19 October 1901

A MATLEY FARMER'S ESCAPADE AT ASHTON
At the Ashton Borough Court on Monday morning, a young soldier named Charles HOLLAND, belonging to Stalybridge, was in the dock on remand from Saturday, with stealing 1 7s from the person of Geo. PARKEY, Matley Hall Farm, Stalybridge. Mr J B EATON appeared for the defendant, and pleaded not guilty.

George PARKEY said: I am a farmer at Matley Hall Farm, Stalybridge. On Friday night last, shortly after midnight, I was on my way home from Ashton to Stalybridge. When near the Beconsfield Club on Stalybridge-road I was met by a woman. She asked me for twopence for her lodgings. I took some money out of my trousers pocket, selected twopence from it, and the gave it to her. I then put the remainder of the money in my inside jacket pocket. At this time, the prisoner came up to me. He said if I had got any money about me I must take care of it. He then got hold of my coat by the collar with both hands and backed me against the wall and shook me. He put his hand in my pocket and took some money out.

He ran off down Currier-lane. I followed him and caught in the corner of the building. I told him he had got my money and he replied that if I followed him I should ————————— be killed. He kicked me several times on the legs. The same woman then came up and said to the prisoner "let him alone." He went away and I followed after him. He went down Granville-street, and I overtook him. I pulled my money out to see how much had gone. I missed 27s altogether. Whilst I had the money out, the prisoner knocked my hand, and the money fell on the ground. Whilst I was stooping to up the money, prisoner ran away.

I followed, but could not find him. I went on home then, and called at the Stalybridge Police Office and reported what had occurred there. I had seen the woman prior to that night on my milk round in Stalybridge. - Cross-examined by Mr EATON: I had been to Ashton Market that day. I came down at two o'clock. I was not in Stamford Park in the afternoon. The fair was not over so far as I was concerned until eleven o'clock at the Ashton Hotel. I was not sober, but I was not badly drunk. I first saw the woman opposite the Beconsfield Club. She said she was going to Oldham. I did not know she was a woman of notoriously bad character. I don't think we were together five minutes before the prisoner came up. She went with me in search of the prisoner. I did not shout for assistance. I am certain the woman did not take the money. When the prisoner came up I did not say I had lost some money and poke him with my stick.

The Chief Constable said he had another witness to prove that prisoner was there. Mr EATON said his client admitted being there, but denied committing any robbery. Constable HAWCOURT gave evidence that he arrested the prisoner on Friday noon at 3 Union-street, Stalybridge. He charged him with the robbery and he replied "No," and then added, "I was there, but was 100 yards away." On searching him he found 17s 1 1/2d upon him.

The Chief Constable said the woman WALSH or CORRIGAN was locked up last week on a charge of drunkenness. She was bailed out and went home to Stalybridge. Since then he had heard of her being at Oldham. She left the lodging house there early that morning to come to court, but had not put in an appearance. Mr EATON submitted there was no case to answer in the absence of the woman. The police had already had her in their clutches. The Chief Constable: Not since this occurred. I cannot find her. Mr EATON: You ought to have found her. The Clerk: Will you have the case remanded? Mr EATON replied in the negative.

The prisoner, who said he was a private in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment over on furlough. He was with the woman WALSH when they met the prosecutor, almost at the top of Scotland-street. PARKEY spoke to the woman and the two went away towards Whitelands. They were away from him about a quarter of an hour, and he waited for her. When prosecutor came back he said he had lost some money and said he had got it. He told him he had not been near him. Prosecutor bobbed his stick in his eye and he then kicked him in return. He never felt in the prosecutor's pockets, and never took a half-penny from him. — In reply to the clerk prisoner said he did not run away. — By Mr EATON: I was sober and prosecutor was drunk. I am under orders for India and should have joined my regiment to-night at tattoo.

Mr EATON said he did not know whether the Bench wished to hear more. It was oath against oath. The prosecutor got too much drink at the fair. He admitted meeting this woman, who was one of his milk customers. He suggested that prosecutor went with her for an improper purpose. The woman was not present. There should be more material corroboration of the prosecutor's story. He asked the Bench to send his client back to his regiment to fight for his country, as no jury would convict, and if there was a doubt in the case the Bench should give prisoner the benefit of it.

The Chairman said there was not evidence sufficient to convict the prisoner, and the case must be dismissed.


BRUTAL ASSAULT UPON AN ASHTON BEERSELLER
At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, William HILTON and William STEWART were summoned for assaulting Ellis Edwin HAMER, landlord of the Walk Mill Tavern. HILTON pleaded guilty in self defence and STEWART not guilty.— Mr J B POWNALL appeared for the complainant, and alleged that the defendants committed a brutal and entirely unprovoked assault upon him.

His client had been tenant of the Walk Mill Tavern, off Victoria-street, for some time and the defendants were entirely unknown to him. They entered the house on Saturday night week at five minutes to eleven o'clock and demanded to be served with bottled beer. They were in such a condition that the landlord refused to serve him.. The defendant STEWART insisted upon being served and pushed the landlord against the mantelpiece. Thereupon HILTON thumped him on the face, knocked him down on the fender, and kicked him several times in the eye and face, until he became unconscious. Although this occurred a week ago, there were still traces upon the landlord's face of what then took place.

He had suffered a lot of pain in the meantime and was not better yet. These men had no right to go there and create such a disturbance. It was difficult for a landlord under ordinary circumstances to conduct his house properly, and when drunken men like the defendants entered and conducted themselves as they had done, they ought to be severely punished for such disgraceful behaviour.

Complainant said the defendant STEWART was three-parts drunk, and he refused to serve him. HILTON was not drunk. Witness was not drunk. He had only had five glasses that day from eight o'clock to 11 o'clock.— HILTON: You hit STEWART first, and I told you that you should not hit a man like that for nothing.— STEWART: Did I shove you? Yes.— Did you thump me in the mouth? No, not likely.

George MORT, Hertford-street, said he was in the Tavern and saw what took place. STEWART came and asked for a bottled beer. He was drunk, and the landlord refused to serve him. The landlord was about to push him out of the house, when STEWART turned round and pushed him back against the chimney piece. HILTON then got up and knocked the landlord down on the floor and kicked him three times. He bled terribly.— HILTON: Did I kick him? Yes.— HILTON: He let in the fireplace.— Witness: You knocked him into the fireplace.— STEWART: Didn't Mr HAMER thump me first? No. — George BLACKSHAW, 173 Church-street, gave corroborating evidence.

The statement of HILTON was that he went into the tavern. He had not been in many minutes before STEWART came in and ordered a bottled beer. The landlord told him he had none, and told him if he did not go out he would knock him out. He thumped STEWART in the face, and he (HILTON) told him it was a dirty trick, and then HAMER hit him. He got hold of him, and they both fell into the fireplace. HAMER must have struck the top bar, and caused his injuries that way.— STEWART said he was not drunk, far from it. The landlord was not capable of serving anyone. He had no sooner asked for a bitter beer than HAMER landed out and caught him in the mouth.

The Chairman told HILTON they considered him the chief offender, and he would have to pay 40s and costs or go to gaol for one month. STEWART will be fined 10s and costs or 14 days.— On the application of Mr POWNALL, the Bench allowed the advocate's fee and 3s 7d witnesses' expenses.


THE SAD DEATH OF A STALYBRIDGE SCHOOLBOY
Mr F NEWTON, district coroner an inquest on Friday afternoon at the Moulders' Arms, Grasscroft-street, Stalybridge, touching the death of John SHEPHERD, aged 11 years, son of Sydney SHEPHERD, landlord of the Commercial Hotel, Brierley-street, who died as a result, it was supposed, of eating poisonous acorns &c.

The father of deceased informed the coroner and jury that on the previous Friday afternoon his son left home to attend Castle Hall School at about 1.15. He was then in his usual state of health. Upon his return at 5.30 he said he and another boy had been in Early Bank Wood. Next morning deceased began vomiting and complaining of pains in his stomach, in consequence of which his mother gave him a dose of salts. On Monday morning, as he appeared to be no better, and gradually going worse, Dr LISHMAN was consulted, and he attended upon the boy up to his death, which took place early on Thursday morning. Deceased told his mother on the Sunday that he had been eating chestnuts. They had also heard that deceased had been eating acorns.

The Coroner expressed his own and the jury's sympathy with the parents in their sad loss.

John Woolley NORTON, aged 10, residing at 15 Chapel Walk, said he went with deceased after school on Friday afternoon to Early Bank Wood. Whilst in the wood, SHEPHERD ate some acorns and some green and red blackberries; he also ate some lady-chestnuts. Witness did not eat any of the berries or acorns, but he ate one lady-chestnut. Deceased made no complaint after eating the berries. Witness did not know how many he consumed.

Dr LISHMAN said deceased was first brought to his surgery on Monday afternoon, when he looked very ill. Witness treated him for irritation of the stomach and told his mother to take him home and get him to bed. Deceased was much worse the next day, when, for the first time, witness was told that he had been eating berries. Symptoms, which appeared to be due to poison, developed, and this witness attributed to the berries. The boy died on Thursday from inflammation of the bowels. Witness was of the opinion that the acorns were not responsible for the mischief, but rather the brown skin of the chestnuts.

Mr A MORRIS, schoolmaster at Castle Hall School, said he had asked the boys and out of the whole school he did not think there were more than a dozen who had eaten acorns. Witness himself had eaten scores of lady-chestnuts like those produced, which he supposed were the same as those in the shops. He did not think the brown skin was fit to eat.

The Coroner remarked that it was difficult to tell what the lad had died of. He remembered once when he was a boy going to school going into a wood and having a fill of acorns, and he suffered severely. He did not know how he got home on that occasion. Luckily, he was sick immediately after eating them or very likely he would have been poisoned.

A Juror: Probably if the boy had had an emetic right away he would have been all right. A verdict to the effect that the boy died from inflammation of the bowels, caused by eating chestnuts, was returned.


ACCIDENT TO A DROYLSDEN MAN
Death at Ashton Union Hospital

Information was received at the Ashton Police Station on Sunday evening of the death of Robert HAMILTON, aged 67, saddler, of 142 Edge-lane, Droylsden, which took place that day at 4.50pm at the Ashton Union Hospital. Deceased was admitted to the Union Hospital on March 15th suffering from the effects of a fall caused by slipping off the curbstone on March 9th at Droylsden. He had enjoyed good health up to about four years ago, when he had a stroke, which affected his walking. He also became troubled with his chest, so that he had not followed any employment for some years.

On March 9th he left his daughter's house, Mrs Eliza MELLOR, where he was living, to go into the garden. Shortly afterwards he was brought back, and stated that he had slipped off the curbstone. He was put to bed, and next morning he complained of his hip hurting him. Dr GELLATLEY, medical officer for Droylsden, was called in and examined him, and said he was suffering from a fractured hip, and advised his removal to the Union Hospital, where he was taken and died as aforestated.


UNSOUND MEAT AT GLOSSOP
At the Glossop Petty Sessions, on Monday, a butcher named Richard PARKER, of Wharf-street, Dukinfield, was summoned for exposing unsound meat for sale in the Glossop Market on 28th September. Mr F W G MORAN prosecuted on behalf of the Glossop Corporation; and Mr W H SHAWCROSS defended.

Mr Samuel DANE, sanitary inspector, Glossop, said he had been authorised to take these proceedings, and in reply to Mr SHAWCROSS he said there was no receptacle provided in the Glossop Market by the authority for meat which might become decomposed.

Constable WHITE said that on Saturday, the 28th September, he was on duty in the Glossop Market about 3.20, when he noticed a very bad smell. He did not then make any complaint. He again visited the stall about 7.45 the same night, when he saw a piece of beef hanging up in the stall. He reported the matter the Chief Constable, who came with the medical officer. The latter examined several pieces, and he seized one piece of beef and declared it to be unfit for food. Witness took the meat to the police station, where it was destroyed. The meat was hanging on a rail with several other pieces in the stall.— Cross-examined: He did not know that defendant bought his meat at the Manchester abattoir.

Sergeant SCOTT corroborated, and deposed that defendant said the meat was fir for food, and would keep until the following Tuesday. He said the Inspector had passed it. On Sunday night there were maggots on the beef.

For the defence, Mr SHAWCROSS said the defendant was a man who had been carrying on business for seven or eight years, and during that time he had conducted himself in an upright, respectable manner, and no suggestions had ever been made that he had been in the habit of selling meat in an unsound condition. What the defendant did was that on the 20th September he purchased this meat at the Manchester Abattoir, and he held the receipts. The Manchester Corporation were most particular in cases of this kind, and employed two inspectors, whose sole duty was to examine every piece of meat that came into the market, and every piece that left. According to the opinion of the inspectors in Manchester, the meat was presumably in a perfectly sound and wholesome condition.

Defendant carted the meat to his home in Dukinfield on the Friday evening, and brought it to Glossop on the Saturday morning. Defendant hung this piece of meat on a hook at the back of the shop, and he instructed him (Mr SHAWCROSS) to state that he did not know the meat was unfit until it was pointed out to him by a policeman. Although there were about 150lbs of meat in the shop, the medical officer only thought it necessary to seize one piece weighing about 10lbs, and it was perfectly reasonable to suppose that owing to the sultry weather, this piece of meat had rapidly decomposed.


ASHTON BOROUGH POLICE COURT

ON PREMISES FOR UNLAWFUL PURPOSE.— Harry HILL was in the dock charged with being on the premises of the Ashton Co-operative Society for an unlawful purpose on the 11th October.— Harry WRIGHT said he was an assistant employed at the Oldham-road branch of the Aston Working Men's Co-operative Society. On Thursday night at 8.40 he locked the place up, and all the windows were then closed. Next morning his attention was called to one of the windows being open. It had not been opened for years before.— Prisoner: It’s a —————— long time since you had the painters there then.— (Laughter.)

Constable MILLINGTON stated that at five minutes to one o'clock on Friday morning he was on duty at the rear of the Co-operative Stores, and saw the prisoner sitting on a window sill. He asked him what he was doing there. He replied "I should have been in and out again in ten minutes." He took prisoner to the police station, and charged him. He replied "Being on enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose."— Prisoner: In what state was I?— Witness: You seemed all right.— Prisoner: It's a ——— if he does not know. Had you to carry me to the Town Hall?— Witness: No.— Prisoner: I went there to stay until morning.

Sergeant McFINLEY said he was in the charge office when the prisoner was brought in. He had had something to drink. On charging him, he wanted to argue the matter on a point of law. Prisoner repeated that he went there to lie down, and added that he worked for the Co-operative Society.— The witness WRIGHT was recalled, and in reply to the Clerk said prisoner was not in the employ of the society. He had occasionally fetched a bag of sawdust.— (Laughter.) — Mr WARHURST, manager, also said the prisoner never worked for the society in his life, and his name was never on the books.— The Chief Constable said prisoner had been up 11 time for various offences, including twice for obtaining money under false pretences. He seldom did any work.— Committed to prison for on month


INTERVIEW WITH W SIMISTER, THE DUKINFIELD RUGBY FOOTBALLER
There are more brilliant men in the Northern Union than the subject of our sketch, in fact there are dozens in the ranks of such teams as Swinton, Oldham and Broughton, but there are few who in all-round excellence can approach the Stockport forward who heads this column. A modest man is SIMISTER, and some weeks ago when spoken to by our representative he did not appear to at all relish the idea of speaking to a newspaper man of his own antecedents — certainly not from any desire to hide anything, but more out of modesty, which nowadays is not so prevalent amongst footballers.

"Simmy," as all his friends delight to call him, is a well-built young fellow of 24 years of age, who hails from the Dukinfield district, joined Stockport along with several others at a time when the club, some four years ago, was at a low ebb. In fact, looking at the club from a certain standpoint, things with the Edgeley club have never been particularly rosy, but at any rate, SIMISTER, despite the fluctuations of his club, has remained loyal, and to-day there is no more popular player in the team than he.

That he deserves this popularity there can be little doubt. As a player he is of that type which is ever successful, plodding and persevering, and one that never gives up for the want of trying — attributes for which he is certainly to be commended. SIMISTER was first drafted into the team as a forward, and in the opinion of good critics was said to be quite as good, if not better, than any forward in the team, and seeing that the pack was considered the best in the country, it was a compliment worth having.

How handy it is to have such a Jack-of-all-trades, so to speak, on a team is plainly evident, and his transfer would cost any other club a fine penny. He will not like the idea of figuring in this column, but his reputation warrants it. Chatting with our representative, he expressed an opinion that the Northern Union was to be preferred to the Rugby Union on account of its fastness, and also on the ground that it gives more scope to a player's ability. He has a high opinion of several of his colleagues, but considers, like a true supporter, that his club is decidedly unlucky.


STALYBRIDGE LOCAL NEWS
The opening of the Free Library on Wednesday afternoon will rank as a red-letter day in the history of the borough of Stalybridge. The only lamentable fact is that the event was not considered by the committee to be worthy of a more popular, or at least a public demonstration. As it was, the invitations, numbering some 200, were strictly confined to members of the Town Council, magistrates, members of other public bodies, and a select number of the elite of the borough. The action of the committee has been severely criticised, and not without reason, as we understand that originally Mr CHEETHAM gave the committee two Saturdays from which to choose.

However, the magnificent structure has been opened, and the public can now use it for the several useful purposes it has been generously given. Ideal weather associated itself with the opening, and the crowd which did assemble did not forget to cheer the donor and his esteemed wife, Mrs Astley-Cheetham. The pleasant duty of presenting a gold key to the latter fell to the lot of Alderman FENTEM, as chairman of the Free Library Committee, and having accepted the handsome gift (which was set with pearls and rubies) Mrs Astley-Cheetham appropriately replied. Then she most graciously opened the doors, and the subsequent proceedings inside mainly consisted of speechmaking.

Mr CHEETHAM was naturally applauded to the echo, and his concluding words to the Mayor, in handing over the building, are worth reproduction: "It is now my most pleasant duty to place in your hands the deeds assuring to yourself and your successors in the mayoralty of the good borough of Stalybridge, the full ownership of this memorial building and library, to have and to hold, for ever and a day, or so long as one stone shall stand upon another, in public trust for the free use and enjoyment of the entire community."

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