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The public health report for Bacup of 1849 paints a horryfying picture of the Bacup  our ancestors lived in.There was at the time of the report no official authorities,  apart from the gas company and the police and so therefore no restrictions or rules  on what housing stands for example should be. Most of the houses were  constructed of stone which was readily availablle. If you had working class  ancestors living in Victorian or Edwardian Bacup the chances are they would have  lived in one of the many terraced back to back one up one down houses that are  still to be seen today the majority of these houses had two bedrooms and sometimes an attic. Downstairs there would be the living room and scullery and quite often a  cellar. Some houses consisted of only one room and were commonly known as  cellar dwellings. Accommodating families from two to six persons and in some  cases not all of the same family. In 1849 there were 26 cellar dwellings this had  risen by 1895 to 255 cellar dwellings 152 of these were occupied by families and  130 0f these were empty. Even so overcrowding was a huge problem. With no real  sanitation provision  the roads, pathways and courtyards were often filthy with  human waste. A report in the newspaper of 1865 stated that the paths are filthy as  ever and the roads monstrous. Many of the streets lived in by our  ancestors were built  on land  close to the  various mills in Bacup and Stacksteads, by  the mill owners and whilst the mills may  have gone now, the streets still remain  although many have now been demolished to make way for new buildings Many  young couples got married and lived with  their in-laws because they couldn't afford  home of their own. These were the days  when the mills started at 6.30 am and as  some people had difficulty getting up they  paid for the " Knocker up" to wake them. This he did using a long pole with which  he tapped on the bedroom window calling out to you the time and waiting until he  had an answer or saw the gas or candle light go on.The floors of lots of houses had no floor covering so sand was scattered on the stone floor and after it had been  walked on for a period it was brushed off which left the stone clean. The vast  majority of houses followed the same rule.  
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