14 September 1901

SINGULAR ASSAULT CASE AT STALYBRIDGE
A Midnight "Scene" in Market Street

At the Stalybridge police court, on Wednesday morning, a case of assault, which had aroused considerable interest in the town, was investigated. George HADFIELD, assistant magistrates" clerk, Stalybridge, was charged with assaulting Alfred Castley HUDSON, railway booking clerk, on August 23rd; there was a cross-summons in which HADFIELD charged HUDSON with assault. Mr J W SIMISTER appeared for HUDSON and Mr Fred THOMPSON was for HADFIELD. Witnesses were ordered out of Court.

Mr SIMISTER said that this was the most extraordinary case he had ever had anything to do with, and he thought that when the magistrates were in full possession of all the facts they would be convinced that his client had no other course left to him but to bring Mr HADFIELD before the court.

Mr HUDSON was in the employ of the London and North Western Railway Co as a booking clerk at Stalybridge station, and it appeared to be the custom for him to stay at the station periodically until the midnight mail train left for Manchester. At five minutes past twelve o"clock, Mr HUDSON had finished his work, had closed the office, and was proceeding to his home in Huddersfield-road, by way of Market-street. When passing the Manchester and County Bank in the latter street, he trod upon a match, which gave a slight report. He paused for a moment, and then continued on his way.

When nearing the river bridge and opposite Portland Place, he heard someone following him, and suddenly he was astonished to find the hand of a man plunged into his coat pocket. The man turned out to be Mr HADFIELD, who confronted Mr HUDSON and accused him of discharging a loaded revolver in Market-street. Defendant was considerably under the influence of drink at the time.

The foreman of the sanitary department, John GREENWOOD, came up, and witnessed all that took place. He remonstrated with Mr HADFIELD, but actually had to be summoned to give evidence that day. A gentleman named WARING, of Abergele House, Mottram-road, also came up, as also did Constable BARROW, and in their presence HADFIELD repeated the charge against HUDSON, and went so far as to tell the officer to take him into custody. Not satisfied with this, defendant pushed HUDSON against the wall of the river bridge, and was determined to search him.

HUDSON managed to break loose of HADFIELD"s grasp, and walked homewards with Mr WARING. Defendant disregarded the constable"s advice to go away and let the matter drop, for he walked after HUDSON and abused him the whole of the way. The only parties present were those he (Mr SIMISTER) had mentioned, and he thought the Bench would agree with him that no man could have behaved better than HUDSON did under such trying circumstances.

Arthur D WARING, of Abergele House, Mottram-road, Stalybridge, said he saw defendant trying to feel in HUDSON"s pocket to see if he had a revolver. A policeman came up, and HADFIELD said, "I give this man in charge for discharging a revolver on the King"s highway!" (Laughter.) A very dramatic charge, added witness amid more laughter. Mr SIMISTER: Was he sober? Witness: I am afraid he was not. Had he any difficulty in speaking He spoke like a man under the influence of drink. Did the policeman search HUDSON? Yes; but the young man offered to allow him. We allege that nothing against the constable: did he find a revolver? No. Did you hear the policeman give any advice to Hadfield? Yes; he said, "If I were you, Mr HADFIELD, I would go home, and let the matter drop." Then HADFIELD got hold of the young man and said to the policeman, "Take him in the police station and lock him up."

Mr SIMISTER intimated that he had another witness who would only corroborate what had been said already, and the Chairman replied that he thought they had heard sufficient. On behalf of HADFIELD, Mr THOMPSON asserted that a great deal had been made of very little. On the particular Friday morning Mr HADFIELD, like some others, had come into Stalybridge by a late train, and when going along Market-street he heard a report as though of a firearm. He had a vivid recollection of a similar noise some time ago when a man got 15 years" imprisonment.

Thinking that HUDSON had actually discharged a revolver he got hold of his coat. They had a discussion as to whether he had a revolver, and HADFIELD offered to search him. That was the extent of the assault HUDSON threatened to strike HADFIELD with his fist, and he (Mr THOMPSON) asked the bench to bear this in mind. The cross summons had only been taken out on the old principle so that they might be brought on a level footing and a full hearing of the facts obtained. In the whole of his experience a more trivial case of assault he had never heard.

HADFIELD was called, and he said that when he heard the report in Market-street he thought it was a revolver being discharged. He merely took hold of HIDSON with his finger and thumb, and never put his hand in his pocket. HUDSON swung himself round, put his hand on his shoulder and threatened what he would do to him. Mr THOMPSON: It has been said you were drunk? HADFIELD: I do not think so. I was more excited than anything else.

The magistrates retired, and upon their return, Councillor BOTTOMLEY said the Bench were unanimously of opinion that the case should not have been brought to court, but should have been settled outside. They were sorry the case had been brought before them. The Bench were also unanimously of opinion that an assault had been established a rather serious assault. They were of opinion that to stop a person in the street in the way HADFIELD had done was very serious, and he would be fined 5s and costs. The counter summons was dismissed.


STRANGE TRAM HOAX
Blackpool Men Accept Bogus Positions in New Zealand

Half a hundred or so of Blackpool Corporation"s tramway men are in a predicament which can only be described as uncomfortable. Four weeks ago an individual announced that he had been authorised by the British Electric Traction Company to engage a number of men for New Zealand. Tempting offers in the way of big salaries, free passages, and three years" engagements were held out, and eventually fifty-two men were selected from a host of applicants.

They were medically examined, for which they each paid 1s 6d. Type-written agreements bearing sixpenny stamps, for which the men also paid, were signed, and everything appeared so satisfactory that many gave up their positions in Blackpool and several went still further and made arrangements for the disposal of their household goods.

They were informed that they would travel by the steamer Dolphin from Gravesend on September 24, and elaborate provision was made at a local hotel for the men to have a farewell entertainment. The night before their departure it was fixed for last Saturday the enterprising "representative" left the town, and gradually it was whispered about that something was wrong. The British Electric Company were communicated with, and replied that they had authorised nobody to employ men for New Zealand or elsewhere, and what had been done was entirely without their knowledge or assent.

The baulked men are furiously lamenting lost places, and are being cruelly chaffed by their mates as to when the ship sails, and other similar aspects of the adventure. No explanation had been made of the hoax. A few of the cheated are buoying themselves up with the hope that, perhaps, some other company than the British Electric has a New Zealand scheme.


SINGULAR DEATH OF A HYDE SOLDIER IN CUBA
Shot in Breast by a Carbine

The sad news of the death of Private Fred HAYWARD, of Mantansas, Cuba, reached Hyde last week. The news was conveyed to his mother, Mrs Elizabeth HAYWARD, Ingell-street, in a letter from the Captain of Troop H, 2nd Cavalry, USA, to which the young soldier was attached. The captain spoke in high terms of the young man"s character and expressed deep regret at the sad accident which had resulted in his death. The story of his death is best told in the words of Captain GROST"s letter, which is appended:

Hamilton Barracks, Mantansas, August 10th
Dear Madam, It becomes my painful duty to inform you that your son, Fred HAYWARD, died yesterday in the hospital at this place from a gun shot wound received presumably while cleaning his carbine on the 7th instant. Of the exact circumstances attending the accident but little is known. He obtained in the usual way his carbine from the non-com officer in charge of the barracks for the day for the purpose of cleaning it, the carbines belonging to the men being when not in use in locked racks furnished for the purpose.

No particular attention was paid to him afterwards, it being customary for the men to clean their arms at any time when not engaged in any other duty. The barracks were nearly empty at the time, most of the men being in the lavatory washing for supper, the troops having not returned from the afternoon stable duty. When the shot was heard they ran, and HAYWARD was found lying beside his bed with a bullet wound through the upper part of his chest. He recovered consciousness only once before his death when he told the surgeon that the shooting was accidental.

I need hardly say that this unfortunate occurrence is a matter of profound regret both to his superior officers and to his comrades. HAYWARD was well liked in the troop. Rapidly having overcome the first difficulties which inexperience presents to all young soldiers, he applied himself with a will to mastering the details of his adopted profession and he bade fair to become a valuable soldier. He was interred with full military honours, the esteem in which he was held being testified by floral offerings of officers and men and their attendance at the funeral. "

Deceased formerly lived in Dukinfield, and was a brother of Mr George HAYWARD, of Victoria-street, Newton. Prior to going to America, he worked at an engineering works at Newton and was well known and highly esteemed by many people in Newton and Dukinfield. The news of his death has caused a painful sensation and much sympathy is felt for the family in their sad and sudden bereavement.


LOCAL SWIMMING ITEMS
"Joey" NUTTALL, of Stalybridge, has been doing great things of late. At a swimming gala at Radcliffe on Saturday he attempted to lower the world"s record for the quarter mile, and swimming in magnificent style succeeded in lowering it by 13 secs, his time being 5 min 38 secs. J NUTTALL asserted his right to the title of the champion swimmer of the world on Wednesday. He beat three competitors in the 600 yards championship race at Doncaster, and covered the distance in 6 min 30 secs. The other contestants were B GREASELEY of Lancaster, Professor STERN and Marquis MIBBERO, all well known national experts. The last named, who is an old man, simply gave an exhibition.

The race was really between NUTTALL and GREASELEY, and the Stalybridge man won by a length and a half, STERN being third. NUTTALL"s share of the spoil was 10, a cup, and two-thirds of the gate money. Joey NUTTALL attained the 32nd year of his age on the 13th ultimo, and has been in the front rank of swimmers ever since his boyhood, when he was looked upon as a marvel. Joey NUTTALL has held the 500 yards championship for over ten years.


The members of St Peter"s Church Choir, who at the vicar"s request sent in their resignations some weeks ago, have had an interview with the vicar (Rev T W PUGHE-MORGAN) in the church vestry, with a view to reinstatement, but the meeting was futile, as the conditions imposed upon the old members were said to be very unsatisfactory.

The four managers of the day school are stated to have sent their resignations through private differences, and on Monday night the managers met the vicar, but the meeting did not result in the resignations being withdrawn. The bells in the church tower are still not being rung on Sundays, the meeting between the vicar and the bell-ringers having had no definite result.


FAREWELL GATHERING
On Saturday last a farewell gathering was held at the Railway Inn, Cowhill-lane, to celebrate the departure of Mr and Mrs RATCLIFFE, who are returning to Boston, USA, after a visit to Ashton. There were upwards of 60 relatives and friends present, and a good programme of music was gone through, Mr A BARRETT occupying the chair. Concertina solos were given by Mr HEADDOCK, and songs were rendered by Messrs CONSTANTINE, SMITH, and "Dody" HILTON, and Mrs BATES. During their stay, Mr and Mrs RATCLIFFE have been to the Glasgow Exhibition, Blackpool, and have had a week in London. It is their fifth visit to England since 1893.

WATERLOO AND BARDSLEY
ACCIDENT AT COPPERAN PIT.—
On Wednesday morning we were sorry to hear of Daniel HARDY, Keb-lane, having been hurt that same forenoon at the pit. The injuries were reported as being about the face, but we do trust they will not be serious.

BOWLING MATCH. The green at the rear of the Dog and Partridge Inn, Waterloo, near Ashton-under-Lyne, was on Saturday afternoon well lined with spectators to witness H TABNER, of Waterloo, and T SCHOFIELD, of Denton, play 41 up for 30. Scores. TABNER 51, SCHOFIELD 33.

NOT "VERY" DRUNK.Matilda BARLOW was before the Ashton County Justices, on Wednesday, charged with being drunk at Bardsley on August 25th. Defendant, in reply to the Bench, said she did not think she was "very" drunk; she was excited. A constable deposed to finding defendant lying on the ground very drunk and surrounded by a crowd of people. Fined 5s 6d and costs.

A DUAL OFFENDER. At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, John BAYLEY pleaded guilty to committing a breach of the peace at Waterloo on August 14th, and also to being drunk on July 31st. There were 12 previous convictions recorded against the defendant, who was bound over in 40s to keep the peace for three months, and fined 5s 6d, and costs, or 14 days for being drunk.


CROCODILE SWIMS THE NIAGARA FALLS
For the first time on record a living creature has passed over Niagara Falls and come out alive. In the interests of science Mr Frank C BOSTOCK, of menagerie fame, tried this experiment. He sent his 100 years old Egyptian crocodile Ptolomy over the Falls. The animal is a splendid specimen, very cautious, and has a hide as tough as six thicknesses of sole leather.

Early one morning he was towed out from Navy Island and set free. As he passed over the mighty cataract Ptolomy was aroused out of his normal calmness. With a mighty effort he raised himself partly out of the water and waved his forearms wildly in the air. Then he passed over the great Falls, which has the power to light the whole of the United States of America. He had to fall not only 164ft, but to go down into the tremendous hole which the water had hollowed out beneath the age-long falling. It seemed impossible that he would come out alive, but an hour and a half later, when hope had been abandoned, Ptolomy swam to the shore and was dragged out of the seething waters tired but sound.


AN ASHTON BANKRUPT'S AFFAIRS
An Unsatisfactory Case

At the Ashton Bankruptcy Court on Thursday, reference was made to the affairs of Wm MOSS, hay and straw dealer, Chester-square, Ashton, bankrupt. The statement of affairs shows liabilities expected to rank against the debtor"s estate amounting to 444 1s 4d and the assets, after payment of preferential claims, 167 5s 5d, leaving a deficiency of 276 15s 11d. Debtor attributes his insolvency to competition in the corn business which he carried on, to bad debts and a large family.

The Assistant Official Receiver (Mr H JOHNSON) said that the court would remember what a very unsatisfactory case it was. The debtor on Monday last brought in some accounts explaining how he had expended two sums of 100 and 40 received from his mother-in-law as purchase money for a life policy and for a piano The examination was adjourned to Oct 10th.


Ernest BUCKLEY, a railway servant, one day last week stole a pennyworth of plums, and on Monday was sent to gaol for 14 days for the offence. Arguing on this ratio, the theft of a pineapple would have nearly got him a "lifer."

SENSATIONALISM IN THE PULPIT
An article in one of the magazines this month raised the question how far is sensationalism justified as a means of attracting a congregation? I read, for instance, "Ministers of religion in this country are changing their tactics. One preaches to the congregation attired in faultless evening dress. Another engages a popular actress to deliver a recitation in his church."

But to America this is mere child"s play. There sensationalism is not of such a milk and watery kind. I am told of a minister delivering sermons in a red robe in order to arouse the curiosity of his congregation. This is harmless enough, and is easily outdone by the man who "illustrates his sermons with oil paintings shown, and even executed, in the pulpit." The Rev C H TYNDALL announces that he is to illustrate Bible truths by electricity. The rev gentleman has introduced wireless telegraphy into his church, and thus "proved himself a leader in the ranks of the great march of progress."

Further on I discover "that the church with a roof-garden is well attended. The Rev A KARNS has hit on a still happier plan of getting a congregation, namely advertising that he will pay each person who attends his morning service. The writer makes the naively unnecessary remark, "he had a crowded church." Really!

Mr Duke M FARSON thinks "that ministers of today need stirring up." The statement that "I"ll wager a thousand dollars I can gain fifteen converts within two weeks in any church lent to me," seems likely to accomplish that desideratum. Dr ROBBINS, of Cincinnati, is not to be outdone in originality, and "has had one of the galleries of his church fitted up with cots in which the babies can sleep peacefully while their mothers take part in the public worship." What if they do not sleep peacefully? "A trained nurse is at hand to soothe and quiet them to sleep again." What if a dozen are awake at the same time, or if, as is possible, they are not quieted off to sleep again?

From Cincinnati I journey to San Francisco, where one can visit a "church, the choir of which composed exclusively of Chinese vocalists, accompanied at the organ by a Chinese matron," and I learn without surprise that at the Presbyterian church (the congregation of which, by the way, "is composed of men, women and infants in arms") where the musical service is rendered by a double quartet of male and female voices." It has required years of zeal and hope "on the part of the pastor and his wife to make it a success."

The pastor of the First Baptist Church, Ohio, utilises the telephone in order to preach to those of his congregation who are absent. "Hours before the service begins requests arrive to be connected." The Rev Dr Richard HARCOURT, of Pennsylvania, "offers an inducement of one gold dollar to mothers who give their children to be baptised." Dr HARCOURT bases this remarkable plan on a passage of scripture "which states that the Wise Men of the East presented the infant Jesus with gold, incense and myrrh."

The Rev W NEEDHAM "stands high among progressive divines", for in the parish of Brooklyn, where men and women "are satiated with religious novelties", he has by chalk pictures provided yet another. "He executes as many as ten pictures during a morning sermon."

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