Motorists' wild career at Cheshunt

Hertfordshire Mercury, 14th August 1915


At Cheshunt Petty Sessions James Kendall (26), of 33 Elgin Terrace, Maida Vale, motor driver, and Edward Lang, of Ernest Street, Notting Hill Gate, porter, were charged with being drunk whilst in charge of a heavy motor-car on July 31 at Crossbrook Street, Cheshunt.  Lang was further charged with driving in a manner dangerous to the public, and also for driving without a licence at the same time and place.  Both men pleaded not guilty to being drunk, but Lang admitted the other two charges.

P.C. McNally said that on the evening of July 31, from what he was told, he proceeded along Turner’s Hill, and outside No. 2 Mount Pleasant he saw the  defendant Kendall, who was drunk, leaning up against a motor-car.  He took him into custody, and at the police station he was seen by Dr Green, who certified him to be drunk.  Kendall asked: ‘Was I incapable of standing?’  ‘Yes, you were leaning up against the car.’  Acting Sergt. Heggie said he saw Lang in charge of a heavy motor-car which was stationary in Turner’s Hill.  Noticing that he was drunk he took him into custody.  When asked to produce a licence, he said; ‘I have no licence.’  Lang asked: ‘Didn’t I say I had taken charge of the driving wheel to relieve my mate?’  ‘When I arrived the motor-car was stationary and the chain broken.’  Mr Robert Archer, of Turner’s Hill, said that at 6.30 on the evening in question he saw the defendant driving a motor-car towards Cheshunt.  They were going along in a reckless fashion, and the motor was swerving  from side to side in the road.  They turned into College Road and then came back again in the same fashion, both men having hold of the driving wheel.  Lang was occupying the driver’s seat.  They swerved across the road and mounted the footpath near the ‘Rose and Crown’ public house.  The motor went some 20 yards on the path and got off the path by the witness’s gate.  It was then that the chain broke.

Seeing the men were not in a fit condition to be driving he sent to the police station, and in the meantime the car was stopped outside Mount Pleasant.  There was a good deal of traffic about, as it was the Saturday before August Bank Holiday.  When the motor went down the road it just missed colliding with another motor.  Many people were scared by the way the men were driving.  It was a disgraceful thing altogether.  Mrs Amelie McCleod, of Dewhurst Road, Cheshunt, said she and her sister, who had two children in a perambulator, were in College Road when the motor-van came swaying along the road.  It nearly collided with the kerb of the path.  When near the ‘Rose and Crown’ the motor got onto the path.  Kendall said they had been out delivering goods all day, and had had trouble with the chain.  He had only had two drinks that day.  Lang said he had had only five glasses of beer that day.

Previous convictions for exceeding the speed limit were proved against Kendall, and in fining him £2 or 25 days the Chairman said that in his opinion the penalty was a light one and was not as severe as it ought to be.  Lang was guilty of all the charges against him, and in driving to the danger of the public he ran very close to having a more serious charge preferred against him.  He would be fined in all £5 2s. or 5 weeks.

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