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Ayrshire Miners' Rows 1913

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Ayrshire Miners' Rows: Section 2.

KIRKLAND ROWS, SPRINGSIDE, PARISH OF DREGHORN.

Messrs. A Finnie & Sons. Rent. Outhouses. Paths in front of the doors a quagmire.

There are three rows here. Row No. 1 is built in three blocks of houses. The first block contains six two apartment houses and one single apartment house. The houses are built [17] of an inferior looking yellowish brick, and the walls are neither whitewashed nor cemented. The rent of the one apartment house is 1s 6d per week, and the two apartment house 1s 11d per week. The second block contains 10 single apartment houses. The third block also contains 10 single apartment houses. The rent is 1s 6d per week, including rates, with the exception of the poor rate, which is paid in addition. This row, therefore, consists in all of 21 single apartment houses and 6 two apartment houses. In a few cases tenants with large families have rented two single apartment houses, and by means of getting a door put through have made their houses into two apartment ones. Where this has been done the rent is double, viz., 3s per week. The single apartment houses measure approximately 16 feet by 12 feet. The house consists only of four square walls, and no presses or any other conveniences are provided in the inside of the house, with the exception of two inset beds. The floors are made of brick tiles which have become so uneven that if linoleum is put down on the floor it is cut to pieces in a very short time. Many of the floor tiles have sunk and form holes inches deep on the floor. There is one washing-house for every six tenants, and one water-closet for every four tenants. A disagreeable feature of the closets is that they are all placed together at the back of one of the spaces of the blocks, and owing to the size of the row (27 houses being built in a line) many of the tenants have long distances to travel in order to use them. The walls of the houses are said by the tenants to be very damp. Coalhouses are provided. There are two ashpits for this row, but they have no roofs over them, and a considerable amount of kitchen ashes and refuse is strewn about the back of the houses. The houses have no back doors. One of the most disagreeable features of this row is the condition of the roadway in front of the houses. At the date of our visit (25th November, 1913), the pathways at the doors of the houses were covered with mud, and pools of water inches deep at the doorsteps were quite common. Owing to the condition of the paths the women have the utmost difficulty in keeping their kitchen floors clean, as the children carry the thick mud with them on their feet into the houses. This row is said to be 42 years old.

Row No. 2. Path a quagmire.

This row contains 22 houses. They are supposed to be two apartment houses, but the room is not much larger than a decent sized cupboard. It measures approximately 9 feet by 6 feet, while the kitchen is about 12 feet by 12 feet. The rent is 1s 6d per week. The floors, made of brick tiles, are very uneven, and in many cases the tiles have sunk and left [18] holes in the floor of varying depths. There is not a break in this row, the 22 houses being joined together. There is one water-closet provided for every five tenants. These closets are all built together and placed in front of the doors, so that many tenants have to travel long distances in order to use them. The houses are very damp, and in wet weather we are informed the water runs down the walls in the inside of the houses. There are washing-houses provided - one for every four tenants and a coalhouse for every tenant. There is only one ashpit for this row, and it seems to be overworked! The pathways are unpaved, and the 'muck' at the very doors of the houses is disgusting. In order to keep from going up to the ankles in 'glaur' one has to walk on his heels.

This row is built of stone, and contains 20 single apartment houses. The rent is 1s 6d a week. The whole house measures approximately 16 feet by 12 feet, and it consists only of four square walls, with two set-in beds. There is one closet for every four tenants, and one washing-house for every five. The closets are all built together in the centre of the row, with the doors facing the doors of the dwelling-houses, and only about 6 yards from the doorsteps. The pathways are unpaved, and although not so bad as the other two rows (owing to a slight elevation), they are yet in a deplorable condition with mud. This row is said to be over 6o years old.

Kirkland Rows. Summary.

These three rows contain in all 69 houses, 41 of them single apartments and 28 of them two apartments, and of the latter 22 have rooms not much larger than a cupboard, and they can hardly be called two apartment houses. The houses have gardens in front, and in many cases they are cultivated. Each row is provided with two wells for the supply of gravitation water. The roadways in front of all the rows are in a horrible condition with mud, and nearly all the houses are damp, and tenants complain that their carpets rot in a short time. The houses are owned by Messrs. A. Finnie & Sons, coalmasters, Springhill, and they are inhabited by their workmen and families.

SPRINGSIDE SQUARE, SPRINGSIDE, PARISH OF DREGHORN.

Rent. Outhouses.

These houses formerly belonged to Messrs. A. Kenneth & Sons, coalmasters, Dreghorn, but they have recently been acquired by Mr. John Herd, publican, Springside. The bottom row of the square became so dilapidated that a number of houses have been allowed to go to ruin. There are now 30 [19] houses in the square, and the walls are rough cast. Thirteen of the houses are of one apartment and 17 of two apartments. The rent of the one apartment house is 1s 3d per week, and the two apartment is usually 1s 9d a week, but in three cases the two apartment house is 2s 1d per week. The single apartment houses measures approximately 16 feet by 14 feet. No presses or any other convenience is supplied inside, with the exception of two set-in beds. No coalhouses are provided, and in the single apartment house the people have to keep their coals below the bed. In the two apartment house there is a cupboard at the door, in the inside of the house, which may serve as a coalhouse. There are four earth closets for the 30 houses with doors on them, and four washing-houses. There are two ashpits. There are two erections placed in the square. which contain the washing-houses, closets, and ashpits, all built together. There are filthy cesspools in front of the houses, and at the date of our visit several of them were choked and the filth lying all around. Human filth was littered all around the closet doors. There are no pavements, and pools of mud and water were to be seen everywhere. The aspect of this square is one of the most miserable we have seen. The measurement of the houses designated two apartment houses is kitchen (approximately) 12 feet by 12 feet and room 9 feet by 6 feet. One feels that it is a pity that all the houses here were not allowed to fall into ruin like several we saw in that condition at the bottom end of the square.

SPRINGHILL ROW, PARISH OF DREGHORN.

A. Finnie & Sons.

This row contains 14 two apartment house, and is situated on the main road between Kilmarnock and Dreghorn, about four miles from Kilmarnock. It is in a much superior condition to the rows previously described. It is built of brick, and although the row was built 43 years ago the bricks look so fresh that one would believe the row had been built only a few years ago. The appearance of the row is greatly enhanced by each house having a flower plot of ground in front and laid off with a wooden railing, while a brick wall runs right along the extent of the row. The outhouses are placed at the back, and each house also has a garden. The gardens are all cultivated. There are four dry closets provided for the row and four washing-houses, and every tenant has a coalhouse. The kitchen measures approximately 16 feet by 14 feet and the room 12 feet by 10 feet. The kitchen has, in addition, two set-in beds and the room one. The room is provided with a fireplace. [20]

CORSEHILL ROW, PARISH OF DREGHORN.

A. Kenneth & Sons. Rent.

This row contains 48 two apartment houses built in five blocks of 6 houses, one of 10, and one of 8 houses. It is situated on the main road. The kitchen measures approximately 16 feet by 14 feet and the room 10 feet by 9 feet. The rent is 2s 3d a week, including rates, with the exception of the Poor Rate. The houses are built of a yellowish brick, and the walls are neither whitewashed nor cemented. The floor is of brick tiles, which in many cases has been so worn and sunk that there are holes inches deep on the floors. The pathways are unpaved and littered with mud. The outhouses are situated at the back of the houses, and one water-closet has been provided for every three tenants and one washing-house for every six. In one case the roof of the washing-house was blown off a year ago, and as it has never been repaired the women have to do their washing in the house. There is one ashpit for every six tenants, and several of these places were in a very filthy condition. Each tenant has a coalhouse. The row was built about 30 years ago. It belongs to Messrs. A. Kenneth & Sons, coalmasters, Dreghorn, and is inhabited mostly by their workmen and families.

SIX ROWS, PARISH OF DREGHORN.

A. Finnie & Sons. Rent. Broken floors. Damp houses. No pavements.

This place contains six rows running parallel to each other. The first row contains 10 houses of two apartments, the second 9 houses of two apartments, the third 8 houses of two apartments, and the other three rows contain 8 houses each, but the rooms are so small that they are spoken of as the 'single houses'. There are 51 houses in these rows altogether. They are built of brick and rough cast. The rent of the first three rows is 2s 1d per week, and the second three rows 1s 7d per week. The kitchens in the first three rows measure approximately 14 feet by 12 feet and the room 10 feet by 9 feet, excluding two set-in beds in the kitchen and one in the room. In the second three rows the kitchen measures approximately i6 feet by 12 feet, and the room (about the size of a cupboard), excluding the set-in bed, measures 6 feet by 5 feet. There are two water-closets for each row placed immediately in front of the houses, and two washing-houses. There are also very filthy cesspools in front of the doors. The brick tiles on the floors are very much broken up, and holes inches deep are to be observed everywhere. The walls of the houses are very damp, and the partitions do not appear to have been plastered. There is one ashpit for every two rows. A well [21]with gravitation water is placed in each row. There are two washing-houses for each row, but the floors are so sunken and broken up that the women complain that they have to stand to the ankles in water when doing their washing. The condition of the roads into these rows is abominable. The road down the end of the roads is worse than a ploughed field, and pools of water and mud are to be found at every doorstep. The houses are owned by Messrs. A. Finnie & Sons, coalmasters, Springhill, and are inhabited by their workpeople.

CORSEHILL SQUARE, PARISH OF DREGHORN.

Rent.

This square is situated at the end of Corsehill Row, and consists of 30 houses - 18 two apartment houses and 12 single apartment houses. They are leased by the Bourtreehill Coal Co., Dreghorn, and inhabited by the miners who work in the pits in the immediate neighbourhood. The houses are built of stone, and are over 6o years old. The side rows of the square contain six two apartment houses each. The middle row consists of six two apartment houses and twelve single apartment houses. The rent of the two apartment houses in the side rows is 1s 11d per week, and the two apartment houses in the middle row is 9d per week. The single apartment is let at 1s 7d per week. The kitchen in the side rows measures approximately 14 feet by 14 feet and the room 13 feet by 13 feet. The kitchen in the middle row measures approximately 12 feet by 12 feet and the room 10 feet by 9 feet. There are 8 water-closets for the whole square, and 4 are built together at each side of the two side rows. Some of the closets are out of repair, and in one case the water is flushed on to the floor of the water closet, and the filth runs through the door and out on to the road. Each tenant has a coalhouse, but there is only one washing-house for each six tenants. One of the washing-houses is in a very bad state of repair. The boiler has been broken down, the lock is off the door, and the children have turned the washing house into a closet. At the date of our visit (25th November, 1913) the floor of the washing-house was literally covered with human excrement and the stench was overpowering. That washing-house will not be more than five yards from the doors of the dwelling-houses. There is only one ashpit for the square, and it was surrounded by human and other kinds of filth. The floors of the houses in the middle row are about a foot below the ground, and we were informed that in wet weather the water comes into the houses and lies inches deep [22] until the people bale it out. The whole property is in a bad state of repair, and the roads in front of the houses, especially at the middle row, is inches deep with mud. It is altogether a miserable place, and ought in the interests of the inhabitants to be destroyed.

PLANN ROW, PARISH OF KILMAURS.

Messrs. J. & R. Howie.

This row consists of 21 two apartment houses built of brick. The kitchen measures approximately 12 feet by 12 feet and the room 12 feet by 10 feet. There are six dry closets with doors on them for the whole row and two ashpits. Coalhouses are provided for every tenant, and there are three washing-houses. The closets, ashpits, and washing-houses are placed in front of the houses. The rent is 2s per week. Gravitation water is supplied. The roadways in front of the houses are unpaved, but owing to a plentiful supply of red 'blaes' they are free from water or mud.

HAYSIDE ROW, PARISH OF KILMAURS.

Robert Marshall, Knockebtiber.

This row consists of 19 two apartment houses. Twelve are built of stone, and seven houses of a newer type are built of brick. The rent of the stone houses is 2s per week and of the brick houses 2s 6d per week. The kitchen measures approximately 12 feet by 12 feet and the room 12 feet by 9 feet. There are five dry-closets for the row with doors, three washing-houses, and each tenant has a coalhouse. There are two ashpits in the row. The kitchen floors are brick tiles, and the room floors are wooden in the stone houses, while in the brick houses the floors of both apartments are made of wood. The roadway in front of the houses is unpaved and is in a very muddy condition, and pools of dirty water are lying outside nearly every door. There is a syvor running down the front of the houses, 10 feet from the doors. Owing to want of a proper flow it is in a very filthy condition, and several cesspools, on the date of our visit (26th November, 1913), were choked and evil smelling.

WEE SOUTH HOOK ROW, PARISH OF KILMAURS.

This row was originally made up of nine single apartment houses, but in two cases the tenants have rented two houses each. The row is built of stone. There are two dry-closets [23] with doors, but there are no washing-houses nor coalhouses. Several people have built wooden coalhouses for themselves. The kitchen measures approximately 15 feet by 12 feet, and the rent is 1s per week. Where the people have rented two houses the rent is 2s per week, including rates. The houses belong to the South Hook Coal and Fire Clay Co., and are inhabited by their workpeople. The roadway is unpaved, but owing to being properly covered with ashes is quite dry, and the syvor, which runs the length of the row, is made of white glazed bricks, and it is kept very clean by the tenants. There are gardens in front of the houses, and they are well cultivated. The houses arc said to be about 8o years old.

HIGH SOUTH HOOK ROW, PARISH OF KILMAURS.

This row consists of 20 two apartment houses built of brick. The kitchen measures approximately 12 feet by 12 feet and the room 10 feet by 9 feet. The kitchen has a brick floor and the room a wooden one. There is one pump, which supplies the water for the row, and we were informed that the water comes from a well at the pit close by. The tenants complain that in the Summer time they are very short of water. There are six dry-closets for the row, four washing-houses, and three ashpits. The houses are very damp, and in wet weather the rain comes into the houses. Coalhouses are provided. The rent is 2s per week. The houses are said to be about 40 years old. The closets and ashpits are built in front of the houses. The roadway in front of the houses is unpaved, and very dirty. The houses are owned by the South Hook Coal Co., and their work is in the immediate vicinity.

LAURIELAND ROW, CROSSHOUSE, PARISH OF KILMAURS.

A. Finnie & Co.

This row consists of 12 single apartment houses, but in every case one family now occupies two houses. There are two dry-closets, one placed at each end of the row, and two ashpits similarly situated. The houses measure approximately 15 feet by 11 feet. The rent is 1s 3d for a single house, and 2s 3d for two houses. There are no washing-houses and no coalhouses. Several people have built coalhouses for themselves. The roadway is unpaved, but owing to a plentiful supply of red 'blaes' it was quite clean. [24]

THORNTON ROW, CROSSHOUSE, PARISH OF KILMAURS.

A. Finnie & Sons.

This row consists of 27 houses, 14 single apartments and 13 two apartments. The single apartment houses seem to be built of brick, and the two apartment houses of stone. All the houses are whitewashed. The single apartment houses measure approximately 15 feet by 12 feet, and the two apartment houses - kitchen 10 feet by 10 feet and room 12 feet by 10 feet. The rent of the single apartment is 1s 3d per week, and the two apartments 1s 10d per week. The floors are of brick tiles, which are very uneven. The floors underneath the beds are earthen. There are four closets for the row with doors, and these, along with three ashpits, are placed at the front of the houses. There are no washing-houses and no coalhouses, but the tenants have made attempts in many cases to provide themselves with washing accommodation by building at their own expense washing boilers, but no houses have been built over them. They have also in some cases built themselves coalhouses. The two apartment houses appear to have suffered a considerable subsidence, and the floors are much below the level of the road. The houses are very damp, and during wet weather the rain comes into them sometimes, we were informed, inches deep. The roadway is unpaved and in a shamefully dirty condition. The 'muck' in some places is inches deep. The houses are owned by Messrs. A. Finnie & Sons, and inhabited by their workpeople.

PEESWEEP ROWS, DALRY.

Front Row. Wm. Baird & Co.

The front row consists of 11 houses of two apartments, built of stone. The kitchen measures approximately 15 feet by 11 feet and the room 11 feet by 9 feet. The rent is 3 12s per annum. There are four dry-closets provided for this row and four washing-houses, but no coalhouses are provided, and, except in those cases where the tenants have built coalhouses for themselves, they keep their coals below their beds. There are four ashpits. The roadway is unpaved, but owing to a plentiful supply of red 'blaes' it is fairly dry.

Turned Row. No washing-houses nor coalhouses. One apartment houses.

This row consists of 12 single apartment houses built of stone. The houses measure approximately 15 feet by 11 feet. A small porch has been built at the doors of the houses. The rent is 1s 3d per week. There are no washing-houses and no coalhouses. There are four dry-closets and two ashpits for this row. The closets are placed in front of the houses, and very near the doors. The floors are brick tiles, and very [25] uneven and cracked. The roadway is unpaved, but owing to a supply of red 'blaes' is not very dirty.

Wee Row. One-apartment houses. No washing-houses nor coalhouses.

This row consists of 10 single apartment houses built of stone. The house measures approximately 15 feet by 11 feet. There are two dry-closets and one ashpit built near the doors of the houses. The rent is 1s 3d per week. The brick tiled floors are very uneven and cracked. The floors in this row are about 18 inches below the surface of the road, and the houses are in consequence very damp, and the rain occasionally comes into the houses to the depth of several inches. The roadway is unpaved, and at this row very dirty.

Furnace Row. No. washing-houses nor coalhouses.

The Furnace Row consists of 23 two apartment houses built of stone. The kitchen measures approximately 12 feet by 11 feet and the room 11 feet by 9 feet. The rent is 6s per month. The brick tiled floors are very uneven and cracked, and the floor underneath the beds is the bare earth. There are four dry-closets for this row, and two ashpits, built in front of the houses and in close proximity to the doors of the houses. There are no washing-houses nor coalhouses, and the coals are kept below the beds. The ashpits are filthy and evil smelling here. In all the rows in this place the provision of water is inadequate. There is in this case only one well supplied for two rows. The roadway is unpaved and very dirty.

Double Row. One-apartment houses back to back. No washing-houses nor coalhouses.

This row consists of 32 single apartment houses built of stone. They are built 16 on each side of a row back to back. The house measures approximately 15 feet by 12 feet. There are six dry-closets and three ashpits for this row. There are no washing-houses nor coalhouses, and the coals are kept below the beds. The floors are of the usual brick tiled type, and as is the case wherever we have seen this kind of floor provided, the surface is very uneven and cracked, and it is a heartbreak to the housewife to keep it clean. If waxcloth is laid on it it is cut up in a short time, and where no covering is put on the children carry the 'muck' in from the quagmire of a road outside. There is no covering on the earth below the beds. There is only one water tap for all this row.

Stoophill Row. No washing-houses nor coalhouses.

This row contains 24 houses, but in addition to these a number at the top end of the row have had to be built up owing to their dangerous condition, caused, as we are informed, by a subsidence. The houses here are divided into several compartments. The kitchen measures 12 feet by 11 feet and the room 9 feet by 8 feet, but there are two places the size of a cupboard, with a built-in bed in each. In these places there is hardly room for a person to turn. The rent is 6s 6d per month. There are no washing-houses and no coalhouses. [26] There are eight dry-closets and 4 ashpits, built together and placed immediately in front of the houses. These places, judging by their appearance, are considerably overworked. There are no syvors at this row and the sewage, on the date of our visit (27th November, 1913), was flowing from the closets and ashpits and settling down in the ground in front of the houses. The roadway in front of these houses is in a miserable condition with 'muck' The brick tile floors constitute the usual eyesore to the visitor and terror to the housewife.

This finishes the description of the Peesweep Rows. We wish they were finished in the material sense as well, for the only thing more melancholy than the Peesweep Rows was the anxiety of some of the women to show us how well pleased they were with their houses, and the fear that the latter would be condemned and shut up.

CARSEHEAD ROWS, DALRY.

1st Row. Wm. Baird & Co. Closets without doors.

The first row contains 14 two apartment houses built of stone. The kitchen measures approximately 14 feet by 11 feet and the room 8 feet by 6 feet, and there is a cupboard which contains a set-in bed in addition. There are six dry-closets, without doors, for this row. Neither washing-houses nor coalhouses have been provided, but in many cases the people have built these outhouses for themselves. The closets, at the date of our visit, were very dirty, and very difficult of access if one wished to prevent his boots from being soiled. The syvors and cesspools in front of the houses were very dirty. The roadway is unpaved and very muddy. The rent is 1s 6d per week.

'Stickit' Row. Closets without doors.

This row consists of 10 houses of two apartments built of stone. The kitchen measures approximately 12 feet by 10 feet and the room 12 feet by 9 feet. The rent is 5s 6d per month. In one house we found twelve persons, four of them grown up. There are four dry-closets, without doors, and they were all in a filthy condition. The ashpits are very large, and at the date of our visit filled with very foul material. Neither wash-houses nor coalhouses have been provided, but the people have built these conveniences for themselves. Some of the tenants complained that the houses were troubled with rats, and in the words of one tenant, 'They were rotten with damp.'

'Wee Stickit' Row.

This row contains 9 two apartment houses built of stone. The kitchen measures approximately 12 feet by 11 feet and the room 10 feet by 9 feet. The rent is 5s 6d per month. [27] There are two dry-closets, without doors, and one ashpit built in front of the houses. Neither washing-houses nor coalhouses have been provided, but the people have built them for themselves.

The Carsehead Rows have houses floored with the usual sunken, twisted, and cracked brick tiles. The roadways are all unpaved and muddy, and there is a huge mound of black 'blaes' in front of the rows which does not make the prospect any the more pleasing.

ARDEER SQUARE, STEVENSTON.

Merry & Cunningham, Ltd.

This square consists of four rows of houses built in the form of a square, and other three rows situated inside the square. The houses are all built of stone. There is a very large pond of water in the square for supplying the furnaces which are close at hand.

Side Row.

This row contains 16 two apartment houses. The kitchen measures approximately 12 feet by 11 feet and the room 10 feet by 9 feet. The rent is 9s 6d per month. (The rents in this square are from 30 to 50 per cent. higher than the rents of similar houses we have visited anywhere in Ayrshire.) There are three washing-houses provided in this row, and inside each wash-house a water-closet has been erected in recent years for the use of females. Some of these closets are in such a bad state of repair that they cause an offensive smell in the washing-house, and with regard to other rows in the square they cannot be used at all. Two dry-closets are provided for the males. They have doors on them, and are built in conjunction with the ashpits, and placed in front of the houses. The roadway is unpaved and dirty.

Back Row. Single-apartment houses.

This row contains 26 single apartment houses built in blocks. Three blocks have six houses each, and one block has eight houses. At the top end of the row there is a model lodging-house and dining-room, where boarders are fed and lodged at 12s per week, or where a bed can be obtained for 6d per night. The dwelling-houses measure approximately 17 feet by 11 feet, and there is a cupboard with a set-in bed. As a rule there is one washing-house for every three tenants and a water-closet inside of it for females, and one dry-closet for every three tenants. There is one ashpit for every six tenants. As these are the sanitary arrangements for the whole square, with exceptions which we shall note, we do not propose to refer to them again. The rent of these houses is 7s 11d per month. [28]

Shilling Row. Single-apartment houses.

This row contains 8 single apartment houses, and the house measures 14 feet by 12 feet approximately. This house does not even contain the cupboard bed described in the row above. This row has no closets, washing-houses, or coalhouses, and shares these conveniences attached to the row opposite. The houses here are very damp, and in the inside of several doors the water was lying in pools. The rent is 6s 6d per month.

Front Row.

This row contains 10 two apartment houses and 8 single apartment houses. The rent of the two apartment house is 8s 7d per month and the single apartment 6s 6d per month. The single apartment house measures 12 feet by 12 feet approximately, and the double house measures kitchen 12 feet by 12 feet and room 10 feet by 8 feet. In this row there is one washing-house for six tenants, with closet in it for females, and one dry-closet for males for every six tenants. The syvors and cesspools at this row were in an abominably filthy condition, and pools of water inches deep lay on the roadway in front of the houses.

Monkey Row.

This row is formed of 8 single apartments built back to back with the 8 single apartments of the Front Row just described. In fact, they correspond exactly with rooms of the Front Row. The whole house measures 10 feet by 8 feet. They have neither coalhouses nor wash-houses, closets nor ashpits, and human filth and refuse is thrown out on the ground in front of the houses. The syvors are in an abominably filthy condition.

Middle Row. Single apartments.

This row contains 12 single apartment houses, and is the same type of house as the ones described in the Back Row, with the same rent and same sanitary conveniences.

Furnace Row. Single apartments.

This row contains 18 single apartment houses in three blocks of six houses each, and 13 two apartment houses. The single apartment measures approximately 16 feet by 11 feet, and there is the same cupboard with set-in bed as previously described. The rent is 7s 11d per month. The two apartment houses measure approximately - kitchen 12 feet by 12 feet and the room 12 feet by 9 feet. The rent of this house is 9s 6d per month. There are the same outhouses as are described in the Back Row.

The aspect of the whole Square is a most melancholy one. There do not appear to be any rhones on any of the houses, and as none of the roadways are paved the result can be readily imagined. At every gable there are large pools of water several inches deep, and ruts of mud at every row. The floors are all brick tiles, with the usual sad result of broken floors and uneven surfaces, which mock the efforts of the most industrious housewife to keep a tidy house. The houses are inhabited by the miners of the neighbouring pits and the furnace workers of the Ardeer furnaces.

Effects of housing conditions on the health of the people.

We desire to draw the attention of the Commissioners to the effect of these housing conditions on the health of the people. Dr. C. R. Macdonald, M.D., Medical Officer of Health for the County of Ayr, in his annual report for 1912, reports that in the Northern District of Ayrshire during 1912 there were 284 cases of Infectious Diseases reported. Of these 62 occurred in the Landward portion of Stevenston Parish, in which Ardeer Square is situated ; while larger parishes, like Ardrossan and Largs, have only five and seven cases respectively. The Landward part of Stevenston Parish heads the list with the number of cases of Infectious Diseases, and it is so much above the average that (with the exception of Kilbirnie, which has 52, and will be referred to later) the next highest is Dalry Parish, with 39 cases, where the same type of miserable mining rows exist as those described in Ardeer Square, and which have also been just described. It is also of interest to note that the next on the list is the Landward portion of the Parish of Kilwinning, with 38 cases, where mining rows also abound. In Dr. Macdonalds classification of diseases it is still more interesting to note that last year, in the Northern District of Ayrshire, 33 cases of Diphtheria were notified, and 14 of these were from the Landward portion of the Parish of Stevenston and 5 from Dalry Parish. These two parishes, where bad housing conditions obtain, are therefore responsible for nearly 6o per cent. of the Diphtheria cases for the whole twelve parishes. The average number of Diphtheria cases for each parish is 2.75, and Stevenston had 14 and Dalry 5. The average number of total Infectious Diseases for each parish in the Northern Division of Ayrshire for the year 1912 is 23.66, and Stevenston (Landward) had 62, Dalry 39, and Kilwinning (Landward) 38. In order that the Commissioners may study the matter for themselves we hand in as evidence the table taken from Dr. Macdonald's report. [30]

INFECTIOUS DISEASES REPORTED IN DISTRICT IN 1912

Parishes

Smallpox

Diphtheria

Membranous Croup

Ersipelas

Scarlet Fever

Typhus Fever

Enteric Fever

Continued Fever

Puerperal Fever

Cerebro-spinal Fever

Total

Ardrossan (landward)

       

5

         

5

Beith

 

4

 

2

9

         

15

Dalry

 

5

 

2

32

         

39

Dreghorn

 

1

 

3

10

 

3

     

17

Dunlop

 

2

 

5

17

         

24

Irvine (landward)

 

1

 

6

3

 

1

     

11

Kilbirnie

1

2

 

14

33

   

2

   

52

Kilwinning (landward)

 

1

 

6

31

         

38

Largs (landward)

 

1

   

6

         

7

Stevenston (landward)

 

14

1

4

32

 

11

     

62

Stewarton (landward)

 

1

   

4

         

5

West Kilbride

 

1

 

3

5

         

9

Total of District

1

33

1

45

187

 

15

2

   

284

 

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