Edward Fry Wade was next in the witness box. He said that he was the clerk to the Loxton and Christon School board and on March 6th he began to read the minutes of the previous meeting. A particular minute referred to the violent and abusive language that had been used by Mr. Wilkinson at previous meetings. By that minute, the witness, and the Loxton members of the Board had been directed to take note of any such language that might be made use of on future occasions to forward onto the Education Department. Mr. Wilkinson had strongly objected to that minute and proceeded to say that the board meetings were illegal, immoral, atrocious, and all the rest of it. Mr. Fry then gave his version of the fight. During cross-examination he was asked why he did not give the Christon members his support so that there would have been three on either side. Mr. Fry replied amid laughter that it was not included in his duties. Further questioning led him to say that the last he saw of Wilkinson was him looking for his spectacles and his hat. Mr. Clifton asked, who had taken his hat. There was laughter when Mr. Wade replied that he thought it was under the table. When asked if he said anything during the fight Mr. Wade said he and the chairman had said nothing. Mr. Wade was asked similar questions about the rector's allegations, and he replied that he was a very popular candidate and told a very long story. Mr. Clifton then said, to more laughter:-
And Dibble got tired of it, and shortened it?
Mr. Clifton commented that the Chairman of the Board had said that the words atrocious, illegal and immoral were used to describe the members, whereas the clerk had thought that they were used in reference to the meetings. Mr. Fry said that there was a lot of noise, so that you could not hear all that was said. However, he was emphatic that he had heard Mr. Wilkinson call Mr. Dibble a liar and a thief.
J.H. Padfield was the last witness to be called. He represented the interests of the Loxton ratepayers. He did not know if Mr. Dibble called the rector any names but he had heard Mr. Wilkinson say to Mr. Dibble:-
You are a great thief you are.
At the end of the hearing Col. Luttrell summed up and said that the magistrates considered that both assaults had been proved. In the case of the assault on the rector they thought the assault was very much justified by the provocation given, and fined the defendant 1 shilling(1) without costs. In the second case the circumstances were rather different, for House evidently went to protect his clergyman. Here they fined the defendant £1 and costs.
In April 1887 six people were nominated for five places on the School Board- Messrs. H. Dibble, E. Galton, J.H. Padfield and W. Tilley for Loxton, and Messrs C. House and C.R. Wainwright (The Lord of the Manor of Christon). Mr. Wilkinson did not stand. The election however did not take place as Mr. Tilley retired from the contest, thus leaving Loxton with three representatives and Christon with two.
At the end of April 1887, the Rev. Wilkinson left Christon to go to live in Hampshire. Mr. Dibble continued to serve on the School Board, and remained in the district until his death in 1926, at the age of 87. He is buried in Loxton churchyard.
(1) 1s (1 shilling) is equivalent to five new pence. There were 20 shillings to the £1. The slang word for shilling was 'bob'.
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