Sunday, 15 November 2020

Sunday afternoon scene in a public house

You bump onto some odd stuff idf you search for "public house" in the newspaper archives. Mostly involcing a crime of some sort.

19th century reports are the most gruesome. Regularly starting off with a few jars in the vaults with a couple of strangers and ending with several dismembered bodies.

This one features a little violence, but nothing too horrible. It's just a weird story, where I can't really make out what was going on. See wht you think.

"Colne Licensee Assaulted

Summoned at Colne Magistrates' Court Monday for assaulting Joseph Albert Swift, landlord of the Hargreaves Arms, and his wife, Catherine Swift, William Whalley (52}, Naze Edge Farm, Colne, was fined £3 and costs in the first ease, thr second being dismissed. 

Mr. Ogden appeared for the complainants and defendant was represented Mr. Waddington. Mr. Ogden said that on Sunday, November 19th. the defendant, with two other men, was having‘drinks at the bar and whilst in conversation Mr. Swift noticed some Treasury notes lying the floor. He picked them up and asked the three men if they had lost any money. Two of the men, Mr. Metcalfe and Mr. Gill, both said the money did not belong to them, and it was alleged that Whalley remarked: “Put it in your pocket; if find any money it mine." Mr. Swift told him not be stupid and to feel if had lost any, but he did not go anything. 

Some time later, continued Mr. Ogden, the defendant retired to the rear of the premises and in the meantime Mr. Swift again noticed some Treasury notes lying the floor. He questioned the other two and said the joke was being carried too far. When Whalley returned, Mr. Swift asked him to feel his pockets as he had found some more money. Whalley is alleged have replied. "Shove them in your pocket and don't be a --- fool.” Swift said he was not trying be funny, but wanted the defendant to have the money if it belonged to him. The men, however, drank up and went out and as they did so Mr. Swift said: ” Don't forget; I have some money belonging to one of you.” 

About twenty minutes later there was knock at the door. Mr. Gill was the door and he said that Whalley was at the rear of the premises. Mr. Swift went out and Whalley said : I have come for money.'’ Asked how much had lost, he replied "£l5 or more.” Mr. Swift said there was only £ll, whereupon Whatley called him a liar and said wanted £l5 or hr would fetch the police. Mr. Swift said himself would hand the money over to the police and told Whalley to leave the premises. When they got to the door it was alleged that Whalley turned round and hit Mr. Swift a severe blow in the face, knocking out tooth, and when Mrs. Swift tried to get between them it was alleged that Whalley struck her a blow in the face and kicked her. 

Mr. Swift telephoned to the police, proceeded Mr. Ogden, and in due course Sergeant Wignall and P.C. Atherton arrived. Mr. Swift was trying to carry out his licensee and, realising their might some difficulty, he did all he could to trace the ownership of the money. He had been the licensee for 14 years without complaint and he brought the proceedings at the instigation of the police, added Mr. Ogden. 

The licensee gave evidence bearing out Mr. Ogden's statement. He said that when he found the first notes he mentioned it to the three men. Metcalfe said he had only 10s. when he came into the house, it did not belong to him, and Mr. Gill looked in his wallet and said it was not his. Defendant made use of obscene expression, saying findings were keepings, and told witness to put the money in his pocket. He told defendant put his hand in his pocket to see if had lost anything. Whalley had gone to the rear when the second lot of notes were picked up and when Whalley returned witness said : "What about this money; I have found some more." Whalley replied : "I have told you what to do with it; shove it in your pocket.” Witness said : “It is obviously yours,” but Whalley told the others to drink up, saying they were going, which thei shortly did. 


Describing what happened when Whalley returned to the hotel, Mr. Swift said defendant, when asked how much money there was, said it was £l5 or more. Witness told him there was only £ll and that he would hand the money over to the police for them to establish ownership. They went together to the front door and defendant turned round and struck him violent blow in the mouth, knocking out a tooth. Mrs. Swift interfered and Whalley struck her a blow on the jaw and kicked her on the right leg. The police were sent for and it was on their advice that he took out a summons.

Cross-examined Mr. Waddington, the landlord said he did not know that as result of an injury in the last war Whalley had only one ear drum. 

Mr. Waddinpton: I suggest he did not say anything when you first saw some notes: —Yes he did; he told to shove them in my pocket. 

In answer to further questions, witness denied that he called Whalley a liar and that he did not think he was worth €l5. He also denied saying "Get out of that ---- door." 

Mr. Waddington: Did you twist his arm up his back and did Mrs. Swift hit him in the left eye? —Not at all. 

Have you bragged about your proficiency in chucking people out of your house? — No, on the contrary, there has never been any trouble before. 

Witness agreed that when the police came the defendant told the Sergeant he had approximately €l6 and that the Sergeant counted £ll. 

Evidence was given by Mrs. Swift in corroboration of her husband’s statement. She said that she had had two operations on her right leg and since defendant’s assault on her she had had lot of pain and could not I sleep at night.

Questioned by Mr. Waddington, she denied that it was she and her husband who attached Mr. Whalley first.

Sedgwick Metcalfe spoke of the landlord finding the notes, but said he did not remember whether Whalley asked answered or not when Mr. Swift asked if he had lost any money.

Answering Mr. Waddington, he said he did not think Whalley realised he had lost any money when he left.

Sergeat Wignall spoke to being sent to  the Hargreaves Arms in company with P.C. Atherton in response to a telephone call from the landlord. He gave evidence to what Mr. Swift had told him regarding the alleged assault on the landlord and his wife. Defendant was present, and when witness counted the money handed to him by Mr. Swift he found there was £ll, which he prevailed upon defendant to take. Whalley said he was sorry about havng struck Mrs. Swift, and as the assault on the landlord he remarked: " We all lose our tempers now and again."

PC. Atherton corrobornted Sergeant Wignall’s evidence.

For the defendant. Mr. Waddington asked the magiatrates whether they could believe the complainants’ story. Could they believe that a man who lst a considerable amount money and who had really been told about it would go out of a house without having looked in his pocket and then return in a quarter of an hour? Defendant alleged that the complainants were trying to “chuck” him out of the house without his money. 

Giving evidence on his own behalf, defendant said Mr. Gill, licensee of the Commercial Hotel, Gisburn. called at his house and, having regard to the business they wanted to transact, they went to see the witness Metcalfe. 

Defendant said he had £l6 when he left his house and he carried it in front pocket of his trousers. During the visit to the Hargreaves Arms he paid for round of drinks and pulled the money out of this pocket. While he was there nothing was said as far he knew about money being found on the floor. Mr. Swift did pick up a cigarette packet and said. "Have you lost something?” and witness replied, "If that is all I have lost you cap keep it.” He left the house in Gill's car. and when he got little distance he had occasion to put his hand in his pocket and missed the money. He asked Gill to take him back. When saw the landlord, continued defendant, and he told him what had come for. Mr. Swift said: "Get out of that door.” He seized witness by the right arm and screwed it up his hack, and alleged that Mrs. Swift tried to gouge his left eye out with her finger nails. I broke loose and struck twice.” he added, "and must have hit them both.” 

Answering Mr. Ogden, defendant said he had £l6 in his pocket the Saturday afternoon quarter to five and did not out again until he went to this public house. He alleged that the landlord and his wife were telling pack lies and had concocted their story. 

Defendant’s wife and daughter gave evidence to the state he was in when he returned home this Sunday afternoon. His right ear was full of blood, his left eye was blood-shot and his face was scratched, the daughter remarking that he looked if a cat had been scratching him. 

At the request the Chairman (Mr. J. N. Hey), Sergeant Wignall was recalled and said that, according to the statement made to him by the landlord, the alleged assault on Mrs. Swift was made after she had intervened and scratched defendant. 

In announcing the decision the magistrates, after they had consulted in their room, the Chairman said the evidence in the second case they regarded as unsatisfactory and that was why they were dismissing it."
Barnoldswick & Earby Times - Friday 08 December 1944. 

Was Whalley trying to extort money from the landlord? Or was the landlord trying to cheat Whalley? It does sound as if Whalley was up to no good, but what exactly. Ut's all a bit strange.

Let me know what you think.



Rob Sterowski said...

£16 seems a lot of money to be carrying about with you in 1944.

Ron Pattinson said...


it was. A few weeks; wage.

Exactly what his business with Mr. Gill was isn't explained in the article.