62 Tenament Dwellings Greengate Salford
Built for the Salford Industrial Dwellings Company as an experiment in improved dwellings for the working classes. A letter from “A Shareholder,” printed in the Manchester Guardian on 24 February 1900 under the title The Housing of the Working Classes, described the scheme in some detail
As public attention is just now directed to the housing of the working classes and the London County Council, the Manchester Corporation and other public bodies are discussing the best method of dealing with this very difficult problem, it may not be out of place to bring under the notice of your readers a modest attempt which was made a good many years ago by the Salford Industrial Dwellings Company to improve the conditions of life in the densely populated part of Greengate, which after an experience of 30 years, has illustrated how much may be done by cleanliness and attention to sanitary detail. The company was formed in 1870, its chairman being the late Mr Oliver Heywood and its deputy chairman the late Mr Henry-Russell Greg both of whom took a deep interest in the undertaking. The present chairman is Mr E.S. Heywood. The capital of the company consists of 1,168 shares of £10 each, fully paid up, representing £11,680.
The dwellings consist of 62 tenements in two detached blocks, four storeys high, divided by a large courtyard, and fronting to Greengate are two shops, connected by gateways which gain access to the court. The tenements are of various sizes - two, three and four roomed houses - and it is very rarely that any of them are unoccupied. The average number in each dwelling is 4.5. Each of the 62 dwellings is self-contained with its own offices inside the outer door and every dwelling has its own w.c. separated from the house by a small open-air balcony so that no smell can enter the dwelling and although this adds to the cost of the building, the directors regard it as not the least important and valuable feature of their experiment, both from a sanitary and moral point of view. There is a good supply of gas and water to each house.
The blocks are divided at intervals into compartments by stone staircases giving access to the dwellings from the various landings and being open to the outer air at each end, there is constant and through ventilation between the groups of dwellings. These buildings were constructed in a substantial but very plain and unpretentious style on a site surrounded by small cottages of the poorest class, where the death rate is about 40 per 1000 and the object was not so much to pay a dividend as to illustrate the advantages of good sanitary arrangement in a densely populated district. The death rate in the dwellings compares very favourably with that of that of the surrounding neighbourhood, being 18 per 1000, and the property has for many years paid a dividend of 2: per cent. .... Many of the occupants take great pride in their houses and decorate the walls with pictures and simple ornaments and live in a cleanly and well conducted manner, and generally the tenants seem highly to appreciate the advantages they have in renting these dwellings.
Reference Manchester Guardian Monday 11 October 1869 Page 3 (Salford Street Improvements)
Reference Manchester Guardian Thursday 7 October 1869 Page 6 (Salford Council Meeting)
Reference Manchester Guardian 1 March 1871 page 3