Chapelton v Barry UDC

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Chapelton v Barry UDC
Deckchair 600.jpg
Court Court of Appeal
Full case name David Chapelton v Barry Urban District Council
Citation(s) [1940] 1 KB 532
Case history
Prior action(s) A judgment in favour of Barry UDC
Case opinions
All three Lords Justices of Appeal
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting Slesser LJ
Mackinnon LJ
Goddard LJ
Offer and acceptance, incorporation of express terms, ticket, receipt

Chapelton v Barry Urban District Council [1940] 1 KB 532 is an English contract law case on offer and acceptance and exclusion clauses. It stands for the proposition that a display of goods can be an offer and a whole offer, rather than an invitation to treat, and serves as an example for how onerous exclusion clauses can be deemed to not be incorporated in a contract.


David Chapelton went to a beach with his friend, Miss Andrews, at Cold Knap. There was a pile of deckchairs. A notice next to them said,

"Barry Urban District Council. Cold Knap. Hire of chairs 2d. per session of 3 hours."

It also said tickets should be obtained from attendants. Mr Chapelton got two chairs from an attendant, paid the money and got two tickets. He put them in his pocket. On the ticket was written,

"Available for three hours. Time expires where indicated by cut-off and should be retained and shown on request. The council will not be liable for any accident or damage arising from the hire of the chair."

When Mr Chapelton sat on the chair it gave way, the canvas tearing from the top of the chair. He was injured. The County Court judge held the council would have been negligent but that liability was exempted by the ticket. Mr Chapelton appealed.


The Court of Appeal upheld Mr Chapelton's claim, overturning the judgment at first instance; it held that there was a valid offer when the chairs were on display, accepted when picked up the chairs from the defendant. Therefore, the ticket was merely a receipt of the contract, and the exclusion clause could not be incorporated as a term, because it was too late. Slesser LJ read the facts and gave his judgment first.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2 CPD 416, 422
  2. ^ [1930] 1 KB 41 , 53
  3. ^ [1930] 1 K. B. 41