7 September 1901

Extraordinary Developments

The past week has seen fresh developments in connection with the Dukinfield graveyard scandal, about which so much has been said and written of late. The crisis appears to have been reached on Monday afternoon when a retired gentleman resident in the borough, desirous of satisfying his curiosity, gained access to the disposed burial ground, where building operations are going on, through one of the adjoining houses, by permission of the tenant. What he saw, he states, shocked him. In places where excavations were going on, he states that coffins were broken up and remains scattered about. The smell he described as being loathsome in the extreme.

After a little unpleasantness with one of the officials, he drew the borough surveyor"s attention to the matter, and the same afternoon that official paid a visit to the spot. What followed may have its sequel in a law court, but gossips say that there was a conflict between the surveyor and one of the officials carrying out the work. A large crowd gathered in the street, and later on a town councillor arrived on the scene and saw what was going on. The councillor, with a public duty before him, determined to thoroughly sift the matter, and preparing himself with a lot of data, he went to the General Purposes Committee of the Town Council on Monday night, and in the presence of a proprietor of the works where the excavations were going on, he reviewed the whole situation, and stated in detail the many rumours current in the neighbourhood.

One of the rumours was about a jawbone with about a dozen teeth, taken from the ground, which was stated to have been exhibited in a public house. Other revolting rumours were stated, and in all some 40 or 50 questions were put by the Councillor. There was a heated debate, lasting for over an hour and a half, and one member of the Council was heard to remark that they had better send for the military. The Acts dealing with disused burial grounds, given in the Reporter of Aug. 18th last, were discussed, as was also the legal aspect of the case.

The Surveyor was appealed to, and he gave a detailed account of what he had seen. A councillor, who was a member of the firm erecting the new building, reprised, and endeavoured to exonerate the firm from any irreverent action whatever in the matter. He said that if he had known what he knew now, the firm would not have bought the land. The outcome of the meeting was that two resolutions were passed that a communication be sent to the Home Secretary notifying him of the erection of the building and the excavations; also that a letter be written to the official regarding the alleged assault upon the surveyor, and asking for an apology. Notwithstanding the fact that one or two members of the Council appealed that the matter might be adjourned for a month for further consideration, the motion to communicate with the Home Secretary was carried by ten votes to five.

Booth House, Audenshaw, the residence of the late Joseph HADWEN, Esq, and the grounds in which it stands, is on sale. We understand that the family is removing to London.

PONY STRAYING. — For this offence, on August 13th, at Audenshaw, to which he pleaded guilty, John HYDE was fined 6s at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday.

BREACH OF THE PEACE.— Thomas TUDOR, Mrs EARDIN, Mrs SMITH, and Mrs CHANTRY were before the Ashton County justices on Wednesday, charged with committing a breach of the peace in Howard-street, Audenshaw, on August 18th. Defendants pleaded guilty, and bound over in 40s to be of good behaviour for three months.

A BIG CAPTURE.— Clement DERRICK, of Bank-street, Hooley Hill, whilst fishing last week in Lough Sheelin, Ireland, with single gut and one small hook, baited with a gudgeon, caught a pike that weighed 20 lbs, its extreme length was 41in, and girth 31in. It was a splendid specimen, and gave grand sport. It has been sent to Messrs Cooper and Sons, London, for preservation.

A SLEEPY DRIVER.— James WHALLEY was charged at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, with being asleep in charge of a horse and lurry at Audenshaw, on the 15th. Defendant pleaded not guilty. A constable deposed to "boarding" defendant"s lurry and finding him asleep. Witness rode several yards on the lurry and took charge of the reins and then awoke the driver. Fined 5s 6d and costs.

PICNIC TO GRIMSBY.— On Sunday a nice party left the house of Mr C WORTHINGTON, Gardeners Arms, for a day"s outing to Grimsby and Cleethorpes, special accommodation having been provided for them by the Great Central Railway Company. After a pleasant journey, the party arrived at Grimsby in good time, and had a walk round to view the sights, afterwards going on to Cleethorpes. At the latter place they had a splendid dinner, after which the rest of the afternoon was spent in a very pleasant manner. Train time arrived all too soon, and after a capital run the party arrived at Guidebridge about eight o"clock, everyone highly delighted with the day"s pleasure.

BENEFIT CRICKET MATCH.— On Tuesday afternoon a cricket match between the county police and tradesmen was played on the ground behind the Pack Horse Inn, Hooley Hill, for the benefit of the families of the two poor unfortunate fellows who were suffocated in sewering operations a few weeks ago. There was a fair sprinkling of spectators witnessing the match. The police batted first, but could do nothing with the bowling of BARDSLEY, who took eight for nine runs, the whole side being out for 31. On the tradesmen going in they made a bad start, losing three wickets in quick time, but afterwards matters went in their favour, their total at the close being 58 for eight wickets. Both policemen and tradesmen have worked with a will to make the affair a success, and they disposed of a large number of tickets, and we are informed that a handsome surplus will be left to hand over to the bereaved families.

Heavy Penalty Imposed

A charge of grogging two spirit casks was preferred against Molly Waring TAYLOR, landlady of the Old Original Inn, Highmoor, on Wednesday last, Mr SIMPSON, of the Solicitors" Department of the Inland Revenue, Somerset House, prosecuting. In his opening remarks, Mr SIMPSON said it was the first case of that kind ever before the Uppermill bench, and was very important in its nature and bearing upon public houses, publicans and retailers of spirits generally, and it was necessary the bench should understand the full bearing of the Act under which the proceedings were to be taken.

The offence was very much like smuggling spirits in its nature. They were aware, no doubt, that the greater part of the revenue of the country was derived from the sale of spirits, spirits paying a greater proportion to the revenue than any other commodity, being no less than 11s per gallon, and consequently offering, perhaps, the best inducement to anyone who wished to defraud the revenue by smuggling or selling spirits that had not paid duty. In order that no spirits might be sold without payment of duty, stringent rules had been laid down for the transit of casks, and particularly with regard to the treatment which casks should receive.

The duty on spirits was not paid immediately they were manufactured or distilled, nor whilst in bond, but after they came out of bond, when a portion of the spirits had evaporated and another portion entered the wood of the casks, becoming absorbed in it. It was after the cask was emptied and the spirits poured out for consumption that the offence became possible. Grogging meant pouring in a cask any spirit which was either watered or had been extracted from the wood.

Until the Finance Act of 1898 this operation was not in itself illegal, and was extensively practised. It was found so long as duty was paid on the spirit after it had been extracted and before it was sold the revenue had no objection to the operation, but it was found that in by far the greater majority of cases the spirit was sold for consumption without duty being paid on it, and it was found very difficult indeed to prove the spirit when it had once been allowed to be extracted in this way. Therefore section 4 of the Finance Act was found necessary to prohibit the practice altogether, and to allow no cask to be grogged under any consideration whatever. The Act provided that any person subjecting any cask to a process for the purpose of extracting any spirit absorbed in the wood in contravention thereof would be subject to a fine of 50. A further penalty could also be imposed under the Spirits Act of 1880.

Defendant had been previously warned as to what she could or should do, and it was important the magistrates should see the case carefully carried out, and mark their sense of the importance of the subject. With reference to the case, the revenue officer went to the premises of Mrs TAYLOR on a certain date, entering the bar. Mrs TAYLOR, at the time he went in, was in a cellar on the same floor as the bar and immediately on seeing him she said, "I know what you are after; you want to see about those washed casks; we hav"nt any, and do not do that, because it does not pay." This aroused the officer"s suspicions, and on examining the place he found behind the bar four casks, two containing spirits which had been put into them in the first instance, and the other two having upon them other articles.

In the bottom of one of these casks he found two quarts, and in the other one quart of spirits. On examining the stock book he found the casks had contained spirits of a certain specific degree of strength, and found, with a hydrometer, that the contents were very much diluted. The samples taken by him were sent to the Government laboratory, and the analyst had found the spirits certainly similar to those originally in the casks, but diluted, and containing evidence of having been in the wood.

On his asking to see the casks the landlady immediately complied with his request. On the top of one was a cask of brandy, whilst on the other was standing a mug of bread. Both the under casks were securely corked. Mrs TAYLOR, on having the offence pointed out, said she did not think she was doing any harm, as she thought she was allowed to put cold water in the casks. A fine of 2 and costs was imposed.

Benjamin WINTERBOTTOM, landlord of the Dysart"s Arms, who was represented by his wife, was granted a music license.

OCCASIONAL LICENSE.— John Edward HAMPSON, landlord of the Hare and Hounds Inn, Luzley, was granted an occasional license to sell intoxicants at a cricket match to be held at Micklehurst next Saturday.

NO APPEARANCE.— Edward WHITEHEAD was on the list to answer a charge of being drunk and disorderly, but he did not put in an appearance. He had six previous convictions standing against him, and the magistrates decided to issue a warrant for his apprehension.

VACCINATION EXEMPTION.— Certificates of exemption from vaccination on account of their children were granted to Green KINDER, J W HEAP, J ANDREW, T COOK, M CONNOLLY, J BELL, Robert WEBB, Luke LEES, George S LISTER, J ROYLANCE, J H BROOKS, and M MASON.

STONE THROWING.— Three youths named W WAKEFIELD, Harry CAPSTICK and Miles CAPSTICK were charged with stone-throwing in Stamford-road on the 25th August. All three pleaded guilty and they were let off upon paying the costs and promising not to commit a similar offence again.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.— Daniel CLAYTON, who was represented by his wife, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Wagon-road on the 23rd of August. The constable who proved the charge stated that the defendant was using very bad language. A fine of 5s and costs was imposed.

PLAYING AT FOOTBALL IN THE STREET.— Three youths, named Herbert ROBERTS, Harry HOLT, and John HOLT, were charged with playing at football in Stamford-street on the 19th of August. All three pleaded not guilty. Constable WINDCOTT proved the charge. He stated that he saw all the three defendants kicking a ball up the street from opposite the Church Inn to Broadcarr-road. The Chairman said the magistrates were disposed to be lenient with them this time, and the case would be dismissed. They hoped it would, however, be a warning to them not to offend against the law again. Mr RAWSON said it was a most dangerous game to play in the streets, and he had witnessed it taking place himself.

DRUNK ON LICENSED PREMISES.— Thomas ROWE and James GRIMES were charged with being drunk on the premises of John HALLSWORTH, Crown Inn, on the 19th of August. The constable who proved the charge stated that the landlady said she had not served either of the defendants. One of the defendants said that was correct, but the other said she had served them. A fine of 2s 6d each and costs, or seven days, was imposed.

Arthur LAMMEN and John LITTLETON were charged with being drunk on the premises of John RADCLIFFE, George Hotel, on the 29th of August. Sergt GOULD proved the charge. The defendants said they were not so drunk, but they knew to go away when ordered to do so. One of them said he could not be so drunk when he could tell what time it was, while the other said they could both walk home. (Laughter) LAMMEN said they had not had their tea and a little drink took hold of them. A fine of 2s 6d each and costs was imposed.

AN ABSENTEE MILITIAMAN.— James COOK, who belongs at the 3rd West Riding Regiment of Militia at Halifax, was charged with being absent from his regiment since the 12th of August. Inspector HUMPHREYS produced the "Police Gazette," in which the absentee was advertised as missing. The defendant stated that he went up to Halifax on the 2nd instant, and the officers sent him back on account of ill-health and not being fit for service. He produced a certificate to this effect, but it was not signed. He was now residing in Bank-street, Mossley. The magistrates said they could not do anything in the matter, and the police officers might make further inquiries into the case.

William WRIGLEY, who had appeared in a previous case, and who had been taken into custody on appearing in the court room, was charged with being an absentee from the 4th Royal Regiment of Militia stationed at Lancaster. Inspector HUMPHREYS stated that the prisoner had been away from his regiment ever since the 10th of August 1900. Mr WADDINGTON inquired if the consent of the commanding officer of the regiment had been obtained for this prosecution. Inspector HUMPHREYS said that there had been no time for that to be done since the prisoner was arrested. In that case, Mr WADDINGTON said, nothing could be done with the charge, and the Magistrates" Clerk coinciding with that view, the prisoner was discharged.

Father Succumbs in Attempting to Save His Son
Rescue by a Hyde Man

On Wednesday afternoon a sad drowning fatality occurred at Blackpool. It appears that a little boy, four years of age, was on the hulking at North Shore, when he fell into the water, the tide being in at the time. His father, who was with him, entered the water in the hope of saving his son, but the back wash carried him out, and he was drowned. The body had not been recovered at Three o"clock.

About the only witnesses of the accident were two brothers named HORSEFIELD of Hyde, who were stopping 35 Cookson-street. One of them, immediately he saw what had happened, took off his coat, and, going into the water, succeeded in getting the boy out, but he was unable to render any assistance to the father. The boy was taken to No 4 Swarbrick-road, and the only thing he could say was "Pudsey." This, together with the name in the man"s hat, leads to the supposition that the drowned man belongs to Pudsey. Upon a handkerchief which he left are the initials "L A." The deceased left an umbrella, but this leaves no inscription which throws any light on his identity.

The police report is to the effect that Charles HORSEFIELD, of Buxton-street, Hyde, was with his brother on the lower walk, opposite the Imperial Hydro, when he saw a little boy sitting on the steps and paddling in the water, the boy"s father sitting at the top of the steps. The little boy fell into the water, and his father immediately jumped in, but was carried out ten yards. Someone threw the lifebuoy to him, but he failed to grasp it and sank. HORSEFIELD jumped into the water, and caught hold of the boy, both being pulled ashore by the life line.

The little boy was taken to 4 Swarbrick-street, and after having a hot bath was put to bed, apparently none the worse for his immersion. The only thing the little boy could say was that his "dadda" was sat on the steps when he fell in. Who the man is was not known at five o"clock, nor had the body been recovered. It is thought that the outgoing tide would carry it south.

The Dukinfield Town Council meeting on Monday evening passed off less lively than has been the case at recent meetings. The principal theme of debate was the high infantile mortality. There is no gainsaying the fact that the infantile mortality has been very high for the past month, and there may be some cause for Alderman BANCROFT"s fear that if it got noised abroad the County Council authorities would be down upon the borough.

Councillor CLARKE cleared the air somewhat by explaining that the reason of the mortality being so high was not so much due to sickness as on account of the wakes and the holidays. The explanation seemed odd at first, but it was quite feasible. The infant mortality is estimated by the number of deaths in proportion to the births, and as the doctor pointed out, the birth rate was very low for the past moth, there being a natural decrease of population of 11. That probably does not mean that to say that there have been less children born during the month. In Wakes week mothers do not usually register their children to the same extent as they do at other times. They have a limit of six weeks given them by Act of Parliament. No doubt next month the birth rate will be higher again.

The rate of infant mortality, measured by the proportion of deaths under one year to births, was equal to 607 per 1,000. The birth rate shows a considerable decrease, being 17.7, as compared with 31.09 for the corresponding period last year.

The question of an isolation hospital for the borough raised at the Council meeting was simply a recrudescence (meaning to break out again was the pun intended? Ed) of previous attempts towards the foundation of a local institution of this character. As pointed out by Councillor GRIME, the Council came to the same conclusion about isolation hospitals six years ago, as tabulated by Dr MALLARD recently in his report to the Eastborne Health Congress at which Councillor CLARKE was present as delegate for the Dukinfield Council.

The dangers of aggregation were clearly shown in the prevalence of scarlet fever cases in those great towns which have attempted hospital isolation as in those which have neglected it, and so far from there being any evidence of a decrease in scarlet fever in certain towns which have practised the measure thoroughly, on the contrary they show a marked increase, besides entailing a great and over-growing expenditure on the public purse.

Warrington heads the list as regards the extent to which hospital isolation has been pushed, and during the decade 1890-99 it also heads the list as regards mortality from disease. During the last 20 years 77 per cent of cases notified have been removed from their homes, and passed through the hospital. The adjoining borough (Ashton) without hospital isolation showed for the 10 years 1890-99 an attack-rate of 3.6, mortality .2 and fatality 5.6, whilst Oldham, with hospital isolation, for the same period showed an attack-rate of 3.1, mortality .2, and fatality 6.5.

Failure of isolation might be attributable not to isolation properly applied, but to imperfection of the system. According to Councillor GRIME, isolation hospitals have received their death blow. Isolation, it is pointed out, can best be secured in one"s own home, which is an Englishman"s castle. The medical profession, of course, have their own views on the subject.

At the Dukinfield Police Court on Thursday, Nancy ROBINSON was charged with having a dog at large unmuzzled in Old-road on the 27th August. Constable Cross proved the case. Defendant pleaded guilty, and said that the dog was only six months old. Fined 2s.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.— At the Dukinfield Police Court on Thursday, William ANDERTON was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Vicarage-street on the 31st August at twenty minutes to twelve at midnight. He was also using filthy language. Fined 5s. Ellen McKILROY, for a like offence, was fined 2s 6d.

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