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THE SOUTH PETHERTON PIG NUISANCE

The Yeovil Rural District Council at its meeting in June 1908, received a letter from Admiral Baker complaining of the nuisance from the stench of pigs kept by some of his neighbours. The Admiral wrote that although Mr Fish, the Inspector of Nuisances, had agreed on several occasions that his complaint was not exaggerated, the official appeared unwilling or unable to get the nuisance abated. This lack of action had caused the Admiral to write to the Council and with the onset of the hot weather, he was concerned at the possibility of an epidemic illness. He went on to write that the Council appeared to have done nothing to deal with the problem and if the Inspector was unable to cope with the nuisance then the matter should be referred to the Council’s Medical Officer of Health.
     Replying to a question from Colonel H.E. Harbin, the Chairman of the Council, Mr Fish confirmed that there was an occasional smell when the wind was in a certain direction, but it was a matter of opinion whether this amounted to a nuisance.
     Colonel Blake opined that this might be a nuisance at one time and not at another. However he thought the Medical Officer of Health should visit the area and see whether it was a permanent danger to the health of the residents.
     The Reverend Armstrong suggested that the Inspector of Nuisances was showing a greater laxity to the nearness of pig styes to dwelling houses than his predecessor had.
     Mr J.G. Vaux observed that there had been no complaints before Admiral Baker came to live here and this opened up a wide question as the pig styes had been there for generations and they were from 100 to 200 yards away from the Admiral’s house.
     The Council referred the complaint to the Medical Officer of Health and the Works Committee were instructed to visit South Petherton and report back.
     It seems that the problem was cleared up to everyone’s satisfaction because a few months later the Admiral wrote thanking the Council for the action they had taken to abate the nuisance.


Jack Sweet
April 2017

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