A Court Appearance.

The top of Lintott Av and Wiston Road
Bus Towing a Gas Producer, c. 1940s: Bus running the 13B service to North Moulscombe
Image reproduced with kind permission from Brighton and Hove in Pictures by Brighton and Hove City Council
VE Day celebrations in Brighton in 1945

Jumping busses

On one of the first Police Court days, soon after the Second World War had finished, a young man appeared in front of the Brighton Magistrates.

For no apparent reason a bad habit had seemed to suddenly become very popular amongst the younger people of the town at bus stops.

While everyone waited in an orderly queue for the bus, a few young people thought it funny to what became known as ‘Queue Jumping.’ Just as the first people in the queue were about to board the bus, a young person would run up and jump onto the bus first, although he hadn’t been in the queue. This obviously annoyed those people waiting in the queue.

The Magistrates gathered for Court on Friday 11th May 1945, when one of the first people to appear in Court for the offence of ‘Queue Jumping’ was 17 years old Dennis Puddick of 174, Wiston Road, Whitehawk, Brighton.

At the end of the hearing, the Chairman of the Bench, Alderman Wilfred Aldrich said, addressing the defendant, “I cannot think of anything more frustrating to the general public than such behaviour of which you have been found guilty. As far as this Bench is concerned we are very glad this particular offence has been brought to our notice. For this offence you will be fined 40 shillings. However, should you commit this offence again then your punishment will be more severe.”

Superintendent Gerry Crouch, prosecuting, told the court that Dennis Puddick ‘jumped’ on a bus just before it reached the bus stop at Brighton Railway Station on the 25th March 1945. There were somewhere about 100 people, who were all waiting patiently in a queue for their buses, when Puddick was seen to ‘jump the queue’ and board the bus. He said that Puddick was engaged in bomb repair work in London, had boarded the bus and then refused to get off when he was told by the conductor. He was consequently arrested and taken to the Brighton Police Station at the Town Hall.

Superintendent Crouch stated that this was the first prosecution in Brighton under these particular Regulations and stated the maximum fine for this offence was £100, and then added that the Police had had serious difficulty with this particular problem for some time. Some of these young people who were working on bomb damage in London act like hooligans.

This story taken from a local Brighton newspaper by David Rowland. Author and Researcher.

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