1919 court: Communication cord pulled at Cloughton

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At the North Riding Police Court, Albert Cox, kennelman, Hayburn Wyke, was summoned at the instance of the North Eastern Railway Company, for having unlawfully made use of the communication cord on the railway, at Cloughton, on July 7.

Cox said he pulled the cord, but he had reasons to pull it.

Inspector Arrowsmith, NER Police, York, said on the day named defendant took a return ticket from Hayburn Wyke to Robin Hood’s Bay. He returned by the 7.13 train. This train was not booked to stop at Hayburn Wyke, except by request, to set down or take up. Defendant had a return ticket, and had he wished the train to stop should have informed the station master at Robin Hood’s Bay, then the driver would have been informed accordingly. Defendant did not do so. No one required to be set down there, and defendant then pulled the communication cord. This should only have been done in serious matters such as illness or assaults. In any case the train stopped at Cloughton, and there was at the latter place a connecting train. On arrival at Cloughton defendant could have got back again to Hayburn Wyke. Defendant’s plea was that he did not know he was doing wrong.

Albert Major, passenger guard, Scarborough, and James Dixon (constable on the NER), York, gave evidence. Dixon stated that when he interviewed defendant the latter said he knew that the train did not stop, but he took it for granted that there would be other passengers wanting to get out, and he did not tell the station master.

Defendant described this statement as one of the biggest lies witness had ever told - if he had ever told others. “If you want to make a case,” he said, “Make a straight one.”

Witness repeated that defendant had told him what he had relayed to the court.

Inspector Arrowsmith said the maximum penalty was £5.

Alderman WH Fowler (one of the magistrates): Did not the station master warn people?

Inspector Arrowsmith said that if defendant had taken a single ticket the officials would have known, but defendant had a return ticket.

Asked as to whether the ticket collector could not have told defendant, the reply was that tickets were not always checked at small stations.

Defendant said he gave the whole ticket to an attendant (a girl) to tear off the half. She might have told him.

The clerk: She would not know what train you were returning by.

Defendant had been fined 5s on December 24, 1914, for railway trespass.

The magistrates, through the chairman (Mr F Baker), intimated that they would be lenient. Cox would be fined half a crown.

Defendant: Thank you, sir. He added that he would give “a dollar” if it went to the Red Cross.