April 1914 was a time when the streets of Exeter were filled with young men causing a nuisance to others. It was a time when the city was grappling with issues.

related to law and order, and incidents like the one involving the twelve-year-old boy with a gun only added to the troubles.

The incident that occurred on Holloway-street was a serious one. The boy in question had fired an air gun, and the shot had whistled past a gentleman’s head. The shot had hit an Automobile Club sign, and the boy had expressed regret for his actions at the time. However, this was not the only incident involving the young boy. Another boy had complained to the police that the defendant had pointed the gun at him and threatened to fire. It was clear that the boy’s actions    were becoming a cause for concern.

The magistrates at Exeter Children’s Court did not take the matter lightly. They ordered the boy’s father to whip him and pay costs. It was a stern punishment, but one that was deemed necessary to ensure that the boy understood the severity of his actions. The incident served as a warning to other young boys in the city who may have been thinking of indulging in similar acts of mischief.

However, the incident involving the boy with a gun was not the only issue that the city was dealing with. As the report in the Western Times highlighted, a certain section of young men in the city had taken to standing about the streets in gangs, blocking up the pavements and responding with abusive language when requested to make way for more orderly members of society.

These young hooligans were a general nuisance to others and provided little service to themselves. They were a growing menace, and it was time that they were brought to book. The report cited an incident where a group of young men had taken possession of part of the pavement in Fore-street, forcing several gentlemen accompanied by lady friends to step onto the road.

One of the gentlemen had remonstrated with the young men, but his objections had been met with vile language. In another incident, a gang had taken their stand in Fore-street, opposite the entrance to Market-street, forcing several cyclists to dismount. The gang had refused to budge, and one cyclist had even fallen off in trying to avoid a collision with them.

The incidents highlighted the growing lawlessness in the city and the need for the police to deal with these pests in a sharp manner. The report in the Western Times was a call to action, urging the authorities to take a tougher stance against these young hooligans who were causing a general nuisance to society.

In conclusion, April 1914 was a time when the streets of Exeter were facing a growing menace from young hooligans. The incident involving the boy with a gun was just one example of the lawlessness that was prevalent in the city. The report in the Western Times was a timely reminder of the need for the authorities to take action to deal with these pests and ensure that the streets of Exeter were safe for all members of society. It was a call to action that was heeded, and over time, the city was able to tackle these issues and restore order to its streets.

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