Monday, 22 July, 1895
To the Editor of the Standard
Sir, Under the above heading a letter signed “Fairford” appears in the Standard of this day, to which I request you will allow me space to reply. The inmates of Feltham Industrial School are all London boys, sent by the magistrates to be rescued, in most cases from an actual life of crime, and to be kept in the school until the age of sixteen. The medical officer of the school has for a considerable time urged upon the Committee of Management the necessity of giving the buildings a rest, in order to thoroughly whitewash and disinfect them, as ringworm, opthalmia, and diseases of the repitory organs have become chronic, and very troublesome, the rooms having been occupied continuously for forty years, as there are no holidays.
Under these circumstances, the Committee (of which I am Chairman) applied for the use of an empty fort at Littlehampton for a month, which the military authorities have kindly granted free of cost. The only expenses will, therefore, be railway fares – which the railway authorities (LB and S Coast Railway) have most generously made extremely low – the hire of some tents and other incidentals. It is true that my Committee obtained a grant of four hundred pounds from the LCC, not that we expect to spend that amount, but, to avoid the necessity of applying for a supplemental grant we asked for an outside sum. We believe that the improved health of the boys will more than compensate for the outlay, which is quite exceptional, and as far as I know, will not be repeated, and, in the face of strong medical opinion expressed, my Committee felt they were bound to take a step which I am confident will meet with the general approval of the public.
I am, sir, your obedient servant
A. ROTTON Lieut. Colonel
Chairman Industrial Schools Committee LCC