Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Well I Never

Someone asked me the other day why I decided to call the blog 'The Law West of Ealing Broadway', when I have only the most tenuous connection with the place, mostly to do with changing trains on the way into London. I am told that the 'Ealing Gazette' picked up the 'Times' piece and ran a story based on the fact that it was of local interest!

Well of course it was a dim memory of Paul Newman playing Judge Roy Bean in the film of the same name, and the Judge's motto 'The Law West of the Pecos' that made it spring to mind. That was all I knew about the fellow, until the other day I looked him up here.
It turns out that he really existed, and that his courthouse, that also served as a saloon and a jail, has been preserved as a tourist attraction. Apparently he was well known for serving drinks to passengers waiting while their train was fuelled and watered and holding on to their change until the last minute. When the train whistle blew, and the customers swore at him in their hurry to get their change and go he would fine them the exact amount of the change for using bad language.

They don't make them like that any more.

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