15 August 1903
HOOLIGANISM IN ASHTON
A despicable occurrence took place in Bow-street about
half-past nine on Sunday night last. A young man engaged
as a bank clerk at Hyde, and residing at Denton, came
to Ashton on a visit to his sweetheart, the daughter of
an Ashton licensed victualler
Several friends were also visiting at the
same time, and together they went for a walk. Passing
along Bow-street, near the closed stalls in front of the
Market, he excused himself for a minute, and he had not
got many yards away when a man wearing corduroy trousers
suddenly ran out from the public convenience adjoining,
and struck him a violent blow in the face knocking him
senseless in the street, where he fell heavily on his
side on the rough stone setts.
He was wearing a frock coat and silk hat,
and these were very much damaged. His face was bleeding,
and in addition he sustained bruises to his hand and body
through falling. His assailant immediately made off under
cover of the darkness, leaving no clue as to his identity,
and efforts made since to discover him have proved fruitless.
He cannot account for the strange occurrence, and can
only surmise that he was mistaken for someone else.
Every assistance was rendered, and he was
driven home in a cab. Unfortunately he did not give information
to the police. Had he done so it is possible that with
their knowledge of pestiferous characters in the town
they might have succeeded in bringing the offender to
justice. It is only a week or two since a somewhat similar
occurrence took place near Richmond-street when a man
was struck in the face with a stick and knocked down,
his assailant managing to get away.
SUPPOSED ATTEMPTED SUICIDE
Found With His Throat Cut
Between ten and eleven o’clock on Wednesday morning,
an unpleasant discovery was made on the premises of Messrs
Thomas HARRISON and Co, manufacturers of carpets and linoleum,
of Union-street, Manchester. Mr Thomas HARRISON, a middle-aged
gentleman, the principal of the firm, whose private address
is Oakfield Grove, Gorton, was found lying with his throat
cut. He was taken to the Royal Infirmary.
It appears that an employee of the firm,
named H B BARNSLEY, heard a groan proceeding from a lavatory
in the basement, whither Mr HARRISON had gone a quarter
of an hour earlier, and on entering discovered his master
huddled up on the floor. He was bleeding profusely from
the throat, and a razor lay by his side.
On Tuesday, Mr HARRISON consulted his medical
man about his health, and it is supposed that the rash
act was the result of depression caused by dwelling upon
his own condition. Mr HARRISON, who is 57 years of age,
has a wife and daughter. The patient died at the Royal
Infirmary on Thursday, where he had been detained.
THE CUSTOM IN POLICE
Singular Treatment of a Stalybridge Solicitor
Mr J W SIMISTER, solicitor, Stalybridge, had an unusually
unpleasant experience at the Police Court held at Stalybridge
Town Hall on Monday morning. The justices on the Bench
were the Mayor (Councillor R WOOD presiding), Aldermen
RIDYARD and NORMAN, Councillors J BOTTOMLEY and HOLLAND,
and Dr McCARTHY. There were a quartette of cases in the
list, and two of these of a minor character were disposed
of in thirty minutes. There thus remained two other cases,
viz a charge against a beerhouse keeper and a larceny.
Mr SIMISTER was engaged in the licensing,
an ascertaining that there was every probability of the
evidence in the theft case taking a considerable length
of time in being taken in deposition form, he rose and
asked what the intention of the Bench was. Was the larceny
case going to be taken first? If so, he would be kept
there a long time, and he thought that as there would
have to be depositions taken in the stealing case it should
be taken last.
The Mayor: We decided before we came on
here that we would take the theft case first. —
Mr SIMISTER: But I would like to point out, Mr Mayor,
that the general rule in other police courts is to consider
solicitors. — The Mayor: They are here, I expect!
— Mr SIMISTER: I have made applications here before,
but they have been refused, and I ____
Dr McCARTHY: What objection is there in
taking Mr SIMISTER’s case now? — Alderman
RIDYARD: The Mayor will be going off when the licensing
case is tried. — Dr McCARTHY said that he always
understood it to be the rule to take cases in which professional
men were engaged first, and thus allow them to go about
their business. Unless there was some important reason
why should they not do that now?
Captain BATES: The theft case is extremely
straightforward. — Dr McCARTHY: But having to sit
hearing long rambling statements is not very pleasant.
— Mr SIMISTER said he would like to ask —
unless there had been some mistake — if the Mayor,
Aldermen, and Burgesses were not the prosecutors in the
larceny case, and therefore had no power to adjudicate?
— The Mayor: That depends entirely upon the prisoners.
Mr SIMISTER: It is extremely important to
see that I should not be kept waiting an unnecessary long
time, as I am very busy indeed. I want to get back to
my business as soon as I possibly can. — The Mayor:
I have announced our decision and the facts have been
pointed out! And then I believe it is the usual custom
to clear the docks before other cases are taken.
Mr SIMISTER: Surely it is not usual to take
a deposition case which might last until four o’clock
in the afternoon, and keep a solicitor waiting the whole
of that time? — The Mayor: The Chief Constable says
it will not last many minutes. — Captain BATES:
I said it was a simple case. The taking down of depositions
will take three-quarters of an hour. - The Mayor: We will
take the stealing case first. Accordingly the prisoners
concerned were told to stand up, and the detailing of
the evidence occupied about 50 minutes, Mr SIMISTER waiting
patiently the while.
BRUTAL KICKING CASE
A Lancashire “Rough and Tumble” Fight
A large crowd gathered in front of the Ashton Town Hall
and in the County Police Court room on Wednesday forenoon,
on the occasion of the adjourned hearing of the case in
which William HOWARTH, a collier at Ashton Moss Colliery,
and residing at Waterloo, was in custody charged with
unlawfully wounding, on July 25th last, Jas. JONES, better
known as “Blossom,” a collier residing at
Waterloo. The case was adjourned a fortnight ago on account
of complainant being dangerously ill, and unable to appear.
Mr J A GARFORTH appeared on behalf of the prisoner.
Superintendent HEWITT said that on July
25th the two men were together at a public house at Waterloo.
They quarrelled, and agreed to go and fight. They went
into a field, when the complainant was knocked down on
the ground, and whilst in that position was kicked on
the head, receiving severe injuries, and had it not been
for immediate medical attendance he would have bled to
The pointed clogs (produced) were what prisoner
was wearing, and it was a mercy he was not charged with
a far more serious assault, because the kick might easily
have resulted fatally. He asked the Bench to assist the
police to put a stop to such brutality. Whatever might
be said about two men going to fight had no bearing upon
a matter like this.
James JONES deposed to having a quarrel
with the prisoner in a beerhouse at Waterloo, and going
into a field to fight. He pulled his coat off, and was
that drunk that he could not remember what took place.
He found himself on the sofa at home at 2 o’clock
on the Sunday morning following, and had been under Dr
MANN for injuries received for a fortnight.
By Mr GARFORTH: He did not know who started
the bother, and that prisoner only weighed 155 pounds.
The bother was caused about some pigeons. Witness did
not rush at prisoner before he took his coat off. It was
a Lancashire rough and tumble fight, and witness was wearing
a similar pair of clogs to those produced. Mr GARFORTH:
I think they call you “Blossom?” Yes. —
You are rather a weed than a blossom. — (Laughter.)
— Aren’t you a terror in the neighbourhood?
No. — Didn’t you turn your wife and child
out recently? No. — And go about “cobbing”
William ANDREW, of Wellington-street, deposed
to seeing complainant and prisoner fighting. JONES was
underneath and HOWARTH was kicking him. — By Mr
GARFORTH: Complainant would have served the prisoner the
same road if he had had a chance. “Blossom”
was always “searching” a fight. — Superintendent
HEWITT: Is it your idea of fair fighting kicking a man
whilst he is helpless on the ground? — No.
Robert CAUSER deposed to seeing HOWARTH
kick JONES. — By Mr GARFORTH: Blossom was a middling
tough ‘un. — (Laughter.)
Constable NEWTON deposed to finding JONES
lying in a field bleeding from a ragged wound in the head
which was cut clean to the bone. The top lip was cut about
half an inch. He was conveyed home on a stretcher. On
examining the toe of the clog he found a quantity of hair
on it. — By Mr GARFORTH: “Blossom” was
known as a bad character, but he was a friend of the police
in the sense of being a customer. — (Laughter.)
Mr GARFORTH referred to the “fancy
reports” spread in the newspapers, and said the
prisoner was infinitely more sinned against than sinning.
— (Hear, hear.) JONES was and had been a terror
to the neighbourhood. There were 20 people in the court
who would tell them that he had behaved in a brutal fashion
for years, not only to his wife and family, but to everybody
whom he could bully. There had been a pigeon-fly some
weeks before, and it was alleged by the prisoner that
JONES owed him 2s 6d and this question came up in the
beerhouse in the shape of taunts.
After being challenged, the prisoner thought
if he had to get a “licking” he might as well
have it and done with it. He had no conception of beating
the larger man, and was wearing his ordinary clogs. It
was arranged they should have two, sort of seconds, but
there was some objection, and they went alone. “Blossom”
ran at the prisoner before he had got ready, and got him
by the legs and threw him on the ground and pummelled
and kicked him.
They gave over to breathe, and “Blossom”
ran at him again, and received a blow from the back of
prisoner’s hand and fell. Prisoner kicked him, and
caught him on the head with the side of his clog. Somebody
shouted out that he had done enough, and he went away.
When a man had lost a battle, he ought not go to the court
whining for redress. — Superintendent HEWITT: He
has taken no action himself. The police have taken action.
Mr GARFORTH said the prisoner had a good
character, and was a married man with a small family.
Had “Blossom” got him down, and undoubtedly
he would have done exactly the same or worse. He was not
satisfied with the close of the fray, and had issued a
challenge once. “Blossom” got what he well
deserved, and the prisoner had done a public service,
and got the thanks of the hamlet for having put the terror
and bully in order. The justice of the case would be met
if the magistrates bound the two over.
The prisoner, William HOWARTH, corroborated
the previous statements, and said that “Blossom”
wanted to wrestle him for half a gallon of beer. When
they went into the field he caught prisoner’s legs
before he was ready for him. He thumped “Blossom”
several times, who said “make good use of it for
I’ll sound thi ______ ribs in a bit!”
The Chairman said it was just a miracle
that JONES did not stand in HOWARTH’s position,
and vice versa. JONES knew his own character, and what
people thought of him. He ought to be ashamed of himself.
It was a wonder one or the other was not charged with
murder or manslaughter. “Give up those blackguardly
ways of yours,” he said, “and don’t
disgrace the village of Waterloo any more; it is disgraced
The Magistrates fined HOWARTH 10s 6d and
costs or 14 days’ imprisonment.
ATTEMPTED SUICIDE AT
Gallant Rescue by Constable Wood
At the Dukinfield Police Court on Thursday a domestic
servant named Sarah DAY (21) was charged with attempting
to commit suicide by drowning in the Peak Forest Canal
at 10.30pm on the 12th August. Prisoner, who appeared
to be much distressed, was accommodated with a seat.
Superintendent CROGHAN said it was a very
painful case. It appeared that Constable WOOD was on duty
last night on the towing path of the Peak Forest Canal
near Dukinfield Station. He saw the prisoner deliberately
jump into the canal. He at once went into the water and
got her out. Being a certified member of the St John’s
Ambulance Association the officer rendered first aid,
and revived her in about 15 to 20 minutes. With the assistance
of Mr FLETCHER, agent for the Canal Company, she was brought
to the police station, and they did what they could for
The water was 5ft or 6ft deep at the place
where the prisoner jumped in, and if it had not been for
the prompt action of Constable WOOD she would have been
drowned. She belonged to Hooley Hill, but had been a servant
at the Staff of Life Beerhouse, King-street. They sent
for the licensee (Mr BOOTH), and he and his wife came
up to the police station. They also sent for her mother,
got her dry clothing, gave her some tea, and made her
as comfortable as possible. She now seemed to feel her
position very acutely.
Constable WOOD gave evidence, bearing out
the Superintendent’s statement. It was 10.30pm when
he saw the prisoner on the canal bank. She had a white
shawl on her head. She pulled that off, placed it upon
some railings, and then jumped into the water. He went
in for her, and after getting her out she was unconscious
for about ten minutes. She did not offer any resistance.
Witness ultimately got the assistance of Mr FLETCHER,
and they took her to the police station.
He had since charged her with attempting
to commit suicide by drowning, and she did not make any
reply. Alderman PICKUP: Did she say anything when you
got her out of the canal? Constable WOOD: I asked her
what her name was, and she said “Don’t ask
me any questions; let me go and I will not do it again.
Superintendent CROGHAN said the landlord of the Staff
of Life gave prisoner an excellent character.
At this point prisoner fainted and had to
be carried out of court. After the other business had
been disposed of, the prisoner was brought into court
again. Her father and mother were present, and also Mr
BOOTH of the Staff of Life. The magistrates endeavoured
to elicit the cause or motive for the prisoner’s
rash act. Eventually the magistrates decided to hand the
prisoner over to her parents, on the understanding that
they would take care of her in future.
Dr TINKER complimented Constable WOOD upon
his action in the matter. His conduct was highly commendable.
He acted with great promptitude and good judgment. There
was not the slightest doubt that but for the constable’s
presence of mind the young woman would not have been there
We may add that Constable WOOD is responsible
for rescuing three persons from drowning. The first occasion
was in the year 1889, before he joined the Cheshire Constabulary,
when he was working at the Elm Colliery, Buckley, near
Hawarden. A man went into a deep pit to bathe, and he
was noticed to be in difficulties. WOOD dived into 20ft
of water and rescued the man. In 1902, after he joined
the Cheshire Constabulary, and when stationed in the Eddisbury
Division, a boat lad fell into the river Weaver, and Constable
WOOD was again instrumental in saving life. The attention
of the Royal Humane Society is to be called to the meritorious
conduct on Constable WOOD.
A very nasty accident, illustrating the danger of slippery
setts, occurred in Warrington-street, Ashton, about six
o’clock on Monday evening. A phaeton was being driven
along, in charge of Charles SALT, 377 High-street, Glossop,
and containing two occupants, Mrs and Miss SHAWCROSS,
of Blandford-street, Ashton.
Somehow the horse slipped and fell, causing
the phaeton to completely overturn, and throwing the occupants
with considerable force on to the hard setts. Mrs and
Miss SHAWCROSS were badly shaken, and were assisted into
Mr GIBSON’s shop, close by, where every attention
was paid to them. Constable FERNLEY, who was in the vicinity,
also rendered timely assistance. After remaining a short
time Mrs and Miss SHAWCROSS were able to proceed home.
The front of the phaeton was smashed and the shafts broken.
FATAL ACCIDENT TO A
HYDE CAB DRIVER AT DUKINFIELD
The Danger of Granite Setts
The pleasure of the Wakes at Hyde were marred on Monday
night by a sad fatality which occurred near Astley Deep
Pit, Dukinfield, to a Hyde can driver named James TURNER,
aged 22 years. He had taken two women to Dukinfield and
was returning home when the horse slipped on some blue
granite setts and fell. The driver was thrown from his
seat, over the top of the hansom, and fell with his head
on the pavement. He was picked up unconscious, and after
he had been seen by Dr PARK, he was taken home, where
he died two hours after the accident. He was a single