The game was so dull ...

Playing cards and betting in public

The game was so dull …

Hertfordshire Mercury, 27th July 1951

Defending six Hatfield men and a soldier , who pleaded guilty at Hatfield on Monday to playing , by way of gaming , in an open and public place , with cards. Mr F. Gibson told the Court the men went into Hatfield Park to watch a cricket match but lost interest in the game when the visiting side took 2 ½ hours to score 79 runs and decided to make their own entertainment with a game of pontoon .

The men were : James Hall (28) , fitter , of 15 Beaconsfield Road : Albert Golder (24) , wood turner , of 17 Beaconsfield Road : Thomas Golder (21) , bricklayer, of  34 Church Street : Alfred Maynard (21) , lorry driver , of 2 Endymion Road : Thomas Harlow (32) , dairy storeman , of 40 Great North Road : Ronald Hulks (24) , lorry driver of 9 Bury Road  , all of Hatfield : and Private Richard Shearman , of the Royal Army Pay Corps , Aldershot .

No evidence was offered against an eighth man , Thomas Jay , 21-year-old labourer , of 9 Stockbreach  Road , Hatfield , whose plea of not guilty was accepted by the police . He was discharged .

Inspector A. Lewis said the men had formed a circle near people watching the cricket match . Cards were seen and money was being thrown into the centre of the circle . Piles of money were in front of the men . The sum of £2  3s  8½d and a pack of cards were taken possession of by the Police.

Fining each man 5 shillings  (25p) , Sir Geoffery Church , chairman , said : ” From what I hear of the cricket match I rather sympathise , but the law has been broken .

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