12 September 1903
WASTING WATER AT ASHTON
Crusade Against the Swilling Craze
”It may seem rather harsh,” said the Town
Clerk (Mr F W BROMLEY), at the Ashton Borough Court, on
Monday, “considering the exceedingly wet weather
we have been having that this case should be brought,
but the Joint Waterworks Committee are determined to put
down the practice of swilling.”
The case in question was a prosecution against
a woman named Eliza STAFFORD, who was summoned by Mr W
H ROTHWELL, clerk to the Waterworks Committee, for wasting
water on August 28th. — Defendant pleaded not guilty.
— The Clerk: Were you washing your flags? I was
only swilling the window. — The same thing. Were
you throwing water on? Yes. — Well then you must
be wasting water! I pay water rates.
The Town Clerk said that Mr WILD, manager
of the waterworks department saw her swilling her flags.
Two bucketfuls were thrown, and the tap was running into
the bucket in the backyard. She said she would rather
pay the fine than be brought into court. The offence was
the same whether the season was wet or dry. It was a breach
of the law, and having started the crusade in the district
the Waterworks Committee wished to put an end to it once
and for all. In Ashton and district there was a craze
for people to swill the flags.
The Magistrates’ Clerk: Cleanliness
is next to godliness. — (Laughter.) — The
Town Clerk. — The Town Clerk: they ought to be sprouting
wings, I should think. — (Laughter.) The Chairman:
We wish to break off the habit. Fined 5s 6d. — Defendant:
I will not pay. — The Clerk: It is seven days in
default. — Defendant: I will do seven days. —
The Clerk: Your little temper will perhaps go down in
a bit. — The defendant took a seat as if she intended
to go down.
AN ASHTON FOOTBALLER
BREAKS HIS LEG
Whilst engaged in a game of football for Tonge against
Sale Holmfield, at Sale, on Saturday afternoon, Sam WOLSTENHOLME,
whilst attempting to save his goal, unfortunately fell
and sustained a fracture of the leg just above the ankle.
He was brought home to Ashton in a conveyance, and was
afterwards removed to the Infirmary. WOLSTENHOLME formerly
played in goal for Ashton St Mary’s and afterwards
with Hurst Ramblers, and last season was a prominent member
of the Millbrook St James’ combination.
ON THE CHEAP AT ASHTON
A Smart Dodge
At the Ashton Borough Court, on Thursday, a respectably
attired man named John WILLIAMSON was charged with stealing
a suit of clothes, the property of Mr T D SEEL, on July
20th. — George Metcalf DIXON, cutter, in the employ
of Mr T D SEEL, tailor, Stamford-street, said about 2pm
on Monday, July 20th, the prisoner came to the shop and
asked if he could have a suit of clothes made, and how
soon could they be made. Witness said by Wednesday.
He looked at several samples and ordered
a suit, and whilst witness measured him he said he should
need a suit before Wednesday, and could witness show him
a ready-made suit to fit him. Witness said yes, and brought
him a suit. He tried on the coat, and remarked that it
would require a little alteration, but he would put up
with it until he got the suit he had been measured for,
after which he would return it.
The clothes were packed up in a parcel and
despatched to the address given by the prisoner, instructing
the boy to receive payment for the clothes or return them.
In about half an hour the boy returned without clothes
or cash. The clothes were worth £1 13s. —
The Clerk: was he as respectable-looking as he is now?
Yes. — Had he the same look on his face? —
Not quite. — Rather more cheerful? Yes. —
He had not quite a trusting face; more like a ready cash
face? Yes. — (Laughter.)
Joseph WRIGHT, assistant at Mr SEEL’s,
deposed to taking the suit of clothes to No. 4 Henrietta-street.
Prisoner asked him if he was in a hurry whilst he went
upstairs and tried the clothes on, and he replied “No.”
Witness did not see him again, and returned with the bill
which he had settled in the meantime, and no money.
The Magistrates’ Clerk (to prisoner):
What have you got to say? Nothing. — Where do you
come from? Manchester. — The Chief Constable said
there was another case against the prisoner of obtaining
a suit of clothes in the borough. He was still doing time,
and the Home Office had to be written to to get him produced
in court. After committing the offence in Ashton he went
to Salford, and was convicted twice for similar offences
and sentenced to three months in each case, also three
months at Stockport for a similar offence.
He was tried at Strangeways, and there were
two similar cases against him there. A warder appeared,
and said the prisoner had 12 months to serve all told.
— The Chairman (Councillor PARK) said it was the
wish of the bench that his imprisonment would date from
the time of the sentence. The magistrates sentenced the
prisoner to three months’ hard labour.
FOUND DEAD IN STAMFORD
A rather startling discovery was made at the Stamford
Park Fishing Lake about seven o’clock on Wednesday
morning. A gardener at the Park named Fred BENT, residing
at Dukinfield, was walking round the top lake, which is
used for angling purposes, when he saw the body of a man
in a stooping position about six feet from the edge of
the lake, and in about three feet of water. The man’s
face was in the water, and the body was quite still.
By means of drags the body was immediately
taken out of the water, and on examination there was no
sign of life whatsoever, and the body appeared to have
been in the water some time. The ambulance was procured
and the body conveyed to the mortuary at the Ashton Town
Hall to await identification. Several letters were found
in the pockets of the deceased, one of them being from
a Manchester firm addressed to Thos. ADSHEAD, of Harpurhey,
with reference to his services being dispensed with on
account of absence from duty.
The inquest was held by Mr J F PRICE, the
city coroner, in the County Court Room, Town Hall, on
Charlotte ADSHEAD, wife of the deceased,
was called. She stated that deceased was 60 years of age.
He was not addicted to drink, but was subject to dizzy
bouts and neuralgia, from which he had been suffering
several years. He was depressed at times, and had been
out of work six weeks. He worked for John Marks and Co,
of St Ann’s-square, Manchester. He had never threatened
to commit suicide. She last saw him alive between ten
and half-past on Monday morning last, when she went out
and left him at home. She had not the faintest idea that
he would drown himself.
Fred BENT, of 15 Malpas-street, Dukinfield,
gardener at Stamford Park, said he found the body about
half-past seven in the morning when he was walking round
the lake. The body was about 20 feet from the side. He
went for the drag, and got the body out. It was in a stooping
position. There were no signs of injury on the body.
The jury returned a verdict of ….
(sorry, this bit of the film is completely unreadable.)
The new police station and court room adjoining the Town
Hall is about to be completed, and will be opened during
the present month. If the police had cause for complaint
before at the scanty provision made, this will be removed
in their new surroundings, for the premises are almost
as grand as the fine handsome Town Hall structure itself,
and serve as a fitting auxiliary to the beautiful and
A mortuary building is also required, and
this it is expected will be erected. At present one of
the Town Hall cellars is used as a temporary repository
for the dead, but it is very inconvenient. Superintendent
CROGHAN will take up his residence in the new building.
The old court-room in Russell-street and the police station
in Pickford-lane will not be required.
The prognostications of some of our weather
prophets as regards the weather of September redeeming
the bad summer, do not up until now seem to be realised.
On Saturday we had a torrential downpour of rain, the
like of which few of us can remember. The rain literally
came down in sheets.
The approach of the storm was heralded by
the appearance of a dense black cloud hanging over the
Hooley Hill and Audenshaw districts, which rapidly descended
in the shape of water — as many an unfortunate can
testify — and in a few minutes the gutters had assumed
the proportion of miniature rivers.
Fortunately Dukinfield did not sustain much
damage, although a somewhat alarming occurrence happened
in Old-road, where a portion of the road had subsided,
leaving a large hole about 16 inches in diameter and about
two feet deep, which showed further signs of sinking.
Any unwary pedestrian or driver walking or driving along
the road might have easily “put his foot in it,”
and with serious results. The neighbouring residents recognising
this have now put a stone over it, and reported the subsidence
to the proper quarter.
Next week operations are expected to be
commenced in connection with the filling up of the disused
coalpits, of which there are so many abounding in the
Dukinfield district. Messrs UNDERWOOD Bros, contractors,
are doing the work. The pits include Dewsnap, Lakes, Astley,
In the case of the Dewsnap Pit the removal
of the large mound of earth, the accumulation of years,
will be necessary in the filling up of the shaft and other
outlets, in order to prepare the site for the proposed
new carriage and wagon works in connection with the Great
Central Railway. The site of the proposed new works is
28 acres in extent.
The well-known Dog-foot Tunnel, in Dog-lane,
proposed to be closed, abounds in legendary lore, and
the story of how it got its name may be interesting. It
is said that a startled hare ran along the lane pursued
by the huntsmen and hounds. The hare ran up the wall of
Dog-foot Tunnel, and one of the hounds, in endeavouring
to follow, left the imprint of one of its feet on the
wall, which gave the tunnel its name.
Hawking Without a License. — At
the Dukinfield Police Court, on Wednesday, before Mr J
KERFOOT, Kate O’CONNOR was charged with hawking
without a license. — Constable DALE proved the case.
— She was discharged with a caution.
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
before Messrs E OLDHAM and A B MOORES, Samuel DAWSON,
of Dukinfield, was charged with being drunk and disorderly.
His wife appeared, who pleaded guilty. He was fined 2s
6d and costs.
The Charge Against a Dukinfield
Beerseller. — In our report of the charge
heard against Harry EVANS for permitting drunkenness at
his beerhouse, it is stated that he said that “if
he could not conduct his business a great deal better
than anyone in Dukinfield, he would leave it.” He
states that he said “as well as,” instead
of “a great deal better than.”
CHARGE AGAINST AN ASHTON
Exposing Life and Property to Injury
What was described as a unique case in connection with
the borough was before the magistrates at the Ashton Borough
Court on Monday, when John PHILLIPS, a former motorman
on the Ashton Corporation tramways, was summoned by Arthur
COVENEY, manager of the tramways, for breach of his contract,
thereby exposing valuable property to serious injury,
on August 21st. The Town Clerk appeared to prosecute.
— Defendant pleaded not guilty.
The Town Clerk said he was instructed to
prosecute under Section 5 of the Conspiracy and Protection
of Property Act of 1875. In August last the defendant
was employed by the Corporation as a motorman, and on
the 20th of that month Mr CONVENEY, the manager, received
a report that on taking his car to the depot on Mossley-road,
defendant left the controlling handles on, and also left
the mechanism controlling the current in such a way that
anyone passing and touching the handles the result would
have been that the car would have started with no doubt
serious injury to property or life.
On receiving the report, Mr COVENEY directed
Inspector DAVIES to see the defendant and tell him that
for his gross neglect of duty he would be reduced for
a time to the position of conductor. DAVIES boarded the
car near the Albion Schools, and rode down towards the
Bowling Green. When spoken to the defendant said he had
a good mind to chuck up the job. DAVIES told him it was
nonsense, and some little discussion took place, the end
of which was that the defendant picked up his basket and
walked off, saying DAVIES could take the care.
By this time a number of passengers had
got seated in the car. Fortunately DAVIES was able to
take the car up to the depot, and another motorman was
obtained to take the service. It was the first case of
its kind, and he had not heard of a similar case either
in Ashton or elsewhere.
The Tramways Committee had no desire to
press the case unduly, but wished simply to show the servants
that the rules must be obeyed, and that if this kind of
thing was to take place very serious accidents may occur.
Defendant practically admitted the case, and he did not
wish to press it.
The manager of the tramways (Mr COVENEY)
corroborated, and said the defendant had written a letter
of apology to him, and pointed out his error. —
The Chairman (Mr T G PLATT): Is he in your employ at present?
No, sir. — The Town Clerk: He left himself, and
has never been near since. — Defendant: I did not
leave the car unattended; I left Inspector DAVIES in charge.
The Chairman: You cannot discharge yourself
at a moment’s notice. — Defendant: I do not
believe in being “bully-nagged” on a car.
The office is the place. — The Magistrates’
Clerk: You should have given notice in a proper way. —
The Town Clerk: He is under an agreement to give or receive
a week’s notice. Mr COVENEY: His character has been
very good in the past. — The Magistrates imposed
a fine of 7s 6d for costs.
SEQUEL TO AN ACCIDENT
TO AN OLD WOMAN AT ASHTON
A sad accident occurred to an old woman named Mary HOYLE,
of 20 Gosford-street, Ashton, a short time ago. It appears
that whilst her son and daughter-in-law, with whom she
lived, were gone out for a little time she missed a step
at the top of the stairs, and was precipitated to the
bottom, sustaining injuries to her back, and a bad shock.
She was attended by Dr PEARCE, but death intervened on
The inquest was held in the Court Room of
the Town Hall, on Friday morning, before Mr J F PRICE,
coroner. — William HOYLE said deceased lived with
him. About 8.30 on the night of August 19th, he and his
wife and children went out. About nine o’clock they
returned and found deceased seated on a chair, and she
complained that she had hurt her back. Dr PEARCE was called
in, and she was put to bed.
Alice Hannah HOYLE, wife of the last witness,
said when she entered the house she heard a noise, and
on going to the bottom of the stairs saw deceased on the
floor. — A verdict of “Accidental death”
MISSING ASHTON GIRLS
The hue and cry after missing individuals has spread to
Ashton, and the local police are at present engaged in
tracing the whereabouts of two girls who left their homes
for the “usual” walk on Sunday morning last,
and have not been heard of since.
Their names are Kate MACDONALD, aged 17
years, and Henrietta MACDONALD, aged 16 years, sisters,
residing at 99 Oxford-street, Ashton. They left home at
10.30 on Sunday morning, both carrying small handbags
or chatelaines in their hands, neither of them giving
any indication as to where they were going beyond a walk.
The description is given as follows: - Kate
MACDONALD, aged 17 years, cardroom hand, height 5 feet
3 inches, eyes dark brown, hair black, complexion sallow,
slender build; dressed in black cloth costume, large black
straw hat, trimmed with silk and black feather, and buttoned
boots — Henrietta MACDONALD, aged 16, cardroom hand,
height about 5 feet 5 or 6 inches, eyes light blue, hair
light, complexion fresh, stout build, has a cut mark on
the centre of the forehead; dressed in black cloth costume,
large black straw hat, trimmed with silk, and a large
black buckle in front, and buttoned boots.