11 July 1903

On Thursday the blind people and their guides, to the number of one hundred and ten, assembled in the Stamford Park for their annual picnic. The weather was everything that could be desired, and after a good tea, which was greatly enjoyed, the blind were taken for two trips round the Park lake in the steamer.

Through the courtesy of Mr John NEAL, seats near the band stand were reserved for the blind, and before the band arrived a short meeting was held. The Rev J GRANT BIRD, chairman of the society, said he was pleased to welcome the friends for the nineteenth time, and he hoped they had all enjoyed themselves. A society such as that for the blind should elicit sympathy from every one, but he was sorry to say that at present the funds were low. He hoped that new friends would come forward to assist the old ones, and to help to carry on the work of the society.

The Rev G A PUGH made a few remarks, and Mr J D WATERHOUSE, hon. Secretary, proposed a vote of thanks to the ladies who had carried out the arrangements for tea. This was seconded by Mr FAIRCLOUGH (blind) and heartily passed. Through the kindness of Mr Frank ANDREWS, fruit was distributed to the blind and afterwards all listened well pleased to the Ashton Borough Band.

KEEPING A DANGEROUS DOG. – On Monday the Oldham magistrates fined John SMITH, butcher, 332 Ashton-road, Oldham, 5s and costs for having had an unmuzzled ferocious dog at large. The dog it was proved had bitten a man and a boy. It was an Airedale terrier. Defendant said he had since given a man a shilling to drown the dog, and had neither seen the dog nor the man since. It was a well-bred dog. – Mr BOOTH, the Magistrates’ Clerk, said it was just possible the man had sold the dog, and told defendant he ought to have taken it to the Fire Station.

WHAT HE WENT TO BED WITH. – Jas. CHADDERTON, a well-known resident of Daisy Nook, was before the Ashton County Justices on Wednesday, charged with having no light on his vehicle at Waterloo on June 18th. – Constable HODKINSON said that at five minutes past eleven on the Thursday nigh in question he saw the defendant in charge of a horse and milk float in Newmarket-road, Waterloo. He was going in the direction of his home at Daisy Nook and had no light on his vehicle. Witness called out to him, whereupon he whipped up his horse and made use of a foul expression and went off. Witness saw him the following day and told him he would be reported.

Defendant said he had got a lighted candle in a bottle. – The Chairman: That’s not a light. – Defendant: It’s what I go to bed with; we have no gas at our house. – (Laughter.) – The Chairman: You must have a proper light. – Defendant: I asked a man what was lighting up time, and he replied when the street lights were lighted. They are never lighted in our locality. – (Laughter.) – The Chairman: You will be fined 5s 6d and costs or seven days’ imprisonment. – Defendant: Will you allow me to the fetch the money? Yes. – Thank you very much.

WOULD RATHER BE TAKEN TO THE POLICE STATION. – Maud Mary HOUGH, respectably attired, was before the Ashton County Justices, on Wednesday, and pleaded guilty to a charge of being drunk and disorderly at Waterloo on June 27th. – Constable POLLARD stated that at 7.45pm on the date in question he saw defendant drunk and shouting and creating a disturbance in Oldham-road, Waterloo. He asked her to go home, and she said she would rather be taken to the police station.

Defendant: I never said such a thing, if I must go out of this court alive; never never! So help me God! – Sergeant LEEMING said he was in the police station when the defendant was brought in, and she was very drunk and disorderly and impudent. He asked her if she would go home, and she said she would stop there. – Defendant: I did nothing but cry. – Defendant explained that she went into a shop to purchase some tobacco, and asked the shopkeeper what she had to say about her. The husband came on the scene, and deliberately pitched defendant into the street, and kicked her.

At the police station they pushed her into a cell. She did nothing but burst out crying for three hours in the cell. She never said anything but: “Please, can I come out?” The Magistrates’ Clerk: You had evidently said: “Please, can I go in?” – (Laughter.) – Defendant: I had only two glasses of beer. The magistrates imposed a fine of 5s and costs.

The incident in connection with the sad affair at Cleveleys, where three ladies were surrounded by the incoming tide and drowned, have been accentuated by an exciting episode in which an Ashton butcher figured very prominently. Mr Charles BLACKBURN, butcher, Market-street, Ashton, and his wife, were on a visit to Blackpool, and Mr BLACKBURN was out sailing, when several men in charge of a fishing smack hailed them. saying that a young man was in danger on the same bank as the ladies had been drowned, and that they could not get to him with the fishing smack.

Mr BLACKBURN and the boatman, Mr BALL, at once went in the boat to the spot and found that the young man had divested himself of his clothing, the water having risen up to his chest. He was in a distracted state and was on the point of flinging himself into the water and making an attempt to swim to the shore which was some two miles away. He was waving his arms about wildly, and seeing his perilous position a large crowd of people had gathered on the shore, some with field glasses watching his movements.

There was a cage buoy some distance away and the young man held on to this for some time. As the boat came up he was in a state of exhaustion and he was hauled aboard by Mr BLACKBURN and the boatman. He turned out to be a private in the Manchester Militia, which left Ashton barracks a few weeks ago for three weeks musketry training at Fleetwood. He had walked on to the treacherous sand bank and got himself hemmed in by the incoming tide before he was aware of it. His clothing was subsequently recovered and he was enabled to dress in the boat. A hearty cheer was accorded the rescuers when they reached the shore.

The Man Still at Large

On Tuesday morning the neighbourhood of Orange-street, Ashton, was thrown into a state of excitement when it was discovered that a woman had been assaulted, and her throat cut. The condition of the woman was said to be very critical, and a doctor was called in to stitch up the wound. Sometime later, John BRASSINGTON was behaving himself in a peculiar way at an Ashton hostelry, and suspicions were aroused as to his connection with the affair. He left the public house hurriedly, and up to the time of going to press nothing further had been heard of him, and the police are making enquiries as to his whereabouts.

The Ashton police authorities have as yet been unable to effect the arrest of the man, named John BRASSINGTON, wanted for the alleged attempted murder of a woman named Mary PARKINSON, at a house in Orange-street, Ashton, on Tuesday. The police, however, are using every means in their power to bring the man to justice. Like Nemesis, the detectives are on the track, and there is every reason to hope from information received that before long their efforts will be rewarded.

If the man is in hiding anywhere, a grave responsibility rests on the shoulders of those with whom he has sought sanctuary, and there is a liability of a conviction against them. The man is known to have very little money about him, and a full description of him has been supplied to the proper quarters, so that he will have some difficulty in escaping detection.

From further particulars supplied, it appears that on Tuesday morning the woman PARKINSON, who is married, and her husband said to be in South Africa, was lodging with a man named Owen DOWD, at 6 Orange-street, where she had lived for the last three months. According to her statement she was in bed about 7 o’clock in the morning when BRASSINGTON, who resided at 133 Cavendish-street, came upstairs and jumped on the bed, and after making use of a foul expression, said he would murder her.

He had a razor in his hand with which he slashed at her, and cut her across the lower part of her body. She struggled with him, and got out of bed, and he knocked her down in the corner, and cut her across the face, throat and fingers. She screamed out, but got no assistance until she heard Mrs DOWD coming upstairs. She managed to get away, and ran downstairs leaving BRASSINGTON sitting on the bed. She went into the house of a neighbour, and Constable DIXON came on the scene and took her to the surgery of Dr PEARCE, where the wounds were dressed.

BRASSINGTON in the meantime left the house, and is said to have gone to the Junction Inn, where he asked to be allowed to have a wash, and having done so he took a hurried departure, his peculiar manner of conducting himself leading those about him to think something was wrong. The injured woman was allowed to return to her home, and the wounds are not regarded as likely to result fatally. In reply to a question she said she had known BRASSINGTON for about six months, and had had only an occasional drink with him.

Boys’ Singular Conduct

Four boys, named John Edward BARDSLEY, Frank Francis BRIGGS, James GORMAN and John SHANNY, were in custody at the Ashton Borough Court, on Tuesday, charged with breaking and entering a hut, an stealing about 12 fog signals, the property of the Oldham, Ashton, and Guidebridge Junction Railway, between the 4th and 6th instant. – The Chief Constable asked for a remand until Monday, as there was another case that he was not prepared to go on with.

Constable MILLINGTON stated that about ten minutes past two on Monday afternoon he was on duty in Whiteacre-road, when he heard a report on the train lines. Witness saw the prisoners BRIGGS, BARDSLEY, and SHANNY running in the direction of Queen-street. SHANNY placed a fog signal on the line. Witness and another constable gave chase, and took them in custody. He has since ascertained that they had been stolen from a hut on the Moss. The mother of BARDSLEY, who had not been bailed out, said he had threatened to go away. – The magistrates granted the remand.

On Monday the police received information of the sudden death of Lot GEE, aged 57, joiner, who resided with his married daughter, Mrs BARRON, at 112 Church-street. It appears that on Monday morning Mrs BARRON got up early and saw her husband off to work, after which she retired to bed again.

She got up about nine o’clock, and on coming downstairs found her father sitting in his armchair quite dead. He had his spectacles on and a newspaper in his hand, and all the surroundings showed that he had been suddenly seized with syncope, a weak action of the heart, and expired peacefully. The deceased was an old resident in Dukinfield, and well known in many circles.

FAILED TO APPEAR. – Ernest MATTHEWS failed to appear at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, to answer a charge of drunk and disorderly at Audenshaw and was fined 5s.

BOUND OVER. – Robert ROGERSON and Fanny ASHTON pleaded guilty at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, to a breach of the peace at Audenshaw on June 22nd, and were bound over in 40s to keep the peace for three months.

WORDS NOT FOUND IN CHILDREN’S BOOKS. – George BERTENSHAW was before the Ashton county justices on Wednesday charged with being drunk and disorderly at Audenshaw on June 17th, and pleaded not guilty. – Two constables deposed that at 11.15pm defendant was drunk and making use of bad language in Manchester-road. – Defendant said an electric car was coming along, and there were three cyclists behind. He stepped right amongst them, and one of them caught him. He was shouting out to them when a constable appeared on the scene. He afterwards went and saw a doctor, and obtained a certificate as to his condition. – The Magistrates’ Clerk: Most probably, under the circumstances, the defendant would come out with words not found in children’s books. – (Laughter.) – The magistrates gave the defendant the benefit of the doubt and dismissed the case.

It will be remembered that on Sunday, June 21st, 25 members of a picnic club, held at a Dukinfield beerhouse, journeyed to Grimsby and Cleethorpes for a day’s excursion. The outward journey was of a very pleasant character, care having been taken that a goodly quantity of lubricant should be aboard the train.

On their arrival in the fishing town the trippers separated, and followed their own inclinations, some of them taking trams to Cleethorpes and others viewing the docks etc at Grimsby. The day wore on, and the time approached for joining the train on the return journey. All the party turned up at the station with the exception of the landlord and nine others. Tides and trains wait for no man, and off the train set minus ten.

When the others arrived in Dukinfield they duly reported the non appearance of their companions at the station. No particular anxiety was felt at their absence, the wives and families of the men consoling themselves with the thought that Monday would bring them home all right. This was not so, however, and on Tuesday when no tidings of their whereabouts was received the incident became the principal topic of conversation in King-street, and groups of men and women could be observed discussing the situation.

All sorts of conjectures were afoot. Some said they must have got into some bother and been locked up, Wakefield gaol being mentioned as the place of incarceration. Wednesday passed without any information, but on Thursday it leaked out that the erring ones would arrive at Dukinfield about 9 o’clock. Crowds of people congregated in the streets about that hour to witness their arrival, but it was considerably after that time when they arrived.

On alighting at the station they scattered in all directions, afraid of being seen, and they reached their respective homes by circuitous routes. Since these adventurous ten have made their appearance in their usual haunts, a traction engine will not draw from them the true and correct version of their escapade. A correspondent, however, sends us the undermentioned cutting from a Cleethorpe’s paper “in the hope that it quieten the women down in Dukinfield.

Cleethorpes Attractions – Anxious Wives

When the Cleethorpes police received a telegram on Monday enquiring for some trippers who had their homes in a town in Cheshire on Sunday, and had not returned, they at once made thorough and searching inquiries. No boats were missing from the shore, no trace of them was to be found in the police cells either at Grimsby or Cleethorpes, and the search became interesting and rather perplexing.

Correspondence between the men’s friends and wives and the police elicited that a picnic club run in connection with a public house arranged a day trip to Cleethorpes on Sunday, and twenty five started off together. At Grimsby the party broke up into sections, and agreed to meet at the station for the return journey. When the train started, only 11 were passengers, and these having taken the sad news to the town referred to, deep anxiety was caused.

All kinds of horrible things were pictured in the minds of the anxious wives, an upset boat and sojourn in the police cells being the two most favoured theories. Even yesterday (Thursday) no news had been heard of the party, but luckily no widow’s weeds were required. From the description given of the party, a gentleman in blue stopped a person on the promenade, and ascertained that he was one of the lost. A little friendly advice was given that wives should be left no longer widows and the truant promised to leave for home to-day and take the others with him.

Far from being in the plight which the anxious friends were imagining, the party had been having a week-end out, and evidently found the Cleethorpes attractions very alluring. What kind of reception they expect is not disclosed.

Creative Commons License Rhodes Family History by Ian Rhodes (1999-2018 v.3.0) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting me.
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