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colin houghton
Posts: 4

Does anyone have details of the murder which supposedly caused the residents of Hackett Street to change the name to Heath Street in Blackheath - early 1930's?


January 24, 2014 at 5:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 1413

Yes Colin, someone does.

On the evening of 25th February, 1933, Robert Campion Harris, aged 34, arrived home in his usual condition, very drunk. He lived with his father, William Harris, aged 58, a Galvaniser by trade, in Hackett Street, Blackheath, Staffordshire. Robert had caused his father trouble in the past with his drinking, and as usual, again, a quarrel ensured and a fight and struggle began. The old man received scrathes and a black eye, but Robert sustained throat and face wounds from a kitchen knife. William, realising that his son was badly injured or dead, left the house and went to a nearby pub where he consumed 5 pints of beer, and then handed himslf in at the Holly Road Police Station, Blackheath. Escorted back to the house by Sergeant Perkins, they discovered that the son was still alive, but bleeding badly. Taken to Hospital, he died a few hours later, and William Harris, who freely admitted what he had done, was charged with murder. This was later reduced to Manslaughter, and then, having been found unfit to plead, William harris was found to be insane, and committed to a Lunatic Ayslum. It was the thought that a madman had been living in the street, that caused the worried residents to have the name changed. Having walked down it countless time during my youth, it surely couldn't have been to protect the value of the properties. I hope this helps Colin.


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January 24, 2014 at 11:03 AM Flag Quote & Reply

colin houghton
Posts: 4

Thanks very much for that. My father's family lived there at the time. First at number 33 and later at number 6.  I don't think my father knew the Harris family though.

January 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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