This week 30 years ago: Snake escapes disupts annual Grimaldi clown service in Dalston church

The Gazette 30 years ago

The Gazette 30 years ago - Credit: Archant

An escaped snake wiped the smile off the painted faces of the 120 clowns gathered for the annual church service in honour of Joseph Grimaldi.

The pet, which belonged to one of the clowns, got loose and the service at Dalston’s Holy Trinity Church was held up while the clowns searched for it.

In other news, fruit machines were banned from all snack bars, restaurants and corner shops in Hackney, much to the horror of the British Amusement Catering Trades Association at the council’s “drastic and unreasonable” action.

Youngsters hooked on the machines had been squandering school dinner money and stealing to feed their gambling fever. The ban followed a shock council report which showed a link between slot machine addiction and truancy, theft, poor work, aggressive behaviour and emotional disturbance.

The ban was to hit youngsters like self-confessed slot junkie Lee Brown, 13, who wanted to warn others about how addictive it can be.