State of Douglas in 1836



There seems to be a strong predilection with many persons to consider the good town of. Douglas as one of the most desirable places of public resort in the British dominions. Now, however slight the pretensions for such an opinion, it is nevertheless commendable as evincing a certain degree of patriotism, — a commodity not of every-day occurrence in our Island. It would be well, indeed, were this feeling of partiality a little more diffused amongst our citizens, and extend itself to those whose duty it is to render the. town, as far as practicable, deserving of the character which its friends would fondly bestow upon it: Those inhabitants of Douglas who have seen the English watering-places, and witnessed the extreme neatness and good order in which they are kept, with the judicious regulations adopted for their government, must feel considerable regret when beholding the humiliating contrast daily presented to their view at home. It can scarcely be supposed that the presence of visiters is an object of greater importance in England than with us, yet certain it is that infinitely more pains is bestowed by persons possessing power in that country, than by our officials, to enhance the attractions of whatever town temporary sojourners may choose for their residence. Well-regulated markets, clear and passable streets, unobstructed thoroughfares, and an efficient police, distinguish places of fashionable visitation in Great Britain ; while it all these essential properties, and many more that could be named, we are notoriously deficient. Yearly, as the visiting; season draws near, the only indications by which its approach can be known, are the preparations making at the inns and lodging houses, which in general are fitted up with every regard to the comfort and convenience of their customers. But the owners of these establishments, in their endeavours to support the respectability of the town, while benefiting themselves, are miserably supported lay those who have the management of public affairs. Of this mortifying fact, filthy and half-paved streets — the carrion-like meat frequently exposed for sale — the disgusting state, and reprehensible position of the fish-market, with many other similar nuisances, have long afforded abundant testimony. Nor does it appear that any improvement in these respect, is even contemplated. At the present moment, in nearly all our streets, the wretched pavement is not only most disgraceful, but in many places extremely dangerous. Several thoroughfares, and those much frequented, seem as if it train of heavy artillery had passed along; them, sinking the stones in one spot and raising their in another, exhibiting no faint resemblance of a town that had lately sustained a siege. It is not, however, deemed necessary at this time to enlarge further upon a subject in which all are more or less interested; but it may he safely asserted, that. in no part of the United kingdom would such at palpable abuse be suffered to exist for a week, without measures being adopted by the inhabitants to obtain speedy and effectual redress.

An Observer

Douglas, 19th Oct., 1836.

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© F.Coakley , 2000