No Licence for New Co-Operative Stores – Unsuccessful Application – Development of Village

March 1911

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 11 March 1911

No Licence for New Co-Operative Stores.

Denaby Society’s Unsuccessful Application

The Development of the Village

At the adjourned Brewster Sessions for the Doncaster West Riding Police Division, on Saturday, Thomas James Bayliss, of Hickleton Street, Denaby applied for a beer off licence.

Mr WM Gichard, solicitor, of Rotherham, appeared the applicant, and Mr A Neal, Sheffield, opposed on behalf of Messrs Ind Coope and Co, the owners of the Reresby Arms,. Mr G W Andrews opposed on behalf of the licensee of the Reresby Arms.

Mr Gichard said in 1893, when the licence of the Denaby Main Hotel was granted, there were in Denaby 705 houses and the population of 4,000. Now they were, in addition to these seven of five houses 1084 other houses, and the population was 10,500. The population was more than double, and there were only two full licences and one off-licence. There had been a steady increase of houses between 1893 and 1907, and since 1908, 102 houses were built in the immediate vicinity of the proposed licence. Plans for 295 more houses in the immediate neighbourhood had been passed.

The Chairman: How many off-licences are there in Denaby?

Only one, said Mr Gichard in reply, who in the course of some interesting district comparisons mentioned the following figures:

Mexborough – population 14,000, with 18 public houses and six off-licences.

Old Conisbrough – population 4,500, with nine public houses and to off-licences.

Denaby Main – population 10,500, with two public houses and one off-licence.

Thomas James Bayliss said he was the secretary of the Denaby Main Industrial Co-operative Society, which there were 749 members. He applied on behalf of the society for a licence for new premises at Denaby.

Mr Neil: your society is now in its 27th year? – Yes, sir.

You already hold one licence? – Yes, sir.

You sell there, not only to your members but to any customer? – Yes, sir.

The Denaby Main Hotel is a good house, is it not? – Yes, sir.

Is there an Institute in Denaby? – I am not sure; I am not a resident of Denaby.

Have you built your new place in which you are applying for a licence? That yes, sir, and it is occupied.

In a Desert

Mr Neil: Your new stores are in a desert; there are no houses on the North, South, nor West?

Mr Gichard interposed and refuted this statement. If the Bench looked at the plans see that already on the east and south houses next door to the new premises.

The plans were handed to the magistrates for inspection.

Mr Bayliss: We own the land adjoining to West, and we intend to build on it.

Mr HL Smethurst, architect, of Conisbrough, said that the new premises of the Denaby Main Industrial Co-operative Society were built in accordance with his plans at a cost of £740. The premises were 450 square yards in extent, and were enclosed. The distance from the new shop to the Denaby Hotel was 845 yards and 915 to the Reresby Arms. To the off-licence in Doncaster Road the distance was 530 yards.

There were 530 houses near the new premises and plans are being passed already by the local authorities for the erection of 254 for the Colliery Company, and 45 for the Co-operative Society.

Mr Neil: Will these houses which are proposed to be erected be nearer the new premises than any other? – Yes, sir.

Are any houses close to or adjoining the new premises in question? – Yes, on the South and East boundaries there are houses and yards only the distance of 9 ft away.

Joseph Middleton, replying to Mr Gichard stated that he was an ex PC, resident in Tickhill Street, Denaby Main. He was now employed as a Porter at Fullerton Hospital. He was of opinion the licence was needed.

Mr Neil: Do you know of any particular person stating this out was needed? – Yes, several.

Thomas Dabbs, 3 Tickhill Sq, Denaby, an insurance agent, said his house was 100 yards from the new stores and 850 yards from any of the public houses. There are also many more houses close to where he lived, and nearer the new premises of the Co-operative Stores than any licensed house.

A Godsend

Mr Gichard: Do you know the opinion of the people in the district in relation to this licence? – Yes, sir, most of them say will be a godsend if a licence was granted. (Laughter.)

Mr Neil: do you find any difficulty in getting intoxicating drinks? – No, sir.

Then you’re not representing any person? – No, sir.

Mr Andrews: do you know Mr Chambers of the Co-operative Society? – Yes, sir.

What is he ? – Chairman of the committee.

Mr Andrews (who also opposed): Are you aware that the chairman of the Denaby Main Colliery Company is also the chairman of directors of the Denaby Main Industrial Co-operative Society? – No, sir.

Did you know that the Denaby Main Colliery Company applied to have years ago for another licence? – No, sir.

There are other officials of the Colliery Company who are shareholders of the Co-operative Society? – Yes.

Are these premises near the cricket club premises? – 800 yards away.

Thomas Cory, boot repairer, of Denaby, lived 300 yards away from the shop and was there to support the application. In answer to a question he said he was a teetotaller.

Mr Gichard: have you heard any opinions of the people in the district? – Yes, sir; they all agree a licence will be serviceable.

Father in Law’s Views

Mr Neil: Can you give me the names of any person was expressed that opinion to you?

– Yes, sir, my father-in-law. (Laughter)

Anybody else? – Well, I cannot give you any names, but I have heard people in my shop say it.

Walter Hirst, in answer to Mr Gichard, said he was a fish salesman, residing in Ravenfield Street, Denaby Main, and stated he had heard the same opinion expressed as given by Mr Coy.

Mr Neil, in cross examination, asked witness if he could name one single person who had told him the licence would be a benefit.

The witness replied: “No, sir; I cannot give a particular name, as I always have my back turned to customers.” (Laughter.)

John Farmer, a general dealer, of Tickhill Street also gave evidence in support of the application.

Mr Neil: it is the first time I have heard of a Co-operative Society applied for such a licence; it is a new development and an undesirable development, and owing to the relation between the Crown Brewery Company and the Corporate Society is sure to be a monopoly.

Mr Gichard (interposing) (to Mr Bayliss): for your present licensed shop do you get your beer from one firm or more? – From three.

Mr Neil: The Co-operative Society have a very great interest in the Crown Brewery company. The scheme of corporation was never competition, but Corporation. It was that the society should purchase goods and distribute them, and divide their own profits. When I look at their Society I find it is a declining society or a stationary one. Eight years ago it was considerably larger than at present. There are 740 members, and for those persons one licence will be sufficient. They pay no income tax on their trade. The societies, which are supposed to be distributing societies amongst their own members are now launching out into competition with other firms. I find this society was able to pay no less than 25% dividend last quarter.

The Denaby Main Colliery Company are not represented here today. The reason is obvious. The Denaby Main Hotel belongs to them, and the Denaby Co-operative Society is also largely under their control. The plan of the district sure that the new premises were isolated, and the houses near the premises are not been built during the last three years at least. It is obvious that the part where the new premises are situated in the district at as yet and built upon. They say that 295 houses are going to be built there. They are now trying to get a licence in anticipation of a larger population; keep it warm, so to speak, in order that nobody else will come forward for a licence when the population justifies one. We have had witnesses teetotallers. (Laughter.) I think there is a premium upon witnesses. One says he has had his back turned to people who was speaking to him, and the other says his father-in-law told him a licence was wanted in the district. (Laughter.)

Mr Andrews, on behalf of the house which Mr Neil represented, said he had a right to speak in opposition to the claim. It was considered that the officials of the Denaby Main Colliery Company were financially interested in the success of that licence, because they had shares in the Co-operative Society. They were also interested financially in the Crown Brewery, and it stood to common sense they would give them the monopoly of the trade.

Mr Andrews also proceeded to remark the fact that the Colliery Company prevented men attending the Working Men’s club at the east end of Denaby Main, and had caused this club to close its doors.

Mr Gichard (heatedly): This is not correct in the slightest detail. The doors of the club have never been closed and in fact are open today. Moreover a friend (Mr Andrews) had no right to make any statements of this character without producing evidenced to substantiate the same.

Mr Yarborough (Chairman) agreed with the view of Mr Gichard.

The Bench, after a consultation of 10 minutes, refused the application.