Albion School

Above are the opening words from the souvenir programme commemorating the Albion Day School established by the Albion Congregational Church in Ashton-under-Lyne. The school opened on 4 January 1869 when less than 100 pupils enrolled. Ten years later, 1,327 children were registered. It was a fee-paying school until these were abolished in all public elementary schools in 1918.

The school demonstrated some academic success. In 1879, seven pupils passed the Cambridge University level local examination and in a national handwriting competition, four of the five prizes were won by Albion pupils. A government report in 1882 singled out the school for praise: "I know of no elementary school in which the subjects of instruction embrace so wide a range."
Abraham Park

Abraham Park

Francis Johnson

Francis JOHNSON

The credit was given to the then headmaster, Abraham PARK who according to the programme "died in harness at the age of 80" in 1917. His successor was Francis JOHNSON who had himself been educated at the school. It continued its academic success, but also achieved a high degree of sporting achievement, particularly in swimming and football. In 1923, pupil George TAYLOR represented his county at schoolboy fooball and in the North vs South match. The following year, he played for England against Wales and captained the English team against Scotland.

In 1926: "The school closes its doors because it believes that the day has fully come when the education of England's childhood is the care of the state; and further, the nation's future citizens should be given in the nation's own schools an education broad-based upon the great principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and opening before the aspiring youth of the land the noble gateway of learning and scholarship whereby all life may be enriched and all mankind served better.

Class of 1922

Albion School - The Class of 1922

1 June 1900

A policeman’s lot was certainly not a happy one a century ago. They had no vehicles in which to bundle Saturday night drunks to get them to the station, having to rely on their own strength to carry them.

One hundred ago, Edward HUMPHRIES was found guilty of being drunk and disorderly in Ashton town centre and at his trial, Cllr BARRON "I think that it is only right that the police ambulance should be used to carry drunken people to the lock-up instead of carrying them. I saw a policeman carrying an elderly woman through the streets and think such conduct is neither creditable to the town nor dignifying to the police."

However, Chief Constable DANBY was not moved. "I will not ask any of my officers to carry a rough person on the ambulance and have it kicked to pieces. It has cost us 15 pounds and a rough person would just smash it up." Revellers beware!


Not that other people weren’t willing to take risks with their vehicles. Henry BOOTH of Denton also appeared at Ashton Police Court charged with dangerous driving. He was seen in Audenshaw failing to hold on to the reins of his horse and cart. He pleaded guilty and was fined six shillings.

No newspaper would have been complete without helpful hints about the home. The Reporter recommended the use of castor oil as a hair dressing. "Castor oil is the only oil that possesses such properties and it should be mixed with white rum before use." Now that’s what you call a Bacardi Breezer!

1 June 1950
Eva PARSEILLES of George Street, Dukinfield divorced her American husband Charles TAYLOR after a disastrous marriage. The two had corresponded for some time and Eva agreed to travel to New York to marry Charles. However, she found that he was not 35 years old as he had claimed, but nearer 60. Even so, she went ahead with the marriage which did not survive the honeymoon and they separated five weeks later. She told the court that her three sisters had had much better luck in their choice of American husbands!


And finally… Petrol came of the ration list this week in 1950. For ten years, motorists had needed either a light touch on the pedal or a contact for black market fuel. "Motorists can now put their foot down on the accelerator and pass a policeman with impunity," said the Reporter. Must try that one next time I’m late for work

Creative Commons License Rhodes Family History by Ian Rhodes (1999-2017 v.3.0) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting me.
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