Gong Farmer

Gong farmer (also known as a gongfermor, gongfermour, gong-fayer, gong-fower or gong scourer), was a term that entered use in Tudor England to describe someone who dug out and removed human excrement from privies and cesspits; the word "gong" was used for both a privy and its contents. Gong farmers were only allowed to work at night, hence they were sometimes known as nightmen. The waste they collected, known as night soil, had to be taken outside the city or town boundary or to official dumps for disposal, from where it might be taken to be spread as fertiliser on fields or market gardens.

As more modern sewage disposal systems such as pail closets and water closets became increasingly widespread in 19th-century England, fewer and fewer cesspits needed to be dug out. The job of emptying cesspits today is usually carried out mechanically using suction, by specialised tankers.

Read more about Gong Farmer:  Early Sewage Arrangements, Working Conditions, Later Developments

Other articles related to "gong farmer":

Gong Farmer - Later Developments
... Raconteur and demolition expert Blaster Bates included a humorous account of using explosives to clear out a cesspit on a Cheshire farm on his 1967 recording Laughter With a Bang, entitled "The Shower of Shit Over Cheshire" ... More usually though the job is now carried out mechanically using suction, by specialised tankers ...

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