20 October 1900
"A highly amusing election story has reached us
from the Prestwich Division. In a certain district
where Conservatism is pretty strong, there was
much confidence displayed over the chances of
Captain HOULDSWORTH, and it was thought advisable
to prepare some sort of demonstration in honour
of the return of the Tory candidate.
"One happy genius hit upon
a novel idea. He proposed that a coffin with the
inscription ˜Here lies CRAWLEY' should be made
and paraded after the announcement of the figures.
One enthusiast went even further. He set the Boys'
Brigade Band into training, special attention
being given to the ˜Dead March' and made complete
arrangements for their participation in the parade
"Judge the consternation
that prevailed in the local Tory dovecote when
it was found that the Liberal candidate had been
returned with an increased majority. Needless
to say, the funeral so elaborately planned did
Martha Ann BRIERLEY, aged 48,
was seen to throw herself from the viaduct where
the canal passed over the River Tame. Despite the
30 foot drop, she was rescued and found to have
a broken right ankle. She was the wife of William
BRIERLEY, a foreman in Stalybridge. "She had been
in a despondent state for some time and under the
care of Dr TALENT.
A FAMILY BRAWL
"Thomas NUTTALL, Ada NUTTALL and Jas. NUTTALL were
charged with committing a breach of the peace at
Bardsley on October 1st. The male defendants pleaded
guilty and Ada NUTTALL pleaded guilty under great
provocation." The police had found them at 11.50pm,
shouting, cursing and swearing. "James NUTTALL was
urging his brother Thomas to fight Ada NUTTALL's
husband. Defendant Ada NUTTALL handed a paper to
the magistrates saying ˜that's what Thomas NUTTALL
called me." We can but hazard a guess of the cause
of the dispute. They were bound over to keep the
peace for three months for 40s.
It is hard to imagine our city
fathers condoning ˜drugs', let alone 'peddling'
them, as was apparently the case in 1900. The Angel
Inn in Stalybridge was without a landlord because
the tenant was being prosecuted for being in breach
of his licence. The person chosen "to sell upon
the said premises" was Mr MASON, the borough accountant.
"At first sight, this might
seem a curious mixture," wrote the Reporter. "But
investigation shows that the public official is
only the nominal and temporary licensee. The Angel
Inn is the property of the Corporation and they
contemplate a re-construction of the building
on modern lines and after the system which is
in vogue in Blackpool. "Local temperance reformers
will perhaps be shocked by this intelligence,
though it must always be borne in mind that whatever
profit § and we presume the hotel will make at
least a little § will go towards the reduction
of the rates."
Sound chaps, these reporters, although
one suspects that today's council could not run
the proverbial, even if they still owned a pub!
Speaking of which..
AS STUBBORN AS THE PROVERBIAL
James Henry HARROP (maybe one
of mine) and John HAMPSON appeared before the Ashton
magistrates charged with obstruction at Waterloo.
Both pleaded guilty as policeman Sgt Dove told how
he had witnessed the pair, each in charge of a horse
and cart "one going in the direction of Oldham and
the other in the direction of Ashton. Both of them
claimed right of the tram road and neither of them
would give way and they collided. The Chairman:
"Your're two nice boys, you are. You will be fined
6s each for costs."
At about 4.30 on Sunday afternoon,
Joseph ASHTON of Market-street, Stalybridge reported
a fire at Charles STUBBS', picture frame maker.
"With all possible despatch, hose van was sent to
the scene of the fire which was found to be raging
in the back bedroom which is used as a workshop
by the tenant. Branches were got to work from the
hydrants in Albert-square and Caroline-street."
The cause of the fire was unknown and there was
water damage to the neighbouring Wharf Tavern.
(I would be grateful to anyone who can explain the
Upwards of 900 people gathered at the Higginshaw
Ground in Oldham to watch a wresting match between
J BURNS of Lees and S ANCHOR of Hurst. It was the
best of three back falls with 50 pounds at stake.
BURNS was trained by Jack BARKER from the Hanging
Gate in Diggle, while ANCHOR was under the tutelage
of Sam MOORES at his home in Pendleton.
Twas ever thus! Given the reported apathy at the
present US Presidential election, take or lose heart
from the Reporter: "Though less than a fortnight
will elapse before 1st November, very little interest
§ and certainly no excitement § has been shown with
regard to the municipal elections in Stalybridge.
Still, we are told that contests will positively
take place in several wards, Millbrook excepted."
In one of the wards, Mr J W SIMISTER
had a ˜walk over'. "Who the other candidates are
for the remaining wards is not yet definitely
This lack of enthusiasm affected
both parties (yes, I know Labour was there, as
well as Liberal and Tory, but I think their two
seats in 1900 allows me some grace).
People were approached but "Generally
speaking there has been a disinclination on the
part of these gentlemen to accept the honour."
Sound chaps I think — anyone
who wants to become a politician should be automatically
disbarred! Then again, as Aristotle observed,
he who refuses to be involved in politics shall
become governed by his inferiors!
Having been totally non-PC,
can I be the first to offer to ˜person' the barricades