I have a copy of an old newspaper from June 1949 which I look at from time to time. I usually only look at one news item, my parent’s wedding day, which features on the front page.
Friday 24 June 1949
“Seen leaving St. Mary’s Church, Shoreham, after their marriage on Saturday, are Mr Gordon Charles Dennis (they got his name wrong, it should have read ‘Dinnis’) and Miss Enid May Howells.”
Looking at other stories on the front page of this newspaper, one stands out.
P.C. Solved The Rolling Bottles Case
” Policemen have to investigate some unusual mysteries in the course of their careers. Police-constable Frank Morgan, had one set him right on his own doorstep, or the one next door, at his home in Old Shoreham Road, Shoreham. If Dr. Watson had been keeping the record it would have gone down to posterity as ‘The Case of the Rolling Bottles’.
It was in the small hours recently that Police-constable Morgan was awakened by hearing a rumbling sound following a slight crash as though something had been knocked over by a not too steady hand. It was an out-of-the-ordinary sound and the policeman in him said ‘Investigate’. Investigate he did, and found milk bottles placed outside on a doorstep had been overturned and rolled along. No one was in sight. No sign of life anywhere. Police-constable Morgan neatly replaced the bottles – they were empty, ready for the milkman when he called later in the morning.
No sooner back in bed than – a gentle crash, followed again by the rumbling sound. Silently P.C. Morgan slipped once again from his bed, crept silently downstairs and opened the front door. He had solved the mystery.
The culprit was a large hedgehog, which had undoubtedly hoped to find milk in the bottles. It made off when the policeman appeared. He, not wishing to be disturbed again, took the bottles inside until later. Then he returned to bed.
But before very long another of his family heard queer sounds near the back door where full bottles of milk had been placed overnight for coolness sake. Swift investigation showed a half-pint one just tipped over and left. A pint bottle had, however, been rolled along deliberately, presumably by the same hedgehog.
The solution of the ‘Case of the Rolling Bottles’ was complete, but P.C. Morgan believes perseverance should be rewarded. He put a saucer of milk outside. It was empty in the morning. Hedgehogs are fond of milk. So how did the milk disappear? Elementary, my dear Watson”.