THE INSPECTOR’S REPORT Mr. Rawling, the Sanitary Inspector, presented his monthly report, from which it appeared that the water supply of Croft was chiefly obtained from draw wells, some of which were of a fair depth, and contained a good supply; while others were badly constructed, and not of much depth. Some were situate near cesspools, or sink ditches, but in most cases they were at a good distance away. Many cottages were entirely without drinking water except what they begged from their neighbours, and in one or two instances they obtained their supply from the brook. There was no proper system of drainage in the township, and the privy accommodation was generally of a very inferior class. He recommended the building of proper ashpits three feet above ground, and in all cases where closets and cesspools were against house walls their removal to a more suitable situation. He also recommended that a sewer should be laid in Croft to carry off the refuse water which was now turned into an open ditch.
The CHAIRMAN said he thought they should not commence making sewers in any township until they had decided upon some comprehensive scheme which appeared to be looming in the distance. Mr. WOODS was of opinion that a main sewer, with a proper outfall, should be constructed in Croft. Dr. SEPHTON considered that they should wait a little time before they did anything with respect to the open ditch at Croft because he had suggested to Mr. Owen the desirability of deodorising the refuse turned into it. It was decided to act upon the suggestion of the Medical Officer of Health.
The report of Dr. Sephton stated that during the past month his work had been confined to Croft, which had hitherto been the most unhealthy township in his district. Finding that properly conducted cesspools and manure tanks were mostly needed, he recommended the committee to insist on all cesspools being made of bricks set in Slias lime, or cement, raised at least three feet above the ground, well coated with tar, and well drained.
Leigh Journal and Times Saturday 14th July 1877
A REMARKABLE RAT A few days ago, during the night time, a female rat of extraordinary size, stole four fine chickens from the poultry yard of Mr. Thos. Brideoake, farmer, Croft. The same animal a day or so afterwards succeeded in killing and carrying off a full-grown duck. Emboldened by previous successes, she commenced the daring feat of stealing a number of eggs in course of incubation, and, despite the active opposition of the hen, the rat secured several of the eggs. Mr. Brideoake obtained a ferret, and after some difficulty the precocious and voracious animal was killed.
Warrington Examiner Saturday 22nd August 1874
THE NEW FACTORY ACT On the 1st January next the new Act, passed in the late session, to improve the health of children, young persons, and women, employed in factories, and for the education of such children, will come into force. By this Act during next year no child is to be employed under nine, and after that year under ten, except where he was lawfully employed before that period. There are special regulations as to the employment and refreshment of children, young persons and women in factories between 8a.m. and 6p.m., but no employment is to be beyond four hours and a-half continuously without a meal, nor any employment after two on Saturday. The hours of meals are to be simultaneously for children, and employment during meal time is forbidden. Until the 1st January, 1876, employment for the recovery of lost time is to be permitted, until which time a person of 13 and under 14 is to be deemed a child unless an educational certificate be obtained. After the 1st January, 1876, children must attend efficient schools.
Cheyvonne Bower is a local historian with a passion for the past. A member of Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society and The Society for One-Place Studies.