SINGULAR ASSAULT AT HURST
The Children and the Cinder Heap
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
Joshua BIRCHALL, said to be an employee at Carrs
Mill, Hurst, was summoned by Elizabeth PEARCE
for assault. Mr WATSON was for the complainant,
and Mr A LEES appeared for the defendant, who
pleaded not guilty.
Mr WATSON said the assault was committed on February
25th. The complainant, who lived near to Whittakers
Mill, Hurst, was standing in front of her shop
door when she saw the defendant driving some children
away from a cinder heap near to the mill, and
frightening the children. She went to the mother
of one of the children, and told her what had
happened. Some time afterwards the defendant went
down into the neighbourhood in which the complainant
lived, and used very bad language. He attempted
to strike her with a piece of iron, and afterwards
pushed her violently to the ground.
Martha Elizabeth PEARCE corroborated the previous
statement, and said that she saw defendant go
to the children and drive them away. One of the
children became frightened and began to cry. Witness
went to tell the childs mother. Defendant
said to the childs mother That old
told you, and he thereupon turned upon witness
and used very bad language and lifted up a piece
of iron to strike her on the head. She held up
her hands and warded him off, and he then struck
her and felled her to the ground. By Mr
LEES: She did not know that the owner of the mill
had had considerable trouble on account of children
going playing there. He called her a foul name.
She did not rush at him to strike him.
Martha JACKSON deposed to seeing the defendant
attempt to strike the complainant, and then push
her down. By Mr LEES: The child was hers.
Because she had spoken to him about the child
he came to her home and used all sorts of vile
language. Hannah WOODS corroborated the statements
of the last witness.
The defendant BIRCHALL said he was in the employ
of Messrs WHITTAKER, and anyone on the cinder
heap were trespassers. He had been instructed
by the secretary of the mill to drive children
away from the cinder heap. He had frequently seen
children playing there, and when they saw him
they ran away. He did not frighten the children
on the day in question. He had three pieces of
iron in his hands. Whilst he was talking with
Mrs JACKSON, Mrs PEARCE came up and said she would
knock his d
old face off. She struck him in the face,
and was making a second attempt when he warded
her off, and she fell into the street.
Superintendent HEWITT in reply to the Bench said
the cinder heap was 50 or 60 yards from where
the public were allowed to go. Mr LEES submitted
that the children had no right on the cinder heap,
and when they saw the defendant coming they simply
ran away. These women had a spite against the
defendant, and thought he was an enemy of the
children. He went to the house of Mrs JACKSON
to explain that he had not been frightening them.
The complainant rushed at him, and he was attempting
to ward her off. The Bench fined defendant 5s
6d and costs.
HOUSE ROBBERY AT ASHTON
A Youths Temptation
Major LEE, a well dressed youth,
was in the dock at the Ashton Borough Police Court
on Thursday, charged with stealing a sum of money
from the house of Mr Whit CUNLIFFE, humourist and
mimic, on March 2nd. Mr George HEATHCOTE appeared
for the prisoner.
Whittaker CUNLIFFE, residing at Katherine Terrace,
Ashton, said that about 7.20 pm on Sunday he left
home, and on returning about midnight he found the
cash box produced, which was his property, lying
broken open on the kitchen table. The sum of £4
10s had been taken out of the box. The box was safe,
and locked in his bedroom when he left the house.
By Mr HEATHCOTE: Prisoner was his nephew, and lived
on intimate terms with him. He was in the habit
of visiting the house. He had assisted witness at
some of his concerts, and had the handling of money.
In that capacity he had always found him honest.
This was evidently an accidental lapse into dishonesty.
The temptation of seeing the money in the house
was apparently too strong for the prisoner to resist.
Prisoner pleaded guilty.
Mr HEATHCOTE said he was there at the request of
the parents of the boy to put before the Bench some
extenuating circumstances. It was felt that prisoner
was in a terrible position for someone at his time
of life, who should now be a respectable son and
useful citizen, instead of standing in the dock.
This was the only complaint of a serious nature
that they had to make against him.
On this particular Sunday he was in his uncles
house alone, and probably knew that there was money
in the house. He found the cash box, and gave way
to a sudden temptation to open it and steal the
contents. He stole the contents, although he had
no need for money, and had money of his own. His
parents had always seen that he was well supplied
with pocket money, and food, and clothing. He took
the money home, and seemed to have been struck by
remorse, for he did not sleep on the Sunday night,
and determined that on the next day he would return
the money to his uncle.
He had an appointment at Dukinfield with regard
to a situation, and on his return the police were
there and he was arrested. He at once told them
where the money was, and every penny of it had been
returned. His parents, and Mr CUNLIFFE as well,
were willing to enter into security for his good
In reply to the Bench, Mr CUNLIFFE said he had no
desire to press the case. The Chairman (Alderman
ANDREW): How old is he? Eighteen. The bench accordingly
bound prisoner over to be of good behaviour for
CORRECTION. We are asked to state that
Mrs G E MARSHALL was not present at the Liberal
Club Soirée, as reported in our last weeks
issue. She is nursing her mother, who, we are sorry
to say, is seriously ill.
CLAIM AGAINST AN ASSURANCE COMPANY.
At the police court on Thursday, Mary Louisa DEAN
sued the Yorkshire Provident Life Assurance Company
to recover the sum of £17 10s due under two
policies of assurance effected in the company upon
the life of May DEAN. On the case being called the
magistrates clerk (Mr WESTBROOK) said he had
a letter from the plaintiffs solicitor stating
that the case was settled.
SMOKING CONCERT AT THE LIBERAL CLUB. On
Tuesday evening a smoking concert was held in the
Central Liberal Club, under the presidency of Mr
G R MARSHALL. The billiard-room was simply packed
to listen to those popular favourites Messrs Whit
and Jim CUNLIFFE, and J DIMELOW, with Mr Peter FLITCROFT
as accompanist. They sang some of their most popular
and up-to-date selections, and the audience was
highly delighted. At the close of a very enjoyable
evening a vote of thanks was tendered to the vocalists
on the motion of Mr J W FISH, president of the club,
and seconded by Mr J A GARFORTH.
BAD LANGUAGE. At the Police Court on Thursday,
James TURNER, described as a labourer, was summoned
for using bad language in Hill-street on the 1st
instant. Constable BROOME stated that at twenty
to twelve oclock, midnight, his attention
was called to Hill-street, and on going there he
saw a crowd of people, in the midst of which was
the defendant, who was using most filthy language
to his wife. He spoke to him and he refused to desist.
Eventually he was persuaded to go into the house.
Defendant said the crowd were there before he came
up. There had been a fight in the street. He did
not remember making use of any bad language. Fined
5s and costs.
OCCASIONAL LICENSE. At the Police Court,
on Thursday, Mr Percy WALLWORK, of the Commercial
Hotel, applied for permission to sell in the Co-operative
Hall on March 11th, the occasion being the annual
ball in connection with the Wellington-street Drum
and Flute Band, from 8pm to 2am. The license he
said had been granted on previous occasions.
Supt COOPER: Is this application on your own behalf.
Mr WALLWORK: Yes. Are you going to supply
the refreshments? Yes. In every particular?
Yes. Have you previously done so in these
cases? Yes. Certain? Yes. I have reasons
for putting these questions to you. Yes, I am aware
of that. And it will be my duty to put it
before you and others making similar applications.
You apply on your own behalf, and no one else? Yes.
DUKINFIELD TOWN COUNCIL
At the Council meeting on Monday, Councillor McFARLANE
made a capital point against one of the elective
auditors. In their report Messrs HADFIELD and WEBB
have drawn special attention to one or two cases
where members of the Town Council have illegally
supplied goods to the Corporation. In the minutes
of the Technical Instruction Committee there was
an item, C H WEBB, cleaning material, £1
9s 10d. In view of what has recently transpired,
Mr WEBB will be well advised if he does not again
contribute to the cleanliness of the committee.
At the close of the ordinary business of the Town
Council, on Monday, the standing orders were suspended
at the instance of the Conservative section, in
order to call attention to what took place at the
recent public meeting of ratepayers at which the
report of the elective auditors was submitted. In
that report the auditors drew attention to the purchase
of a horse by a sub-committee duly empowered to
do so by the Sanitary Committee, of which Councillor
Dr CLARKE is chairman. The doctor, along with Councillors
W H ASHWORTH and T WARHURST, were to purchase a
horse, and they did so for 40 guineas.
This money was provided by means of a private cheque
issued by Councillor ASHWORTH, and afterwards refunded
to him by the Council. This was undoubtedly the
only way to buy a horse, but the elective auditors
commented upon it.
After the horse came to Dukinfield it became ill,
and a veterinary surgeon had to be called in and
treated it for gum boil and paralysis of the lower
lip. This has been the subject of chaffing comment
in various circles and a considerable amount of
fun has been poked at the sub-committee.
The climax came when the elective auditors brought
the facts to the notion of the public. At the Council
meeting on Monday evening Councillor CLARKE entered
into an explanation of the transaction and at one
stage waxed indignant and demanded an apology from
the elective auditors for their shameful and
disgraceful comments upon the transaction,
and the unfair and unjust criticisms
passed thereon. He also went into heroics over the
horse and offered to re-purchase the animal for
40 guineas, and any profit he subsequently made
he would devote to the funds of the Sick Nursing
A resolution was passed affirming the confidence
of the Council in the sub-committee and ordering
the sale of the horse for no less than 40 guineas.
If the horse is such a perfect specimen represented
by Councillors CLARKE and ASHWORTH why should the
Corporation part with it? After a long discussion
Councillor GRIME, like Oliver Twist, cried for more,
and succeeded in inducing his political friends
to pass a resolution asking the Mayor to call a
special council meeting to further discuss other
portions of the elective auditors report.
WATERLOO AND BARDSLEY
BREACH OF THE PEACE. Arthur MORRIS pleaded
guilty at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
to committing a breach of the peace at Bardsley,
on January 26th, and was bound over in 40s to keep
the peace for six months.
WESLAYAN MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY.
On Thursday evening the members assembled in unusually
large numbers to hear Councillor BAINBRIDGE, of
Ashton, read a paper entitled, Notes on pawnbroking.
Mr FLOWERS occupied the chair. The essayist, after
quoting Old Testament scriptures to show that the
taking in pledge of various articles of apparel
was forbidden, and the taking of usury condemned,
went on to show that the system of pawnbroking was
originally confined to Jews, and afterwards to the
He contended that as now conducted the system lent
itself to the encouragement of crime, drinking,
thriftlessness, &c, the relationship between
the pawnshop and the public house being a very close
one indeed. Several conclusions come to by the essayist
were strongly criticised, the paper leading to an
animated discussion, several speakers agreeing with
the essayist, and others looking upon the pawnbroker
in the light of a philanthropist and regarding his
calling as a very useful and highly respectable
one. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to
Councillor BAINBRIDGE for his excellent paper.
STEALING FROM A GROCERS SHOP. John
WOODING, described as a tramp, was in the dock at
the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, on
a charge of larceny at Waterloo. Superintendent
HEWITT said that on the 26th instant the prisoner
was noticed by a man named ANDREW to take some eggs
and a black pudding from a shop in which he went
to buy a loaf of bread. Clara JACKSON said
she was the wife of James Samuel JACKSON, Oldham-road,
Waterloo. Prisoner came to the shop for a loaf of
bread. He was supplied with the bread, and paid
for it. After he left, a man named Edward ANDREW
made a communication to her, in consequence of which
she looked around and missed a couple of eggs and
a black pudding worth 4d.
Prisoner admitted the offence, and said he did not
know what he was doing at the time. He did not do
it wilfully. He was a hatter by trade, and had been
out of work for some time. He had been on the tramp
looking for work, and dropped across some friends
who treated him to a drink, and it affected his
head. He was very sorry. He was married, but his
wife did not know where he was. The Magistrates
Clerk: You had better get back to her as she appears
to have been making some inquiry about you.
Superintendent HEWITT said that there were no previous
convictions recorded against the prisoner. He had
been lounging around the neighbourhood, which made
him noticeable. The prisoner: I have played
by this Town Hall in a band from Hazel Grove for
20 successive Whit Fridays, for the Methodist New
Connexion, Hurst Brook. The magistrates bound
prisoner over in 40s to be of good behaviour for
the next six months.
THE LATE MR E SUTCLIFFE
A service in memory of Mr Edward
SUTCLIFFE was held in the Ryecroft Independent Chapel
on Sunday last, when there was a large congregation.
The choirmaster (Mr John RAMSDEN) sang Be
thou faithful unto death, from St Paul,
and the hymn, Now the labourers task
is oer, was also sung by the congregation.
The pastor conducted the service, and preached from
Luke 10: He that is faithful in that which
is least is faithful also in that which is much.
At the close of his sermon the preacher said that
faithfulness was the keynote in the life of their
dear friend whose loss they mourned that day. He
was faithful to the church, which he had loved and
served for more than forty years. During that period
he had served in all its important offices with
energy, zeal, and unwavering fidelity.
In little matters as in great, he was faithful and
punctual to a fault. His ideal of service was inspired
not by considerations of personal ease or convenience,
not even considerations of health and comfort, but
simply and solely by a sense of what was due to
the office he held. His idea of duty was almost
Spartan in its severity. Storm or fine, every Wednesday
night saw him in his place at church meeting or
Such faithfulness, whose essential basis is unselfishness,
is not easily produced by the conditions of modern
life where fierce competition forces most to "fight
for their own hand." But he had resisted this
tendency, and in the midst of business activities
and all the turmoil of the time, he lived the life
of a true saint of God. Like the Apostle Paul, his
life was twofold; one part he shared with the world
around him, the other was the life he lived with
Christ in God.
His departure breaks another link, almost the last,
which connects the Ryecroft of the present with
the Ryecroft of the past. In his case the relation
goes further still, for through his father, the
Rev Jonathan SUTCLIFFE, he links up to the very
beginning of Independency in Ashton. The old changeth
and gives place to the new.
Will it be better or worse? The answer to that question
depends on whether the churches of to-day can produce
a type of character like that of our departed friend.
He was one of a band of men which made Independency
strong and respected in Ashton for two generations.
They were men of grit and great sturdiness and independence
of character. In their outward aspect we shall not
look upon their like again their stateliness,
their old world courtesy belong to a generation
which is not ours.
But what we must hope for and expect is that a new
generation shall arise, which disdaining slothful
ease, shall address itself to the questions of to-day
with the same spirit of eagerness and reality, the
same high ideals of duty and faithfulness as that
which inspired the generation which is passing away.
He being dead yet speaketh. May there
be many young and ardent souls who shall be inspired
by the memory of his faithfulness to tread the same
path of duty and service.