CRAVEN in the winter of 1916 was reeling like the rest of the country from the terrible loss of life during fighting on the western front of World War One.

Every week, the Craven Herald printed the pictures of soldiers who had died while serving King and Country - and all with their own, tragically brave story.

The outbreak of war had also seen the bringing in of new regulations, designed to help the war effort. And included in the Defence of the Realm Act were restrictions on the selling of alcohol, which meant pubs could only open for less than three hours over lunch, and had to close in the evenings at 9.30pm.

In November, 1916, a case involving a pub landlord and a landlady, and 17 members of the public, including two women, ended up in front of the Skipton Magistrates bench - and a lot of interest it caused too, the courtroom being much more crowded than usual.

The landlord of the Moor Cock Inn, at Brogden, between Gisburn and Blacko, was summoned for supplying alcohol during restricted hours, for allowing it to be consumed, and for allowing others to effectively 'buy a round' - the charge being one of 'treating'.

Issac Uttley denied all charges, claiming he had most definitely not sold liquor to all those in the pub at the time, most of who were farmers and were on their way home to Cowling having spent the day at Clitheroe Fair. But the magistrates bench, under the chairmanship of the formidable Mr JW Moorkill, decided otherwise and found all guilty, only Uttley's wife, landlady, Jane Uttley , was let off after she became ill in court and was declared unfit to defend herself.

Uttley himself was fined a total of £50, equivalent to more than £3,000 today, while the 17 in the pub at the time - including one who claimed he had drunk only a 'pint of tea' and had been a teetotaller for 40 years - were fined a total of £80 - around just under £5,000 today.

In an editorial, the Craven Herald applauded the tough actions of the justices and the hefty fines, and warned all those who might be aggrieved by the new regulations to take note. "Though there may be, and undoubtedly is, a difference of opinion as to the necessity of these stringent regulations, it must be remembered they are the laws of the land, and in these strenuous days, it is the duty of every law abiding citizen to obey them," scolded the paper. "Licensed victuallers and customers alike will be well advised to keep within the strict letter of the law."

In a court case that lasted a surprisingly short just four hours, bearing in mind the number of witnesses, which included 17 members of the public, the landlord and two police officers, the court heard how two officers, in plain clothes, had been alerted to the sounds of people evidently enjoying themselves from inside the Moor Cock, and after hours.

The officers had noted three vehicles parked outside, and could hear a piano being played and singing - those inside were clearly having a good time.

The sergeant and constable positioned themselves at the back of the inn and observed through a window, which was without a blind, for a hour past last orders.

From their vantage point, they could see both landlord and landlady, could hear orders being given and from time to time, 'very strong language'.

Police sergeant Williams stated at no time did he hear anyone ask for mineral water or food, and on shifting his position to another window, he observed both landlord and landlady filling glasses with beer, whisky and stout and taking them into the smoke room ,where everyone was gathered.

They watched for more than an hour, before entering through the front door, just in time to watch Uttley deliver a couple of drinks and get paid for them.

Having announced who they were and asking for names and addresses, the officers were met with a hostile response and repeatedly challenged to a fight.

When Uttley was asked for their names, he responded he did not know who any of them were, while some gave what was later discovered to be false details.

Of the 17 in the pub at the time who were subsequently charged with consuming liquor on licensed premises during closing hours, eight were from Cowling - John Ogden, farmer; Bolton Wilkinson, labourer; Joseph Smith, farmer; George Whitaker, mill hand; Fred Gott, carter; Fred Snowden, carter; Jonas Stephenson, carter; and farmer, Alfred Gawthrop.

In their evidence, the Cowling men, all represented by the same Skipton solicitor, said they had all been to Clitheroe Fair.

Jonas Stephenson said how he had taken a group to the fair and on his return had stopped at the Game Cock to 'bait' his horses - to give them some food on the journey back to Cowling.

They had arrived just before 9.30pm, he claimed and while inside, had only drunk a pint of tea and a sandwich. His man, Snowden, had supped the same, and none of the Cowling party had been supplied with drink after 9.30pm. Joseph Smith, said he had also stopped to rest his horses, and admitted to drinking a beer, but before last orders. Others admitted to a dry ginger ale, and beer and whisky - but all before 9.30pm.

Uttley himself told the court he too had been at Clitheroe Fair during the day and had returned at about 7pm, had then gone to milk his cows, and was back behind the bar an hour later. He questioned how the officers had been able to see through the window, claiming it was covered with a thick curtain, and that the party had arrived at around ten minutes before last orders. Some, he said, had asked for tea and a sandwich, while others had asked for beer - but none had been served after time.

Uttley was fined £20 for supplying intoxicants during restricted hours, £20 for permitting intoxicants to be consumed, and £10 for permitting treating. The others, for consuming alcohol after hours were fined either 20 shillings or 40 shillings.