South Yorkshire Times, July 27, 1957
Police Watch on Club
Denaby “Bookie”, Assistants and Committeemen Fined
In a small room in a Denaby club betting was going on “on quite a large scale”, Mr J. E. Wilson told Doncaster West Riding magistrates on Friday.
Before the court were James Walton (52), bookmaker, of Wadsworth Street, Denaby, who pleaded guilty to using a room in the club for ready money betting, his two assistants Albert Backhouse (45), miner, Clifton Street, and Wilford White (37), miner, Bolton Street, both of Denaby and 16 committee members of the Comrades Club and Institute, Denaby, who pleaded guilty to having the care and management of a room used for ready money betting. Walton was fined £20 and the remainder of the accused were each fined £5.
The committee members were coming John Goddard (61), surface worker, Tickill Street; Willis Walters (36), surface worker, Cliff view; Walter Whitehead (41), labourer, Firbeck Street; Samuel Kelly (50), miner, Blythe Street; Samuel Lote (60). Deputy, Tickill Street; William plan (47), deputy, Church Road; Joseph Pears (50), caretaker, Rossington Street; Frank Ward (44), miner, Cliff view. Benjamin Horner (57), miner, Warmsworth Street; John Walker (57), miner, Annerley Street; Percy Jepson (64), labourer, Doncaster Road; Harry Benton (61), unemployed, Annerley Street; Arthur Straw (44), miner, Annerley Street; William Wright (56), miner, the Thrybergh Terrace, all of Denaby; John Miller (60), miner, Doncaster Road, Conisbrough, and Oscar Ward, surface worker, of Raikes Street, Mexborough.
An application to strike the club of the register was adjourned for 12 months. The magistrates ordered that in this time the club should be kept under police supervision and the report submitted to them every three months. Mr Wilson said observation was kept on the club by police officers and a report submitted to them every few months.
Mr Wilson said observations were kept on the club by police officers on four dates. On the last occasion – on June 29 – Backhouse and white were seen to be assisting Walton who occupied a small room at the end of a recess in a large room where betting was taking place on quite a large scale. The room was fitted with the exchange Telegraph system and Walton received the results of races by plugging in earphones.
Mr Wilson added that although the police officers who kept observation were not members of the club they were supplied with liquor. Mr Donald Dunn. Defending, said: “it seems that the vice of betting can be tolerated in some forms, providing it pays something to the Exchequer. We are now told to invest in premium bonds – in other words to take a chance on “any picking out a lucky number.”
He said that the Royal commissions had caused confusion in people’s minds, confusion which was partly responsible for his clients having to appear at court. Mr Dunn said that in setting up the Royal commission the government had recognised the anomalies of the betting laws but nothing yet. He said “that’s something reasonable will emerge from these absurdities,” been done about them, he hoped.