18 July 1903

AN ASHTON UNDESIRABLE AT BLACKPOOL
The Chief Constable and Rescue Work

On Tuesday, at the Blackpool Police Court, a sharp exchange took place between the Chief Constable (Mr John C DURHAM) and Miss GARDNER, superintendent of the Blackpool Rescue and Preventative Home. An Ashton weaver, named Polly MORRIS, was fined 20s and costs, or in default 28 days’ hard labour, for soliciting.

The Chief Constable hoped the Bench would put their foot down and rid the town of women of this class. If he had anything to do with it he would sweep them into the sea. It was no good sending them into homes, for they would not stay more than a couple of days.

Miss GARDNER: It appears to be quite useless my attending the court. – The Chief Constable: Of course it is. You should rescue them before they come here. Miss GARDNER was proceeding to make a further observation, when the Chief Constable sharply remarked: “Will you sit down, madam, and behave yourself!”

Miss GARDNER, with a look of indignation, rose from her seat and left the court.

THE ALLEGED FORGERY CASE AT ASHTON
Advice from the Bench
Honesty Recommended to a Young Clerk

A smart-looking, well-dressed youth of 19, named Rowland OGDEN, a clerk, was indicted at Manchester Assizes, on Friday of last week, for having committed certain frauds on the Limehurst Urban District Council at Ashton-under-Lyne, and also for attempting to obtain certain money of the Star Investment Company from Joseph WOOD by means of a forged letter. Mr OVEREND EVANS prosecuted and Mr GIBBONS defended.

Mr John TAYLOR, solicitor, said the prisoner entered his service as clerk in July 1899. He gave details as to having obtained a judgment against Mr Joseph WOOD on behalf of the Star Investment Company, and said there had been an arrangement arrived at under which the amount due from Mr WOOD could be paid by installments. Witness said prisoner had no authority to write a letter to Mr WOOD signing witness’s name, which however he did. In cross-examination, witness said prisoner was the only clerk he had. His salary was 10s a week.

Witness said he did not keep any books. He had never had a cash book or a ledger. He had been too busy to keep books. He had, however, an account book, which he produced, containing particulars of all debts which he had instructions to recover, and entries of all moneys received by him on account of these debts.

The jury found the prisoner not guilty with respect to the money alleged to have been obtained for the Star Investment Company; in regard to the charge of falsifying a wage-book of the Limehurst Rural District Council, which was in John TAYLOR’s possession, they returned a verdict of “guilty.”

The judge remarked that the first case was as plain as a pike-staff, but the jury had elected to find a verdict of not guilty. However, they had rightly convicted in the second case. Addressing the prisoner, he said he did not want to send a youth like him to gaol. Speaking as an old man, he could assure prisoner that if he kept honest he would be sure to get on, but if he did not he would come to grief. He did not think he should have been placed in so responsible a position at his age, and he considered that he was not adequately remunerated for the duties he had to fulfill. He ordered prisoner to enter into his recognisances to come up for judgment when called on.

HEGINBOTTOM TECHNICAL SCHOOL AND SCHOOL OF ART
Society of Arts Examinations 1903

Bookkeeping (Senior). – James R BALLEY, George BARBER, Harry BLYTH, G H BRADBURY, Squire CARTER, Tom COURTMAN, Edith A FLETCHER, Frank GREEN, Wm Henry HARROP, William S HAYES, Herbert HINDLEY, Alfred E KELLETT, Thomas C MOORHOUSE, Harry TRAVIS, William WATERWORTH, John N WILDE, Henry WILLIAMSON.

Rudiments of Music. – John A BROADBENT, Nellie BROOKE, William CHARLESWORTH, Harold GRIMSHAW, Hugh MARNER, Joseph E OWEN, Annie PENDLEBURY, Ernest E SYKES, Frances H WESTON.

Harmony. – Eleanor BAINBRIDGE, John A BROADBENT, William HASLAM, Edward N SCHOFIELD, George H SHAW, Ernest SYKES.

Shorthand. – James R BAILEY, Stanley BRIESDEN, William H CLARKE, Joseph HALLSWORTH, Geo William HANDFORTH, Harry HARGREAVES, Herbert HINDLEY, Alice HOLMES, Ella MARCHANT, John Henry MEE, Percy NADIN, William WATERWORTH.

WATERLOO AND BARDSLEY
AN ABSENTEE. – A charge of drunk and disorderly conduct at Bardsley was preferred against Herbert ROBINS at the Ashton County Court on Wednesday. Defendant did not appear, and Constable NEWTON said that when he went with the summons defendant’s mother said he had gone away. – The Magistrates did not proceed with the case.

A COWARDLY ACT. – James and Annie CAMPBELL and Annie WILLMORE were before the Ashton county justices on Wednesday charged with committing a breach of the peace at Waterloo on June 27th. – Defendants CAMPBELL pleaded guilty, and WILLMORE not guilty. – Evidence was given as to the defendants creating a disturbance and causing a crowd of people to assemble in Burton-street.

Defendant WILLMORE alleged that James CAMPBELL struck a young woman in the face, and she fell, and witness took her in her arms. He called her (WILLMORE) a foul name, and told her to fetch her bald-headed old husband out. – Maggie THORNLEY deposed to the male defendant striking her in the face. – CAMPBELL said he only hit the woman with the flat of his hand. – The magistrates dismissed WILLMORE, and bound the CAMPBELLs over in 40s to keep the peace for three months.

TRIP TO BOLLINGTON. – On Tuesday the customers and friends of Mr J JONES, grocer, Waterloo, held their sixth annual picnic, Bollington and Dunham Massey being the chosen rendezvous this year. Eleven o’clock was the time fixed for starting when about one hundred assembled. The conveyances were supplied by Mr S MILLWARD, and were drawn by fourteen splendid horses.

Arriving in due course at the George and Dragon Hotel, Cheadle, lunch was partaken of. The run was then continued through Baguley to the Swan Hotel, Bollington, where a splendid tea was provided, after which some enjoyed a walk in Dunham Park, others rambled in the meadows, whilst the children amused themselves on the swings.

There was also a bowling match, married v. single, the latter proving the better trundlers. At 7.15 the bugle called the ramblers together, and as the weather had not proved very favourable, it was decided to take the shortest way home, which was reached at eleven o’clock, everybody expressing themselves delighted with their visit, hoping that it would be the same place again when the weather may prove more favourable.

DEADLOCK IN THE CHIP POTATO TRADE IN ASHTON AND DISTRICT
A deadlock appears to exist at the present time in connection with the chip-potato trade in Ashton and district. A meeting of some 70 or 80 chip-potato dealers, including a few from Stalybride and Denton, was held at the Brunswick Hotel, Ashton, on Monday night, when a previous decision to close the shops for the sale of chip potatoes until to-night (Saturday) was ratified, and it was resolved to hold a further meeting at the same place next Monday night to reconsider the situation.

During the past week handbills have been freely circulated by the Potato and Fish Fryers’ Union calling upon the general public to support them by refraining from buying chip potatoes, and that it is impossible with the ruling prices of potatoes to sell chips at a profit. The closing of the shops, the bill states, has already brought down the price of potatoes to the ordinary customer.

“This fact,” the bill goes on to say, “speaks for itself, and we appeal to the public to refrain from buying chips until the price of potatoes enables us to re-open our shops. In asking you to support us, ladies and gentlemen, we are asking you to support trade union principles. Our union has only been recently formed, and already consists of over seventy members. We cannot afford to sell “chips” at a loss, and at the present rates it is impossible to sell them at a profit.”

On account of the “difficulty” the rather novel spectacle has been presented of several shops being closed during the week, the proprietors taking advantage of the situation by putting up their shutters and hieing to a seaside resort for their summer holidays. They seem desirous of leaving the course clear for those who have gone into selling “spare-ribs with cabbage and haricot beans.”

The president of the union, Mr J HARROP, chip potato dealer, Oldham-road, Ashton, said that when the shops closed the price which they were paying for potatoes was £1 a load (252lbs) for what were known as “Yorkshire warps” or “giant warps,” mostly used by chippers. Now they were at a reasonable price, between 10s and 12s a load. He did not think shopkeepers would grumble at that figure.

At the same time last year the price was 6s and 7s a load. When the price was over 12s there was not sufficient margin of profit to make a living without reducing the quantity of chips supplied to the customers, which was already low enough. No doubt the frost and rain some six weeks back had something to do with increased prices. The primary cause, it had been stated, was the operations of the middlemen, and it was to put a spoke in their wheel that “chippers” had adopted the present attitude, and formed a union.

Stocks of potatoes were said to have been allowed to accumulate by the middlemen in view of the rise in prices. Since the resolution to stop selling, about half-a-dozen dissentients, residing in Hurst, had re-opened their shops on account of scruples with regard to their custom being diverted. The consumption of potatoes is lessened to the extent of over 30 tons per week in Ashton alone by the action of the shopkeepers, of whom there are about 100.

A large potato merchant in Ashton stated that yesterday (Friday) morning both old and new potatoes were quoted on the Manchester Market at 13s to 14s a load. It was not the action of the chip potato dealers, he said, that had brought down the price, but the large arrival of new potatoes on the market. Recently, when old potatoes were quoted at 18s a load, new potatoes were as dear as 30s to £2 a load.

He had paid higher prices to farmers this year than ever. Farmers had kept large stocks of potatoes in the “hogs” since October in the expectation of a rise in prices. It was not due to the middlemen altogether. There had been more potatoes in the hands of farmers and less in the middlemen’s hands than had been the case for years. Had the chip potato dealers waited a little the fall in prices would have taken place naturally. It was a question now of turning trade elsewhere, because farmers, in view of what had taken place, would probably dispose of stocks sooner, and there would be a scarcity next spring.

HOOLEY HILL AND AUDENSHAW
DRUNK. – Edwin DALE pleaded guilty at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, to being drunk at Audenshaw on June 27th, and was fined 2s 6d for costs.

NO NAME ON VEHICLE. – George JOHNSON pleaded guilty on Wednesday to having no name on his vehicle at Audenshaw on June 30th, and said some boys took the name-plate off unknown to the carter. – Fined 5s.

BAD LANGUAGE. – Harry MASON and Thomas LLOYD pleaded not guilty to a charge of using obscene language at Audenshaw on June 28th. – Evidence was given to show that on the Sunday in question, at 11.5pm, the two defendants were making use of bad language in Audenshaw-road. – The magistrates fined the defendants each 5s.

RE-OPENING OF ST STEPHEN’S AUDENSHAW. – On Sunday, after being closed for a month for the purpose of being beautified and decorated, the re-opening of the above church took place. The preachers were the Rev F H BURROWS and Canon ROWNTREE, M.A. The choir was augmented by the addition of the branch choir. The collection realised £16 3s, which almost covers the debt incurred, but there is yet a tablet to be erected to the memory of the late Rev Mr BALKELEY. The services during the last month have been held in the schoolroom.

ACCIDENT AT PARK PARADE STATION, ASHTON
Porter Knocked Down and Run Over

A sad accident occurred at Park Parade Goods Station, Great Central Railway Co, on Tuesday about 12.30 noon. Shunting operations were proceeding in what is known as the “cutting,” when by some means a passenger porter named Joseph JACKSON, residing at No 3 Hall-street, Ashton, got caught by the wheels of a coal wagon, which passed along one of his legs and over the arm, inflicting serious injuries. The calf of the left leg was almost torn off, and the leg was badly crushed at the knee, whilst the arm was fractured and crushed.

JACKSON was seen lying on his back in the “four foot” by Wm MARSH, foreman of the goods yard, who, being an ambulance man, proceeded to render first aid. The station ambulance was requisitioned, and the man was removed on to the station platform, and a telephone communication despatched to the Town Hall for the horse ambulance, in which he was conveyed to the District Infirmary. One of the arteries appears to have been severed, causing a considerable loss of blood. The injuries, although very severe, will not, it is thought, necessitate amputation of either of the limbs.

ACCIDENT ON AN ASHTON ELECTRIC CAR
A Question of Responsibility

Frederick CHADWICK, an outside salesman in the employment of the English Sewing Cotton Company, on Tuesday at the Manchester Assizes sued the Ashton Corporation for damages for an injury caused by a blow from an electric car trolley wheel. Mr LANGDON appeared for the plaintiff and Mr Wingate SAUL for the defendants.

Mr LANGDON said that on September 18 last, the plaintiff was riding on one of the Ashton cars. The conductor, instead of being on the platform holding the rope to prevent the trolley wheel leaving the wire when passing the “frogs,” was inside the car checking his tickets. The trolley-head, weighing seven pounds, got jammed in an anchor wire, was torn off, and falling, struck CHADWICK on the head. He had suffered for some time from concussion of the brain. He now claimed damages.

Plaintiff said he was riding from Ashton to Hurst on September 18th last when he was struck to the floor of the car by the falling of the trolley wheel and badly injured, suffering from concussion of the brain. He had a salary of £300 a year, and was more or less incapacitated from September to December. It was admitted the plaintiff lost no wages.

It was urged for the plaintiff that the conductor should have had hold of the rope at the place where the trolley wheel broke, and also that the type of trolley head was a defective one. In support of this latter contention a report of the manager was put in, in which that official said, “the cause of these three last accidents is the defective type of head used.”

For the defence, John BENNISON, the conductor of the car, denied he was within the car at the time. He was standing on the platform holding the rope, though he had no need to do so as there was no crossing and no frog. The manager said it was not necessary to hold the rope at the place in question. The cars had only been running a month, and the equipment and line had been passed by the Board of Trade. There was a danger of these trolley heads coming off, as they might catch at the frogs and junctions.

Mr Justice INGHAM, in summing up, said there was a natural tendency among juries to take a favourable view of the plaintiff’s case where the plaintiff had been hurt, but that wouldn’t do. It was not right. Railway and tram companies and steamship companies must take care to have proper apparatus so that they might perform their contracts with safety; but when he said “proper apparatus” he did not mean the last new-fangled invention – not at all! If they were required to adopt the last thing invented they would be always chopping and changing. All they were required to do was exercise reasonable care.

Every company which carried passengers must have proper apparatus, but they were not bound to have the best or newest type, though they must be reasonably careful in the selection they make. The question for the jury was; what could the defendants have done in reason which would have prevented the accident? The plaintiff must prove that he had suffered from the specific negligence of the company or its officers.

The jury found a verdict for the defendants, and his Lordship, expressing his satisfaction at the conclusion they had come to, gave judgment for the defendants with costs.

AN OX DRINKS PETROLEUM
In the Manchester County Court on Monday, Judge PERRY gave judgment in an action in which Thomas KNOWLES, a cattle dealer, of Old Trafford, sued the Manchester Corporation for damages for the loss of an ox which, while being driven along a road under repair, had drunk from a barrel of petroleum which the workmen were using, and died as a result. His Honour said that to drink from an open barrel was a natural thing for an ox to do, and this animal evidently thought that the barrel by the roadside contained water.

Both the Corporation and the owner of the ox were entitled to the general use of the highway, but the Corporation had a duty imposed upon them by their own local Act of 1844, which laid it down that where building materials, rubbish, or other things were laid in any street, there was a duty on persons so doing to fence and enclose the materials. If the Corporation required a person to fence rubbish and other things in the highway, might it not be suggested that they should set an example by maintaining at least as high a standard of conduct towards the public as they expect from the public.

The public had a right to insist to insist upon Corporations carrying out the spirit of their own laws. Leaving an open barrel of petroleum unguarded in the road was an offence against the Manchester Corporation’s local Act of 1844, inasmuch as the Act made it incumbent on a person that he should so use his property that it should not be injurious to other persons. He gave judgment for the plaintiff for £16 and costs, and allowed costs on the higher scale as he considered the case of considerable importance to cattle dealers.

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