great "Welsh Cliff mystery" involving the strange disappearance
of former Wolverhampton socialite, Violet Charlesworth, captured
the imagination of the whole country and set tongues wagging with
speculation and wild guesses in January.
In the style of a taut Agatha Christie thriller, Miss Charlesworth,
who also lived in Stafford, was reported to have "been hurled from
a motor car"over the cliffs and into the sea near Penmaenmawr, in
the early hours of the morning.
The newspapers had a field day as they reported how witnesses
called to the scene found 24-year-old Miss Charlesworth's sister
and a chauffeur in a dazed condition. A massive search of the area
failed to reveal any trace of the woman's body and conclusions were
drawn that the tragedy had never taken place. This was based partly
on the "trivial" damage to the car and the injuries to the "survivors."
The story put forward by the chauffeur and the sister was viewed
by many as "inacceptable to human credulity." The non-acceptance
of the tragedy led to rumours and reports of the lady having been
seen elsewhere in the country and it was even said a woman answering
Miss Charlesworth's description, was spotted at Holyhead boarding
a liner heading abroad.
She was born in Stafford and lived for some time in Wolverhampton.
She also appeared to have resided in various parts of the country
as a "lady of wealth" and to have speculated on a large scale on
the Stock Exchange.
A report in the Wolverhampton based Midland Counties Express said:
"Where she is now is a mystery."
The missing socialite was described by Wulfrunians as being smartly
dressed with a pretty figure - and always had a large St Bernard
dog as her "inseperable companion."
She would often be seen walking in the Tettenhall Road and Whitmore
Reans areas of Wolverhampton and would stop and chat to tramway
There was a suggestion of a romance and the missing woman was
said to have been left a fortune by someone who had died.
Reports of her whereabouts flew about and she was said to have
been seen in Worthing and even Ireland.
A man named Roberts came forward with information that he had
been in the area of the alleged tragedy when he heard the sound
of a car engine.
He saw "in the clear moonlight night" the car on the sea side
of a wall on the brink of the cliff.
A few seconds later he heard the sound of smashing glass. He said
he met the alleged victim's sister who told him there had been an
accident and a lady has gone over the cliff. Roberts searched the
are but found no body on the rocks nor in the water.
A woman in Derby reported that Violet Charlesworth had borrowed
money from her on the strength of a will she was expecting to come
to her. She loaned her 500 in all.
A well known London stockbroker was said to have been a creditor
of Miss Charlesworth's to the tune of 10,000 which she lost on various
The woman described as a "simple little country girl" was said
at one time to be heading for Australia.
She also hired 300 worth of cars from a London car company and
bought one car from them for 1,500.
A few weeks after the "tragedy" creditors gathered at Violet Charlesworth's
then current home in St Asaph, Wales, in the vain hope of being
The occasion was to have been her 25 birthday party - but she
did not make an appearance. Her furniture was seized and sold in
lieu of rent owed.
A friend of the missing woman told a national newspaper that Miss
Charlesworth had written songs. One called "Come Back To Scotland,"
was sent to the King.
She also apparently presented a copy to the Scottish comedian,
Sir Harry Lauder. Later the woman's creditors revealed she had run
up bills of 13,000.
Man loses appeal against murder sentence: In March, a Wolverhampton
man who shot his wife dead after claiming that she tried to cut his
throat lost his appeal against a death sentence imposed at Stafford
Assizes for murder.
The jury heard that before the tragedy Joseph Jones, of Merridale
Street, attempted to buy a revolver from a pawn shop and was refused.
On the day of the murder Jones wife went into the house through
the back door and shortly afterwards there was the sound of a gunshot.
A short while later the prisoner appeared at the door with his
throat cut and bleeding.
He called neighbours into the house and they saw a razor and a
pistol on a table downstairs. Upstairs, in a back room, the wife
was lying dead, having been shot in the head.
The prosecution theory was that the prisoner shot his wife and
then attempted to cut his own throat, either out of remorse, or
to make a case to cover up what happened.
The defence had been that the wife tried to cut her husband's
throat and then shot herself in the bedroom.