Somerset County Herald 19 Jan 1946 Supplied Too Much Coke Martock Gas Company Fined inc RUTTER BROWN SKINNER BRIMBLECOMBE PAULL CHANT HEBDITCH GILES PRENTICE RIVERS

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Somerset County Herald and Taunton Courier. Saturday 19 Jan 1946

Page 8 Column 4




Summonses against the Martock & District Gas Consumers Co., Ltd., of Coat-road, Martock, for supplying coke in excess of the maximum quantity permitted under the war-time coal distribution regulations occupied Yeovil county magistrates for several hours on Wednesday.

Various residents of the district, including the owners of several bakeries, were also before the Court for unlawfully acquiring excessive coke for consumption.

Mr. F. G. PEARSON prosecuted for the Ministry of Fuel and Power. Mr. Leslie RUTTER represented the Company and also several of the defendants.

The first cases taken were those in which Alice Catherine BROWN, of Lopen Head (represented by Mr. F. S. BOXALL) pleaded not guilty to two summonses for unlawfully acquiring 64 cwt. and 67 cwt. of coke in excess of the maximum quantity permitted in respect of The Bakery, Lopen Head. - Defendant said she had never ordered any coke from the Company. Her husband did all the ordering.

Mr. Frederick SKINNER, manager of the Gas Company, said defendant's husband was registered with the company as the consumer.

The Chairman (Mr. H. S. HOWARD), dismissing the summonses against her, said she would be allowed two guineas costs.

In each of these two cases, the Company, pleading guilty, were fined £1 for supplying the coke

Mr. RUTTER entered pleas of guilty in each of the following cases, and fines imposed were:- Dr. Stanley Leemore BRIMBLECOMBE, of “Pankets,” High-street, Stoke-under-Ham, who received 15 cwt. of coke in excess, 10s (the Company being fined £1 for supplying the coke); Chappell's Bakeries, Ltd., West-street, South Petherton, 347 cwt. in excess, £1 (Company fined £2); Chappell's Bakeries, 319 cwt. in excess, £1 (Company fined £2).

For supplying the William Blake Memorial Hall at South Petherton with 15 cwt. in excess the Company was fined £1, and they also had to pay a similar amount for supplying William Henry PAULL, of Rockmount, Whitehall, South Petherton, with 15 cwt extra. PAULL had to pay 10s for acquiring the extra amount.

Summones <sic> against the Gas Co. for supplying 59(?) cwt, in excess to The Bakery, Church-street, Martock, resulted in a fine of £1, and the owner of the bakery, Frederick Ernest CHANT, had to pay 10s. A fine of £1 was also imposed on the Company for supplying 41 cwt. exces- <sic> to Howard Leslie CHANT, of Middle-street, Montacute, in respect of The Bakery Montacute. CHANT, who pleaded not guilty, was ordered to pay 10s.


Ernest HEBDITCH, of the South Somerset Poultry Farm, Sunnylands, Martock, pleaded not guilty to acquiring 20 cwt. and 5 cwt excess quantities from the Gas Company, and the summonses were dismissed. The Bench also dismissed two summonses against the Company for alleged supply of excessive coke.

The magistrates also dismissed summonses against the Company for supplying The Hall, West Coker, with 15 cwt. and 45 cwt. in excess. No evidence was offered against Frederick John GILES, of Bradford Abbas-road, Sherborne, who was concerned in two cases of acquiring the coke.

Among those giving evidence in the cases were Mr. B. M. PRENTICE, local fuel overseer for the Chard rural and Ilminster urban districts, and Mr. T. RIVERS, fuel overseer for the Yeovil rural district.


Mr. RUTTER contended that there had been no serious breaches of the regulations. These offences, he said, occurred when, for various reasons, the Gas Company was greatly under staffed. At the time, efforts were made to obtain the release of a clerk, who was serving in the Army, but no reply was received to the application

Mr. BOXALL said he fully appreciated the immense difficulties confronting gas companies and other undertakings during the war, but it was because of all the national difficulties that these various orders were brought into force. If there were no difficulties there would be no orders.

The Company were also ordered to pay costs of £15 8s. - In the cases against GILES, which were withdrawn, he was allowed costs of one guinea in each case against the Company.

The Chairman said that these were the first cases of their kind to come before the Court, and the magistrates were dealing with them leniently. They would be dealt with far more severely on future occasions.

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