Another batch of summonses

Hertfordshire Mercury, 13th November 1915


At Hertford Borough Sessions on Tuesday, there was another batch of summonses for contraventions of the Lighting Restriction Order issued by the Home Office.  The first case was that of Mr C. S. Hayward, the master of Bengeo College.  He pleaded guilty, and said he had tried his best to comply with the regulations, both before and since the date of the offence, November 5.  This offence was due to the carelessness of one of the maids.  PC Compton said that at 6.45 p.m. on November 5 he saw a bright light shining from the College, and on going there found three lights shining from the west side, two of which were partially screened and one unscreened; on the south side there were four lights not sufficiently screened; and on the east side two windows not screened at all and shining on the greenhouses.  He had warned Mr. Hayward on the previous day.  A fine of 20 shilings was inflicted.

Mr Ernest Markham, manager of Messrs Ibbott and Co.’s dairy at Old Cross, was summoned for an offence on the same day.  PC Compton said the two large windows were not screened, and the lights were showing across the street.  When he called the defendant’s attention to it he said: ‘I suppose I left the lights on when I went into the shop to serve a child with a half-pennyworth of milk’.  The defendant had been warned previously.  PC Crisford corroborated.  The defendant said the electric light was screened, but the mirror in the shop threw the light across the road.  Supt. Pear said he warned the defendant the same evening.  The Chairman said the Magistrates had decide to deal with the defendant very leniently by fining him £1.

Mr Arthur Lacey, landlord of the Green Dragon Hotel, said he had between 50 and 60 windows, and it was very difficult to keep them all darkened.  He had tried his utmost to darken them, and he had no desire to break the law.  PC Starkey said there were bright lights issuing from a fanlight and a skylight at the rear of the hotel on November 3.  He pointed them out to the defendant, and he admitted it, and said he would do all he could to screen them.  PC Human corroborated.  Supt Pear said the defendant had been warned on several occasions.  The bench fined the defendant  £1.

Mr Sidney Roe, manager of the Hardware Company’s premises in Fore Street, admitted that his lights in Bell Lane were showing brightly, but he was not aware of it until PC Crisford pointed it out to him.  The Constable said the windows were screened, but not sufficiently, and the venetian blinds were not closed.  The defendant was fined 10 shillings.

Mr J.R. Castle, of 36 Ware Road, said he only had a candle alight in the house, and he did not see how that could make a bright light.  The Mayor said he had read the opinions of many magistrates, including stipendiaries, and the interpretation of the Lighting Regulations were distinctly shown to be that no bright light must be visible from the outside, whether a candle or any other illuminant.  PC Starkey said that at 9.30 there were bright lights in two of the defendant’s windows, and they shone right across the road.  The windows were only half screened.  PS Hadder said the defendant’s son was very abusive to him when he pointed out that there was a light for 2 feet up the window.  The defendant’s son indignantly denied that he was abusive.  Supt Pear: ‘Are you the man who called the Sergeant a dirty skunk?’  The witness: ‘No’.  The defendant was fined 10 shillings.

Mr Spencer Bush, of 131 Ware Road, contended that his light was a subdued one within the meaning of the Order.  PS Palmer and PC Green proved that they could see the light at the attic window when in Tamworth Road, at 8 p.m..  Supt Pear said that besides being cautioned by the police the defendant had several times been warned by Special Constables about his lights.  He was fined 20 shillings.

Mr William Waldock, 14 Chambers Street, was represented by his wife, and she said the light complained of in her case was caused by soldiers going to bed with a candle and not drawing the blinds.  PC Compton proved the case, and the defendant was fined 5 shillings.

Mr Frederick Roser, landlord of the Saracen’s Head Hotel, Ware Road, pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.  Mr W. H. Brewster a Special Constable, said he was on duty in Ware Road on the night of November 5 in company with Mr D. Hammond, when the light at the Saracen’s Head attracted their attention.  One of the electric lights was shining through the window, throwing a beam of light right across Railway Place on to the house opposite, and there was too much light all round the premises.  Mr D. Hammond and PS. Hadder corroborated.

The defendant called his daughter, Grace Roser, who said she adjusted the curtains on the night in question, but was not present when the complaint was made.  Mr J. Jeffries, who was in the bar at the time, said he saw nothing wrong with the shading of the lights.  Mr J. Wren was called, but as he knew nothing about the offence his evidence was not accepted as being relevant.  Mr Roser said he had demonstrated to Mr Wren how the affair happened, and as he was a man of substance in the town he thought his evidence would be taken.  He never knew he was guilty until he demonstrated afterwards.  What happened was that a customer carelessly caught the curtain on his chair and shifted it.  He had no desire to break the law, and would do anything the police wished him to do.  The Bench inflicted a fine of £3, this being the defendant’s second offence.

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