31 May 1902


The adjourned inquest on Miss Edith BROOKES, the lady parachutist who lost her life at Sheffield, demonstrated pretty clearly how the fatality occurred. The cords had been purposely twisted before the ascent in order to prevent them being blown against the lady during the ascent. The wind might also have given them a further twist as the closed parachute ascended.

Then instead of sliding off her perch at the proper time, she appears to have fallen forward, possibly in a faint, among the ropes, and it was suggested might have done this in such a way as to prevent the ropes untwisting. The parachute partially opened and then closed again, and so remained until the doomed woman reached the ground. There can be no doubt whatever as to the twisting, as snapshots had been taken at the time, and the man who did it admitted what he had done, and thought he had done right, as the twist in normal circumstances would have come out when the weight of the parachutist rested on the ropes.

Another suggestion was that the height attained was not so great as it was on the previous day by one thousand feet, there was not sufficient time for the ropes to untwist practically and the parachute to expand until the woman hit the ground. Another point in the case was this, that the woman was advertised as Miss Maude BROOKES, a sister of hers, who made many ascents, whereas Edith only made two, the fatal one and one the day before; but it does not appear that such performers can really do much for themselves except simply “trust in Providence.”

The father had written an indignant letter to the coroner that the law should allow such performances, and the jury also expressed the opinion that they ought to be prohibited. In the House of Commons a question was asked on the subject, and the Home Secretary replied that these performances could not be prohibited in the present state of law, and that he did not think a law could be passed to that effect.

It would be well to make the attempt. Dangerous occupations are quite numerous enough without allowing people to increase the number unnecessarily. Nor is there the smallest need that people should witness such performances. The Coroner said the “demand created the supply,” but that statement will hardly bear investigation. The public cannot be regarded as the greatest sinner in the matter. Those who tempt the public to go to such performances have much greater responsibility on their shoulders, and they ought not to be allowed to make money in any such way.

Fred SQUIRES, aged 11 years, residing at 100 Oldham-road, Bardsley, was admitted as an inpatient at the Oldham Infirmary, on Wednesday evening, suffering from a broken leg.

At the Ashton County Police Court, Harry GREENWOOD, Edward HAMER and Joseph WRIGHT were each fined 5s for causing an obstruction by standing on the footpath at Langham-street, Waterloo.

DRUNK.– On Wednesday, at the Ashton County Police Court, Thomas HARRISON pleaded guilty, and was fined 2s 6d for being drunk at Waterloo, on May 7th.– Wilhelmina KENNEDY was similarly fined for a like offence at Bardsley, to which she pleaded guilty.

On Wednesday evening at his residence, Oldham-road, one of the oldest residents in the person of Mr Thomas ASHTON, succumbed to a short decisive illness, which his advanced years could not support. He had reached 77. The interment is for Monday afternoon at Bardsley, where both he and his late partner will rest in peace.

DEATH OF THE STEWARD OF THE CONSERVATIVE CLUB.– On Tuesday, at the Conservative Club, Bardsley, the death occurred of Mr John James DAVIES, their caretaker and steward. The cause was cerebral congestion and exhaustion following. He was only 39 years of age. A well-known respected resident, was a minder, until his health broke down. He was appointed steward at the club about Christmas. For many years he has been secretary of the Druids’ Lodge, held at the Diamond Inn, Bardsley.

WHIT-FRIDAY PROCESSIONS.– There was no small stir in Waterloo and Bardsley on Whit-Friday, and the usual Sunday school processions passed off successfully, and were the admiration of villagers and townspeople alike. The scholars of the Bardsley Parish Church School mustered to the number of about 450 at the schoolroom at nine o’clock, and formed a procession, which, headed by the Bardsley Old Band, proceeded along the main road to the boundary at each end of the parish, singing their Whitsuntide hymns at several houses en route, the conductor being Mr T C MELLOR.

In the procession were the minister (Rev L ROBBS) and the wardens, Messrs S MILLS and G LEES. The procession returned to the school for the usual refreshment, and in the afternoon the scholars enjoyed themselves in a field obtained for the purpose.– For the first time in their career, the Wesleyan Sunday School scholars were headed by a band, the Glossop Gospel Mission Band, and this in a measure may have had something to do with the large procession, there being a record attendance.

A pretty feature was the introduction of beautiful innovations of sweet-smelling flowers arranged in the form of garlands, bouquets, and long strings, which were carried by girls charmingly attired in white. The procession was marshalled by Messrs J COPELAND, J JAQUES and G FLOWERS and the hymns appointed for Whitsuntide were sung at Oaken Clough, Riversdale, and other places en route.

There was a very neat and orderly procession in connection with the Methodist New Connexion Sunday School, a feature of which was a beautifully decorated mail cart, reposing in which was a sweet looking babe enwreathed in a mass of flowers. Cupolas of evergreens and flowers were borne aloft by the little girls, prettily dressed in white. The procession halted at the house of Mrs J S EATON, Oldham-road, and sang one the hymns appointed for Whitsuntide. The Styal Home Boy’s Band led the procession.

Before Colonel SIDEBOTTOM and Mr James CARTER, at Stalybridge Police Court on Monday, Abel BUCKLEY, of Lord-street, came forward and asked for a vaccination exemption certificate in respect to his child, Samuel.

Colonel SIDEBTOOM: Why do you want an exemption order? – Applicant: Because I think it will affect the child’s health. I conscientiously object. I think the child will have better health than it would have if vaccinated.– What does you doctor say about it? He says nothing.– He says nothing! Perhaps you are wiser than the doctor? No, I don’t say I am.– Perhaps you have a better knowledge of these things than the doctor? I don’t say so.– Your application does not satisfy me. It satisfies Mr CARTER, but you will require two signatures, and I will not sign the order under those conditions. I cannot conscientiously sign a certificate after the statement you have made.– But this child will be four months old soon; what shall I do then? – You must come another court day, on Wednesday.

BUCKLEY appeared at court on Wednesday, when the justices present were Messrs CARTER, JACKSON, and HOPWOOD. He repeated once again that he had a conscientious objection to vaccination. In reply to Mr CARTER he also said he other children unvaccinated, and that they had never had smallpox in the family.– The application was granted.

LY.– Albert WARBURTON was fined 5s at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, for being drunk and disorderly at Hurst.

ONLY LANDED FROM SOUTH AFRICA THAT DAY.– Samuel NEWTON pleaded guilty at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, to being drunk on licensed premises at Hurst, on May 10th, also with being drunk and disorderly on the same day, and in extenuation said he only landed from South Africa that day, and met a few friends. He was discharged in the first case, and fined 5s 6d and costs, or 14 days for the second case.

OUTING TO CHESTER.– A number of teachers and scholars of St John’s Sunday School, Hurst, had a delightful outing on Whit-Saturday to Chester, whither they journeyed by the 6.23am train from Oldham-road Station, accompanied by the Rev W A PARRY, curate. At Chester the time was pleasantly spent in visiting the antiquated rows, whilst a pleasure trip was taken by steamer up the river Dee to Eaton Hall, and a visit paid to the grounds. The return journey was completed by 9.45pm, all having thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The second annual picnic held in connection with the above house took place on Whit-Thursday evening, the members deciding to see the sights of London town. Placing themselves in the capable hands of MR L R STANTON the arrangements were throughout were of a very satisfactory nature. Oldham-road was left about 11.30pm in a reserved saloon and the journey to the capital was made a pleasure.

Time very soon landed them at Euston where a char-a-banc was in waiting to drive them to “The Bonnington Hotel” which they made their headquarters during their brief stay in London. After a hearty breakfast and a brush up the char-a-banc was brought into use again and the party were driven round all the principal sights. Amongst other places shown were the following St Paul’s, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, London Tower, South Kensington Museum, British Museum, Hyde Park, Rotten Row, Alhambra Theatre, Albert Memorial, Madame Tussaud’s, Kingston, Hampton Court, Kew Gardens, Dirty Dick’s, Petticoat Lane &c. Home was reached on Sunday morning. Great praise was given to the secretary, Mr Jack ATHERTON.

Sorrow and regret was expressed in military circles in Ashton and district at the announcement of the death at 2 o’clock on Tuesday morning of Sergeant-Instructor Thomas MERTON, of the 3rd VBMR, and caretaker of the new shooting regiment the Brushes. It is only about two months since the deceased Sergeant-Instructor took up his abode at the Brushes ranges, as the newly appointed caretaker, prior to which time he resided in Birch-street, Ashton.

He had been Sergeant-Instructor of the Ashton Volunteers for about 12 years, and in addition had served 15 years in the army. Had he lived until July 9th next he would have retired on a well-deserved pension. He had been troubled for a long time with a pulmonary complaint, and it was hoped that the change to the more invigorating and health-giving air and surroundings of the Brushes would have produced in him a change for the better, but the disease had fastened its firm hold upon him, and despite the best medical skill and attention, and no lack of effort on his own part to ward off the inevitable, death came as aforestated.

Deceased was 51 years of age, and leaves a widow and seven children. The second son, Frederick, is in the South Wales Borderers, at present stationed at Aldershot. The deceased Colour-sergeant enlisted at the Ashton Barracks on July 6th, 1875, at the age of 24. He belonged to the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment, late the 96th. In 1881 he went out with his regiment to Malta, and during the Egyptian Campaign was at the base of operations at Alexandria, for which he wore the medal and Khediva(?) Star. At the conclusion of the war in 1882 he was drafted to India, and was on foreign service until 1890, when he returned to England and joined the 3rd VBMR on March 16th, 1890, and has continued in the Ashton district ever since.

A sad accident whereby an electrician named John FRASER, of 37 Henrietta-street, Ashton, was injured, occurred in Stockport-road, Ashton, at 12.07am on Sunday. The electric tramcar which left the Ashton terminus at 11.50pm on the 24th instant in charge of Motorman RORKE, for the depot at Denton, had got as far as the bridge near Guide Bridge Station, and was then travelling at the rate of about four miles an hour when the motorman saw FRASER step from the footpath as if going across the road.

According to the statement of the motorman he rang the gong immediately, and called out and applied the brake and reversed the motors. FRASER did not appear to hear or see the car, and before it could be stopped the brake handle hit him on the head, and he fell to the ground. The motorman stopped the car and got off, and the conductor, Daniel PEAK, lifted FRASER up, and helped him to Dr STEWART'’ surgery, Ashton-road, Denton, who examined him and ordered his removal to the District Infirmary.

He was put back into the car and a telephonic message at once despatched to the police station, and as the car was proceeding through Trafalgar Square the horse ambulance, in charge of Sergeant McFEELEY and Constable CORBETT, appeared, and FRASER was placed upon it and conveyed to the District Infirmary in an unconscious state, suffering from serious injuries to the head. Mr FRASER is the resident engineer at the Oldham, Ashton, and Hyde Electric Tramways. He still lies in a very precarious condition in the Infirmary, and Dr JUDSON and Dr HAMILTON both express slight hopes of his recovery

Sir,– I observe that in all the barbers’ shops in the town, the proprietors of which are members of the above association, there are notices hung up saying that on and after June 2nd the price of an ordinary shave will be three halfpence, and also that threepence will be charged for children’s hair-cutting, and other matters in proportion. Now I should like to know who gave these gentlemen of the “great profession” power to make this astounding statement.

I happen to be one of their employers, and have not been consulted about this 50 per cent advance in their already high rate of wages. I have an idea that if I made such an overture to my employer he would tell me that he could not and would not make such a concession, and I think it is high time the public, or those concerned, took up this important matter. From conversation I have overheard in various quarters, I am of opinion that the barbers in the borough will be the losers in the end, as a great number will shave themselves, and others will make one shave instead of two shaves per week suffice.

I think the proper way to have gone about this matter would have been for the barbers to have called a meeting of those concerned, and have laid their case – if they have one – before such meeting, and have had the matter validated; but instead of that, they say “We, the members of the Hairdressers’ Association, on and after 2nd June, demand an advance of 50 per cent in our wages.” The barbers should bear in mind they are only the employed, and that their employers ought to have a voice in the fixing of their rate of wages, which are already high enough.– Yours,

At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, Mr J B POWNALL applied on behalf of Mrs PREECE for permission to sell at the Junction Inn, Guidebridge, in place of her father.– Granted.

Harold TINKER pleaded guilty, at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, to creating an obstruction at Audenshaw on May 13th by leaving his horse tied to a garden gate whilst he delivered meat, and was fined 5s 6d.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.– At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Mary Ann HARTLEY was fined 5s 6d and costs, or seven days, for being drunk and disorderly at Audenshaw, and Samuel Edgar BUCKLEY was fined 5s for a similar offence.
GAMING.– George Harry BAYLEY, William BAYLEY, John GOODWIN, James CAMPBELL, James THORPE, Albert TAYLOR, and James WRIGHT were charged, at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, with gaming on the footpath off Bridge-street, Audenshaw, on May 10th, the first two being fined 5s, and the others 1s.

SELLING BREAD WITHOUT WEIGHING.– Fred GAMBLE was charged at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, with selling bread otherwise than by weight, at Audenshaw, on May 8th. Defendant admitted the offence, and was fined 5s 6d and costs.– Jos. BARBER was fined 5s 6d and costs for a similar offence.

BROTHERS IN TROUBLE.– George and Charles JARRATT were before the Ashton County justices, on Wednesday, charged with committing a breach of the peace at Audenshaw, on May 4th.– A constable deposed that at 12.15 on Saturday midnight he saw the two defendants creating a disturbance in Guide-lane, Audenshaw.– George pleaded guilty and Charles not guilty, adding that his brother was drunk and struck him.– Both defendants were bound over in 40s to keep the peace for six months.

BREACH OF THE PEACE.– Thomas REECE pleaded guilty, at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, to committing a breach of the peace at Audenshaw on May 10th, and was bound over in 40s to keep the peace for six months.– Elizabeth McDONALD pleaded not guilty to a similar charge.– A constable deposed that at 12.25 on the night of May 11th he was called to the defendant’s house, and she was lying on the floor, and broken glass all about. She had broken the windows and acted as if she was mad.– Defendant was bound over in 40s to keep the peace for six months.

At Manchester City Police Court, on Tuesday, Stewart Richard WLITON, Perch-street, Cheetham; Frederick SPENCER, West Gorton; John EVANS, Moss Side; John William TRAYNOR, Pendleton; Harry WILLIAMS, Gorton; and Tom THOMPSON, Ardwick, were charged with stealing goods from Messrs Lewis’s, Market-street, Manchester, during the past twelve months. Mrs Ada JONES, of Abbey-street, Greenheys, was charged with stealing and receiving a quantity of silk in conjunction with WILTON. Mr BECKTON prosecuted. Mr W COBBETT appeared for WILTON, and Mr SYMONDS for JONES.

Mr BECKTON stated that he understood the men would admit their guilt, but that the woman would plead not guilty. The men had all been in the employment of the prosecutors in Market-street, and WILTON seemed to have been the prime mover in the matter. He had been with the firm for a number of years. He was a salesman in the silk department, and the other men had been employed in various other departments. WILTON was arrested last Wednesday in Lower Mosley-street, and at that time was in possession of a quantity of goods.

On being taken into custody, he made a long statement, and it was only fair to him to say that, as far as could be gathered, he had since his arrest given the police what information he could. The other men were apprehended in consequence of WILTON’s statement, and in their presence he repeated what he had previously said implicating them. Goods to the value of £50 had been found at WILTON’s house, and that prisoner had pointed out in the presence of the other men the various articles he had alleged received from them. As WILTON did this the other men said “Yes,” or “No” as the case might be.

As to JONES, it was alleged she knew WILTON, and on her house being searched silks and other goods of the value of £13 or £14 were found.– Chief Detective Inspector CORDEN and Detective Inspector HOUGH gave evidence.– In reply to Mr SYMONDS, HOUGH said JONES had told him that the goods were parcels which travellers had given him because he had placed orders with them, or something to that effect, and they would be a pleasant surprise for his wife, as they were about to open a shop. They defendants were admitted to the sessions for trial. They were all admitted to bail except WILTON, who did not make application.
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