In late May 1922, under the heading ‘Life, Death and Sanitation’, the Medical Officer of Health for Tiverton presented his report for the previous year. The population of the Borough, as shown by the census taken the previous year, was 9715. 9000 lived in the town and the others in the villages which were within the Borough which included Chevithorne, Bolham, Cove and Withleigh. There had been 139 deaths but they did report a significant decrease in infant mortality with just 11 deaths in children under a year old. There was an ‘outbreak’ of diptheria among school children with 41 cases being reported and one death. The other notifiable diseases were 9 cases of scarlet fever, 14 cases of pneumonia with 4 deaths and a single instance of both enteric fever and encephalitis lethargica.
The Optician’s prescription book shows that customers came from all the surrounding villages but some from much further afield – Plymouth, Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea and even the London suburb of Leytonstone.
Come and look at our ‘medical’ corner on the first floor of the Museum, there are a variety of objects covering a whole lifespan.