To the Editor of the North London Guardian.
SIR, The acquisition of this fine open space, in perpetuity as another lung for North London, is a matter for congratulation, and most cordial thanks are due to the public spirited gentlemen who have secured this invaluable boon to the locality. The County Council is now the paramount authority in all matters relating to the sanitary welfare of the district.
That body might signalise the earliest exercise of their functions in this direction and very greatly enhance the benefits of this new Park in two ways, viz :—by the construction of swimming baths and the establishment of a Free Public Library, thereby affording the residents and others the means of enjoying a healthful and invigorating exercise, as also promoting the intellectual and moral improvement of the inhabitants. For both of these objects the Park offers existent facilities.
First as to Baths.—The enjoyment of the health-giving and life-saving exercise of swimming is, at present, virtually denied to the youthful population of this district, except in the river Lea. Apart from its being too distant, and notwithstanding all the efforts made by the learned member for Hackney, Sir Charles Russell, Q.C., that stream is still polluted by Tottenham Sewage water, and is little better than an open sewer. In tact it might be called the “running sore” of the localities through which it flows, dangerous to health and even life, from its foulness and treacherous bed. Having regard to the ease with which properly constructed baths could be constantly supplied with pure water from the New River flowing through the Park, they would not require any very great outlay beyond the cost of construction. A better site for Baths could not be desired.
Now as to the Library.—The large and noble Mansion could not be devoted to a better use than a Library. The present building at a comparatively small outlay in internal alterations by throwing the smaller rooms into one or more halls. could be admirably adapted to a Library and reading rooms. The Mansion, deserted though it has been, was always an ornament to the locality, and it would be an act of vandalism to demolish it.
The cost of carrying out these suggestions if spread over a series of years, so as to equalise the burden between the present and future participants in these advantages, would be met by a very small rate, which might be reduced by a small charge for use of the Baths and Library.
It is to be hoped that the County Council will give both these Projects early consideration, and that no narrow minded cheese-paring economists will prevent the utilization of existing facilities for conferring upon North London, health giving, moral and intellectual enjoyment.