Law Society’s Gazette, April 1960

Licensing Days – Edward A. Williams writes about his early days as a licensing lawyerAt the back of the Court sat a phalanx of honest licensees, ruddy-faced men bringing a breath of more than fresh air into the Court. At the other end of the room sat an unusually extended row of Magistrates… Then there were the witnesses. These had to be typical citizens, prepared to give up a morning to proving the urgency of the public need for the sale of spirits at the "Bull and Bush" at Little Mudford. As ipso facto, they were steady customers of the trade, they were anathema to the opposition and came in for rough cross-examination. There was obviously an art in the choice of the right witnesses. If they were the sort of people who hardly ever went into a pub, their evidence was of little use. If, on the other hand, they were the sort of people who spent every evening in a pub or looked as if they did, then they were easy meat for the opposition. A witness with a red nose was a dead loss.