Mexborough and Swinton Times April 29, 1898
Breach of the Factory Acts
Messrs Rawding, Blackburn and Rawding, sickle manufacturers, Conisborough were charged with illegally employing a young person at Conisborough on April 1.
Commander Smith, who prosecuted, said there were two informations against the defendants, one being that they have failed to obtain a certificate of the fitness of a youth named Horace Tomlinson, who was in their employ, and was under the age of 16, and the other information was that this young person was employed after the legal hours.
According to the copy of the abstract of the Factory Acts, which was displayed in defendant’s factory, the hours of employment for young persons in their employ was from 6 am until 6 pm, but on April 1, an inspector visited the factory at 7 o’clock at night, and there found the lad Horace Tomlinson at work. They called the next day, and in the presence of the defendants took a declaration from the boy to the effect that he had worked until 8:30 pm on the previous night.
The defendant Blackburn, who appeared in answer to the summons stated, in reply to the magistrates, that the firm pleaded guilty. With regard to the absence of a certificate of illness the lad had worked at two or three places before he entered their employ, and had had certificate of fitness, and they did not think it necessary for him to obtain another. They also pleaded guilty to the other charge. They had a shipment order in, and were very busy, and kept the boy after hours because he was very useful at the time. It should not, however, occur again.
Fined £1, including costs on each charge.