From the Advertiser archives - 25, 50 and 101 years ago
25 years ago
December 18 1986
An apple tree which sheds its fruit by “the barrel load” has been banned from Rugby.
Siberian crab apple trees in Kingsley Avenue have been a danger to residents for more than 30 years said Paddox Cllr Cyril Orland.
“The apples are fair game for children to throw about,” he said. “The crab apple tree is unusual because the fruit falls off in a barrel load in just one week.”
When squashed into the ground, the fruit is dangerous, particularly for elderly people crossing the road. And at Tuesday’s council meeting Cllr Orland convinced fellow councillors the tree should not be included in the current landscaping scheme for the town. They were introduced to Britain in 1784. Richard Evans, who has lived in Kingsley Avenue for 31 years, admitted the tree had caused a nuisance. “I feel they are a danger to the public and I’m glad the council have decided not to plant any,” he said.
Neighbour Lucia Scott added: “They are a pain because people slip on all the fruit.”
50 years ago
December 11 1961
A 49-year-old homeless labourer walked into a County Durham police station on Monday and handed himself in for a crime he committed in Rugby four years ago.
He was sent to prison for two months by Rugby Magistrates on Monday. John Smith pleaded guilty to stealing £14 7s and 11d in cash and a postal order, value a guinea. He stole it between February 8 and 10, 1958. Chief inspector Woodward told magistrates W A Robatham, Mrs I Hands and Mr L Jones that at the time of the offence, Smith was a cleaner at the college. At the college he was given a bunch of keys by the caretaker, Mr Day, in order to get into certain rooms. He was left alone and during that time let himself into the office and took the money and postal order. The chief inspector listed 20 convictions made against Smith since 1931 for theft, fraud, wilful damage, embezzlement and house breaking.
Smith told Det. Con. Rawson: “I want to get it over with. I stole the money and the postal order.”
101 years ago
December 15 1910
MR J Wilmshurst, county coroner, held an inquest at the Union Workhouse on Monday morning touching the death of George Johnson, 69, an inmate. He fell over a balustrade early on the morning of Friday last week, on the landing below, fracturing his skull. Mr J Daynes was chosen as foreman of the jury. Rev R S Mitchinson said he would like to express the Board of Guardian’s deep regret over what happened. The inmate had been at the workhouse for about three weeks when he was found lying on the floor beneath a stairwell. He appeared to have fallen over a balustrade, the railings of which were three feet high. Harry Prestige, an aged inmate, said deceased had left his bed at about 5.45am, presumably to fetch water. The other inmates heard a crash and went outside to investigate. Johnson was lying at the bottom of the stairwell. John Scobey, another inmate, put his hand on Johnson’s chest and said, “I think he’s dead”. Another inmate said, “He’s dead alright.” A verdict of accidental death was recorded by the Guardians.