Isle of Wight Observer September 1 1860

The Streets and the Town Hall

The Commissioners have purchased another new iron water cart; it is unlike the other in shape, being square on all sides. Its services have not yet been but little required, and vain is the thought that would foretel when they would, for inveterate rain and a truant sun leaves but little dust for the sweeping wind to bear about: so if our shopkeepers have done less business this year, they may console themselves with thinking that they have had less goods spoilt, and escaped the usual necessity of venting dissatisfaction and abuse at the partial and incomplete manner that the streets were watered. By the way, when we are troubled with a windy and dry season again (?) would it not be well for the occupiers of houses in Union-street, Cross-street, and High-street, who want so much watering done, to compound with the Commissioners, in addition to the ordinary rating, and have a special cart to themselves?

ISLE OF WIGHT OBSERVER JUNE 6 1864

OUR STREETS – Everybody who considers that the streets of Ryde measure about nine miles, and that some of them, such as the Esplanade, Union-street and George-street – are of enormous width, must admit that is a difficult matter to scavenger and water them fairly without a very great expense. Accordingly to save expense, a compromise takes place, and those streets most used are attended to best; but such compromise can be unfairly exercised, and so is open to objection. For instance, it is nothing unusual to see Union-street, High-street, and that part of Pier-street and a part of Pier-street from the Pier hotel to Manor-house swamped, whilst the other portion of Pier-street and a part of St Thomas’-street to the junction with Spencer-road is not watered at all. Again “the leading tradesmen” of Union-street throw enough litter into Church-lane to keep one scavenger’s cart employed; but were the poorer inhabitants of Newport-road to do the like they would be deservedly summoned. Why then, is such favouriteism shewn? If certain streets want so much more done than can be fairly allowed, why should not a direct rate be made for that purpose? As all are assessed alike to the poor-rate, no amount of argument can prove that it is fair to swamp some streets and to leave others unwatered. There is another point, St Thomas’ slipway and the western shore become the receptacles of all kinds of filth, and yet it is of the highest importance to the trade of the town that such property as that locality should be tenanted.

ISLE OF WIGHT OBSERVER JULY 30 1864

TOWN HALL – The improvements to this hall are nearly completed, and it will be certainly a very splendid suite of rooms. But it seems that a fatality attends the Commissioners; for on the west side of the principal room are three doors, and all open inwards which absolutely spoil it. This defect ought to be remedied, as well as the glare from the sunlights.

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