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Looking Back - Queensway, Bletchley
Bletchley Road, some time ago, prior to its transformation into the Queensway of today.

What, exactly, would any self respecting looter hope to find in Queensway, Bletchley.

And even more puzzling, how is the supposed cause of ‘social deprivation’ remedied by causing even more of the same.

Oh well, riots are nothing new, and surprisingly this was not the first time that Bletchley Road (now Queensway) had witnessed civil disturbance.

Around 1902 Paul Klameth had taken over some nurseries in Bletchley Road, but being of foreign birth his name, although he was a naturalised British citizen, was removed from the list of voters following the outbreak of World War One.

His original nationality also lead to unwelcome attentions from a small local minority, and this soon became manifest in a spate of window smashing at his premises. Consequently, on the night of Saturday, May 15th 1915 Inspector Callaway, police sergeant Snelling, and four special constables, mounted a surveillance operation, and shortly after 11 p.m. they saw a number of men and youths arrive.

Two were immediately arrested upon entering the grounds but the rest managed to run away, and in the morning it was found that more panes of glass had been broken.

In due course, on Thursday, May 20th 1915 the two persons arrested - a carter and a labourer, both of Fenny Stratford - were brought to court, and although they pleaded guilty they said they had not been intent on any unlawful purpose.

As for the facts of the matter, in court it was said that on coming from Fenny Stratford they had passed the house and nurseries but then returned, and after climbing over the fence looked in at the dining room window of the house, which stood amongst the glass and hothouses.

They then went round to the back, but were found near the door by police sergeant Snelling and a special constable.

On being asked what they were doing the pair replied that they were “only having a look,” but nevertheless they were arrested, and, with the assistance of Inspector Callaway, brought to the police station to be locked up over night. Both were under the influence of drink, and were released the following morning on bail.

At their court appearance they were fined 5s costs, with each bound over for the sum of £5, to keep the peace for 12 months.

Not surprisingly the following month the nursery was sold to Mr. G. Littlewood, a nurseryman, seedsman and florist, and in late July 1915 it was announced that Mrs. Paul Klameth, who had been operating the nursery, was leaving the district, and would therefore resign as honorary secretary of the Bletchley Branch Committee of the N.S.P.C.C.

As for the two miscreants, and their somewhat lenient treatment, when arrested one had said “My mates are not having fair play at the front, so I thought I would try and get it for them.”

In fact he would have even more of a chance from March 1916, for with the introduction of military conscription his future would lie in the trenches, where the opposing German infantry would no doubt soon teach him the real meaning of a ‘robust response.’