14 December 1901
A Mossley Man's Escapade
On Wednesday, at Stalybridge Police Court. James
CONWAY, labourer, in the employ of Mr WHITTAKER,
contractor, Oldham, and residing in Stamford-street,
Mossley, was placed in the dock on two charges,
viz, using obscene language on the platform of
the Joint Railway Station, and assaulting Mr James
SYKES, stationmaster. Mr LYNDE prosecuted on behalf
of the Great Central Railway Co, and Mr BRADBURY
defended. CONWAT pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Mr LYNDE said defendant arrived
by the two pm train on Monday last from Manchester.
When he changed at Stalybridge he commenced to
use bad language to the porters on duty, and he
was told this could not be tolerated. Defendant
the commenced using the same kind of language
at the top of his voice. Stationmaster SYKES came
up and told the man to behave himself, and further
told him to clear off unless he did so. Mr SYKES
went back to his office, thinking the man might
cool down, but as defendant continued to misbehave
himself, Mr SYKES came on to the platform again,
and asked him if he had a ticket. The man produced
a workman's daily ticket between Manchester and
Mossley, but this was not available at the hour
CONWAY was travelling.
Defendant had changed at Stalybridge
in order to join the Micklehurst train. The man
dropped the ticket upon the platform, and the
station master was in the act of stooping down
to pick it up when defendant caught hold of his
ankle and at the same time gave Mr SYKES a violent
blow on the shoulder and left eye, knocking him
to the ground. The porters rushed to Mr SYKES'
assistance and defendant was removed to the latter's
office and subsequently given in charge of the
police. During this time defendant made use of
filthy language, repeating the same sentence over
and over again,
CONWAY was very much under the influence
of drink at the time. The magistrates would readily
appreciate what a serious thing it was for a stationmaster
to be assaulted whilst in the execution of his
duty. This appeared to have been a most cowardly
assault, and at all events a most unprovoked assault.
Mr LYNDE asked the Bench to make an example of
defendant, and on account of the seriousness of
the offence he desired to press the case.. Detective-inspector
COTTRELL produced the bye-laws of the Great Central
Railway Co which set forth that any person using
bad language on the company's premises was liable
to a penalty not exceeding 40s.
Stanley BOOTH, porter, of 35 Cambridge-street,
Stalybridge, said that upon the arrival of the
2pm express train, Manchester to Huddersfield,
he was taking a four-wheeled truck with some luggage
towards the goods van, when defendant stood in
the way. Witness shouted, "By leave, please,"
in the ordinary way, but defendant took no notice;
and witness touched him on the shoulder he moved
immediately. BOOTH proceeded to put the luggage
in the van, when he was surprised to hear defendant
coming out with very bad language. Addressing
witness, CONWAY said, "I am not going to be knocked
around with a like
you; I will knock you under the earhole."
Defendant shouted at the top of
his voice, and the passengers cried shame on him.
Lady passengers put up the windows of the compartments,
and said defendant should be locked up for using
such language. Cross-examined by Mr BRADBURY:
Witness did not run the truck into defendant and
knock him down. The truck did not touch defendant,
and witness did not threaten to knock defendant's
Mr SYKES spoke as to the assault
upon himself. Councillor HOPWOOD: What was your
opinion about his condition? He was not
sober; he could not possibly have used the language
has he been sober; at least a man in his proper
senses would not use such language. All the fourteen
years I have been there I have never had such
an experience as that on Monday. Councillor
HOPWOOD: I suppose you felt very much grieved
being knocked down in your capacity? Mr
SYKES: I did, sir. I felt rather out of place,
laid on the platform, and with my hat gone!
For the defence, Mr BRADBURY said
he was given to understand that it was nothing
unusual for a scene to take place at Stalybridge
Joint Station, and the place having gained this
unenviable notoriety, the public were terrified
to speak to an official there. The porters seemed
to think they were privileged to do as they liked,
and in this instance BOOTH knocked CONWAY down
with a truck just because he did not get out of
his way. It was in consequence of being knocked
down that he used bad language, and the whole
question resolved itself into this: Who was the
CONWAY gave evidence. He said he
had not tasted intoxicants for ten years and all
he had on Monday were "two small sherries." When
he changed trains at Stalybridge, BOOTH ran a
truck into him and knocked him down. He admitted
cursing a bit, but the language he used was not
so "blue" as the written specimen. Mr SYKES tried
to take his ticket from him, and as a consequence
of the way he was knocked around, he now bore
black marks on his arms and legs. Jane CUMMINGS,
of Church-street, Mossley, gave corroborative
The Bench retired, and upon their
return, Councillor HOPWOOD said they had come
to the conclusion that defendant was guilty of
both offences, and he would be fined 10s 6d and
costs for each, or in default 14 days hard labour
in each case. The fines and costs amounted to
£2 3s 10d. Mr LYNDE then applied for a summons
against CUMMINGS for assaulting William WOOD,
but Mr BRADBURY objected, and said this was not
the time or place to take out a summons.
Councillor HOPWOOD said there was
just one remark he would like to make with reference
to what Mr BRADBURY had said was a usual proceeding
at the joint railway station for passengers to
be insulted. His experience was quite the reverse,
and he thought the station was conducted in a
respectable and proper way.
RIVAL CHIP POTATO DEALERS
Sequel in the Ashton County Police Court
The Ashton county justices
had before them. On Wednesday, a case arising out
of an alleged grievance between two Hurst chip potato
dealers. The parties were John ROBINSON, Mary Jane
ROBINSON, Emmanuel NARDSLEY, Phoebe BARDSLEY, and
James William BARDSLEY, and they were charged with
a breach of the peace. There was also a summons
and a cross-summons for assault. Mr J S EATON appeared
for the ROBINSONs, and Mr J B POWNALL represented
Constable George REID stated that
at two o'clock on Saturday afternoon, November
23rd, he saw John ROBONSON and Emmanuel BARDSLEY
on the ground in Curzon-road, Hurst, clutching
each other's arms, and struggling. The three other
defendants were shouting and quarrelling, and
causing a great uproar. There had been some trade
dispute between them. By Mr EATON: They
both kept chip potato shops near to each other,
and there had been a little ill-feeling about
disposing of refuse water. Constable saw Jas BARDSLEY
strike John ROBINSON. Whose mouth was bleeding,
and he told witness that he had lost a tooth.
Mr POWNALL said his client had been
in this house for something like 20 years, and
had carried on a chip potato business. ROBINSON
had seen fit to open a similar business next door
but one. Opposite ROBINSON's house there was a
grid for refuse water. It had been the custom
of these people instead of letting the water go
down the sink at the back, when they had boiled
their peas, to pour it down the grid in the street,
but in consequence of trade jealousy ROBINSON
had adopted what was a most offensive kind of
annoyance. Instead of pouring the refuse water
down the grid near his own premises, he had brought
them up the street and poured them opposite BARDSLEY's
shop, with the result that the husks of peas had
collected about the premises.
His client, who was deaf, had stood
this as long as he could. On getting up on this
particular morning he found that the practice
had been repeated, and he brushed the refuse down
the street in the direction of the grid. ROBINSON
came out with his own brush and began to sweep
it back again. ROBINSON's brush head was knocked
off and he got hold of BARDSLEY and threw him
on the ground. BARDSLEY got hold of him in self
defence. Unfortunately he could not put his client
in the box in consequence of him being absolutely
Mrs BARDSLEY gave corroborative
evidence. The opposition shop, she said, was started
by ROBINSON about six months ago. When the struggle
commenced her son ran out to part them. ROBINSON's
own son hit him on the head and said "You silly
thing." The police parted them. The magistrates
did not think it desirable to go further into
the matter and dismissed the assault cases and
bound the defendants over in 40s to keep the peace
for three months.
ASHTON POLICE COURT
John Hardman SCHOFIELD was summoned for assaulting
Samuel WOOLLEY on the 30th November. Defendant did
not appear. Constable DISTON said he was deputed
to serve the summons, but defendant had gone away
to avoid service. The Clerk told complainant
and police would let him know when the summons was
served. The facts of the case were not disclosed.
THE OBSTRUCTION NUISANCE.
Five lads, named James DOOLEY, Charles CARROLL,
Harry ANDREW, Edward LUCAS, and Benjamin GREENWOOD,
were summoned for causing an obstruction in Portland-street
on the 5th instant by standing thereon.
Constable PRATT stated that at 9.30 pm he saw
defendants standing at the corner of the Friendship
Inn, Portland and Old-streets. Fined 2s
6d each for costs. Albert CHADWICK was summoned
for a similar offence in Oldham-road by playing
football thereon on the 28th ultimo. He pleaded
guilty and was fined 5s 6d for costs.
DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.
Joseph DOOLAN was charged with being drunk and
disorderly in North-street on the 30th
ult. He pleaded guilty, and was fined 5s 6d for
costs, having been up before. James HENDERSON,
an elderly man, was charged with a similar offence
in Camp-street. He said he had had a sup, but
was not drunk; he could find his way home. If
people were not drunk the police would make them
drunk by shaking them up. Constable DISTON
stated that on the 7th he found the defendant
very drunk sitting on a doorstep and hammering
at the door. He refused to go away, and was locked
up. Fined 5s 6d for costs.
DRIVING A CART WITHOUT LIGHT.
Handel WILLIS was summoned for using without having
a light attached on the 29th November. Defendant
said he was guilty of being without light. He
had a lamp, but it was not an ordinary lamp.
The Clerk: What sort of lamp was it? A bicycle
lamp. Well, that is not a proper lamp.
It was the only lamp I was provided with.
Who is your employer? Frank MARLAND. You
had better ask him to supply you with a better
lamp. We are not used to being out at night.
I was going past Hegginbottom's mill when the
officer stopped me and I told him I could not
keep it in. Constable BARRETT: He told me
he had no oil in the lamp. Fined 1s and
CHARGE AGAINST A STALYBRIDGE
CABMAN. John RENWICK, cab driver, Stalybridge,
was in the dock charged with being drunk in charge
of a horse and cab in Warrington-street on the
8th inst. He pleaded no guilty. Constable
STEELE stated that on Sunday night, the prisoner
was drunk in charge of a horse and cab. He refused
to take the gentleman who was in the cab to Blandford-street.
He would not take him any further than Warrington-street.
Prisoner said a person at Stalybridge paid the
fare for the person in the cab and told him to
put him down at the market ground, which he did.
The Clerk: You ought to have taken the occupant
of the cab wherever he desired. Prisoner:
But I had only been paid to take him to the market
ground. The Clerk: Your cab is for the conveyance
of the public, and if the passenger does not pay
your fare, you have your remedy. Constable
ROLLINSON said he was in the police office when
the defendant was brought in and he was drunk
without a doubt. Constable STEELE added
that the passenger said the fare was paid to the
prisoner to take him to Blandford-street.
Prisoner: No, nothing of the kind. The officer
told my employer that I was more stupid than drunk.
The Clerk: Who is your employer? Prisoner:
Mr WHALLEY. The Clerk: Is he here?
Prisoner: No. The Clerk: Why didn't you
bring him to give evidence? The Chairman
told defendant he ought to have taken the man
home, and fined him 5s 6d, and costs, or 14 days.
SAD CASE AT ASHTON
A Child's Systematic Thefts
A lamentable case was before
the Ashton Borough justices on Thursday, in which
a little girl named Elizabeth ASHDOWN, aged 11,
was before the magistrates on three separate charges
of stealing shawls belonging to Michael JACKSON
on November 25th, Maria BRANDON on December 2nd,
and Beatrice ROGERS on December 9th. Mr J S EATON
appeared for the prisoner.
Mabel JACKSON, 8 Robinson-street,
attending Christ Church Central School, stated
that the shawl produced was her property, and
she was wearing it when she went to school on
November 25th. She placed it in the cloakroom
at the school, and when she went for it, it was
missing. The shawl was worth 6s. Hugh Mason
BROADBENT, assistant for his mother, Caroline
BROADBENT, pawnbroker, 13 Market-street, stated
the shawl was pledged with him by the prisoner
on November 25, and he lent her 2s 6d on it.
Maria BRANDON, Newmarket-road, Taunton,
stated that she attended Christ Church Central.
She went to school in the shawl produced on December
2nd, and put it in the cloakroom. When she went
for it, it had gone. It was worth 6s. Joshua
STOPFORD, pawnbroker, Oldham-road, Waterloo, stated
that the shawl was pledged with him by prisoner
on December 2nd, and he lent her 2s 6d on it.
She said the shawl belonged to her mother.
Amada ROGERS, 52 Jackson-street,
said she attended Christ Church Central School.
The shawl produced was her property, and was worth
2s. She went to school with it on Monday the 9th
inst, and placed it in the cloakroom. When she
came out it had gone. Hugh Mason BROADBENT,
the aforementioned assistant pawnbroker, deposed
to prisoner pledging the shawl with him on the
9th inst. And he lent her 7d on it.
The Chief Constable said that although
there were only three cases gone into, between
November 22nd and December 9th, there had been
no fewer than 13 shawls stolen from this school,
and they had all been recovered except one, and
traced to the prisoner. Mr EATON said he
was instructed by the mother of the child to state
to the Bench that there was absolutely nothing
to say in extenuation of the offences that had
been committed by the child. He would make an
application to the Bench that the child should
be sent to an industrial school. They had tried
all they possibly could with the girl.
She had been in the habit of staying
out at night, and had been given a trial at different
day schools in the town, but she would not attend
regularly. She had stayed away from home as long
as three nights together, and her parents had
not been able to find her. She had robbed her
mother. Three clergymen of the town had been consulted
with reference to her welfare, but her parents
had been absolutely unable to chastise her, and
her father had done all he could.
The Chairman (Alderman ANDREW):
What has she been doing with the money?
The prisoner: Spent it.. The Magistrates'
Clerk: What on? I have been going to the theatre
with it. Mr SNELL: That is a statement she
made to the constable at the time. The Bench
committed the girl to an industrial school until
16 years of age, and remanded to the workhouse
until a school was found for her.