Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London.

The climates and baths of Great Britain, being the report of a committee of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London online

. (page 10 of 59)
Online LibraryRoyal Medical and Chirurgical Society of LondonThe climates and baths of Great Britain, being the report of a committee of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London → online text (page 10 of 59)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


over 90. None of these are bedridden, and the greater number
are able to get about and do work in their houses. Of the fatal
cases referred to above one or two succumbed to bronchitis, but
in the great majority death was due to decay only.

Therapeutical EfE^cts of the Climate. — Southwold possesses
chaFacteristics that qualify it to be regarded as one of the most
bracing resorts in England. Its restorative power in all forms
of general and nervous debility are remarkable. From May to
October sufferers from phthisis do well, as also those afflicted with
other respiratory diseases, especially asthma. But the climate is
unsuited to those suffering from chronic rheumatism, or who have
had malaria. Ague is unknown now, but undoubtedly the low-
lying marshy ground in the neighbourhood once produced it and
may now be a soil for some poison which acts on the predisposed.
Cases of ordinary neuralgia benefit remarkably.



Digitized by



Google



100 REPORT ON THE EAST COAST



Lowestoft.

Lowestoft is a town sitaated on the sea-coast at the extreme
north-east of the county of Suffolk, on either side of an artificial
cutting connecting the river Waveney with the sea^ The
borough covers an area of 2,306 acres ; and its resident popula-
tion is now 29,842. The trade of the town is chiefly concerned
with fishing and other similar industries.

The town is divided by river and harbours into two distinct
poi-tions. That on the north bank is known as the old town, that
to the south of the river, which includes Berkley and Pakefield^
being for the most part of very recent growth.

From the level of the river the ground to the north slopes
somewhat rapidly upwards, some parts of the old town being
therefore at a considerable height above the sea-level. There are
however a number of houses built on the Denes, at the foot of
the cliff, and consequently at so slight an elevation above the sea,
that it is practically impossible to connect them with the sewerage
system. The town south of the river is built on a plateau of
sand, which, at the southern limit of the Borough, gradually rises
towards the cliffs which commence at Kirkley. This, the new
town, is almost entirely a residential quarter, being made up in
large part of boarding and other lodging houses with a certain
proportion of hotels and shops. The majority of the bouses here
have been erected within quite recent years, and the general
sanitary arrangements are of a more satisfactory character than is
found to be the case in many parts of the old town.

Meteorology. — The Table compiled firom the observations
made by Mr. S. H. Miller, F.R.M.S., during the years 1881-1890,
and printed on p. 85, demonstrates the chief climatic features
of the neighbourhood.

The average rainfall at Lowestoft amounts to 24 inches per
annum. From the following comparative Table it will be seen
that this is less than that of most other places and districts in
England and Wales: —



Digitized by



Google



LOWESTOFT



101



Lowestoft, Norwich 24 incheg *

Canterbury 27 ,,

Hastings, Bath, Taunton 29 „

Ventnor, Llandudno 80 ,,

Cheltenham, Exeter, Dawlish, Clifton 82 to S3 ,,

Falmouth, Plymouth 40 ,,

South Wales 50 „

The North- West of England 50 to 60 „

Parts of Cumberland and Lakes 140 to 160 ,,

The duration of sunshine during the winter months compares
also favourably with that recorded at Bournemouth and many
places on the South Coast. The following statistics refer to the
year 1895 :—

Bright Sunshine, 1895.



Place.



Corton (Lowestoft) . .
Geldeston (near Lowestoft)
Bournemouth ....



Corton (Lowestoft) . . .
Geldeston (near Lowestoft)
Bournemouth



Hours.



Nov.
61
59

51

Total of Quarter.
I Sunless
Hours. Days.



Oct.

102
99
99



Dec.
25
42
34



188


31


200


29


184


32



Da}*^ of no Sunshine.



Oct
6

7
9



Nov.
7
7
9



Dec.
18
15
14



Total of Year.

I Sunless
Hours. I Days.
59



1691
1783
1644



51
64



In conclusion the following wind observations made by Mr.
S. H. Miller, F.R.M.S., during the year 1896 may be recorded : —

N. to N.E. winds prevailed on 58 days.
E. to N.E. ,, „ „ 47 „

S. to S.W. „ „ „ 92 „

W.N.W. „ ,. „ 189 „

Water Supply. — Lowestoft is supplied with water in part
from the mains of the Lowestoft Gas and Water Company, and to
a less extent from surface wells, these latter being most numerous
in the older portions of the town.

The Water Company obtain their supply from the " Mill-water,"
an extension of Fritton Broad situated in the parish of Lound, and
about seven miles distant from Lowestoft. The Company^s Act
empowers them to take water also from Fritton Broad itself,
should the present source of supply become inadequate. The

^ For farther information on this point see pp. 127-129.



Digitized by



Google



102 REPORT ON THE EAST COAST

works of the Water Company are situated at the extreme south-
west comer of the "Mill- water," and at a considerable elevation
above it. The orifice of the pipe connected with the pumping
engines is at a point opposite the works, and close to the water's
edge on that side. From the lake water is pumped up to the
filter-beds, six in number, of which four measure 70 feet by 40
feet, while two larger ones, which have been constructed quite
recently, measure 120 feet by 80 feet.

The filtering material in each case consists of a layer of sand
three feet in depth, below which are shallower layers of shingle and
stones, the size of which increases in each layer from above
downwards.

A not inconsiderable portion of the houses in the Borough,
about 1,000, obtain their water not from the Company's mains,
but from surface wells, generally within their own curtilages. In
many instances these wells, the sides of which for the most part
are by no means water-tight, are in proximity to privy middens,
the floors and sides of which are seldom or never properly
cemented. As a natural consequence, the intervening soil and
eventually the contents of the well become fouled with organic
matter of excremental origin, so as to render the well-water unfit
for human consumption. That this is so has been shown
repeatedly as the result of chemical analysis of the water drawn
from these surface wells.

In a number of cases in which evidence of contamination of
wells has been obtained, orders have been made for closing them
and for the provision of a better water supply.

Drainage. — The town possesses a main drainage system, which
is made up of three sub-divisions ; two serving the area north of
the harbour to be termed the northern and central system
respectively, the third serving that portion of the town which is
situated south of the river.

The sewers of these three systems all converge to a point called
Lowestoft Ness, the easternmost spot in England, where they are
supposed to discharge to the sea The main sewer of the central
system, which serves the greater portion of the old town, is built
of brick and is 4 feet in diameter. The main sewer of the
northern system is composed of 30-inch earthenware pipes, while
the terminal portion of the sewer serving the south town is a



Digitized by



Google



LOWESTOFT 103

12-inch iron pipe. Formerly this latter used to open directly into
the harbour, but in consequence of complaints as to the condition
of the water in the harbour at certain periods, the sewer was
continued by an invert under the harbour, and allowed to discharge
into a pumping well on the north bank, whence the sewage was
forced by means of ejector pumps on the same system to the
outlet at the Ness point.

Prevalence of Diieajie. — In the last quarter of the year 1895
the Registrar-General's returns showed that during that period
57 deaths had occurred from measles and 8 from diphtheria in
the Lowestoft sub-district of which the Borough of Lowestoft
forms by far the greater part. During the last ten days of 1895
and in the month of January 1896 there were 16 cases of enteric
fever in the Borough. The Local Government instructed Dr. S.
Monkton Copeman to visit the town, and to make inquiry with
special reference to the prevalence there of diflferent forms of
zjrmotic disease. The following statements are based on the
Report of the Medical Officer of Health for the year 1896.

Measles. — During the third and fourth quarters of the year
1895, measles was prevalent in Lowestoft. The malady presented
also a type of unusual virulence, no less than 75 deaths having
been registered as due to this disease up to December 3Ist, 1895,
this number representing a death-rate for the half-year of 2*94
per 1,000 of the total population.

Although the late Medical Officer of Health had advised the
addition of measles to the schedule of diseases notified in the
Borough, the Sanitary Committee had ngt, up to the time at
which the epidemic commenced, considered it desirable to
recommend the Town Council to adopt this course. In conse-
quence it has not been possible to arrive at any accurate
estimation of the total number of persons attacked by the disease,
but the Medical Officer of Health puts it down as "several
hundreds."

Previous to the appearance of the first cases of the disease in
the autumn of 1895, no deaths ffom measles had been registered
in the Borough for more than three years, from, which it may
feirly be inferred that, even though cases of the disease may have
occurred during that period, they were at any rate comparatively
few in number and of mild type. In consequence there would be



Digitized by



Google



104 REPORT ON THE EAST COAST

likely to be, at the time at which the outbreak at present under
consideration first appeared, a considerable number of susceptible
children among the population who would be liable to attack on
coining into contact with the disease.

Although the disease had after its first introduction spread to a
certain extent from house to house, it was not until the beginning
of September that it obtained any serious hold on the population.
This period corresponded with that at which the various schools
re-opened after the summer vacation, subsequently to which time
the gathering together in these establishments of numbers of
children, some of whom though perhaps not known to be ill
were yet in an infectious condition, would appear to have con-
duced in no small degree to the further and rapid spread of
the disease.

Enteric Fever. — Of this disease forty cases were notified in
1895, during which year also eight deaths were registered as fi:om
this cause. Two of the cases were imported into the town : one
from London, a school teacher, in whose case the malady had a
fatal termination ; the other a cooper from Scarborough. Of the
40 cases, 18 were removed to the Sanatorium for treatment,
of whom two died. Six of these cases occurreid in December
1895, and these were followed by ten more in January 1896.
After careful investigation it was found impossible to define any
condition other than such as are always present in the locality as
responsible for this particular outbreak. Enteric fever was
certainly for a time endemic in Lowestoft, as appears from a
consideration of the fact communicated by the Medical Officer of
Health, that the death-rate from this disease per 1,000 of the
population was, in 1895, almost identical with the mean enteric
fever death-rate for the previous eleven years, the figures being
0-476 and 0*483 respectively.

Diphtheria. — During the year 1895 the notifications of
this disease numbered 46, of which no less than 30 occurred
in the course of the last four months of that year. The
number of deaths during the eight-months and four-months
periods was 12 and 9 respectively. Although the numbers of
both cases and deaths were unduly large, they did not attain the
proportions which had been reached in each of the three
immediately preceding years, there having been a sudden jump



Digitized by



Google



GREAT YARMOUTH 105

from 15 cases with two deaths in 1891 to no less than 65 cases
with 15 deaths in 1892.

Dr. J. E. O'Connor of Lowestoft states that the chief causes of
death apart from zymotic diseases are bronchitis and pneumonia.

Anaemia is not common, and the bracing air agrees well with
ansemic people.

Phthisis is rare amongst the native population. Imported
cases of incipient phthisis do well, but the climate is not suited
for cases of phthisis attended with hsemoptysis.

Nephritis and calculus are almost unknown.

Therapeutical Effect of the Climate. — The climate of
Lowestoft is bracing, and it seems well adapted for anaemic
and delicate children, and at certain times of the year for
early cases of phthisis. An attempt has been made of late to
urge its claims as a Winter Resort.



NORFOLK.

Great Yarmouth.



The County Borough of Great Tarmouth consists of the parishes
of Great Yarmouth and Gorlestou. It covers an area of 3,524 acres,
and contains a resident population of 51,250. The parish of
Yarmouth occupies a sand-bank which stretches south from the
south-east comer of Norfolk, and has the sea on its east side, the
river Yare on its west, the harbour on its south, and the parish of
Caister on its north where it joins the mainland. It is built on
sand reclaimed from the bed of the ocean by the action of tides and
wind. The sand is exceedingly porous, and water flows through
the subsoil from the river and the sea when the tide is high.
Thus there is an influx and efflux, an ebb and flow into the soil and
out of it alternating with the tidal waters around.

Oorleiton occupies higher ground, and stretches along the cliff
west of the river and south of the harbour. Here the subsoil is
dry and the ground water from 20 to 30 feet down.



Digitized by



Google



106



REPORT ON THE EAST COAST



The whole of the Borough is exposed to the east and north-east
winds.

Meteorology. — The only information obtainable respecting the
climatic conditions of Great Yarmouth is that aflforded by the
accompanying Table drawn up by the Rev. C. J. Stewart: —



Tabular Statement of the Climate and Weathee op Great Yarmouth during the
Years 1880 to 1889 inclusive.





TEMPERATURE OF AIR


k


§!?




Month.


1^


1^
11


If


9 OS
5*


Is

p


•O.S

1=




H

^1


May


49-4


7»-7 271 158-6


411


HE U


1-771


June


54-6


83-8 88-6


63-8


48-1


NB 10


1-489


July


58-8


90-3 89-0


68-9


521


8W 15


2-053


Aug.


58-4


82-8 89-2


67-7


520


8W 12


2 074


Sept.


56-6


83-2 33-0 68-4


49-8


8W


15


2-895





K '


g>


C8


gii


sf


> ^


■aJ.












16-3 I 14-7
15-9 141
15-1 I 15-9
15-4 15-6



NUMBER OP DAYS.



4h


11


-'1




I


1-9 1 16-8 1 104


1-9








8-4 ' 15-S


5-6


OS






0-8 17-9


10-8


1-4


0-1




1-4 19-0


9-7


0-9




01


tf-5


19-7

1


3-5


0.2





The following is a summary of the climatic conditions which
prevail at Great Yarmouth during the most popular months of the
year. They are founded on observations made during the last ten
years.

May has the greatest average number of " bright " days, rather
more than half the total number falling into this category. But
these " bright " days avail little against the cold wind whose pre-
vailing direction is N.E. The evenings and nights are cold, the
latter sometimes even frosty. Of the days about half are cool,
a third warm, and the rest cold or hot. The number of warm
days has varied from 19 in 1886 to 5 in 1880. The average
number of days on which rain fell is 11 ; usually the rainfall is
not heavy.

June. Though the prevailing direction of the wind is still N.E.,
and the number of " overcast " days is about the same as in May,
there is a considerable increase in temperature, the nights being
appreciably warmer. The average number of waim days is a third
more than, and of hot days five times as many as in May, while
the cool days are only half the number of those in the previous
month, and the cold days disappear. This is a dry month, the
amount of rainfall is, on the average, smaller, and the number of



Digitized by



Google



GREAT YARMOUTH 107

days on which it falls fewer than in any of the five months under
consideration. But it is seldom that warm summer weather lasts
until after the longest day. In only one year, 1881, have there
been 24 " bright " days, in most years the number varies from 16
to 18, while in three years out of the ten there were only 12
in the month.

In July and August the number of " bright " days is almost the
same in each month, being slightly less than those in May and
June. The greatest number is 20, the least 7, and in several years
the number ranges firom 16 to 17 in July. In August the number
of " bright " days varies from 22 to 12 ; the usual number being the
same as in July, 16 to 17. There have been more hot days in
July than in August, but while the number of warm days in
August exceed those of July, there is a slight increase of cool days.
The nights are warm, the average of the lowest readings of the
thermometer being appreciably above the mean temperature of
May. In both these months more rain falls than in May or June ;
and in July rain occurs more frequently and in greater quantities
than in August. On the other hand, the " relative hufnidity " or
moisture of the air is less than in any other of the other five
months, that is to say between the intervals of rain it is very
dry, yet not so dry as to be unpleasant.

September has rather more than half its days overcast. In 1884
there were 20 bright days, but in 1887 only 7. The usual number
is about 14. There is however more variation in the number of
"bright" days in September than in other months. The number of
warm days slightly exceeds the number in any of the preceding
months, but the number of hot days is about only one-third of the
number in July, while the cool days are five times as many, and
the nights are distinctly colder. The prevailing direction of the
wind is still S.W., but it brings the greatest average rainfall of the
five months, on about 15 days, and the relative humidity increases.
A considerable difierence is usually felt between the temperature
of the beginning and that of the end of the month. As a rule fine
weather maintains during the first ten or fourteen days, after
which the temperature decreases, rain falls more frequently and in
larger quantity.

As a whole it may be said that the climate of Yarmouth is
stimulating, invigorating and bracing, and especially suited to



Digitized by



Google



108 REPORT ON THE EAST COAST

persons whose health is impaired by overwork and nerve ex-
haustion. Yarmouth, however, has done nothing to tempt the
chronic invalid, there being no winter garden or other resort for
such cases when the breezes on the sea-front are too strong.

Drainage. — The drainage of the Borough is efifected by an
eflScient system of sewers, and these are regularly flushed with sea-
water ; a separate service for that purpose and for sprinkling the
roads is laid on throughout the district.

The Isolation Hospital is situated near the beach in the north
part of the town, and has ample accommodation for typhoid,
diphtheria and scarlet fever patients. That portion of the
institution for the reception of those suflfering from small-pox,
cholera or plague is at Gorleston, within a mile of the harbour,
but in the country surrounded by fields, and at a distance from
any habitation or public road. Although rarely used, this rural
hospital is complete in itself, having every convenience and accom-
modation and a separate staff. The parent institution has a
Convalescent Home for scarlatina. At the Yarmouth and
Gorleston Hospitals the Sanitary Authorities can provide over 100
beds, and in view of the enormous number of visitors and fisher-
men annually flocking to Yarmouth and the large quantity of
shipping continually passing through the roadstead, it is not more
than can be utilized.

Water Supply. — The water supply is in the hands of a private
company whose works are at Ormesby, where they draw from the
Broad. The service is constant, and the supply abundant.

The chief feature of Yarmouth is its beach, a wide stretch of
sand extending many miles north and south. Along the sea-front
some veiy extensive gardens have been recently laid out. These
are well filled with grown shrubs and flowers, and afford a pleasant
lounge. Those who go to Yarmouth for restoration to health
would find the spring and early summer or autumn the seasons
they would most appreciate. Yarmouth is evidently much too
full in August to afford the room or quietness which sick
people need.

It has been found, impossible to obtain any official statistics
relating to the presence of infectious diseases in Great Yarmouth,
but undoubtedly many cases are imported. It must be remembered
that there are probably over 200,000 visitors in the course of the



Digitized by



Google



CROMER 109

summer season, and as many as 95,000 excursionists have been
known to visit Yarmouth in a* single day.



Cromer.

Cromer is a pretty sea-side town in Norfolk, with a resident
population in 1901 of 3,776, increased during the summer months
to over 8,000. It faces the north, and the sun may be seen from
the beach both rising and setting in the sea. On the south-east,
Cromer gradually rises to an elevation of 260 feet, so that it is fully
exposed to the north and east winds.

The soil is dry, the subsoil is first sand and gravel, then a deep
bed of chalk. Half a mile to the west are large oak and pine
plantations ; shrubs only grow nearer the sea.

The rainfall is small, and with the exception of sea-fogs which
are not frequent (perhaps a dozen in the year) the air is very dry.
The amount of sunshine is distinctly above the average.

The following figures show the average maximum, minimum, .
and mean temperatures for the years 1885-1888 : —

Average Max. Temp. Average Hin. Temp. Mean Temp.

1886 63-6 . . . 42-1 . . 47*9

1886 53-9 . . . 42-0 . . 47*9

1887 63-0 . . 41-1 . . 47-1

1888 62-7 . 41-8 . 47*3

The spring is very cold, owing to the prevalence of north-east
winds, which last up to the end of May. July, August and
September are generally warm and bright. The autumn and
winter months, up till February, are exceptionally mild. Frost
is rarely severe, indeed the guUy-traps have been frozen, once
only during the past ten years.

The drainage is by water-carriage. Modem sewers exist, laid on
concrete, well ventilated, with over 30 shafts besides those on build-
ings. Manholes are placed at all junctions, which are systematically
inspected and flushed from large flushing-tanks and portable
flushing-vans. The town water is conveyed in auxiliary sewers.

The roads are laid with tarred macadam.

The water supplied by the Water Company is derived from a well



Digitized by



Google



no REPORT ON THE EAST COAST

223 feet deep, and 80 feet into the chalk. The chemical analysis
shows it to be an admirable drinking water.

Prevalence of Disease. — Dr. Samuel Barton, the Medical
OflScer of Health, states that the residents are singularly free from
aruBmia, and cases of this disease sent there rapidly improve.
Scrofula and tubercular diseases are rare, and convalescents from
these diseases do well.

Phthisis is a considerable factor in the death-rate, and haemo-
ptysis is not uncommon.

In 1896, 1-6, and in 1897, 1-2, and in 1898, 1*1 per 1,000
population died of phthisis, but the residential population is so
small that no conclusion can be drawn from these figures. The
total number of deaths from phthisis in 1898 was only four.

Bronchitis is prevalent, especially in the spring.

Pneuinonia, pleurisy, and asthma are rare.

Chronic albumimtria is fairly common both in the form of
granular and large white kidney.

Calculus and gravel are not uncommon.

Acu^e rheumatism is common, but rheumatoid arthritis is
infrequent.

Malarial affections are unknown.

Typhoid fever. There were no cases from January 1895 to
December 1897. There were three in 1898, one of which was
imported. Dr. Barton says : — " As I could not satisfactorily trace
the origin of any of the three, and the water supply being above
suspicion, I had some misgivings about the milk. On inquiry I
found one large dairy had its milk supply by rail from various
sources, some coming from the district of Bury."

Diarrhoea is common in summer.

Scarlet Fever and Diphtheria. — Seventy-nine cases of the former



Online LibraryRoyal Medical and Chirurgical Society of LondonThe climates and baths of Great Britain, being the report of a committee of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London → online text (page 10 of 59)