Caithness Field Club

Extracts From Reports By The Inspector Of Nuisances, Thurso

6th June 1891
I have called upon Mr. McKay the harbour contractor concerning the water that he uses for the boring apratus and steem cran at the Brounhill quarry without paying water rates and he informed me that he was willing to pay a reasonable sum for the water but if not he would take the water from the river.

9th January 1892
I have fixted utlizers on a few of the street lamps for a trial for improving the light and I see that it makes a grate Improvement but it would cost about 2:10 to apply them to all the lamps.

11th February 1893
I have to report to the Commissioners about the state of one of the horse belonging to the Commissioners which is very much don up on the lags with resting of the one on the other the whole of his legs is gone and with the pain of his leags it has reduced him in condition. I am afraid that very soon he shall not be able to do the work. Before the Commissioners had taken the road in hand he used to get a half day of rest very often but since then he has no chance of a rest because I could find plenty of work for 3 horse now between clensing and metaling and gravel for so many walks and carting so much mud of the streets and roads.

6th May 1893
The drain in Durnes St is finished and is conected to a drain that comes along the side of the road to the boundary dick between the Gleeb and Pennyland and I have conected this drain into the dick so that the water from the pennyland dam shall come down into the sewer in Durnas St and give it a flush.

8th July 1823
The water is keeping up better since the Fishing season is over but there is a great dale of water carried from the pump at the Braehead for the engines at the harbour and a great dale of it applyed in watering gardings ete and cattle and horse washing and washing machines and 10 engines pipending on it and since three years there has been 33 pipes conected with the main water pipes in the streets and 78 branches taken of that pipes closets washtubs urinals laundarys sinks and actmatic flushes which discharges itself when it is full and still the water doe as well yet as it did 3 years ago and the population is more in the town than was at that time.

11th November 1893
Victoria Walk is terrable cut up with carts carting material for the buildings at the battry. The artillery officers promises to put it in repare. There should not be allowed any more carting along the walk as it shall cause the embankments give away and make a land slip....

6th January 1894
The sinks and strands is daly disinfected with clorida of lime and the scafengers cart is sent twice a day through the streets and lanes in the old town to keep it as clen as possable.

I have called into a good many houses and a few of the houses I found them not in a clenly state and I gave directions to the parties to have there houses clened within 48 hours and if not that it would be done at there expenses. I beg of the commissioners of police to grant me the service of two weman for a week or so to give a througha clening to some of the houses in the lower end of the town.

8th December 1894
I made into the workshopes which was reported by Miss Paterson. First, Miss Bakie Roterdame St measurement of workshops 20 feet x 12 feet hight 7ft. There is no water closet and ventlations from 2 windows and is very clen and airy. Miss Bakie employee 5 hands and there is a speace of 260 cubic feet for each person and the average of hours for each day is 8 hours.

(There are similar entries for five other workshops).

The Fever patients in the Hospital is improving and two of them shall likely be taken across to ther own house this week.

Dena Dick which lived in Coopers lane had died and was intered at the expences of the town but as her son is expected here shortly he might be asked to bare the expences of his mother interment.

9th March 1895
The blankets at the Hospital requires to be washed as it has not been don since the Hospital was last occpyed owing to the stormy weather.

7th April 1895
The washing of the blankets at the Burnside Hospital has not being don owing to the weather being so unsettled and the washer woman being unwell.

8th June 1825
As directed by the commissioners..... to inspect all the lodging houses within the Burgh and have all the sleping compartments measured, Mr. Coghill Burgh Surveyor and myself went and inspected and measured the compartments which we were doubtful of. We found them all clen healthy and satisfactory and according to the measurements of the compartments in which they lived in it shows that there is not over crowding in the lodging houses.

(There follows a table giving compartment dimensions and number of occupants.)

6th July 1895
There is one nuisance which requires to be don away with and I hope that the commissioners shall consider it necessarily. It is dicks (ducks) which puddles away in the water in the street strand from morning to night intil they become black and dirty with sewage water and even obstruct the way of people on walking the pavements. I called on several of the owners of the dicks and asked them to keep the dicks of the streets. They did so for a few days but they still continue the practice of alowing there dicks on the strs.

7th September 1895
Miss Banks High St wishes the commissioners to remove the gass lamp which is fixed on to the corner of her property as it is causing the wall to give way when the lamp is shaken with high winds. I was called by Miss Banks to Ispect the inside of the wall opsite the lamp and I saw that there was a grate crack into the wall in which I could place my hand inside of it. I have no doubt but that the lamp is helping the wall to give way with some decayed stones which is in the wall.

12th October 1895
The 7" sluice valve which the Glenfield Co sent has been placed in the main water pipe at the railway station and is working all right. And the 6" sluice valve is sent on to the Glenfield Co in exchange.

4th December 1825
I called at the house ocpyed by Angus and Barbra McDonald in Carnabyes Lane and I must say that the house is in a most dangerous state for it is just about falling upon them and it is in a filthy state and they wont do anything in regards of clening it. They will have to be removed by the assistance of the Police and given over to the Parish council and sent the poor house. They ar starving for the want of food and clothing and the ajoining house of the same property is in a most dangerous state ......

11th April 1896
I have tested the fire Hose down in the Cowgate where there were a full preasure of water and I found the hose to stand the full preasure of water and working all right but I entend to improve the hose cart by placing winders on it that it can discharge the hose itself along the street and then that it can be wound up without draging when the streets is weat and muddy ......

5th May 1896
I had to stop puting the towns manure into the harbour as it was causing nasty smells and papers going with the wind and all the chaff beds had to be put into the sea with the ebb tides as we could not put down at the harbour and Donald Budge flesher has stoped taking any of the manure. I had to send it to the far side of Mountplesat Farm as there were no other place. It is much to far away for the horse with so much uphill and to finish the clensing in the fornoon.

6th June 1896
I have to report to the Commissioners that I had to undertake to have the remains of Moses Willimson tinker which was killed at Scrabster bridge removed to the place of interment. The remains was left to long without being buried and I had to interfear and have it don. But before doing so I concilted the Burgh Fiscal about the matter, whither it was the County Council or the Burgh Commissioners or the Parish Council that had a right to have the remains buried. The Fiscal asked to speak to Mr W Auld Inspecor and to Mr Robertson sanitory inspecor for the County to see if they would take to do with it. I spoak to Mr Auld and he told me that he could nothing in the case. I then spoak to Mr Robertson and he told me to go on and have it done and to send all the accounts of expenses to the County Council and if the County Council considered that they had a right to pay the expenses of the interment that they would do it.

My thanks to Mr. I. Sinclair, Thurso, for allowing these extracts to be used.

Note from
No spell checkers in those days and we have kept to the original text and spelling as reproduced in the Bulletin.

Published in 1981 April Bulletin