I like to think of High Blantyre as being a quiet part of town, but that was far from the case in May 1932, when 4 men appeared in court charged with assault of each other in a High Blantyre pub!
The four men were:
Peter Rooney, junior of 11 Victoria Street, Blantyre;
Anthony Barrett, miner, 32 Maxwell Crescent;
Charles M Quade, miner, 5 Maxwell Crescent; and
James Beecroft, 240 Main Street, all of High Blantyre
They appeared on a charge of disorderly conduct in the public-house known as The Auchinraith Vaults, High Blantyre, which we would now know today as “Matt’s Bar” on Main Street.
The men had indulged in throwing bottles and glasses each other. Rooney and Barrett admitted the charge, and pleas not guilty were tendered by McQuade and Beecroft. Evidence showed that in the public-house, an argument arose which led Beecroft to ask if Rooney, jun., wanted to pick a quarrel with him. Rooney’s reply was in affirmative, and Beecroft then refused to fight. A general melee followed, during which two dozen bottles and about one dozen tumblers were smashed. Beecroft was badly injured, and it was stated that for time he was lying unconscious under the table.
The Fiscal said he could not hope to convict either McQuade or Beecroft despite evidence that they should have been. Those 2 men were discharged but unfortunately, the other 2 Blantyre men caught the judge on a particularly harsh day. Rooney and Barrett were each sentenced to 60 days imprisonment for the bar brawl, the Sheriff remarking, “I’m going to put a stop to this sort of thing.”
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