‘If one should happen to be reading this while going home on the West Vale car or anywhere in the company of a West Vale man it would probably be wiser to be more discreet than valorous, and not to betray any signs of amusement, because we are all human, and too many laughs against oneself are not always relished.
The fact is, West Vale got the “wind up” this morning over something that fell from the sublime heights of portending tragedy to the ridiculous, and the district is not proud of the fact.
Early this morning, West Vale awoke to the positive conviction that it was in the heart of a deep, dark plot against the defence of the realm. Evidence of it was convincing. Right along the road from Elland to Barkisland lay a thick trail of tin tacks. They were fullgrown tacks, too, sharp, shining and a full half-inch in length.The purpose of the plot was obvious. Something or somebody was to be attacked in the neighbourhood by rebels. Police and military would be rushed up from Halifax in motor cars, they would come up with the trap and then piff! paff! and the rescue would fail.
The West Vale authorities rose to the occasion nobly. Within an hour of the discovery, the Council’s mechanical sweeper dashed out of its shed at four miles an hour, followed by a detachment of roadmen at the trot. A short time passed and not a nail was to be seen where before they had lain in their thousands. Then West Vale sat down and waited for the storm. It never came.
Later on in the morning the whole truth came out. It seems that at about breakfast time, a motor cyclist set out from Elland to go somewhere through West Vale. On the back of his machine was a parcel of nails incautiously tied up in thin paper. The jogging of the cycle soon caused the nails to work a hole in the packet through which the tacks trickled in a gentle stream. No further explanation is needed.’