How did people manage to cheat their gas meters in Blantyre in 1931?
Reports suggest it was a common practice for people to put false coins in the gas and electricity meters and then to repay the collectors later for the supply they obtained by these means.
Such was the statement of an agent in Hamilton J.P. Court on 14th August 1931. Mary Stewart of 4 Wallace Street, Blantyre, pleaded guilty to obtaining ten units of electricity inserting cardboard and false coins in the meter. An agent for her said that the accused had no money, and placed these substitutes in the meter, intending to give the proper money to the collector when he called. She had done so before, and indeed, many people in Lanarkshire obtained a supply that way owing to lack of money at the time they needed utilities. They had no intention of defrauding the company. In Mary’s case, a fine of £1 was imposed. Pictured is a coin operated gas meter from the 1930s.
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