14 February 1903
FOR SOUTH AFRICA
Departure from Ashton
Charlestown Station, Ashton, presented an extraordinary
scene during the first two hours on Friday morning. It
was crowded with navvies who had signed an agreement to
go out to South Africa for the purpose of doing the preliminary
work in connection with the construction of the Central
South African Railway by the Government. There were about
150 navvies, drawn from Ashton, Stalybridge, Mossley,
&c, these having been engaged in connection with the
construction of the electric tramways in the district.
Each man had received a card
of instructions conveying the injunction, "Be clean
and keep sober." They have all signed on for 12 months,
the rate of pay varying from 4s to 5s per day. The special
Midland train which had been chartered left Ashton Station
shortly before one o'clock, and reached Victoria half
an hour later. Here the Manchester contingent boarded
the train, which the proceeded on its journey to Southampton.
RIDING BICYCLE ON FOOTPATH.- Hiram TOWNSEND
pleaded guilty, at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday,
to riding a bicycle on the footpath at Hurst on January
21st, and was fined 5s 6d for costs.
SHE HAD HAD A DROP.-
Elizabeth PARKIN, when charged at the Ashton County Police
Court on Wednesday with being drunk and disorderly at
Hurst, admitted having had a drop, and said she was sorry
it has happened. – This being her first offence,
she was fined 2s 6d for costs.
A charge of allowing four pigs to stray at Hazlehurst
on January 21st was preferred against James HEAP at the
Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday. – Mrs HEAP
appeared in court on defendant’s behalf. –
A constable deposed to finding the pigs straying along
Ashton-road about twenty minutes to four on the morning
in question. – The offence was not denied, and defendant
was fined 6s for costs.
HURST WESLEYANS. –
The young men in connection with Hurst Wesleyans held
their annual party on Saturday last, which was very well
attended. After tea capital entertainment was presided
over by Mr R G LEIGH. The piano soloist and accompanist
was Mr Herbert LONGDEN, and the vocalists Mr GUTHRIE and
Mr WOOD, bass, both of Stalybridge. Selection were given
on a phonograph, kindly lent for the occasion.
SHOOTING AFFAIR NEAR ASHTON BARRACKS
Whilst a number of buglers were practicing in a field
near the Barracks on Tuesday afternoon, one of them named
JONES received a buck-shot wound in the chest. The buck-shot
had evidently been fired from a gun belonging to someone
sparrow shooting in the district. JONES was taken to the
Barracks Hospital where the buck-shot was removed.
AT ASHTON NEW MOSS COLLIERY
Crushed by Falling Coal
A painful illustration of the dangers to which colliers
are subject in their hazardous occupation in the mine
occurred on Monday morning at the New Moss Colliery, Ashton.
Two colliers named Joshua ROSE, aged 31 years, residing
in Johnson’s Yard, off Margaret-street, Ashton,
and Harry BRADWELL, of 49 Oldham-road, Ashton, were working
together in No 2 south big mine tunnel getting coal.
According to the statement
of BRADWELL, he was asked by ROSE about 11am to go for
some ramming for the shot lighter, William WOOD, who was
going to fire a shot. He left ROSE in the act of making
a hole, and while he was on his way he heard a noise,
and on going to the spot he found that the coal had suddenly
fallen from the first parting, a considerable quantity
of it having fallen on ROSE and covered the lower part
of his body.
Assistance was obtained, and
he was extricated from his terrible position, but it was
found that he had been severely crushed about the abdomen.
He was wound to the surface of the pit with all speed
and conveyed on the ambulance to the surgery of Dr CRAWSHAW,
who was out at the time, and from thence to the District
Infirmary, where he expired at 5,45pm the same day.
THE INQUEST: STRONG
REMARKS BY THE INSPECTOR
Mr J F PRICE, county coroner, held an inquest on the body
at the District Infirmary on Wednesday afternoon, Mr LISGARD,
of Cockbrook, being foreman of the jury. Mr GERARD, HM
Inspector of Mines, and Mr WORDSWORTH, manager of the
New Moss Colliery, were also present.
Ellen ROSE, wife of deceased,
deposed that her husband had to her knowledge been a collier
12 years, and had worked at the New Moss Pit since August
last. She last saw him alive at home on Monday morning
when he was in good health. At one o’clock the same
day she heard that he had met with an accident and was
at the Infirmary, and she came straight to see him. She
asked him what had happened, but he made no reply. He
knew her and called her “Ellen,” adding that
he was dying.
James FERNS, of 40 Hindley-street,
off Manchester-road, Ashton, said he was a fireman at
the New Moss Colliery. On Monday morning, about 9.15 he
visited deceased in his work place in the south main level
of the Great Mine. ROSE was at that time cutting in the
right hand corner to loosen the coal. Witness asked deceased
what he intended to do, and he replied, “I am going
to get the coals down, but they will want blowing with
powder, as they are too hard for the pick.”
Witness told him to set three
sprags at the coal face if he intended to do that. Deceased’s
mate was near at the time, and ROSE promised he would
do as witness suggested. There was plenty of timber close
at hand. Five minutes later when witness returned he saw
ROSE setting the first sprag, and he told him to be sure
to set the other two. Deceased said he would and witness
left the pit for home. The cause of the coal falling was
because it had been too much undermined and mispragged.
Deceased knew what to do irrespective of what witness
(Sprag: a prop for preventing
the roof of a mine from sinking. Virtue’s English
Dictionary – Ed.)
Mr GERARD: The sprag he set
was in the middle, seven feet from the side. The rule
was to set five feet away, and witness fully expected
that ROSE would place a sprag on either side. There was
a rule for the setting of a sprag at a loose corner. If
when you saw him sprag so far away and you had reminded
him to set it nearer the loose corner this would not have
happened. – Witness replied that he fully expected
the man would sprag on each side. – The Inspector
remarked that this would serve as a lesson to the firemen
to see that men did as they should do when working in
Replying further, witness said
the sprag used was 3 feet 6 inches in length. –
The Inspector: I am sure you are very sorry this has happened?
I am, sir. – He was a fine young fellow. We are
learning something every day from these sad accidents.
– That is true, sir.
Harry BAKEWELL, of 49 Oldham-road,
Ashton, deposed that he worked along with deceased at
the New Moss Pit. They started together on Monday morning
about 6.30. About 9.30, FERNS, the fireman, came to the
spot, at which time ROSE was cutting coal to make a loose
end. The left hand corner was undermined at the time.
Deceased said to FERNS that the coal could not be got
without power, and they would get some sprags up and give
them a good “holeing.” FERNS replied “Yes,
get three up Joss.”
Witness went and got one sprag
which he gave to deceased. He tried it and said it was
too long, whereupon deceased threw it down and himself
fetched one, which he set about seven feet from the side.
ROSE went on “holeing,” preparatory to fixing
the powder, and whilst so employed the coal suddenly fell.
ROSE was laid partly on his side with a large lump of
coal on the lower part of his body and legs. Assistance
was procured and deceased was got free. ROSE did not set
more than one sprag, as he said the coal was completely
The Coroner: Events have proved
that it was not. – Witness: Yes. – What do
you think he ought to have done? Well, what he did was
to the best of his judgment. – By the Inspector:
There were only about six inches difference in the sprag.
He had never taken particular notice of the rules, but
he was acquainted with them through experience. There
was a rule that sprigging must be done close to a loose
corner, but ROSE fixed it to the best of his judgment.
The Inspector: Judgment counts
for nothing. It has been proved for 50 years that it is
impossible to judge accurately, and the law had fixed
the distance. We must bring this fact home to the knowledge
of officials, and all who survive. – Witness added
that the shot firer was only 2½ yards away when
the shot went off, and he saw the sprag.
The Inspector: This accident
has not occurred for the want of sprags, because there
are plenty there. The rule is five feet, and you are at
fault in exceeding this. To my mind you should be prosecuted.
If I had my way I would send you to prison for three months!
Half of the deaths which occur through accidents in pits
are caused through such carelessness. The Coroner: That
is so, saving themselves labour.
Mr JUDSON, house surgeon, spoke
as to deceased being admitted into the institution on
Monday in a collapsed state. He gradually sank and died
from the effect of the injury. The Coroner remarks to
the jury that it was evident that the rules had not been
A Juror: Had he seen the rules?
Are they read to colliers? – Mr WORDSWORTH: They
are posted up, and copies can be had on application. There
are 150 special rules. – A Juror remarked that was
the fireman’s duty to have made deceased comply
to the rules when he saw him putting the sprag seven feet
The Coroner said that was so
perhaps, but FERNS made the excuse that he expected the
man would set a sprag on each side. The fireman surely
could not be expected to stand over the man to see him
do his work. A verdict of “Accidental Death”
was returned, the Coroner observing that the Inspector
had the power to take any proceedings he might choose.
ACCIDENTS AT STALYBRIDGE
Two Legs Broken
On Tuesday afternoon, much excitement was caused in Stalybridge
when the rumour became circulated that two young men had
sustained serious injuries on a football field. It appears
that whilst the game between Stalybridge and Mossley Tuesday
teams on the Barrow field (the Flatts) was in progress,
Joshua ADDY, hairdresser, of Melbourne-street, came in
violent collision with an opponent named William DENTON,
the latter of whom was making his first appearance with
the Mossley team.
The result was that ADDY’s
leg was broken below the knee. Amongst the spectators
were Constables BOWDEN and Alexander WELLS, and these
two promptly rendered first aid. Very shortly afterwards
James Harold FORD, clogger, residing at Spring Bank, fell
and broke his leg in almost the identical spot as ADDY.
Both sufferers were conveyed in a cab to Dr SCOTT’s
surgery, where, after the limbs had been dressed, they
were despatched to the District Infirmary in the police
horse ambulance. Much regret has been expressed for both
ADDY and FORD, the latter being deaf and dumb.
BOROUGH POLICE COURT
SNOWBALLING.- A young man named William
KERSHAW pleaded guilty to throwing snowballs. –
The Clerk: The first bit of snow we have had. –
Constable DIXON stated that lads like the defendant not
only threw at each other, but at pedestrians. –
The Chief Constable said they had made good use of the
first snowfall, and he received a great many complaints.
– Fined 2s 6d for costs.
AN IMPUDENT THIEF.-
Richard JOHNSON was in the dock charged with stealing
a pair of boots, value 8s 6d, from the shop door of Messrs
HEYWOOD and BOOTH, of Stamford-street, on the 3rd inst.
– Edward MEEK, manager of the shop, stated that
at 11.15am on the day in question, from what was said
to him, he missed a pair of boots. He went after the prisoner,
and overtook him in Church-street. He had just put the
pair of shoes produced on his feet. He gave the prisoner
in custody. – Prisoner explained that his shoes
had fallen off his feet, and he wanted another pair. –
Committed to prison for 14 days.
CRUELTY.- Mary SLATER summoned her husband, Frederick
SLATER, labourer for persistent cruelty. He pleaded not
guilty. Complainant, with carried baby in her arms, said
she had been married to the defendant seven years, and
had four children. She had led a very unhappy life with
him ever since she was married. She scarcely dared leave
the home he was so jealous. For over a week he had kept
her night after night out of bed. She had had a horrible
time with him, and could not live with him any longer.
– Defendant accused his wife of gadding about and
neglecting the home. – Complainant had no witnesses
to corroborate her story, although she was told when applying
for the free summons that she must bring evidence. –
The case was dismissed.
LOITERING WITH INTENT
AT GUIDEBRIDGE STATION.- James HARROP, a young
man, was charged on remand with loitering on the premises
of the Great Central Railway Company at Guidebridge Station
on the 2nd of February. Inspector COTTRILL informed the
Bench that at 10.30 on Sunday night the prisoner was seen
by the company’s police constable trying the doors
of the Midland and Great Central goods offices in Guidebridge
Station goods yard. He was spoken to, and prisoner stated
what the ——— had it to do with him.
At 3.30am, prisoner was found
on the up-platform of the station trying the windows of
the waiting and refreshment rooms. One of the porters
came across the line with his lamp, and prisoner was laid
down in the ladies’ waiting room. When spoken to
he became very violent, and ripped the buttons off the
porter’s clothes. He understood the police desired
a remand to make inquiries. - Constable FORD gave corroborative
In reply to the Bench, prisoner
had nothing to say except that he was a mechanic out of
Cork. The Chief Constable said he had been up once before
for felony, and bound over to be of good behaviour. –
The Clerk said the prisoner was the son of respectable
people at Guidebridge. He has got too fond of drink, and
would not work. – Inspector COTTRILL said prisoner
had given a great deal of trouble at Guidebridge, and
knowing that his parents were respectable he had been
let off. – The Chairman told the prisoner he was
evidently becoming hardened to evil-doing and must go
to prison for six weeks with hard labour. – Prisoner:
I don’t think I deserve this.
CRUELTY TO HORSES.-
Alfred THORNLEY was charged with cruelty to a horse by
working the same whilst in an unfit condition on 20th
January. Andrew THORNLEY was charged with causing the
animal to be worked. Defendants, who came from Gamesley,
pleaded not guilty. – Inspector ROBINSON, BRHA,
gave evidence that saw the younger defendant in charge
of a lurry and the horses in Stamford-street. One was
old, emaciated, and totally unfit for work. The horse
had since been slaughtered.
Defendant said the horse was
fit to work, and there was nothing the matter with it.
The Clerk: Then why have you had it slaughtered? Defendant:
The Inspector ordered it. Inspector ROBINSON said that
was not so. He had no power to make any such order. The
first named defendant offered to slaughter the horse,
and he remarked that was what ought to be done. The magistrates
imposed a fine of 5s 6d.
CRUELTY TO CHILDREN
Case Adjourned for a Month – A Child with Measles
At the Stalybridge Police Court, on Monday, a married
couple named Edward DONOGHUE and Mary DONOGHUE, were summoned
for unlawfully (keeping) their five children, all under
the age of 16 years, in such a manner as was likely to
cause them unnecessary pain and suffering. Defendants
elected to be tried by the bench and not at Quarter Sessions.
The male defendant pleaded not guilty, and Mrs DONOGHUE
“guilty to the house being untidy.”
Mr A LEES, solicitor, Ashton,
prosecuted on behalf of the NSPCC, and said that on the
30th January Inspector REDDY visited the house of the
defendants at 6 Henry-street, off Bridge-street, and found
the female laid partially dressed upon an old sofa. She
told him to go into the back kitchen where he would find
her husband whom, she said, had only just got up and would
not go to seek work. DONOGHUE had, however, gone out,
and the Inspector did not see him on that occasion. The
woman had a black eye, and was in a wretched condition,
whilst the house was reeking with filth and dirt. A most
disagreeable smell arose from the filth, a stench which
was both abominable and sickening.
An old rotten straw mattress
in the bedroom was literally alive with vermin, and a
quantity of black flocks were strewn about. The children,
too, were dirty and flea-bitten. Defendants were told
by the Inspector what the consequences would be unless
there was a reformation, but they did not seem to care.
The Inspector had had the case under his observation for
some time, and in spite of frequent warnings the female
defendant got drunk and was brought up and fined by the
For six weeks the parties had
received relief of 8s weekly from the Guardians, but this
was stopped. One day the woman visited the relieving officer,
and was relieved to the extent of 4s worth of food, but
the very same day she got drunk. Regarding the husband,
Mr LEES said he was constantly getting drunk and would
not work, though if he chose he could have regular employment
at Messrs SUMMERS’ forge for 24s a week. In addition,
a boy aged 13 was earning 4s weekly as a newsvendor. The
only way to stop this cruelty to children was to bring
the offenders to court, and in this case he hoped the
bench would inflict such punishment as they thought defendants
Inspector REDDY gave evidence
bearing out what Mr LEES had said. The smell in the house
he described as being dreadful, and “fleas were
jumping all over the place!” The children were well
nourished, and appeared as if they got enough to eat,
but they were extremely dirty. The bed was not fit for
a dog to lay on – not even a cur dog, if anyone
had any respect for it, added the Inspector.
Dr ROBETS-DUDLEY, medical officer
of health, spoke as to his visit to the house of the DONOGHUEs’
on 30th January, along with Inspector REDDY and Constable
HOBSON. The children were frightfully bitten with fleas,
and the whole place was in a filthy dirty condition.
At this juncture Mrs DONOGHUE observed that the child
she was carrying in her arms had the measles and was not
flea-bitten! – The Mayor: What! Got the measles
now? – Mrs DONOGHUE: Yes! – Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY:
Who says so? Dr TAIT. – Does he say the child has
got the measles now? Yes. – Then why have you brought
the child into this court? Where have I to leave it; I
was forced to bring it with me. – A child with measles
has no business here, that is certain. It is very wrong
of you to bring a child here in that state. – The
Mayor: I should think so.
Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY: I do not
know what to say about it. – Mr WILLIAMSON: When
did Dr TAIT last see the child? – Mrs DONOGHUE,
after some hesitation, replied: “A fortnight ago.”
Mr ROBERTS-DUDLEY: It is ridiculous. – Mrs DONOGHUE:
It is what they call “black measles.” –
Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY: But you have said the child has the
measles this morning. – Mrs DONOGHUE: You are a
doctor, examine it. – Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY: I will
have nothing to do with it.
Proceeding, the doctor said
that upstairs there was semblance of a bed, rotten, and
saturated with urine, filthy with fleas, and emitting
a smell which was awful. The clothing of the children
was dirty, but the little ones were well nourished. It
was, to him, a miracle that the children looked so well
under the conditions they were being brought up. –
Mr LEES: Do you think there had been any attempt to clean
the house? – Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY: I should think not
for a long time.
Constable HAMER was called
to speak of a visit he made to Henry-street at the request,
one night, of the male defendant. He there found Mrs DONOGHUE
drunk in a neighbour’s house, and she struck at
and called her husband foul names.
The female defendant attributed
the dirty condition of the house to her not being able
to clean through illness. She was drunk if she had two
glasses of beer, She had pawned things out of the house
to procure food. – The male defendant said he worked
occasionally. Last week he gave his wife 13s, and the
week before 5s.
The magistrates conferred,
and decided to adjourn the case for a month to see how
defendants conducted themselves.
WRONG NAME AND ADDRESS.- James BAILEY
failed to appear at the Ashton County Police Court, on
Wednesday, to answer a charge of having no light on his
vehicle at Waterloo on January 24th. – The constable
who proved the case said defendant gave a false name and
address. – Fined 2s 6d and costs.
DRUNK IN CHARGE OF
A HORSE.- Frank WALMSLEY was before the Ashton
county justices on Wednesday charged with being drunk
in charge of a horse at Waterloo on January 27th. –
Defendant admitted being drunk, and said it was a clean
horse. He was very sorry for what had occurred, and said
it had cost him his situation. – Fined 5s 6d and
A gentleman went into a butcher’s shop the other
day, saying he wanted a piece of meat. He did not want
any fat, nor any bone, nor any gristle. The butcher walked
round the shop and carefully examined the meat. Then he
turned to the customer and said, “You’d better
have an egg, sir.”