top of page

1929: Driver's dangerous road rage was 'a very bad case'

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 08 October 1929



Henry J. Hildyard, Wandsworth Common was summoned for driving a motor-car dangerously in two different parts of Cuckfield on September 1 and at Slaugham on the same date.

—Mr. Guy Mason appeared for defendant, who pleaded not guilty.

—lt was alleged that defendant, who was travelling at from 50 to 60 to miles an hour, overtook another car and cut across it in order to avoid a motorcycle, causing the driver of the car to pull on to the grass. Farther along the road, it was stated, defendant nearly cut the front of another car off.

In the early years of the 20th century, anyone could drive a vehicle – the minimum driving age of 17 was not introduced until 1930…and there was no Highway Code until 1931. Photograph courtesy of historic England blog

A witness stated that when defendant was found having an argument with the driver of a motor-coach he (defendant) told them to go to … “We didn't go; we went to Brighton." witness declared, amid laughter. He added that defendant threatened to run down one of the motorists—who had left his car in order to remonstrate with Hildyard—if he didn't get out of the way. The man had to jump aside to avoid being run down. The driver of the motor-coach stated that his signal was ignored by defendant, who overtook him, and cut across in front to avoid an on-coming car. The bumper bar of the car collided with the front of the coach, causing this vehicle to graze a telegraph pole.

Defendant afterwards said “I wish it had … well smashed you!”—Defendant, who denied travelling at 50 or 60 miles an hour, said he did not remember passing the two motorists who had complained. He passed the motor coach because the road was clear. He believed the driver accelerated because he was annoyed at being passed and deliberately pulled into the rear of his (defendant’s) car.

—The Chairman told defendant the Magistrates considered that the case was a very bad one. He would be fined £15, with £9 15s. 6d. costs, and his licence would be endorsed. The Magistrates had considered suspending the licence, and it was because it was a clean one that they had decided not to do so.



bottom of page