Sunday, 27 August 2017

Workers Fined for Damaging Crops

High Street, Leagrave c.1912 [Z1306/75/12/5]

Monday 27th August 1917: Six employees of the Leagrave Works have appeared at the Luton Divisional Court where they have admitted damaging the clover belonging to farmer Alfred Fensome. A few weeks ago Mr. Fensome complained to the magistrates that people from the works were crossing his field and causing damage to his crops. He was promised police help. Last Thursday, P.C. Howe was with Mr. Fensome in Beechwood Road when he saw the defendants walking across the oats field. The oats had been cut and young clover was growing. He stopped the defendants, took their names and addresses and told them they were doing damage. They said they did not know the field was sown with clover, that they had just left the works and were going to dinner by a short cut. They all stated that they did not know they were trespassing as the fields were open, and alleged that the police had allowed other people to go over. One of the defendants, Harcourt Bromley, said he came from Australia where they could walk anywhere, and he thought it was the same here – the Clerk of the Court pointed out that there was rather more acreage in Australia. The Bench accepted that there was no malicious intent, but the Chairman said it was a serious matter and that crops must be protected in these times. The defendants were “let off” with a fine of seven shillings and sixpence each.

Source: Luton News, 30th August 1917

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