1916 court:

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At the Scarborough County Court, Arthur Briggs, painter and decorator, 53, Aberdeen Walk, Scarborough, sued Abraham Moore, builder, Rockville, Stepney Road, Scarborough, for £49 17s 1d for work done and materials supplied.

Both are members of the Scarborough Town Council.

Mr Tasker Hart, solicitor, was for the defendant.

The claim was in respect of work done at the Tennis Club Pavilion, Filey Road.

Briggs, who conducted his own case, said the position he stood in was that of a sub-contractor under the full contractor. The amount of the original claim before the court was £49 17s but at an interview with the defendant’s solicitor on the previous day, by making comparison and making adjustment, that amount had been reduced by £15, making the claim now one of £34 17s. This was for work he commenced in May 1912, and Moore was the full contractor.

Proceeding, Briggs read a series of letters showing the conditions under which he took up the work. He proceeded with the work and on July 30th he wrote to the architect in London asking for some payment, and he got a reply from the architect (Mr Cooper) stating £30 had been allowed for him in Mr Moore’s certificate. That money was paid in September 1912.

On February 10 1913, Moore sent to witness to give an estimate for other certain work at an annexe, amounting to £16 2s.

In November, 1913, he wanted more paint, and not being able to get in touch with anyone else, he wrote to the secretary of the Tennis Court Company. He received a reply stating the matter rested between the architect and the builder. Before December 6th, a verbal arrangement was made by Moore with witness, to be at the tennis courts to meet the quantity surveyor – Mr Webster, the surveyor to Mr Cooper.

On December 6th he got a letter regarding the contract – £56 on one account, the first contract in May, 1912, and £16 9s on another making a total of £72 9s. In regard to the annexe he was referred for payment direct from Mr Moore. There were certain extras, including five guineas for enamel in regard to white wood work at the outside of the annexe. Altogether the cost of the work he had to carry out was £94 17s and he had received £60.

Asked as to one sum of £10 from Mr Medley, Briggs said it was a loan on August 17th. He wanted the money to carry on the work and Medley said that rather than the work should stop he would lend him the £10.

Mr Hart said that was now accepted as a payment on account, and Briggs agreed. Moore paid £30, and £15 in December 1915, was from the company. He had applied for money.

On March 6th, 1914, he got £5 – from the company. The extra work was wanted and Medley had said he would give him the £5 so that the work might be done.

Mr Hart said that the defence was that the company should pay what was claimed, but in answer to the Judge, Briggs said he could not substitute the company as defendant, instead of Moore, as he had no claim on the company.

He did the work, he contended, for Moore. Moore, however, had told him he had nothing to do with Briggs, treated him as a nobody, and said he must look elsewhere for the money. The company, said Briggs, had gone into liquidation.

Mr Hart referred to the principal document on which Briggs based his case, and said it was a question as to which party should suffer through the company going into liquidation. The money was never applied for from Mr Moore, and it was never suggested he was responsible. No application was received until long after the company had gone into liquidation.

Asked why he did not employ a solicitor, Briggs said because he did not want to put anyone to unnecessary expense.

Replying to further questions, Briggs said a certain paper, the estimate, he had was torn from a book, but he could not produce the book. He had destroyed it – it was some four years ago. That was his custom. The production of the book could not alter the matter – that was a page from a book.

Mr Hart read letters showing that the estimate in question was sent to Mr Medley, and the architect, and that the builder (Moore) was instructed to tell Briggs to proceed. Briggs admitted that some other work was not for Moore – and he had not claimed from Moore for it.

The court adjourned with the parties afterwards meeting in private with a view to settling the matter.