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THE URBAN DISTRICT OF PENRITH. 


ANNUAL REPORTS 

of the 

Medical Officer of Health 

and of the 

Sanitary Inspector 


For the Year 1938. 









\ 



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


https://archive.org/details/b29985419 




THE URBAN DISTRICT OF PENRITH. 


ANNUAL REPORTS 

of the 

Medical Officer of Health 


and of the 

Sanitary Inspector 

For the Year 1938. 


Penrith : 

Reed’s Ltd., Printers, &c., 46 King Street. 

1939. 





THE URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL OF PENRITH. 


YEAR 1938. 


Chairman of the Council : 

Alderman J. SIMPSON YEATES, J.P. 

Chairman of the Health Committee : 

Councillor W. E. HUTCHINSON. 

Chairman of the Housing Committee : 
Councillor R. IRVING. 

Medical Officer of Health : 

F. W. GAVIN, M.D., Ch.B. (Edin.), D.P.H. (Edin.) 

Sanitary Inspector and Surveyor : 

T. F. SIMMONDS, M.I.M. & Cy.E., M.R.S.I., F.I.A.S, 

Clerk to the Council : 

C. H. HUNTLEY, F.I.M.T.A., F.S.A.A., A.C.I.S. 













PENRITH URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL. 


Annual Health Report, 1938 

by the 

Medical Officer of Health. 


To the Chairman and Councillors of the Urban District of Penrith. 
Mr. Chairman, Mrs. Johnson and Gentlemen, 

I have pleasure in placing before you my Third Annual Report 
on the health of the town. 

The year under review has continued the progress in matters 
appertaining to the town’s health which was noted in my annual 
report for the year 1937. 

The birth-rate in the town was 19.24 per 1,000 of the population 
as compared with the corresponding figures of 15.1 for England 
and Wales. 

The local death rate was 13.46 as compared with 14.33 in 1937, 
and 11.6 for England and Wales in 1938, and it must be noted that 
71% of deaths were aged 60 years or older. 

The “ adjusted ” death rate for Penrith in 1938 is 11.71. The 
Infantile mortality rate for 1938 was 38.88 per 1,000 live births, as 
against 53.0 for England and Wales and 60 for the County of Cum¬ 
berland, and this is a pleasing fact, having regard to the high 
birth-rate. 

The year was marked by epidemics of infectious diseases : 
Measles in February and March closed all the infants’ sell cols, and 
a small but explosive epidemic of Diphtheria in November and 
December accounted for the closing of one school in the town, and 
severly overtaxed the available isolation hospital accommodation 
at Fairhill hospital, especially in view of the rather high incidence 
of Scarlet Fever in the Penrith Rural District at that time, when 
the Joint Hospital Committee was faced with a serious problem. 
Diphtheria claimed one victim in 1938, a pre-school non-immunized 
child who died in July on the day after admission to the fever 
hospital. 




4 


The great benefit conferred by artificial immunization against 
Diphtheria was clearly demonstrated in the epidemic, and it can 
be stated that artificial immunization constitutes the only effective 
method for controlling Diphtheria. The details will be found later 

in this report. 

Scarlet Fever was, however, endemic throughout the urban 
area during the year, and 27 patients were sent to the fever hospital 
suffering from this complaint. 

The Sewerage improvement scheme which had been commenced 
early in 1937 was carried several stages nearer completion by the 
end of the year, and a report by your Surveyor appears within 
the pages of his Sanitary Report. 

Housing progress has been well maintained, and several 
Clearance Areas have been demolished, and the re-housing of 
dwellers from these areas and other unfit property proceeded 
satisfactorily, and in this connection the erection of the last 34 
houses at Raiselands Croft was completed in 1938. 

The National Playing Fields’ Association, in conjunction with 
the National Fitness Council,. have made a provisional offer of a 
grant of 75 per cent., with a maximum of £3,000, towards the 
Penrith Urban Council’s Scheme for acquiring and developing the 
Foundry Field for a recreation area this scheme deser\ es the 
highest praise and will, I feel sure, prove to be an unqualified success. 

In November, 1938, the construction of a municipal Abattoir 
was commenced on railway land near the Skirsgill Road, and at 
the time of writing the structure is nearing completion. 

In conclusion, I wish to express my thanks for the courtesy 
and help extended to me by the Chairman of the Council, the 
Chairmen of the Sanitarv and Housing Committees, Mr. C. Ft. 
Huntley, Clerk of the Council, and Mr. T. F. Simmonds, Surveyor 
and Sanitary Inspector. 

I have the honour to be, 

Mr. Chairman, Mrs. Johnson and Gentlemen, 
Your obedient servant, 

F. W. GAVIN, 

Medical Officer of Health. 

Town Hall, 

Penrith, 

4th July, 1939. 







5 


GENERAL PROVISION OF HEALTH SERVICES 

FOR THE AREA. 


PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICERS OF THE AUTHORITY. 

I. ( a ) Medical :— 

F. W. Gavin, M.D., Ch.B., D.P.H. (Edin.), Medical 
Officer of Health. 

J. Sachs, M.B., Ch.B., D.P.H. (Glasg.), Medical 
Superintendent of Penrith Isolation Hospital. 

(. b ) Sanitary Inspector :— 

T. F. Simmonds, M.I.M. & Cy.E., M.R.S.I., F.I.A.S. 

(c) Veterinary Officer for Meat Inspection :— 

John Barr, M.R.C.V.S. 

II. Laboratory Facilities :— 

Dr. J. S. Faulds, Pathologist to the Cumberland 
Infirmary, Carlisle, carries out all milk and water analyses 
and also examines and reports on pathological specimens. 

Ambulance Facilities :— 

These facilities were detailed in last year’s Report, 
and it is interesting to note that increased use has been 
made of the new Ambulance which was acquired by the 
Joint Committee in 1937. 

There is a separate Infectious Diseases Ambulance 
kept at the Fairhill Isolation Hospital, and this serves the 
whole of the Penrith Urban and Rural Areas. Administra¬ 
tion is by Joint Committee of the two Authorities, the 
Clerk being Mr. C. H. Huntley, Town Hall, Penrith. 

Public Mortuary 

This mortuary, which had been established in 1937 
jointly with the Penrith Rural District Council, was used 
on two separate occasions in 1938 when 3 bodies were 
admitted. 

The mortuary has proved to be efficient in use. 

The arrangements for Nursing in the Home and for 
Treatment Centres and Clinics are unchanged. The only 
voluntary hospital, the Penrith Cottage Hospital, remains 
as detailed in past reports. 



6 


On 21/6/1939 an order was received from the Ministry 
of Health creating a new Joint Board for the Penrith 
Urban District, the Keswick Urban District, and the 
Penrith Rural District with effect as from the 1st October, 
1939, for the provision of isolation hospital accommodation 
in these districts. 

Diphtheria Antitoxin :— 

Arrangements were made for a supply of Diphtheria 
Antitoxin to be available at the Penrith Town Hall, and 
which is supplied free of charge to general practitioners 
for necessitous cases of suspected diphtheria. 


STATISTICS AND SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF THE AREA. 


Area (in acres) ... 

••• ••• ••• ••• 

7,586 

Registrar-General’s 

Estimate of Resident Population; 

, mid 

1938 

• • • ••• ••• ••• ••• 

9,357 

Number of Inhabited Houses 

2,775 

Rateable Value 

• •• • •• ••• ••• ••• 

... £61,813 

Penny Rate 

• • • ••• ••• ••• ••• 

£248 2s. 4d. 

Live Births— 

Male. Female. 

Total. 

Legitimate 

... 85 ... 85 ... 

170 

Illegitimate 

7 3 

• « » / • • • w • ♦ • 

10 


180 

Birth Rate per 1,000 of population—19.24. - 


Still Births— 

Male. 

Female. 

Total 

Legitimate 

4 

• • • '' • • • 

7 

Illegitimate 

... — 

• • « 1 • • • 

1 




8 


Rate per 1,000 total (live and still) births—42.55. — 

Male. Female. Total. 
Deaths ... ... ... 67 ... 59 ... 126 


Death Rate per 1,000 of population—13.46 - 

Deaths from Puerperal causes ... ... ... ... Nil 

Death Rate of Infants under 1 year— , 

All Infants per 1,000 live births . 38.88 

Legitimate Infants per 1,000 live births ... ... 38.88 

Illegitimate Infants per 1,000 Illegitimate live births Nil 

Deaths from Cancer (all ages) ... ... ... ... 19 

Deaths from Measles (all ages) ... ... ... ... Nil 

Deaths from Whooping Cough . 2 

Deaths from Diarrhoea (under two years of age) ... ... 2 










7 


VITAL STATISTICS. 

Year ended 31st December, 1938. 



Birth 

Rate. 

Crude 

Death 

Rate. 

Adjusted 

Death 

Rate. 

Infantile 

Mortality 

Rate. 

Administrative County 
of Cumberland 

15.9 

13.5 

13.0 

60 

Urban Districts of 
Cumberland 
(including Boroughs 
of Workington and 
Whitehaven). 

16.8 

13.5 

13.6 

54 

Rural Districts of 
Cumberland 

15.2 

13.6 

12.4 

64 

England and Wales 

15.1 

11.6 

—- 

53 

RtrrSl District of 
Penrith 

19.24 

13.7 

11.71 

38.88 


The comparability factor supplied by the Registrar-General for 
the Penrith Urban District is 0.87 for 1938, and after multiplying 
the death rate (corrected for inward and outward transferable 
deaths) by this factor gives the standardised or adjusted death rate 

as 11.71. 

The social conditions of the town are similar to those noted in 
previous reports. 

Penrith is an old market town in the centre of a large agricultural 
and residential area within close distance of the Eden Valley. 

Penrith is also a holiday resort of considerable importance 
owing to its proximity to Ullswater and the Lake District mountains. 

The average height above sea level is 500 feet, the Penrith 
Beacon having an elevation of 937 feet above O.D. 

The industries include railway work, a brewery, large bus 
garage, hotel employment and the work of the Auction Mart, etc. 

There is seasonal unemployment especially in the building, 
hotel and bus trades. 














8 


UNEMPLOYMENT. 


The following 
Penrith Urban 

are the figure: 
District :■—- 

5 showing the number of unemployed 

January, 

1938. 

December, 

1938. 

Men 

... 225 

Men 

... 323 

Boys 

11 

Bovs 

6 

Women ... 

50 

Women ... 

63 

Girls 

27 

Girls 

14 

Total 

... 313 

Total 

... 406 


It is disturbing to note a considerable increase in unemployment 
during the year, and this can be attributed to the general trade 
recession in 1938. 

There are no forms of employment carried on in this district 
which have a detrimental effect on the health of the inhabitants. 


REGISTER OF RAINFALL IN 1938. 


Recorded 

at Town 

Hall, Penrith. 




Days with 

Days with 


Total. 

.01 in. or more. .04 

in. or more. 

j anuary 

4.368 

23 

16 

February 

.995 

8 

6 

March . . 

1.015 

10 

8 

April. 

.420 

3 

2 

May 

1.990 

13 

10 

] une 

3.565 

16 

13 

July. 

3.545 

15 

11 

August . . 

2.190 

16 

12 

September 

1.780 

15 

12 

October 

8.300 

25 

22 

November 

6.390 

20 

19 

December 

2.740 

18 

14 

Year’s Total 

37.298 

182 

145 

The total rainfall in 

Penrith during the year 1938 was 37.298 


inches compared with 27.965 inches during 1937, a difference of 
9.333 inches. 

The year 1938 had several very wet months, October easily 
holding the record amount with 8.300 inches of rain. 

The four months February to May inclusive were very dry, 
and acai illy had only 4.420 inches of rain in the period. 

























9 


The Summer months were rather wet and compare unfavourably 
with the records for 1937. 

The wettest day was November 12th with 1.45 inches of rain, 
and 3rd October had 1.30 inches, and 25th July with 1.25 inches, 
14th January with 0.80 inches, and 28th June with 0.74 inches. 

Heavy snowfalls occurred about 19th December. 


SANITARY CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE AREA. 

1. (i) Water. 

A copy of a report from the Pathologist at the Cumberland 
Pathological Laboratory on a specimen of water from the Hayes- 
water Filter House taken on the 8th November, 1938, is as follows :— 


Water—Penrith. 
Agar plate count. 


At 22°C. 
At 37 °C. 


Bacteriology. 


0.1 ml. 1 ml. 10 ml. 

colonies colonies colonies 

— 3 26 

— 1 7 


Probable number of coli-aeragenes present in 100 ml.—B. coli-aerogenes 
absent. 


Chemistry. 


Appearance in a 2 ft. tube—The water is practically free from colour 
or turbidity. 
p.H. 7.0. 



Parts 

per 100 

Free and Saline Ammonia 

• • 

Nil 

Albuminoid Ammonia 


0.0052 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. 

in 15 


minutes 

. , 

0.024 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 ° 

in 4 


hours 

. . 

0.036 

Total Solids 

, , 

2.9 

Suspended matter 

. . 

Nil 

Hardness—Total 

. . 

1.5 

Hardness—•Permanent 

. . 

1.4 

Hardness—Temporary 

. . 

0.1 

Chlorine present as Chlorides 

• • 

0.55 

Heavy metals 


Nil 

Opinion :—An excellent water for public supply 



Date : 8th November, 1938. 




The average an ount of water used in Penrith is about 45 
gallons per head of \he population per diem—this compares with 
the City of Carlisle where 44.76 gallons per head per day were used 
in 1936 and 42.31 gallons in 1937 (vide Annual Report M.O.H. 
City of Carlisle). 



10 


During the year samples of water were taken from certain wells 
supplying Cottages in the outlying parts of the area with the 
following results :— 


f 


(i) Report on Crabtree Cottages. 

Shallow Well at Crabtree Cottages—Water. 


0.1 c.c. 
colonies 

At 22 °C. 180 

At 37 °C. 62 


1 c.c. 
colonies 
1570 
466 


10 c.c. 
colonies 
uncountable. 


Probable number of coli-aerogenes organisms present per 100 c.c, of 
original water is 8 and are faecal in origin, ie., Methyl Red, 
positive ; Voges Proskauer, negative. 


p.H. 7.5. 

Parts per 100,000 

Free and Saline Ammonia .. . . .. . . 0.0006 

Albuminoid Ammonia . . . . . . . . . . 0.0126 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. in 15 

minutes . . .. . . .. . . . . 0.0228 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. in 4 

hours . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0404 

Total Solids . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.6 

Suspended matter . . . . . . . . . . Nil 

Hardness—Total . . . . . . . . . . 30.0 

Hardness—Permanent .. .. .. .. .. 19.5 

Hardness—Temporary . . . . . . . . . . 10.5 

Chlorine present as Chlorides . . . . . . . . 2.45 

Heavy metals . . . . . . . . . . . . Nil 


The water is clear, almost colourless and odourless. 

This water has been contaminated too much with organic matter to be 
fit for drinking and its excessive hardness makes it unsuitable for 
washing purposes. 

Date: 23rd April, 1938. 


(Signed) LESLIE H. EASSON, 

Assistant Pathologist. 


(ii) Report on Kitchen Hill Cottages. 


Water Sample—Kitchen Hill Cottages. 


Agar plate count. 

O.l. c.c. 
colonies 

At 22 °C. 70 

At 37 °C. 3 


1 c.c. 
colonies 
618 
37 


10 c.c. 
colonies 
uncountable 
294 


Probable number of coli-aerogetes organisms per 100 c.c. of water 
(faecal type)—13. 


p.H. 7.6. 

Albuminoid Ammonia . . 
Free and Saline Ammonia 
Total Solids 
Suspended matter 


Parts per 100,000 

0.0038 

Nil 

25.8 

0.2 










11 


Parts per 100,000 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. in 15 


minutes . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0056 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. in 4 

hours ." . 0.0274 

Total hardness . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.5 

Permanent hardness . . . . . . . . . . 7.2 

Temporary hardness . . . . . . . . . . 6.3 

Chlorine present as Chlorides . . . . . . . . 1.6 

Heavy metals . . . . . . . . . . . . Nil 


Appearance—Slightly coloured and not quite clear. 

The solids in suspension appear to consist mainly of sand and 
precipitated iron together with some vegetable matter. 

The water is of doubtful value for drinking purposes. 

Date : 23rd February, 1938. 


(iii) Report on Fowlersike. 


EXAMINATION OF WATER. 


Time and place of sample taken. 


Farm—Fowlersike, Penrith, 21/11/38. 


Agar plate count. 

At 22°C. 

At 37 °C. 


Bacteriology. 


O.l ml. 
colonies 
304 
167 


1 ml. 
colonies 
uncountable 
1,800 


10 ml. 

colonies 

uncountable 

do. 


Probable number of coli-aerogenes present in 100 ml.—180 plus and are 
faecal in origin, i.e., Methyl Red, positive. 

Yoges Proskauer, negative. 


Chemistry. 


Appearance in a 2 ft. tube—The water has considerable colour and 
turbidity. 


p.H. 7.3. 

Parts 

Free and Saline Ammonia 
Albuminoid Ammonia 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. in 15 
minutes 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. in 4 
hours 

Total Solids 
Suspended matter 
Hardness—Total 
Hardness—Permanent 
Hardness—Temporary 
Chlorine present as Chlorides 
Heavy metals 


per 100,000 
0.0018 
0.0314 

0.086 


0.198 

67.7 

0.8 

46.00 

22.00 

24.00 

5.18 

Nil 


Opinion :— 

The chemical examination reveals an excessively hard water 
polluted with animal matter. 

Bacteriologically, this is confirmed and this water is quite unfit 
for any domestic purposes. 

(Signed) LESLIE H. EASSON, 

Chemist. 












12 


In addition a sample of water was taken from Hutton Spout 
on Benson Row :— 


EXAMINATION OF WATER. 

Time and place of sample taken—Hutton Spout, Benson Row, Penrith. 


Agar plate count. 

At 22 °C. 

At 37 °C. 


Bacteriology. 


0.1 ml. 
colonies 
uncountable 
1720 


1 ml. 
colonies 
uncountable 
do. 


10 ml. 
colonies 
uncountable 
do. 


Probable number of coli-aerogenes present in 100 ml.—180 plus and are 
faecal in origin, i.e*, Methyl Red, positive., Voges Proskauer— 
negative. 


Chemistry. 


Appearance in a 2 ft. tube—Yellowish and extremely turbid. 
p.H. 6.8. 


Free and Saline Ammonia 

• • • • 

Parts 

per 100,000 
0.1030 

Albuminoid Ammonia . . 

• • • • 


0.0610 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. in 
minutes 

15 

0.290 

Oxygen absorbed from permanganate at 27 °C. in 4 
hours 

0.576 

Total Solids 

• • • • 

, * 

21.2 

Suspended matter 

• • • * 

• • 

2.3 

Hardness—Total 

• • • • 

• • 

11.0 

Hardness—Permanent 

• • • • 


7.2 

Hardness—Temporary 

• • • • 

, . 

3.8 

Chlorine present as Chlorides . . 

• • • • 

• • 

1.85 

Heavy metals 

• • • » 

• • 

Nil 

Opinion :— 





A vejy foul water indeed, quite unsuitable for human consumption. 

(Signed) LESLIE H. EASSON, 

Chemist. 

In view of this report immediate steps were taken to have the 
trough sealed up. This was done by the Surveyor who fitted a 
flagstone over the trough and round the pipe, thus preventing public 
access to the supply. 

(ii) Drainage and Sewerage. 

See .Special Report by the Surveyor. 

D.W.F. at the Whinfell Sewage Works is 375,000 gallons per 

day. 


2. Rivers and Streams. 

Vide Supra. 





13 


3. Closet Accommodation. 

Number of conversions from Conservancy Systems to 

Water Carriage Systems ... ... ... ... 3 

. Number of Closets remaining :—Pail Closets ... ... 1 

/ / Privies ... ... ... 5 

Cesspools ... ... 7 

The Sanitary Inspector’s Report covers other details regarding 
the work of the Sanitary department. 

4. Schools. 

The sanitary condition and water supply of Schools in the 
town have been inspected and found to be satisfactory except for 
(a) Trough Closets at St. Catherine’s School ; and (b) Lack of 
Teachers’ Closet accommodation at Brunswick Road Infants’ School, 
and where accommodation at Brunswick Road Girls’ School has to 
be used. 

Closure of Schools owing to Infectious Diseases were :— 

Penrith National Infants’ School from 3/2/1938 to 25/2/1938 
for Measles. 

Penrith Council Infants’ School from 14/2/1938 to 11/3/1938 
for Measles. 

Penrith Robinson’s Infants’ School from 28/2/1938 to 
25/3/1938 for Measles. 

Penrith R.C. St. Catherine’s School from 10/3/1938 to 
25/3/1938 for Measles. 

Penrith National Boys’ School from 28/11/1938 to 5/12/1938 
for Diphtheria. 


HOUSING. 

For Statistics, see Sanitary Inspector’s Report, pages 32 to 39. 

Clearance Areas. 

Orders dated 5/5/1938 were made by the Minister of Health 
confirming two Clearance Areas declared by the Penrith Urban 
District Council on 16/6/1937 under Section 25 of the Housing Act, 

1936, and in respect of Thompson Yard Clearance Area owing to 
objection by the owners, a local inquiry was held on 30th November, 

1937. 


14 


With regard to Cross Lane Clearance Area, no objection was 
lodged by the owner. 


Demolition. 

The following areas were demolished during 1938 :— 

(i) Cross Lane, Scheduled in 1937 (vide Order confirming 

supra). 6 dwelling houses and 2 Clearance Order 

outbuildings. \ under Part I. 

(ii) Bowman’s Yard, Scheduled on Housing Act, 

18/4/1935. 3 dwelling houses. 1930. 


INSPECTION AND SUPERVISION OF FOOD. 
(a) Milk Supply. 

Analysis of Milk Samples taken during 1938. 


Grade of Milk- 


T.T.... 


Satisfactory. 

... 2 


Unsatisfactory. 

8 


Bad. 

2 


Total. 

12 


Accredited ... - ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 

Ungraded ... 3 ... 3 ... 2 ... 8 


The above samples were taken mainly during the period June— 
August, and it will be observed that it was difficult for highly 
graded milks to pass the Methylene Blue test during the summer 
months. 

Milk in Schools. 

Tuberculin Tested (Certified) milk is supplied to all the 
Elementary Schools in the town and also to the Queen Elizabeth 
Grammar School, under the milk in schools’ scheme of the milk 
marketing board. 


This supply is satisfactory. 













15 


(b) Meat and Other Foods :— 

CARCASES INSPECTED AND CONDEMNED. 



Beasts. 

Cows. 

Calves. 

Sheep 

and 

Lambs. 

Pigs. 

Number killed 

F 

igures 

not kn 

own. 


Number inspected 

1,465 

25 

82 

12,693 

1,119 

All diseases except Tuberculosis -—- 

Whole Carcases condemned . . 

Carcases of which some part 
or organ was condemned. . 

Percentage of the number in¬ 
spected affected with disease 
other than tuberculosis 

1 

4 

1 

12 

4 

2 

1 

Nil 

Nil 

Nil 

0.20% 

20% 

1.21% 

0.09% 

0.35% 

Tuberculosis only— 

Whole Carcases condemned . . 

Carcases of which some part 
or organ was condemned. . 

Percentage of the number in¬ 
spected affected with tuber¬ 
culosis 

8 

4 

1 

Nil 

Nil 

Nil 

Nil 

Nil 

Nil 

Nil 

0.54% 

16% 

1.21% 

Nil 

Nil 


Total Visits paid by Veterinary Officer to Slaughterhouses — 714. 
























16 


CARCASES EXAMINED BY VETERINARY SURGEON. 


AUCTION 

MART 

SLAUGHTERHOUSES. 



Beasts. 

Sheep. 

Calves. 

Pigs. 

Total. 

1st quarter 

199 

744 

2 

298 

1243 

2nd quarter 

232 

1065 

26 

146 

1469 

3rd quarter 

246 

1310 

30 

149 

1735 

4th quarter 

210 

796 

1 

306 

1313 

Yearly Total . . 

887 

3915 

59 

899 

5760 

CO-OPERATIVE 

SLAUGHTERHOUSE. 




Beasts. 

Sheep. 

Calves. 

Pigs. 

Total. 

1st quarter 

140 

273 

— 

54 

467 

2nd quarter 

144 

466 

1 

43 

654 

3rd quarter 

152 

680 

2 

26 

860 

4th quarter 

142 

429 

3 

96 

670 

Yearly Total . . 

578 

1848 

6 

219 

2651 

ERE N CHE I ELD 

SLAUGHTERHOUSE 




Beasts. Sheep. 

Calves. 

Pigs. 

Total. 

1st quarter 

6 

111 

5 

1 

123 

2nd quarter 

5 

9 

6 

— 

20 

3rd quarter 

5 

1081 

1 

— 

1087 

4th quarter 

9 

5729 

5 

— 

5743 

Yearly Total . , 

25 

6930 

17 

1 

6973 


Penrith’s Municipal Slaughterhouse. 

In my annual report for 1937, notes were given regarding the 
site and also certain important points in the management of a 
public abattoir, and it was noted that the provision of a municipal 
slaughterhouse is undertaken as a public health measure rather than 
as a commercial venture. 

Final plans for this abattoir having been approved by the 
Council and by the Ministry of Health, the construction was com¬ 
menced in November, 1938, by Messrs. Atkinson of Penrith. 

It is hoped to supply details in next year’s report, and at the 
time of writing the structure is approaching completion. 

(d) Chemical and Bacteriological Examination of Food 

Is undertaken by the Pathologist, Dr. J. Steven Faulds, at the 
Pathological Laboratories of the Cumberland Infirmary. 


























17 


(e) Nutrition :— 

All Schools in the town are taking part in the milk-in-schools’ 
scheme of the Milk Marketing Board, and every encouragement is 
given for parents to avail themselves of this excellent scheme. 

The following tables show the percentage of the various degrees 
of nutrition as found during the course of school medical inspection 
in 1938 :— 


PENRITH URBAN DISTRICT ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, 

NUTRITION. 



Number of 
Children 
examined 

Very 

Good 

Per 

Cent. 

Good 

Per 

Cent. 

Sub¬ 

normal 

Per 

Cent. 

Malnu¬ 

trition 

Entrants 

127 

31 

245 

87 

68-5% 

9 

7% 

Nil 

2nd Age Group 
(Intermediates) 

127 

28 

22 

84 

66 

15 

12 

Nil 

3rd Age Group 
(Leavers) 

135 

38 

28 

79 

59 

18 

13 

Nil 


PENRITH GRAMMAR SCHOOL INCLUDING 
PREPARATORY SCHOOL. 



Number of 
Children 
examined 

Very 

Good 

Per 

Cent. 

Good 

Per 

Cent. 

Sub¬ 

normal 

Per 

Cent. 

Malnu¬ 

trition 

Entrants 

50 

17 

34 

30 

60 

3 

6 

Nil 

15 Years Old 
Group 

31 

15 

48-5 

15 

48-5 

1 

3 

Nil 


RATS AND MICE DESTRUCTION. 

National Rat Week was held from 7th to 12th November, 1938, 
and posters prepared by the Clerk of the Cumberland County 
Council were located on notice boards calling the attention of the 
public to this very important matter. By arrangement with the 
County Counci], supplies of rat poison are kept in the Surveyor’s 
Department at the Town Hall, Penrith, and are available for 
distribution free of charge to owners or occupiers of premises 
infested by rats and/or mice. Sewer man-holes and the refuse, dip 
were successfully baited during rat week, over 1,000 rats being- 
destroyed at the refuse tip. 
























































18 


PREVALENCE OF, AND CONTROL OVER, INFECTIOUS 

AND OTHER DISEASES. 

General. —Infectious Diseases were more prevalent during 
1938 than in 1937, and once again Scarlet Fever and Primary 
Pneumonia headed the list. One death was caused by Diphtheria 
in a non-immunized pre-school age child—the other two deaths 
were due to Pneumonia. 


A Summary of the Notifiable Diseases (excluding Tuberculosis) 
is as follows :— 
































































































19 


Scarlet Fever.— This disease was more troublesome than in 
1937, and cases occurred during every month of the year except 
February. 


Notifications involved 21 school children attending 6 different 
schools in the town, and there were 6 cases among pre-school age 

children. 


Three cases were adults, and all cases were widely scattered 
throughout the district. 


No “ return cases ” of Scarlet Fever were discovered during 

the year. 

A “ return case ” may be defined as “ a case occurring in the 
same house, or elsewhere, and apparently traceable to the person 
released within a period of not less than twenty-four hours, or not 
more than twenty-eight days, after his return or release from 
isolation.” 


The disease is spread in most cases by direct contact with a 
person in the acute stage or suffering from chronic nasal or ear 
discharge. Missed cases of a mild type of the disease, i.e., “ Sub- 
clinical Scarlet Fever,” are often responsible for infecting others. 


In Penrith there was no question of any milk or other foodstuff 
causing infection, and in my opinion the “ immune carrier ” must 
be blamed for much of the trouble. 


Professor Dick of Chicago writes that “ One attack of Scarlet 
Fever usually confers lasting immunity,” and this is of considerable 
interest, as once a patient has recovered from a definite attack he 
is unlikely to suffer again from the same disease. Twenty-seven 
cases were treated in the Fairhill Isolation Hospital and there were 
no deaths. 


Pneumonia.—25 cases were notified and there were two deaths 
in January, one aged 24 years, the other aged 88 years. Pneumonia, 
secondary to another disease, e.g., Measles, Whooping Cough, etc., 
is not notifiable, 


20 


Puerperal Pyrexia. —One of the three cases notified was 
really a case of Bronchitis occurring in a woman when in the 
puerperal condition. 

All cases made a good recovery. 

Erysipelas. —One case occurred in a baby, and of the other 
10, eight were over 45 years of age. 

It is curious that Erysipelas should have been so common, in 
1938, and it is to be noted that no cases occurred during the period 
June—August inclusive. Scarlet Fever was,' as noted above, 
common in 1938. 

It would appear that Erysipelas is a disease which tends to 
recur, and in this connection Professor Dick of Chicago states that 
“ this may be explained by the comparatively weak toxins produced 
by the Erysipelas streptococcus which do not suffice to immunize, 
and that contact with Erysipelas does not cause attacks of Scarlet 
Fever.” 

For some reason or other, possibly climatic, streptococcal infection 
was definitely endemic in 1938, and it must be remembered that 
1938 was also a “ measles year.” 

Erysipelas is hardly “ infectious ” in the ordinary sense, but 
rather “ contagious,” and isolation can usually be very well carried 
out in the patient’s own home. 

There were no deaths, and no cases were removed to Fairhill 
Isolation Hospital. 

Ophthalmia Neonatorum. —Only one case was recorded 
during the year under review, and the baby made a satisfactory 
recovery. 

It is satisfactory to note that no cases of Enteric Fever (in¬ 
cluding Paratyphoid), Smallpox, Acute Anterior Poliomyelitis or 
Cerebro-Spinai Fever, occurred during 1938. 

Measles Epidemic.—This disease is not notifiable locally, 
and a widespread epidemic reached the town towards the end of 
the month of January, 1938, the infection apparently coming from 
Carlisle. 

On the 27th January, 1938, I reported to the Highways and 
Sanitary Committee as follows :— 







21 


Town Hall, 

Penrith, 

27th January, 1938. 


The Chairman and Members of the 

Highways and Sanitary Committee. 

Gentlemen, 

MEASLES. 

This disease is responsible for considerable mortality among 
young children, and much disability due to neglected complications, 
but it is not one of the notifiable infectious diseases. 

Owing to the fact that it is most infectious during the four 
days before the appearance of the typical rash, compulsory notification— 
where it has been tried—has not been found to be of much help in 
affecting the prevalence of the disease. In fact it is generally agreed 
that there is no known means of preventing outbreaks of measles or 
of limiting its spread once it has begun. 

There are cases where the home conditions are quite unsuitable 
for the care, isolation and treatment of children suffering from the 
disease, and for such cases hospital accommodation should be available. 
This question has been discussed with Dr. J. Sachs, the Medical Super¬ 
intendent of the Penrith Isolation Hospital, and it is suggested that 
one of the diphtheria "wards might be set aside for the admission of 
measles cases complicated by say, broncho-pneumonia, always provided 
that the age of these children does not exceed 8 years. The success of 
this proposed temporary arrangement depends upon circumstances 
which, so far as available accommodation at the hospital is concerned, 
are satisfactory at the moment, as just five convalescent scarlet-fever 
cases are in the hospital. 


I am, Gentlemen, 

Your obedient servant, 

(Sgd.) F. W. Gavin, 

Medical Officer of Health. 


One child, aged 2 years, was admitted to the Fairhill Isolation 
Hospital suffering from Measles with the very dangerous complication 
of Broncho-pneumonia, and made an excellent recovery. 

All three Infants' Schools, together with St. Catherine’s School, 
were closed on account of the epidemic for varying periods during 
February and/or March. With the sanction of the Council a leaflet 
was prepared giving parents “ Advice regarding Measles,” and a 
copy was distributed to every household in the town. 


22 


MEASLES. 

Measles is an extremely infectious disease and causes a large 
number of deaths every year among young children. 

When it attacks infants, roughly one patient in five dies of 
measles or its complications, and among those who survive there is a 
devastating amount of disability and invalidity in after life traceable 
to undetected or neglected complications arising from this disease. 

Medical Attendance. 

It is very important that parents should call in the family 
doctor without delay in all cases, however mild they may appear at 
first. When financial circumstances are such that parents cannot 
afford to pay for a private doctor, the services of the District Medical 
Officer are available on application being made to the Relieving Officer 
(Mr. R. Salkeld, at the Mansion House, Penrith). 

There is therefore no reason why parents in poor financial 
circumstances should not take full advantage of existing facilities for 
expert medical attention on behalf of their children. 

Early Signs. 

These are similar to those of a severe cold, viz., inflamed watery 
eyes, a flushed face, running from nose, sneezing and a cough. The 
rash usually appears four days after these symptoms commence. 

Mode of Spread. 

The disease is spread mainly before the rash appears, and by 
coughing or sneezing a patient may infect others within a radius of 
nine feet, i.e. “ droplet ” infection. 

All discharges from the nose, mouth or eyes must be regarded 
as highly infectious. 

Isolation. 

Other members of the family, especially young children, must 
be kept from coming into contact with the infectious patient. No 
neighbour’s or friend’s children should be admitted to the house. The 
usual period of isolation in uncomplicated cases of measles is three 
weeks. 

Home Nursing of the Patient. 

The patient should be put to bed in a warm well ventilated 
room, plenty of fresh air is essential but draughts playing directly on 
the patient are to be avoided. It is most important that light does 
not strike directly on the eyes of the child. All eating, drinking and 
washing utensils used by the patient should be kept separate and 
boiled after being used. 

Secretions from the mouth and nose should be collected in clean 
strips of linen or soft paper and burned. The child’s eyes should be 
bathed with boracic lotion every night and morning. Boiling is the 
best method of disinfecting dirty linen and underclothing, of which 
none must he sent to a public laundry or mixed with general household 
washing. 




23 


Gleaning and Disinfection. 

In the case of feeding utensils, bed linen, underclothing, hand¬ 
kerchiefs, etc., the best known form of disinfection is thorough washing 
in soap and water, boiling in water for twenty minutes and then 
exposure to fresh air and sunshine. 

Thorough spring cleaning and airing is the ideal form of dis¬ 
infection of premises. Remember that fresh air and sunshine are 
nature’s disinfecting agents, so open windows widely both top and 
bottom for as long as possible. 

Attendance at School and Other Places. 

The regulations of the Cumberland County Education Com¬ 
mittee require that a school child suffering from measles shall be 
excluded for a period of three weeks from the date of the appearance 
of the rash, and as regards contacts, infants and other children who 
have not had the disease shall be excluded for three weeks from the 
date of onset of last case in the house. 

These rules should apply also to the attendance of children at 
churches, Sunday schools, public meetings, places of entertainment, 
etc., in fact, the law provides a heavy penalty in cases where children 
and persons suffering from any dangerous infectious disorder are allowed 
to mix with other persons. 

F. W. GAVIN, M.D., D.P.H., 

Medical Officer of Health. 


Whooping Cough. —This also is not a notifiable disease locally, 
and it is unfortunate to have to record two deaths (male twins), 
aged 1 year, from Whooping Cough complicated by Broncho- 
pheumonia. 

It is desirable that Isolation Hospital accommodation should 
be available for such complicated or severe cases as well as for 
similarly severe Measles patients. 

Diphtheria. —Nineteen cases were notified during the year 
1938 as compared with nine cases in 1937. 

The first case, notified on 18/6/1938, was a non-immunized 
woman aged 30 years, who suffered from a moderate attack and 
was discharged from Isolation Hospital on 30/7/1938 ; it is interesting 
to note that her children who had been immunized did not contract 
the infection. 

The second case to occur in the town was a non-immunized 
boy aged 3 years, who was notified on 15/7/1938, when he was 
admitted to the Isolation Hospital, and he died the next day—a 
case of Haemorrhagic Diphtheria. 


24 


The town remained clear of the disease until the 15/11/1938 
when two cases were notified, the first a woman aged 23 years 
employed at a laundry, also non-immunized. She was a severe case 
and was not discharged from Isolation Hospital until 5/1/1939 ; 
the second case was a boy aged 9 years attending the Boys’ National 
School, and he was the first of 10 boys notified as Diphtheria at 
the above School. This School was visited on several occasions 
and classroom contacts examined, and on the 24/11/1938 the School 
was disinfected and sealed for 13 hours and pens and pencils were 
destroyed. Another visit was made on 25/11/1938 when it was 
decided to swab 100 boys who were classroom contacts. These 
boys were swabbed, nose and throat, and the result was as follows : ■ 
“ X ” and “ Y ”. These two boys had doubtful positive swabs 
and arrangements were made to re-swab them. “ Z ” was positive 
and had been admitted to Fairhill Isolation Hospital on 27/11/1938 
as a case of clinical Diphtheria. “ X ” who lived in the country 
was found to be fit and well and had a clean nose and normal 
throat, but “ Y ” was in poor health, with nasal catarrh and a 
history of two weeks absence from School during the first fortnight 
in November—he was said to have had a sore throat and swollen 
neck glands but no doctor had been called in. 

Negative results were obtained from re-swabbing these ^ boys 
“ X ” and “ Y ”, and it is of some interest to note that “Y” 
developed severe clinical Diphtheria on 2/6/1939, an isolated case. 
His parents had refused immunization ! 


All the other swabs were negative. 

This School was closed after consultation with the School 
Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth Fraser, from 28/11/1938 to 6/12/1938. 
26 further swabs of contacts at this School taken on 16/12/1938 
were all negative. 


The results of swabbing were not very helpful in this epidemic, 
and tend to confirm my suspicions of this procedure as a method 
to obtain “ carriers ”, i.e. the “ immune carrier,” it is, I think, of 
doubtful value and perhaps is little better than attempting to 
diagnose Diphtheria by the swab result alone—however, Diphtheria 
can only be successfully diagnosed on clinical evidence. 

On the other hand, one of the cases was found by me during 
a “ march past ” of the children, and another case was brought 
forward for special examination by the Head Teacher of the School 

concerned. 


25 


The epidemic also involved 2 children, both aged 5 years, and 
non-immunized, at Robinson’s Infants’ School. 

The other Infants’ Schools in the town remained free from any 
notifications of Diphtheria, and this fact demonstrates, in my 
opinion, the great value of three immunizing injections of T.A.F. 

During the epidemic seven cases were notified among children 
who had received 2 ccms. T.A.F., but no case occurred where 
3 ccms. T.A.F. had been completed, and, as a large percentage of 
the children attending the Infants’ Schools had completed the full 
course of three injections, the excellent record of these Schools as 
regards this epidemic can be appreciated. Further, it is essential 
to point out that all the seven cases noted above, where 2 ccms. 
T.A.F. had been given, were of a very mild type as recorded in the 
quarterly report of Dr. J. Sachs, the Medical Superintendent of the 
Isolation Hospital to the Penrith Infectious Hospitals Joint Com¬ 
mittee Meeting on 3/1/1939. 

Home spread occurred in two cases and involved a brother or 
sister, in each case non-immunized, contracting infection 7 days 
and 12 days respectively after the primary case had been removed 
to Hospital. 

Two cases occurred in pre-School age children, both non- 
immunized, and both aged 4 years, one of whom was a severe type 
of Diphtheria. 

Two girls, both aged 8 years, were very mild-—one attending 
the Girls’ National School, and the other at Penrith Girls’ Council 
School, and it is pleasing to record that these cases were the only 
notifications in these Schools during the epidemic. 


The figures during the past five years are as follows :— 



Diphtheria Cases. 

Deaths. 

1934 . 

23 . 

Nil 

1935 . 

... 33 

2 

1936 

23 . 

1 

1937 . 

9 

• • • « • • • 

Nil 

1938 . 

19 

• • • A e/ # « * • • • 

1 

it will be seen 

that 4 lives have been lost 

during these 


five years, and all four could undoubtedly have been saved by 
immunization. 





26 


Artificial Immunization against Diphtheria. —The work 
was continued during 1938, and the figures are as follows :— 


DIPHTHERIA—PREVENTIVE INOCULATION. 

Number of Children attending Schools in the 
District who have received a 3rd injection of T.A.F. 


during 1938 :— 

School. Total. 

Penrith Girls’ National . . . . . . . . 91 

Penrith National Infants . . . . . . . . 60 

Robinson’s Infants . . .. .. . . 23 

Penrith St. Catherine’s . . .. .. . . 35 

Penrith Girls’ Council . . . . .. . . 288 

Penrith Boys’ Council .. .. . . . . 220 

Penrith Council Infants . . . . . . .. 142 

Penrith Boys’ National . . . . . . . . 103 

Penrith Grammar School . . . . . . . . 8 

Penrith Grammar School Preparatory . . .. 4 

Total ' . . 974 


The cost of this work is considerable, but insignificant when 
compared with that of a case of Diphtheria of average severity 
treated at the Isolation Hospital ; approximately 80 children can 
be immunized for the cost of one case of average Diphtheria 
admitted to the Hospital. 

Thanks are due again to the County Medical Officer of Health 
for securing the assistance of the Education Authorities and for 
the valuable services of the County Health Visitor. 

Thanks are also due to the Head Teachers, especially for their 
ready help and encouragement, without which the Scheme could 
not have been carried out. 

Isolation Hospital Accommodation. —47 cases admitted : 
27 Scarlet Fever, 1 Measles, and 19 Diphtheria, during the year 
from the Penrith Urban District, and in the months of November 
and December much anxiety was caused owing to heavy pressure 
on the Hospital’s available accommodation. 

It is absolutely essential that overcrowding of patients must 
not be allowed in an Isolation Hospital. 












27 


Owing to the widespread incidence of Scarlet Fever in the 
Penrith Rural District during the latter months of the year, and 
the epidemic in the Urban Area, additional staff had to be employed 
at the Hospital, but fortunately the emergency was surmounted. 
It is, however, a serious warning should the local child population 
ever be increased in the future, and it must be remembered that 
our Isolation Hospital will serve the Keswick Urban Area in addition 
to the Penrith Urban and Rural Districts. 


CANCER. 

Cancer of Buccal Cavity :—M. 46. 

,, Stomach, Liver, etc. :—M. 64, F. 69, F. 78, M. 68, M. 49. 

,, Peritoneum, Intestine and Rectum :—F. 72, M. 73, M. 56, 

F. 82, F. 74, F. 67. 

,, Female Genital Organs :—F. 51. 

,, the Breast :—F. 73, F. 55. 

,, the Lung :—Nil. 

,, the Skin :—M. 58. 

,, Prostate :—M. 75. 

,, Oesophagus :—M. 50, M. 68. 

There were 19 deaths, 1 more than last year, from malignant 
disease ; only 1 death was under the age of 50 years, viz. 49 years, 
and 13 were over the age of 60 years. 


PREVENTION OF BLINDNESS. 

No case has arisen where it was necessary to take action under 
Section 176 of the 1936 Public Health Act for preventing Blindness, 
or for the treatment of persons who are suffering from any disease 
of, or injury to, the eyes. 


28 


TUBERCULOSIS. 

No action has been necessary in respect to Tuberculosis among 
persons employed in the milk trade or under Section 172 of the 
Public Health Act, 1936, relating to the compulsory removal to 
Hospital of persons suffering from Tuberculosis. 


TUBERCULOSIS CASES. 


AGES. 

New Cases. 

Deaths. 

Respiratory 

Non-Respir. 

Respiratory 

Non-Respir. 


M 

F 

M 

F 

M 

F 

M 

F 

To One year 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

1 to 5 years 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

5 to 15 ,, . 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

15 to 25 ,, 

— 

1 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

25 to 35 ,, 

1 

1 

— 

1 

— 

1 

— 

— 

35 to 45 ,, . 

1 

— 

1 

— 

1 

1 

1 

— 

45 to 55 ,, . 

1 

— 

— 

— 

2 

— 

— 

— 

55 to 65 ,, 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

1 

— 

— 

65 and upwards ... 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 

— 


“““ 

TOTALS 

3 

2 

1 

1 

3 

3 

1 

— 



































29 


It is to be noted that one of the new cases during the year 
occurred in a casual who was later transferred to Edinburgh. 

The only death from Non-Pulmonary Tubercle was a case 
notified posthumously who died in Carlisle Infirmary. 

One death from Pulmonary Tuberculosis took place at a mental 
Hospital outside this district and non-notiked, and this patient 
presumably developed the disease at that Institution, a disease 
which is not uncommon among mental patients. 

The notification of cases occurring within the town is satis¬ 
factory, and it will be observed that the Death Rate for 1938 at 
0.7 was lower than the corresponding rate for 1937, viz., 0.9. 

The lower rate is caused by a reduction in the number of deaths 
from Pulmonary Tuberculosis, and it is hoped that the improvement 
in local housing conditions will materially help towards solving the 
problem of Phthisis. 

The total number of persons on the Tuberculosis Register for 
Penrith Urban District on 31/12/1938 was 42 as follows :— 

Males. Females. 

Pulmonary. Non-Pulmonary. Pulmonary. Non-Pulmonary. Total. 

13 ... 5 ... 18 ... 6 ... 42 


On 31/12/1937 the figures were :—- 

Males. Females. 

Pulmonary. Non-Pulmonary. Pulmonary. Non-Pulmonary. Total. 

13 ... 5 ... 19 ... 5 ... 42 

The ratio of non-notified Tuberculosis deaths to total Tuber¬ 
culosis deaths is 2 to 7, and one of these non-notihed deaths occurred 
in Carlisle Infirmary, the other at Garlands Mental Hospital. 


APPENDIX II. 

Summary of Causes of Deaths abstracted from local returns in 1938. 


I 


30 


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31 


APPENDIX Ha. 


Causes of Deaths as given by the Registrar-General. 


Males. 

Whooping Cough . . . . . . . . 2 

Diphtheria . . . . . . . . . . 1 

Tuberculosis of Lungs . . . . . . 3 

Other Tuberculosis . . . . . . 1 

Cancer . . . . . . . . . . 9 

Other Digestive Diseases . . . . . . 2 

Acute and Chronic Nephritis .. .. 1 

Congenital Debility, Premature Birth, etc. 1 
Senility . . . . .. . . .. 2 

Suicide . . . . .. . . . . 1 

Other Violence .. .. .. .. 3 

Other Defined Diseases .. .. .. 7 

Ill-defined or not known .. . . . . - 

Diabetes .. . . . . . . .. 3 

Cerebral Haemorrhage, etc. . . . . 1 

Heart Disease . . .. .. . . 20 

Other Circulatory Diseases .. .. 7 

Bronchitis . . .. . . . . . . — 

Pneumonia (all forms) .. .. . . 3 

Diarrhoea under 2 years . . . . . . 1 

Totals .. 68 


Females. 


10 

1 

2 

2 

3 

2 

4 
2 
1 
2 

15 

4 

3 

3 

1 

59 


Total. 

2 

1 

7 

1 

19 

3 

3 

3 
5 
1 

5 
11 

2 

4 
3 

35 

11 

3 

6 
2 


127 


FACTORIES, WORKSHOPS AND WORKPLACES. 


Factories . . 

Workshops 

Workplaces 


Inspections. 

35 

33 

30 

98 


Written Notices. 

4 

1 


Sanitary Accommodation—- 
Insufficient 

Unsuitable or defective 
Not separate for sexes 


Defects Found. Defects Remedied. 


1 

3 

1 


1 

3 


5 


4 
















32 


PENRITH URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL. 


Engineer and Surveyor’s Dept., 
Town Hall, 

Penrith. 

Report of Sanitary Inspector and Surveyor. 

To the Chairman and Members of the Sanitary Committee. 

Mrs. Johnson and Gentlemen, 

I have the honour of presenting my second Annual Report 
for the year ending December 31st, 1938. 


TABULAR STATEMENT OF WORK OF SANITARY 
DEPARTMENT DURING THE YEAR 

Number of Inspections made ... ... ... ••• 8c 

Number of Notices served :— 

(a) Statutory 

(i b ) Informal ... ... ... ... ••• c 

Bakehouses. 

Number of Bakehouses on Register ... ... ... 1 

All the Bakehouses in the District have been regularly 
inspected. 

During the year the Penrith Co-operative Society 
have erected a new Bakehouse with modern equipment, 
and the premises of Messrs. Birkett have been enlarged 
with installation of new equipment. Both premises have 
been fitted with adequate sanitary appliances. 


Food Premises. 

All premises for the preparation and sale of food, 
including meat, fish, fruit, ice cream, etc., have been kept 
under supervision. 

Number of orders for structural and other defects 
and want of cleanliness . 



33 


Slaughterhouses. 

Number of Slaughterhouses registered prior to 1890 ... 6 

Number of Slaughterhouses registered since 1890 ... 2 

Number of inspections for defects and want of 

cleanliness ... ... ... ... ... ... 47 

Number of notices served with regard to defects, 

lime-washing, etc. ... ... ... ... ... Nil 

Disinfection. 

After all cases of Infectious Disease an inspection of 
the premises affected has been made and the whole of the 
premises, bedding, etc., have been disinfected. 

Number of houses disinfected during 1938 ... ... 50 

Number of Public Buildings, Schools, etc., disinfected 

during 1938 ... ... ... ... ... ... 2 

Shops. 

Inspections have been made under the Shops Act, 

1934, relating to the sanitary accommodation, etc. 

Camping Sites. 

Number of Camping Sites in the District ... ... 1 

Number of Camping Sites licensed by Local Authority Nil 
Estimated maximum number of Campers ... ... 6 

Smoke Abatement. 

No statutory action has been taken in connection 
with smoke nuisance within the Area. 

Number of informal notices served ... ... ... 1 

During the year under review the management of the 
factory concerned have raised the height of the chimney. 

The result has been so far satisfactory, though advice has 
been given from time to time as to the methods of refuelling. 

Swimming Baths and Pools. 

(a) Public—Nil. 

(b) Private—Penrith Swimming Club owns a Swim¬ 
ming Pool in the River Eamont. 

Disinfestation—Eradication of Bed Bugs. 

Five cases were dealt with during the year (not in 
Council owned houses), the wallpaper, etc., being removed 
and bugs destroyed with the use of pyagra solution by my 
department. 


34 


Schools. 

All the schools have been periodically visited and 
inspected. The water supplied from the cown reservoirs 
was excellent. Sanitary conditions were found to be 
excellent with the following exceptions :— 

(1) Trough closets at St. Catherine’s School which 

should be replaced by water-closets. 

(2) Brunswick Road Infants’ School.—No separate 

lavatory accommodation for teachers, who 
have to use those provided at the adjoining 
Brunswick Road Girls’ School. 


Housing. 

Number of new houses erected during 1938 :— 

(a) By Local Authority ... ... 34 

(b) By other persons ... ... 34 

Unfit Dwelling-houses. 

Inspection of dwelling-houses during the year :— 

(1) (a) Total number of dwelling-houses inspected 

for defects under Public Health or Housing 

A pfc 1 1 Q 

( b ) Number of Inspections made for purpose ... 130 

(2) (a) Number of dwelling-houses (included under 

sub-head (1) above) which were inspected 
and recorded under Housing Consolidated 
Regulations, 1925 and 1932 ... ... ... 49 

(b) Number of Inspections made for purpose ... 61 

(3) Number of dwelling-houses found to be in a state 

so dangerous or injurious as to be unfit for 
human habitation ... ... ... ... 35 

(4) Number of dwelling-houses (exclusive of those 

referred to under preceding sub-head) found 
not to be in all respects reasonably fit for 
human habitation ... ... ... ... 84 

Remedy of defects without service of formal notice ... 2 

Number of defective houses rendered fit. as result of 

informal action ... ... ... ... ... 9 







35 


Action under Statutory Powers during the year :— 

(< a ) Proceedings under Sections 9, 10 and 16, Housing 
Act, 1936 :— 

(1) Number of dwellings in respect of which 
notices were served requiring repairs... ... Nil 

(2) Number of dwellings rendered ht after service 
of notices :— 

(a) By Owners ... ... ... ... Nil 

(b) By Local Authority in default of 

Owners ... ... ... Nil 

Proceedings under Sections 11 and 13 of the Housing 
Act, 1936:— 

(1) Number of Demolition Orders made in respect of 

dwelling-houses ... ... ... ... ... 2 

(2) Number of houses demolished in connection 

therewith ... ... ... ... ... 23 

Proceedings under Section 12 of the Housing Act, 1936 :— 

(1) Number of separate tenements or underground 

rooms in respect of which Closing Orders 
were made ... ... ... ... ... Nil 

(2) Number of separate tenements or underground 

rooms in respect of which Closing Orders 
were determined, the tenement or room having 
been rendered fit ... ... ... ... Nil 

Housing Act, 1936—Overcrowding. 

(a) (1) Number of houses overcrowded at end of year 107 

(2) Number of families therein ... ... ... 107 

(3) Number of persons affected ... ... ... 643 

(b) Number of new cases of overcrowding reported 

during the year ... ... ... ... 11 

(c) (1) Number of cases of overcrowding relieved 

during the year ... ... ... ... 5 

(2) Number of persons affected ... ... ... 22 

(d) Particulars of cases in which houses have again 

become overcrowded ... ... ... ... Nil 

(e) Any other conditions, etc., etc. ... ... ... Nil 

Under the Housing Act, 1936, “ Sanitary defects ” include 
lack of air space or ventilation, darkness, dampness, absence of 
adequate and readily accessible water supply or sanitary 
accommodation, or of other conveniences and inadequate paving 
or drainage of courts, yards or passages (Section 188). 


36 


Abatement of Overcrowding — Housing Act, 1935. 

A dwelling-house shall be deemed for the purpose of this 
Act to be overcrowded at any time when the number of persons 
sleeping in the house either :— 

(1) is such that any two persons, ten years old or more, of 

opposite sexes, not living together as husband and 
wife, must sleep in the same room ; or 

(2) is, in relation to the number and floor area of the rooms, 


in excess of the following :— 


(a) One room 

2 persons 

(■ b) Two rooms 

3 

(c) Three rooms ... 

5 „ 

(d) Four rooms ... 

71 „ 

(e) Five or more rooms ... 

10 


an additional two in respect of each room in excess 
of five. 

N.B.—A room of less than 50 square feet is not counted as 
a room. 


Floor Area of Rooms. 


(a) 110 sq. feet or more ... 

(b) 90 sq. ft. or more but less than 110 sq. ft. 

(c) 70 sq. ft. or more but less than 90 sq. ft.... 

(d) 50 sq. ft. or more but less than 70 sq. ft.... 

(e) Under 50. sq. ft. 


2 persons 

11 

* 2 >9 

1 person 

1 

2 >> 

Nil 


No regard is taken of any room less than 50 square feet 
floor area. No account is taken of a child under one year of age, 
but from ages orie to ten half a unit is allowed. These tables 
refer to rooms normally used as living or bedrooms. 


It must be noted that Local Authorities providing accom¬ 
modation for overcrowded persons who are displaced, must, in 
any replacement house belonging to themselves, treat a house 
containing two bedrooms as providing accommodation for four 
persons, three bedrooms for five persons and four bedrooms for 
seven persons. Here children count as whole persons irrespective 
of their age. 








37 


Inspection of Food—Milk Supply. 

(1) Number of Cowkeepers, Dairymen and Wholesale 

Purveyors of Milk on Register ... ... 28 

(2) Number of Farms used as Dairies registered under 

the Milk and Dairies Order, 1926 ... ... 28 

(3) Number of Retail Purveyors of Milk on Register... 18 

(4) Number of other premises used as Dairies ... 8 

(5) Number of notices served with regard to lime¬ 

washing, want of cleanliness or structural 

defects ... ... ... ... ... ... Nil 

The samples taken and submitted to the Pathological 
Laboratory at Carlisle during the year 1938 were as follows :— 

(1) Certified Standard T.T. ... ... ... ... 12 

(2) Accredited ... ... ... ... ... ... 3 

(3) Ungraded ... ... ... ... ... ... 8 

A number of unsatisfactory samples were taken. 4 cases 
were reported as containing Coliform Bacilli and 6 cases of 
unclean milk. Appropriate action was taken in each case. 

Water Supply. 

The water supply from Penrith is obtained from Lake 

Hayeswater, some 19 miles out of the town and situated in the 
County of Westmorland. The water is of excellent quality 
and frequent tests are made. In order to increase its hardness 
the water is treated with chalk and is afterwards passed through 
a battery of four Bell filters at the Hartsop filter station. There 
are two break pressure tanks, one at Boredale Head and the 
other at Barton, the latter giving the required head to the four 
storage reservoirs situated at Beacon Road, Carleton, Fairhill and 
Maidenhill. Special attention is given to the testing of mains, 
detection and repairs of leakages. By systematic inspection and 
repairs the percentage of loss can be reduced to as low a figure 
as 4.5%. The supply of water at the headworks is more than 
adequate but the size of the trunk main is only 8 inches in 
diameter. The supply to the town varies from 400.000 to 450,000 
gallons per day, an average of 42.75 to 46, gallons per head per 
day. The supply was maintained during the year and gave 
every satisfaction. 

Collection and Disposal of Refuse. 

House and trade refuse is collected by the Council’s staff, the 
vehicles used being a 2-ton freighter and a 30-cwt. Thornycroft 
lorry. Refuse is removed weekly from dwellings and special 


S £a, \v*\ 


38 



arrangements are made with respect t o hotels an d la rger pr™^ 5 - 
Wastepaper and cardboard boxes are collected every week by 
arrangement with the shop keepers and traders. The refuse is 
ti pped upon land owned by. .the. Coinieii, t iic approximate amount 
/ for 1938. being 2,440 tons of house refus e. 175 tons of paper, etc., 
375 tons of stpeet-.xefu xe and 40 tons of market refuse , a total of 
3,030 tons- The paper, cardboard, etc., is dealt with separately, 
fn rough and windy weather it is burnt within a cage formed of 
wire netting framework, the actual burning being carried out in 
a concrete fire trench. In calm weather the refuse is burnt near 
the base of the tip. This is to avoid the possibility of nuisance 
being caused by the paper being blown across the public road 
and adjoining fields. I would mention here that in former years 
complaints have been received by the Council, but since the 
erection and use of the wire cage, and during the whole of the 
year under review, no complaints were received and no case of 
nuisance occurred. 


Sewerage. 

The sewerage of the District is dealt with by gravitation, 
the main outfall discharging into the Works at Whinfell, about 3 
miles out of the town and in the County of Westmorland. In 
1937 the Council embarked on a scheme for 

(a) laying a new storm overflow to relieve the existing 

sewers during times of severe storms. 

(b) the reconditioning of the Works by the erection of four 

new filters, humus tanks, sludge pumping plant, 
with all necessary new outfall sewers, sludge mains, 
etc., in connection therewith ; 

(c) the laying of subsidiary stormwater sewers at several 

points in the town to relieve the existing sewer at 
these points. 

By the end of 1938, stages (a) and (b) were completed and 
the sewage Works functioning under new and improved conditions. 
It was found that a certain amount of sludging occurred on the 
filters and upon investigation it was found that the battery of 
four settling tanks had been altered some years ago in such a 
manner as to cause them to function as one unit. By reducing 
the height of the containing walls and carrying out certain minor 
alterations, the tanks were again brought back to their original 
purpose, i.e., to work in series, and the result has been most 
satisfactory. The filters are now working most efficiently and a 
satisfactory effluent is passing from the humus tanks to the river. 












39 


Housing. 

During the year a further 34 houses were erected at Raiselands 
Croft, bringing the total to 84 houses on this estate. 

Inspection of Food, Shops, etc. 

During the year periodical inspections were carried out at 
the various dairies, milk shops, bakehouses, butchers’ premises, 
etc., in the district. In no case was there any serious defect 
met with, and in most cases conditions were found to be 
satisfactory. Samples of milk were taken from time to time and 
submitted for analysis, appropriate action being taken where 
necessary. 

Penrith Abattoir. 

During the year under review, the Council decided to meet 
the pressing need for a central slaughterhouse by the erection of 
a new Abattoir at Dalemain Road. There were four suggested 
sites :— 

(1) Dalemain Road. 

(2) Myers Lane. 

(3) In the vicinity of Frenchheld, Appleby Road. 

(4) Redhills, Dalemain Road. 

The three latter sites were abandoned on the grounds of:—lack 
of sewerage facilities in the case of (4), the difficulty and excessive 
cost of providing satisfactory sewerage facilities in the case of (2), 
distance from town and excessive cost of water supply in the case 
of (3). The Dalemain Road site was considered particularly 
suitable as, apart from the availability of all requisite services, 
the site adjoins the main L.M.S. railway and facilities can be 
given at a later date, if and when required, for a railway siding 
at the rear of the building, so that the Abattoir can be served 
equally by road and rail. At the end of 1938, the Abattoir was 
under construction, considerable progress having been made. 

In conclusion, I wish to express my appreciation of the 
valuable assistance given me in the execution of my duties by the 
Chairman, the Chairmen of the various Committees, the Clerk and 
the Medical Officer of Health. 

Your obedient servant, 

T. F. SIMMONDS, M.I.M. & Cy.E., M.R.S.I., 

F.I.A.S., 

Surveyor , Sanitary Inspector and Water Engineer. 













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