On Wednesday 23rd May, 1900, two boys stood before acting sheriff substitute W J N Liddall accused of stealing sweets from a shop in Alva. They both pleaded guilty.

A few weeks earlier on Wednesday 9th May, the two boys aged 11 and 9 who lived in Sunnyside Road in Alloa, had travelled to Alva.

As they passed the confectioner’s shop belonging to Nellie Wilson or Galloway, they had noticed that she was nowhere to be seen.

The older boy decided to run into the shop and help himself to a quantity of confectionary.

When he alighted, the two boys beat a hasty retreat and ran down the street as fast as they could.

Meanwhile the shop keeper returned to the front of the shop and her suspicions were aroused.

Mrs Galloway caught sight of the boys running away and soon managed to alert a local police officer who happened to be nearby at the time.

Around an hour later, the two youngsters were caught with some of the confectionary still on them. The rest had been happily consumed.

At Alloa Sheriff Court, solicitor John Carmichael, who was acting on behalf of the boys, said he had been asked to make a statement on their behalf.

He went on to explain the circumstances of how the boys had ended up in Alva.

On the day before, the two had not attended their school and when evening came, they were too frightened to go home, fearing the wrath of their parents.

Deciding not to return, they spent the night sleeping under the stars.

In the morning, they decided to go to Alva where no-one knew them, as they skipped school for a second day.

Both boys were feeling hungry, and seeing no-one in the shop, the older boy had gone in and had taken around 1lb of sweets to stave off their hunger.

He also stated that on the same day, the two boys had committed a small theft in Alloa, for which they were punished by the Alloa Burgh Police on the Monday before they appeared at the sheriff court.

Mr Carmichael said he thought the sheriff may take that into account and admonish the boys as he felt it was one and the same case, and punishment had already been meted out on the pair.

Taking all the circumstances into consideration, the acting sheriff substitute decided to give the boys a stern warning then they were dismissed from the court.