28 September 1901

A "Deadwood Dick" Story

Two youths named Frederick DEAN and Josh CHATTERTON, were in the dock at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, on a series of charges of breaking and entering the premises of John BOWKER, Audenshaw, and stealing therefrom a knife, a bunch of keys, and a pair of spectacles; also breaking and entering the premises of Messrs WORSLEY and BERISFORD, hat manufacturers, and stealing therefrom a number of stamps and small coins.

John BOWKER, retired draper, 173 Audenshaw-road, Audenshaw, stated that on August 31st he locked up his house and went away for a holiday. The articles produced were his property, and he left them safe in his house. On the 23rd instant a constable came to where he was staying at Mellor and showed him a knife and keys, which he identified as his property. They were worth 4s.

Constable SHOESMITH deposed to arresting the prisoners. DEAN had a bunch of keys in his possession and CHADDERTON had the knife and a key to open the door of Mr BOWKER’s house. On charging them, CHADDERTON said he fetched the key from their back kitchen shelf. They both admitted the theft.

George WORSLEY, hat manufacturer, Cross Gates, Audenshaw, stated that on September 13th a number of postage stamps and coins were left in the office. Witness subsequently found that the safe had been tampered with, and that the stamps and coins and some disused keys had been taken. The value of the articles was about 5s. The office window had also been broken. Constable SHOESMITH deposed to the prisoners admitting going into the premises in their stocking feet three times.

The Magistrates’ Clerk (holding up a bull’s eye lantern, a burglar’s jemmy, and a drill): What put these into your heads, my boys? (No answer, prisoners looking very sullen and stupid.) Superintendent HEWITT: The very fact of having these articles is sufficient to give you penal servitude.

Prisoner DEAN: We go to the theatre every Saturday night. The Magistrate’s Clerk: You don’t go to the theatre to learn how to become housebreakers. Prisoner DEAN: We’ve seen it done there. The Magistrate’s Clerk: And, as a rule, you’ve had it shown to you at the theatre that people who do this sort of thing get heavily punished? Prisoner DEAN: Yes.

The Chairman: What sort of work do you boys do? Superintendent HEWITT: CHADDERTON is a piecer at Messrs KERSHAW’s, Guidebridge, and DEAN is employed at Messrs JONES’ machine works, Hooley Hill. He is a fitter and has made the tools himself. Prisoner DEAN: I’ve made them at home. Magistrates’ Clerk: You took this (holding up a drill bit) to the works to sharpen it? Yes.— So that you could drill a hole into the safe? Yes.

The Chairman said it was very seldom that the bench had brought before them prisoners so young who seemed to be so very hardened and determined to pursue a career of crime. The leniency of the bench only had saved them from being sent to prison. He hoped that the leniency and kindness shown would not be thrown away. Prisoners were bound over in the sum of 5 each to be of good behaviour for twelve months, and to come up for judgement when called upon.

50s for a Pair of Trousers

The meeting of the Finance Committee was held at the Oldham Town Hall on Thursday night. When the accounts, amounting to 35,718 17s 3d were presented for payment, Alderman SIMISTER drew attention to an item of 13 10s for the Town Hall attendant’s uniform, the coat and vest being put down at 11, and the trousers 2 10s.— Mr LEES: What! Fifty shillings for a pair of trousers? I want a suit for 4.— Mr BROWN, the attendant, said there was gold down the sides of the trousers. — Mr LEES: That accounts for the big price. Alderman SIMISTER: I don’t think Mr BROWN likes such a uniform. He does not like to be dressed like a popinjay.— (Laughter.)

I know he does not care about being dressed up in such things, especially if he is in the street. It is money thrown into the street. Mr BROWN will want someone to take care of him and see that he does not soil his clothes. It isn’t safe for such a valuable suit to go out.— (Laughter.) He ought to be insured.— (Renewed laughter.) — Mr BROWN (the attendant): There is not a Mayor’s attendant that I know but that has either an overcoat or a cloak, yet I have neither.

Alderman SIMISTER: Who looked after you in Glasgow?— The Mayor: When the attendant went with me there, he fairly put me in the shade.— (Laughter.) — Councillor LEES: Who was in charge of Mr BROWN? I suppose there was a detective sent? It is funny how he arrived back with the clothes safe.— (Laughter.) Alderman SIMISTER: It is necessary that some members of the Finance Committee should look after him.— Councillor LEES: Perhaps that will suit you, Mr SIMISTER.— The matter dropped, and the accounts were subsequently passed.

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Collinson HOLLAND was summoned by his wife, Mary A HOLLAND, for desertion at Hurst.— Defendant pleaded not guilty.— Complainant stated that her husband left her 10 years ago with five children. He had only sent her 3s a week and the rent for her house was 3s 7d a week.— Defendant said he formerly worked for the Midland Railway Company and was sent away to work. He sent his wife 1 every week. He was a pensioner and his wife had received a portion of the pension, about 2 10s every three months. His wife was addicted to drink and when he returned home the furniture was all sold.— The Bench made a maintenance order for 4s a week.

THE LICENCE OF THE HAPPY SHEPHERD.— At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, Mr J B POWNALL made application on behalf of Wm Henry THORPE for the renewal of the licence of the Happy Shepherd, Hillgate-street, Hurst. Mr POWNALL said unfortunately his client was convicted in December last year for selling to a drunken person. There was also another charge which was dismissed. In connection with selling to a drunken person the law was awkward as regard the publican. The man got on to the premises without giving any indication of insobriety, and the landlord was deceived. Under the circumstances, as this was his only offence, there was no reason why the licence should be with-held.— The presiding magistrate (Mr A H REYNER) said the Bench had taken the case into consideration, and they would renew the licence. The Bench desired him to say that what had been done would be recorded, and he must earnestly press the landlord that in the conducting of his house, he must be more careful in the future than in the past.

BREACH OF THE PEACE.— Kate LOVATT was before the Ashton county justices on Wednesday, and pleaded guilty to committing a breach of the peace at Hurst. The magistrates bound her over in 40s to keep the peace for three weeks.

NO GUN LICENCE.— Wm BUCKLEY failed to appear at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday to answer a charge of having a gun without licence at Hurst.— A constable deposed to seeing the defendant in possession of a daisy air gun in Marland-street.— Fined 12s 6d and costs or 14 days.

THE STONE THROWING NUISANCE.— Four youths named William WOLSTENHOLME, James CARTWIGHT, A SHORT, and Edward WRIGHT, were before the Ashton county justices on Wednesday charged with throwing stones on September 8th.— A constable deposed to seeing the defendants throwing stones in Collier-street. Numerous complaints had been received of windows of houses and street lamps having been broken.— Defendants pleaded guilty and were each fined 6s.

DOG NO LICENCE.— At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, Wm Isaac FAWCETT was charged with keeping dog without a licence at Hurst on August 3rd. Wilmott TAYLOR (Inland Revenue Officer) said there were two dogs owned by the defendant at the Agricultural Show held at Hurst on August 3rd, and only one licence, and was fined 7s 6d and costs, or 14 days.

A singular old man has died in Vienna in his seventy-third year. He died with the reputation of being the most exact man on record. From his twenty-seventh year he kept accurate account of everything he bought, and what he paid for it. In the twenty seven years of his convivial life he consumed 28,786 glasses of beer. He gave up drinking in his fifty-fourth year, but he continued to smoke constantly, even during his last sickness, raising the number of his cigars to 628,713, or an average of 13,667 a year. Of the whole number some 43,500 were given to him; he bought the rest for 2,500, or about a penny each.

On Tuesday evening, at the White Lion Inn, Booth-street, Ashton, a meeting of an exceedingly interesting character took place. The host and hostess, Mr and Mrs Miles ROTHWELL, invited a number of habitues and some old friends, to partake of dinner and spend a few pleasant hours in convivial intercourse. The occasion was to celebrate a fifty years tenancy of the White Lion premises. The affair was highly successful.

Mr George LEONARD occupied the chair. After briefly explaining the auspices under which they had been called together, he proposed "Our King and Queen." Ex-Colour-Sergeant MATTHEWS, formerly of the 3rd VBMR, proposed the "Army, Navy, Reserve, and Volunteer Forces," in appropriate terms. He said he was proud of his connection with the volunteers, and was proud the men sent out to the front from the Ashton corps had rendered such a good account of themselves.

Mr John JINKS proposed "The Host and Hostess." In the course of his remarks he said the occasion was not an ordinary one. It was no common thing to hear of such extended tenancies. To Mrs ROTHWELL, perhaps, his remarks ought to be more particularly addressed. All her life had been spent at the White Lion, and she had conducted the business with credit. At one time, the house was the rendezvous of commercial and business men, and for over half a century tradesmen of various kinds had met together to discuss the pressing questions of the moment. There had been many changes made in their town’s affairs during Mrs ROTHWELL’s residence at the White Lion.

Mr Miles ROTHWELL thanked the assembly for their hearty appreciation of the toast proposed. He was grateful for the kind remarks Mr JINKS had addressed to Mrs ROTHWELL. When he came to the house as a customer many years ago he found warm friends, and he carried pleasant recollections of earlier days spent in that house amongst old friends.

Mr John WARREN said he was 72 years of age, and therefore could talk about ancient history with some confidence. He was bound apprentice to the tinplate-working and held his "bindings" at that house. It was a far different place then. His Uncle Nelson WARREN used to keep it, and Mr Thomas WILSON succeeded Nelson WARREN when his Uncle Nelson went to keep the Snipe Inn, at Audenshaw. The present Mrs ROTHWELL was then Miss WILSON. She afterwards became Mrs Robert HOLLAS, a genial man, who was taken away. The house was famous for the excellence of its catering, and currant puddings were a feature.— (Laughter.)

Mr Joseph KIRKHAM said he knew that the first barrel of ale brewed by Thomas SCHOLFIELD at the old brewery behind the Friendship Inn came to the White Lion, and when SCHOFIELD’s new brewery was built the first barrel of beer delivered from there went to the White Lion. Mr P MARLAND proposed "The Town and Trade of Ashton," very suitably.

Mr Robert SUTTON, President of the Skipmakers, spoke of the connection the skipmakers, the Oddfellows, and other confraternities, had with the White Lion, and the great length of time the skipmakers of Ashton had made it their society house. The party broke up at two o’clock, an extension having been obtained from the borough justices. The hours went by in perfect harmony and good fellowship very quickly.

At five o’clock on Wednesday afternoon a carter named George Harry SCHOFIELD, of Curzon-road, Hurst, in the employ of James LOWE, waste dealer, was in charge of a lurry which was being loaded at Messrs HARRISON’s Mill, Henry-street, Stalybridge, when the horse bolted. In trying to stop it SCHOFIELD fell, and two of the wheels passed over his chest. He was examined by Dr TATE, who ordered his removal to the Infirmary where his injuries were found to be of a serious nature.

Fined for "Swilling" at Stalybridge

At the Stalybridge Police Court on Monday, three householders appeared in answer to summonses charging them with unlawfully using water supplied for domestic purposes by throwing the same on the public footway and street. The first case was that against Eliza HAGUE, of 13 Brierley-street. Mr F THOMPSON, who appeared on behalf of the District Waterworks Committee, stated that the proceedings were taken by Mr J N WHITE as local manager for the committee under the provisions of the Local Waterworks Act, Incorporated with the Waterworks Acts of 1862, whereby it was enacted that any person being supplied with water for domestic purposes, wilfully wasting the same, was liable to a certain penalty.

The bench were aware that in consequence of the scarcity of water, swilling had been prohibited, due notice having been given to consumers to that effect. Notwithstanding this on Friday last the defendant was seen swilling her flags. The matter was reported, and the Waterworks Committee felt justified in taking these proceedings. In giving evidence as to the scarcity of water, Mr W H ROTHWELL, secretary to the Waterworks Committee, stated that the position was worse than it had been for many years.

Formal evidence having been given as to its misuse, defendant said that she only used a small quantity, and it was raining at the time.— A fine of 2s 6d for costs was imposed.— The other two defendants were Randal CHEETHAM, 19 Brierley-street, and John WILKINSON, of 9 Ayton-street. The former stated that he knew nothing about it; his wife had done the swilling.— Mr THOMPSON explained that they were bound to proceed against the person to whom the water was supplied. The same remark applied to the case of WILKINSON, who was represented by his wife. She stated that both she and her husband were at work, and did not know anything about it. The person who was swilling was a lodger.— Similar penalties were imposed in both cases, 2s 6d for costs. In answer to Mr THOMPSON’s objection that this was inadequate for costs, the bench replied that future offenders would not be so leniently dealt with.

At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, William WHITE was charged with neglecting to maintain his wife and family, who became chargeable to the union on December 5th. Mr SIMONS said they had cost the union 7 7s, 2 7s of which had been paid by defendant, who was an organ builder, and had four large shops at Bradford. An order of 5s a week was made.

A LOCAL POLICE CONSTABLE PRIZE WINNER.— Police constable James HAWCOURT has been successful in the exhibiting a black tan terrier at the following shows:— August 14, Bakewell Farmer’s Club, any other variety terrier, dog or bitch, open class, first prize; August 21, Worsley black and tan terrier bitch, open class, first prize; September 18, Middlewich, any other variety under thirty pounds, dog or bitch, second prize; September 19, Heaston, Nottingham, black and tan terrier dog or bitch, open, first prize and special.

THEFT FROM THE WORKHOUSE.— Lewis McARTHUR was in the dock, at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, charged with stealing rags from the Ashton Union Workhouse.— Richard REYNOLDS, porter at the Ashton Union, said the goods produced were the property of the Guardians, and he saw them safe on Friday morning at the workhouse. They were worth 1s. Prisoner was formerly an inmate.— George REED, constable at Hurst, deposed to meeting prisoner in Mossley-road, shortly after eight o’clock in the morning of the 21st September, carrying the bag produced. He took prisoner to the workhouse, where the bag was identified. On charging him with stealing the articles he made no reply.— Asked by the Bench whether he preferred to be tried there or go to the sessions, prisoner said he would prefer the latter, and the magistrates accordingly committed him to the next Salford Sessions.

WEDDING AT RYECROFT CHAPEL.— On Saturday afternoon a large number of persons assembled at Ryecroft Chapel to witness the marriage of Mr Joseph ASPIN and Miss Florence WALKER, both of Ryecroft. After the ceremony the party adjourned to the West End Conservative Club where between sixty and seventy sat down to a splendid tea provided by Mrs WARD, Stamford-street. After tea the happy couple left for Colwyn Bay, where the honeymoon is being spent.

GUN WITHOUT LICENCE.— At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, John SUMMERSCALES was charged with having a gun without a licence at Woodhouses on the 28th July.— Defendant’s father appeared and said the weapon was only a toy pistol.— A constable gave evidence to the effect that he saw defendant fire a revolver in a field on the date mentioned at Woodhouses.— Defendant was fined 10s and costs.

UNITY HOTEL, BOOTH-STREET.— The attraction on Tuesday evening at the above house was a smoking concert promoted by the host, Mr O BROOKS, and a select company enjoyed the singing of the following artistes:— J EARLY, Tom ROGERSON, Ben ASHTON, Tom TAYLOR, Fred PALMER, Joe TAYLOR, G GREENBANK; pianists J SHANNEY and Sam JONES; a friend, Mr Arthur WOOLLEY, officiated as chairman. A very pleasant evening was spent.

FAREWELL PARTY.— On Saturday evening, at the Grapes Inn, Whitelands-road, (Mr John HEAP’s), a pleasant party took place. The occasion was to bid adieu to Mr G H HILL, of Lawrence, Mass, USA, who had been visiting his brother-in-law, Mr HEALEY, at Whitelands. It is sixteen years since Mr HILL left Ryecroft for the New World. He brought with him a number of presents from neighbours in Lawrence for friends in this locality.

CAUSING AN OBSTRUCTION.— At Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Thomas WADSWORTH and Ernest STELFOX were charged with obstruction at Waterloo on the 7th inst.— Defendants’ mothers appeared. STELFOX pleaded guilty and WADSWORTH not guilty.— Evidence was given to the effect that WADSWORTH was sitting amongst a lot of others at the corner of Langham-street and Oldham-road causing an obstruction.— Defendant’s mother said her son was simply bending down to tie his shoe when Sergeant DOVE jumped off an electric car and caught him.— Defendants were each fined 5s.

Information was received by the police on Tuesday of the death of Mary HALTON, widow of William HALTON, which took place at 1.30 am on the same day.

Jane Ann BAGSHAW said she lived at 17 Hill-street. Deceased was her aunt, and had lived with her since Easter. She had had moderately good health considering her age, but she was a little subject to mazy bouts, having had two while living with the witness. About three years ago she had been under the doctor for some complaint, of what nature witness could not say. Deceased did not appear to be suffering from anything lately. On Monday witness went home from her work at six o’clock. Deceased was there and got tea ready, which they partook together.

At eleven o’clock they retired to bed. They both occupied different rooms. While going to bed deceased made no complaint and appeared to be in her usual health, but at 12 o’clock witness was awakened by hearing her cry out "Jenny"." She at once went to her room and found her lying on her right side. She appeared to be trying to breathe. As she was rather low down the bed, witness lifted her up, and placed her head on the pillow. She did not speak. Witness then brought in a neighbour, Mrs TAYLOR, and also sent for Dr TWOMEY, who came. Ten minutes after his arrival deceased died. Replying to the coroner witness said she did not notice the colour of her face. It was not dark and she could not say whether it had gone paler. She did not struggle at all. Deceased had been very comfortable with her.

The Coroner remarked that Dr TWOMEY had sent no certificate of death, so they had to rely solely on the evidence. After some discussion a verdict of "Death from natural causes, probably sudden failure of the heart’s action," was returned.

During the past week ex-Sergeant TETLOW, formerly of the Stalybridge borough police force, and now retired at Broadheath, has received a letter from ex-Constable ROBINSON, who left the Stalybridge borough police force nearly two years ago to become an attendant at a lunatic asylum at Leeds. He, however, resigned the position, and went out to South Africa as a farrier in the Army. His trade was that of a farrier, and his abilities soon gained for him promotion to sergeant. The letter reads as follows:—

Farrier-Sergt R J ROBINSON
112, Middlesex Imp. Yeomen,
Field Force, South Africa

Aug 12th, 1901

Dear Mr TETLOW,— It was only last night that I was thinking of the pleasant times I often had when I was in Stalybridge, so I thought I would just drop you these few lines to let you know that I am still alive. I have not been so unlucky as to stop a bullet yet, but my poor horse has. He got shot from under me. I could have cried over him, he was so good and faithful. I shall never have another like him. You know I was always fond of a nice horse, and he was one of them.

We had it pretty stiff with the Boers on June 24th, 25th, and 26th. We had a lot of men wounded and a good many horses killed. The enemy took five men prisoners, and after taking everything off them, they let them go. It is very hard getting at them on the kopjes round about Restenburgh and Reitfontein, where DELAREY and his forces are. They will want some shifting from there.

It is hard trekking on biscuits and bully beef; but I hope it will soon be all over, as I have had it hard enough. I have had the work to do all by myself, as the three shoeing-smiths have left me — two are in hospital, and the other has been court-martialled; so I have my hands full, having all the horses to shoe, and all the sick horses to attend to. But I do not care so long as I keep drawing sergeant-major’s pay. I will have the crown up before long, and hope to be home before Christmas, all being well. If I get leave I will come through to see you all.— With best respects to all from yours affectionately, Farrier-Sergeant R J ROBINSON.

PS — I wonder how John BEEVER is getting on? Write me soon, and let me know all particulars. And I will thank you for a paper if you will send it, as we never get to hear any news here.

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