The Lord Mayor of Leeds, William Hemingway, on the left, and his wife visit Woodlesford chapel in February 1935.
LEEDS MAGISTRATE FINED.
REMARKS TO RETURNED MINE WORKERS.
YOUTH WHO FELT WORRIED.
Yorkshire Post, Wednesday 27 October 1926.
A magistrate for the City of Leeds, a former City Councillor, and the Socialist candidate tor the East Hunslet Ward at the forthcoming municipal election, William Hemingway, 11, Parnaby View, Hunslet, was fined £30 at Leeds yesterday for intimidating six youths who had returned to work at the Water Haigh Pit, Woodlesford.
The West Riding Court, over which Mr. J. Morkill presided was crowded. During the proceedings a large crowd of miners and others gathered outside the Town Hull, and several speakers referred the charge against the defendant, who is a miners' union official.
Mr. J. E. Lightburn (for the West Riding County Council) prosecuted, and Mr. J. Milner defended.
The prosecution, Mr. Lightburn said, was brought under Section 21 of the Emergency Regulations, the charge being that the defendant did act to restrict the supply of fuel. On October 11 six youths. Roland Thomas Holl, Ernest B Holl, John Bartlett, Harry Bartlett, and Thomas Armitage, were proceeding down Fleet Lane, returning work at Water Haigh Pit, when they met the defendant and another man.
Roland Thomas Holl asked defendant for a match. He complied, and askd how long they had been working, when the boys him. He then said: "I suppose you all know you are doing wrong, and that you will suffer in time to cone.” He added: "We will give you your passport today, and time to consider, and mind we don’t see you tomorrow."
Holl replied that they would have to come tomorrow, to which defendant said, "If you do, you will have suffer the consequences. There will be 50 of us tomorrow and you will know what to expect.” During this conversation the defendant also said. "When the pit starts you will have take the consequences. You will be out of work through it."
When spoken to be a police sergeant, defendant said. "I did speak to them, but never threatened them, I know better than that,” and when the summons was served said, "I am sorry."
Roland Thomas Holl of Wand Street, Hunslet, confirmed this statement in his evidence. He said, in answer to a question regarding the effect the remarks had had on his mind, that be was worried and did not wish to be knocked about. He felt safer when he had reported the matter. He agreed with Mr. Milner that he was in a similar case a fortnight ago, but did not agree that it was a coincidence that his present evidence should he similar to that in the former case.
He admitted that defendant had said would appeal to his (Holl’s) reason, but did not recall that defendant said anything about assisting him or his mother.
Thomas Armitage, filler, of Vincent Place. Hunslet, gave similar evidence.
Evidence was also given by John Bartlett and Ernest B. Holl.
Defendant, in the witness-box, said that in his conversation with the youths, on hearing some their home conditions, he said: "I am very sorry, but as a union official I have done all I can to assist you. I can't tell you to do this or that. I can only appeal your reason, and would like you to think it over." He denied saying anything to the youths about 50 or 60 men, or about the ensuing consequences if they returned work at the pit. It would not be in his power to threaten them that they would not be employed after the pits resumed. That would be a matter purely tor the management. He never said anything about a passport.
Replying to Mr. Milner, he said he would never have spoken the boys if they had not spoken him in the first place. He agreed that the evidence was correct with the exception of the references to the 50 or 60 men, and to the consequences.
Mr. J. Ingham. colliery carpenter, of Woodlesford, who was with the defendant when was speaking to the lads, confirmed Hemingway’s version of what took place.
Mr. Milner, asking for an adjournment, said he desired to call evidence regarding the former case in which the same witnesses had appeared.
Objection was raised by Mr. Lightburn, and the application was refused.
Addressing the Bench, Mr. Milner submitted that it was incredible that the defendant, an official of twenty years’ standing, should have made the statement that the boys would not get work if the pits were opened He was giving fatherly advice to them, and was willing to go and see their parents in the direction of relief and so forth.
Alter a brief retirement Mr. Morkill announced that the Bench found that the case was proved, and there would be a fine of £30. A month would allowed for the payment.