This week’s From the Archive looks at an unusual form of encouragement from a parishioner.

On Sunday February 9, in 1908, the Divine Service in the Wesleyan Chapel was dramatically interrupted by Barry Dock coal trimmer Richard Witte.

The chapel is on Station Road, Dinas Powys.

It was a Methodist congregation, and is now known as Dinas Powys Methodist Chapel.

Mr Witte was very drunk, disorderly and shouting at the preacher.

Police Officer Peacock was called to eject Mr Witte from the chapel.

After being thrown out of the chapel, Mr Witte continued to cause trouble outside.

He was then taken into custody and transported to Barry Dock Police Station.

Appearing in the court dock the following morning, Mr Witte said in his defence that he only asked the preacher to “speak up” – an unusual defence.

Mr Witte had a history of court appearances for being drunk and disorderly.

This includes an appearance in 1906, when he pleaded “absolutely guilty” to the offence.

Why or how he arrived in Dinas Powys to attend this particular church we will never know.

Mr Witte is recorded as having 16 previous convictions for drunkenness.

On this occasion Mr Witte was found guilty and fined 10 shillings, or 14 days imprisonment with hard labour.

Thanks to Chris Franks for contributing this week’s article.