Public Utilities


(from 1898 Dover Year Book)


During the year 1897, the Dover Town Council has provided a Scavenging Depot in Tower Hamlets Road, and the necessary plant, horses and stables, to do the scavenging without the intervention of a Contractor. At the meeting of Municipal and County Engineers held at Dover in April, Mr. Henry E. Stilgoe, Assoc. M. Inst. C.E., Borough Engineer & Surveyor, described the new system in a paper from which we extract the following :

“The scavenging of the town had, up to that date, April 1897, been carried out under contract. The town was divided into two districts, a separate contract being made for each. The house refuse was collected every day, the pails containing the same being placed on the edge of the pavement or within the forecourts, where such exist, early in the morning, and for the most part removed by 10 o’clock. There were also a few cases where dust-bin accommodation was provided, and these were emptied on request, when a card marked “D” was exposed in the window. The street detritus is swept up by the Corporation workmen and carted away by the contractors. The contractors found deposits for the house and street refuse, such deposits being outside the borough. The contract system being by no means good, the Town Council instructed Mr Stilgoe to submit a report dealing with the subject, with a view to carrying out the work with their own staff. The mode of disposal, and the cost as compared with the existing contract system, were the main items for consideration. The semi -rural character of the town, with its adjoining brickyards and agricultural land, presented such opportunities of cheap and useful disposal, that the Surveyor could not then recommend the erection of a destructor, particularly as the Corporation did not require to combine it with commercial enterprise, such as electric lighting, and plant for which it is necessary to generate steam.The Surveyor made a trial of sending the house and street refuse to sea in one of the Dover Harbour Board’s hopper barges. The barge held a two days’ supply from the whole town, being 106 cubic yards, or about 60 tons, when shot into the tideway one mile seaward of the Admiralty Pier, was taken right away to the eastward, and reliable tests prove that, whatever the state of the wind or tide, the refuse will not come back into the harbour or be washed on to the shore. In carrying out the experiment, there was some difficulty in getting the refuse to leave the barge; on account of its lightness it would not sink through the hopper. This difficulty, however, can be overcome by a more skilful loading, the heavy material being placed in the hopper first.

The Surveyor however did not recommend this system on account of the dock accommodation being limited, and the undesirability of loading house refuse into a barge in the inner harbour, the only available place. The same objection does not attach to street detritus, and he recommended this means of disposing of it.

On making inquiry it was found that the house refuse could be disposed of at the local brickyards outside the borough for some years to come, and this mode was approved. It was recommended that the street detritus be sent to sea, and that a steel hopper barge holding 100 tons, sufficient for 10-days’ storage be purchased for the purpose. Accordingly, a tender for such a barge was accepted at £900…… ”

(Dover Year Book, 1898)


Persons willing to contract for scavingering the streets lanes and public passages in the town and port of Dovor, for one year, to commence on 24th February next in two separate districts; the town district comprising the whole of the streets etc. upwards from the Travelling Wagon Alehouse; and the Pier District, comprising the streets etc. downwards from thence, are desired to send in Tenders in writing, sealed up, to Mr SHIPDEM, Attorney at Law, Dovor (acting clerk for the commissioners under the Paving Act) before Thursday the 12th February next, on which day at 11 o’clock in the forenoon the commissioners will meet in the Guildhall Dovor and be ready to enter into the contracts.

NB The dirt collected in the streets is to be deemed the property of the contractors and full particulars of the contracts may be known by applying to Mr SHIPDEM.
Dover 26 January 1801.

(Kentish Gazette 30 Jan 1801 front page col 2).