8 August 1903
IT WAS GLYCERINE
Openshaw Man Drinks Poison
Albert JONES, who lives with his daughter at Indigo-street,
off Ashton Old-road, was in the dock at the Manchester
City Police Court, on Monday, charged with attempting
to commit suicide by taking liquid ammonia on the 30th
of last month.
Constable MARSHALL explained
the circumstances of the case, and stated that the prisoner
had been an inmate of the Royal Infirmary since ten o’clock
on Thursday morning until 9.45 that morning. When charged
he said he was not guilty of drinking the stuff with intent
to commit suicide.
Prisoner now told the justices
he was not guilty of taking the stuff to harm himself.
He thought it was glycerine. It was on the table, and
he drank it to ease himself. He had no occasion to do
anything that would harm himself. He was living with his
daughter, and was quite comfortable. His daughter appeared,
and stated that he drank of the contents of the bottle
thinking it was glycerine.
The Chairman: You do not think
he took it intentionally? — Witness: No, sir. He
did not buy the ammonia. It was evidently among some bottles.
She had never noticed it. The bench did not think there
was any evidence of attempt to commit suicide, and they
discharged the prisoner.
EX-COLLIERY MANAGER’S DOMESTIC AFFAIRS
CLAY v. CLAY — Extraordinary Disclosures
At the Dukinfield Police Court, on Thursday, Mr H BOSTOCK,
solicitor, Hyde, made an application on behalf of Richard
CLAY, of Gorton Lane, West Gorton, formerly manager of
the Dukinfield Coal and Canal Company’s Collieries,
to vary an order of wife maintenance which was made against
him in that court in May 1901, under the Married Women’s
Maintenance Act. Mr George HEATHCOTE appeared for Mrs
CLAY, and opposed the application.
Mr BOSTOCK said when the case
was before the court in May 1901, the magistrates made
an order upon Mr CLAY to pay £1 per week towards
the maintenance of his wife. He had not one word to say
against that order. He was there that day for the purpose
of endeavouring to show that although that was a proper
order in May 1901, the applicant was unable to pay £1
per week at the present time. When the case came before
the court in May 1901, Mr CLAY was working at some colliery
in Somersetshire, and earning £3 10s per week. He
continued there until this year, when, in consequence
of the work being completed, his services were no longer
Mr CLAY would tell them he
was over 60 years of age, and the Bench would understand
that it was a very difficult matter for any man to get
employment at a colliery at the present time. The result
of that was that Mr CLAY had been compelled to take a
grocer’s shop, with an outdoor beer license attached,
in Gorton. He thought he would be able to satisfy the
Bench that Mr CLAY was not making anything whatever out
of the shop.
He thought he ought to point
out the fact that there were no children for Mr CLAY to
maintain. It was simply a matter of the maintenance of
the wife, and he thought the Bench would come to the conclusion
that the applicant was absolutely unable to pay the £1
per week, and the sum of 10s per week would be ample.
The simple question which the Bench had to determine was
as to whether the applicant’s means had altered
since May 1901, and whether he was no longer able to pay
the sum of £1 per week. He might add that when the
application was originally made Mr CLAY did not appear,
and was not legally represented.
Richard CLAY was then sworn.
He said he was at present tenant of a grocer’s shop
and out-beer license at Gorton. In May 1901, he was managing
some sinking operations in connection with a colliery
in Somersetshire at a salary of £3 10s per week.
That work finished in April of this year. He worked as
a collier in Yorkshire before he went into Somersetshire.
He paid £62 to go into the shop at Gorton, and the
rent was £24 14s, but he had to sue the outgoing
tenant for misrepresentation. The book produced showed
the takings at the shop since he took possession on the
8th June to be an average of £4 to £5 per
The Clerk: For ale or groceries?
Applicant: Very little ale. Mr BOSTOCK: Very little ale
unfortunately. Are you making a living? No. I am losing
the bit I have got. I have paid the £1 per week
up to a few weeks ago, but I cannot afford to pay it now.
— How old is your youngest child? Twenty-one or
twenty-two. She lives with her mother, and is a schoolmistress.
— What does she earn? I cannot say.
Cross-examined by Mr HEATHCOTE:
Do you know what she pays Mrs CLAY per week? No. —
She simply pays her board and lodgings. She may do. —
You know she is engaged? I know nothing about it. —
And likely to be married soon, and saving as much as she
can to furnish a home? I don’t know. — Are
the takings of your shop going up or down? Some weeks
they go up, some weeks they go down.
Who lives with you at this
shop in Gorton? My housekeeper. — How long has she
been your housekeeper? Two years, or a little over. —
Did she live with you when you were working in Yorkshire?
Yes. — She kept your house there? Yes. — Was
she merely your housekeeper and nothing more? Nothing
more. — Did Mrs CLAY come over to Yorkshire and
find you living there with this woman you call housekeeper?
I did not see her. — Do you know that she found
out your housekeeper was there in the name of Mrs CLAY
I don’t know, I am sure. I never saw Mrs CLAY at
Were you three years in Yorkshire?
Yes. — And during that time did you contribute to
Mrs CLAY’s support? Yes. — Continually? Occasionally.
— I put it that you contributed occasionally, and
that this woman was living with you as your wife at the
time? She was my housekeeper. — Did you take a house?
No. I was lodging at first. — Did this housekeeper
live at the same house? No. — Did she live in the
Mr BOSTOCK: I don’t want
to interrupt my friend, but I submit this has nothing
whatever to do with the application. The simple question
is Mr CLAY’s position, whether he is in a position
to pay £1 per week or not. The Magistrates’
Clerk (Mr WESTBROOK): He is entitled to show that if Mr
CLAY could afford to keep a housekeeper he can afford
to pay this money to his wife.
Mr HEATHCOTE: Was she living
with you at the same house in Yorkshire? No. — Never
at any time? She stopped there. — Is it the same
housekeeper who went with you to Midsomer Norton? She
came down there. — Did you take a house there and
furnish it? Yes. — What did the furnishing cost?
I had to pay it in instalments. — Was the name of
your housekeeper Mrs BRITTON? No reply. — Was she
a married woman living apart from her husband? Yes. —
Has she had a child since she left her husband? Yes. —
Who contributed to the support of that child? I did. —
How much a week did you pay? What I could. — Was
it 5s a week? Sometimes a good deal less.
Did she live with you at the
time as your housekeeper? Yes. — And she is the
same person who is living with you at Gorton? Yes. —
Were they at Midsomer Norton? They stayed there when they
came over. — For how long? A week perhaps. —
Who maintained them? They had the same as we had. —
You say your wages were £3 10s per week. Yes. —
You applied through your solicitor to me for a reduction
of the order? Yes. — Mr BOSTOCK: Who was the solicitor?
Mr HEATHCOTE replied that it was Mr POWNALL.
Did you write to say that you
had no fixed money; some weeks you got nothing and other
weeks you could make 30s, more or less? Yes. — And
you now tell the court you were earning £3 10s per
week? Have you not tried in every way to evade this payment
of £1 per week? Not that I know of. — How
many times has a warrant been issued against you? I should
have to borrow money to pay £1 per week. —
You have paid every time a warrant has been issued against
you? Yes. I have had to borrow the money to pay it.
Will you tell the Bench why
you deserted your wife? Because I had no employment in
Dukinfield, and I had to go into Yorkshire. — Practically
you have not lived with your wife for five years? I invited
her to come to Yorkshire, but she refused. — You
have been married for 35 years, and have three daughters,
two of whom are married? Yes. — Before you left
Midsomer Norton you had a sale of your household furniture
out there? Yes. — How much did the sale realise?
£27. — Did you sell the pianoforte? Yes. That
fetched £5. — What furniture have you in Gorton?
Very little. — Have you paid for furniture since
you came to Gorton? A small bit.
You have told the Bench that
you are an agent for someone? I am not agent for anyone.
— Have you not been going about with samples? No.
— Have you expectations of being employed? I shall
have to get money some way or another. — You know
what I mean. Has not someone offered you an agency? It
is not worth going round for. — You have some money
left have you not? No, it is all in the business. —
I put it to you that you have a long stocking somewhere?
You put it wrong. — You have made a large sum out
of the contract in Somersetshire? I have no money except
that which is in the business. — Do you attend personally
to the business in Gorton? When I can.
Mr BOSTOCK: When the Dukinfield
collieries closed you got work as an ordinary miner? Yes,
in Yorkshire. — I understand you asked your wife
to come to you out there? I wrote to her. — And
wouldn’t she come? No. — You have been asked
whether you are an agent. Is there any truth in that?
Nothing in it at all. — Is this shop at Gorton the
only means you have of obtaining a living? Yes. —
And you are not doing very much? My money is being wasted
there. — You have seen the auction bill of your
furniture which you sold? Yes. — The proceeds have
been applied to going into the shop at Gorton? Yes.
Mr HEATHCOTE submitted there
had been no good cause shown for reducing the amount of
the order. During the whole time the applicant had been
away in Somersetshire, according to his own admission,
he had been earning £3 10s per week, but he (Mr
HEATHCOTE) suggested he had been earning considerably
more than that. The applicant had tried to mislead the
court in regard to his earnings, and also about his wife.
Mrs CLAY would tell the court that she was never invited
to go and live with her husband in Yorkshire.
He had never lived with his
wife for five years. During that time he had had a paramour
living with him, the wife of another man, by whom he had
one child born. The same person was with him still, and
was being maintained by him, and when they were down in
Midsomer Norton her other children used to come there
and live upon Mr CLAY’s means. He hoped the Bench
would not place any reliance upon the statements the applicant
had made in regard to the Gorton shop. He might have given
£60 to go in, but there was an outdoor beer license
attached to the shop, and there must be some profit there.
With regard to other work,
Mr CLAY was a most capable mining engineer, a man who
could get a good situation immediately, and he ought to
look out for something. He had all along tried to get
out of fulfilling his legal obligations towards his legitimate
wife, and the application he made that morning was practically
equal to asking the Bench, by reducing the order, to help
him maintain his paramour. He asked the Bench to say that
was not a proper thing to ask. Mr CLAY did not come there
with clean hands. If they reduced the order the Bench
would agree in what appeared to him outrageous.
A man who came and asked for
such an order should come with clean hands. The housekeeper
was there, and she was the mother of a child by him, and
the magistrates could draw their own conclusion as to
the kind of life these two were living. Mrs CLAY had one
daughter living with her, and this daughter would be married
shortly, and what would become of Mrs CLAY? The paramour
was to be maintained, and she was to have all the best
he could give her. Mr CLAY had suggested that his wife
should have 8s 6d per week. The thing was monstrous, and
he hoped the Bench would dismiss the application.
The Chairman (Mr J W S LAWTON)
having consulted briefly with his colleague (Alderman
J KERFOOT) said: We have decided to dismiss the application.
Mr HEATHCOTE thanked the Bench, and asked them to allow
the advocate’s fee. Mr BOSTOCK objected on the grounds
that the application was a proper one under the changed
circumstances. Mr HEATHCOTE: And an application which
is proper for a solicitor to resist and oppose. The Chairman:
We allow one guinea.
A fish of the carp species died at the Ashton Sewage Works
on Saturday morning, which for power of endurance under
varying conditions is somewhat remarkable, and throws
into the shade the proverbial cat with nine lives. The
carp, which was about six or seven inches in length, was
raked up on to the screen at the Sewage Works the previous
Monday, and must have had a very stormy passage through
the sewers of the town before getting there. How it got
into the sewers is a mystery and how it survived the trying
ordeal through which it passed must strike one as remarkable.
Lovers of the piscatorial art
who understand the habits of fish are puzzled to know
how it got there. One theory is that some householder
in the district in cleaning an aquarium emptied the carp
down the sewers in mistake. Another is that the carp was
washed down from one of the mill reservoirs. It is known
that carp exist in several of the mill reservoirs, as
for instance that in connection with the Curzon Mill,
Immediately on discovery the
carp was placed in a pail of clean water, and lived on
as a sort of modern miracle for the rest of the week,
when it was taken with a disease known amongst anglers
as fungus, from which it died on Saturday as stated. Considering
that fungus is caused amongst fish by changed conditions,
such as transfer from lukewarm water to ordinary cold
tap water, it would point to the supposition that the
carp “graduated” in a mill reservoir.
It used to be common thing,
when the filter of the town’s water was in existence
behind the house of Mr NEAL, at the top of Henrietta-street,
for trout and other fish to be cast up minus heads and
tails which had been cut off whilst passing through the
A more hopeful tone prevails
in the cotton trade locally. The Atlas and Curzon Mills
have gone full time this week, and the Rock Spinning Co.
is expected to follow suit next week. This, coupled with
the fact that the general manager (Mr Clarkson) of two
of the concerns entered the marriage stage on Thursday,
must be highly gratifying news to the hands, and is a
happy coincidence. The Guidebridge Spinning Company has
been working during the week, after a short spell of stoppages.
The Cavendish Spinning Co. has been stopped the whole
week, but is expected to restart work on Monday. We understand
that the Harper Twist Co. have decided to close for three
The controversy which has been
waging with regard to the refusal of an Ashton schoolmaster
to enter a team of boys for the forthcoming swimming competition
for the ANDREW Cup, has brought out an expert’s
view on the subject in Mr J DERBYSHIRE, superintendent
of the Manchester Corporation Baths, and father of the
Writing to an Ashton gentleman
on the letter which appeared in last week’s paper,
he said: “Such reasoning is difficult to deal with.
If carried to its logical conclusion, no lad should play
cricket without medical examination. And even then he
must bat only as long as his doctor agrees his strength
”Faddists are all right
in their place, but after all the world is governed, as
is daily life, by the law of averages. In a squadron race
the very principle that our friend contends for, viz the
inequality of strength or merit is conceded. Four or six
of a team are judged by their aggregate ability, instead
of individual. Excitement, I grant, is a factor, and thank
God it is so. What would our school sports be if boys
and girls did not want to sit down after a jump or skipping
”If Mr MASON would visit
a swimming gala, such as we have in Manchester, where
only scholars take part, he would have his fears dispelled.
Overtaxing of strength is a possibility, but the general
gain from these contests so out-balances the risk that
life is too short to consider the gloomy side.”
DEATH OF A HYDE BOILERMAKER
Our readers will be sorry to hear of the death of Mr John
STRONG, of 133 Dukinfield-road, Newton, Hyde, under somewhat
strange circumstances. The deceased was a boilermaker
by trade, and was employed at the works of Messrs BEELEY,
On January 9th this year the
deceased and a man named Geo. CHANTRY were engaged in
rivetting a boiler. CHANTRY was using a large hammer above
the deceased, when somehow he let it slip, and it dropped
on the deceased’s right arm. He was conveyed home,
and Dr ROLEY attended him up to his death. He was 59 years
ACCIDENT IN THE CRICKET FIELD. —
On Monday, in the League match between Dukinfield and
Crompton, played on the Higher King-street ground, Dukinfield,
Mr J H SAGAR, whilst taking a catch in the long field,
was struck by the ball on the end of the middle finger,
and sustained a nasty injury. Dr PARK, who was on the
ground, dressed the wound. It will be several weeks before
he can again play the game.
TOWN-LANE REFORM CLUB.
— On Sunday last about twenty members of the above
club had a day’s outing to Hollin Green, Lymm. They
left the club in a char-a-banc and drove by way of Gorton,
Altrincham, High Leigh, Warburton, and thence to Lymm.
They had dinner and tea at the Boat House Hotel, and in
the meantime the excursionists patrolled the charming
district, and were highly pleased with the change in the
scenery. The party returned by way of Dunham Massey, Cheadle,
and Denton to the club, where they arrived soon after
ten o’clock. Mr Fred MAKIN engineered the party.
ALLEGED THEFT OF £5.
— At the Police Court, on Thursday, Sarah CONSTANTINE,
a middle-aged, respectably-dressed woman, was in the dock,
charged with stealing £5. — John SCHOFIELD
said he lived at 5 Old-road, Dukinfield. The prisoner
had lodged at his house from the 24th to 30th July. On
the 24th July he had some money in a box. He missed £5
on the 30th. He asked the prisoner about it, and she admitted
taking it, saying she would pay it back when she could.
The box was locked, and on the 30th July it was unlocked.
Superintendent CROGHAN said
that upon that evidence he asked for a remand until next
Monday, at Hyde. There was a second charge to be preferred
against the prisoner of stealing two postal orders, one
of the value of 20s, and the other 10s. When the police
received information of the robbery of the postal orders
there was some difficulty in ascertaining their number.
It would necessitate communication with the post office
in London, and that would occupy time. The prisoner admitted
the charge, but it had nothing to do with the present
The Clerk: Have you anything
to say why you should not be remanded? — Prisoner
(dejectedly): No. — Remanded accordingly.
DRINKING FOUNTAIN IN DUKINFIELD PARK
Sir, — The writer of your Dukinfield Notes has on
two occasions called the attention of the Park authorities
to the dirty state of the drinking fountain at the main
entrance to the park. At the time of writing nothing whatever
has been done, and its condition is gradually getting
Your note writer does not mention
what he cannot fail to have noticed, namely that the fountain
is not used so much for quenching thirst, but as a means
for rough play amongst a number of unruly juveniles. On
several occasions I have seen a crowd of noisy boys and
girls assembled round the fountain and enjoying themselves
by throwing water over each other, and seemingly doing
their utmost to break the iron cups which dangle at the
end of chains.
As the fountain is conspicuously
situated at the main entrance, and along with the attendant
group of children, is visible from the roadway, the effect
is considerably spoiled, and the beauty of our famous
flight of steps is to some extent diminished. Instead
of Mrs UNDERWOOD’s gift being a thing of beauty
and utility, it is, in its present state, an eyesore and
a nuisance. Perhaps the Park Committee will some day give
this matter a little attention. — Yours, &c,