1890 The Fountain Tavern and the Gipsies

The Illustrated Police News Saturday, April 26, 1890

At The Croydon Petty Sessions, on Saturday, Mr. Peter Dale, landlord of the Fountain Tavern, Merton-lane, Mitcham, was summoned by the rural sanitary authorities for suffering a certain nuisance to exist by allowing gipsy caravans to be used for human habitation on his premises, the same not being supplied with water and drainage accommodation. The defendant denied the charge. Levi White, an inspector of nuisances said on the 16th inst. he discovered that one caravan out of two had gone, and that the land was occupied by a show. The showman and his wife were sleeping there. The defendant said the show alluded to was a portable theatre, and as far from doing any harm, he thought that when the very poor were enabled to see “Hamlet” played it did much to educate the children. The fact of the matter was that Mr. White did not like people to go to the theatre.

The Inspector : I should like to go myself. (Laughter.)

Eventually the case was adjourned.

Note that Merton Lane was renamed Western Road.

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