30 May 1903

FORTUNE TELLING AT MILES PLATTING
Woman Sent to Gaol

Mary HULME, who gave her address as Leamington-street, Miles Platting, was charged at the Manchester City Police Court on Tuesday with “unlawfully pretending and professing to tell fortunes on May 21st and diverse other days.” P.C. ALDCROFT said that as a result of complaints which had been received he and another officer instructed three young women to go to the prisoner’s house. Afterwards the place was watched, and on several days young women were seen to enter the house and remain in it for a little while.

Leah CARTER, domestic servant, said they went to the prisoner’s house together on Sunday, the 17th inst, and said they wanted to have their fortunes told. HULME said she was too ill to do it for them, and asked them to go again the following Thursday. They did so, and witness was taken into another room, leaving her companions. Prisoner then asked, “Have you brought anything with you?” and witness replied, “No.”

Mr ARMITAGE (the chairman): I thought that was the first question. – (Laughter.) – Witness: She then said, “Has anyone been wearing that broach you have on?” I said, “No,” and she said, “Give it to me.” I did so, and she rubbed it on her forehead twice. She said I was in trouble over a young man. – (Laughter.) – Mr ARMITAGE: I thought so.

Witness: She said I had met him in a road where there was a field and some new houses, and that we quarreled, and then he left me, he going one way and I another. She added that he had rosy cheeks and was dark, and then she said I had another young man. – (Laughter.)

Mr ARMITAGE: Two strings to your bow, eh?” – (Renewed laughter.) – Witness asked prisoner hat her charge was, and HULME replied that Annie (another of the girls) gave her a shilling. Witness took out her purse and prisoner, seeing s sixpence in it, said that would do.

Police Constable DORRITT’s wife also visited the prisoner’s house, and she related what took place. – The third young woman, who had been referred to as “Annie,” was then called. Her story was that HULME told her she was in trouble with some young man who was no good, and in whom she should put no trust. – Mr ARMITAGE: That was very good advice.

”Annie” said prisoner told her it would all come right in the end, and that she would be married next August. – Prisoner declared that “Annie’s” evidence was entirely untrue, and that she never received any money, and she addressed the Court with great volubility, but little coherence, and wound up with a mild attack of hysterics.

Evidence was given to show that prisoner had been cautioned for fortune telling no less than three years ago. Mr ARMITAGE remarked that the only real fortune tellers were magistrates. There was no doubt they could tell fortunes, fortunes that came true. The Bench intended to see whether they could not put a stop to fortune telling. Prisoner must go to gaol for three calendar months’ hard labour.

HURST
A BOY BIRCHED FOR THEFT. – A boy named Thomas FREETH was charged at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, with stealing a pair of boots, the property of Wm. SHEPLEY, greengrocer, Hurst, on May 1st. – Wm. SHEPLEY, 57 Hillgate-street, said the boots were his property and were worth about 11s. He last saw them safe in his house under the bed on April 30th and missed them on May 24th. – Charles WOOD, assistant to Mr J LEES, pawnbroker, Holden-street, Ashton, deposed to receiving the boots produced in pledge from the prisoner on May 1st, and o lending him 3s on them.

The boy told him the boots belonged to Alice MOORES, Hillgate-street, Hurst. – Prisoner said he pledged the boots and spent the money. – His mother said she had been unable to get him to go to school. She could do no good with him as he was continually running away. – Superintendent HEWITT said the boy had been previously charged with breaking into a shop and stealing chocolate, for which he was discharged. – The magistrates ordered the boy to receive six strokes with the birch rod.

(There was also an account of the boy’s remand hearing, and additional information about Thomas FREETH/FREITH was 11 years old and had passed the first standard at the day school. He had no father. – Ed.)

ACCIDENT TO A HURST DRAYMAN. – An accident by which a carter named Edward TUDOR, residing at 101 Hope-street, Hurst, employed as a carter for Mr J POLLITT, agent for the Great Central Railway Company, Ashton, was injured, occurred on Tuesday afternoon. The carter was assisting in the removal of a large quantity of metal from the Haughton Dale Mills, Denton. The metal was contained on a lurry drawn by four horses, in charge of TUDOR and other drayman.

The road leading from the mill is somewhat difficult, and whilst the load was being drawn up the incline the shaft horse, which was in charge of TUDOR, stumbled and fell upon him, injuring him internally. A telephonic communication was sent to the Ashton Police Station, and in an incredibly short time the horse ambulance was on the spot in charge of Constables ALFORD and WOLFENEN. TUDOR was conveyed to the surgery of Dr HUGHES who ordered his removal to the District Infirmary where he was taken.

On enquiring at the Infirmary on Wednesday morning it was stated that TUDOR had had a comfortable night, and was progressing as well as could be expected.

HOMES FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN
Work of the Openshaw Branch

For some time it has been generally felt that some institution should be provided for crippled children, and residents of Openshaw will perhaps be interested to learn that at any rate a local home for infirm children has been established. It is one of many which is hoped to be inaugurated in different parts of the city, but this desirable result will not be accomplished unless sufficient financial support is forthcoming. The Openshaw “home” is situated in Amy-street, off Clayton-street, a dwelling house having been secured for the purpose.

Councillor James POLLITT, of Stanley House, Fairfield, soon interested himself in the work, and with the view of giving the organisation a fillip he agreed to pay the rent of the dwelling for a period of twelve months. Mr Percy POLLITT also generously consented to become the honorary secretary of the movement, and with the assistance of the Rev T R PENNINGTON (rector of St Barnabas’), Mrs PENNINGTON, Nurse LINCOLN, and Councillor J POLLITT (chairman of the committee), no energy has been spared in putting the work of the “home” on a satisfactory footing.

There are at present about 50 crippled children visiting the new home in Amy-street, and under the capable supervision of Nurse LINCOLN, who is most accomplished in this kind of work, the young ones are taught basket work, bent iron work, artificial flower making, etc. Anyone visiting the home cannot but feel favourably impressed with the readiness and cheerfulness with which the children take up the work, and remembering the character of the institution which Councillor POLLITT and the other members of the committee have founded, it is only reasonable to say they deserve all that financial support possible to enable them to continue a work which should enlist the sympathy of almost everyone.

The goods which the young ones make will be collected and disposed of at a sale of work on some future occasion, but meanwhile it is the desire of the members of the committee to take the children into the country for a day’s pleasure soon after Whitsuntide. A special appeal is thus made for support, and Mr Percy POLLITT, the hon. Secretary will be glad to receive donations on behalf of the committee.

GORTON
After a period of decline the smallpox epidemic in the outskirts of the city seems to have taken a more serious turn. Ten cases have been reported within the last fortnight, and two of these occurred in private houses at West Gorton. In the Urban District of Gorton only three cases have occurred within the last few months, and whereas the authorities have hitherto had to depend upon Manchester for dealing with any local outbreak, they are now able to accommodate their own patients.

The new smallpox hospital which was recently completed has been utilised for three patients already, but unfortunately one of these proved fatal. One patient has been discharged and he other is being treated. In the new hospital provision has been made for 12 patients, one nurse and one servant. There are altogether 14 beds.

THE ASHTON MOSS COLLIERY DISPUTE
The dispute at Ashton Moss Colliery with regard to a re-adjustment of wages, which led to a stoppage of the pit on Friday and Saturday last, and throwing idle about 500 men, has resulted in an arrangement being come to by which the men returned to their work on Monday morning.

A deputation of miners was received by the managing director (Mr GARFORTH) and the manager (Mr WORDSWORTH) on Wednesday, to consider the points in dispute. Messrs GREENALL and BUTLER (miners’ agents) accompanied the deputation, and were compromised in such a way that an amicable settlement will no doubt result. The collieries have been working as usual during the week.

A DUKINFIELD TRADESMAN FINED FOR FORTUNE TELLING
At Margate (Kent), on Monday, John Joseph RAMSBOTTOM, proprietor of a greengrocery business in King-street, Dukinfield, was prosecuted for using certain subtle means, to wit, palmistry, whereby he imposed upon certain persons. Defendant, who described himself as a phrenologist, palmist, and character reader, pleaded not guilty.

Detective-sergeant GREENSTREET deposed that acting under the instructions of the chief constable, he went to 1 Paradise-street, and saw the prisoner there in a small shop. In the windows were displayed bills dealing with palmistry and phrenology. He said to the prisoner, “You tell fortunes, I believe?” He replied, “We let our clients make them.” Witness informed him that he was about to undertake a very serious step, and wanted him to tell him what the result would be,

He was told to sit in a chair, which he did, and prisoner proceeded to examine his hand, and afterwards took a book and made entries in it. He gave witness the book, and said his fee was 1s. Witness told him that he had a friend outside, and having called in Constable CLARK he arrested prisoner. There were five parts to the book, and for the filling up of each of these prisoner charged 1s. At the police station he charged him with the offence, and he replied that he did not think he was doing any harm.

’Annie INGMIRE said she went to prisoner’s shop and asked him to tell her fortune, and he did so, There were five other ladies in the shop at the time. The four who had been examined before paid a shilling each. After completing his examination he told her his fee for giving advice was 1s for the filling up of any part of the five parts of the book. She chose two parts, and paid prisoner 2s. She asked him is she was going to be married, and he replied, “All the ladies want to know that.”

The same evening she again saw prisoner, and told him she would like to have the other part of the book filled up. Witness (continuing) said that morning (Monday) she took a friend to see the prisoner, as she expressed a wish to have her fortune told. This lady had two parts filled up, and paid 2s.

Mrs Emily INGMIRE deposed that that morning she went to 1 Paradise-street, with the last witness. She had two parts of the book, and paid 2s. Prisoner said what information he had given the ladies was in accordance with the scientific rules of palmistry.

The Chairman: You know its all humbug and you know you get these people to part with their money in a way that is not legal.

Prisoner said he was a member and fellow of the Institute of Mental Science and held two golf medals for scientific palmistry. This was his first year in Margate and he had never been away from his wife before. At the present time she was managing his greengrocery business in Dukinfield, Cheshire. He did not induce anyone to come to him; they pleased themselves. They could have phrenology or scientific palmistry just as they chose.

The Chairman said by the manner in which the prisoner carried on his business he was gulling the public. It was a serious offence and he would be fined 40s, or in default, a month’s imprisonment. He would have to pay £2 13s 6d in all.

THE WALKING COMPETITIONS
Proposed Ashton and Chester Walk – A Rush of Competitors

In these days of deadly motor races and long-distance walking, it is not surprising that the latest craze for novelty and excitement should have spread to Ashton. The walking mania has “caught on,” and there is a movement on foot in the town for a grand walk from Chester to Ashton. The date for which event has been fixed is Tuesday, June 23rd.

The movement originated amongst the shop assistants, and immediately the proposition was made it was taken up with enthusiasm not only by shop assistants, but by bank clerks, tradespeople and others, all stimulated with a desire to provide an attraction in the town and encourage healthy walking exercise. The Mayor (Councillor J B POWNALL) has accorded his patronage to the movement and has been appointed president, along with Mr T G GREAVES, 29 Booth-street, as secretary.

There is every prospect of the walk being a hug success, no fewer than 30 entries having already been received, amongst them being chemists’ assistants, bank clerks, and shop assistants generally from Ashton, along with others from Stalybridge, Dukinfield, Hurst, Hyde and Oldham. It is proposed to limit the number of entries to not more than 80 or 100.

The programme as at present arranged is that the competitors will leave Ashton on June 23rd by train about seven o’clock in the morning, and on arrival at Chester they will assemble in front of the Town Hall, which is the starting point, and set out on the walk to Ashton at 9.30 or 10am, and they are timed to arrive at the Ashton Town Hall between 8 and 9 o’clock in the evening.

The distance is 44 miles and any competitor who takes more than 11 hours in accomplishing the journey will be let out of the “running.” The competitors must walk, heel an toe it in true pedestrian fashion, and any attempt at running will be disqualification. Checkers will be placed at various points along the route, and anyone who wishes to do a “mike” is at liberty to do so, but he may not fetch up any lost time in the way of a “sprint.”

Should he stay too long at the “Rope and Anchor” or the “Bleeding Wolf” the penalty will cling like a millstone round his neck for the remainder of the journey, and he will pay for his folly by being a laggard in the race. It is expected that plenty of nourishments will be provided for the competitors in the shape of Bovril, oxo, fruits, etc, and efforts are being made to secure several motor cars to be used for conveying stimulants, and also officials and others interested, who will dispatch telegrams from various points en route as to the progress of the race.

The entrance fee for each competitor is 5s, and the first three to arrive at the Ashton Town Hall will receive a gold-centre medal, whilst those walking the distance in the time limit will each receive a silver medal. There is no stipulation as to dress, and it is expected that the bulk of the competitors will be in walking attire.

The route of the walk will be Northwich, Knutsford, Bowdon, Sale, Manchester, Gorton, Openshaw, Audenshaw, Manchester-road, Margaret-street, and Katherine-street, to the Town Hall steps. It is not intended to present the medals the same night, but shortly after arrival the competitors are to be entertained to dinner at a suitable place.

When approached by one of the officials the Mayor was quite pleased to bestow his patronage on the movement, saying that it would do good and bring money into the town, as well as provide an attraction for thousands of people in the event of weather being fine. He willingly placed the Town Hall at their disposal.

LAYING A GHOST
The spiritualists of former times held faith in one hundred and forty purgatories through which the souls of self-destroyers must pass before becoming materialized – that is before being capable of assuring the ordinary believer of their invisible presence by touch. These gradations have been reduced till they stand at seven at the present time.

Now as then only the specially-gifted mediums can hold converse with the spirits of such unfortunates whilst in process of materialization. Putting two and two together, the unbeliever would account for the substantial decrease of the refining processes as owing to the lack of such mediums and the consequent limitation of spiritual intercourse.

This by way of explanation of the scene witnessed by the little bird whose flighty whisperings have been the talk of the upper end of the district during the past few days. One evening – time unknown to the writer – the pathway leading to a well-known mill lodge was wended by some half dozen couples of mature age, who studiously walked apart to avoid a processional interpretation on the part of passers by.

When at a wooden bridge spanning the goit end they closed in, and it was seen the congregation had some intense meaning. In low but fervent voices a hymn was wafted on the evening breeze, and then one good man raised his voice in supplication to the unknown Deity, whilst round him bowed the others in reverential attitude.

Impassioned appeals next smote the air, bearing some occult meaning to the watcher soaring unseen over the heads of the devoted, and the finale was reached in the air, “Peace, perfect peace.” This latter rendering is said to have fathomed the seeming mystical holding, the awesome project being the laying of a ghost whose airy wanderings had chilled the natural spirits of some poor mortal, and whose earthly life departed in his embrace with the dark waters near the point of congregation.

One problem is yet unanswered, and which perhaps might form a theme of cogitation profitable to the Creed. Either the spirit had performed its allotted duties in the seven successive spheres, or the haunted one proved an unconscious medium. Which of the two has it?

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