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  • 100-YEARS-AGO: "PENDLETON OUTRAGE" AS TWO YOUTHS GO ON AN ORGY OF DESTRUCTION


    History With Flynn


    The Height and Bolton Road areas of Salford were subjected to a fortnight's rampage of burglary, arson and theft which only ended when two youths aged 15 and 16 appeared at Salford Magistrates Court in October 1920 and the full story unfolded.

    Mrs Lewthtwaite owned a supper bar on Broad Street, Salford and on the previous Thursday evening at 10pm, she was in the kitchen of her house, when she heard a loud bang and glass breaking, she saw Cecil Wilkinson drop into her yard.

    Her son ran out and apprehended him, only to be told that he was looking for his ball, he then saw another boy nearby, who ran away when approached, the police were sent for and Wilkinson was taken into custody for questioning.

    Wilkinson soon told the police the name of his accomplice,  Arthur Smith and he was soon arrested and brought into custody.

    Superintendent Clarke questioned the boys and they readily admitted that, they intended breaking into the barbers shop next door to the supper bar and were looking for money to steal.

    However once they started confessing they couldn't stop and told an astonished Superintendent Clarke a long list of their misdemeanours, they had carried out in the past fortnight.

    At the Magistrates Court he applied to have the boys remanded in custody for a week whilst further cases might be investigated, the remand was granted and both boys. despite their age where remanded to Strangeways prison.

    One week later the two boys, Cecil Wilkinson of, Saxby Street and Arthur Smith of Bolton Road, Pendleton stood in the dock and a remarkable catalogue of their crimes was read out.

    Breaking and entering, 34 Acresfield Road and stealing foodstuffs to the value of £1, 18 shillings and ninepence.

    Setting fire to The Olympia Picture Palace, West Street, stealing 10 shillings and a quantity of chocolate. damaging seventeen seats and a piano.

    Damaging and spoling five motor cars, a planing machine and a band saw at Messr Thomas Carters Motor Works, Trafford Road.

    Setting fire to St Thomas's School, Broughton Road, Salford.

    Breaking and entering Messr Lancaster and Tonge's offices, Withington Street, Salford stealing £3 19 shilling and 7 pence, and a box of cigarettes.

    Breaking and entering the schoolroom on King Street, the Height and stealing 11 pence.

    Breaking and entering into St Anne's School, Brindleheath, damaging six panes of glass, two pairs of curtains and lengths of woodwork.

    Breaking and entering Halton Bank School, Bolton Road damaging five electric globes, 38 pound of flour and a water pipe.

    The boys pleaded guilty to all these charges.

    Superintendent Clarke told the Court that there had been, "a fifteen day scare" as shops, homes, businesses  and schools were targeted, in addition over £1,000 worth of damage had been caused by arson and wilful damage.

    He asked the Magistrate Mr P. W. Atkin that the boys be sent to the Assizes for sentencing considering the severity of the offences and then dropped the bombshell that at the premises of  Messr Thomas Carters Motor Works, Trafford Road, the boys had hung, the workshop cat and killed it.

    The boys were defended by Mr Howard Flint, who asked the Magistrate if the boys could not be dealt with on this day by the court, adding that they were both from respectable families and had been influenced by reading "trashy cheap, literature"

    The Magistrate turned down his plea for a trial at the Magistrate Court and added that there was no reason why they should be cruel to a cat.

    The boys were sent to the Asizes for trial and here is the cliff hanger, I have no idea how they went on there, considering the amount of damage and mayhem they caused I am certain they would be sent to prison and it would that their act of cruelty to a cat ensured they would face the wrath of an Assize Judge.





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