17 October 1903
SUDDEN DEATH AT ASHTON
Died in the Street
The Ashton police were apprised on Wednesday morning of
the sudden death of Charles Napier TANDY, aged 19, who
resided at 103 Wellington-street, Ashton. Sarah Ann TANDY,
a factory operative, informed the police that deceased,
who was her brother, resided with her. She did not know
there was anything wrong with him, though twelve months
ago he was an in-patient at the infirmary through having
been kicked by a horse. He left the house at 5.30 that
morning, and about 8.30 he was brought home dead.
Ernest TOWNSEND, of 471 Jermyn-street, informed
the police that about 7.30 on Wednesday morning he went
for a load of manure to Shepley’s stables in Water-street,
deceased asked him if he had come for the load of manure,
and he answered “yes.” Deceased immediately
fell on the footpath. Dr TWOMEY was sent for, and pronounced
The inquest was held at the Free Trade Inn,
Booth-street, on Thursday, by Mr Ernest BIRCH, deputy
coroner. The foreman was Mr Albert DAVIES.
Sarah Ann TANDY said deceased was her brother.
He was a carter, in the employ of Mr SHEPLEY, of Water-street.
He was aged 19. Over 12 months ago he was kicked by a
horse in the right leg, and had to be taken to the Infirmary,
where he was an in-patient for a month. He had enjoyed
good health since. She last saw him alive at five o’clock
that morning. He was brought home dead about half-past
Ernest TOWNSEND, a carter in the employ
of James TOWNSEND, said that about a quarter to eight
he went to Joseph SHEPLEY’s stables for some manure.
They began talking. He asked witness if he had come for
the manure, and he answered “yes,” and then
deceased fell to the floor on his back. Witness said to
him, “Now, Charlie, what’s the matter?”
and he received no reply. He went pale in the face.
Witness called for Mr SHEPLEY, and they
put him on the chair and gave him a drink of water, and
Mrs SHEPLEY went for Dr TWOMEY. When he came the doctor
said he was dead. — A verdict of death from natural
causes, probably from failure of the heart’s action,
THE NEW TRAMS
Sir, - The cars running from Ashton to Manchester have
hit upon a very good method by pulling up in the Old Square
instead of Stamford-street, thus avoiding the stoppage
of traffic, and minimising the danger to passengers, as
well as to cyclists. But to my mind the Stalybridge cars
have just commenced to carry out the bad practice (that
the Manchester cars have dropped) by standing in the narrowest
place possible, where only one trap, motor car, or dray
can pass at one time.
As for cyclists, they must risk everything.
Without any alteration to the points or cable the cars
could get six or eight yards further into the square,
so that it would be possible to see from George-street,
instead of having to dodge round the corners to see the
car. Doubtless the person in charge of arranging these
matters will see the inconvenience and risk to passengers.
— I am,
COTTON GROWING IN AUSTRALIA
Letter from a Dukinfield Man
Mr John POTTS, of Logan Valley, Brisbane, Queensland,
has kindly forwarded us a cutting from the “Brisbane
Observer” of August 29th, together with an accompanying
letter written on 1st September. He says, “The enclosed
cutting from the Brisbane Observer will explain the object
of my writing to you, also to ask if you if you would
kindly put it before some of the cotton mill owners that
this part of Queensland (we are 27 miles from Brisbane
by railway and about 45 by water) will grow cotton with
any part of the British Empire.
Last year was one of the driest ever known
in Queensland, but I put in a few seeds and got good cotton,
of which I enclose a sample. I think the only way we could
get it started here is by the cotton manufacturers taking
the matter of growing up. I have been trying for years
to get the Queensland Government to give it a start through
Some twenty odd years ago the cotton growers
got a bonus, and when that was stopped they gave up growing
it. I am sure that if the cotton mill owners of Lancashire
took the matter up this part of Queensland could put under
cotton five or six thousand acres or more if it was wanted.
If you will kindly put this matter before some of the
cotton manufacturers I will gladly give them all the information.
I can about this part of Queensland for cotton growing.
The small sample of cotton enclosed by our
correspondent appears to be excellent quality and staple,
and we commend his letter and offer to the British Cotton
Growing Association. It may be of interest to add that
Mr POTTS was formerly located in Dukinfield, having been
born in Town-lane. He adds that some 20 odd years ago
he used to fetch about 20 dozen “Reporters”
for Mrs COOKE, newsagent, Town-lane.
The cutting referred to is a leaderette
entitle, “The Shortage of Cotton,” as follows:-
”A message that ought to carry its
lesson to us in Queensland cabled from England to the
effect that owing to the shortage of cotton, 1,000 operatives
at Macclesfield have been thrown out of work for the past
three months. Arrangements for the relief of the distressed
workpeople has been started and we may expect with the
characteristic generosity of the British public the pressing
of this untoward state of things will be relieved.
It seems to us that the relief movement
should also commence on this side of the world and that
a fund should be started, collecting funds to keep the
Macclesfield folk from starvation. — that will be
done and well done in England — but in the direction
of cultivation of the raw material the manufacture of
which is the means of living of thousands of people in
the old land.
It has been shown that cotton of the finest
quality can be grown in Queensland, and we believe that
a little push and energy upon the part of the authorities
in Queensland would enable Queensland to become a producer
of raw material for British manufacturers to an extent
little dreamed of at the present time. Now is the opportunity
for drawing attention to this country as a storehouse
for Great Britain.
The picture of working people, who necessarily
live from hand to mouth, becoming dependent on charity
for their subsistence when every now and then the supply
of raw material suffers a diminution is a sad one. It
is also an entirely unnecessary one if the producing power
of the British Empire is taken into account. Mr Chamberlain
might turn his attention to the colonial Governments with
a view of finding out the best areas for cotton culture
within the borders of the dominions of the King.
DEATH OF MR THOMAS
BLOCKSAGE OF DUKINFIELD
We regret to record the demise of an old, well-known,
and esteemed resident and employer of labour in Dukinfield,
Mr Thomas BLOCKSAGE, brick and tile manufacturer, Birch-lane,
which took place last Friday morning at his residence,
Dewsnap House. He had been an invalid for a lengthened
period, and under medical treatment. Of late, he gradually
became weaker, and expired, as stated above, at the age
He was founder of the well-known firm of
Thomas BLOCKSAGE and Sons, and he succeeded in obtaining
large business connections in various parts of the country.
When his sons — Mr John and Mr Henry BLOCKSAGE —
arrived at age they entered the business, and materially
assisted their father in developing it. Unfortunately,
Mr John died some years ago, and since then the responsibilities
of the business have devolved to Mr Henry. In addition
to the Birch-lane establishment, the firm has a branch
at Elland in Yorkshire.
The late Mr Thomas BLOCKSAGE never took
any active part in the public or political affairs of
the town, preferring to take a passive interest in what
was going on around him. He was a gentleman of quiet demeanour,
and respected by all who knew him. Mrs BLOCKSAGE died
some years ago, and the only representative of the family
left and Mr Henry BLOCKSAGE and Miss BLOCKSAGE.
The interment took place at Dukinfield Cemetery.
The afternoon was wet and gloomy, but notwithstanding
many persons were present at the Moravian Chapel, where
a funeral service was conducted by the Rev Wm TITTERINGTON.
The streets along the route of the funeral cortege were
lined with many people, and particularly in Dewsnap-lane
and Birch-lane districts much sympathy was shown, where
the deceased was a familiar figure.
The brick and tile works off Birch-lane
were closed for the day, and the employees attended the
funeral in a body. The coffin was of oak with brass mountings,
and enclosed was a leaden shell in which the body was
placed. The inscription on the brass plate was: “Thos.
BLOCKSAGE died October 10th 1903 in his 77th year.”
An open hearse, drawn by four horses, conveyed
the coffin to the Moravian Chapel, where it was borne
into the sacred edifice by the following workpeople who
acted as bearers: Messrs Sam HEALEY, S MYCOCK, T SIMPSON,
John MARLAND, Herbert LONSDALE, J BIRCHALL, Wm EDWARDS,
John LONSDALE, Tom MARSLAND and Jas HEALEY.
The sympathies of everyone will be extended to Mr and
Mrs Charles WEBB and family, of the Crescent, in their
anxiety consequent upon the critical illness if their
son, Mr Pickford WEBB. We are sorry to say he lies in
a very precarious state suffering from that insidious
disease consumption. His medical attendant is Dr BOOTH,
who has also had the assistance of specialists from Manchester.
The first sitting of magistrates at the
new Police Court was held on Thursday. There was only
one prisoner in the dock, a poor, miserable-looking, dilapidated
fellow with a patch over one eye, charged with begging.
Superintendent CROGHAN said as this was the first prisoner
who had been brought up in that court, with their worships’
permission, he asked that he be discharged. The application
Alderman FENTEM then observed that it had
been his pleasure to be connected with the old court for
a good many years, and during that time he had been struck
with the singular absence of crime in Dukinfield. Now
they had come to this new court he hoped crime would still
AN UNUSUAL APPLICATION. —
An unusual application was made to the Hyde County Magistrates
on Monday by Mr SHAW, of the Gardeners’ Arms, Astley-street.
He stated that he had lost his license, and applied for
a fresh one. In reply to a question he said he had not
used the license for any other purpose, but had lost it.
A new license was granted the applicant.
A BIT EXCITED. —
Henry NOBLE, a collier, living at 80 Town-lane, Dukinfield,
was fined 2s 6d and costs at Hyde County Police Court,
on Monday, for being drunk and disorderly in King-street,
on October 10th. Defendant told the magistrates, Messrs
E CHAPMAN, MP, G W RHODES, F WILD and Henry SIDEBOTTOM,
that he got a bit excited over a question of wages, which
he and his fellow workmen had been discussing all the
REPORTED AS DEAD — A DUKINFIELD
SOLDIER RETURNS HOME. — Private Harry LEIGH,
who served through the South African campaign, has just
returned home to Dukinfield, where he received a hearty
welcome. Private LEIGH belongs to the 1st Manchester Regiment,
which, under Sir George WHITE, bore the brunt of the fight
in the early days of the war
LEIGH successfully served through the engagements
of Elandslaagte and Glencoe, and was in Ladysmith. While
in the besieged town news of his death in a sortie was
sent by heliograph to General BUTLER, and LEIGH’s
name appeared in the casualty list published in the Press.
Later the War Office confirmed the news of his death,
and his family at Dukinfield received the sum for which
his life was insured.
PIGEON FLYING. —
At the Railway Inn, Dukinfield, the belt in connection
with the Easter sweepstakes was flown for on Saturday,
from the direction Ashton Moss, distance 1½ miles.
Result:- A HEGINBOTTOM’s Speculator, 2 min 37 sec;
W RIMMER’s Jolly Fifer, 2 min 40sec; J BALL’s
Sceptre, 2 min 27 sec. Timers, Messrs HEGINBOTTOM and
WALKER, mapper, Thomas COOP, Hollingworth.
At the Gardeners’ Arms, the third
belt in connection with the New Year sweep was flown on
Saturday, distance 1¼ miles, in the direction of
Denton, with the following result:- L HALL’s Old
Sam, 1 min 46 sec; William JARVIS’s Spion Cop, 1
min 49 sec; William SHAW’s Whistling Crow, 1 min
53 sec. Referee and timers, Messrs PARKER, MITCHELL and
HALL; mapper Ellis WOLSTENHOLME, Gorton.
A BEGGAR’S “PHILOSOPHY”
— Amongst a batch of offenders for begging,
who appeared before the Manchester City Justices, on Monday,
was John MALONEY, a cripple. He was seen by a constable
to beg from door to door, and asked by the Bench why he
did that sort of thing, he ejaculated: “I have only
one leg, and I cannot get work.” — (Laughter.)
— The Chairman thought prisoner’s story was
“all moonshine.” He knew a man who had only
one arm and one leg, and he could work all right. —
Prisoner: I have been trying to get a watchman’s
The Chairman: You can get a much better
job than that if you wanted it. You fellows don’t
like work, and never look for it. We have had one man
here this morning who had admitted that he has been begging
for a living for five years. It’s a nice thing isn’t
it. — Asked how long he had been in Manchester,
MALONEY said not very long. He had been in the suburbs
— to such places as Ashton, Dukinfield, Hyde, etc.
— The Chairman: You thought Manchester was a better
place to beg. You will have to go to Strangeways for one
month with hard labour.
FOOTPATH OBSTRUCTION. —
At the Police Court on Thursday, three lads named Charles
BROWN (14), Robert BAINS (13), and Thomas PENNINGTON were
summoned for obstructing the footpath in Crescent-road,
on the 17th inst. — An officer stated that he saw
the defendants and several others obstructing the footpath.
Witness saw several ladies and gentlemen leave the footpath
to pass them. — Superintendent CROGHAN said he was
constantly receiving complaints from tradesmen about this
obstruction nuisance. — Mrs BAINS said her son had
never been up before, “not even for the School Board.”
— The Bench fined BAINS and PENNINGTON 1s each with
costs, and BROWN, who did not appear, 2s 6d and costs.
Henry BRUCE, George BRUCE, Wilfred ASHTON,
and John MOODY, youths, were summoned for obstructing
the footpath in Lodge-lane. All the defendants pleaded
guilty with the exception of MOODY. — Superintendent
CROGHAN informed the Bench that scarcely a week elapsed
without complaints from shopkeepers and residents about
the conduct of these young people in the streets. —
Fined 1s each without costs.
NEIGHBOURS QUARRELS. —
At the Police Court, on Thursday, Ellen FORD, an elderly
woman, summoned John William BRIDGE for assaulting her
on the 3rd of October. Complainant said she lived in Gate-street,
and was a widow. On the date named, the defendant called
her an old Irish So-and-so, and accused her of telling
tales to the landlord. She denied it, and then he shoved
her, broke her spectacles, and cut her face. — Mary
KEENAN, sister, said she saw defendant give her sister
a good shove, and she fell.
Defendant said he was coming across Globe-square
with his wife. He had had a drop of drink, and the complainant
called him a dirty blackguard. He simply pushed her. —
The Chairman said defendant had practically pleaded guilty
to a technical offence, and he would be fined 2s 6d without
Louisa MORGAN summoned Percy HOWARD for
assaulting her on the 7th. — He pleaded not guilty.
— Complainant said she lived at 25 St Mark-street,
and was a married woman. On the date named defendant came
to her house, and wanted to get her husband outside. She
resisted him, and then he struck her on the breast with
his hand. — Defendant admitted shoving her, after
Mrs MORGAN had pushed him. — Fined 2s 6d costs.
Mr CROASDALE, hatter, Melbourne-street, has during the
week displayed in his window the helmets and officers’
caps for the Glossop Police Force. Their smart appearance
attracted considerable attention.
ILLNESS OF A CONSTABLE. —
It transpired at Monday’s police court that Constable
SHAW was laid up with sickness, and would not be able
to resume his duties for an indefinite period. Consequently
a charge of being disorderly which the officer preferred
against Charles MULLHOLLAND was adjourned, defendant pleading
AN INTERESTING POINT. —
On Monday, at the Police Court, George HADFIELD, shopkeeper,
High-street, was charged with wilfully having set his
house chimney on fire. He pleaded that it was quite an
accident, and objected to the word “wilfully.”
— Constable H S WELLS was thereupon sworn, and he
said that at 8.45 on the night of the 6th instant he saw
a large quantity of smoke and soot issuing from defendant’s
chimney, and upon going to the place Mrs HADFIELD admitted
having placed some waste paper on the fire which she had
got in emptying a box of sweets. Witness told her that
she might have destroyed the paper underneath the grid.
The Mayor said the clerk had advised the
magistrates that if people ran such risks by placing paper
on the fire they were guilty of real carelessness. —
Defendant would have to 2s to pay for costs. — “Not
the price of a good sweeping,” added the Mayor.
Captain BATES, Chief Constable, thereupon pointed out
that the penalty imposed would not meet the expenses,
and this was tantamount to taxing the ratepayers. —
The Mayor: What is we had dismissed the case entirely?
— Captain BATES: Well, that would be telling me
I ought not to have brought the case at all. It will certainly
make the police think twice before they proceed.
Mr Herbert KNOTT said the decision was not
a reflection on the police, but the charge in this instance
was “wilfully.” — The Mayor: And the
magistrates think the chimney was not wilfully set on
fire. — Captain BATES: Then he had no right to have
been fined at all! — The Mayor: It was carelessness.
— Captain BATES said he would be glad to save the
expense to the borough by not bringing such cases in future.
— Mr KNOTT: We must deal with every case upon its
Alderman SIMPSON remarked that the bench
did not give the Chief Constable any instructions. —
Captain BATES: But they give me a line — a lead.
— Alderman SIMPSON: Just so. — The Mayor:
The bench can deal with a case just as they think fit.
— Captain BATES: Certainly; I am only pointing out
that the balance in this case will have to come out of
the rates. — Mr KNOTT said in some instances the
firing of a chimney might be due more to carelessness
than anything else. — The Mayor brought the discussion
to a close by remarking that the prosecution of offenders
might save hundreds of pounds worth of damage being done.