Hertfordshire Special Constabulary, Royston Section, 7th August 1919 photographed at the rear of the Old Bull hotel.
Throughout the war local able-bodied men who remained in the Town were recruited to Home Defence and the ranks of the Special Constables. These were supported by the Boy Scouts, who acted as messengers.
The Special Constables were charged with enforcing the Defence of the Realm Act, passed in August 1914, which effectively introduced martial law. It allowed the censoring of the press, prohibition and rationing (eventually introduced in 1918), the seizure of land and buildings for the manufacture of military equipment. It introduced daylight saving time and led to the opening of the factories to women workers. Curiously to also banned whistling in the street, bonfires and flying kites.
"A large monkey, belonging to Mr. Birne of the Red Lion on Market Hill, came out on the spree and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself and affording considerable fun to the boys who were chasing him about. This morning (Friday) he was enjoying strawberries in the gardens of Earls Hill House and, when the gardeners threw things at him, he retaliated by climbing an apple tree and pelting them with apples."
On the same day there was this report :
"Mr George Machon of Barley, had amongst his birds, a chicken with four legs. Much discussion took place about this dual legged bird, whether it would turn out double in other respects, such as laying a double quantity of eggs and being able to move twice as rapidly, if it would beat the "Early Bird" and catch two worms."