Black day for a cellarman

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Black day for a cellarman' page

Drawing by David Sawyers, North Laine resident

From a press report in October 1884

John Gunn, one of the famous family of local fishermen, was at Brighton summoned for assault in October 1884. The police said he had attacked Amos Banfield, a waiter and cellarman employed at the ‘Union Inn’, Gloucester Road.

A loud disturbance

Gunn and his friends were said to be creating a loud disturbance in the tap room when Banfield, who was serving behind the bar, asked them to make less noise. John Gunn, who had been drinking heavily, then struck Banfield in the face, blacking both of his eyes. Banfield was knocked over and had to be helped to his feet. He was unable to continue working.

Prisoner fined

A friend of Gunn’s, appearing for his defence, said that Banfield had not been attacked. He had become entangled with a chair and fell heavily on top of it, damaging his face. “I find this very difficult to believe” said the chairman of the Brighton bench of magistrates. “The prisoner will be fined 2s 6d with costs.”


[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 57, September/October 1985 and again in No 208, January/February 2011]

This page was added on 30/01/2011.

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