Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Tales of the month

Monthly tales from the city's archives.

Oct 25, 2011

Statutory repair orders are not a new phenomenon. The City has long taken an interest in ensuring that proprietors keep their properties in a safe condition.

On 30 October 1806 the Dean of Guild, William Coulter, addressed the citizens of Edinburgh through a letter in the Caledonian Mercury.

‘To the Public. From the numerous accidents which happened during the storm on Saturday, by the blowing down of smoke cans, slates, and projecting ticket boards – the Dean of Guild finds it necessary to caution the proprietors of houses to have a survey made of their chimney tops and roofs, in order that smoke cans and slates may be repaired without delay.

The Tron-men (chimney sweeps) are particularly called upon to give notice of whatever may appear dangers on the roofs . . . persons neglecting to comply with this notice will not only be fined, but subjected in whatever expense may be incurred by enforcing compliance.’

The issue of shop and business signs, which is still a matter of discussion today, was also addressed.

‘A notice was published in September last relative to the projecting sign and ticket boards being limited to within 12 inches of the wall . . . unless this notice is attended to between now and the first of the month, they will have themselves to blame for the consequences.’

EWH are grateful for permission to use this extract from “The Edinburgh Book of Days” by Michael T.R.B. Turnbull, published by The History Press.
http://bit.ly/nxNKIh  (www.thehistorypress.co.uk)

Other tales from Edinburgh’s archives will appear in November.

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