease. 

Whooping Cough. In May a good many cases came to my 
knowledge, but after that the disease was much less prevalent, the 
number of deaths due to it being smaller than in previous years. 

Diphtheria. Two cases, in Stephenson Street were reported in 
March. On inspecting the premises I discovered an old disused sink 
waste-pipe, which communicated with the drain. This was removed 
by the owner. 

Diarrhoea. This disease has not been very prevalent owing to the 
coolness of the season, the mortality from it being low. 

Influenza. A few cases came under my notice at the commence¬ 
ment and towards the end of the year. 

SANITARY WORK. 

Precautions against Cholera. Bills, similar to those used the 

year before, giving instructions as to precautions to be taken against 
infectious diseases, were distributed throughout the district. 

In September Dr. W. W. E. Fletcher, of the Local Government 
Board, held a Cholera Enquiry at the Local Board Offices. After this 
Enquiry the Doctor made an inspection of the district with the 


8 


Sanitary Inspector and myself. As the result of this inspection a 
memorandum of recommendations was sent by the Local Government 
Board to the Sanitary Authority, the following being the main points 
contained in this communication : 

1. The Local Government Board recommended that the Willington 
Gut nuisance be dealt with without delay. 

2. That nuisances arising from ill-constructed ashpits be abated; 
in advocating small ash-closets care to be taken that receptacles do not 
permit any overflow of liquid contents. 

3. That through ventilation be secured in all houses ; dilapidated 
houses be repaired; overcrowding be promptly dealt with and the 
proper cleansing of houses and lime-washing of yards be enforced. 

4. That a code of regulations with respect to Dairies, Cowsheds 
and Milkshops be drawn up and enforced. 

5. That the Bye-Laws be revised. 

Then follow certain recommendations in the event of cholera actually 
breaking out in the district. 

Scavenging. The cleansing of ashpits and ashclosets has been done 
in a fairly satisfactory manner. I am of opinion, however, that in 
emptying the ashpits and closets in the back streets the scavengers and 
cartmen should arrange the work in such a manner as to leave no 
night-soil lying on the street for any length of time. I have, on 
several occasions, received complaints with regard to nuisances of 
this nature, and it would be well for the health and comfort of the 
inhabitants if this could be avoided in the future, especially when 
scavenging is done in the fore-noon. It would of course be advisable 
to have most of this work done in the early morning, before 6 o’clock, 
when practicable, and during the Summer months there ought to be no 
difficulty in the matter. 

Inspections and Nuisances. The Sanitary Inspector and I 

have made several house-to-house inspections during the course of the 
year. Numerous notices have been sent to owners of property to abate 
nuisances and to repair defective dwellings. I am glad to say that 
steady progress is being made in the conversion of large middens into 


9 


small ash-closets, but still a large number of the former remain. I 
think it would be a good plan, as I have mentioned several times 
before, in the case of small owners, who cannot afford an immediate 
outlay, if the Council would carry out the necessary improvements in 
this respect and allow the cost to be repaid by instalments, extending 
over a number of years. 

The greatest nuisance this year was again caused by the Willington 
Gut, as, owing to the collapse of the joint sewerage scheme, nothing 
has been done to remedy or even to mitigate the evil. In August the 
County Medical Officer and I made an inspection of the stream and 
after careful consideration made the following suggestions : that, i, as 
far as possible the deposit of black sludge be removed ; 2, that a 
channel be made in mid stream, to be kept at a sufficient depth by 
periodical cleaning out ; 3, that a dam be constructed on the North 
side of the Church Bank bridge in order to collect sufficient water to 
flush the stream at low tide. We intimated to the Board also that 
these measures, of course, were intended to be of a temporary nature 
only, as we were both of opinion that nothing short of a comprehensive 
sewerage scheme would solve the difficulty in a satisfactory manner. 
A month later, as part of the Cholera Survey, I inspected the Gut again 
with Dr. Fletcher, of the Local Government Board. This gentleman 
in his memorandum to the Sanitary Authority, (see Precautions against 
Cholera,) advised that “ efficient sewerage should at once be provided 
for that part of the district, which contributes so extensively to the serious 
pollution of Willington Gut.” Towards the end of the year a new 
proposal was brought forward, namely, the construction of a sewer for 
this district only, instead of the joint scheme, which was abandoned. 
This I think would be an important step in the right direction, provided 
the work be pushed forward with as little delay as possible, so that we 
may soon be in a position to be able to compel the other authorities to 
do their share in the removal of this nuisance. For I am not 
exaggerating in the least when I say that the stream in its present 
condition is not only an eye-sore to the whole surrounding district, 
unsightly and evil-smelling, but a positive danger to the inhabitants. 

I regret to say that there is still a considerable number of houses 
in the district, which are in a more or less insanitary condition. 


10 


In Keelman’s Row a few repairs have been done in the shape of 
patching up some of the roofs and plastering a few of the walls and 
ceilings, but, practically speaking, the whole of the houses are in the 
same state as when I reported on them last year; all the back-rooms 
are damp and unwholesome, and many of the ceilings and floors 
dilapidated. The old cottages at the top of Ravensworth Street are 
even in a worse condition, as the rooms are smaller. I would urge 
upon the Council the necessity of dealing with both of these blocks of 
houses without delay. 

In Hodgson Street, on the East side, there is great need of ash- 
closets, as the yards of a number of the houses are considerably below 
the level of the back street and the ash-pits, consequently very difficult 
to clean out; small ash-closets with movable receptacles would be a 
great improvement here. 

Nelson Street has shown a certain amount of improvement this year, 
a good many yards have been cemented and a number of large 
ashpits converted into ash : closets, but still a few of the former remain 
and one or two yards are still in a bad state. 

The same remarks may be applied to Potter Street. The old White 
House in this street was found, on inspection, to be in a very defective 
condition, especially with regard to drainage ; the owner, on being 
served with a notice, closed the dwelling and it has recently been pulled 
down. 

In Palmer’s Terrace, in addition to several large ashpits, which would 
be better converted into small ash-closets, there still remains the old 
nuisance caused by the small size of the yards in the row of houses on 
the South side between the Alma steps and the Ballast Hill; there is 
always a good deal of sickness in these houses, and the tenants 
complain of the bad smells from the ash-closets, which, as a matter of 
fact, are only a few yards from the doors of the dwelling rooms. The 
remedy for this state of things will, in my opinion, only be found in 
the adoption of water-closets. 

Stephenson Street is one of the worst streets in the District, and it 
will be a very difficult matter to improve the condition of the houses 
on the north side owing to the fact that they are built close to the hill, 


11 


and that consequently the yards are small, confined, and badly 
arranged. The houses between Cookson’s Arch and the Stephenson 

School suffer, in addition, from the inconvenience caused by the 

* 

continual falling down of ballast from the hill, and I certainly think 
that the Newcastle Corporation should be approached with a view to 
the erection of a retaining wall in this part of the street. The Alma 
property (including the.public-house and the two adjoining cottages), 
has been in. a defective state for a considerable time. The yards 
should be cemented and the large middens abolished ; notices sent to 
the owner have been without result, but the property has recently 
changed hands, and the new owner, I believe, is willing to make the 
necessary improvements. The Ship Launch Inn is still in a very 
unsatisfactory condition, and further proceedings will probably be 
necessary, as floors, ceilings, and roofs s are all dilapidated. The Lord 
Byron Inn, at the other end of the street, has been repaired, and the 
dwelling behind, which was found to be in an insanitary state, has 
been closed. Cookson’s houses, on the opposite side, have insufficient 
yard space ; if the yards cannot be enlarged, water-closets should be 
adopted. Pochin’s Buildings have been improved by the addition of 
several closets, and new drains have been laid so that the property 
is now in a much better condition. 

The houses in Tyne Street, which I mentioned in last year’s report 
have, after a considerable delay, been provided with ash-closets and 
cemented yards; the Government Inspector, however, strongly objected 
to some of the rooms owing to their want of through ventilation. 

In the newer streets, Bewicke Street, George Street, Norman 
Terrace, etc., a considerable number of minor defects were found, and 
notices were served upon the owners with a satisfactory result. 

The Cowsheds, Dairies, Milkshops, and Slaughter-houses have all 
been inspected regularly, and with few exceptions were found in a 
fairly good condition. All the Slaughter-houses, however, would be 
improved by having an impervious coating up to a certain height, on 
the walls, so that they could be thoroughly washed. 

I am, 

Your Obedient Servant, 

C. T. U. BABST. 











































































































































































































































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Number of such cases Removed from their Home* in the 
several Localities tor Treatment in Isolation Hospital. 


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; • 

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New Cases of Sickness in each Locality, coming to the 
knowledge of the Medical Officer of Health, 

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Names of Locali¬ 
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the purpose of 
thes p Statistics; 
Public Institu¬ 
tions being 

shown as separ¬ 
ate localities. 

(a.) 



State here whether “ Notification ot Infsctious Disease is compulsory in the District—Yes. Since when . . 1890. Besides 
the above-mentioned Diseases, insert in the columns with blank headings the names of any that are notifiable in the District, 
and fill the columns accordingly. State here the name of the Isolation Hospital used by the sick of the District. Mark (H) 
the Locality in which such Hospital is situated ; and if not within the District,, state where it is situated : Wilhngton yuay and 
Wallsend Joint Hospital, situate at Wallsend. 




















































































































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