Ayrshire Housing Part 4

33. Auchenharvie Row, Burgh of Saltcoats

This row contains twenty-two houses, 12 single-apartment houses and 10 two-apartment houses. The kitchen measures 16 feet by 9 feet, and the room 12 feet by 6 feet; and the one-apartment house measures 17 feet by 9 feet. The floors are brick tiles, and broken and twisted in the usual way.

Each house is provided with a water-closet, and there is a washing-house for every three tenants. All the tenants have coal-houses. The roadway in front of the houses is unpaved and very dirty. The rent of the two-apartment house is 10s. 2d. per month, and the one-apartment house 7s. 11d. per month. There are no ashpits, but dustbins are provided. The syvor is very sluggish, and at the date of our visit was lying filled with stagnant water. There are several taps with gravitation water for the row.

34. Auchenharvie Cottages, Parish of Stevenston

There are thirty-five houses in this row, built, with one exception, in blocks of two houses each. They are, in the case of fifteen of the houses, of two apartments each ; of the other twenty, they are of three apartments each, but this is only because the room has been divided into two, and they occupy practically the same floor space as the other 15 two-apartment houses. The kitchen measures 13 feet by 12 feet and the room 12 feet by 9 feet.

Each house has its own washing-house, attached to the back of the main building, and its own dry-closet, and every house has a coal-house. The floors of the outhouses are paved with brick, but those we saw were very badly broken. Several of the houses have brick floors, but most of them have wooden ones. The houses are all built of brick. There is a brick pavement in front of the houses, but in some places it is so badly broken that water lies in the holes in a sort of puddle. The rent is 11s. per month.

The syvor is very sluggish and, owing to its sluggishness, filthy. So far as we could discover there was only one cesspool for the whole row, which is over 200 yards long. The sweepings from the syvor appear to be dumped down on the side of the road in front of the houses, about 20 feet from the doors. The road into this row is in a dirty condition, and we heard it described as a " puddle trench."

35. Rankinston

(Glengarnock Iron and Steel Company, Limited, and Coylton Coal Company.)
There are 148 houses in the village of Rankinston, arranged in rows of twenty at the top end. It is in the parish of Coylton, and belongs to the Glengarnock Iron and Steel Company, Limited, with the exception of about one and a half rows, which are under the Coylton Coal Company. They are all double-apartment houses, i.e. room and kitchen, with a weekly rent of 2s. 5d.

There is one earth-closet, with a door, for every five houses.

There are coal-houses, but there are no washing-houses.

The Coylton Coal Company have about two blocks, exactly the same as the others, with same closet accommodation and coal-houses, one slight difference being that there is one washing-house. The rent here is 2s. 6d. a week.

The population, roughly, is 700.

There is a fairly plentiful supply of gravitation water.

The houses are built of stone, and probably between forty and fifty years old.

36. Cairntable Terraces, Parish of Dalrymple

(Cairntable Coal Company.)
Cairntable Terraces are built of brick in two rows on the main road between Littlemill and the Village of Patna. That on the right-hand side going towards Patna consists of 40 two-apartment houses, with washing-house scullery. The rent is 3s. 4 1/2d. a week, inclusive of rates.

There is one water-closet for every two houses, and coal-houses are provided.

The water supply is from Loch Bradan.

The row on left hand consists of 8 three-apartment houses. There is a water-closet for every tenant, with full water supply inside the houses. The rent is 5s. a week. There are small gardens attached to every house in both rows. There are concrete pavements, which greatly improve the appearance and comfort of the houses. These houses are only two or three years old.

37. Bartonholm, Parish of Irvine

(Owned by Messrs Wm. Baird & Company, Limited.)
There are in all fifty-seven families in Bartonholm, with a population of 352. The houses for the most part consist of two apartments, with a few with three apartments. The rooms are very small, and the houses are of a poor type. They are built of stone, but many of them are very damp. Most of them are dingy and depressing. The pathways in front of the doors are unpaved, with the result that they are often in a bad state. The rent is 6s. 5d. a month.

There is one ash-pit and a dry-closet with two entrances, with doors, and one washing-house to every eight families. The washing-houses and ash-pits are built back to back which leaves much to be desired.

38. Fergushill, Parish of Kilwinning

(owned by Messrs A. Finnie & Son.)
Fergushill Village, in the Parish of Kilwinning, is composed of seven rows of unequal length, some of them placed crosswise to each other. The village belongs to Messrs A. Finnie & Son, coalmasters. Many of the houses are single apartments, with unpaved paths before the doors, with the result that some of the paths are ankle deep in mud. The accommodation is poor throughout.

Thatched Row. - There are ten houses in the Thatched Row, all single apartments, without coal-houses or washing-houses. There are two earth-closets for these ten houses. The rent is 1s. per week. Thirty-eight people live here. Small garden in front.

Office Row. - The Office Row has three houses, with twelve inmates. There is one earth-closet, but no coal or washing-house.

Front Row. - There are 15 double-apartment houses in this row, three of which were empty when we visited it on 12th November 1913. There are sixty-three persons here, with similar closet accommodation, no coal-houses, no washing-houses. The houses are of brick, and the room hardly larger than a press, 9 feet by 6 feet 3 inches. We found thirteen persons in one house.

Wellington Row. - Wellington Row is the largest of these rows. There are twenty-three houses, two of which were empty on 12th November. The number of persons in this row was 130. One house had ten persons, another twelve, and a third thirteen. There is a dry- or earth-closet for every six houses. No coal-houses, no washing-houses, except wooden erections, which make the place hideous. These are two-apartment houses, built of brick. The front is unpaved, with open syvor, and a muddier frontage it would be impossible to find. The rooms here are also very small.

Burn Row. - Burn Row has twelve doorways with sixty-nine persons. There is one earth-closet for every four doors. No washing-houses, no coal-houses. Unpaved fronts in the usual dirty state. Rent 1s. 3d. per week. Two houses contained nine persons each, while a third had ten persons.

Galston Row. - This is a row of ten houses. Three were empty, and there were thirty-three persons in it. There are three earth-closets for this row, but neither coal nor washing-houses. They are two-apartment houses, built of stone, but the rooms are mere closets.

Store Row. - There are five houses in this row, built of brick. One house has nine persons. One house was empty, and there were eighteen persons in all. Closet, coal-house, and washing-house accommodation the same as the other rows.

Summary. - There are in all seventy-eight houses in this village, with a population of 363. There are small gardens attached to all the houses, though some are not cultivated.

The lack of closet accommodation is at once apparent, while the efforts of the people to provide themselves with coal-houses gives some of the rows a most melancholy appearance.

The lack of paved paths keeps the rows, especially in winter, in a constant quagmire.

The water supply is from one village- pump, fed by a spring. The water seems to be good.

Rents are - single houses 1s., double houses 1s. 3d.; but it must be remembered that most of the rooms are hardly worthy of the name of room ; they are so small.

The whole village in an eyesore.

39. Benslie, Parish of Kilwinning

(Messrs A. Finnie & Son)
Benslie is a village about 400 yards further up the main road, belonging to the same colliery company as Fergushill. There are fifty-seven houses in all, stone built, with and earth closet for every four houses. There are neither washing-houses nor coal-houses.

There are two double-apartment houses at 1s. 6d. a week rent; the other double houses are 1s. 3d. per week. There are 14 single-apartment houses at 1s. a week rent. All have a small garden in front, but few cultivate them.

There is but one pump of spring water, which is said to be good.

The paths are unpaved, with the consequent muddy fronts.

The village is about sixty-seven years old.

40. Annbank, Parish of Tarbolton

(George Taylor & Company.)
Annbank is a large village, wholly mining, containing 236 houses, with a population of somewhere about 1100. Looking north the rows face each other for the length of about twenty-five houses, when they open up into a square of forty-four houses, thence continuing the rows face each other for about 250 yards further up. This portion of the village is built continuously on both sides, a close, or pend, giving admittance to the back at intervals of about eight or ten houses.

The topmost portion consists of a half-square and a single row.

The rows run along each side of the main road, and are built of brick throughout.

Built between fifty and sixty' years ago, there were originally only about 20 two-apartment houses, but from time to time openings were made between two houses to accommodate the largest families, and a number of years ago rooms were added behind, till now there are about 50 per cent, of the houses which have two apartments.

The single houses have two inset beds, and the newer rooms two iron bedsteads, the rent of which is 1s. and 1s. 8d. per week. The kitchen measures 16 feet by 12 feet, the room 16 feet by 12 feet. The rooms have wooden floors.

There is a dry-closet for every two houses, a coal-house for every house, and a washing-house for every five. Closets and coal-houses are at the back.

The paths are unpaved, and are often muddy, though a curbstone which fronts the paths helps to keep it clean.

Loch Bradan water is supplied, though many of the inhabitants prefer the village pump, which-gives a good supply of good hard water.

The Colliery Company is presently building additional rows of rooms to the one-apartment houses. The Company constantly employ a man as scavenger.

Mossblown Road, near Annbank

The miners' houses in Mossblown Road, near Annbank, Ayrshire, were built by Messrs Baird & Co. The site is a fairly exposed one with the houses arranged round drying greens. There are about 180 houses in all - the majority of which are two-roomed houses and the remainder three-roomed houses.

There are small gardens at the front of the houses, enclosed with low wooden fences. Good cement footpaths have been laid at the backs of the houses, which look out on the drying greens.

The two-roomed houses consist of kitchen (16 ft. 10 in. x 11 ft. 10 in.) with bed-recesses and sink, room (11 ft. 6 in. x 11 ft. 10 in.) with one bed-recess and press. There is no scullery.

The three-roomed houses consist of kitchen (14 ft. x 12 ft. 6 in.) with two bed-recesses, room (14 ft. x 10 ft. 9 in,) with one bed-recess, room (14 ft. x 13 ft.), small scullery with sink.

The houses are built in blocks of eight. Each block has offices consisting of wash-house, coal places, ash-pits and water-closets placed in the drying-greens at the back of the houses. There is only one water-closet to every four houses.

The walls are built of 14-in. brickwork, strapped, lathed, and plastered on the inside.

The two-roomed houses each cost £230 including offices, roads, etc.

The three-roomed houses each cost £250, including offices, roads, etc.

The rents of the two- and three-roomed houses are respectively 3s. and 5s. per week including taxes, or £7, 16s. and £13 per annum respectively.[Evidence presented by John Wilson to Royal Commission, 29th April 1913]

41. Mossblown, Parish of Tarbolton

(Owned by William Baird & Company.)
Mossblown is a village, wholly mining, of 179 dwellings of two apartments, except twelve cottages, which have three apartments.

It is in the Parish of Tarbolton, and within two or three hundred yards from Annbank Station. The larger half of the village was built about sixteen years ago, the other half about four.

The houses are of a fairly good type.

One commendable feature is that all the pathways are of concrete. This is good both for the tenant and for the house. The whole village is built of brick.

Nos. 1 and 2 Rows. - The older and larger half of the village consists of two rows on the north side of the G. & S.W. Railway. One of them has twenty-eight houses of two apartments.

The kitchen measures 15 feet by 13 1/2 feet, the room 13 1/2 feet by 10 1/2 feet.

There is a washing-house for every six tenants and a dry-closet for every three, with covered ash-pits. These last leave much to be desired, some of them being very dirty. There are coal-houses for all.

All these conveniences are placed behind the row.

There is a fair supply of gravitation water from Loch Bradan. The rent of these houses is 2s. 6d. a week.

The other row of this half of the village has 69 two-apartment houses, in every point the same as the first row.

I should have said that all the houses have wooden floors. There are small gardens in front of the second row, all nicely cultivated. The drying-green is at the back.

Newer half of village. - The newer half of the village is on the south side of the G. & S.W. Railway, and consists of two rows of 32 and 38 two-apartment houses and a third row of 12 three-apartment houses, called "the cottages."

The apartments of the double houses are slightly smaller than those in the older rows, the kitchen measuring 15 feet by 12 feet and the room 12 feet by 10 1/2 feet.

There is a water-closet for every three tenants, and a washing-house for every six. There are ash-pits and coal-houses, and all these conveniences are under one roof, placed in front of the doors only 20 feet away. This is to be regretted in houses so lately built.

It is not only unsightly to have them here, but it is conceivably dangerous to health, as we were informed when we visited the village (6th December 1913) that well into the autumn of this year there was what might be termed a plague of flies.

There are water-taps in the washing-houses of these rows.

The rent is 3s. a week.

Cottage Row. - The Cottage Row has twelve dwellings of three apartments, each with a front and back entrance, a nice lobby, and a good-sized scullery fitted with a kitchen sink and water-tap. 

There are nice flower-plots at the front inside wooden railings.

The kitchen measures 13 1/2 feet by 12 feet, the large room 13 1/2 feet by 12 feet, and the bedroom 12 feet by 11 feet.

There are water-closets, washing-houses, etc., in the same proportion as in the other rows.

The rent is 5s. a week.

These cottages could be called first-class if there were baths attached. The rent, too, for the average working man, is almost prohibitive; but with rents which could be paid by the average worker, and a bathroom to each of the tenants, these cottages are what we could commend as suitable for our people. Mossblown is a decided improvement on many of the villages in the county.

42. Drumley, Parish of Tarbolton

(Owned by George Taylor & Company, Ayr Colliery.)
Drumley is a small village of 30 two-apartment houses standing near the side of the Ayr and Mauchline road, about a quarter of a mile from Annbank Station.

It was built by the Ayr Colliery Company from twelve to sixteen years ago.

First Row. - The first row is of two storeys, the kitchen below, the room above, and consists of twenty dwellings, ten on each side, standing back to back.

The kitchens measure 15 feet by 12 feet and the rooms about the same.

The rent is 1s. 8d. a week.

There is a dry-closet for every family, and a washing-house for every five families, with coal-houses and open ash-pits. These are 30 feet from the front doors, and some of the ash-pits, when we saw them on 6th December 1913, were very full and dirty.

There is a water supply from Loch Bradan.

The pathways are unpaved, and in wet weather very muddy. The open syvor was sluggish and rather dirty.

Second Row. - The second row has 16 two-apartment houses. This row is only one storey.

The kitchen measures 17 feet by 12 feet, the room 12 feet by 12 feet.

There is the same accommodation as to washing-house, closets, etc., all under one roof and only 27 feet from the front.

These places give the rows a dirty appearance, and must be against the health of the inhabitants. The ash-pits here were also very full and dirty, and the open syvor was dirty too.

The houses are built of brick, and the rent is is 8d. a week.

43. Woodside, Parish of Coylton

(Owned by George Taylor & Company, Ayr Colliery)
Woodside is a village of thirty-seven houses, standing on the side of the Ayr and Stair road.

First Row. - The first row, approaching from Ayr, has sixteen single houses. Each of these measures 15 1/2 feet by 12 1/2 feet, with a rent of 1s. a week.

Thatched Row. - The next row has six single houses. These are thatched, and are of a poor type.

The next three houses are single-apartment ones, and the remaining twelve are of two apartments. These are very small, the kitchen being 12 feet by 11 feet and the room 10 1/2 feet by 9 feet.

These are rented at 1s. 6d. a week. In several cases families have taken two single-apartment houses, in which case the rent is 1s. 8d. a week.

There in a washing-house for every six houses and a dry-closet for every three. There are coal-houses, but only the semblance of ash-pits. What there is of them were very filthy when we saw them on 6th December 1913. They are all placed at the back. There were no locks on any of the closet doors, and some of the closets were unspeakably dirty. The womenfolk complained bitterly against the lack of closet accommodation.

The paths, both at front and back, are unpaved, but fairly clean. The open syvors were sluggish and dirty. There are gardens at the back, in the cultivation of which the men take a keen interest. The people here are of a good type, and deserve better accommodation.

44. Connel Park, Parish of New Cumnock

(Owned by the New Cumnock Collieries, Limited.)
This is a considerable village occupied wholly by miners or men working about mines. It is built in rows, some of which form half-squares. The older rows are of stone, built by the late Lanemark Coal Company about forty years ago. The newer rows are of brick, some of them built by the Lanemark Coal Company, some by the reconstructed Coal Company known as the New Cumnock Collieries, Limited. The village is a mile distant from New Cumnock Railway Station, on the Dalmellington road.

We visited it on the 13th of November 1913, and found most of the rows in a miserably dirty condition, due to bad or ill-kept drainage and to unpaved fronts and backs.

With the exception of one or two rows, to be mentioned later, there are no water-closets. It is bad enough to be without water-closets, but the arrangement as to dry-closets, ash-pits, and coal-houses is simply disgraceful. In one large row these are under one roof, only 27 feet from the back kitchen door, and some of the houses look directly into the ash-pit and closet outlets, which, when we saw them, were full of human filth. In some rows there are not even doors to these closets, which prevents womenfolk especially from using them, and precludes the possibility of friends or acquaintances visiting here. There are, too, a considerable number of single-apartment houses which, with the miserable closet accommodation provided, must make the lives of people miserable who desire to observe the commonest decencies.

There is a scavenger employed by the Colliery Company, but the provision made for cleansing, judging from the condition of the village when we saw it, is altogether inadequate.

There is a supply of gravitation water which is brought from Hare Hill, five or six miles away.

The following are the population, names of rows, and accommodation of the rows in the order in which we visited them:-

New Football Row. - The New Football Row contains 26 two-apartment houses with sculleries, in which there is a boiler. There are 176 persons in this row, ninety-seven above working age and seventy-nine children. Coal-houses are provided for each house, with six dry-closets for the row. Some of these closets had a depth of 3 inches of water lying on the floor. Coal-house, closet, and ash-pit are under one roof, the contents of the closet being exposed and within 30 feet of the scullery. The paths, both back and front, are, literally, quagmires. The lower half of this row is often flooded from lack of attention to the drains, and before one front door was a heap of filth, paper, and mud which had been taken from the trap and left lying. The thing must be seen to be believed, and for the privilege of living here one must pay 3s. 6d. a week. This row is built of brick, which would facilitate its being levelled with the ground - the only thing it is fit for.

The measurements are - kitchen 15 feet by 12 feet, rooms 12 feet by 12 feet, back kitchen 8 feet by 8 feet.

Old Low Boig Row and Old Football Row. - The Low Old Boig Row and the Old Football Row form an oblong square. This square contains 19 two-apartment houses and 15 single-apartment houses, each having a scullery. It is built of stone, and about forty years old. The rent for the double house is 2s. 9d. per week, for the single 1s. 10d. Kitchens measure 14 foot by 13 foot, and the rooms are the same size. The scullery is 11 foot by 7 feet, with a sloped roof. Those sculleries, like all in the village, have a boiler for washing purposes. There are no coal-houses here, except such wooden sheds as are put up by the tenants themselves ; and twelve dry-closets, six ash-pits give accommodation to 193 souls, viz, 123 over working age and seventy children. These closets and ash-pits are inside the square. There are small gardens also inside the square. The paths in front of the doors are unpaved, and are, in wet weather, a litter of mud.

Long Row. - The Long Row is built of stone, and contains 12 two-apartment houses and sixteen single, each kitchen measuring 16 1/2 feet by 11 ½ feet, the rooms 12 feet by 9 feet. Each has a scullery. The rents are  - room and kitchen 2s. 6d., single house 1s. 10d. There are 141 persons here, eighty-nine over working age and fifty-two children. The accommodation here is the worst in the village - two dry-closets of three compartments each, with no doors of any kind, and two open ash-pita which, when we saw them, were filled to overflowing. The paths are unpaved and dirty. The houses are about fifty years old.

Store Row. - The Store Row was originally built as 16 two-apartment houses, but is now used as 20 single-apartment houses and six double. As now arranged these houses are back to back. There is a water-closet for every two apartments, a coal-house for every tenant, and a washing-house for every four. There are four ash-pits for the row, which are only 20 feet from the kitchen door, the people in the front having to carry the ashes to the back. The apartments measure 16 1/2 feet by 11 feet. The row is built of brick, the rent 4s. for double and 2s. for single apartment. There are 111 persons here. In one single kitchen we discovered two married couples, besides a girl of eighteen years and three children. In another, four adult Spaniards kept house by themselves. The unpaved pathways were in a horrible condition. The houses are about ten years old.

Railway Terrace. - The Railway Terrace is a better class of house. There are thirty-four houses of one room and kitchen and scullery, with coal-houses and water-closets. The terrace is of brick, just built, and the rent is 4s. a week. There are 209 persons here.

Bankbrae Row, left-hand side - Bankbrae Row, left-hand side, consists of 32 two-apartment houses, with sculleries. The kitchens measure 12 1/2 feet by 11 feet, rooms 12 feet by 11 feet. Sixteen are rented at 3s. 6d. a week and sixteen at 4s. There is a water-closet for every two families, and an ash-pit for every eight. All have coal-houses. This row is new. There are 190 persons here.

Bankbrae, right-hand side, and High Boig Rows. - There are 8 two-apartment houses and 15 single houses here, built of stone. The double house costs 2s. 6d. a week for rent, the single 1s. 10d. Each house has a scullery. Kitchens measure 16 feet by 11 1/2 feet, but the rooms are very much smaller. There are 143 persons here, 86 over working age and 57 children. There are two dry-closets of three compartments each, having no doors, as well as other two which have doors. No coal-houses.

Honeymoon Row. - Honeymoon Row contains forty-three families. It is built of brick in two blocks. It was originally intended for thirty-one families only, but several two-apartment houses have been converted into single-apartment houses. The rent for double houses is 3s. 6d. a week and 2s. for single. The population here is 211, viz. 125 over working age and 86 children. There are three dry-closets of three compartments each, having no doors, and three open ash-pits. Each family has a coal-house. One man in this row who has several daughters was compelled to convert his coal-house into a pail-closet. The sanitary arrangements are disgusting. These houses are about fourteen years old.

Go to Ayrshire Part 5