Unpleasant Atmospheric Impregnation
Isle of Wight Observer January 15, 1876
To the Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer Sir, – On several days in the last week, more especially on Saturday, a most disagreeable stench pervaded the neighbourhood of Pier-street and the streets adjoining, and on the morning of Saturday its offensive character was perceived at the elevations of Upper-George-street and Cross-street.
Whether the cause of the disgusting effluvium was the efflux of sewage thrown back by the east wind on the sands, or the emanations from putrescent seaweed, I do not pretend to know, but an odour so offensive and diffusive proves the existance very near to us of those subtle forces which produce and develop disease, and if not persistent yet recurring at intervals is well calculated to, and indeed does produce in the minds of visitors, a very unfavourable impression of the sanitary condition and arrangements of the town.
It is impossible to estimate the extent of the injury which a prejudice so created may inflict or has inflicted on the owners of property, lessees of houses, and tradesmen in this beautifully situated marine town.
Doubtless it is a very laudable object of those in authority to procure for us an abundant supply of pure water, but it is not less desirable that they should secure to us and our visitors an atmosphere untainted by the pollution of fetid sewage or rotten seaweed.
There may be many difficulties in removing the cause of the nuisance to which I have adverted, but they are such as should be engaged and overcome. If there is neglect or delay in dealing with this matter, it is not presumptuous to predict that the health and prosperity of the town may be seriously endangered. Perchance some of your readers may regard it as impertinent boldness in a young burgess calling public attention to a matter of this kind, but perhaps they will extend to me their indulgence when I state that the remarks I have made have been suggested, not merely by the recent unpleasant atmospheric impregnation, but also by observations made by visitors and residents on several occasions during the past and preceding years.
I am, Sir, yours respectfully,
T S FLOWER,
Opposite the Pier, Ryde, Jan 13, 1876.