Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Orange Sellers At War

Park Square market c.1904 [Z1306/75/10/51/6]

Wednesday 26th January 1916: A dispute between orange sellers at Luton market resulted in a court appearance today at which Alfred Jenkins of Hitchin Road pleaded guilty to throwing a missile to the danger of the public. Two strangers, a father and son named Marks, were selling oranges in Park Square on Monday as were two local men at another stall, separated from the first only by a coffee stall. The local men appeared to resent the strangers’ presence and Jenkins picked up some oranges and threw them, two or three at a time, over the coffee booth into the people around their rivals’ stall. The police inspector reported that the Marks’s were selling good quality oranges at three a penny and the local men for two a penny. There was a lot of unpleasantness and he had to keep a man on Park Square specifically to deal with it.

Jenkins said he only scrambled a few oranges and when the inspector came to him he stopped and went away. The Clerk of the Court suggested that oranges could not be very dangerous, but the inspector replied that a man who had been hit by the fruit had a considerably swollen eye. Police Constable Hunt said that Jenkisn came to him and said “I am going to give the people a scramble for some oranges”. He advised him not to do it, but saw him throw six oranges. One struck the old man Marks “plump in the eye”, leaving him crying with the pain . Jenkins was fined five shillings with a further five shillings costs and was warned by the Mayor that if he continued to misbehave himself and be a nuisance to the market he would be refused permission to be there.

Source: Luton Times, 28th January 1916

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