The Hungry 30s...

Do you know what became of your schoolfriends? Or want to find out?
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John Saunders
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The Hungry 30s...

Postby John Saunders » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:04 pm

I came across the following heart-rending piece from an old newspaper. A warning to us all that not all Old Wycombiensians thrive in the world at large:

Portsmouth Evening News, 18 August 1937 wrote:BEGGING CHARGE AT FAREHAM


An ex-grammar school boy, who also went to school in Switzerland and who is now tramping the road, was before Mr. A. Blackman at an occasional court at Fareham to-day.

He was James McGregor Drummond (30), of no fixed abode, and he pleaded guilty to begging in Shore Road, Fareham, yesterday morning.

P.C. Coombes stated that at 9.30 a.m. yesterday he went to the Porchester Road, where he saw the prisoner. Witness asked him if he had been begging at the St. Edith's Girls' Home, in Shore Road, and prisoner said: "I went there and asked for some food and also for some work."

Prisoner told the Magistrates that he called at the home because he was hungry.

P.S. Stote said that Drummond had stated that he was a waiter and was born at Barking, Essex. He went to Maidenhead College until he was 13, and from there to Switzerland for two years to school. On his return he went to High Wycombe Grammar School. He was then sent by his father, who kept the St. Ives Hotel, Maidenhead, to America to learn hotel work at the age of 16. He remained in America until May, 1936, when he worked his passage back to this country.

"He returned to his father," continued the sergeant, "who put him to work in the kitchen of the hotel at 15 shillings [75p] a week, but the prisoner left after a fortnight and went to London."

The prisoner had received assistance at various time from an uncle, and had been employed at a coffee shop in September. He then started to tramp the country and gained employment as a waiter at Blackpool. He had stated that he had no desire to return to his home as he was not wanted, but was anxious to obtain work.

Drummond was sentenced to one day's imprisonment, which meant his immediate release.

The Magistrates told him to pull himself together and get work.
John Saunders
RGS 1963-70 (personal website