Woman’s Strange Theft

A peculiar theft next. In August 1931, a picture was stolen from the newly opened David Livingstone Memorial Centre. With nobody in public having any real access to the exhibit, eyes and suspicion fell upon the housekeeper, whose duties included cleaning the centre.

Annie Sloey, off 11 Wallace Place, Blantyre eventually pled guilty to stealing a picture from a room in the Centre. On Monday 3rd August 1931, the court heard the bizarre tale of how Annie actually appeared in a group of people within the photo itself. She had stolen it, for she considered herself to be slightly deformed and in that moment of madness, she thought the picture showed that deformity and did not wish it to be in public. She was fined ten shillings or 7 days imprisonment.

A little sadness at this story fell upon me. Authorities are much more aware of how hurtful such things can be these days and more tactful in what they would present to the public. I feel for Annie’s predicament, especially if she was shy or embarrassed, but I was more leaning with the sheriffs ruling, that there would have been better ways of dealing with this before stealing, like for example asking somebody, a friend, or colleague in the first instance to pursue the picture being removed.

Pictured later that decade in 1938, is the David Livingstone Memorial on a busy day.

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