17 November 1900

James BROOKER was charged on remand for stealing a hen from a cote in a field off Gorsey Brow, Broadbottom. It was the property of John LOMAS, household furnisher and general dealer of Market-street. He was in poor health and his business was conducted by his brother, Fred. It was he who spotted BROOKER coming from the direction of the cote and when he challenged him, the youth threw the fowl in his face. However, LOMAS restrained BROOKER and with some effort, he handed him in to Countable PARRETT at Mottram Police Station.

BROOKER had only recently been released from gaol having served six months for breaking and entering. In a letter to the court, he said:

"Dear Sirs, I am very sorry for what I have done as it is through the cursed drink that brings me here; God only knows it is. Dear Sirs, I hope you will give me a chance and I will be different and work for my mother and the children. Dear Sirs, have pity on me and give me a chance and I will never come here again. Picture a widowed mother and children with outstretched arms waiting for me. Dear Sirs, have mercy on me and do not send me to prison. I will sign the pledge and be better, so give me a chance as I daresay my employer will give me a chance to return to work again, and I will work for an honest living. Give me a chance for my mother’s sake and the children’s. Have pity on me."

There couldn’t have been a dry eye in the house, save that of the Chairman who observed that "Drink is no excuse for crime," before he committed BROOKER for trial at the Knutsford Quarter Session.

A more sympathetic hearing was given to Samuel HOOLEY, a tramp who was charged with begging in Chapel-street, Dukinfield. A police officer had seen him go into a shop and when he checked, the owner confirmed that HOOLEY had been begging. After a brief chase, he was caught.

"Superintendent COOPER stated that the prisoner was not what they may call a professional tramp. He had lived in Hurst, Ashton and Dukinfield for several years, flitting from one place to the other. Up to about 12 months before, he was a very hard-working man, but since then had given way to drink." Since this was his first offence, HOOLEY was dismissed with a caution.

Three boys, George H SIDDALL, John H BARDSLEY and Sidney POULTON were fined a total of 10s 6d for the wilful damage of a wall belonging to Lord Stamford’s trustees. They were spotted pushing the coping stones off the wall by George YOUNG, occupier of the toll-bar on Lees-road in Hurst.

Mr T D THORPE retired as caretaker of the Moravian Chapel in Dukinfield and 35 years service in which he had seen six ministers come and go.

And finally, for those interested in such things, the Reporter published a full listing of tramway routes in the area, their numbers and stopping points. And no, I don’t propose to transcribe them!
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