Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 18 January 1901
Breach of the Explosives Act.
John Stonehouse, carrier, Stephen Barnes, junr . , greengrocer, and Walter Webster, greengrocer, all of Denaby and James Bennett and Ernest Foster, carters, of Mexbro’ were summoned for a breach of the Explosives Act of 1875, by leaving drays unattended, when laden with explosives, in the 20th Dec
P.C. Woodward, stationed at Thorne, said on Thursday, the 20th Dec., at 1-15 p.m., he was on duty at Hatfield road, near the Rising Sun Inn, Thorne. He there saw five drays stood on the highway, with no horses attached, and sheeted down, about 50 yards apart. He noticed all the defendants coming out of the Rising Sun, and they said they had been to get something to eat.
He told them they were doing wrong, and that they had better go to their drays. He took their names and addresses. They each one admitted that they bad been supplied with a copy of the regulations for travelling etc. They said they had ton on each dray of an explosive known as “west falite.” They were accompanied by a man named Arthur Turner, who said he was foreman to the British and Colonial Supply Association, Denaby. The defendants afterwards got their horses yoked, and went away.
Previous to going they intimated that they were under the impression that one man was sufficient to watch the lot.
Mr. W. Baddiley, who appeared for the defendants, said that on the day in question the company whose name they had heard mentioned had ten drays of these explosives brought from Swinefield to Denaby.
The Sergeant said the distance from Swinefield to Thorne was 14 miles, and they said it was 18. At any rate after the horses in these ten drays, carrying one ton each of this “westfalite” had travelled for 14 miles, the men naturally thought it was time the horses had something to eat. One of the men went into the public house to get some help, but unfortunately they could get nobody to help them. They observed the regulations as far as they possibly could. The dray, were 50 yards apart and sheeted down. There was a man left in charge while the defendants were obtaining some refreshment for themselves and their horses.
Mr. Turner, foreman of the British and Colonial Supply Association, deposed to being with the dray. conveying “westfalite” from Swinefield to Denaby. He estimated that it was about 18 miles front Swinefield to Thorne. However the distance the horses came he considered it was time for them to have something to eat. Up to the time of getting to Thorne all the regulations had been observed. The explosive was not particularly dangerous, as it required a powerful detonator to cause a discharge.
The Chairman said it was a serious matter, leaving these explosive, about, with nobody in charge. No doubt arrangements could have been made by which the horses could have been fed on the road.
The defendants were each fined £1 and the costs 8s.