New Malden History
You Can’t Do That Either by Robin Gill - April 2020
You Can’t Do That Either by Robin Gill - April 2020
Landlords could be prosecuted for any “nuisance” which occurred in one of their properties. These nuisances were usually unpleasant smells, normally from the drains. Such a case involved E S of Chestnut Grove, the “nuisance inspector” stated that the smell was “injurious to health” and had to be sorted out.
The fine imposed was £2 2/6 (£2.12½ p).
Boys will be boys
AD a boy of Burlington Road was fined 6d (2½ pence) for damaging some plants but the punishment didn’t stop there as the plants were valued at 2 Shillings (10 pence), plus costs of 7/6 (37 ½ pence) making a total payment of 10/- (50 pence) a lot of money for a lad of 15 to find in 1879.
JT of Burlington Road, and GC of Cleveland Road, were accused of stealing some cob nuts from a garden in Chestnut Grove. The admitted the offence and had shared the nuts, worth 13 shillings (65 pence) amongst their friends. JT received a caution, but GC who had stolen before, and had run away from home, was given six strokes with a birch rod.
Nothing to see here
Mrs AC of Chestnut Grove seemed to have a vivid imagination, or to have it in for her neighbour, who she accused of damaging the door of her property. But when the police sergeant called to inspect the harm done, he could see no mud which had been thrown, in fact the door was newly painted. There was also no sign of broken windows which had also been alleged. He did hear that there had been an argument about a chicken. Previously there had been a complaint of damage to her trees, but again nothing could be found. Mrs AC stated she had swept the debris away. The bench was unable to help putting the problem down to flights of fancy.
Drinking in the streets
WP of Northcote Road was found on his hands and knees in Elm Road unable to get up as he was so drunk. He used foul language when people tried to raise him to his feet, and also to the local police inspector! Ironically, this was the day that the fountain and drinking trough was opened in the village, and the day was declared a public holiday. Unfortunately, it seemed that WP had been drinking something stronger than Adam’s Ale, and for this, he was fined £1- or 14-days hard labour.
FK of George Road was summoned for assaulting his wife, who stated she only wanted a separation order. All he did was loll around the streets, and when she managed to get some work, he used to come home and go to bed. A warrant was issued for his arrest and when apprehended, he was asked to signed the pledge being warned that this was his last chance.
WH, a dairyman, went through a spree of theft in New Malden in May 1900 stealing an overcoat, a child’s money box, a purse, another coat, a pair of trousers, a pair of braces, a silver watch and guard, a tin box , another overcoat, two suits, another pair of trousers, a pair of sugar tongs, a pair of scissors, handkerchiefs, a hair brush, comb , and mirror, a bottle of salts, a bottle of scent and 22 shillings in cash from three separate properties. He had spent over 30 years in jail and was sentenced to another 12 months hard labour, followed by 2 years police supervision.
HT who lived at Derby Villas Coombe Road (now High Street) refused to pay a cab fare from Kingston to Malden of 4 shillings 5 pence (22 pence). The passengers beside himself, were two ladies and three children. He gave the driver 2 shillings and 9 pence (14 pence) and refused to pay the outstanding, stating that he had never paid more than 2 shillings and sixpence for a similar journey, and had given the driver 3d as a tip. Being told he was legally obligated to pay the rest, he did so in court together with 6/6 (32½ pence costs).
JW who was a lodger living in Providence Place (now Grafton Road) went to the Malden Tavern for a drink with some friends, but as it was just before 11pm the landlord refused to serve them. One of them pulled the plug from a gas pipe allowing the gas to escape. The landlord asked for the plug back, when he was jeered and assaulted by JW. The landlord called them blackguards, and they were prosecuted for the theft of the plug, fined 2/6 (12 ½ pence) and costs of 19 shillings (95 pence) or 14 days in prison.
An Act of Parliament was passed in 1897 required all dogs to be muzzled when outside. This was to combat rabies, and was evidently successful as Great Britain has been practically free from the disease since the beginning of the 20th century. As it was a new law however, a lot of dog owners from Malden fell foul of it including LF from Kingston Road, FP from Blakes Park (Now Blakes Lane) and Sir CC from Malden Road, so it cut across all streams in society. The fine was 10 shillings (50 Pence). After the Act was repealed people from New Malden could still be fined for allowing their dog “to be at large without a collar bearing the owner’s name and address”. Such a fine was given to EN of Dukes Avenue and DL of Coombe Road the amount of 5 shillings (25 pence).
JP of Montem Road was a coal merchant had got into dispute with another coal merchant from Kensington over a business transaction. He threatened to shoot his rival. JP said the situation had got so violent, he produced his revolver but it was not loaded, and he had no bullets it was just to frighten his rival. The summons was dismissed and his rival was fined £3 10/- (£3.50p) for the original assault.
WP of Beresford Road was convicted of stealing broccoli from a field in New Malden to the value of 4d (2 pence) He was fined 5 shillings (25 pence).
AJS was a local milkman who lived in Burlington Road, he was also a keen cyclist. One of his customers was in Thetford Road the home of FWB and his wife CFB. He was a stockbroker’s clerk having fallen on hard times as a result of the Jamestown Raid in South Africa in 1896. They were married in Clerkenwell in 1892. CFB also took an interest in cycling, and went for long rides with the milkman.
FWB arrived home early one evening and finding his wife was not there, decided to go for a bicycle ride himself. He was quietly smoking his pipe under a hedge when he noticed his wife and the milkman ride past. That evening she didn’t return until late, explaining that she had had a puncture which AJS had fixed for her. The husband’s suspicions were aroused and he employed some private detectives to investigate the relationship. The saw AJS arrive at the house in the evening, and the bedroom light went on, and he did not leave until one o’clock in the morning. Concealed in the hedge opposite the house they confronted the milkman when he emerged demanding to know what he had been doing. AJS said he had been “paying his addresses to the maid servant”. LT the servant denied he had approached her. His name and address were taken and he was allowed to go. After he had left the detectives noticed he had dropped a photograph of CFB
This was enough for the husband, and he started divorce proceedings. The milkman frequently called at the house when the husband was absent, but the wife denied adultery had taken place on these occasions., although she always made a point of sending the maid on some errand. She said a lady friend recommended him as a milkman, and he had stayed to mend her bicycle. He had accompanied her to her sister’s house in Battersea, to show her the way and accompanied her home.
The divorce was granted with costs. AJS married CFB the following year setting up a sweet shop at 50 Eden Street Kingston (now Eden Kebab) and they adopted a daughter. CFS (as she had become) died in 1938. He then married her niece EJW in 1940, and they continued to run the shop in Kingston, though due to war shortages business was very much curtailed.
AJS was last seen alive on 3rd April 1960, and his body was pulled from the Thames on the 14th. He was 81. It was said to be suicide. He was a very fit person, during the first world war he worked on the first military aircraft at what became Hawkers, being nearly drowned during launching trials of the early seaplane adaptations. He was also a cycling champion, and continued cycling up to his death.