Tag Archives: gang war

1958 “Gang War” in Lanark — Lanark Era

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1958 “Gang War” in Lanark — Lanark Era

August 1958

The following front page editorial from the Lanark Era tells about a gang war that took place on the main corner of the village between teenagers of both sexes. As Southey said in his poem about the Battle of Blenheim. “But what they fought each other for I cannot well make out.”

Readers of the Era will feel a little bit like Casper in that respect, as he tries to explain the war to his grandchild. If these young punks came from Perth and Smiths Falls why did they select Lanark as the scene for a gang fight? And if they were armed as the Era says they were it is a pretty dirty business.

What we can’t understand is why the fire brigade didn’t- turn the hose on the milling brats. There is nothing that cools them off like a good dousing with cold water under high pressure. Below is what the Era had to say about the incident under the caption, “Disgraceful Conduct”:

Last Friday and Saturday evenings witnessed two of the most disgraceful exhibitions of youth conduct ever seen in Lanark Village. Friday evening over 75 persons from Perth and Lanark congregated on the corner of George and South Streets in front of this office in a scene which could have become a mob riot. The language was filthy and obscene. Girls were present in large numbers.

Fortunately the police were able to disperse the mob in about an hour without any damage being done. Saturday evening the evidence shows that some carloads of youths arrived from Smiths Falls, to, as they put it “Slow down the Lanark Gang”.

Equipped with knives, rubber hose, etc., they were finally brought under control but not before ten had been arrested for their action on these two evenings. It is evident that only fines or jail interment will stop these youth gang wars. The editor exhorts the forces of law and order to continue arresting all these parties guilty of infractions of traffic and municipal laws.

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