21 February 1903
A disastrous fire broke out at the cotton mill owned by
Mr Thomas HALLAM in Delamere-street yesterday morning
about ten minutes to six. The alarm was first raised by
a boy, who at once ran in his bare feet and mill attire
to the Town Hall and gave information within five minutes
of the outbreak. The Ashton Fire Brigade in charge of
the Chief Constable (Mr J SNELL) was promptly on the spot.
When the alarm was first raised,
most of the hands had entered the various workrooms and
divested themselves of their attire. Immediately they
heard the cry of fire several of the minders rushed off
to the fire buckets, which were full of water, and ran
up the steps with them to the fourth storey in what is
known as the new mill, where the fire originated.
On opening the door of the
jenny-room they were met by a cloud of smoke, and were
unable to enter. The opening of the door allowed ingress
of fresh air which fanned the flames, and soon the whole
room was one huge blaze. The mill was non-fire proof,
and the flooring saturated with oil, so that the flames
spread with remarkable rapidity to the stores and attic
above, until the whole pile broke out into one great conflagration.
Immediately on the arrival
of the brigade with the steamer “Heginbottom”
the Chief Constable at once gave instructions for the
second fire engine to be utilised, and soon both engines
were at work pumping jets of water on to the flames. Jets
of water were got to work from the mains – one from
Wellington-street and two from Stamford-street supplying
one of the engines; four from Old-street and one from
Delamere-street, providing water for the reservoir supplying
the other fire engine.
About an hour after the outbreak
the heavily-slated roof fell in with a terrific crash,
and the flames sprang up to a great height, whilst the
walls and other portions crackled with the intense heat.
The flooring of the various storeys in turn burned through
and the heavy machinery fell, twisted and scorched by
the heat, with a loud crash down to the second storey,
which fortunately was preserved from fire, although the
machinery was considerably damaged by water.
After about three hours the
fire was got under, but the timber work and other inflammable
material was smouldering for several hours afterwards,
and firemen were required to put out fresh outbreaks with
water from the mains.
The new mill, with the exception
of the first two storeys, was totally destroyed. It was
one of the oldest mills in the district, and it was five
storeys high and an attic. In the new mill there seven
pairs of males and several carding machines. A communication
was dispatched shortly after the outbreak of the fire
to the owner of the mill, Councillor T HALLAM, who was
at his home in Taunton-road, and he was very soon on the
spot rendering what assistance he could.
The machinery had not started
working, and the hands had only just finished lighting
up and were oiling. They used patent electric lighters
for lighting the gases. Several of the workpeople lost
their clothing, and had to return home in their work attire.
One or two made a bold dash through the fire and smoke,
and, after securing their clothing, ran out into the street
with it in their arms. One old man, named Martin FLYNN,
a piecer, failed to get his clothing, and it was as much
as he could do to escape into the street uninjured, wearing
his mill attire.
The damage to the mill, which
is considerable, is covered by insurance.
HILL & AUDENSHAW
DRUNK AND INCAPABLE. – James BROCKLEHURST
pleaded guilty at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
to being drunk and incapable in Guide-lane, Audenshaw,
on February 3, and was fined 2s 6d.
DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.
– James HILL was charged at the Ashton
County Police Court, on Wednesday, with being drunk and
disorderly in Guide=lane, Audenshaw, on Sunday afternoon,
February 1st. – Defendant’s wife appeared,
and pleaded guilty, and a fine of 5s 6d and costs was
DELAYED BY SNOW. –
James LOMAS, who said he worked for a Stalybridge firm,
was before the Ashton County Justices, on Wednesday, charged
with being asleep in charge of two horses and a lurry
at Audenshaw on Feb 3rd. – Defendant pleaded guilty,
and said he had been to Bolton, and had no sleep for two
nights on account of being delayed by the snow, he having
set out without having his horse sharpened. – Fined
James HORNER was in custody at the Ashton County Police
Court, on Wednesday, charged with begging at Audenshaw
on February 17th. – Prisoner pleaded guilty, and
said he was a compositor making his way to Derby. He had
been ill, and only came out of the workhouse a week ago.
A small quantity of beer got into his head. – The
magistrates discharged prisoner on his promising to leave
DOG WITHOUT LICENSE.
– At the Ashton County Police Court, on
Wednesday, Hy. MERCER was charged with having a dog without
license at Audenshaw on February 3rd. Defendant pleaded
guilty, and made an excuse that he had been off his work,
and that he could not get a license whilst playing him.
– The Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr C H BOOTH): The
law says you must have a license or else you must not
keep a dog. – Fined 5s 6d and costs.
SOCIETY. – At the usual weekly meeting
of the above named society, which was presided over by
Mr Joshua JAMES, Mr W TAYLOR, of Alt, near Oldham, delivered
an admirable lecture on “Electricity,” which
was listened to by a good audience. In the course of the
lecture several experiments were given, demonstrating
the wonderful power of electricity.
The dynamo was very lucidly
explained, and experiments given producing electric light,
also by diagrams the manufacturing of electricity for
traction work, showing how electric cars were driven.
Other appliances for producing effect were explained and
demonstrated by practical proofs. A useful conversation
followed, in which many strange stories were related by
the members of the wonderful ways that electricity had
manifested itself to them. Many questions were answered
by the lecturer, and a hearty vote of thanks to Mr TAYLOR
brought a very instructive evening to a close.
THEMSELVES. – On Tuesday evening the members
and friends of the Sun Inn football team commemorated
another victory by sitting down to a capital dinner at
the above-named house. The host and hostess, Mr and Mrs
J H RADFORD, placed a substantial quantity of viands on
the table, to which the 30 odd guests did ample justice,
as some of them, by their training for, and afterwards
prowess on, the football field, had got their appetite
considerably strengthened, and each and everyone got up
from the table perfectly satisfied.
The after proceedings were
also of a very enjoyable nature, consisting of songs,
&c, the following, amongst others, contributing to
the evening’s enjoyment:- Messrs A and H SCOTT,
J and A CLARKE, J ADSHEAD, C SULLIVAN, J FISHER, W DOWNING,
J PEEL, J ROBERTS, J SPENCER, and S HIGGINBOTTOM. A hearty
vote of thanks to the host and hostess for their admirable
catering brought a pleasant evening to a close.
DEATH AT ASHTON
Information was received at the Ashton Police Office at
2.30pm on Monday from Eliza Jane SMITHSON, wife of Harry
SMITHSON, labourer, 118 Brook-street, Ashton, of the death
of their infant son, aged one month. The deceased had
been a healthy child ever since birth, but was rather
About 11 o’clock on the
night of the fifteenth last the father and mother retired
to bed taking the child with them. Another child, aged
eighteen months, lay at the foot of the same bed. The
deceased child was placed on the left arm of the mother
on the outside of the bed, and fell asleep in that position.
During the night, the mother was awakened by deceased
crying, and after being given the breast he went to sleep.,
and at about 5am the husband and mother got up, and the
mother placed the child, which appeared to be asleep,
on a pillow.
About two hours afterwards
the mother heard the other child crying, and she went
upstairs. After taking up the child, she kissed the forehead
of the deceased, which then appeared to be asleep, and
found that the child’s face was quite cold. The
mother screamed, and the husband ran upstairs, and after
examining the child, he knocked on the wall for the next
door neighbour, who came in and examined the child, which
lay on the right side, and was discoloured about the mouth.
The husband went for Dr CRAWSHAW, who, on examining the
child, pronounced life extinct.
The inquest was held on Wednesday
afternoon, at the Good Samaritan Inn, Cotton-street, by
Mr J F PRICE, district coroner.
Eliza Jane SMITHSON, wife of
Harry SMITHSON, labourer at the New Moss Colliery, said
the deceased was her child. He was a full-grown child
at birth, and had enjoyed very good health, having been
fed entirely from the breast. The child seemed in good
health on Sunday night about 11 o’clock when witness
and her husband retired to bed, taking the child with
them. There was another child, aged 18 months, sleeping
at the foot of the bed.
Witness placed deceased on
her left arm on the outside of the bed and went to sleep.
She was awakened in the early morning by hearing the child
crying, and she gave him the breast, after which he went
to sleep. Witness awoke at eight o’clock the following
morning, and found the child still lying on her left arm.
She did not notice anything unusual with the child.
Witness and her husband got
up, and she covered the baby up with the bedclothes. She
could not say whether or not the baby was then dead. She
and her husband went downstairs, and two hours afterwards
she went upstairs on hearing the other child crying. She
picked up the child and then looked at the deceased, which
was in the same position as when she went downstairs.
She kissed the child’s forehead and found it was
cold, and she screamed and knocked on the wall for the
nextdoor neighbour who came in and carried the child downstairs.
The child was dead and cold.
There was a discolouration
down the side on which the child had lain. Witness had
often gone to sleep with the child at the breast. It had
never struck her that it was a dangerous thing to go to
sleep with the child at the breast. The child might have
been smothered whilst at the breast. He was insured, but
not in full benefits. – The Coroner: I am surprised
that an intelligent woman like you should have gone to
sleep with the child at your breast. I should have thought
you had learned the lesson before this.
Sarah Jane PERKINS, widow,
116 Brook-street, and she had known the child ever since
birth. He was then full-grown and healthy but seemed to
have gone much thinner. Witness had the child on her lap
the night before he died and he then appeared in good
health. On Monday morning witness was called into the
house and there saw the child lying dead in bed and very
much discoloured about the face and body. The tongue was
dark coloured and the mouth wide open and frothing. The
mother had apparently looked after her children very well.
The Coroner said it was a very
good way of suffocating a child, leaving him at the breast.
He would not suggest that it was purposely done as the
child was not in insurance benefits. There was no doubt
the child was dead when the mother got up. – Several
jurymen expressed the opinion that the child had been
accidentally suffocated. – The jury returned a verdict
that death was due to the child having been accidentally
AND ENTERING AN ASHTON BUTCHER’S SHOP
Smart Capture by Constable Wilson
At half-past one o’clock on Saturday morning Constable
WILSON, of the Ashton borough police force, effected an
important seizure of thieves in that act of burglaring
the butcher’s shop of Mr James DAVIES, 95 Turner-lane.
It is a lock-up shop, and as the officer was patrolling
past, all attentive to his duty, his notice was drawn
to the flickering of a small light inside the shop. He
approached quietly to the window, and was able to see
two young men inside, one busily engaged ransacking the
cash drawer and the other cutting chunks of beef.
He stepped round the corner
for a second, and in a few minutes the burglars emerged
from the shop. With commendable alertness WILSON arrested
one of the men, and the other made off. He subsequently
gave himself up at the Town Hall, doubtless feeling lonesome
without his mate. They turned out to be Samuel SIMKISS
and James GREENWOOD, young men of about 20 years of age,
and dirty and unkempt were they when they appeared in
the dock on Saturday, before Messrs T G PLATT, W NEWTON,
and J McDERMOTT.
They were charged with breaking
and entering the shop and stealing therefrom 6½lbs
of meat, one knife, and two eggs, the property of James
DAVIES, between 10pm on the 13th and 2am on the 14th instant.
Mr DAVIES was called, and stated
that on Friday night, at eleven o’clock, he locked
the shop, and left all secure. At half-past two the following
morning he was knocked up by the police, and on going
to his shop he found a window had been forced open. He
went inside and found 6½lbs of beef wrapped up
in five paper parcels ready to be taken away. The pieces
had been cut from a hind quarter of beef into which he
had not cut. He also found a quantity of pork cut up and
a ham and two flitches of bacon cut into, likewise a leg
of mutton. He missed a knife, two new-laid eggs, and some
Constable WILSON gave evidence
of the apprehension of the prisoners. On being charged
at the Town Hall SIMKISS said, “I stole no meat,”
and GREENWOOD did not make any reply. SIMKISS had one
egg in his possession. – In reply to the magistrates’
charge prisoners had nothing to say.
The Clerk: You said not only
did you steal, or attempt at any rate to steal this beef,
eggs, and various other things, but you actually cut up
beef and did damage to a very great amount to this man’s
goods. You aren’t accustomed to cutting up beef
and you have practically ruined this man’s beef
for this week. People won’t buy it and he will have
to sell is at a very great reduction in order to get rid
of it in the best way he can. It is not the first time
you have been up.
The Chief Constable said SIMKISS
had been nine times before. In March last year, before
this Court, both of them for shopbreaking, reduced to
larceny, got three months. They had been up at Stalybridge
since then, where SIMKISS had got three months. GREENWOOD
had been up six times.
The magistrates committed prisoners
to gaol for three months each hard labour and warned them
if they were brought up again they would be sent for trial
at the sessions.
SCENE IN A STOCKPORT
An unusual incident occurred at St Thomas’s Church,
Stockport, on Sunday morning. During the celebration of
Holy Communion a large number of the communicants rose
from their places and left the church as a protest against