Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 24 July 1891
Claim for Damages at Conisborough.
An Injunction Granted.
At the Doncaster County Court yesterday, before Judge Bristowe, the case of John Greathead, joiner, versus Thomas Twibey, mason, came on for hearing.
The claim was for damages for the demolition of a wall. Mr. Hattersley appeared for the plaintiff. and Mr. Toney for the defendant.
The plaintiff said he owned a house and garden at Conisborough, and the defendant yeas the owner of a house and land at the westerly side of the garden.
Witness purchased land in 1879 and erected a house upon it. It was upon the slope of a hill. He erected a boundary fence between his wall and the adjoining land. It was a 4 ½ inch wall with buttresses. The defendant erected his house in 1886. Prior to this nothing had happened to plaintiff’s wall.
When the defendant erected his house the level in front of the house was altered by the raising of the ground, to the height of about 4 feet. in the front part. The ground rained came up to plaintiff’s wall : but no provision was made for sustaining the weight of the earth, although it was promised that something should be done: it was at the time they were building that the promise was made.
Nothing happened to plaintiff’s wall until three years afterwards, when it started to give way, and that was in a part where the defendant had raised the ground. He complained to the defendant about that, and he be should not do anything.
A lawyer’s letter was then sent to the defendant. It was about eighteen months ago that the top bricks the wall fell, and the remainder of the wall came down on the 6th April this rear. This was due to the artificial raising of the defendant a property.
The wall was rebuilt, as the defendant took no notice of the lawyer’s letter, and the cost was now claimed from the defendant.
Mr. Townend of Conisborough, built the wall at a cost of 19s 2d. Mr.Hattersley asked for the payment of that amount and for an undertaking not to repeat the damage, but the defendant did not comply with this. When the wall showed signs of giving way, the attention of Mr. George White, civil engineer, Mexborough, was drawn to it, and be made a plan of the place (which was produced). The wall was likely to fall again unless some provision was made to prevent it. If
Cross-examined by Mr. Toney, the plaintiff said he had excavated a little in order to get a way to his home, but it was only very little indeed.
Mr Tovey – What do you call “little”? – An inch or two.
Did you not take it some two feet? No. If
The Judge (to Mr. Tovey): You should not build your stuff up against the wall; you have no sigh to use that wall to pile up stuff against it
The plaintiff: I was not obliged to put a wall at all.
The Judge: I know you were not.
The plaintiff further said his wall was perfectly straight when the defendant commenced to build
The Judge: Did it not bulge at all ?
Plaintiff: I do not think it bulged half an inch, but that was not in the place we are talking about.
When the ease had proceeded some time, the Judge observed: For the sum of £2 9s 2d, this is costly amusement for both both parties. (Laughter.)
Mr. Tovey (to the plaintiff): Did you pull this wall down yourself? -No.
No part of it? No.
You have not been friendly with the defendant for some time ?
The Judge: Never mind that. (Laughter.)
ln answer to Mr. Hattersley, the plaintiff said the wa 18 feet long.
Mr. Tovey (to plaintiff) . Have you not erected some fencing on the top of the wall ?—Yes.
ls that a proper thing? —Mr. Hattersley : That not where the wall fell.
Mr. George White, engineer of Mexborough, deposed to visiting the spot and preparing the plan which was produced.
John Downing, builder, of Conisborough, said be built the house for the plaintiff ; it was a good boundary fence.
The Judge: I do not see the necessity for calling the whole of Conisborough. (Laughter).
An architect employed at Denaby Main and Mr. Humphries, if surveyor to the Mexborough Local Board deposed to the character of the wall and the surrotincli surroundings.
The Judge : If the ground has been raised it is perfectly idle to say the man is justifies’ in raising the ground and making a retaining wall.
Mr. Tovey: The two adjoining pieces of land belong to one owner.
The Judge: That is not in dispute
Mr. Toney: The plaintiffs bought their land first.
The Judge: That in not in dispute.
Mr. Tovey: And they undertook to have a good and sufficient fence.
The Judge: It was good and sufficient for a boundary wall.
Thomas Twibey was then called. He said was one of the owners. He commenced to build in 1886. Hie brother measured the land and took the levels. He prepared the plan himself.
The witness was proceeding to he examined by Mr. Tovey, when the Judge said : This is most absurd waste of time. You might just as well talk about the wind disturbing the weather-cock at Doncaster. (Laughter).
Continuing, the defendant said the wall never did fall down; the plaintiff took it down: not a brick fell.
The Judge: That is a new feature in the case.
Mr. Hatterviey : That has altered it considerably (to the defendant): Do you mean to say that the plaintiff has pulled the whole the wail down ?—Yes, I do
Mr. Hattersley: I don’t ask you any more.
Wm. Twibey and the father also spoke to a like effect.
Wm. Johnson, builder. Doncaster, said he had examined the wall and did not think it had sufficient support.
Mr. Hattersley: This 4 ½ inch wall has pillars on the plaintiff s side. Don’t you think that sufficient for the purpose?
Mr. Janson If there was no pressure on the other side it would have stood.
Mr. Hattersley: That is what we say.
His Honor gave a verdict for the plaintiff for 30s. damages and said he should not allow costs for all the of witnesses, because they were perfectly unnecessary. He would allow for three witnesses.
Mr. Hattersley You will grant the injunction asked for? —The Judge: Yes, and solicitor’s coots on the B scale.