'Prove yourself a man and confront the drovers' - the Advertiser's greatest hits of readers' letters

Stern words flew over the goings on at Rugby's cattle market in 1947

Monday, 26th April 2021, 12:38 pm
The Advertiser's archived page.

The Advertiser's letters page has been a treasure trove of putdowns, heated exchanges and virulent debate since the 1800s.

And a glance through the archives this week revealed a classic example of just that, with letters on alleged cruelty at the cattle market being exchanged in April 1947.

At that time, two markets were held in Rugby - Monday for cattle and Saturday for general merchandise.

The site as it appears today, with work to build 360 flats taking place.

Rugby's cattle market was quite an important part of the town's economy, and at the time the below readers' letters were exchanged it would have been held on the site sandwiched between Craven Road and Railway Terrace.

It had been on this site since 1878, and would remain there until 2008 - when it was moved to a site near Stoneleigh.

The site has been built on in some sections, with the remaining part now undergoing the construction of 360 apartments - a controversial plan which we reported on last year, see bit.ly/2S4d1xjIt is this cattle market held on Mondays which a reader (named Peter) wrote a letter about in the Advertiser on April 5 1947, suggesting the drovers were being cruel to calves while loading them onto trucks.

More than 70 years on, it's not likely we'll ever discover if there was any weight to the accusations, but a when another reader called Tom replied just over two weeks later on April 26, he had some stern words.

Tom wrote: "In your issue of April 5th I read a letter written by 'Peter' alleging cruelty to calves. I would submit that 'Peter' is even more to blame than the drovers doing the loading.

"To just stand there and witness such cruelty when there are present at the market police officers and an RSPCA inspector is beyond comprehension.

"Is 'Peter' proud of his actions? To prove himself a man I suggest that 'Peter' revisits Rugby market and demonstrates to the drovers how these calves should be loaded. I am sure the drovers will appreciate it."

Despite its vintage, the tone of the letter might be familiar to anyone who spends more than five seconds on any social media platform today - especially the 'if you didn't confront the perpetrators directly your allegation is invalid' line.

So should Peter have shown the drovers how things should be done? Let us know and, if your reply us suitably angry, acidic and/or sarcastic, we might even publish it.