21 November 1903
THE MICROGRAPH AT ASHTON
The Oddfellows Hall, Ashton, was packed on Monday night
on the occasion of an exhibition, extending over two weeks,
of animated pictures by means of the new imperial micrograph,
a capital invention for depicting on the screen the hidden
wonders of the unseen world, magnified and photographed
by means of the micro-bioscope, showing microbes in food
and water, appearing on the screen similar to huge giants
and pre-historic monsters.
Other views were shown demonstrating beekeeping
in its various aspects, the champion bulldog “Jim”
killing 30 rats in 60 seconds, life on board the training
ship “Southampton,” life in Canada and an
exciting ride in front of the cow-catcher attached to
a locomotive, and a series of amusing and topical pictures,
embracing scenes in all parts of the world.
Other subjects included “The sleeping
beauty, or the dream of 100 years,” “Terrible
nights in an Ashton-under-Lyne hotel,” “Daring
daylight burglary,” “Babies v. up-to-date
toys,” an amusing picture, “The burglars’
pantomime, or the dandy thieves,” &c. The greatest
interest was, of course, centred in the pictures of the
minute creation, some of which filled the spectators with
awe and wonderment.
CHILD KNOCKED DOWN
BY A TRAMCAR AT ASHTON
Saved by the Lifeguard
A remarkable instance of the efficiency of the lifeguards
on the electric tramcars was afforded was afforded on
Friday evening. A tramcar was proceeding along Old-street
when a little boy, named HALL, six years of age, was knocked
down and fell underneath the car. There was a rush to
the spot, and the spectators were greatly alarmed at the
probable fate of the child.
The car was brought to a standstill, and
it was found that the child had been promptly picked up
by the patent automatic arrangement in connection with
the lifeguard with which the car was fitted, and deposited
in what is called the “cradle.” The boy crawled
out of his own accord – unhurt; and the first words
which fell from his lips as he ran off were that he wanted
to go home to his mother. But for the provision of the
patent apparatus the result must certainly have been fatal.
SUDDEN DEATH AT ASHTON
Fell Dead in the Street
A singular death was reported to the Ashton Borough Police
on Friday, when intelligence was conveyed of the death
of an old woman named Ann KERSHAW, of 4 Elgin-street.
It appears that she was walking along Market-street on
Friday about 5.45pm when without any apparent cause, she
staggered and fell on to the pavement. People passing
at the time ran to her assistance, but when examined life
was found to be extinct.
The inquest was held at the Hop Pole Hotel
on Monday morning by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner.
Hannah WELSH, sister of deceased, said she
was single and never followed any occupation. She was
61 last birthday. They had lived together for 29 years,
and she had always enjoyed good health, but had been subject
to fits when a young woman. She went out that night about
five o’clock to go on an errand and to her daughter’s
in Bentinck-street. Witness heard of her death about six
Emily BLAIRS, wife of John BLAIRS, Clegg’s
lodging-house, Duncan-street, said about half-past five
on last Friday evening she was going up Market-street
when she saw deceased on her hands and knees on the door-step
of Mr BUSHELL’s. Witness went to her assistance,
and spoke to her, but she made no reply. Mr BUSHELL then
came out, and together they helped her into a sitting
position. She was helpless and showed no signs of life,
and could not drink water which was offered to her.
A verdict to the effect that deceased met
her death by natural causes, probably sudden failure of
the heart’s action, was returned.
FIRE AT A CHIP POTATO
At noon yesterday (Friday) a fire broke out at the chip
potato establishment of Mr Thomas COWLEY, 34 Whiteacre-road,
Ashton, caused by the blaze from the flue coming in contact
with one of the pans and setting the fat on fire. A communication
was sent to the Town Hall, and the float with a contingent
of firemen despatched to the spot. On arrival the fire
had been extinguished. The damage was slight.
THE CLAIM AGAINST A
On Thursday, at the Ashton County Court, before his Honour
Judge BROWN, K.C., the resumed hearing of the case WEBB
v. BROOKE came on. Hugh WEBB, cycle dealer, Ashton, sought
to recover £3 10s from Joe BROOKS, the well-known
Stalybridge racing cyclist, a portion being for repairs
to a bicycle and the remainder lent. Witnesses were heard,
the evidence being very contradictory. In the end judgment
was given for the amount claimed, to be paid at the rate
of 10s per month.
MAN FOUND IN THE CANAL
On Wednesday afternoon, about 2 o’clock, the decomposed
body of a middle-aged working man was found in the canal
at Ashton. It was at once conveyed to the Town Hall, where
it had not lain long before a woman came and identified
it as the body of her husband, a boiler maker named Joshua
WEST. The inquest was held at the Town Hall, Ashton, by
Mr J F PRICE, district coroner.
Mary WEST, wife of deceased, said they lived
at 2 Garside’s-yard, off Boodle-street. Deceased
was a boilermaker by trade, and was 53 last birthday.
About 20 years since he had low fever, which the doctor
said had affected his brain, and ever since he acted a
Since last Christmas Eve he had never had
any regular employment. He had been addicted to drink,
but had been sober for the last five weeks. He was working
up to last Thursday. The last time she saw him was about
ten past six last Friday morning, apparently to go to
his work, but she had since ascertained by his foreman
coming for him that he did not go. He had been in the
habit of going away for long periods when out of work.
He had no occasion to go near the canal. He never threatened
to commit suicide.
Robert BARON, aged 14, of 11 Pitt-street,
Dukinfield, said about half-past one on Wednesday afternoon
he was walking along the Manchester and Ashton Canal bank.
When near the Cavendish-street Bridge he saw the body
floating on the water. He drew the attention of a boatman
who was passing to it, who got it out. Witness went to
A verdict of “Found drowned”
CHARGES AGAINST AN
Matches in the Mine
At the Ashton Borough Police Court, on Monday, William
HUGHES was summoned for being in possession of matches
in the Ashton Moss Colliery contrary to special rules,
on the 5th November. – Defendant pleaded not guilty.
He said the matches were in his pocket when he came out
of the pit, but he knew nothing about them.
Mr J B POWNALL, solicitor, said the prosecution
was instituted by the New Moss Colliery Company Limited,
for whom he appeared. The case was brought forward under
the special rules which said no person should have in
his possession any Lucifer matches or apparatus for striking
the same in the workings of a colliery.
On the forenoon of the 5th November a miner
named SHERRATT saw a coat lying on the ground and a match
protruding from one of the pockets. It was difficult at
the time to tell whose coat it was, but the official set
a watch upon it to see who came for the garment, SHERRATT
having reported the finding of the match.
At 1.30 the men came to their various coats
containing the matches. The matches produced were those
actually found in the pockets. Mr CARTER, the deputy-foreman
spoke to defendant about it at the time, and he admitted
the offence, with the result that they were there that
The Bench would see that if the matches
had remained in the jacket pocket there might not have
been much damage, but the coat was left on the floor,
and the men stumbling about in the darkness might have
ignited the matches, and one could hardly conceive the
appalling catastrophe which might have occurred.
It was essential miners should know that
these special rules must be observed and any infringement
would be severely dealt with. During the past few years
the colliery company had been exceedingly unfortunate
in having a number of accidents, fatal and otherwise,
not owing to their own fault or neglect, but to the carelessness
and indifference of the workmen.
It had been a very serious matter to them.
They did not care to bring these prosecutions into court,
but they had the lives of some hundreds of men at stake
and their capital invested there. He thought the miners
knew the rules sufficiently well, and the company expected
all their employees to loyally observe them, and carry
out what was intended by the management.
Amos SHERRATT was then called. He said he
was a miner at the New Moss Colliery. On Thursday, the
5th inst, about 11.30am, he was in the No 2 tunnel. He
noticed a match sticking out of a jacket pocket, and reported
the fact to the deputy. He did not know the owner of the
coat at the time. The matches produced were the same as
were found in the coat.
Mr CARTER, deputy-foreman, stated that SHERRATT
made a communication to him on Thursday forenoon with
respect to finding the matches. At 1.30 he saw defendant
come and own the coat, and witness charged him with having
matches in his possession. He replied that he did not
know about them. The matches produced were the same that
witness brought up out of the defendant’s jacket
Mr John WILSON (Gloucester Place): Did you
see a pipe in his pocket? – Witness: No. –
Defendant again repeated that he did not know how the
matches got there. He did not see them there at 5 o’clock
in the morning when he went to his work. – The Chairman
(Mr KELSALL): You have no defence to the case, which Mr
POWNALL has put so plainly and quietly so far as you are
concerned. The duty lies upon your shoulders under the
Act of Parliament not to have matches with you.
Defendant: It is a rule that no man should
go into another man’s pocket. – The Chairman:
Your suggestion is that someone put the matches there?
– Defendant: I should not like to say that. –
The Chairman: We cannot consider that. You had the matches,
and you know you should not have them in your pockets,
and must not have them, and this should be distinctly
understood by your workmates.
We have had many cases here, and when the
last case came I spoke very plainly about it in the interests
of the workmen themselves, and for the safety of their
lives and limbs. I thought a similar case of negligence
would never come again. It is in your interest that these
Acts of Parliament have been passed, and in the interest
of all those working in the mine.
This is an offence of a grave character,
affecting the safety of those working with you and the
property of your employers, and we cannot do less than
say you must pay 10s and costs, in default of payment
14 days. – Defendant: Will you allow me time to
pay? – The Chairman: You must arrange with the Chief
OPENING OF A NEW POST
OFFICE AT DUKINFIELD
The residents of Dukinfield will have noticed that during
the year Parr’s Banking Company, Limited, have been
erecting bank buildings in King-street opposite the Town
Hall, from the designs of Messrs John EATON, Sons and
CANTRELL, architects, Ashton. The necessity for the provision
of a new Post Office has long been recognised in the town.
The Postal Authorities could not be induced to move.
Early on in the year Parr’s contemplated
the erection of a bank at the corner of Bass-street, and
an arrangement was entered into with the Post Office that
the banking company should include a post office in their
building. This scheme has been carried out, the erection
of the buildings being entrusted to Mr John ROBINSON,
The lease of the old Post Office was expiring
on the 14th inst, and although not altogether complete,
the place was sufficiently advanced to enable Mr W LYDFORD,
the post master, to “flit” to the new office
after the despatch of the last mail on Saturday night.
The first mail was sent at 5.30 on Sunday morning, and
the doors were opened for the transaction of public business
at eight o’clock.
The building presents a clean and attractive
appearance. The upper rooms belong entirely to the bank.
The Post Office has an entrance from King-street, and
inside office for the transaction of postal, money order,
and telegraphic business is 25 feet by 21 feet. There
is a counter round two sides of the room, the top of which
is polished mahogany. The counter front is made from pitch
pine, with moulded pilasters, a splendid piece of workmanship.
There is a money order service fixed on
the counter, and also an aperture through which the letters
may be dropped without troubling to walk to the outside
apertures. Under the windows there are recesses to be
used in writing telegrams. At the rear of the public office
there is the postmaster’s private room.
The sorting room is divided down the centre
by a large glassed screen, and the other portion of the
space is allotted to the telegraph department, and a partitioned
space for the accommodation of the messengers. These rooms
are lighted by a glass roof. All the furniture is made
of pitch pine, varnished. The whole of the fittings on
the ground floor have been executed by Messrs BOWDEN and
Company, Lime-street, under the superintendence of Mr
J HALLWOOD, and the work reflects the highest credit upon
In the basement there is a cooking range
for the use of the postmen, and also the hot water heating
apparatus. The contract for the plumbing work was given
to Mr G H COOP, of Ashton, and he has also fitted the
electric equipment. Mr Abraham JEFFREYS, of Dukinfield,
has done the plastering, and Mr GREENWOOD, of Astley-street,
DEATH OF MR GEORGE
BRIGGS, OF ASHTON
Designer of Stamford Park Rockery
The many friends of Mr George BRIGGS will hear with great
regret of his death, which took place at his residence,
3 Gower-street, Ashton, on Sunday last, from bronchitis
after a lingering illness of over 12 months, although
he was only confined to bed a few days.
Born at Norwood, London (his father being
landscape gardener at the Crystal Palace), the family
removed to the North of England when he was ten years
of age. He served his apprenticeship as a stonemason,
subsequently starting business as a rock and fernery designer,
in which capacity he earned considerable distinction,
and has extended contracts in almost every part of the
He designed and laid out the rockery work
on numerous large estates and public parks, his last great
work being at Stamford Park, at Ashton, which has proved
such a great attraction. He was the recipient of numerous
testimonials bearing splendid testimony to the character
of his work. He was of a quiet and unassuming nature,
and his demise at the comparatively early age of 46 will
cause great regret.
The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon,
at the Cemetery, Dukinfield, which was attended by several
of his old friends among the stonemasons. Mr BRIGGS leaves
a widow, two sons, and five daughters to mourn his loss,
for whom great sympathy is felt in their sad bereavement.