Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 – 1954), Sunday 4 October 1936, page 24

Caricaturist Finds Himself Plucked After Ball

Wep and Jess in his green 1928 Chrysler 72 Roadster which he purchased September 1930 and sold December 1937

WELL KNOWN by the signature ‘Wep’, William Edwin Pidgeon, 27, a black-and-white artist employed by Consolidated Press Ltd., footed the bill at the Central Police Court last week for a little traffic lapse committed as an aftermath to the holding of the Ski Council ball at the Blaxland Galleries on the night of September 25.

MR. STEVENSON, S.M., fined ‘Wep’ £2, or four days’ hard labor, for driving a car while he was under the influence of intoxicating liquor. ‘I am satisfied that he was not drunk,’ remarked the bench, ‘but I am satisfied that he was sufficiently under the influence of intoxicating liquor as to render him incapable of driving a car.’ ‘Wep’ pleaded not guilty and was defended by Mr. Taylor. The evidence of Constable Blair was that he saw the car parked at 3.5 a.m. with two wheels on the footpath, and two on the road, while Constable Bullen swore that after that, he saw Pidgeon, two other men and two women, “stagger out of Westminister Hall flats. They were all under the influence. When he asked Pidgeon who had driven the vehicle on to the foot path, added Bullen, Pidgeon replied, “To hell with you!” and started the engine, driving off. When he, Bullen, told ‘Wep’ to stop the car, ‘Wep’ repeated his remark and announced that the constable was coming with him. Of course, as was obvious, Constable Bullen is not the sort of man to stand for that type of cavalier treatment. He stopped the car himself and Mr. Pidgeon was duly conveyed to the police station. There, it further appeared, while the prisoner was in the dock, he rolled a cigarette, possibly nonchalantly, but spoilt the effect, if any, by lighting it half-way along, according to the policeman. “His condition was verging on drunkenness,” recalled Bullen. “I said to him, ‘You have been drinking,’ ” recalled Station Sergeant MacPherson, “and he replied. ‘Yes, I was at the Ski Club Ball at the Blaxland Galleries.’ ” Of Bundarra-road, Bellevue Hill, Pidgeon, in pleading not guilty, maintained that he had not left the greater part of the car on the pavement. They had gone to the flats to have coffee, he swore. He did not remember if he had suggested to one of the constables that one of the latter might explore the nether regions. He had not believed that it was a constable who had spoken to him, the latter being in dis-reputable civilian dress, and he, Pidgeon, had said that he would take the other to the police station to find out about it. “I heard the evidence about asking for a cigarette,” admitted ‘Wep.’ “It is possible I made a bad cigarette — with the treatment I got! I had about three or four lagers at the ball.” To the Prosecutor: I did not light the cigarette in the middle. Another journalist, Richard Bernard Odgers, of the aforesaid flats, was also at the function, it appeared. “I was in Pidgeon’s company, but not for the whole of the evening,” he admitted. “I was all over the place.”


1936 ‘”WEP” PIDGEON FINED FOR DRIVING “UNDER”‘, Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 – 1954), 4 October, p. 24. , viewed 15 Dec 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169583849

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