Tuesday 22 January 2019

Bought meat in public house

We're back with pubs during WW II. As well as a refuge of solace and consolation, they also harboured danger for the unwary. As we saw last time with the loose-lipped major.

Those dangers weren't just limited to being accused of defeatism. There was also temptation. Temptation to crime.

I will say this upfront: I don't believe a word of Mr. Banbury's explanation,

Story Of “Black Market” Sale

"This meat was obviously obtained through what is known as the black market,” said Mr. K. Lauder, prosecuting a case brought by the Willesden Food Control Committee at Willesden on Thursday.

Before the Court were Cornelius Bradley, of Cambridge-road, Kilburn, and George Banbury, of Fortis Green, East Finchley, and they were both summoned for contravening the Rationing Order by obtaining fourteen New Zealand lambs between July 19 and 22 otherwise than in accordance with the provisions the Order and without other lawful authority.

Bradley pleaded not guilty and Banbury guilty.

They were represented by Mr. J. R. Hodder.

Mr. Lauder said that it was regarded as a very serious case. Bradley was butcher and Banbury was his assistant, and on July 22 a meat area agent called at the shop and found fourteen New Zealand lambs in the refrigerator. They had not been aliocated from the Willesden Meat Depot, and that was the only lawful way which they could have been obtained.

Banbury made a statement which said he was offered the meat by a man he met a public house and he bought it for £19 5s. He could not get touch with Mr. Bradley, who did not know anything about the transaction. Bradley said that he told Banbury to get the meat out as soon as he knew about it.

Banbury, in the witness-box, said that the man who sold the meat to him said that his refrigerator had gone wrong and that the meat would go bad unless he could dispose of it. He did not know the man. Mr. Bradley knew nothing about it until the next day, and then told witness to get the meat off the premises as soon possible.

Bradley said the first he knew about it was when he found the lambs in his refrigerator. He gave Bradley day get them away. The Bench fined Banbury £20 or a month’s imprisonment, while Bradley was fined £30 and £3 3s. costs, or six weeks imprisonment. They were given 21 days to pay."
Marylebone Mercury - Saturday 27 September 1941, page 1.

Stuff does get offered for sale in pubs. But I struggle to see how someone could be offered fourteen lambs in a pub and not find something dodgy about it. "I got it from someone in a pub who I'd never met before" is the standard line when you don't want to grass up your supplier to the police. It doesn't sound like the court bought it.

There are so many ways the sorty doesn't hold up. Banbury's supplier can't have had all that meat with him in a pub. Did Banbury go and pick it up? In which case he would surely know who he was getting it from, or at least where their fridge was.

And who would randomly ask drinkers in a pub if they wanted to buy a lorrload of lamb? It makes absolutely no sense.


Anonymous said...

Is New Zealand lamb some kind of general term for a type of lamb, in the same way that Cornish game hens can be raised anywhere? Because it seems odd to me that there would be shipments of lamb aĺl the way from New Zealand in 1941 at the height of the U Boat blockade.

Ron Pattinson said...


I've never heard the term used for anything other than lamb from New Zealand.

Anonymous said...

The U-Boat Blockade only makes sense because britain is so reliant on importing food from far flung places