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Dinner Hour Bets – Police Raid at Great Houghton

June 1929

Mexborough and Swinton Times, June 7, 1929

Dinner Hour Bets

Police Raid at Great Houghton

That boys and girls and visited the house for the purpose of putting bets during the school dinner hour was the allegation made by police witnesses at Barnsley, when Elizabeth Summerfield, great Houghton, was charged with keeping a betting house at 5 Dearne St.

Alfred E Summerfield, husband of the first mentioned, was charged with permitting the house to be used for betting, and James Summerfield, the father, with “assisting.”

Superintendent Blacker told of observations being kept on the house and gave details of the number of persons who had visited the premises. He said the worst feature of the case was that a large proportion of those who visited the house were women and children.

PC Ames said that on many occasions they saw what appeared to be slips and on some occasion what appeared to be money handed to Elizabeth Summerfield at her door in the yard.

Alfred Summerfield: Where were you when you watched the house?

Superintendent Blacker: I shall asked the witness not to reply. That is necessary in the public interest.

In reply to the magistrates clerk (Mr P Carrington) witness said there were a hundred yards away and were using field glasses.

PC Poole corroborated. He said that on all the days in question James Summerfield went in and out of the premises freely carrying “sporting Pinks.” Witness said that on one day alone 16 boys of 14 girls visited the house.

Police-Sergt. Hutchinson said when they raided the house James Somerfield had £2 11s., 10d., betting slips and other betting material equipment in his possession. He said “I have nothing to sac.”

Alfred Somerfield said that on the day of the raid he had been working. The only betting material found was found on his father. He contended that it should be a case of street betting and not keeping a betting house. Witness denied that there had ever been betting transactions at the house. When people come to the house to put on bets they had always sent them away to find witness’s father. “My wife and I have had nothing to do with it,” said witness.

James Somerfield, an aged man. said “I do it for a bit of `bacca.’ I also like a gill of beer.”

Defendants were fined £5 each. The chairman (Mr. J. M. Spencer Stanhope) said they had taken into account the fact that defendants had never been in court before. “Let this be a warning to you,” he added.