Gilbert's Letter to The Times of 20 July 1908
Issue 38703, pg. 13 col E


Our Hooligans and the Police


Sir,--On leaving Covent-garden Theatre at 11 15 yesterday (Friday) night I walked up Endell-street in search of a cab. I found one at the corner of Castle-street, and as I was getting into it I received a blow on the mouth from a young man about 20 years of age, who at the same time made a violent grab at my watch chain. Fortunately the bow of the watch broke, and the swivel of the chain gave out, and so he got nothing for his trouble except a rather severe blow on the face, which I contrived to deliver during a momentary hold on his coat. He bolted down Castle-street, and I was prevented from pursuing him by the presence of four or five confederates, who blocked my way until he was out of sight.

My object in writing is to suggest that, if proper police precautions were taken, this kind of outrage ought to be impossible within 50 yards of the chief metropolitan police station, and at a time of night when the police must be aware that hundreds of well-to-do people are leaving the theatre.

Your obedient servant,

W.S. GILBERT
Grim's Dyke, Harrow Weald, July 18. Previous letter Next letter



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