Monday, 11 January 2021

Another pub fight

More trouble in a WW II pub. At least it's not more endless bloody tables.

 Good old-fashioned violence, this time.

Three Assaults In Public House

Victor Pawlak (34), a Polish subject, described as a training centre manager, 13 Hope Street, Motherwell, appeared before Bailie Archibald at Motherwell Police Court on Monday on a charge of assaulting three men in the Royal Hotel, Brandon Street, on Monday, December 11. 

An agent tendered a plea of guilty. 

The charge was that the public bar of the Royal Hotel, Pawlak assaulted Almo Tedeschi, restauranter, striking him on the face with his clenched fists and kicking him on the body with his booted feet, all to his hurt and injury, and at the same time and place, he assaulted Carlo Zambonini, fish restaurant, 6 South Bridge Street, Airdrie, striking him on the face with his clenched fists and also assaulted James Swan, process worker, 78 Oakfield Road, by striking him severe blow on the face with his clenched fist, to the effusion of blood. 

The agent remarked that it was unfortunate this affair took place in public house, as that was not the proper place to argue matters out. The accused had an excellent record of service the Polish Army, and had latterly been discharged. He had been taunted in the public house about some matter and, being unable to explain himself in English, he was at a disadvantage and expressed himself by other means. A bit of a scuffle started and blows were struck. Accused now regretted very much what he had done. 

Continuing, the agent said he explained to accused that he must be careful to obey the laws of this country and to live in peace. Accused had already tried make amends to the people he had wronged. He had repaid the damage of glass broken and paid for the repair of a coat belonging to one of the complainers.

Bailie Archibald imposed fine of £3 or ten days."
Motherwell Times - Friday 22 December 1944, page 3. 

Interesting that two of the three men Pawlak smacked had Italian names. Presumably second- or third-generation immigrants. I was surprised to discover how many Germans moved to Glasgow in the lat 19th century. 

I'd love to know how the three men were taking the piss. Could it have been about his English language skills? No problem with his thumping skills.

If a pub wasn't the place to "argue matters out", that implies there was a right place. Perhaps, out on the street.

The Royal Hotel no longer appears to exist.


Rob Sterowski said...

I actually grew up in Motherwell. The Royal Hotel would have been demolished when the shopping centre was built in the 1960s. Most of Motherwell is not a very old place really: it only grew to any significance after the 1880s with the growth of the steel and engineering industries.

In the west of Scotland it was very often Italians who ran the chip shops and the cafes (cafes as in ice-cream parlours, not greasy spoons), including some of the most famous surviving examples (Equi, Nardini, Jaconelli, Coia).

Anonymous said...

"I'd love to know how the three men were taking the piss. Could it have been about his English language skills? "

I guess there is a little irony here, but as an American my English language skills don't cover that first sentence and I have no idea what that means.

Ron Pattinson said...


colloquial English uses the word "piss" in may ways. Pissed off, pissed up, pissed as a fart, etc. Taking the piss means means making fun of someone.

Ron Pattinson said...


I thought Italians were into the chip shop trade in Scotland, but was reluctant to explicitly say so without evidence.

Pre-EU immigration from Europe to the UK is a much ignored subject.

Mike in NSW said...

Probably refused to serve him a deep fried Mars Bar. Quite understandable reaction.

Rob Sterowski said...

Actually when I saw the story about a Pole in Motherwell I assumed he was actually Lithuanian, but then I realised the time period was wrong. Before the First World War a good few thousand Lithuanians immigrated to Scotland – the Jews among them went to the Gorbals and the Catholics came to Lanarkshire. They were usually referred to as Poles because a Lithuanian state didn’t exist at the time and the locals didn’t care about the difference.