January 16th – Fire at New House
On Friday night between 11 and 12 o’clock, a fire occurred at New House Farm, shortly be to tenanted by Mr Herbert E Morgan and his bride-to-be, and formerly in the occupation of the late Mr Phillips.
The flames were fortunately noticed by a near neighbour Mr ‘Wick’ Thomas, who quickly informed Mr D H Morgan (Gwynedd), who with Mr N E Morgan (his nephew) and other help, were soon at work quelling a rick fire, which had started burning in several places and was in close proximity to the house and outbuildings.
Had the discovery of the fire been delayed, even for a short time, the damage would have been disastrous. As it was, only about one ton of hay was spoiled.
We are pleased to state that all losses are covered by insurance.
February 20th – Goytrey Building Sites for Sale Adjoining main road:
Write; Progress c/o Free Press Pontypool.
February 20th – Fire at New House
On Small Rick of Hay 1923 made – Williams, Bridge Cottage, Goytrey.
April 1st – The Wern, Goytrey
Mid way between Abergavenny and Pontypool
SALE of DAIRY CATTLE, IMPLEMENTS, DAIRY UTENSILS, Fodders and GRASS KEEP to April 1st1925, for Mr E Davies who is retiring.
Sale at 2.30
Full particulars in sale poster
J Straker, son & Chadwick FAI
June 25th – Most Trivial and Trumpery Claim
Edwin Edgar of Ynyspica, Goytrey, sued Philip Williams for £8 3s 4d damages to certain property and land known as Brook Cottage, Goytrey, and for the cost of a tenancy agreement. Mr H G Lemmon, solicitor, Abergavenny, appeared for the .
Plaintiff said he was the owner of Brook Cottage which he had let to the defendant under an agreement, [produced] in which the defendant agreed to pay the cost 14s 6d but had not done so.
Defendant was in occupation a year, until 20thMarch 1915, but he was permitted to leave without notice, but witness did not receive the keys until the 30th.
In consequence he lost a weeks rent [7s 8d] which he now claimed.
Other items in the particulars included 5s damage to a door frame; 5s for cracking rendering by driving two nails to which to fix a hay rack in the stables; 7s for manure taken away; 2s for a slide which was missing from an oven; £1 for stakes and hedging material destroyed; 1s for a latch and key; and 5s damage done to a meadow by unringed pigs rooting.
Cross-examined, plaintiff said the key of the house was sent by registered letter addressed to Monkswood instead of Goytrey, which caused the delay.
Defendant, in cross-examination elicited that the delay in the delivery of the key was caused by the registered letter being addressed to Monkswood instead of Goytrey.
He admitted that he had signed to pay for the agreement and that there was a slight injury to the door post; alleged that if the oven slide is missing, it was not there when he took the house. And the hedging material was used on the place to enable him to do his gardening, otherwise he would have to do away with his chickens.
His honour said this was the most trivial and trumpery claim he had had to deal with for some time and ultimately gave judgement for the claimant for 25s.
The Even Scales
Edwin Edgar also sued Joseph B. Greening of Helmaen Cottage, Llanbadoc, for £5 damages to meadow at Llanbadoc, caused by trespassing fowls for 3 years.
Defendant counter-claimed £8 15s for 3 laying hens [killed] value £4 each, injury to 11 other fowls, 2s each by plaintiff’s dog, and damages to vegetable garden and apple trees by cattle trespassing.
Mr Lemmon was for the plaintiff and Mr E Waddington, solicitor, Usk for the defendant.
Plaintiff said he was the tenant of three meadows at Llanbadoc, which adjoined defendant’s garden from 2ndFebruary 1913 when he began to complain. The fowls ate off about 20 perches just as if there had been 4,000 rabbits there. He complained to Mrs Greening who told him she had an agreement with the owner of the meadows to run the fowls there, but he never saw the agreement.
He went down to the meadows twice a day from May to October and every time he went, the fowls were there.
He saw Mr Greening put 150 out there on the second Sunday in May 1913, through a hole in the fence. Witness did not say a word to the defendant, but went to Mr Williams, his [plaintiff’s] landlord.
In 1914 the fowls were continuously on the ground. He had complained to the defendant one or twice and also to his wife. Defendant said he could not help the fowls going out. In 1915 he believed the trespass was worse than in 1914.
The meadows were 27 acres and the rent was £80 per year. The fowls put the grass into such a condition that the cattle would not eat it. Repeated complaints were made about the trespass, but no effort was made to stop until he sent in his present claim.
With regard to the counter-claim witness said he had never seen his dog after the fowls. As to the damage done to the garden by 20 cattle trespassing, it was impossible for them to trespass as the fence was a very good one, with barbed wire round the garden about four foot off the ground.
Cross-examined – defendant deliberately turned the fowls out onto the meadow on the Sunday, he counted them. There were over 150. He had complained to Mr Greening scores of times. He had never heard any complaints about his sheep dogs. He had not said he would put his dog in to kill every chicken on his meadow, his dogs had not killed or injured a fowl. The dogs had always been with him and lay down by the shed when he went to milk.
The dog he had in 1913 died in his trap, poisoned, going home. It was given to killing chickens. There had always been a good fence between his meadow and the garden, and he denied that the cattle were in the garden on two occasions. He had received no complaints with regard to such trespass.
Re-examined; he had one of the dogs now; he had seen no slat in the hedge.
Joseph Edwin Edgar, plaintiff’s son gave corroborative evidence, as did Mrs Edgar.
His Honour said evidence in regard to the complaints were very satisfactory.
Defendant stated he had lived at Helmaen Cottage for 17 years, and during the last two or three he had kept 30 chickens at the most, he had never had 100 since he had been there. One or two fowls at a time had been in the grass. In August 1913 he saw plaintiff’s dog kill three laying hens at different times, and he had buried eight others. Early one September morning about 4.30 in the morning, he heard defendant’s cattle in his garden and got up and drove them out. They numbered from 18 to 20. They had done a lot of damage to the garden and apple trees. They stripped one side of a row of scarlet runners, and did 1s 6d worth to apple trees. Last year the cattle were in again. He said nothing to Mr Edgar about it.
His Honour: “why not”?
Defendant: “I did not want to make a bother”.
Re-examined; his garden was about a quarter of an acre in extent, and the fowls were in a little orchard which was about half that size. It was a great and wilful lie for plaintiff to say that he ever counted 150 fowls there. It was plaintiff’s dog that killed the chickens. He went down the field to get five out.
Mr Lemmon: “you had no right to do that.”
His Honour: “that is rather a strict enforcement of the law”
Mr Lemmon: “ it is hardly a neighbourly action”
His Honour :“we must try and preserve our good sense if they do not”
Mrs Greening gave corroborative evidence; Edgar insulted her every time he saw her. She never made any complaint to the Edgar’s as her husband had told her never to have anything to do with them.
His Honour said he had no sympathy and very little patience with a claim of that kind, for two years, according to the plaintiff, this trouble had been going on, and instead of doing what he ought to have done – make a formal complaint to the man responsible – he seemed to have complained by word of mouth, and not in the most desirable manner, to the wife.
However, there did appear to have been some amount of trespass on the part of the defendant’s chickens, and it was as much the duty of Mr Greening to keep his chickens in, as it was of Mr Edgar to keep his cattle in.
Justice for the plaintiff 20s. Defendant was in very much the same position with regard to the cattle trespassing. It was not only very unwise for the purpose of his own case on the part of the defendant not to make a formal complaint to the plaintiff, but it was very unfair to the plaintiff. He might have told the plaintiff – not in a quarrelsome way – of the trespass, and have asked him to repair the fence so that it might not occur again.
His Honour thought some damage was done and gave defendant judgement for 20s on the counter-claim.
August 15th – Doctors at Post Mortem Examination
Death of Goytrey Child Accelerated by Malnutrition.
Evidence “Sufficient for Prosecution under the Children’s Act”
Very great interest was taken by the people of Goytrey in an inquest held by Mr R W Dauncey and a jury of seven [with Major F E Craven-Jones as foreman] at the Carpenters Arms in that parish on Friday evening on the body of the 9 year old illegitimate daughter [Gwendoline] of Mrs Florence Richards of Rumble Street, Goytrey, who died on March 16th.
Police Superintendent I Spendlove was present with P S Cotterell and P C Taylor, and the proceedings lasted over four hours, the mother being under examination a considerable time.
At the onset, the Coroner warned Mrs Richards that she need answer no questions, nor make any statement that would tend to incriminate her, but whatever she said would be taken down in writing and might be used in evidence against her hereafter.
Mrs Richards elected to give evidence. All her children, she said, were more or less delicate. A couple of weeks ago she noticed that Gwendoline was shaking as if her nerves were bad but she would not tell witness how or where she felt ill. Her appetite was as good as ever, and she never complained of not being satisfied, nor of not having had enough food. She had never been refused breakfast to witness’s knowledge, nor had she been made to carry large bundles of sticks before breakfast. Molly was witness’s eldest daughter, 14 years of age.
The Coroner: Witnesses are going to say that five or six weeks ago the child was seen crying and that when spoken to she said that Molly would not give her any breakfast.
Witness: I always left them to their food; they fed themselves.
You do not know about her being refused breakfast? No sir; but I don’t think she would be refused other than the other children.
Another witness is going to say that she saw the child about a month ago, about 9 o’clock in the morning carrying sticks, and that she had complained that she had had no breakfast, and that you had refused to give her any, is that true? no sir.
Why has she been crying so much? She often cried and many people would think I had been beating her, but I have never done so. I don’t know why she has been crying so much.
Another witness is going to say that the child has complained that she did not get enough dinner?, the children are all dealt with equally, and at no time, to my knowledge has she had insufficient dinner.
Have you sent her out with a bottle to fetch paraffin at dinner-time so that she had no time for dinner? No sir.
In categorical reply to questions, Mrs Richards denied that she had sent the deceased out on errands to prevent her having dinner: that she had never threatened to “bash her brains in”, that deceased cried frequently from want of food; and that she had forbidden the school teachers providing the child with a cup of cocoa.
The Coroner: why did this child go home to dinner while her sisters remained at school to dinner?; – Because they accused her of stealing dinners.
Was that because she was hungry and had not sufficient food? – I don’t think she stole the dinners and I thought if she came home she could not be accused. It was not because she had insufficient food.
Do you know that people have given her food? – Not until today I have known that other people gave her a mouthful of food.
And if a witness comes forward and says that she has given your child food several times and that when you found it out you kept her from the house, is that not correct? No sir.
Why have you always sent this child and not the other children for wood? – I have one to help me in the house and the others are too young.
You have a boy? – Yes, aged 17.
Why not send him? – Because he is at work, he does casual work.
The Girl’s Illness
In reply to further questions witness said she had no knowledge that deceased had been heard crying when going to the wood and saying that she had had no breakfast; nor that her son Jack had ill-treated and threatened the child. Deceased did not carry all the sticks, but she got them every day for the morning. When witness noticed her shaking on March 9th she got her into the house and seeing no improvement later, she sent for the doctor. That was on Thursday week. Deceased went to school a couple of days after the Christmas holidays, but she had not gone regularly because witness objected to the child being kept in the infants’ class. She knew she was under an obligation to keep the children at school until they were 14, and the magistrates had made an order against her. Deceased was in a made up bed in the kitchen when the doctor came on the Thursday and she did not go out afterwards to her knowledge. Witness kept the child downstairs because her legs would not allow her to go up and down stairs to attend to her. Deceased was about the same, and she sent a message to that effect to the doctor on the 13th.
The Coroner: But she seemed very ill, didn’t she? – I could not understand her because her appetite was so good. She seemed better witness continued and said she was better on the Sunday but witness did not understand her shaking and her hands trembling so much. She seemed to be the same all day on Monday.
“I was going to pick her up, then I thought I would put the children to bed first. I had partly raised her and then her head fell forward and she died immediately”.
In reply to questions as to diet, witness said that deceased had hot milk on the Monday. She wanted jam and was cross, but witness did not give it to her as she thought she ought not to have it. She had only bread and butter on the Sunday for breakfast and milk for dinner. She had milk just before she died, but nothing solid to eat. During the time she was ill – from March 9th to the 16th – she had toast and bread and butter and milk. At other times she had had the same as the other children, bacon and bacon and fat, and bread and butter etc.
The Coroner: Now I am going to put it you, and you need not answer it unless you want to, that this child has been systematically underfed for a very long period? – no sir, not at all.
That, perhaps without actual violence that you have systematically ill-treated this child? – No sir, I have never marked the child.
That you have under-clothed the child? She has been clothed in the same way as the others. I know their clothes are scanty, but I have little money.
That you have treated this child quite differently from the other children? – Not at all sir, – she is my child, and I have had the same thought for her as for the others.
Had the children as much milk as they wanted? – No sir, I could not afford it.
How much did they have? – I get a quart a day. I have only 15s a week besides my earnings as a general thing.
Do you keep cows? – No sir, I keep goats and when they have milk I make most of it.
The Coroner put questions as to the ordinary daily diet of the family, and witness re-asserted that Gwendoline had the same as the other children. Deceased ate two or two and a half rounds of bread from a 2lbs loaf at a meal except when it was a cooked one with potatoes and other vegetables. Deceased took an average day’s food up to the Saturday before she died. Then a friend, Mrs Cutter advised her to give the child more milk and less food. On the last Sunday deceased asked her for an orange, and witness peeled it and she ate it contentedly. On the Monday – the day before she died witness cooked her an apple before dinner, she ate that and had three half cup-fulls of milk after.
The Coroner: Do you seriously tell me that the child has been fed like this up to the Saturday before she died? – Yes.
Do you know that the doctor says there was not an atom of fat on the child’s body? – It was not for the want of food sir.
That the condition of the body could only have been brought about by the systematic lack of food.
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