Date: 17 Oct 1933
Place: Parade Cinema, Margate
The body of a newly-born male child was found dead in a parcel under a seat at the Parade Cinema.
It was found after the Saturday afternoon performance wrapped up in a damp towel and a large piece of brown paper.
An attendant that had been occupied sweeping and dusting at the cinema on the Saturday morning said that she came on duty at 2pm and showed patrons to various parts of the cinema but said that she could not remember anyone carrying a parcel or an attache case entering the cinema or anyone who looked ill or upset.
She said that during the afternoon performance the seats where she afterwards saw the parcel were fully occupied by adults. She said that she didn't notice anyone coming in to the afternoon performance unusually late or leaving before the programme finished.
The woman said that she went to a cafe for some tea at 4.45pm and when she returned to the cinema a few minutes after 5pm she started to show people to their seats. She said that sometime later a lady who had been sitting in the ninepenny seats said, 'Oh, miss, there is a parcel under a seat over there', and pointed to a row of 1s seats parallel with her seat.
She said that it was a brown paper parcel tied neatly with string and said that there was no one sitting in the row at the time that she found it. She said that when the performance began there was no one seated in the row where the parcel was discovered and that at the time the lights of the hall were only partially on.
She said that the woman that found it was about 35 years of age and did not seem to be agitated or upset in any way. She also said that there were about two hundred children at the afternoon performance. She said that she thought that it was a shopping parcel.
The cinema commissionaire said that he had only cleaned the outside of the cinema and that when he had left the cinema at 12.30pm he had locked up all the doors to the cinema with the exception of the door leading to the vestibule and said that no one would have been able to enter the cinema without the knowledge of the girl in the box office.
He said that he had a recollection of a lady entering the cinema at 2.20pm or 2.25pm carrying two parcels. He said that she obtained a 1s seat and was about 5ft 1in or 5ft 2in tall and had been wearing a low-brimmed hat that covered her face. He added that she was about 28 or 30 years of age. He said that later, when he was going to make himself a cup of tea, after the public had left at the close of the afternoon performance, he noticed a woman coming from the direction of the ladies' cloakroom and said that afterwards it struck him that the woman was the same person that he had seen enter the cinema at 2.25pm but that she wasn't carrying any parcels. He said that she left by the side entrance leading to King Street. he said that he didn't think that he would recognise the woman again.
After the parcel was found it was taken into the vestibule where it was opened and the baby was discovered. They then went out and found a policeman that was on duty in King Street.
When the child was examined at the police station it was found to be a full-time child and well nourished. It’s cord had been severed about a foot from the body.
The doctor said that he thought that the child had been born with 24 hours of being examined and that it had been born alive based on the fact that there had been haemorrhage from the cord and that there was air in the child’s lungs. He also said that the amount of blood found in the towel also indicated that its heart had been beating after birth.
He also concluded that it was not the mother's first child.
He concluded that the child had been wrapped in the towel shortly after the cord was cut and that the bleeding had continued for only a few minutes afterwards. He said that based on that conclusion he said that the child’s death was due to suffocation with haemorrhage from the cord being a contributory cause. He added that there was no evidence of violence after the birth and noted that it was quite possible that the mother had wrapped the child up in the towel.
The police made investigations to find the mother of the child but could not find her.
see Thanet Advertiser - Tuesday 17 October 1933
see Dover Express - Friday 08 September 1933
see Thanet Advertiser - Tuesday 12 September 1933