£75 for a finger, and a film that nearly burnt up the screen

February 28, 1914.

“I always try to look after the workmen as much as I can,” said Judge Allen in Nottingham County Court to a solicitor who was trying to persuade him that a workman who had lost a finger in an accident was as good a wage-earner as he was before.

“I have actually heard it stated on oath,” added the judge impatiently, “that a man is the better for having lost a finger, because it makes him more careful. Sometimes a lump sum is dangled in front of a workman’s eyes and he takes it at once and spends it as though he had a Fortunatus’s purse.”

After this hint the solicitors in the case conferred, and it was agreed that the applicant, a young lace operative named Herbert Worgan, should be granted £75.

Worgan sued his employer for compensation for the loss of a finger trapped in a machine. The facts were admitted, but it was urged by the defence that as Worgan had been able to earn an average of about a pound a week since he had returned to work, a comparatively small sum would be adequate.

* * *

A cow entered a draper’s shop in Broadstreet, Reading, and after customers and assistants had fled in alarm, stood gazing at the display of fancy articles on the counter. It was eventually driven out without any damage being done.

* * *

There was a slight outbreak of fire on Sunday at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

While some pictures were being shown one of the films caught fire. The operator immediately threw pictures of the king and queen on the screen, the orchestra played the national anthem and the audience left oblivious.


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