28 February 1903

A Beerseller Fined for Permitting Drunkenness
First Case Under the New Act

At the Dukinfield Police Court on Thursday, John William RICHARDSON, licensee of the Flowing Bowl beerhouse, Oxford-road, was summoned for permitting drunkenness on the 13th inst. Mr George HEATHCOTE, solicitor, prosecuted on behalf of the police, and Mr H BOSTOCK, solicitor, Hyde, defended. In reply to the charge defendant said he was guilty, but not of serving the women with intoxicating liquor, only soda water. – Mr BOSTOCK said under the circumstances the bench might take his plea as guilty.

Mr HEATHCOTE said that would shorten the case very much indeed. The defendant was the licensee of the Flowing Bowl beerhouse in Oxford-road. At 9.30 on Friday evening week the police went into the house and found in the snug two women and two men. One of the women was named Mrs Ellen CARPENTER, and police noticed she was under the influence of drink, leaning on a table.

The attention of the licensee was called to her, and he said, “There’s not much wrong with her, she only had lemonade.” The woman was taken into custody, and after she had been locked in the police station the inspector was instructed by the superintendent to report the licensee for permitting drunkenness on the premises.

He went back and told defendant he would be reported, and then it came out from the defendant that Mrs CARPENTER had entered the house at 4.30 in the afternoon, and had been in and out several times between that time and the time the police entered. He also said that the woman was in drink.

The next day Mrs CARPENTER was brought before the Bench in this court. – Mr BOSTOCK: I don’t think we have anything to do with them. We are not responsible. – Mr HEATHCOTE: When the case was heard, the woman admitted she was drunk. Her husband was called as a witness. – Mr BOSTOCK: I really must object. He knows perfectly well he has no right to go into Mrs CARPENTER’s case. We are charged with permitting drunkenness.

Alderman FENTEM: We can refer to it here (in the books). – Mr BOSTOCK: Beyond that we have nothing to do with Mrs CARPENTER. – Mr HEATHCOTE: I think the Bench are entitled to know the whole circumstances. It is continuing offence from 4.30 to 9.30. The husband attended to give evidence that he saw his wife come out at 7 o’clock, and found her there at 8 o’clock.

Mr BOSTOCK: I object, it is altogether irrelevant. – Mr HEATHCOTE: I thought the Bench ruled in my favour. The evidence is taken down in the clerk’s books. – Mr BOSTOCK: The landlord is not answerable, for the case which was called against the woman for being drunk. This is an entirely separate case. It does not go that because this woman was convicted for being drunk then the landlord must be convicted for permitting drunkenness.

Mr HEATHCOTE: I take it that equal to a plea of not guilty. If this woman was drunk the defendant has committed an offence. – Mr BOSTOCK: We have admitted the offence. – The Chairman: We have sufficient evidence here of the conviction. – Mr HEATHCOTE: It had been decided that it is permitting drunkenness serving a person with lemonade who is drunk. – Mr BOSTOCK: I admit that.

Inspector DUTTON was then called and gave evidence bearing out Mr HEATHCOTE’s opening statement. – Mr BOSTOCK did not cross-examine. – Mr HEATHCOTE: There is just one question. This was not an ordinary visit inspector? – Mr BOSTOCK: I object; I have not cross-examined. – Mr HEATHCOTE: You had some reason for going? – Inspector DUTTON: Yes. – Mr HEATHCOTE: It is sometimes said that the police are guilty of espionage and I want to show that the visit was in consequence of a complaint from Mrs CARPENTER’s husband. – Mr BOSTOCK: Let us be in order, please. – Mr HEATHCOTE: I can call the husband if the Bench considers it necessary. – The Chairman did not consider it necessary, and Mr HEATHCOTE said he would leave the case there.

Mr BOSTOCK said although the defendant had admitted committing an offence, he thought, after the bench had heard hat had to be said about the matter, they would be satisfied that only a technical offence had been committed, and the case only called for a nominal penalty. It had been stated that Mrs CARPENTER was at this inn at 4,30, and at other times up to 9.30. What he admitted was this, that at 4.30 she was there and was served with a ginger ale. She came in again about nine o’clock and remained until half past. The evidence of the prosecution was that she had no intoxicants.

Mr HEATHCOTE: May I correct my friend here. I offered to call the husband to prove that at 8 o’clock she was there, and he offered no protest.

Mr BOSTOCK to Mr HEATHCOTE he had finished once, and asked for him to be fair. The charge against the defendant was one of permitting drunkenness. The Bench would be aware that it was an offence for a licensee to allow a drunken person to remain upon his premises, although he had not served any intoxicants. It was not everyone that knew that fact. A good many people were under the impression that so long as a person was served with non-intoxicants there was no harm done, and even some licensees were under that impression. It appeared the defendant was one.

He had only been in the trade a year and ten months, and before that he was a mechanic. He instructed him to tell the Bench that this Mrs CARPENTER did come into the house about nine o’clock, and she had had something to drink, but she was not bad. The inspector only said she was under the influence of drink. The defendant, having regard to the fact that she asked for a teetotal drink, served her. That was what actually happened. When the defendant came to see him he told him that in law he had committed a technical offence in allowing the woman to remain there. That was his duty as licensee.

He did not know it then; he knew it now, but it was too late. He ought to have said to the woman “you have had some drink and although you only want a teetotal drink I cannot oblige you, you must go.” He thought the Bench would say that under the circumstances this was simply technical offence. It would have been a different matter if this woman had her drink at this house. Whatever was her condition it had been brought about by drink she had elsewhere. Defendant had made a mistake and under the circumstances he submitted that a nominal penalty would meet the justice of the case.

The Bench retires, and after a brief absence returned and the Chairman informed the defendant he would be fined 20s and costs. Mr HEATHCOTE said he was instructed by the Chief Constable in the case, and it was usual to apply for the advocate’s fee. Mr BOSTOCK said he had no doubt that when the Bench decided to fine defendant 20s and costs they intended that to cover everything. The Bench allowed Mr HEATHCOTE one guinea.

KEEPING DOG WITHOUT LICENSE. – Mary HALL pleaded guilty at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, for keeping a dog without license, and was fined 5s 6d and costs.

DRUNK ON LICENSED PREMISES. – Joseph LOWE was charged at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, with being drunk on licensed premises, the Miners’ Arms, Hurst. His wife appeared and pleaded guilty, and a fine of 10s was imposed.

THE RESULT OF WAITING FOR FRIENDS. – Two youths named Joshua BROUGHTON and Harry HOLDEN, were charged at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, with obstruction at Hurst on February 10th. A constable deposed to defendants standing on the footpath at a street corner for about ten minutes. They were jostling each other, and some of them ran away. – Defendants pleaded guilty, and said they were waiting of some friends. – Fined 1s each.

HE WOULD GET THE POLICEMAN “SACKED.” – Noah REDFERN pleaded guilty at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, to a charge of being drunk at Hurst on February 7th. – A constable deposed to defendant coming out of the Rising Sun Inn at five past 11 on the night in question. On being spoken to about the time, defendant said he would do as he liked, and that five minutes were allowed. He added that if witness said much he would get him “sacked.” A crowd gathered around. Defendant wanted his friends to help him.

Defendant’s manner elicited a remark from the Magistrates’ Clerk: Never mind winking at me. Where have you been this morning? – Defendant: Working. – The Chairman: Which public house have you called at. – The Clerk: I think you have had a glass or two to square yourself up. – Defendant: I have not. – Defendant was fined 5s 6d and costs.

MILL ACCIDENT: MINDER AND PIECER INJURED: - What might have been a very serious accident occurred at the Curzon Mill, Hurst, on Monday. A minder in the spinning department, named LEECH, residing in Ladbrooke-road, Hurst, and his piecer named CHORLTON, were at work between the mule carriage fixing a roller band, when by some means – it is supposed through accident knocking against the starting rod – the machinery was set in motion, and the mule commenced to run backwards.

With remarkable presence of mind and promptitude the minder jumped on to the mule, and stopped the machinery by reversing the starting rod. In doing so, however, he received a nasty flesh wound in the leg from one of the spindles, which penetrated deeply into the flesh. The piecer was unable to get clear in time, and was crushed about the body. Fortunately the prompt action of the minder resulted in the mule being stopped just at the critical moment, otherwise the boy would most probably have been crushed to death. Both the minder and piecer were placed under the care of a doctor, and have since been unable to follow their employment.

COWARDLY STRIKING A WOMAN. – Sophia HEPWORTH summoned Daniel NEAL, at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, for assault at Hurst on February 14th. – Defendant pleaded guilty through aggravation.

Complainant stated that defendant came into her house with a lodger, and on hearing a remark that the lodger was leaving and going to live with his mother she got up from the couch on which she was lying, and told him he would have to pay her for his week’s lodging before he left. Defendant told the lodger to get his clothes, and if she attempted to stop him he would throw them through the window. She told defendant that he was bad-minded, whereupon he lifted up his fist and struck her on the top of the head. He turned upon another lodger and knocked him down. When he saw her head bleeding he went out. Complainant never gave any provocation.

Defendant said complainant called him a foul name, and he handed a piece of paper to the magistrates containing a specimen of the language used. – Defendant said he struck her on account of the provocation. – The Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr C H BOOTH): You’ve no right to strike a woman whether she called you that or not. Probably if a man had called you, you would not have struck him. – Defendant: I admit striking the woman. – The Chairman: It is a cowardly thing to strike a woman. – Defendant: It was through aggravation. – The Chairman: No sensible man would strike a woman. You will be fined 10s and costs or 14 days’ imprisonment, and never strike a woman again or it will be the worse for you.

Warning Letter from an Ashtonian

Sir, - I hope you will excuse the liberty of me writing these few lines to your valuable paper, but having put a lot of my time in to your town, and having married a Lancashire girl, I think it my duty to warn those who intend coming out here. I am a miner by trade, having worked in the Snipe Colliery. I have also been a gold prospector on the West Coast of Africa.

Having read in the daily papers what a place South Africa was for making money, I made up my mind to give it a trial. When I arrived here I found things in a worse state than ever they were in England. In Cape Town good tradesmen were working for seven and eight shillings a day is not as good as four in England, as everything is double the price it is in England.

The house rent here is something awful, as you have to pay seven and eight pounds a month for houses you could get in Dukinfield for sixteen shillings per month. I have seen white men working as labourers for four and five shillings a day. How they lived on it I don’t know. But they either had to work or starve. In fact, those folks who have not got a trade in their hands had better stop at home, and those that have a trade had better be engaged in England.

I will just give you a little of my experience, as it may do someone a little good, and cause them to think before they do anything rash. When I arrived here in Cape Town, I thought it was no place for me, being a miner. I thought Johannesburg would be the best place for me, for I had splendid references from a gold mining company in West Africa.

When I arrived at Johannesburg I found things in a dreadful state. Hundreds were walking about idle and penniless. I tried at nearly all the mines around Johannesburg, but I always had the same reply, “Very sorry, but I am afraid we shall have to stop some of the men we now have,” and I thought the best thing I could do was to clear out before I got in the same state as hundreds of others that are penniless.

Well, I made my mind up to go to Windsor for the diamond fields. When I got there I began to sink a shaft, and spent nearly every penny I possessed in buying material for sinking purposes. Then, as luck would have it, I struck water, and as I had not the money to buy a pump with, I had to clear out and look for work somewhere else. Kimberley being only 25 miles away, I thought I would go there and look for work in the mines.

When I got there I found Kimberley in a worse state than Johannesburg. The Salvation Army Home there was full of people out of employment. There were men in that home representing almost every trade you could mention, and you could see that they were hard-working, respectable men, nearly all of them, only that they had the hard luck to be out of employment.

I tried at nearly all the mines around Kimberley, but could not get on, and as I walked down Old De Beers-road I met a person from my own town, and as he was holding a responsible position under the Cape Government Railway, he offered to get me work as a shunter on the railway. When I asked the wages I should get he told me it would be 6s 6d a day and he was doing me a kindness by giving me a job.

I thought the matter over, and decided not to work for that money, but to work my way to Cape Town to see about going back to old England, for you must understand that board and lodgings in Kimberley are 35s per week, and how was I going to keep a wife and children in England and myself on that?

I worked my way back to Cape Town and when I got there, as luck would have it, I met a friend and by his influence I got a very good break. I can assure you, dear sir, if you only knew what your humble servant has gone through you would do your best to try and stop your townsmen coming out here to destitution. – I am, dear sir, your respectfully,

NO LIGHT ON VEHICLE. – James READ pleaded guilty at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday to having no light on his vehicle for which offence he was fined 1s and costs.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY. – Anthony SMITH, John HOLLAND, and Edward THORNHILL pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in Pitt-street, Audenshaw, on February 5th, and were each fined 5s.

POTATO CLUB. – On Saturday the members of the Church Inn Potato Club were entertained to a good supper provided by the landlord, Mr W STANLEY. After supper the members enjoyed themselves with a free and easy concert. Prominent amongst the singers were Mr R TIPPING, Mr HARRISON, and Mr W COOPER. A most enjoyable evening terminated with a hearty vote of thanks to the host and hostess, given with the usual honours.

SLEEPING IN A BRICK-KILN. – Fred BARRINGTON was in custody on Wednesday charged with being drunk at Audenshaw on February 8th and with sleeping out at Audenshaw on February 25th, to both of which charges he pleaded guilty. – Sergeant JOHNSON deposed to finding prisoner sleeping in a brick-kiln. It was a dangerous, a man being dead in this place twelve months ago. Prisoner had been previously warned not to go into the brick-kiln. In reply to the Bench prisoner said he had lived at Hooley Hill on and off for about four or five years. He had had a row with his wife. – The Chairman described prisoner as one of those drunken lazy fellows who would not work when they had got work to go to. He would be fined 2s 6d costs or seven days’ imprisonment for sleeping out.

Portion of a Mill Blown Down

Ashton, like most other parts of the country, has been visited by storms on different days during the past week which for violence and destructiveness have not been equaled for several years past. The rainfall has been heavy, and in five days the water in the Brushes reservoirs rose nearly four feet, the quantity of water being in consequence being greater than at this time last year.

A comparison of the rainfall at Swineshaw with that at Stamford Park shows that it was much heavier in the higher and more exposed districts than in low-lying localities. The rainfall at Swineshaw was the heaviest on Saturday, when there were 1.1 inches, whilst at Stamford Park the register showed 0.55 inches. On Sunday there was half an inch at Swineshaw, and a quarter of an inch at Stamford Park.

The velocity of the wind on several days has been exceedingly great, and on Thursday night so boisterous was it that it was dangerous to walk along the streets on account of the tiles, bricks, and slates which were blown from the roofs of houses.

About 6.30 yesterday (Friday) morning a terrible crash was heard in the vicinity of Delamere-street. People ran out of their houses in alarm, and for a time they were almost blinded by particles of dust which were carried along in the air. Upon investigation it was found that the whole of the western portion of the mill, owned by Mr Thomas HALLAM, known as the New Mill, which was on fire last week, had collapsed, and the debris lay in a vast heap in Delamere-street, completely blocking up the roadway.

The brickwork and other material fell with considerable force against the front of the offices of Messrs WAINWRIGHT, Son, and Co, and the adjoining houses, but fortunately no damage was done beyond forcing in the iron ventilators close to the ground. Men were set to work to clear the footpath to enable pedestrians to pass along the street, and throughout Friday morning the place was visited by hundreds of people.

It was the intention to demolish the structure in view of the havoc caused by the fire. The Old Mill and a portion of Delamere-street was not touched by the fire, and an effort is being made to recommence work at these mills on Monday, which will find work for about 50 of the old hands, the others in the meantime having been given recommends by Mr HALLAM for employment elsewhere. When the building collapsed the street was clear of traffic or foot passengers, and no one was injured.

The wind has torn down great sections of the boarding enclosing the Ashton Athletic Grounds, Manchester-road, now occupied by Mr Jno ANDREW, of the Globe Hotel, Old-street.

One of the large plate-glass windows in the millinery and drapery establishment of Mr Samuel STREET, Oldham-road, Waterloo, has been blown out by the wind and shattered into fragments on the ground. Fortunately no one was passing at the time. Several guard wires in connection with the electric tramways and globes surrounding the electric lights were blown down, and the employees of the Oldham, Ashton, and Hyde Electric Traction Co were on Thursday and Friday busy renewing them.

BREACH OF THE PEACE. - Charles BROOKS pleaded guilty on Wednesday to committing a breach of the peace in Victoria-street, Bardsley, on February 8th, and was bound over in 40s to keep the peace for three months.

MARRIAGE AT BARDSLEY. – Much interest was evinced in a wedding which took place at the Holy Trinity Church, Bardsley, on Saturday afternoon. The contracting parties were Miss Ada HUDSON and Mr Anthony CRABTREE, cotton operatives at the Honeywell Spinning Company, Oldham. After the ceremony forty and fifty guests were entertained. Many handsome presents were received.

A WINDOW BREAKER. – Matilda BARLOW, described as a Waterloo property owner, was before the Ashton County justices on Wednesday, charged with committing a breach of the peace in Selbourne-street, Bardsley, on February 8th. – Constable BARBER said he received a complaint, and saw defendant smashing windows with her clog. – Defendant pleaded guilty, and said she had paid 15s towards the cost of the windows. – She was bound over in 40s to keep the peace for three months.

GATE BREAKERS. – At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, James WALTON was charged with allowing two horses to stray at Waterloo. – Sergeant LEEMING stated the case. – Defendant pleaded guilty, and said he did not see the horses. He said he locked the gate of the field in Wilshaw-lane securely on Sunday night, and the following morning the lock was broken off an the gate left open. Children were always swinging on the gate. – The Magistrates’ Clerk suggested that the police should keep a lookout for gate breakers. – The Magistrates gave defendant the benefit of the doubt, and dismissed the case.

WATERLOO MAN IN BAD COMPANY. – Thomas HOWLES. Operative spinner, of Waterloo, had an adventure in Oldham on Friday evening. He informed the Oldham Police Court on Saturday that there was a breakdown at the Bee Spinning Company’s Mill, Oldham, about noon. On his way home he had a few drinks and visited the Turk’s Head beerhouse, West-street, at 5.30. He was followed by Annie ROACH and Winifred SMITH, who asked him to stand drinks. He paid for three bottles of stout, and shortly afterwards missed 17s 6d. He accused ROACH of stealing the money, and he tried to prevent her leaving the room, but the prisoner SMITH pushed him away. ROACH eventually returned 1s.

James ASHWORTH, the landlord, admitted hearing a scuffle in the room, but he was called away to another part of the house. The prisoners left about the same time. – The Clerk: If you had done your duty you would have stopped them. – Witness: I thought it was a “lark” amongst them. – The Clerk: How could it be a “lark” when the man was demanding his money back? – ROACH, against whom were 29 convictions, was sent to gaol for two months’ hard labour, and SMITH for one month. The Bench declined to allow the prosecutor’s expenses, and said the landlord would probably hear more about the case.

Two boys, it is alleged, were playing with a toy pistol on Ashton Moss on Monday, when the pistol went off, and a boy named WALKER, son of William WALKER, market gardener, Ashton, was struck in the head with the bullet. He was conveyed to the Infirmary, and up to yesterday the bullet had not been extracted.

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