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History With Flynn

Yet again another story of everyday Salford folk when combined with alcohol, police assault always ends up in tears if not the Salford Magistrates Court as his story from June 1919 shows.

John Lyons who resided at Hudson Street, Broughton appeared at Salford Magistrates Court dressed in full Army khaki uniform charged with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting P.C. Bradshaw.

Alongside him was his father, Joseph Bradshaw of the same address but no khaki uniform, charged with assaulting P.C. P.C. Fairbrother.

P.C. Bradshaw told the court that he was passing the Royal archer public house when he heard a commotion and saw a group of men arguing, in the middle was John Lyons, shouting and gesticulating.

The brave bobby, "requested" that John go home, only to met with a punch to his face and was then gripped around the neck as John attempted to strangle him!

Happily, PC's Brady and Walker happened to be passing, always a bobby there when you want one isn't there?

P.C. Walker told the Court that he went to P.C. Bradshaw's assistance and it was with some difficulty they managed to get the "slips" on him, as he was, "fighting like a madman"

P.C Brady backed him up by saying that he saw John attempting to strangle P.C. Bradshaw, when he noticed Joseph Lyons grab P.C. Fairbrother by the throat causing him an injury that required medical assistance.

A brawl then ensued with several people joining in, and it was with some difficulty that the two men were taken into custody.

Mr Desquesnes appeared as Defence for John Lyons whilst Joseph chose to defend himself.

Rather smoothly Desquesnes told the Bench that that he had no reason to doubt the accuracy of anything said by the police and had to admit that his client had committed an offence...however.



"My client, John Lyons has been on Military Service for his King and Country for the past four and a half years and has just returned from Mesopotamia.

"It was under circumstances of of readjustment  from the life he had been living that he was induced to go to the Royal Archer, where he took some spirits when he was not in a fit condition to take them.

"It was a case of fiery liquids on an empty stomach with the results that he became greatly agitated and by the acts which he afterwards committed he certainly behaved very badly towards the police.

"He has since expressed his very sincere regret for the injury he caused to P.C. Bradshaw and for the disgraceful way in which he behaved"


He then asked the Bench to be lenient with him and to take into account that he had been in police custody since Saturday evening, and with a final roll of the dice told the Court that John had promised to be "well behaved" for the rest of the time of his leave.

Joseph Lyons denied assaulting P.C. Fairbrother and stated that he was the one who had been assaulted and on the evening in question there was great confusion outside the pub and all he could remember was a P.C. telling him to clear off.

Superintendent Clarke then chipped in that both men had several convictions for being drunk and disorderly.

Surprisingly John Lyons was sentenced to prison for seven days with hard labour.

Joseph Lyons was then given 14 days in prison with hard labour.

Perhaps Joseph should have pleaded guilty and would have received a lesser sentence?

As Gilbert and Sullivan wrote in the Pirates of Penzance, A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One, especially in Salford at closing time.

Photo: Royal Archer.


Tony Flynn


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