Wolverton Express 25th August, 1933
A County Court Case
Lorry Repairs in Dispute
In the Bletchley County Court on Friday before his Honour Judge N M Drucquer, E H Littledale, trading at as the London Road Garage, Stony Stratford, claimed £13/14/0 for goods supplied and work done from Arthur Fred Jelley, a farmer, of Cosgrove. Mr E. Marchant (Bletchley) appeared for plaintiff, and Mr. T L Gamage, Northampton, defended.
Mr. Marchant said the claim was for tyres supplied and some repairs done to a motor cattle truck, which was said to belonging to defendant, Jelley. The amount of the claim had been agreed and it was only a question of whether the defendant was actually liable. The defence would be that they were suing for a debt incurred by another man, but they submitted that this was defendant’s own debt and the order for the goods was authorized by him.
Sydney William Webster, a salesman, employed by the London Road Garage, said that at the beginning of May 1932, he called at defendant’s house to solicit an order for repairs and renewals to a motor cattle truck. Jelley said he would soon be “in the market” for tyres, and when he wanted them he would send his truck into the garage. The name “Harry King, Hanslope” was painted on the truck doors, but witness knew the name was used by defendant, because King was well known in the markets and this would help to gain orders for cattle transport. The truck was subsequently sent into the garage on a Saturday afternoon, whilst witness was absent.
Mr. Gammage: Do you know that the invoice for these tyres was addressed to Mr. King?
Witness; No I have nothing to do with that part of the business.
Do you know whether Mr. Jelley has had anything to do with the truck at all? I do not know only I have always done my business with him in respect of this vehicle.
On 7th January last your firm wrote to Mr. Jelley that in the event of Mr. King not settling the account he would be held responsible. Did Mr. Jelley tell you that the accounts had nothing to do with him at all? Mr. Jelley said he was behind the business which was run by his son-in-law, Mr. R Ruff and Mr. King, but I was to look to him for anything that wanted doing.
Walter George King, a motor fitter, employed by plaintiffs, said that a motor truck was brought into the garage by a man named Ruff, who told him he wanted two new tubes and tyres and added that all arrangements had been made by Mr. Webster and Mr. Jelley. Witness could not tell Ruff the price, although Ruff said Mr. Jelley would pay by cheque that night. Ruff told him to write the name King on the order form and gave the Cosgrove address, which was where Jelley lived.
Wilfred Adams, plaintiff’s clerk, said that in October 1932, the truck again came into the yard for rather extensive repairs, and the bill for £13/14/0 was still owing. He telephoned to Mr. Jelley telling him that until some understanding was reached in a matter of payment for the tyres nothing could be done about the repairs. Mr. Jelley came over to the garage and agreed after some conversation to paying for the repairs before the truck left the garage and to pay the outstanding amount if it was left over for a short time.
Mr. Gammage: were not Mr. Arthur and Mr. King having a bad time and Mr. Jelley had promised to assist them? I don’t know.
Arthur F Jelley, defendant, said a truck was purchased in Ruff’s and King’s names. Actually the hire purchase agreement was made out in his name because King and Ruff had not the means to cover the deposit and he made up the deficiency. He had no interest in the lorry after it was purchased, neither using it nor sharing the profits. He never heard anything about being liable for the tyres until the breakdown, six months after the purchase, and he did not recall Mr. Webster’s visit. In October he arranged to pay for the breakdown repairs and then learned of the bill for tyres. He refused to pay it. The breakdown repairs cost £21/17/0 and he paid this account because the others had a lot of work and could not lay their hands on the money at the time. He had never promised to pay for repairs apart from the breakdown.
To his Honour: King cease to be a partner of Ruff’s in November or December.
George Ruff of Cosgrove said the lorry was purchased by King and himself, and although it was bought in the name of Jelley, the latter had no interest in it at all until September. He and King had to find the hire purchase payments before they were made by Jelley. King usually paid the repair bills as they traded in his name.
His Honour : have you never discussed this bill for £13/14/0? I have never been asked to pay it as the London Road Garage thought they would get it from Mr. Jelley. After summing up His Honour gave judgment for plaintiffs for the full amount claimed and costs.