A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 9, Hampstead, Paddington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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In 1440 Westminster abbey allowed the City of London to draw water from a close in Bayswater called Oxleas, which probably was bounded on the west by Bayswater brook. (fn. 1) In 1471 works were completed whereby the water, from springs rather than from the brook, was channelled east-south-east past Tyburn gallows to supplement an earlier supply from Marylebone. The whole Paddington conduit system was sold by the City to the bishop of London and his lessees under an Act of 1812. (fn. 2) A conduit house known as the Roundhead, probably 15th-century but later repaired, survived in 1835 and perhaps in 1844.
A regular water supply for Paddington itself (fn. 3) was first authorized in 1798, when the Grand Junction Canal Co. was to provide drinking water from its abundant canal water. (fn. 4) Nothing was done until after the West Middlesex Water Co., established in 1806, had been empowered to extend its supply to Paddington in 1810. (fn. 5) The Grand Junction Waterworks Co. was thereupon set up by an Act of 1811, under which tenants of the Paddington Estate were to pay 10 per cent less than the company's consumers elsewhere. A pumping station was built between the new Grand Junction Street (later Sussex Gardens) and Conduit Street, its position and the height of its furnace chimney being laid down in the Act. (fn. 6) Canal water having proved impure, the company bought a site at Chelsea in 1820 and pumped Thames water to three reservoirs in Paddington. (fn. 7) After sediment had settled in the Northern reservoir, water passed to the Southern, whence a low-level service supply was drawn, and finally to the Engine reservoir, for a more expensive high-level service. Both the Paddington and Chelsea works were closed after the company moved its intake point to Kew under an Act of 1835. Between 1842 and 1851 (fn. 8) the Northern, Southern, and Engine reservoirs made way for the first block of St. Mary's hospital and for Norfolk Square and Talbot Square respectively. Meanwhile the West Middlesex Waterworks Co. continued its supply, despite having been attacked in 1819 for overcharging, (fn. 9) and from 1855 both companies supplied adequately filtered water from near Hampton. (fn. 10) In 1888 part of Bayswater and houses by Edgware Road near Paddington green were served by the West Middlesex, leaving Tyburnia and most of the parish to the Grand Junction Canal Co. (fn. 11) Under the Metropolis Water Act, 1902, both companies were superseded by the Metropolitan Water Board, on which the borough councils were represented. In 1859 the Metropolitan Free Drinking Fountains Association was paid to provide five public fountains. (fn. 12)
Sewerage probably first became a problem with the construction of the canal basin and nearby buildings. The shooting of night soil on the wharves had greatly increased in 1808, when prosecutions were ordered, and again in 1817, when the vestry resisted a demand for a rate by the commissioners of sewers for Westminster. The demand was said to be unprecedented and not justified by any services, (fn. 13) presumably because the commissioners were concerned with drainage of surface water rather than sewerage. In 1825 they fined the parish's highway surveyor for filling in a pond near the church. (fn. 14)
Meanwhile the Westbourne had also become known as the Ranelagh sewer; part of the stream had been straightened north of the Uxbridge road (fn. 15) and a branch had been built across Hyde Park in 1810 to drain the Paddington Estate. (fn. 16) The Grand Junction Canal Co. was paid by the parish in 1826 for constructing an outfall under its canal and was also asked to build a sewer in Harrow Road. In view of Paddington's rapid growth, eight names were put forward in 1834 for inclusion on the Westminster commission, on which there had previously been only three representatives. (fn. 17) Under an Act of 1834 soil drainage from new houses into the Westbourne was to be diverted from the Serpentine by a new sewer along the Uxbridge road, which would connect near the end of Albion Street with a sewer representing the small stream once sometimes called Tyburn brook. (fn. 18) A stretch of the Westbourne south-west from Kilburn bridge, part of the main Ranelagh sewer, was straightened by the commissioners c. 1840. (fn. 19)
The Metropolitan Commissioners of Sewers replaced the commissions for Westminster and six other areas in 1847 and themselves made way for the Metropolitan Board of Works under the Metropolis Management Act, 1855. The vestry thereupon became responsible for enforcing house drainage, abating nuisances, and building local sewers with the approval of the M.B.W., which, after the Metropolis Local Management Amendment Act, 1858, was free to concentrate on the main 'intercepting' sewers which were to convey sewage outside the London area. (fn. 20) Paddington's new medical officer of health found that the sewers were unsatisfactory, having been made piecemeal: (fn. 21) among the worst nuisances were cesspools to cottages in Elms Lane, Bayswater, the subject of repeated complaints. (fn. 22) After 2,201 house inspections in 1856, the vestry advertised for builders and executed over 1,600 works through its sewerage department, suggesting that two out of every three houses had been sanitarily defective. (fn. 23) Although the canal basin, the slaughter houses, and other nuisances remained, the sewers were reported satisfactory in 1858. (fn. 24) Problems increased again, with a rising population: the inspector of nuisances appointed in 1856 was given an assistant in 1866 and nearly 1,000 sanitary orders a year were issued in 1870. Meanwhile the Ranelagh sewer was covered in by the M.B.W., (fn. 25) whose middle-level 'intercepting' sewer, running eastward along Bayswater Road with a storm relief sewer branching south through Hyde Park, was built between 1861 and 1864. The L.C.C., succeeding the M.B.W. in 1889, built a second middle-level sewer across the north part of the parish and Marylebone between 1906 and 1911. (fn. 26)
Medical expenses met by the churchwardens included payments for nursing from 1722, to a midwife from 1728, and for an apothecary from 1731. (fn. 27) A salaried apothecary was chosen in 1794 and a successor, who was allowed extra expenses, in 1799, another being dismissed in 1807. A higher salary, to cover midwifery and medicines, was granted in 1810 and was doubled in 1816. (fn. 28) In 1824 the parish surgeon and apothecary was considered an officer of the select vestry's guardian board, which appointed a midwife at a fixed rate for cases outside the workhouse. (fn. 29)
Subscriptions to a hospital were urged in 1816, shortly after the equipping of a house for the sick poor, and to a lunatic asylum in 1817. (fn. 30) Concerned at drownings in the canal, the vestry sought resuscitatory apparatus from the Royal Humane Society in 1814 and paid an annual subscription in 1824. (fn. 31) Use of the Royal Sea-Bathing infirmary at Margate was discussed in 1825. (fn. 32) Lunatics were boarded at private asylums outside the parish at least from 1826 and at the county asylum at Hanwell after its opening in 1831. (fn. 33) Paddington's Act of 1824 permitted patients to be sent up to 10 miles away and a parochial infirmary to be provided. (fn. 34) Annual payments were made to the smallpox, St. George's, and Middlesex hospitals in 1826, and also to the London fever hospital in 1827 and Queen Charlotte's lying-in hospital in 1828. (fn. 35)
Two non-parochial institutions had existed for a time in Bayswater. The first was the pest house which had been transferred from Westminster to 9 a. in Westbourne common fields by 1746. The land was leased for building on the death of William, earl of Craven, in 1825, Paddington vestry learning that it might be recovered only if there should be an outbreak of plague rather than of cholera, (fn. 36) and the ground rents were assigned in 1864 to two London hospitals. (fn. 37) The second was the kingdom's earliest lying-in hospital, which after several moves had been accommodated in 1773 in St. George's Row (fn. 38) and had moved again in 1791 a little to the west. The singer Mrs. Kennedy, whose husband was one of the physicians, died there in 1793. Known from 1791 as Bayswater, the Queen's, or Queen Charlotte's lyingin (later maternity) hospital, it had moved to Marylebone Road in 1813. (fn. 39) At Paddington green, the Royal Naval asylum occupied a rented house for at least 4 years before its removal to Greenwich in 1807. (fn. 40)
The London Lock hospital, (fn. 41) founded in 1746 for treatment of venereal disease, moved in 1842 from Grosvenor Place, Westminster, to Harrow Road. The site, 4 a. at the north-west end of the canal bridge near Westbourne Manor House, was bought from the G.W.R. Co. An asylum, which had been attached to the hospital since 1787, also moved to the new building, for which additional wings were opened in 1849 and 1867. (fn. 42) Although it served a wide area, the Lock gave rise to several parish societies (fn. 43) and at first derived pew rents from its chapel, which by 1890 was virtually a district church. (fn. 44) From the 1860s a government subsidy was received in return for the treatment of naval and military patients. A branch for men and for out-patients was opened in Dean Street, Soho, in 1862. (fn. 45) At Paddington there were 140 beds for women and 40 places in the asylum in 1890, when the two departments together constituted the only such specialist hospital in London, (fn. 46) supported by gifts and payments for paupers sent there from many workhouses. From 1893 the asylum was called a rescue home. The number of beds was reduced from 1932 (fn. 47) but both hospital and home survived in 1935 at no. 283 Harrow Road. In 1938 a new maternity centre was opened at no. 283A. (fn. 48) On the establishment of the N.H.S. in 1948, the premises served as an out-patients' department of Paddington hospital until 1952. (fn. 49)
The first buildings of the Lock hospital in Harrow Road were designed by Lewis Vulliamy, who intended others to be put up when funds should permit. The east wing of 1867 was designed by his pupil F. W. Porter, who also heightened the main block, and a nurses' home by Porter's son Horatio was added to the east wing c. 1909. Of extensive additions planned by A. Saxon Snell in 1918, only an out-patients' department was built. The chapel and Vulliamy's west wing were demolished soon after closure in 1952 but other buildings were used as offices or for record storage by the St. Charles group of hospitals until 1968, after which they stood empty. (fn. 50)
A house beside a canal wharf was used as a cholera hospital by a temporary board of health in 1832 but was soon returned to the Grand Junction Canal Co. (fn. 51) In 1844 a Marylebone coroner expressed surprise that so rich a parish as Paddington should have no infirmary of its own. (fn. 52) Beds for the sick poor were soon provided in the new workhouse, (fn. 53) for which a medical officer was appointed; the guardians also created two districts in 1845, although the medical officer for the western district was also the one who attended the workhouse until 1864. (fn. 54) The workhouse had fever and smallpox wards and could hold 131 patients, including 12 children and 10 lying-in women, in 1867, shortly before it was extended as a forerunner of Paddington infirmary. (fn. 55)
A free dispensary for women and children in 1853 was presumably Paddington provident dispensary, to which families contributed 1d. or 1½d. a week in 1851. Founded in 1838, (fn. 56) it remained at no. 104 Star Street until 1919. (fn. 57) Westbourne provident dispensary, founded in 1855, was in Bishop's Road by 1857, Westbourne Park Crescent by 1888, and at no. 244 Harrow Road until 1919. Kilburn general dispensary, founded in 1862 and also serving Maida Vale and St. John's Wood, was still at no. 13 Kilburn Park Road in the 1930s. (fn. 58) Paddington dispensary for the prevention of consumption was opened at no. 20 Talbot Road in 1909 and survived, with help from private donors, until 1941. (fn. 59)
A carriage for smallpox patients was provided by the guardians; it was discarded after the vestry, as sanitary authority, in 1863 had bought a new one, which was maintained by a contractor. (fn. 60) Lunatics were lodged at first both in private asylums and at Hanwell by the guardians, who obtained further accommodation by contributing to St. Mary's hospital, besides the Lock and later the Royal SeaBathing infirmary and other specialized institutions. (fn. 61)
St. Mary's (fn. 62) was founded in 1845 as a general hospital, taking all except infectious cases, for the growing suburbs of north-west London. A building designed for 150 patients was opened, with 50, in 1851 between Praed Street and South Wharf Road, on part of the site of the Northern reservoir. (fn. 63) The governors were the subscribers of 3 gns. a year or donors of £30 and, with other contributors, were entitled to recommend people for treatment. Admission was practically free by 1890, when there was criticism of continued government by an open board. Further wings had been built, producing a total of 281 beds, and St. Mary's was then more advanced than the older metropolitan hospitals in that it accepted medical staff without degrees of the colleges of Physicians and Surgeons of London. (fn. 64) Still dependent mainly on subscriptions, it had in 1888 bought the reversion to a row of shops which separated the main building from Praed Street, the freehold of which site was soon given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The construction there of the Clarence wing was followed in the 1920s by the conversion of nurses' dormitories into wards and the acquisition of land to the east for further building. There were 384 beds, all free, in 1935 and 475, including 66 private and mainly for acute cases, in 1949. The hospital was made directly responsible to the Ministry of Health on the establishment of the N.H.S. in 1948, when it was linked with five specialist hospitals near by. (fn. 65) St. Mary's, Praed Street, had 450 beds, of which 54 were private, in 1986, when it was administered by Paddington and North Kensington health authority. (fn. 66)
Teaching was from the first contemplated at St. Mary's, whose foundation was supported not only by local subscribers but by Samuel Lane, a surgeon with his own school of anatomy next to St. George's hospital. A school for 300 was completed behind St. Mary's and fronting South Wharf Road in 1854, when Lane joined the staff, and in 1890 some houses had recently been bought to establish a residential college. It was one of nine medical schools included in the university of London under the Gresham report of 1894 and consequently was later financed by grants made through the university. Affiliation with specialist hospitals, together with access to 200 beds at Paddington general hospital, had placed c. 1,000 beds at the school's disposal by 1965. St. Mary's is also distinguished for its inoculation department, in particular for the therapeutic work of Sir Almroth Wright, (fn. 67) who installed laboratories in the Clarence wing in 1907 and research wards in 1909, and of Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin there in 1928. (fn. 68)
The buildings of St. Mary's (fn. 69) include the original block, with its main entrance to the north-east in Norfolk (formerly Cambridge) Place. Designed for no fee by Thomas Hopper (1776-1856), who lived in Bayswater, (fn. 70) it is four-storeyed and of red brick with painted stone dressings, in a vaguely classical style. The south-west side is hidden from Praed Street by the florid Clarence wing of red brick and stone, begun in 1892 to the designs of William Emerson and finished in 1904. To the north-east are the combined medical school and pathological institute (later the Wright-Fleming institute of microbiology) of 1933 (fn. 71) and, beyond, the nurses' home, of which the first part was opened in 1936. (fn. 72) Both are restrained neo-Georgian buildings by Sir Edwin Cooper, as is a private patients' wing north-west of the old block and opened in 1937; called after its donor F. C. Lindo, it was the birthplace of Prince William of Wales in 1982. (fn. 73) To the south-west in Praed Street is the Winston Churchill wing, in a contemporary style and opened in 1959, (fn. 74) with the yellow-brick 19th-century Mint wing behind. In the 1970s there were students' hostels at no. 32 Southwick Street and no. 54 Sussex Gardens. In 1985 the hospital planned another building, east of the block already under construction in South Wharf Road. (fn. 75)
Paddington infirmary, (fn. 76) later hospital, was built under the Metropolitan Poor Act, 1867. The name originally applied to the sick wards of the workhouse, which were extended in 1868, when a parochial dispensary and relief offices were also built, and again in 1874. (fn. 77) A new infirmary, a long north-south building between the workhouse and the Lock hospital, was opened in 1886. (fn. 78) Pavilions for men and for women held a total of 284 beds in 1890, when the medical superintendent was also responsible for 295 sick beds, including lying-in beds, in the workhouse. A course of lectures there allowed it to be claimed that Paddington's was the only metropolitan infirmary where clinical instruction, normally restricted to general hospitals, had recently been attempted. The infirmary's staff were better qualified than the medical staff of the workhouse, where the union guardians insisted on keeping overall control. The infirmary was transferred to the L.C.C. under the Local Government Act, 1929, (fn. 79) and, as Paddington hospital, had 603 beds at no. 285 Harrow Road in 1935. It was called Paddington General hospital from 1954 until 1968, when it became the Harrow Road branch of St. Mary's. There were 431 beds, mainly for acute cases, in 1981 and 166 in 1985. The branch was due to close in 1986. (fn. 80)
Paddington Green children's hospital (fn. 81) was established in 1883 as the successor to a dispensary which had been opened in 1862 in Bell Street, Marylebone. The hospital occupied two new houses at the northeast corner of Paddington green, to which an iron waiting room and an out-patients' department were added, until it was rebuilt on the same site in 1894- 5. (fn. 82) It was financed by gifts, which included £5,000 bequeathed in 1907 by Samuel Lewis, and in 1911 opened a new out-patients' department, which was extended in 1934. (fn. 83) There were 27 beds in 1892, 46 in 1920, 51 in 1935, and 16 in 1985. (fn. 84) From 1948 it was affiliated to St. Mary's. A convalescent home for the children's hospital was opened at Lightwater (Surr.) in 1931. (fn. 85)
St. Luke's hospital for advanced cases was opened in Osnaburgh Street, St. Pancras, in 1893 as a branch of the West London Mission. It moved to Hampstead in 1901, to Pembridge Square, North Kensington, in 1903, and to a new building with 48 beds in Hereford Road in 1923. Affiliated to St. Mary's in 1948, it had 42 beds for pre-convalescence and terminal care in 1981. (fn. 86) After being renamed Hereford Lodge, its functions were divided between St. Charles hospital, North Kensington, and Paddington Community hospital. (fn. 87)
Three other specialist hospitals were affiliated to St. Mary's in 1948: the Samaritan hospital for women and the Western Ophthalmic hospital, both in Marylebone Road, and Princess Louise's children's hospital, Kensington.
Chepstow Lodge, four converted houses in Chepstow Road, backing on St. Luke's hospital, was opened as a pre-convalescent annexe of St. Mary's by 1965 and had 47 beds in 1981 and 24 in 1985. (fn. 88) Joyce Grove in Nettlebed (Oxon.) was given to the hospital in 1938 and converted into a convalescent home in 1955. Chepstow Lodge had been superseded by Paddington Community hospital in 1986. (fn. 89)
Paddington Community hospital took over part of St. Marys' former premises in Harrow Road. It contained Chepstow unit, the first to open, in 1982, attended by general practitioners and with 24 beds, and Pembridge unit, for continuing care, with 22 beds. Maternity and mental health clinics had also been brought to Harrow Road by 1986, when other parts of the site were to be sold. (fn. 90)
Warrington Lodge was opened as a private hospital in a former girls' school, originally two houses, in 1886 by Dr. Heywood Smith. The event was hailed as marking the rehabilitation of Smith, a gynaecologist of Harley Street, who had been censured for his examination of a girl who had figured in a widely publicized abduction case. Warrington Lodge was equipped with an operating theatre and was intended for 36 women, both free and feepaying. As a nursing home it remained open until the 1920s, later becoming a hotel. (fn. 91)
A stocks was repaired by the vestry in 1724 and there was a salaried beadle by 1774. (fn. 92) In 1778, after several bodies had been stolen, St. George's, Hanover Square, appointed a man to watch the chapel and St. George's Row. (fn. 93) In 1808 the constable was rewarded for detecting a servant shooting night soil and in 1815 the beadle was ordered to keep the green and streets peaceable, in particular from boys playing cricket. (fn. 94) A reward had been offered in 1801 to curb vandalism in the churchyard and the magistrates had been asked in 1803 to take steps against burglars. (fn. 95) Watchmen were employed by 1815, when four of them were proposed as special constables and when a patrol was instituted from Edgware Road along Harrow Road to the west side of Paddington green. (fn. 96) Under the local Act of 1824 the select vestry could appoint up to 52 parishioners as constables for a year, acquire a watchhouse, and police the parish. (fn. 97) The new watching and lighting committee (board from 1825) thereupon ordered the building of a watch house in Hermitage Street and of 26 watch boxes, employing 31 watchmen, with supernumeraries, for both early and late watches. (fn. 98) After Marylebone watchmen had been accused for frequenting Paddington alehouses, it was agreed that residents might report them and that Paddington's patrols might arrest vagrants on either side of Edgware Road. (fn. 99) In 1828 policing was by 59 officers: the watch house keeper and his assistant, 4 night sergeants, 2 day sergeants, 36 watchmen, the beadle, his assistant, a combined assistant and messenger, and 12 constables. (fn. 100)
Paddington was part of the Metropolitan Police Area from 1829. The watch was disbanded and the watch boxes were removed in 1830, (fn. 101) although constables continued to assist prosecutions by the vestry. (fn. 102) Complaints that the new force was expensive and undermanned began in 1831 and persisted for many years. (fn. 103) The police station continued in Hermitage Street south of the almshouses (fn. 104) until 1864, when a new one was built on the north side of Dudley Grove, later no. 62 Harrow Road. (fn. 105) Called Paddington Green police station, it survived as part of Paddington and, by 1942, Marylebone divisions and formed a setting for the film 'The Blue Lamp'. The building contained married quarters, converted to single rooms in 1887, and was extended on the acquisition of houses in St. Mary's Square in 1902. It was demolished as part of the road improvements for Westway after the opening of a station at the north corner of Harrow and Edgware roads in 1971. The new station formed part of London's largest group of police buildings, which included a selection centre in a tower block in Harrow Road, a divisional headquarters, and a residential fourteen-storeyed block above a three-storeyed podium in Edgware Road. (fn. 106) By 1872 there was also a police station at the corner of Fermoy Road and Carlton Terrace (later a stretch of Great Western Road), between Harrow Road and the canal. The station remained in the Kilburn division after its move c. 1913 to a new building at no. 325 Harrow Road, at the corner of Woodfield Road, where it survived in 1986. (fn. 107) Britain's first combined neighbourhood law centre and citizens' advice bureau, financed mainly by Westminster council, was opened at no. 465 Harrow Road in 1973 and reopened at nos. 439-41 in 1977. (fn. 108)
The parish had a fire engine in 1776 and hosepipes in 1806. An engine keeper was to test the equipment regularly in 1808 and the Chelsea Waterworks Co. was asked to provide six fire plugs in 1809. There was an engine house near the pond at Paddington green in 1818. (fn. 109) The select vestry's watching and lighting subcommittee in 1825 installed the engine in its new watch house, whose keeper was also the engine keeper (fn. 110) and who continued in the second post after the watch had been superseded. (fn. 111) In 1838 the engine keeper was reprimanded for having lent the hose for a fire outside the parish. The spread of housing had made better equipment necessary by 1843, when it was suggested that a new engine be bought for Hermitage Street and the old one be moved to Bayswater to replace another already there. A driver to transport the engines was to be retained by contract in 1855 and a trained fireman to have charge of the larger engine in 1860. (fn. 112) Two men attended three engines in 1863. (fn. 113) Under the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Act, 1865, fire fighting was the responsibility of the M.B.W., (fn. 114) whose brigade later passed to the L.C.C. The station in Bayswater apparently had closed by 1872, (fn. 115) leaving only the one in Hermitage Street until a station was opened in 1900 at no. 494 Edgware Road, on the Marylebone side, where a site had been bought by 1890. A substation remained at Hermitage Street until the opening of another in Pickering Place (later no. 210 Queen's Road), Bayswater, in 1904. (fn. 116) The Bayswater sub-station was closed in 1935, leaving the Edgware Road station to serve Paddington until its closure on the opening of one in Harrow Road in 1969. (fn. 117) The new station initially had a staff of 69, whose work was described in Red Watch, published after a hotel fire in 1974. (fn. 118)
Lamp lighting was paid for in 1773 and 1793 and regularly from 1800, the lamps numbering 17 by 1801. (fn. 119) Street lamps, presumably still oil lamps, were to be lit by contract in 1816 and by the surveyors in 1819, when the total number might be increased to 50. Three of the lamps were to be in Harrow Road, whose turnpike trustees had declined to light or watch it in 1816. (fn. 120) The Imperial Gas Light & Coke Co. asked permission to lay pipes in 1823 and it was decided to light the parish with gas in 1824, after the Marylebone turnpike trustees had agreed to light part of Edgware Road. (fn. 121) Lighting became the responsibility of the highway board's watching and lighting sub-committee, which extended lighting in Edgware Road north of Maida Hill and had been provided with 120 lamps by the Imperial Gas Light & Coke Co. by 1825, when 10 more were ordered and a seven-year contract was agreed. (fn. 122) The parish was to have lighting for the whole year, instead of nine months, in 1832. (fn. 123) In 1838 Marylebone was asked to light its side of the northern part of Edgware Road, Paddington having lit the south-west side as far as Kilburn bridge. The metropolis roads commissioners ceased to light their turnpike roads in 1841, whereupon Paddington, on legal advice, reluctantly paid for lighting the Uxbridge road. (fn. 124) Despite arguments over the terms, (fn. 125) the parish continued to be supplied by the Imperial Gas Light & Coke Co., which was taken over in 1876 by the Gas Light & Coke Co., itself nationalized in 1949. (fn. 126)
Under a local Act of 1890 electricity mains were to be laid within two years in the principal streets by the Metropolitan Electric Supply Co. (fn. 127) By 1892 the company's works was at St. Peter's wharf, Amberley Road, where in 1985 the London Electricity Board had a depot. (fn. 128)
Dust and ashes were collected by contractors, who were appointed annually, from 1824. Rates for watering certain roads were ordered in 1836 (fn. 129) and the Grand Junction Canal Co.'s offer to water all streets was accepted in 1845. There were separate contracts for watering, cleansing, and dust collection in 1856 and 1865. (fn. 130) Refuse was collected in 1888 by the vestry, without the aid of contractors. (fn. 131) A parish wharf had long been leased from the canal company, on the north side of the basin, and Paddington council's scavenging (later cleansing) department remained there until succeeded by Westminster in 1965. (fn. 132)
Public baths and washhouses (fn. 133) in Queen's Road were opened by the vestry in 1874. They stood north of Porchester Gardens and came to be overlooked on either side by the premises of William Whiteley, whose building plans were strongly opposed and to whose firm the site was sold in 1910. (fn. 134) The construction of new baths at the north end of Queen's Road (formerly Pickering Place) was delayed by the First World War and started only in 1923. Two swimming baths and a laundry were opened there in 1925, followed by Turkish and Russian baths beneath the neighbouring Porchester hall in 1929. By 1977 Paddington's were the only surviving Turkish baths in London. (fn. 135) Baths and a laundry to serve Queen's Park had been built in 1898, where the boundary with Kensington ran slightly south of the canal along Wedlake Street to Kensal Road, and were closed in 1980. (fn. 136) Work began in 1982 on a swimming pool west of the council's new Jubilee sports hall in Caird Street. (fn. 137) Baths were also planned for Clarendon Street and Hall Park in 1912 but apparently not built. A disused laundry at the workhouse was temporarily reopened in 1920.
A public library (fn. 138) at the corner of Harrow Road and Fourth Avenue was opened in 1890, after Chelsea had adopted the Public Libraries Act, and was transferred to Paddington with Queen's Park in 1900. Its use was restricted to Queen's Park ward since Paddington's ratepayers, said to be well served by reading rooms or circulating libraries, (fn. 139) had rejected proposals to adopt the Public Libraries Act in 1887 and 1891. Some residents had nonetheless financed the opening in 1888 of 'Paddington free public library', whose stock of books at no. 7 Bishop's Road was offered in vain to the borough council in 1901. The council in 1903 also rejected a grant from Andrew Carnegie, which was conditional upon levying a full library rate, and it was only in 1920 that the Public Libraries Acts were adopted. A small lending library opened at no. 4 Hatherley Grove in 1924 and was superseded in 1930 by Paddington's main public library on the north side of Porchester hall. A temporary reading room for the main library was opened in Westbourne Gardens in 1938 and a lease of Clifford memorial hall was acquired in 1962. Maida Vale branch library, in the former Methodist church in Sutherland Avenue, opened in 1948. Paddington, Maida Vale, and Queen's Park libraries survived in 1985.
St. Mary's churchyard having been closed, (fn. 140) the burial board in 1855 opened a 25-a. cemetery in Willesden, two-thirds of the ground being reserved for Anglicans and with both Anglican and nonconformist chapels. A second Paddington cemetery, of 26 a., was acquired at Milespit Hill, Hendon, in 1931 and opened in 1938. (fn. 141) There was a dead house near the main entrance to St. Mary's churchyard in 1861. Its state and location were criticized by a coroner in 1865 (fn. 142) and it was to be altered in 1884. (fn. 143) A new coroner's court, with a mortuary, had been built in St. Mary's Square by 1921. (fn. 144)
While Paddington had easy access to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, which the houses in Bayswater Road faced, the spread of 19th-century building left comparatively little open space within the area of the parish. Paddington green, long preserved as an amenity, (fn. 145) was finally opened to the public in 1864, when it covered 1½ a. east of the churchyard. The northern part of the churchyard, formerly the manor house grounds, was opened by the vestry as a 3¼-a. public garden, known as the old burial ground, in 1885. The southern part, 1 a., was opened as St. Mary's churchyard in 1892. (fn. 146) By far the largest open space was the 26-a. Paddington recreation ground (fn. 147) between Elgin Avenue and Carlton Vale, where R. Melvill Beachcroft, treasurer of Paddington cricket club, tried to buy land in 1882. After delays arising from disagreement between the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and the trustees of the Paddington Estate, Beachcroft took a lease of 9 a. and organized a festival for the queen's jubilee; eventually, aided by a royal visit and a matching grant from the vestry, money was raised to permit the purchase of a larger area under an Act of 1893. At least 4 a. were reserved for general use, the leasing out of the rest for sports being vested in a committee of 15 members, of whom 9 represented Paddington and the others Marylebone, Hampstead, and Willesden. (fn. 148) A contribution from the L.C.C. was later authorized (fn. 149) and facilities were provided for many sports, including running and cycling tracks. Paddington metropolitan borough thus contained 100 a. of public open space: 67 a. were maintained by the government as part of Kensington Gardens and 33 a., consisting of the recreation ground, Paddington green, the old burial ground, and the churchyard, were maintained by the council. (fn. 150) Much of the rest of the 132 a. which the borough was said to contain in 1921 consisted of residential squares.