Mr Middlemiss’s letter

Mr Middlemiss’s letter
  • Title: Mr Middlemiss’s letter

  • Date : 22 November 1879

  • Catalogue number : Tyne and Wear Archives CB.SU/51/5 p.371

  • Description :

    There was a potential downside to paving the streets.  If the sewerage and draining was not adequate, flooding could occur in periods of heavy rain.  Our group found a lengthy complaint to the Health Committee from a Mr Middlemiss of Fawcett Street.  Middlemiss seems to have been a builder, engaged in building houses on land at Briery Lane.  He writes that, due to the recent paving of Azalea Terrace, his building land has been regularly flooded.  He has had to put a temporary drain in himself, but asks that the Corporation improve the drainage in order that he can continue with the building of his houses. 

    To find out more, please click ‘Transcript’ above.

  • Transcript:

    19 Fawcett Street, Sunderland
    Dear Sir,
    I spoke to you some time since about laying down a Sewer at the North End of Briery Vale Road which will also form the back of Avenue North on Westside.
    The flooding during heavy rains has become intolerable, since the Azalea Terrace has been paved, the whole of the water in that Street and others into it comes down the West channel, and as there is no gulley grate, which has been neglected to be fixed, the water comes on the Briery Road Building land and completely covers it.  If I had not fixed a temporary grate at the lowest level and laid a temporary drain from front to back Street into your Sever the whole of the low land must now be flooded and those houses now occupied made very uncomfortable to approach.  If a short Sewer was laid in from the Cross Briery Road up to Azalea Terrace boundary and joined to the Sewer there, about 80 yards in length it would completely clear the valley of water and enable me to remove the temporary drain laid through the covered gateway to back Street at the house now building by Mr Pattison which will be removed at any time when requested by you or the Board of Health. 
    It will also enable me to proceed with the block of houses in continuation of Avenue West to Azalea Terrace, the Cellars could then be drained in accordance with the requirements of the Act of Parliament and your Byelaws before commencing to build. You will therefore accept this notice to lay in the Sewer at once as it is urgently required.   I will pay my due proportion of it.