16 May 1903
EXPERIENCES IN ASHTON
A correspondent writes: - After the doctor had told
me to be ready in an hour, when the van would come to
take me away, the suspense during the time of waiting
was awful. My parents were dreadfully upset, and had
it been possible they would have kept me at home, and
I had no idea what sort of place I was going to. At
last the van came, when it was just growing dusk.
I never thought that a van could cause
such a commotion. In less than a minute after it drew
up at the door there were hundreds round the house.
They might have been taking me to my execution, so excited
were the crowd. I was safely locked in the van, en route
for the Isolation Hospital, in less time than it takes
to tell. I made myself as comfortable as I could, lit
my pipe, and began to smoke. There is a little window
in the front of the van, and through this I was able
to see when crossing a street that we almost ran over
two of my pals.
When arrival at my destination, the first
thing I heard was a voice asking if it was a stretcher
case. It wasn’t and the nurse who met me asked
me to follow her. She led me into a rather large room,
which held about 14 beds, seven up each side. The room,
or ward, is rather wide, and in the centre is a large
stove which heats the place, and a large table at which
those patients who are not confined to their beds dine.
This was the men’s ward, and I was
told that at the other end of the building was the women’s
ward – a room exactly similar. Immediately you
enter you strip and get into bed; you are provided with
a long white night shirt, and a small jacket, and all
your own things are taken from you, and thoroughly disinfected,
and put away until you are able to get up and wear them.
In the morning you are taken to have a
carbolic bath, put to bed again, and then properly examined
to see what sort of case you are. Fortunately for me,
mine was a very mild case, and I was up and out of bed
after one day but in an ordinary case a person is confined
to bed seven or eight days, and in bad cases fourteen
to twenty days.
I had plenty of time to study the various
cases that were then in hospital. What struck me was
the difference in the cases where the patients had been
vaccinated, and where they had not. In every case when
the patient had not been vaccinated the attack was most
severe, the disease seemed to have full play, and the
person was simply covered from head to tow with thousands
of pocks; in some cases the pustules had burst, and
the matter from them has formed into large seething
scabs all over the body. The sight of a case of this
sort was repulsive.
In a case where the person had been vaccinated,
the pocks were nothing near so numerous, and were very
small, and after coming to a head soon died away and
fell off. Then again, a person who had not been vaccinated
was invariably marked, for when the pustules burst or
are scratched they leave a mark.
I do not set myself up as an authority
on vaccination, but this I do know that I am speaking
from experience that a person who has not been vaccinated
has small-pox a hundred times worse than one who had
been; and I am sure that if parents could only see what
I have seen, there would be fewer applications for exemption
orders than there are at the present time.
SUICIDE OF A WELL-KNOWN
Quite a sensation was caused in Stalybridge on Saturday
morning when the rumour became circulated that Mr Robert
Kershaw ILLINGWORTH, rope and twine manufacturer, Bridge-street,
had destroyed his life. The rumour turned out to be
only too true, and much sympathy was expressed for the
surviving widow and six children – four sons and
An inquest was held on the body on Monday
noon at the Wellington Inn, Caroline-street, Mr William
HALLAS being foreman of the jury. Mr Fred THOMPSON,
solicitor, represented the family of deceased, and Captain
BATES, Chief Constable, was also in attendance.
Thomas H ILLINGWORTH said: I reside at
41 Lord-street, Stalybridge, and deceased was my father.
He was 64 years of age, and was a rope manufacturer,
residing at 32 Back Caroline-street. I worked for him
and have noticed that lately he has been depressed about
business. At breakfast time on Saturday he said to me
he did not know what he was doing. I tried to pacify
him, but he would not lift up his head to look at us.
He sat at his desk.
At 9.45 the same morning I went into the
engine-room and there found my father hanging by the
neck with a rope which was attached to the driving shaft.
I cut the rope at once, and then called for assistance.
There was no sign of life, and Dr SCOTT came and pronounced
The paper produced was found in deceased’s
waistcoat pocket. The writing was his handwriting. The
name mentioned on the paper is an economizer whom he
had threatened to sue for the value of a rope. The Coroner
remarked that the paper contained the name of a person,
and the words, “my daylight robber and my murderer.”
Witness (continuing): The account in dispute is £10,
and my father has worried himself about it – more
than he ought to have done.
The Coroner: Did you ever hear him say
he would hang himself or take away his life? –
Witness: No, sir. – How long has your father been
in business in this particular place? He took it over
from his father sixteen years ago. The Coroner: I think,
gentlemen, I may take the liberty of expressing your
sympathy along with my own with the widow and family
in the loss they have sustained by the death of Mr ILLINGWORTH.
OF MR PETER BLYTH
On Saturday afternoon last, in the lecture room of the
M.N.C. Church, Trafalgar-square, there was an interesting
gathering to celebrate the 88th birthday of Mt Peter
BLYTH. The party consisted of his four sons, Mr G BLYTH,
Mr J BLYTH, Councillor C BLYTH, and Mr Wm BLYTH, and
their wives, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren,
together with the minister of the Trafalgar-square Church,
the Revs J WHITTON and D VARCOE, and their wives, Mr
and Mrs Jas WALLWORK, Miss NORTH, and Mrs SHELMERDINE.
A splendid tea was served by Mrs WARD,
confectioner, of Stamford-street, Ashton, followed by
a very pleasant meeting, over which Rev J WHITTON presided.
Referring to the gathering, Mr WHITTON said he felt
it to be a great honour to be invited to a party of
that character. It was like coming within the family
circle, which was a great privilege. During the five
years he had been in the Ashton circuit, he had received
many tokens of kindness from Mr BLYTH and family, and
the warmth of welcome extended to him on that occasion
had made him feel perfectly at home among them. His
fervent wish and prayer was that Mr BLYTH might have
a bright and happy eventide. Already the light of heaven
seemed to fall on his brow.
Although he had attained to such a good
age, it might be said that in a very true sense he had
“lived in deeds, not years,” and would continue
to live in the history of the Trafalgar-square Church
as long as it remained. He had much pleasure in asking
Mr BLYTH to address them.
Mr BLYTH, who was warmly received, gave
a very interesting address. He said he had been much
amused by friends wishing him “Many happy returns
of the day.” He could not expect many happy returns
after 88. However, he was in God’s hands, and
he hoped he should patiently wait all the days of his
appointed time till his change came.
He had much to be thankful for; he had
received many mercies during his long life, and for
these he was profoundly grateful to Almighty God. His
pleasantest memory was his connection with the church
of Christ, first at Stamford-street, and then at Trafalgar-square,
and it was a great grief to him that he was no longer
able to render active service. He was delighted to see
his children round him that day. He thanked them for
their kindness and he earnestly prayed that God would
abundantly bless them, and make them a blessing.
During the evening Mrs SHELMERDINE sang
two songs, which were much appreciated, and Mr James
WALLWORK gave a brief address. Selections on a phonograph
added to the interest of the proceeding, which went
merrily on until about 9.30, when the party broke up,
each one feeling that not only had a notable birthday
been duly honoured, but a most enjoyable evening had
WATERLOO AND BARDSLEY
DRUNK AND DISORDERLY. – James
TAYLOR pleaded guilty, at the Ashton County Police Court
on Wednesday, to being drunk at Waterloo on April 25th,
and as he had been up twice before he was fined 5s.
NO LIGHTS ON VEHICLE. –
For having no light on his vehicle at Waterloo on April
26th, to which he pleaded guilty when charged at the
Ashton County Police Court, John Wm. COOK was fined
1s and costs.
A LATE START. –
A grey-haired old gentleman, named Obadiah MARLAND,
pleaded guilty, at the County Police Court on Wednesday,
to being drunk and disorderly at Alt on April 27th.
– The Chairman (Mr BATES): What age are you? Sixty-six.
– You should have started earlier in life; it
is very bad starting so late. – The Clerk: It
would be better not to start at all. – The Chairman:
We are very sorry for you, but you will have to pay
5s for costs.
SUDDEN DEATH AT WATERLOO
The death took place at 7.15 on Saturday morning of
Mr Samuel SLATER, aged 77 years, retired velvet manufacturer,
of 66 Newmarket-road, Waterloo. The deceased gentleman
had complained for a number of years of having a pain
in his back, but he was able to get about. He had not
been attended by a doctor.
About five o’clock in the evening
of the 8th instant he went to bed, and did not complain
of feeling unwell. About four o’clock the following
morning he awoke his wife and told her he had a pain
in his chest, and she told him he must have a cold.
He got up about six a.m., and went downstairs to have
He had not been up long when he wanted
to go to bed again, and his wife went upstairs to make
the bed, leaving him in charge of her sister. He was
seated in an armchair before the fire with a glass of
hot water and a little whisky in his hand. His sister-in-law
went into the kitchen, and whilst there she heard a
groan, and on going back into the house she found him
leaning back in his chair. Dr BOWMAN was called in,
and he pronounced life extinct.
The inquest was held at the Newmarket
Inn, Newmarket-road, on Monday afternoon by Mr J F PRICE,
district coroner, when the jury returned a verdict of
death from natural causes, probably decay and heart
In the death of Mr SLATER there has passed
from hence a man well known for miles around the Ashton
and Oldham district. He was a typical character and
representative of the sturdy men born in Lancashire
70 or 80 years ago. He was born in the village which
saw him die. In the early fifties and sixties he was
one of a quartette of silk weavers in the great bonfire
village of Taunton. His contemporaries were Samuel GREENWOOD,
James BUCKLEY, and James ASHTON, Mr SLATER being the
He was a noted and ardent follower of
the hinds in his younger days, having hunted with Squire
JERRARD’s pack, and the Wigan, Holkam, Rochdale,
Oldham, Slaithwaite, Stalybridge, Ashton, Stayley, and
Disley hounds. He had a remarkable retentive memory,
and it was deeply interesting to listen to his relation
of his experiences in the field. He was a man of peculiarities,
one of which was the constant wearing of a black velvet
coat, and his extreme abruptness of speech, yet a good
hearted and sympathetic sort of man.
He got up on Saturday morning, had his
breakfast, sat down in his chair, and died as though
he was going to sleep – a truly peaceful ending
of an active life, free from the aches and pains of
old age. He leaves four sisters and a brother, four
of whom are over 70 years of age. The interment took
place on Wednesday, at St Peter’s Church, in the
presence of nearly all his relatives and a few friends,
amongst the latter being our old friend “Picking
ACCIDENT AT THE TUDOR
An accident occurred on Thursday morning at the new
Tudor Mill, Ashton. About eleven o’clock a man
named Anthony HALLIDAY, labourer, was being wound down
by means of a rope to one of the storeys of the mill
when he fell a distance of 60 feet. He alighted on some
machinery, and sustained severe injuries to his back
and head. The police horse ambulance was sent for, and
the injured man was taken to the Ashton Infirmary by
Inspector McFEELEY and Constables ALFORD and FERNLEY.
On inquiry on Friday morning we were informed that HALLIDAY
was doing very well.
A WARNING FROM CANADA
Winnipeg, Man., April 21st, 1903
Sir, - In view of the prevailing conditions in this
province, the Trades and Labour Council of Winnipeg
has decided to lay before the British public certain
facts concerning the present “boom” in immigration
to Canada. The glowing and highly-coloured statements
and reports sent from this country give an entirely
misleading, not to say, mendacious account of the prospects
for immigrants, and mostly emanate from interested sources.
The steamship and railway companies naturally
desire passengers; the business classes hope to profit
by the influx of people; the employers seek to intensify
competition in the labour market, while the Government
itself is not above suspicion, as it is entirely representative
of those various interests. There is thus a gigantic
conspiracy to promote and welcome the tide of immigration
that has set towards this country.
More dangerous still is a certain class
of individuals, of which the Rev I M BARR is typical,
who seek to exploit the immigrants by forming colonies
etc. This reverend gentleman has just arrived with a
“colony” of 2,000 people, in the promotion
of which he has amassed a tidy little fortune, variously
estimated from $10,000 to $35,000, and is already bitterly
denounced by his disillusioned dupes, many of whom find
themselves stranded, practically without resources or
employment, in a strange land.
What are the facts? It is, no doubt, true
that there is a prospect of success for any man with
a little experience in farming, but he must have capital.
Anyone intending to go farming, even on a homestead,
should have not less than £200 to £300.
Young men are in demand for farm servants, but the demand
is now almost filled, owing to the enormous influx.
In the cities the demand for artisans
will be, in most cases, fully met by the supply, while
there is oversupply of unskilled labour, except in cases
where strikes are pending. Wages, no doubt, seem high
compared with those prevailing in England, but this
is not because of any scarcity of labour, still less
does it show that the labourers are particularly well
off. It is due to the high cost of living, especially
in the matter of rent and fuel. Living has gone up 25
per cent in the last year or so and numerous strikes
are pending in all parts of the country in the attempt
to raise wages to subsistence point.
Under the conditions we would advise intending
immigrants to exercise the greatest caution before coming
out, especially those with families, unless they have
capital. With a view to preventing English working men
from being duped or victimized, the Winnipeg Trades
and Labour Council send this warning, and hope that
you will give it due publicity.
LETTER FROM QUEENSLAND
Great Plague of Flies
Horses and Horsemen Forced to Wear Veils
The following extracts are from a letter to Mr Isaac
BARDSLEY, by his son, Charles F BARDSLEY, of Queensland:-
A long time has elapsed since I commenced
this letter. In my letter to F---- I told him of the
welcome rains we have had, and the promise they gave
for a beautiful season, after the most fearful and destructive
drought ever before known in Queensland, which has slain
hundreds of thousands of cattle and sheep, and he vegetation
has been literally burnt up. To give you some idea of
the great heat we have experienced I may say that here
in Gympie on Boxing Day the shade temperature was 103
degrees, the sun temperature being 120 degrees. The
day previous 130 in the sun, and 105 in the shade! And
we have not required bedclothes, though the windows
and doors were open. (I think a little of this sort
of weather would go a long way with you in the old country).
It would certainly be a novelty.
It has been the same in New South Wales
as in Queensland. From this you may be better able to
understand the many major and minor troubles we have
had to endure; add to this the intense heat, mosquitoes
and flies innumerable. Indeed, we are suffering from
a plague of flies. They swarm everywhere and are a perfect
nuisance and torture to man and beast. We shall be devoutly
thankful when the rains come again.
We live here very close to what is styled
the Bush. I could mount my horse at my own door, and
in five minutes enter and travel very many miles through
a dense jungle-like forest. Often in the early morn
we are pleased to gaze upon the myriads of leaves of
various tints which, after a heavy dew or light shower
of rain, hold on their surface drops of clear water,
which glitter and sparkle like diamonds as the sun’s
rays fall upon them, and the gentle zephyrs sway them
to and fro.
As I write I hear the deep rumbling sounds
of thunder and see the vivid flashes of lightning, and
hear the wind soughing and sighing through the trees,
all of which together with the dense black sections
of sky tell me that we may have good rain to-night;
if not we, others undoubtedly will.
Oh, the heat! As I write ‘tis most
depressing. Time 10pm, and the perspiration is intense.
“Oh, let it be soon for rain,” say I. After
a night of restless slumber I awoke to find that after
all the signs of a heavy storm, we had only a very slight
shower of rain. It seems very hard. In the country many
of the horses are being literally blinded by the flies
eating their eyes away. And if any poor horse happens
to have a girthgall sore the flies eat their way into
its body until its very entrails hang out. ‘Tis
a horrible sight!
A lady informed me to-day, January 6th,
that at Kilkwan, some 36 miles distant from here, the
shocking sights to be seen of animals suffering from
the plague of flies was enough to make the most hard-hearted
and unfeeling of people weep. She had been by train
and brought away two horses to save them. She had their
heads covered with gauze veils. The flies had already
started on the eyes of one horse.
Of course, this fly plague is new to us,
but out in the western country it is chronic. In eating
one’s meals in summer time one has to be warding
flies off with one hand until the food is placed in
the mouth, and even then some of the flies occasionally
meet with interment in a human sepulchre.
Again I commence my letter, January 22nd,
1903, and am very pleased to tell you that splendid
rain is now falling in great quantity. I hope it will
be the means of clearing away the pest of flies. Why,
people here in Gympie are actually wearing veils! Men
employed as carters and horsemen, and the heads of horses
are covered with fine netting as well. And people have
to throw a small mesh net over themselves whilst at
It is simply dreadful, but we can only
hope the blessed rains will bring relief to us in their
train, and clear away, for ever and a day, this awful
plague of flies.