Sunday, 29 May 2016

Dodgy landlords

Two tales of dodgy dealing in the pub trade.

Seems Vaux had some wrong 'uns as draymen:
"Inn Manageress Not Guilty of Receiving Spirits
Sunderland Quarter Sessions were resumed before the Recorder, Sir Ronald D. Ross. M P., to-day, for the hearing of several cases adjourned from last month.

Mrs Ellen Forster (39), manageress of the Grapes Inn, Easington Lane, pleaded not guilty receiving nine bottles of whisky, one bottle of red wine, and two bottles of rum, worth £14, belonging to C. Vaux Sons. Ltd., brewers, Sunderland. knowing it to have been stolen.

Case for the prosecution, put by Dr Charlesworth, was that Mrs Forster was paid a salary as manageress of the Grapes Inn for Messrs. Vaux Son. and did not pay for the liquor supplied the house by the firm. Draymen employed by the firm had been dealt with at the Sessions for stealing the case of spirits, and it was alleged that Mrs Forster paid the thieves £11 for the bottles on July 15.

When questioned by Detective Buddies Mrs Forster replied "That's right: they told me it was all right.” She told the detective that she paid the draymen £11. When asked, "Do you usually pay the draymen for beer or spirits supplied." she replied ” No; I know it was a silly thing do." When formally charged she said, "Well, that's wrong. On the 21st of July I received a barrel of beer.”

Mrs Forster gave evidence that she paid £11 10s for the case of spirits and bottle if wine when it was brought her public-house by me drayman on July 28. The drayman told her it had been sent by the firm for the holidays. She agreed she made no entry in any book about receiving the spirits or paying £11 10s for it, but she thought it all right, and had no thought that it had been stolen. She paid for it with money out of the till, and when the spirits were sold the money would go into the till for the firm. Mrs Forster was found not guilty by the jury and discharged."
Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Tuesday 16 November 1943, page 4.

This and the next case are in the same article. Both seem to stem from the stealing of Vaux's draymen.

Samuel Wass (41), tenant of the Museum Vaults, Silksworth Row, pleaded not guilty receiving a barrel of beer, valued at £19, stolen from C. Vaux & Sons. (Continued in Column 4.)

(Continued from Column 6)
Evidence was given that after a load beer had been prepared at Vaux’s Brewery on July 29 for the Ship Inn, Cleadon, one barrel of Samson beer was found to be missing. Det. Buddies said when he inspected the cellar of the Museum Vaults on August 9 he found the missing barrel hidden by boxes in a corner. It was empty. When he told Wass that this was the stolen barrel, Wass replied; 'Yes, I did buy from them. I gave them £7." Wass also agreed that he only sold ordinary beer and not Samson. "I don’t know why I bought the stuff from them," he told the officer. Wass gave evidence that when the draymen put the barrel into his cellar he did not know that it was Samson, and thought that it was an extra barrel that had been delivered to him the ordinary way. It. was only when he went down the cellar later on that evening that he found it was Samson ale and should not have been there.

In cross-examination, Wass said that next day the two men saw him about the barrel and he told them to take it away. Then they said "Give us £7 for it" and he gave them £7.

Mr W. Temple defending, submitted that in law the prisoner was not guilty of receiving because at the time the barrel was delivered he did not realize it was stolen.

The jury found Wass guilty and he was sentenced to three months' imprisonment.
Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Tuesday 16 November 1943, page 4.

I came across this searching for Vaux Samson. Have discovered it was once  a strong Mild.

Why did Mrs Forster get off and Mr. Wass go to jail? They both look pretty fucking guilty to me.

Seventeen quid was a lot for a barrel of beer in 1943. 340/-. Assuming this was a 36-gallon barrel. Which it may not have been.

This is a Barclay Perkins wholesale pricelist from April 1943:

KK is 350/- a barrel. And it was 1043º at the time.

Assuming a full barrel and wholesale price: looks like a Best Bitter to me.

1 comment:

Harry said...

I worked for a soft drinks company supplying the On Trade in the 1980s. By this time computerised stock control and vehicle loading lists made it all but impossible for draymen to steal stock from the company to sell to errant publicans.

The ingenuity of man however knows no bounds.

While delivering stock to publican A a couple of our draymen would take back 10 crates of returnable empties while telling the publican they had only taken 5. They would then sell the crates to Publican B for half price who would then return them to us at a later date for the full price.

Everyone then happy and in pocket apart from publican A.

However computers are quite handy and over time we noticed that publican B was returning twice as many empty crates as he was buying full ones.

Some security work caught the draymen red-handed and they were sacked and charged with theft. They were found not guilty on the theft charge but remained sacked after appealing to an employment tribunal.