John P. Maddock – Time Tests of Tram Routes

Here are the full time tests performed by John P. Maddock for the defence. The document is provided at the bottom of this page, courtesy of John Gannon. Please alert me in the comments if I have made any mathematical errors.

Note: The average tram wait time was 4 and a half minutes on this evening. Wallace claims to have left at 19:15.

If it is accepted that Wallace had made the call or someone had seen Wallace and gone to the box, it is more likely he had left a bit earlier than this – which also gives him more time to arrive at the club if he did not place the call. In the latter case that he was watched or seen, it is more dependent on the caller’s vantage point.

Tests to the Central Chess Club using Wallace’s claimed route:

 
Test A:

Timed the route from Wallace’s back door to the door of the Central Chess Club via Belmont Road, the route Wallace claims to have used.

24 minutes with no wait time, 33 minutes with a 9 minute wait.

Maddock waited 4 minutes making a journey time of 28 minutes.

= 19:43 arrival time from 19:15.

Range of journey time: 24 to 33 minutes.

Range of arrival: 19:39 to 19:48.

Test B:

Timed the route from the Belmont Road tram to the door of the Central Chess Club.

18 minutes and 20 seconds.

Summary of Tests: Shortest possible time 23 minutes and 30 seconds, to 32 minutes and 30 seconds.

Tests to the Central Chess Club using the phone box route:

 
Test C:

Timed the route from Wallace’s back door to the phone box.

4 minutes (3.41 mph walking speed). In test D Maddock accomplished this in 3 minutes 40 seconds at 4.1 mph.

Test D:

Timed the route from Wallace’s back door to the door of the Central Chess Club using the tram by the telephone box the Qualtrough call was made from.

24 minutes with no wait time (4.1 mph walking speed to the call box), 33 minutes with a 9 minute wait.

Maddock waited 5 minutes 40 seconds making a journey time of 29 minutes 40 seconds.

= 19:44.40 arrival time from 19:15.

Range of journey time: 24 to 33 minutes.

Range of arrival: 19:39 to 19:48.

Excludes the time that would be required to stop and make the telephone call. Based on operator testimony the call came in around 19:15 and was patched through at 19:20. The call time with the City Cafe is unknown.

The Qualtrough call dialogue: https://www.williamherbertwallace.com/case-files/qualtrough-call-dialogue/

It may be fair to assume a 3 minute conversation with the City Cafe, and by testimony ~5 minutes with the operators but the precise pick-up time is unknown.

If Wallace had made the call as per the prosecution, the call was put through at 19:20 and may have ended around 19:23 or later based on the dialogue. With a minimum journey time of 20 minutes and 30 seconds from the nearby tram stop should he have left the box, walked to the stop, and instantly boarded, he should arrive at the club between about 19:43 to 19:52 depending on the tram wait time. By Beattie’s statement it does not seem as though the voice was anxious to end the call to – say – jump on a tram he sees arriving in order to cut out the wait time.

To have made the call, Wallace would almost certainly have had to have left earlier than his stated 19:15 (it is 3 minutes 40 seconds to the box at a 4.1 mph pace), since a leaving time of 19:15 gives very little time for placing the call and all the dialogue with the operators prior to 19:20.

His arrival time at the club of 19:45 is more consistent with him having not made the call, but either route is equally possible foregoing the telephone call.

(By inference from the below files, by excluding the walking time to the phone box we can take the journey time from the tram near the phone booth to the door of the chess club to be 20 minutes and 30 seconds).

Summary of Tests: Journey times on both routes are the same owing to a differences in walking distance. The call length is not accounted for in the tests.

Tests between Menlove Gardens West and 29 Wolverton Street:

 
Further tests were of Wallace’s journey to and from Menlove Gardens took place. One terminated at Menlove Gardens North but can be dismissed as the conductor put him off at Menlove Gardens West. Maddock also walked to 25 Menlove Gardens West upon arrival.

The maximum wait time for the journey to the Gardens was said to be 4 minutes. On the return, the maximum wait time at Smithdown Lane is said to be 5 minutes and 4 minutes at Penny Lane, with no wait time necessary at St. Margaret’s Church (as Wallace walked home from here), giving a maximum wait time of 9 minutes total.

The time using Wallace’s route (minus the 3 minute walk to 25 Menlove Gardens West as he did not immediately go there) was ascertained to be 29 minutes 40 seconds with no waiting times; Maddock waited 10 minutes in total, giving a journey time of 39 minutes 40 seconds.

The return journey was ascertained as 33 minutes and 30 seconds without any waiting times; Maddock waited 4 minutes 50 seconds in total, giving a journey time of 38 minutes and 20 seconds.

From Wallace’s stated departure times of 18:45 from his back door, and 20:00 returning home to his front door, the following times can be ascertained:

Minimum Journey from 29 Wolverton Street to Menlove Gardens West:

29 minutes and 40 seconds.

According to Maddock’s tests (refer to Test F, minus the 3 minute walk to 25 Menlove Gardens West and all wait times), Wallace could not have left his back door later than 18:49 to get to Smithdown Lane at 7:06 with no wait time on either the first tram or the one at Smithdown Lane. The maximum wait time for the tram is 4 minutes at the first stop and 5 minutes at Smithdown Lane, meaning an average total wait time of 4 and a half minutes (2 minutes at the first stop, 2 and a half at the second).

An average wait time at both stops makes Wallace’s 18:45 departure time more plausible.

Of note, Lily Pinches believes Wallace to have been in her shop some time after 8 PM. Given the data, this means either Lily Pinches or Lily Hall has apparently made a mistake in their testimony.

Full Document

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