Old News


The Sandridge Night Soil Cart

From the Herts Advertiser,

 8th July, 5th August, 9th September 1899




This news item relates to the provision of sanitary arrangements in Sandridge. Because there was no mains drainage the contents of the chamber pots were collected and tipped into a pit..

St Albans Rural District Council


A letter was read from the Clerk to the Sandridge Parish Council stating that Mr Cable had not collected the night soil from the cottages on Bernards Heath since June 24th, and the tenants had been to him several times complaining that their pails were full and were causing great inconvenience by smell. They had affected the health of some of the children, and it was feared that medical attendance would have to be sought. It was hoped that this great nuisance might be remedied.

Mr [A.] Lewis said he heard from Mr Cable that he sent the cart round to the cottages, but upon sending for it again, he found it had gone. The cart was now in one of Mr Paulís fields, at the further end of Sandridge, which was not the proper place for it; for the arrangement was that Mr Cable was to be advised when the cart was taken to Sandridge for sanitary purposes. The consequence was that Mr Cable had had to go and fetch the cart from Sandridge, which had hindered the accomplishment of the necessary work in other parts of the parish. Undoubtedly the offence at the cottages complained of was very great, and he (Mr Lewis) believed from what he had heard that this state of affairs was mainly due to the action of Mr Paul in having the cart taken into one of his fields. He was apparently very obstinate and tiresome, and said Mr Cableís men were not to have the cart because it had been condemned, and was not to be used; whereas Mr Cable had had leave to use it.

The Medical Officer [Francis William Dobbin] pointed out that there was one case of diphtheria in the locality to which Mr Normanís letter referred.

Herts Advertiser,  8th July 1899

St Albans Rural District Council


Mr [A.] Lewis reported that there was still a good deal of trouble being caused with respect to the sewage cart for Sandridge Rural. Mr Cable complained that he was handicapped in this matter, not being able to use the old cart. Two months ago, two members of the Council were deputed to purchase a new cart, but it had not been purchased yet. Sanitary matters in the parish were in a very unsatisfactory state and the effects upon the health of the people were very serious. The inhabitants were making grave complaints about the nuisance. He should like to know whether anything was being done in the matter.

Mr [H. J.] Toulmin said he believed two children had been ill or had died, and that the whole state of the district was in a most unsatisfactory condition. A lot of the refuse had been carted into a hole, or chalk pit, or whatever it was, and there was, as a result, a most vile stench, and it was a disgrace to any public body that such a state of things should be suffered.

Mr [W.] Baum said he did not think that the pit referred to was in the Councilís district, but within the St Albans City Boundary.

The Surveyor [H. F. Mence] said this was so. The pit was just on the borders of the city.

The Deputy Clerk [E. F. W. Hisatt] said he had been requested by the Sandridge School Board to bring a matter before the Council. The Board asked some time ago to have the cesspit at the school emptied. Mr Paul had been approached, but he said the cart could not be used. It was a serious matter, and the Board wished to know if something could not be done.

The Chairman [E. Arnold] urged Messrs [W.] Paul  and [T.] Simmons to give prompt attention to the matter.

Herts Advertiser,  5th August 1899

St Albans Rural District Council


The Chairman [Alderman E. Arnold] reported that he had purchased a sanitary cart for the parish of Redbourn, according to the instructions of the Council.

Mr [W.] Paul also stated that he had procured a new cart for Sandridge.Ö

Mr [A.] Lewis said there was some dispute as to the place at which the new cart for Sandridge was to be kept. He understood that the new cart was procured mainly for scavenging of the St Albans end of Sandridge, but it was said that Mr Paul had stated that it was to be kept at Sandridge. If this was so, he feared that the last state of things would be worse than the first. He should like to ask for the ruling of the Chairman in this matter.

The Chairman said Mr Cable had the contract for horsing the cart, and he took it that Mr Cable was the right man to have the cart in his possession.

The Council thereupon agreed that the cart should be kept at Mr Cableís premises, provided, of course, that it was used only for the district it was purchased to supply.

It was left to Mr Lewis to get the old Sandridge cart repaired, in order that it might be kept for use in Sandridge village.


Herts Advertiser,  9th September 1899

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