25 July 1903
FIRE AT GORTON
Chemist’s Shop Destroyed
A fire broke out early on Monday morning at Gorton which
did considerable damage to a shop and its contents. The
outbreak took place at the lockup shop occupied by a chemist
and druggist in Cross-street and it was first discovered
just before seven o’clock in the morning. The local
police and the Manchester City Fire Brigade were soon
communicated with, and when they arrived the shop had
got well ablaze.
Meanwhile, some private fire
apparatus was got to work, but this did not do much to
keep the flames in check. The fire was burning fiercely
when the city fire brigade arrived, and though they quickly
got to work, and volumes of water were poured upon the
building, the flames continued to spread.
Eventually the efforts of the
brigade were successful, and the flames were got under
control, but not before much damage had been done, the
shop and contents on the ground floor having practically
been destroyed. Sergeant DAVIES, of Gorton, and one or
two other police officers, were soon on the scene, and
they did much to help the city firemen in the difficult
task before them.
The shop had not been opened
since the previous night, and the cause of the outbreak
is unknown. The damage to stock is estimated at about
£350. This is not insured, but the building is.
ILL-TREATMENT OF A CHILD
A Newton Man Sent to Prison
James BRADLEY, of Shaw Hall, Newton, carter, was charged
before Mr Justice WILLS, at the Chester Assizes, on Thursday,
with ill-treating his child, Harriet BRADLEY, aged 14.
Mr Trevor LLOYD, barrister-at-law, instructed on behalf
of the N.S.P.C.C., appeared for the prosecution, and the
prisoner, who pleaded not guilty, was not represented
Several witnesses were called
for the prosecution, who proved that the prisoner had
ill-treated his daughter by thrashing her. The prisoner
was found guilty of assault, and the Judge said that,
having regard to the fact that prisoner had already been
in gaol three weeks waiting his trial, he would now be
sent to gaol for a further period of five weeks, with
COTTON OPERATIVE’S “STIFF FINGER”
Is She Able to do Jack Tenting? – Doctors Differ
The sequel to an accident to a cotton operative at Messrs
Reyners’ Ltd Mill, Ashton, was heard at the Ashton
County Court, on Thursday, before His Honour Judge Reginald
BROWN, K.C. The firm was represented by Dr ATKINSON, and
the injured woman, Elizabeth McCABE, was represented by
Mr GIBBONS. The application by the firm was to diminish
or annul the amount paid since the accident.
Dr ATKINSON stated that the
woman met with an accident to the second finger of her
left hand on 19th of September of last year, whilst engaged
at the Albion Mill. The wage she received was 13s 9d per
week and she had been paid since that time 6s 10d, half
of her wages. Since then she had been examined from time
to time, and the opinions of Dr HUGHES and Dr OULTON were
that the woman was now quite as capable of doing the work
as she was before the accident occurred. The only point
His Honour had to decide was whether she was capable of
earning 13s per week, and the evidence he would bring
was that she was able to earn it.
She was engaged at the time
of the accident as a tenter to a roving machine, and one
of his witnesses, who had happened an accident to one
of his right fingers many years ago, was quite able to
do his work, and had done it for years.
Dr OULTON and Dr HUGHES gave
evidence and they agreed that the woman was now perfectly
able to do her work. Judging from the way in which the
woman was doing domestic work at home, said Dr HUGHES,
he thought her hand would be all right in a few days.
James MELLOR, foreman in the
cardroom, who had a stiff finger, produced a spindle and
fly used in the process of cotton spinning, and said he
was of the opinion the woman was quite able to do her
work again. He gave a description of what Mrs McCABE had
to do whilst at work, and explained that whilst piecing
the machinery was stopped. Answering Mr GIBBONS he said
the woman would have to clean the rollers whilst the machinery
was in motion.
His Honour: I think there are
regulations against cleaning machinery whilst in motion?
– Witness: Yes, there are. We stop the machinery
an hour and a half before the mill ceases work in order
that it should be cleaned. Some of the machinery is in
motion whilst the rollers are cleaned because they could
not be cleaned without they were moving.
Elizabeth McCABE, the injured
woman, of Bentinck-street, Ashton, said she had not been
able to do her housework since the accident, and she had
had a woman to do it for her. She came twice a week. Witness
would have to use both hands when carrying the bobbins
in the mill. She had to clean the rollers whilst they
were in motion, and it was dangerous. She might easily
get her hand in the rollers. – Mr GIBBONS It is
not true you suggested you should not go back to work.
– Witness: No. She added she was quite willing to
go back to work if she was able to do it.
His Honour at this stage examined
the fingers. – Mr GIBBONS called as witnesses two
“jack frame tenters” who had worked up to
some time ago. They stated they would not be able to do
the work if they had a stiff finger similar to that of
Dr TWOMEY, of Ashton, said
as a result of the accident the rest of the fingers were
not as strong as they were originally. She had no grip
of the hand. – Dr MANN, who had also examined the
woman’s fingers, said she would not be able to do
the work she had done before. A fractured bone would always
be painful. He added that the hand would go decidedly
Dr HUGHES and Dr OULTON laughed,
whereupon Dr MANN said, “My friends pooh-pooh the
idea, but a fractured bone will never get better. It will
be painful to the end of her days. If Dr HUGHES doubts
it, he can have a bone broken and try it for himself.”
His Honour said he had great
reliance in the evidence of MELLOR, who, curiously enough,
had happened a similar accident. He was satisfied that
if the woman were to go back and try she would be able
to do the work. He annulled the payment.
TECHNICAL SCHOOL AND SCHOOL OF ART
City and Guilds of London Institute, Examinations 1903
Cotton Weaving – Ordinary grade: George BURNS, Thomas
JACKSON, Nathaniel ROEBUCK, William K SMITH, Harry THORNLEY,
Ordinary, second year –
Parker BIRTWISTLE, James DAWSON.
Honours, Section A –
George S LEECH, Edward PICKUP.
Honours, Section B –
Frederick W BANER, Richard HOUGH, George S LEECH, William
VICKERS, Sam WILKINSON.
CASES AT DUKINFIELD
A Dangerous Playground
On Tuesday noon Mr F NEWTON, district coroner, held a
couple of inquiries at the Dukinfield Town Hall into the
deaths of Walter HOWARD, aged 10, and John KNOWLES, aged
21, whose bodies were taken out of the Peak Forest Canal
on Saturday and Sunday last. Mr FLETCHER, Portland Junction,
represented the Great Central Railway Company’s
canal department. The first inquiry was as to the death
of the boy HOWARD, and the following evidence was given:-
Samuel HOWARD said he lived
at 4 Brunswick-street, Dukinfield, and was a twister in
a cotton mill. The deceased, Walter HOWARD was his son
and was ten years of age. Witness last saw him alive on
Saturday morning, the 18th. He was then in bed and in
good health. At about 12 o’clock three or four boys
came to his house and told him Walter had been pulled
out of the canal.
He went at once to the Peak
Forest Canal, and saw his dead body at the Gasworks. Witness
did not know how he got into the canal, except what he
had been told. – By a juror: I never knew that he
went down there to play. It being Saturday morning he
would not be at school. – The Coroner said he would
take the liberty of expressing the sympathy of the jury
along with his own with Mr HOWARD in the sad loss he had
sustained by the death of his boy.
John GILLIBRAND (9) said he
lived at 34 Queen-street. On Saturday forenoon he was
playing with Walter HOWARD on the towing path of the canal
near the Gasworks. At half-past eleven o’clock he
saw Walter pushing at the swing bridge. He moved it, and
as he was jumping on the bridge he fell into the water.
Witness tried to get him out, but could not reach him.
He then shouted to some men at the Gasworks, but they
could not hear him.
The deceased was pulled out
by George LINDLEY at one o’clock, and he was then
dead. There were two other boys there with us. I have
not been in the habit of going to the swing bridge. I
know that boys have drowned there, My cousin was drowned
there. – The Coroner: That will do, my boy; you
have given your evidence very nicely.
George LINDLEY said he lived
at 305 Astley-street, Dukinfield, and was a labourer.
At five minutes past twelve o’clock on Saturday
noon he was returning from his work, and when opposite
the Dukinfield Gasworks he saw several boys. They told
him that a boy had fallen into the canal. He looked into
the water, but could not see anything. He got a drag from
the Gasworks, and in about ten minutes recovered the body
of the deceased. There were no signs of life. Efforts
were made to restore him, but without avail.
The Coroner: You cannot keep
children away from this bridge I suppose? – Mr FLETCHER:
No, there is no keeping them away. – A juror: Is
there no means of having the bridge fastened in some way.
There is not so much traffic across it as formerly. It
is not now used by the Gasworks. There have been a number
of children drowned there, and I have sat on the inquests.
I think the bridge should be locked in some way, and those
people who have to go across with horse and cart should
have a key.
A juror said there was a foot
bridge there for passengers. – Constable KENNY said
there was a chain attached at the present time, and the
bridge can be locked up. I have been in Dukinfield six
years, and have never seen a horse and cart pass over
the bridge. – The Coroner: Who does it belong to?
– Mr FLETCHER: The Great Central Railway Company.
– The Coroner: Is there any objection to it being
locked? – Mr FLETCHER: It would require a new lock
Constable KENNY: I have seen
it locked. – Mr FLETCHER: Locks have been put on
and knocked off again. When they can’t get the lock
off they fill it with sand and dirt. Cyclists have been
known to break the shackles and cross the bridge. –
A juror: It has been spoken about many times, and representations
made to the railway company. – Mr FLETCHER: In a
month’s time hundreds of children go down there.
I am surprised there are not more drowned. People walk
past and see children lying on the towpath almost in the
canal and never speak to them.
A juror: Isn’t it possible
to do away with the bridge? – Mr FLETCHER: It would
be a good job for the railway company if it were, but
there is a man at the farm who wants to use it. –
A juror: It ought to be fastened up or pulled down. –
The Coroner: The gentleman says they have taken every
precaution to keep the bridge locked, and when provided
they get the locks broken. – A juror: They would
get on the bridge all the same if it was locked.
Mr FLETCHER: They could get
on the bridge to lock it. They play all sorts of tricks
with the boatmen. They have pushed the bridge to just
as a boat was approaching and plenty of boats have nearly
been sunk in this way. If the boatmen say anything, stones
are thrown from the embankment, and they have to seek
shelter in the cabins.
The Coroner: It is very difficult
to keep children out of danger. The more you try to keep
them out, the more they get into it. You seem to have
done all you could to prevent these accidents. –
Mr FLETCHER: Certainly. This lad was ordered away at ten
minutes to 12 o’clock by the gasworks foreman along
with two others. – A juror: And you have had men
patrolling the towing path? – Mr FLETCHER: Yes,
on Sundays. It was only the other day that I was threatened
with a summons for chastising a lad.
The jury returned a verdict
that the deceased was accidentally suffocated by drowning.
The second inquiry into the death of John KNOWLES was
then entered upon.
Elizabeth KNOWLES said she
lived at 109 Cecil-street, Dukinfield. The deceased, John
KNOWLES, was her brother, and was 21 years of age. He
was a piecer in a cotton mill, and lived with her. She
last saw him alive on Wednesday morning at ten minutes
to six o’clock. He was then dressed and going out
to work. He did not make any complaint or say anything
to her. She did not notice anything strange about him,
and he appeared to be in his usual good health. About
ten o’clock she found his breakfast behind the washing
machine in the back kitchen.
He usually took his breakfast
with him to work. He was only working “sick”
at Astley Mill on Monday and Tuesday, and when she found
his breakfast she made inquiries and ascertained that
he had not been to Astley Mill that morning. The Astley
Mill had been stopped for three weeks before that, and
he was doing sick work before it stopped. He had not been
any quieter than usual, and she did not know that he was
fretting in consequence of irregular work.
When he did not come home on
the Wednesday night she did not inform the police he was
missing as she thought he had gone to work elsewhere.
He has been without regular shop for some months. He has
not been short of food. He was a member of the 3rd V.B.
Manchester Regiment. He wanted work outside the mill if
he could get it, but he had been brought up in the mill
ever since he could work. She heard on Sunday that a man
had been found in the canal, but she did not go to the
Town Hall to identify him because she had no idea he would
drown himself. – A juror: I knew him personally,
but could not identify him when the body was brought to
the Town Hall.
Charles SUTTON said he lived
at 21 Park-street, and was a cotton operative. On Sunday
morning last, about 6.30, he was walking along the towing
path of the Peak Forest Canal, at Dukinfield Hall. When
near the Well Bridge, he saw the man floating in the water.
He obtained assistance and got the body out, and reported
the matter to the police. The body had evidently been
in the water several days.
The Coroner asked if any of
the jury knew the deceased. Several jurors said they knew
him to be a very quiet, respectable young man, and one
who kept very good company. – The Coroner: Were
there any bruises on the body? – Constable KENNY:
No. His face and neck were very much discoloured. –
The Coroner: Was the body fully dressed? – Constable
KENNY: Yes, and there was 4d in his pocket.
The Coroner: It is somewhat
difficult in cases of this kind to find the motive. There
does not appear to be anything to indicate that the deceased
was dissatisfied with his work. He did not make any complaint
upon that score to his sister. The only thing that points
to suicide is the fact that he left his breakfast that
morning hidden behind the mangle, and instead of going
to work at the mill, he must have gone straight to the
canal and drowned himself.
The question is whether it
will be better to find a verdict of found drowned or whether
you have sufficient evidence that he has committed suicide
whilst in an unsound state of mind. There is not much
evidence upon that score; no evidence, in fact, that he
was of unsound mind at the time. The jury returned a verdict
of “Found drowned.”
OF MR C A SIMMONDS
We regret to record the death of a well-known and respected
resident (of Dukinfield) in the person of Mr Charles SIMMONDS,
who died on Thursday week. From the age of about 26 he
suffered from ulcerated stomach, and had periodical attacks
consequent upon this ailment, and many times his life
was despaired of, but owing to his otherwise strong constitution
he recovered each time, and almost to the very last hopes
were held out of his recovery
He had a short illness just
after Whitsuntide this year, and although he recovered
enough to get out again he never seemed to regain his
strength, and three weeks before his death was compelled
to take to his bed again, and gradually grew weaker and
weaker, and died practically from exhaustion, consequent
upon his not being able to take any nourishment owing
to the nature of his complaint, which the doctor stated
had developed into a malignant cancer. He suffered very
much during the last few days, and from Monday to the
Thursday when he died it was a continual fight with death.
Mr SIMMONDS was born in London
some 62 years ago, and from there moved to Manchester,
where most of his family relations are. He served his
apprenticeship to the spindle-making trade at Messrs Buckley
and Crossley, Tame Valley, Dukinfield, and shortly after
his marriage came to reside in the district, where he
remained until about 18 months previous to his death.
Owing to failing health he
decided to retire from his trade, and removed to Manchester
again, having taken up a small business on Hyde-road,
West Gorton, and it was whilst there that he was taken
ill, and died on Thursday last. He was a member of the
Crescent-road Congregational Church, and was much esteemed
by all who attended there.
In politics he was a Liberal,
and a much-respected member of the Central Club. A few
years ago he was honoured by being made a life member,
and on Tuesday the flag was hoisted half-mast on the club
as a tribute of esteem. He lived a very quiet life, and
was of a retiring and unassuming disposition, but always
with a pleasant smile and cheery word for his friends,
and amongst all his acquaintances it may be safely said
he had no enemies.
On Saturday the employees of Messrs W Kenyon and Sons,
Chapel Field Ropery, were given their annual trip, the
place selected being Southport. The party numbering 114
left Charlestown Station at 8.20 for Manchester, and changed
there for the Southport express, special carriages being
put on for their convenience. After a speedy and pleasant
run Montpelier of the North was reached, and the party
at once repaired to the Castle Dining Rooms, where they
were joined by the employees of the Preston Work.
A good, substantial breakfast
was served, and after the repast the usual vote of thanks
to Messrs Kenyon and Sons was moved by Mr Geo HACKWELL,
seconded by Mr William EASTWOOD, special references being
made to the death of two of the old employees since the
last trip, and also the wish for long life, health, prosperity,
and happiness for Mr and Mrs Percy KENYON, who leave Dukinfield
next Thursday for Mexico.
County Councillor G H KENYON,
senior member of the firm, replied. Just at the close
of proceedings, the Yorkshire employees arrived. The party
broke up to enjoy themselves according to their individual
predilections. The weather turned out beautifully fine,
and full advantage was taken of it. Amongst the places
visited were Hesketh Park, Church Town, Winter Gardens,
Birkdale, Kew Gardens, the Marine Park and Lake.
At the latter place the
“old uns” seemed quite young again, and disported
themselves like giddy kippers in boating and donkey riding.
The return journey was safely accomplished at nine o’clock,
and thus ended another of the many good things provided
by Messrs Kenyon and Sons for their workpeople.