Ragged London in 1861

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Smith, Elder and Company, 1861 - City and town life - 338 pages
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Page 199 - ... for such people, and there are standing rules to keep them out. The Association is for improving the dwellings of the "industrious classes" — a very loose and windy phrase — and, with one exception, hereafter to be noticed, these model buildings may be looked upon as intruders. At St. Pancras, they have done nothing for the worst class in Somers Town and Agar Town, and they have wasted their means on a class who are well able to help themselves.
Page 192 - This society, I believe, was founded in 1842, and the St. Pancras buildings were the first large block of model houses, or rooms in " flats," erected in London. They are laid out to accommodate about one hundred and ten families, with about four hundred and twenty rooms, at a rental varying from three shillings and sixpence to seven shillings a week for each set of rooms. The highest prices give the...
Page 214 - No one has ever properly grappled with it, has ever thoroughly understood it, or perhaps tried to understand it. The attempts at reform have been mere pickings at the surface, — feeble, half- supported efforts to do good. We all know what home influence is for good or evil, and here are one hundred and fifty thousand families living in dens that are worse than sewers. The most awful thing in connexion with these people, is to find them utterly blind to their dirt and misery. Their senses are blunted...
Page 209 - I can only say, I am sorry for it. The standard of morals must be very low where men with health, strength, and skilled hands, are content to accept anything that they do not fully pay for. The building in Streatham Street is rather gloomy, built in a very heavy style to last for centuries, and disfigured by galleries with broad flat brick columns, when iron would have been so much lighter. These columns make the entrances dark, and throw a gloom into the bedrooms in front. The rents are about sis...
Page 7 - Taken in detail, in a kind of house-to-house visitation, they show that the spreading limbs of a great city may be healthy and vigorous, while its heart may gradually become more choked up and decayed. A vast deal of life that skulks or struggles in London is only familiar to the hard-working clergy, certain medical practitioners, and a few parochial officers. It burrows in holes and corners, at the back of busy thoroughfares, where few know of its existence, or care to follow it. The largest and...
Page 79 - In Old Nichols Street, a turning in this district leading off from Shoreditch, we have a specimen of an east-end thieves' street. Its road is rotten with mud and water ; its houses are black and repulsive ; and at least fifty dark sinister faces look at you from behind blinds and dirty curtains as you pass up the rugged pavement. Courts of the filthiest description branch off on either side, filled with the usual dust-heaps, the usual pools of inky water, and the usual groups of children rolling...
Page 199 - The costermonger — the street hawker — the industrious poor, are still rotting up their filthy, ill-drained, ill-ventilated courts, while well-paid mechanics, clerks, and porters, willing to sacrifice a certain portion of their self-respect, are the constant tenants of all these model dwellings.
Page 114 - The crowding arises from the desire of the working population to be " near their bread," as they express it; and the high rental of the tenements, averaging four shillings a room per week, arises naturally from this rush upon a particular spot.
Page 33 - ... a half persons to a room. The rooms were from fifteen feet by twelve to nine by nine. They were low, dark, dismal, and dirty; so low, indeed, that it was with great difficulty I could stand upright in them, and when I extended my arms I could touch the walls on either side with my fingers' ends; in these rooms I found five, six, seven, eight, and even nine persons living.
Page 245 - Overcrowding, he argued, 51 is without doubt the most important, and at the same time the most difficult [subject], with which you are called upon to deal; and sooner or later it must be dealt with. Houses and streets may be drained most perfectly, the District may be paved and lighted in such a manner as to excite the jealous envy of other Local Authorities; new thoroughfares may be constructed and every house in the District furnished with a constant supply of pure water; the Thames may be embanked,...

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