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Four prosecutions against Hamilton shopkeepers, at the instance of John Millar, who was the inspector for the burgh of shops act were disposed of in the Hamilton Sheriff court on Tuesday the 24th of February 1915.
Two were for keeping the premises open for the transaction of business after seven o’clock at, night, and two were for being open on Christmas Day after one o’clock in the afternoon. The prosecutions were conducted by Walter Henderson. Deputy Town Clerk.
The first case called was that of John Woods who charged with keeping his shop at 216 Low-waters open after seven on, Friday, January 19th contrary to the Butchers and Fleshers Closing Order.
He pleaded guilty, and Mr Donald C Orr, Writer explained that the case was a very narrow one. While the woman in the shop had been served 10 minutes after 7 o’ clock, she had actually entered the shop before the closing hour.
The Sheriff asked if a shopkeeper was not entitled to serve a customer who entered his shop before the time of closing. Mr Henderson replied in the affirmative but added that what Mr Orr stated was not his information.
The customer had entered the shop 7.12, and when a constable, who had followed, asked the shopkeeper if he knew what tame was. He had replied a quarter past seven. Henderson added that there had been some trouble in the district because two or three shopkeepers were keeping open after hours.
The Closing Order had been obtained at the direct request of the butchers themselves, and it was rather an expensive business issuing such Order. Sheriff Shennan remarking it was unfair to the other shopkeepers remain open after hours, imposed fine of £1, with the option of five day’s imprisonment.
William Andrews, another butcher of 226 Low-waters, pleaded guilty to a similar offence the same date. Mr Orr having been heard on behalf of the respondent had the same penalty of £1 or five days imprisonment was imposed.
James Marshall of 599 Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, who was the manager to William Marshall & Co, boot makers in Quarry Street, Hamilton, was charged with keeping open on Christmas Day after one o’clock, contrary the Shops Act and the Burgh of Hamilton Non-Exempted Shops Order.
Mr J. Edmonds, writer. Hamilton, tendering a plea of guilty for respondent, stated that he was a manager for a firm which had shops in many towns including Hamilton. The weekly half-holiday was Wednesday, but at Christmas week the respondent had overlooked the fact that Hamilton was an exception for that week, having decided to open on Christmas Day.
Margaret Boyd or Orr admitted to having her shop premises 142 Low-waters open after one o’clock Christmas day. Mr Ritchie, a writer, explained that while respondent should have been closed at the libelled for the sale of toys and knick-knacks, she had the right remain open for the sale of aerated waters, papers, and confections.
She was in the act of selling a sixpenny doll to a girl when an officer entered, and, on pointing out her mistake, she once took back the doll and gave the girl back her money.
The Sheriff (with a smile) stated the respondent was entitled to be two-thirds open. Mr Ritchie even more; I think she had a seven-eighths opening. (Laughter in the court). The Prosecutor admitted that this was not a flagrant case, but still the respondent had not the Closing Order notice exhibited in her shop. A modified fine of 6s was imposed.