Lighting restriction offences

Hertfordshire Mercury, 4th December 1915


At Hertford Borough Sessions on Thursday, William John Spencer, of 30 Tamworth Road, Hertford, chief clerk at the County Medical Offices, was summoned for a breach of the Lighting Restriction Order in respect of the County Medical Offices, 78 Fore Street, on November 27.  He pleaded guilty.

Mr A. E. Bunning, a Special Constable, said that on Saturday, about 5.30 p.m., as he was passing 78 Fore Street he noticed an unscreened light on the premises.  He went to call attention to it, but could not make anyone hear.  When he passed again at 6.30 the light was still burning, and he reported the matter to the police.

Mr Spencer said the caretaker used the light early in the morning when cleaning, and failed to turn it out.  As it was on the top floor, where the rooms were not often used, it was not noticed, and he did not know anything about it till he was fetched by the police in the evening.  Blinds had been ordered for the rooms, but they could not get them delivered.

The Bench imposed a fine of £1 11s. 6d..

Harry Reed, steward, of the Barracks, Hertford, was charged with a similar offence on the same evening.

Mr J. Wren said that on Saturday evening about 6.20 he was in Park Road, when two of the inhabitants called his attention to a light at the Barracks.  It was a strong light streaming right up into the sky, and it was his duty as a Special Constable to report the matter to the police.

PC Crisford said he noticed a very bright light shining from the Barracks.  He went to the officers’ messroom occupied by the O.T.C. and asked who was in charge.  He was told Harry Reed, the steward.  He saw the defendant and pointed out to him a very large window unscreened, and the defendant said the blind had fallen down and he had forgotten to put it up.  The door was wide open, and he drew the defendant’s attention to it, and he replied that he must have the door open to get the food in.  He told him he must put a curtain up, and the defendant said he would do so.

PC Bushnell corroborated, and said the light was shining up into the sky almost like a searchlight.

PC Knight said the previous evening he cautioned the defendant about the lights, and he promised to look after them.,

The defendant said the military authorities should have been summoned.  He was only in charge of the catering and had nothing to do with the lights.  On the Saturday evening when the man went to draw the blind it all fell down, and he did not say anything to the defendant about it.

Supt Pear said there had been complaints about the lights at the Barracks, and he had cautioned them.  The military authorities said the caterers were responsible and the caterers put the blame on the military.  The defendant was fined 40 shillings inclusive.

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