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Bygone Stanley - Medical Reports

1901, 1905 and 1915 MEDICAL REPORTS ON STANLEY


The following are extracts from the County Medical Officer James Robert Kaye's report for May 1901 on Stanley.

STANLEY URBAN DISTRICT: This is an extensive Urban District of 4,261 acres, situated immediately to the north of the City of Wakefield. The population, which in 1901 numbered 12,290, is well distributed throughout the district, there being about a dozen noteable aggregations including such populous and growing centres as Outwood, Stanley, Stanley Lane Ends, Lofthouse Gate, Wrenthorpe, Bottomboat, etc. (see table 5).

The whole of this area was formerly part of the Wakefield Rural District but under an Order of the County Council dated 1899 the present Urban District of Stanley was constituted by the amalgamation of the rural parishes of Stanley and Outwood.

The greater part of the district is in the Calder Drainage area, but the surface is very undulating and extends over into the Aire valley towards the north. The highest point (350 ft. O.D.) is near the Carr Gate Fever Hospital in the north west part of the district while the least elevation (54 ft. O.D.) is at the extreme south east corner where the River Calder ceases to form the boundary of the district. Geologically, Stanley is on the middle coal measure and there are several outcrops of coal in the western part of the area; in the eastern portion there is a large river-flat of alluvium with a terrace of gravel. The chief industries are coal-mining and agriculture; the existing shafts for drawing coal being at Lofthouse and Parkhill. A large amount of rhubarb is grown in forcing sheds and sent to distant markets. There are good railway facilities; the Great Northern Leeds to London line passes through the district having a station at Lofthouse, and here also is a junction with joint Methley line which provides a station at Stanley. Numerous lines run from the collieries to the railways and also to the Aire & Calder Canal which traverses the district being carried over the River Calder by a fine aqueduct.

1801 2,860
1811 3,169
1821 3,720
1831 3,747
1841 4,725
1851 5,057
1861 5,404
1871 6,481
1881 8,597
1891 10,297
1901 12,290

The growth of the population has been continuous from the beginning of the last century, but with the enhanced rate of increase during recent decades, the district has become more urban in character and a large number of working-class dwellings have been erected, Table 2 shows that in the decade 1891-1901 there was an increase of 457 houses and this apparently reduced the density of persons per house from 4.96 to 4.85 - the latter figure being well in excess of that for the Riding generally.

TABLE 2 - DENSITY OF POPULATION (Stanley Urban District)

Census |        Houses           |   Population     |      |Persons per Inhabited House
       | Inhabited | Uninhabited | Males | Females  |Total |
1891   |  2076     | ??          | 5809  | 5498     |10297 | 4.96
1901   |  2533     | 82          | 6317  | 5973     |12290 | 4.85

As usual in coal-mining communities, there is a noteable preponderance of males, there being little employment in such districts for the unmarried females. WYAS, WAKEFIELD

WRENTHORPE OR POTOVENS- The houses here are mainly old and in a worn-out condition, crowded on area and built without regard to facilities for drainage, removal of refuse etc. Poor property exists in Ash Lane and opposite Arthur's Buildings. Many houses are damp.
LAWNS- The houses are old and have a dilapidated appearance generally. Glass House appears to be dangerous.
LINGWELL GATE- Several dilapidated cottages and many which are very damp for want of damp-proof courses.
LOFTHOUSE GATE- There is some dilapidated and badly spouted property situate in a hollow at the boundary of the district on Leeds Road with fall pipes discharging 6 in. from the ground.
LEE MOOR- There is some very poor property here. One single storied cottage let at 1/2d. per week measured outside 12ft. 0in. x 16ft 9in. No's 7 and 8 Wesley Square are old houses which have been rough cast outside, rent 2/- a week.
BOTTOMBOAT- At the eastern end of the village there are many old worn-out houses, and at the west end several blocks of back-to-back houses have been built and also some through property of a better type. Dobson's property and Craven's house are built back-to-earth and damp.
LAKE LOCK Several one-storied houses in bad condition,
STANLEY FERRY- The pit cottages are in a dilapidated state and there are some worn-out cottages, without numbers, on the north side of Ferry Lane.
STANLEY LANE ENDS- Here, as elsewhere in the district, there is a mixture of old and new houses and the sanitary condition of the dwellings varies accordingly. Some of the new houses have very small bedrooms at the rear. At Pullen's Buildings one is partly back-to-earth.
BREADBAKER LANE- A few back-to-back houses at Crofts Lump. Two very old and worn-out one-storied cottages are let at l/3d per week.
OUCHTHORPE LANE- Ward's Buildings are badly worn and damp. Other old houses have been cemented up and repaired generally. Buttercup Hall is a very damp, one-storied cottage, and there are some poor cottages adjoining the Prince of Wales Inn which ought to be condemned.
OUTWOOD- The houses at the south side of Church Lane have no through ventilation, and there are some poor cottages at Ledger Fold, off Ledger Lane.
NEWTON LAND ENDS- The houses here are of more modern type, with sash windows, etc. At Allison's Buildings and elsewhere there are back-to-back dwellings.
NEWTON HILL- A large number of houses are being built here and there ought to be some system of numbering. Sink-wastes generally discharge over a gully, but are not themselves trapped. There are some large covered privy middens.
SNOW HILL- Several dilapidated houses here are built back-to-earth and are damp.

GENERAL- Dampness of dwellings, which is rightly regarded as a possible source of much sickness and discomfort, is a common feature in the older property in this district. Sometimes it is due to the fabric having well nigh perished, or to unsuitable site and absence of damp-proof courses, but in many instances the dampness is caused or aggravated by defective eave spouts or their total absence. This was noted particularly at Wrenthorpe (Malt Shovel Yard, Bunkers Hill, Trough Well Lane), at Ledger Fold, at Stanley Ferry, and at Lingwell Gate (Farrar's Hill). Instances are also common where the fall pipe is too short to discharge properly over the gully with the consequence that the walls and foundations suffer.

LEE MOOR- Nos. 52 to 58 are without proper drainage; tenants having to carry out the foul water. The same remarks apply to Elliot's Buildings (8 houses). Drainage is defective at the Ship Inn and at Nos. 7, 15, 16, 28 to 34, 59 and 60.

BOTTOMBOAT There is a blocked drain at South View. In many cases the sink pipes are short, causing leakage of sewage into foundations.

GENERAL- Absence of house drains was noted at Wainwright's and Hepworth's property (Ledger Lane, Outwood); Saville's property (Stanley Ferry); Railway Cottages, Pollard's property, Farrar's Hill (Lingwell Gate), Pullan's property (Stanley Lane Ends). Sink waste pipes are short at Croft's Lump, Breadbaker Lane and at the Ship Inn, Stanley Ferry. At Snow Hill there is a drain (Birth's) in direct connection with the sink pipe.

During the last few years much good work has been done in regard to house-drainage in many of the older parts of the district.

From a Report by County Medical Officer James Robert Kaye May 1905
Table VII - Slaughter Houses

DISTRICT                Number Bye-Laws Registration Inspection
Stanley Urban District   10      YES        NONE         SOME

There are 10 Slaughter Houses in the Stanley Urban District and not one of them complies with the Statutory requirements - in fact none of them have been registered or licensed by the District Council as required by law. This matter of the registration of Slaughter Houses should be taken up without delay and, in doing so, the Council should have before them the Memorandum of the Local Government Board which sets out the essential features of a hygienic Slaughter House. For instance, such premises should not be within 100 feet of dwelling houses and they should possess free ventilation on two sides at least; they should not be below the ground level nor be approached through any house or shop, nor any privy or cesspool The floors should be covered with concrete or asphalt and graded to a gully outside the premises connected to an effectual drain, and the internal walls should be covered to a sufficient height with some hard impervious material.

Of the 10 Slaughter Houses in this district, six are directly upon a dwelling house, shop or part thereof; two others are respectively 18 and 30 feet from houses, and only two are 100 feet removed. In four instances there is either a loft or upper room, or else material is stored above the place where animals are slaughtered. Concrete floors are provided in four of the premises, flagged floors with open joints were observed in five cases, and in one other the floor was of roughly laid bricks. The internal walls are chiefly of ordinary brick, lime-washed at times, and there is nowhere any internal covering of impervious material to facilitate cleansing of walls and prevent absorption of organic matter. In no case is there a closet inside the Slaughter House but open privy-middens are upon two of the premises and in three instances the Slaughter House is either used as a stable or communicates with one. Town's water is laid into or near eight of the premises; another has no supply and one depends on rainwater.

The drainage of nearly all the Slaughter Houses is unsatisfactory for the effectual removal of the liquid refuse and swilling water, while the solid refuse is in most instances carried to an open midden nearby. Non-absorbent, tightly-covered vessels are prescribed for such removal but these are conspicuous by their absence - wooden buckets, tubs and wheelbarrows being used for this purpose and, it is to be feared, seldom cleansed. The surroundings of most of the premises are unsatisfactory, and altogether there is an urgent need for attention to the whole question of Slaughter Houses in this district.

Table VIII - Offensive Trades

This table is omitted because it appears that there is only one trade in the district which, technically, comes under this heading, viz. a bone-boiling works in Stanley Mill Yard. These premises are quite unsuited for the purpose; the drainage is unsatisfactory and there is no provision for dealing with the offensive vapour given off during the process of bone boiling.

SCAVENGING- This is performed for the whole district by Contractors who undertake to do the work for the Council, the price for the current year being £450. For scavenging purposes the district is divided into seven parts and the Contractors have to cleanse 967 ashpits and 31 cesspools, but it is mainly done in the day time. The Medical Officer of Health in his annual report complains that no record is provided as to the number of receptacles emptied weekly by the Contractor and hence there is not sufficient check on the work. The night-soil is disposed of to farmers, and the rough refuse to tips at Stanley Lane Ends, Bottomboat and to a quarry near Lofthouse Station.

During the inspection, want of scavenging was noticed at Garden Terrace, Newton Lane End and also in several places at Lee Moor and Lingwell Gate. At the latter place there are houses without ashpits (G.N. cottages near railway bridge and Pollard's property).

At Lee Moor there is a covered privy-midden measuring 14ft. x 9ft. and at Bottomboat there are closets in nests of eight with a single covered privy-midden in the centre. A leaking privy was observed at Wheatley Buildings, Bottomboat. A few pail-closets exist at Blacker Lodge, Lingwell Gate Lane. Open privy-middens abound in the district; my list of such places, observed during the inspection, being far too long to print. It is needless to repeat what has so often been said about the dangers of permitting such open collections of filth to exist even for short periods in close proximity to urban dwellings with a large infant population. The following examples may be given of insufficient closet accommodation in the district:-Lofthouse Gate: property at the boundary, Leeds Road. Wrenthorpe: Wild's property, also cottages at bottom of Bunkers Hill. Outwood: Hepworth's property) Ledger Lane. Bottomboat: Wheatley's and Barker's buildings. Also a cottage used as a club by 70 or 80 members and having only joint use of one closet with tenant of next cottage. In the Malt Shovel yard, Wrenthorpe there are houses without ashpits; the tenants dispose of their refuse where they can. Recent improvements in the closet accommodation were noted in several of the older parts of the district but there is still considerable room for further work in that direction.

WATER SUPPLY- The Stanley District is supplied with water as follows;-Wakefield water - 2,634 houses; Morley water - 201 houses - dependant on wells and springs - 27 houses. Wakefield water was introduced by agreement made between the old Rural Council and the Corporation in February 1899, and the distribution has since been extended and improved by the Stanley Urban Council. In 1890-91 there were many cases of lead poisoning here, as in other places supplied by Wakefield water, but this trouble subsided when the Corporation adopted the present remedial chemical treatment. Subsequently there were many complaints as to turbidity, especially after storms, but this has been remedied by the Corporation's filter beds at Jaw Hill, These beds and the necessary clean-water basin at Lindle Hill have somewhat reduced the pressure in Stanley so that at times there has been a want of water in the higher parts of Outwood and the Urban Council are considering how this can be remedied. The Wakefield water is distributed to Wrenthorpe, Outwood, the Stanleys and Bottomboat. The total daily consumption for all purposes is about 170,000 gallons.

At Wainwright's property in Ledger Lane, Outwood water has to be carried to some of the cottages from a stand-pipe in Ledger Fold, situate about 100 yards away. The tenants of six houses in Stanley Ferry pay 3d. per week per house for the privilege of fetching water from a stand-pipe at the Bridge House. This is situated on the opposite side of the canal and can only be approached when the drawbridge is in position.

Morley Corporation water is purchased in bulk by agreement with the adjoining district of Ardsley East and West, and is distributed to Carr Gate, Lingwell Gate and Bragg Lane End. The amount taken is about 15,000 gallons per day to supply 201 houses. The Stanley Council re-sells a portion of this water to the Ardslev Council for the Lingwell Gate portion of the latter Authority's area.

SEWERAGE & SEWAGE DISPOSAL- There are two sets of sewage works in the Stanley District, viz., the Joint Outfall Works at Wrenthorpe and the Smalley Bight Works.

1) THE WRENTHORPE JOINT WORKS deal with the sewage from Lawns Lane, Carr Gate, Wrenthorpe, Newton and Newton Hill. Particulars of these works were given in the Survey Report on the district of Ardsley East and West as they take the sewage of a portion of that district and also from Silcoates in the Wakefield Rural District.

2) THE SMALLEY BIGHT SEWAGE DISPOSAL WORKS deal with almost the whole of the sewage from the remainder of that extensive portion of the Stanley District which is within the Calder proper drainage area including the following centres of population;- Lofthouse Gate; Grand Stand Road, Outwood; Newton Lane Ends, Newton Lane to Newton Hill, Stanley Lane Ends, Lake Lock and Bottomboat. The works are laid out for intermittent downward filtration; several plots of land being prepared having an area of a little more than 12 acres. Three other beds are now being prepared which will bring the area to about 17¾ acres. It was in 1892 that the loan of £13,000 was applied for to construct these works and a Provincial Order to acquire the land was obtained in 1893. The original scheme included settling and collecting tanks which were, however, omitted at the suggestion of the Local

Government Board. WYAS WAKEFIELD


THE BIRTH RATE- was 25.7 per 1,000. The Birth Rate of Outwood was 26.8 per 1,000 and that at Stanley was 24.00 per 1,000, The Birth Rate of England and Wales was 21.8. That of 96 great towns was 22.8.

DEATHS- The Death Rate for the district was 12.6 per 1,000. The Death Rate of Outwood was 12.6 per 1,000 and that of Stanley was 13.2 per 1,000. The Death Rate of England and Wales was 15.1; that of 96 great towns 15.6 and that of 148 smaller towns was 14.00 per 1,000.

INFANT MORTALITY- There were 45 deaths of children under one year of age against 53 in 1914 and 74 in 1913, and 25 deaths of children over one and under five years of age against 29 in 1914 and 30 in 1913. These 45 deaths of children under one year of age is at the rate of 121.6 per 1,000 registered births, while the total of 70 deaths of children under five years of age is at the rate of 378.3 per 1,000 registered births.

The following table shows the figures for England and Wales:-

1915 England/Wales GreatTowns  SmallerTowns England/Wales-244
Infantile Mortality 110 117 114 98
per 1000 births

These figures show a pretty bad state of affairs with regard to Infantile Mortality, although it is an improvement on previous years. Here we have a district with a smaller than average death rate, a larger than average birth rate, and an infantile death rate larger than that of the great towns. Owing to the great loss of life in the present War, it is of the utmost national importance that this great drain on the human resources of the country should be stopped. The wastage is for the most part preventable.

In the meantime, the duty of the Sanitary Authority is very plain and that is, in spite of War conditions, it is their ever-increasing duty to see that the people are better washed under better sanitary conditions, with plenty of light, plenty of air, good drainage and good scavenging. The latter should, in my opinion, be entirely under our own control and carried out, even if at a slightly increased expense, by the Council's own men.

(Scavenging was the emptying and cleaning of dry lavatories)

By all means the conversion of privies into W.C's should be pushed forward. There was a time when shortage of water prevented this, but that is not the case now and under no circumstances should any privy middens be built where sewerage is possible.

Some statistics on Stanley 1915:

9 cases of Scarlet Fever. 1 case of Typhoid Fever. 11 cases of Diphtheria.

14 soldiers belonging to the 2/4 Battalion of K.O.Y,L.I. were treated for Scabies.

There is a good communication with the surrounding districts by road, rail and tram. Coal mining is the chief industry, besides which there is railway work and a jam factory. Market Gardening and agriculture employ some hands. As to Market Gardening, the cultivation of rhubarb is a speciality to the district.

The Council's Petrol Fire Engine fortunately was not required during the year but has been kept regularly in practice. 30 public lamps have been erected during the year, for the most part in private streets.

Infectious disease during the year has been much lighter; there having been only 13 cases of Scarlet Fever and 18 cases of Diphtheria, There were, however, 8 cases of Typhoid but not an epidemic form.

The procedure - all cases are visited immediately on notification and removed to hospital if advisable and possible. Disinfections are carried our with Alformant Lamps and Spray. All contacts are inspected. In cases of Phthisis the same procedure as to disinfection obtains and literature is left at the houses. In addition to regular and systematic inspection of the District I have made many inspections with regard to infectious disease and nuisances.

I have to say that there is still a large amount of old property which will have to be attended to at the proper time.


LEE MOOR NATIONAL SCHOOL: Erected in 1876, it contains one school room and deals only with infants. Last year the average attendance was 56 which was just the recognised accommodation, but sometimes there are as many as 72 children present. The room is lighted by four small windows in each of which a single pane is made to open inwards door-wise. There is also an opening in the gable and four air grates. The heating is by a slow combustion stove, the pipe-flue of which is said to cause trouble by the leakage of smoke. The cloakroom has 64 pegs and the lavatory basin is supplied by town's water. Two covered privy-middens are provided and 9ft. of urinal space. The playground is small with a surface of loose burnt shale.

BOTTOMBOAT NATIONAL SCHOOL: This is an Infants School erected in 1876 for 95 scholars; the present average attendance being 74. At one time it was all one room but recently it has been divided by a partition. The main room is heated by a slow-combustion stove and lighted by four windows with facilities for ventilation. There is also a roof extractor and two small inlet grates. The babies room has a dormer light and a large window opening inwards without side cheeks. There is a ceiling extraction shaft and a small inlet in the window bottom. The cloakroom provides 64 hooks, the upper row being directly over the lower ones. Town's water is laid on.

There are two covered privy-middens and 12ft. of urinal space. The playground is small and the surface consists of loose earthy material.

LAKE LOCK (NATIONAL): This school was originally built in 1847 since when additions have been made from time to time. There are three separate departments. The boys side has accommodation for 182 scholars, the girls side 193 and the infants 101. It may be briefly stated that the lighting, ventilation, cloakroom, lavatory and playground are not in a satisfactory condition and need improvement. The closet accommodation for the girls and infants consists of seven trough closets which are too few for the number of scholars. On the boys side, four covered privy-middens are provided with about 12ft. of urinal space.

FERRY LANE NON-PROVIDED SCHOOL (ST. SWITHEN'S): This is also an Infant School, erected in 1878 with accommodation for 81. The average attendance is 80. The school room has an open roof to the ridge. Windows open hopper-fashion with no side cheeks. The hearing is by an open fireplace and a slow-combustion stove. Town's water is laid to the lavatory basin, but the waste pipe is broken and the liquid leaks down the wall instead of into the gully. The cloakroom is poor and dark and only provided with 36 hooks. Two covered privy-middens are provided and a single one-stand urinal which is unsatisfactory. The surface of the playground is loose clinker.

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