Whilst working through the minute books of Ware Urban District Council on another matter covering a period almost 100 years ago, I became aware that, in those less hurried and less sophisticated days, much of the Council business appeared by modern standards extremely mundane. A fairly frequent item of report – to full Council – was thefts from allotments.
It was reported in the Minutes of 27th September 1916:
Theft at Allotments Mr A Chapman reported that the tenant who had complained of theft on the allotment had invoked the aid of the Police. The culprit, a boy aged about ten years, had admitted the offence and his mother had beaten him well, in the presence of a Police Sergeant.
After the passage of ten decades, and in these more enlightened(?) times, I guess that the reported offence would now hardly be deemed to justify a severe ticking off.