Reports from the South Wales Argus 100 years ago

AT CHEPSTOW Petty Sessions, on Tuesday, Albert Simmonds, of Tintern, was summoned for stealing £5 4s 6d in notes and cash from Charles Jones, Gwynn Stores 10s and a box of cigarettes which were the property of Fred Sadler, grocer, of Tintern, and Julia Simmonds, the mother, pleaded not guilty to receiving the money knowing it to have been stolen.

Mrs Simmonds said she found the money in the boy's pocket - Mr Jones stated that he was at a loss to find out how the money was going, but he did not suspect Simmonds.

On February 24 the till was cleared and certain marked coins put in.

At 5.30 it had all vanished and later on, Albert Simmonds entered the shop and tendered one of the marked coins, a two-shilling-piece, in payment for some oranges.

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Evidence was also given by Mr Sadler, who said that as a worker the boy was one of the best he had ever employed. and P.C. Kear, of Tintern, who was mainly instrumental in tracing the thefts to the accused - Mrs Simmonds denied any knowledge that the money was stolen.

After retiring, the chairman said they had decided to order Albert to receive four strikes and afterwards to be sent to a reformatory.

As to his mother there was little doubt she had aided and abetted the boy for a very long time in systematic pilfering and robbery and would have to go to prison for one month.

Mrs Simmonds and her children wept bitterly upon hearing the sentence.

Repairs to the Old South Lock Gates.

An interesting engineering feat has just been satisfactorily completed at the Old South Lock, which, before the opening of the New Lock, was the principal entrance to the Alexandra Docks and is still retained as an alternative entrance or exit in case of necessity.

A considerable amount of dock water was being lost owning to leakage through the outer gates and the Directors agree, on the recommendation of the General Manager, Mr J.H. Vickery that the gates should be repaired and on the advice of the Acting Chief Engineer Mr W.J. Harrison it was decided to float the gates and dry dock them in the Company's Commercial Dry Dock for inspection and overhaul.

Each gate (which is constructed of steel) is 42 feet long by 41 feet deep by 4ft 3in wide at the middle and weighs about 160 tons was dealt with separately.

The operation of floating the gates out which was the first experience of the kind at Newport, and is always a difficult one, was the more hazardous owning to the rare occasions on which the tide was high enough to enable this to be attempted and was complicated but he very short duration of high water.

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The first gate was floated out in March last year, dry-docked, repaired, floated, back and re-installed on one of the highest tides of last September, where the second gate was floated out and similarly dealt with. This last gate, having in the meantime been repaired, was successfully re-installed.

Needless to say, the risk involved in floating the gates out and back were very considerable and the fact that no accident of any kind concurred either to the gates or to the men handling them, reflects great credit on all concurred for the way the work was initiated and carried though.

The execution of this work took place at a very considerably cost.