Addiewell's housing in 1914

Photo:The Low Rows: Cross, Graham, Baker, Simpson & Campbell Streets.

The Low Rows: Cross, Graham, Baker, Simpson & Campbell Streets.

West Lothian Local History Library.

Photo:Graham Street, Addiewell  The pug engine ran very close to the houses, causing pollution and danger to children.

Graham Street, Addiewell The pug engine ran very close to the houses, causing pollution and danger to children.

John Kelly & Adam Prentice. All Rights Reserved. S1. 84.

Photo:Livingston Street, 1960s.

Livingston Street, 1960s.

BP. All Rights Reserved. S1. 92.

Photo:In the background, a typical miners' row in Addiewell.

In the background, a typical miners' row in Addiewell.

Benzie of Bathgate. All rights reserved. S1. 251

'a positive pestilence... bad in the extreme...'

By Sybil Cavanagh

In the village there are some 360 houses built of brick, in rows and tenements.  

There are some 70 single-apartment houses, and about 290 two-apartment houses.  No wash-houses are provided for any of the tenants, and 90 have no coal cellars.

The size of single-apartments is 14ft. 10in. x 12 ft., height 8 ft. 10in.  In two apartment houses the kitchen measures 13ft. x 11ft., and the room 9½ft. x 11ft.; height 8 ft. 7½in. in some houses; in others the height measures 9 ft. 3in.  A number of houses have gardens.

For about 300 houses there are only 12 privies of a most objectionable character.  Ashpits are provided, but they are built from about 15 to 20 yards from the houses, and, as can readily be imagined, they are a positive pestilence in the summer time, and at all times a danger to the health of the community.  Clothes poles are studded here and there in the back courts.  Water is procured from 17 stand-pipes, and the sewage flows down by open channels.  The sanitary conditions generally existing are bad in the extreme.  The rental is 2/4 per week for double and 1/6 per week for single-apartment house, inclusive of local and county rates.  The houses are occupied principally by the oilworkers.

An Institute with library and reading room is provided, also rooms for games, for which the workers are charged 1d. per week.

The houses are owned by Messrs Young’s Oil Coy.  In Addiewell district there are some 650 houses, with a population of 2,100 persons. 

 

Housing Conditions in the Scottish Shale Field:
Evidence and Suggestions to the Royal Commission on Housing (Scotland)
Submitted by the Scottish Shale Miners’ Association – March 1914

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This page was added by Sybil Cavanagh on 15/04/2012.