This Week in 1935: 11-17th August

The Not-So-Great Escape of 1935:

This week in 1935 a prisoner escaped from Pentonville Gaol in London. He had hacked at the brickwork surrounding the barred window of his cell with a steel-tipped stick and climbed through the hole. Since his cell was on the second floor he then made an ingenious contraption involving a plank of wood and a rope pulley-system to lower himself to the ground. From there he managed to cross the yard and climb the outer wall of the prison. He was captured just ten minutes later. Warders found him utterly exhausted from his daring escape, hiding behind a door in a nearby shop.


Woman Saved from Cow by Sheepdog:

Occasionally the stories found in The Times in 1935 are so random that the only way to give them justice is to quote them in full…

‘A sheepdog saved the life of Mrs. David Thomas, of Tyddyndu Farm, near Barmouth, on Saturday, when she was attacked and seriously injured by a cow. Mrs. Thomas was driving cattle to a field after milking when a cow suddenly attacked her, and after goring her several times held her trapped between a gate and a wall. She cried for help and her favourite sheepdog immediately ran from the farmhouse. By this time the woman was badly injured and helpless on the ground, and the cow again in the act of attacking. The sheepdog barked loudly, and managed by jumping in front of the cow to draw its attention. The woman’s husband then came to the scene and managed to drive the cow away. After medical attention Mrs. Thomas was taken to the Dolgelley and Barmouth Hospital, where her injuries were found to include a fractured arm and serious leg injuries.’

Hurrah to all the trusty sheepdogs out there!


The Mechanical Informer:

This week in 1935 a new machine was installed at the Charing Cross Post Office that sought to provide customers with push-button information. Post Office clerks were frequently bogged-down by the inquiries of their customers and it was hoped that this machine would free-up some of their time. Subjects regarding mail, telegrams, express services, and the regulations of stamps were allocated a number. An inquirer would then press the button printed with the number of the question they wanted answered and a card appeared in a lighted aperture. This card included information printed in the Post Office Guide. Installed as an experiment at Charing Cross it was hoped that similar self-service machines would appear in other Post Offices around the country.



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