Tuesday 29 November 2011

Belle Isle

More on the lovely air of Belle Isle (the area just north of King Cross station) in the mid-Victorian period ... you can find more about it, including a map, here.


Sir,- I have read the letter of "Clericus" in your journal of to-day, and I could not conceive that any, excepting either a proprietor of the horse slaughter-house, or one of the Patent Manure Company, would maintain for a moment that these nuisances could be otherwise than injurious to health. I can only meet his statements with facts within my own experience.
    I have resided in Stanmore-street, Caledonian-road, for the last three years, and I must stay another twelvemonth, if I should survive so long in this filthy and offensive atmosphere. The evil has gradually increased until the effect is clearly showing itself by the desertion of the inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhood, and if it is possible (which I do not believe) that no actual disease arisen, it produces nausea and vomiting to many people, of whom I am one, for on four recent occasions on my return home in the evening from the city, when the stench has been more suffocating than usual, I have positively vomitted in the gutter in the Caledonian-road. On several occasions two of my children, aged respectively 4 and 6, while playing in the back garden, have come indoors and complained about these smells, which often produced retching, and their health, as well as my own, has ben materially affected by those nuisances; and, without pretending to any medical knowledge, it strikes me that an atmosphere which causes nausea and sickness must be prejudicial to health, and that Nature herself indicates that one cannot breathe it with impunity, and it is a positive fact, as stated by one of the correspondent on this subject, that "It has a most deleterious effect upon the health of those who live within the area of its malign influence, rendering their very food unwholesome." Apologizing for the length of my letter,
I have the honours be, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
THOMAS WATERS. 30, Stanmore-street, Caledonian-road, Sept. 28, 1855

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