1916 court: Floral Hall singer fails to shine in court

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At the Scarborough Police Court a case of failing to shade a light came before the bench. Chief Carlisle Kawbawgam, professional singer, 170, North Marine Road, appearing at the Floral Hall, did not admit the offence.

Second-Lieutenant TN Redington said he was going from the theatre when he saw a very strong light burning in one of the rooms of the house, which was opposite the Floral Hall. He was proceeding to the house when the light was extinguished. He made a complaint of the matter.

It was a brilliant light - he should say it was an electric torch or acetylene lamp. He thought it could not be gas or a candle. What struck him was that the light was close to the window. Another strange phenomenon was that in a field close to the barracks he saw a lamp or torch.

The clerk: Well that has nothing to do with this.

The officer: Well it might have. I am simply telling you what I saw.

The clerk pointed out that it had nothing to do with the summons.

Defendant, who spoke quietly, and in excellent English, asked: Are you sure this was a torch?

The officer replied that it seemed to be something of that kind.

Defendant then referred to the officer’s conduct at the time of seriously frightening a nursing mother. 
Defendant then asked the officer if he remembered the language he used - did he say the bloody Zeppelins were about?

The officer denied this; he never used such a word.

Defendant: Did you say anything about “the blasted people” keeping you up at night?

The officer: They do not keep me up. I am not a policeman, I have not to look after people.

Further questioned by defendant, the officer said he remarked it was a shame that people should allow lights to be shown.

Defendant: You cannot remember using the word bloody? Witness said he could not.

Defendant: No, I hardly think you would that night.

The chief constable (to the officer). Did you hear him (defendant) say anything about bloody Zeppelins?

Witness: I did not.

PC Tilburn said there was neither gas not electricity in the bedroom.

The chief constable said he would call other witnesses if necessary, but not that day. He had had to go on with the case as the officer was leaving the town.

Defendant, in the box, said when he left the Floral Hall he stayed in the dining room a little while. He was then given a candle and he went upstairs taking some supper for his wife. He explained the precautions he took in regard to the candle.

It was only a candle, and it was away from the window, but he remembered it was a dark night, and it would probably show more than it otherwise would. Unfortunately, he had not pulled the blind right down. The light was only showing a minute or two.

He heard voices, one being very peremptory and “stiff” in the remarks made. There was no cause for that, said witness. “My wife is not a well woman, and she was upset about Zeppelins as any woman would be.”

He added he was not an Englishman - he had lived here about five years.

The chairman: What nationality are you?

Witness: I am a North American Indian, what you call a Red Skin. He added he would prefer the case going on and being finished with.

The fine of 5s was imposed.