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Author Topic: The South Barracks, Walmer  (Read 2539 times)

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Offline kyn

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The South Barracks, Walmer
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2012, 20:08:26 »
Report of 1858

The South Barracks.

These Barracks are constructed of brick, and were built in 1795.  The ground within the boundary walls is 10A. 1H. 3p. in area.
They are built in blocks, and there are twenty-three barrack rooms, besides attics.  Each of the barrack rooms has four windows, two at each end.
The staircases and landings are of wood, and there is a small room for a Non-commissioned Officer at the end of each landing, which interferes with the light and ventilation of the staircase.
The barrack rooms are all occupied beyond the regulation number of men, as will be seen by the following table, which also shows the number which could be accommodated at 600 cubic feet per man:-

Rooms.Regulation Number of Men.Actual Number.Accommodation at 600 cubic feet per Man.Deficiency of Regulation accommodation.
7 13314710528
813616010432
81281369632
Total  2339744330592

The regulation accommodation exceeds the available accommodation at 600 cubic feet per man by ninety-two men; but the number actually in the barrack rooms when the return was sent us exceeded the regulation number by forty-six, and it exceeded the accommodation at 600 cubic feet per man by 138 men.  This latter number shows the extent of overcrowding at the time the return was made.
The rooms are light, but not very lofty.  The ceilings are covered with perforated zinc.  The floors of some of the rooms are not in good condition.  There are no means of ventilation in the rooms except doors, windows, and fireplaces.
To remove this defect, shafts should be carried up from the ceiling of each room to the roof of the building , and fresh air ought to be admitted into the rooms by means of openings close to the ceilings, or between the zinc lining and the floor above; perforations being made through the zinc to allow the outer air to enter the room.
There is a circular cook-house, provided with boilers and an oven, but the oven is not ventilated, and no roasting tins have been provided, so that the oven is of no use.
The ablution rooms have no ventilation.  To remedy this defect, shafts should be carried up through the roof, and the windows fitted with perforated glass.  There are no gratings for the men to stand on, and no baths.
There is an ashpit, for which an iron cart and daily removal of refuse should be substituted.
The urinals and privies are not supplied with water.  The seats of the privies are covered with flaps, but there are no divisions, and as all the soil is received into a common cesspit the effluvia are very offensive, and would be more so were it not that a shaft is carried up from each cesspit to a height of from 14 to 18 feet, which diffuses the emanations at a certain elevation above the ground.
There is a wash-house with tubs, but no proper laundry.  There is no day room.  The library is too small.  There are no covered sheds for drill.  The sleeping accommodation for Non-commissioned Officers is very limited.  The serjeants’ mess is very small and has no kitchen.  There is no sufficient accommodation for pursuing trades.
The surface drainage of the barrack area runs to the sea through drains, which have a very small fall.
The abolition of cesspits is indispensably necessary to the sanitary improvement of these Barracks, and would necessitate an entirely new arrangement for the drainage, which must then, as has been stated, be carried below low-water mark, because the shingle moves so considerably between high and low-water mark as to render it impossible to maintain a drain clear which discharges between the two.
In the attics there are quarters for twenty-four married people.  They are not sufficiently ventilated, and there are o suitable divisions between the beds.
The sewerage of these Barracks ought to be carried out according to the plan and estimate already made by the Engineering Department, with as little delay as possible.
As soon as this is accomplished all the cesspits in the Barracks ought to be filled up, and the privies converted into water latrines.
The guard room and lock-up both require ventilation through the roof.  At present they are unventilated.
We would recommend:-

1.   That the numbers in the barrack rooms be diminished, so that every man may have 600 cubic feet of space.
2.   That every barrack rooms be ventilated by a shaft and inlet for air, as recommended; that the guard room and lock-up be similarly ventilated; and that the married quarters be also ventilated through the roof.
3.   That the projected sewerage of the Barracks be completed, the whole of the cesspits filled up and the privies converted into water latrines, with means of flushing, and with divisions of seats and half doors.  That the urinals also be supplied with water.
4.   That the kitchen arrangements be completed, so that the ovens may roast meat, and that suitable cooking tins be provided for this purpose.
5.   Ablution rooms to be improved and ventilated as described.  Gratings for the men to stand on to be provided.  A bath room and baths in the proportion of one bath to 100 men to be provided.
6.   Ashpits to be abolished, and iron carts, with daily collection and removal of refuse to be introduced.
7.   Laundry to be improved and drying stove provided.
8.   Barrack rooms to be lit with gas, by ventilated burners.
9.   A day room and drill shed ought also to be constructed.


 

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