“Stolen” Bikes – A Denaby Pit-Yard Mix-up

June 1931

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 12 June 1931

“Stolen” Bikes.

A Denaby Pit-Yard Mix-up

At Doncaster, on Tuesday, Benjamin Clough, of Loversal Street, Denaby, was charged with stealing a cycle, value 25s. belonging to Edward Brown, of 26, Chambers Avenue , Conisborough, on June 2nd.

Brown stated that be cycled to Denaby Colliery for the purpose of drawing his dole and left the cycle near the colliery office is the pay yard. At 11 a.m. it had gone and though he made a thorough search he could not find it. On Saturday, June 6th defendant came to his house and told him he had his cycle and that the police had been making investigations. He said he recognised the machine and had taken it to take care of it.

In answer to defendant, Brown said he did not think he would take the cycle with any criminal intent.

P.c. Archer said that on Saturday afternoon he defendant had told him he was making enquiries about a missing cycle. Defendant showed him a cycle in a hut on an allotment. When asked whose machine it was defendant said it belonged to Dick Whalley. Witness afterwards found this to be untrue. When cautioned and charged, defendant said “I ought to have taken it back.’

Defendant told the magistrate that on Tuesday afternoon he and Brown were going to work when they saw Brown’s cycle in the yard. He (defendant) was the first out of the pit and be took it home with him to take care of it for Brown. Asked why he did not take it back before Saturday, defendant said they had been marking all the week and wanted time to get Ted Brown to claim it as someone else was claiming it.

Defendant was fined 40s.

Brown was then charged with stealing a cycle belonging to George Leslie Shaw. The machine was valued at 25s. and was alleged to have been stolen from the pit yard.

Brown pleaded not guilty.

Shaw, of Wath Road, Mexborough, identified the cycle as his property and William George Shaw, a miner, the father, said he rode his cycle to Denaby pit and left it in the yard.

Answering defendant, witness denied that he took another cycle in mistake. He did not bring any cycle away from the pit.

P.c. Archer said that, when he saw Brown, the latter said “I took it because someone had taken mine.”

Defendant said that when he cycled to the pit yard to draw his dole he left his cycle there and later found it had gone. There was another cycle there and stayed until 12 o’clock until all the men in the pit had left the yard. He paw that no one had claimed the machine. He therefore thought someone had taken his machine in mistake and left this one. He took this machine and when be next went to work he let it be known that somebody had taken his machine in mistake, and that he had taken theirs. Later in the week when he went to work he saw his own cycle in the yard and tried to get in touch with the man who had evidently taken his machine and left his own. When he (witness) came out of the pit his cycle had gone. He did not say that he had taken the machine became somebody had taken his. He said “Someone has taken mine in mistake and I have theirs.”

The magistrates dismissed the case.