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Going by today's standards, the old almshouses that once stood on the High Street in the town would not rank very high, and they certainly wouldn't carry away any prizes for comfort and style. As far as Long Eaton is concerned, in a way they were the beginning of the present day housing schemes. The provision of these houses which stood on the front of High Street, between the Post Office and Zion Church, did show some practical concern for elderly people in the early days. Built (rebuilt) by public subscription in 1858, this re-building of the almshouses is recorded in the Parish Minutes of 1856. A fund was opened and 177.8s.4d was collected. The actual cost to build was 190, and they were further insured for 100. In 1859, a causeway was laid down in front of the houses, and a water pump provided. In later years with a supply of piped water laid on to the almshouses, the pump became redundant and was later sold. In 1870 when one of the houses became vacant, the names of the applicants were entered on a page of the Parish Minute Book, and each councillor made his stroke opposite one of the names. The applicant receiving the largest number of strokes became the successful tenant. An offer of 500 was made to purchase the site and the houses in 1894. A public meeting was held to consider the matter, but nothing came of it. About this time Mr E. T. Hooley offered to erect 10 new almshouses on the open green at the top of the town, but it never materialised. In 1896 Henry Moore painted and cleaned the almshouses at a cost of 3.3s.0d.

Also in 1896 building work commenced on 65 pairs of houses on land off Derby Road. In 1903, 390 houses, five lace factories and one machine building factory were built. Presumably the houses were for the factory workers. 235 more houses were built in 1905 and in 1906 due to the population growth, 266 new houses appeared making a total over four years of 1,091 new properties in the town. Three years later, 460 new houses were erected.
Over the years there have been times when, during a trade slump, Long Eaton had more houses to let than there were people who wanted to rent or buy them. The records of 1910 show that there were 50 houses unoccupied, this had risen dramatically to 246 in 1911. Between 1912 and 1914 up until the outbreak of the First World War the number of unoccupied properties levelled out, ranging from 150 to 220. The 1914-1918 war brought great changes. With the opening of the Chilwell Depot, came the drafting of many workers into the district. By August 1916 there was a great shortage of houses, and later in 1919 there were 296 houses with two or more families living in each. But it wasn't until 1935 that an act was passed by the government, to carry out an "overcrowding survey". This was completed in 1936 with 3,267 houses being measured up. From that time onward, the word "housing" has been a very live subject in the council chamber, and out of it.
Serious flooding of the district occurred in February 1946, 2,000 houses were severely affected, in some cases the water reached to the height of the living room window sills. Again in 1947 the town was flooded for the second time within 13 months. On these occasions the Housing Department did sterling work in assisting those whose homes were badly affected.

Numerous housing schemes by the council have appeared over the decades. At the end of 1949 there were 1,480 applications for council houses, and 47 applications for building licences by various companies to build them. Housing figures for January 1950 show that there were: 423 3-bedroom pre-war houses, 12 1-bedroom pre-war bungalows, and 52 2-bedroom pre-war temporary houses, making 487 pre-war properties in all. Of post-war buildings, there were 296 3-bedroom houses occupied, 12 one-bedroom houses occupied, 40 3-bedroom houses under construction and 12 one bedroom houses under construction.

Between 1950 and the late 1970s, the council built numerous estates including the Petersham Estate, Peveril Crescent Estate, Collingwood Road Estate and Haddon Way Estate. In the late 1990s, the council found it difficult to maintain and repair all their housing stock, mainly through lack of government funding and the age of many of the properties which needed regular refurbishment to bring them up to 21st century living standards. It was decided, with a vote set up by the council, for the existing council tenants, that the council should sell all their housing stock and set up a non-profit making housing association so that they could acquire private funding from various sources enabling them to carry out the much needed work. The changeover took place in April 2002 and the five year modernization plan by the new Erewash Housing Ltd (now known as Three Valleys Housing Ltd.) began.

Public Health
Public health has always been an important issue to the townspeople of Long Eaton and Sawley. The first record of any attempt to deal with the sewering of the district was in September 1855 when the question was considered by the Parish Council. Apart from insisting on having soughs and sumps, nothing much was done about it at first. After the formation of the first Local Board in 1875, and with the appointment of Mr Harry Whitaker as surveyor, discussions about the sewering of the district were brought up again, and various schemes were considered.

The following year Whitaker resigned, and a Mr E. R. Ridgeway was appointed as his replacement, and in early 1877 he introduced his scheme. Following his resignation in October of the same year, and the appointment in March of the following year of Mr John Sheldon, the sewerage scheme was again considered. In 1881 negotiations for the purchase of land in Tythe Barn Lane for a sewerage farm began. The land was duly purchased and laid out for irrigation. Large tanks were constructed and a deep well was sunk to receive the sewage from the towns sewers which were in the process of being installed, and in due time the scheme was completed. Two houses were built at the entrance to the sewerage farm in 1884.

By 1886 the ashpit emptying was done by the council's own workmen, there were 365 ashpits in the town. Wells for drinking water in the "Nook" and "Claye's Row" were condemned. Dr A. B. Chambers was appointed Medical Officer of Health in 1887. An outbreak of Smallpox occurred in 1888, and reports of polluted water were fairly common. The Smallpox Isolation Hospital was built in 1895 on Mr Claye's field, called "The Honeypots" off Meadow Lane.

The annual report of the M.O.H. in 1898 tells us that the population was estimated at 12,400, and there were 2,476 houses. The road making, scavenging and night-soil work were done by council workmen. Three filter beds were constructed at the sewerage farm. These filters were improved in 1899, which also saw the abolition of all wet middens and the introduction of WCs to replace them. The council took over public lighting in 1902 and the main streets were lit by electricity.

The M.O.H. recommended that the building of new houses to be let at 3/6d per week. The value of a workman's house if built by the council, was 150.

In 1905, the council supplied Diptheria Antitoxin free of charge for all cases, and for the first time in 20 years no case of Typhoid had been reported, which was a tribute to the more general use of a clean public water supply. Additional filter beds had to be built owing to the increased flow of sewage. The weekly supply of water from the public water system was 2,600,000 gallons. During dry periods of the summer season, water was cut off during the evening.

Mr John Tomlinson was appointed Sanitary Inspector in 1907. The following year Nurse Milne was appointed assistant to Mr Tomlinson and she was also the school nurse.

The Twitchell, or Vicars Row which had been declared a nuisance in 1890 was condemned as part of the West Gate improvement scheme. Also that year shows the first annual report of the medical inspection of schools in Long Eaton. The insanitary houses of the Twitchell were demolished as far as Gibb Street, with permission from the owner of adjoining properties to carry out improvements right through to Orchard Street.

In 1909, 111 privies and pail closets were converted to WCs, and 682 sanitary dustbins were provided. At that time, 1910 had the lowest recorded death rate, on average seven people per thousand. Infantile mortality was approaching 73 per thousand. The M.O.H. recommended keeping children away from school until they reached the age of five years old.

Dr Chambers died on April 18th 1911. The work he did for the council was excellent, and his foresight in some areas of health was remarkable. Dr Chambers came to Long Eaton in 1886 and was M.O.H. for 24 years. On his death, the town lost a capable medical officer and his patients lost a skilful and talented medical advisor.

Six revolving shelters were provided for the open air treatment of tuberculosis in 1912. During the outbreak of the First World War, a new sewer was laid down Lower Brook Street to Oakley Road to replace the existing iron sewer, also a new sewer was provided along Sawley Road (Tamworth Road) to St John's Street and Cobden Street. Dr Milligan became Minister Of Health between 1916-1918, after which Drs Bloomer and Beane were appointed as joint M.O.H.s for the rest of the war period. Dr Bloomer was appointed the lone M.O.H. in 1919.

In 1921, due to the coal strike of that year and the difficulty of obtaining coal, the supply of water taken from the Derwent Valley Board was increased by 50,000 gallons per day. In December 1922, Dr Bloomer was forced to resign due to ill health. Mr H. Raven was appointed on January 7th 1922 to succeed Mr Frank Worrall as Engineer and Surveyor to the council, and the M.O.H. sanctioned a loan of 30,000 for the conversion of pail closets, privies etc. to the water carriage system. The ministry also sanctioned a loan of 15,544 over a period of 30 years for the purpose of laying water mains in the New Sawley Ward. Dr John Moir was appointed M.O.H. in April 1923.

1925 saw the new sewage scheme at Toton completed. In 1928 the Sanitary Inspector took over the collection and disposal of domestic waste. Controlled tipping was commenced at the old sewage works in 1931, and completed in the same year. Similar work was also done at a site on Roosevelt Avenue, but this wasn't completed until 1934 along with a field on Stud Farm, Wilsthorpe, near to the Brown Brook (Golden Brook). Tipping also began on some of the council's land on Meadow Lane, with the purpose of creating and raising the land to make a direct route to the River Trent, which became very popular in later years, not only with local residents but people from the surrounding district, as a recreation area.

The open air swimming baths plans were prepared and approved in 1933, the building work was completed by 1935 (for more details on the swimming baths, see the Entertainment page). With the outbreak of the Second World War, there came the need for making provisions for the safety of the population in case of air raids.

The Co-operative slaughter house and cold storage was taken over in January 1940 by the Ministry Of Food for the supply of English meat for an estimated population of 44,000. Slaughtering commenced in May of that year, and figures for the animals slaughtered during 1941 were: beasts - 1,574; sheep and lambs - 5,829; pigs - 486 and calves - 1,710. From 1943 the slaughterhouse was discontinued and meat was supplied from the Nottingham Abattoir.

Mr John Tomlinson, Sanitary Inspector to the Urban District Council, retired in July 1944, after 37 years service. Mr Tomlinson was also Food Officer during the 1914-1918 war, and saw the development of Long Eaton during his 37 years service grow from a large village of 13,000 population, to a thriving town of 28,000+ people.

Following the floods in 1946 and 1947, the public water supply was taken to the Trent Lock area in 1948 by a 4" main which led from Reedman Road in Sawley. During later years, a large water treatment works was built adjacent to the M1 motorway near to Church Wilne. As this now includes a Chlorine storage facility, an alarm system has been set up to warn nearby Sawley residents in case of a Chlorine leak. The alarm is tested at 11:00am on the first Friday of each month by the Severn Trent Water Authority. Residents also keep an instruction sheet handy which advises them on what action to take should the alarm be for real.

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