On this day in Yorkshire 1948: Bonfire Night Raiders Take Jewel Safe

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Thieves grab 15,000 club smokes

Evening Post Reporter STANLEY VAUGHAN

In two bonfire night raids in Leeds, thieves stole a two-cwt. safe containing jewellery and clothing from a house at Adel, and 15,000 Christmas cigarettes from a club in North Street.

RAID No. 1 was at the home of Mr. Ernest Duffield, Yorkshire Copper Works managing director, Long Causeway. Adel.

The thieves put the safe into a car, which they apparently pushed to the main road before starting the engine. At least three men are believed have taken part.

They entered the house by smashing a pane of glass in a study window.

A few minutes before they got away Mrs. Duffield heard a noise which she believed to the crack of a firework.

In the safe were many personal papers, a family Bible more than 200 years old, a tin containing precious uncut stones, jewellery, gold sovereigns and a gold presentation watch.

C.I.D. men found cigarette ends at the front door — the butts of cigarettes taken from a desk in the lounge.

Mr. Duffield said: “The thieves carried the safe down two steps into the lounge and went out through the front door. We found the door open.

RAID No. 2 was at North Social Billiards and Temperance Club where thieves smashed a front door lock with a poker and took 15,000 cigarettes from a steel cabinet.

The cigarettes were being saved for Christmas.

Margarine, tea, sugar and 19s. were also stolen, the thieves leaving an odd fourpence.

Guy Fawkes 999 Calls a Record

Bonfire Night in Yorkshire, one of the quietest for years, produced few serious casualties but many incidents.

Leeds Police had 58 999 calls - a record. More than a quarter were about bonfire incidents, the majority complaining about children lighting fires in streets and removing gates.

A hand grenade thrown into a fire near Grassington injured Mr. Will Clayton, a textile merchant.

It is understood that the grenade believed to be ‘dead’ was one of three thrown onto the fire.

Mr. Clayton is in hospital. His condition is not serious.

While a Bradford family of eight were watching a bonfire their home in Thorncliffe Road, Manningham was wrecked by fire. Mr. and Mrs. John Foster, their two boys and four girls spent the night at Bowling Institution.

Police were called to a nurses home in Lovell Street, Leeds where a firework was pushed through the letter box.

Leeds city fire brigade had only one call - to a bonfire on the Cottingley Hall Estate. The fire had burned for several hours, and the brigade was asked to put it out because of the danger of the wind blowing it into “life” during the night.

Fifteen people in Leeds were slightly injured in bonfire incidents.

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