Leeds nostalgia: Bah Humbug! Christmas from 1947

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Turn the clock back 70 years and judging by a quick flick through the pages of the YEP, you might be forgiven for thinking the Christmas spirit was a little thin on the ground.

The front page story for December 27, 1947 carried stories about theft, assault and deception, with nary a mention of a good deed.

Farmer Joseph Brown, owner of Bracken End poultry farm, Menston, threatened to ‘shoot on sight’ thieves who tried to steal his hens.

His threat came after his premises were repeatedly broken into, losing 165 head of pedigree hen, worth £450, just a few nights before Christmas.

Despite a lull on Christmas Day, he suffered more raids thereafter and said he was mounting an armed patrol of his 16-acre farm.

He said: “I have been in the business 20 years and this is my first experience of large scale rustling.” He said he was convinced the thieves lived localled, as the stolen birds had all been slaughtered on the premises.

Meanwhile, in another case, a 24-year-old woman was accused of stealing a shilling from a seven-year-old boy who was queuing to go to the cinema.

Marjorie Florence Martin, of no fixed abode, was sentences to two months in prison at Halifax.

And finally, a few weeks ago, we related the story of Miss Margaret Dean, of Petersham Road, Wakefield, who claimed to have an oil well in her cellar. On this day in 1947, a Scottish woman whose husband was a ‘diviner’ wrote to back up her story, claiming Wakefield sat over an untapped oilfield.

Wakefield City Engineer E HA Stazicker, appeared to back up the claim, adding “extensive” inquiries had already taken place into the matter.


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