Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Chap. IX.]              East-Bourne Police.                          105
The one suggested to the Superintendent of Police that
he should go and fetch Mr.------, who lived only about
200 yards off, whereupon the said Superintendent spoke thus : " No, sir ; I think I must not do that. Thursday
is Mr.------'s golf day, and he told me I was never to
disturb him with any Police business on that day."
When the Corporation came into existence a question arose as to the status and powers of the Mayor in connection with magisterial work. " The Municipal Corporations Act, 1882 " describes the status of Mayors in terms somewhat obscure, and seems to imply that the Mayor should preside at all Sittings of Magistrates in his Borough, even though they were County Magistrates and there was no Borough Bench. Mr. G. A. Wallis, the first Mayor, claimed, more suo, the right to magnify his office by presiding over the County Magistrates sitting at East-Bourne. The claim was resisted, but in very benign terms, by Mr. R. J. Graham (the County Chairman) and, after an appeal to the Home Secretary who himself took the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown, Mr. Wallis abandoned his assumption of office and sat during his year of office as simply a Magistrate amongst other Magistrates. When the Borough Bench was established the County Magistrates, resident in the town, became automatically members of it, and the two sets of men have worked together in perfect harmony ever since, though two or three of the older County Magistrates withdrew from participation in what they regarded as an infra dig alliance.
Now a word as to the Police. In my early days East-Bourne had no Police. The nearest Policeman was stationed at Pevensey. East-Bourne was guarded by a High Constable and a Parish Constable. I cannot remember anything ever done by the High Constable, except a notice painted up warning everybody not to do something though I forget what that something was. I remember, however, that the notice was signed " Edgar Baker, High Constable." Mr. Baker carried on the trade represented by his name. My first remembrance of him was seeing him conveyed home in a van of his
Previous Contents Next