2 January 1904
THE ASHTON DISTRICT INFIRMARY
Christmas 1903 will long be remembered by patients and
staff alike, for from near and far many charitably disposed
persons sent seasonable gifts to cheer the sick and encourage
those who so patiently day by day endeavour to alleviate
pain and suffering. For many years past Miss Bertha MASON
has taken an active part in ministering to the welfare
of those who, from no fault of their own, are compelled
to spend Christmas at the Infirmary, and on this occasion
she again willingly come forward.
At her hands each male patient received
a warm woollen shirt, each female a nightdress, and each
child a Christmas stocking. There were also crackers for
the patients, a large cake and desert for the nurses,
and a Christmas tree and toys for the children. Mrs Frank
ANDREW also kindly provided some jackets and dolls for
the children, and parlour games for the nurses.
The Co-operative Societies made their usual
handsome grant of £3 3s to be spent on toys for
the children, and Misses MILLS, The Moorlands, and Miss
JACKSON, Southleigh, Stalybridge, respectively gave 10s
for the same object. Other gifts for the children were
sixpenny pieces from Mr Abel BUCKLEY, Ryecroft Hall, and
from Mr Henry SHAW, Dukinfield Brewery (the latter gentleman
also sending 1s for each of the nurses; evergreens were
received from Mrs INGHAM, Rose Terrace, Stalybridge, and
a large number of children’s books from the Rev
F H BARROWS, M A, Christ Church Vicarage, Ashton.
A magnificent Christmas hamper was received
from Mr Octavio KISSEL, whose generous offer to give £300
towards liquidating the deficit on the extension and will
be fresh on the minds of our readers. It contained 4 turkeys,
2 geese, 6 chickens, 6 braces of pheasants, sausages,
6 rabbits, 2 hares, besides delicious pineapples, custard,
apples, bananas, pears, English grapes, oranges, crackers,
&c. In addition, Mr KISSEL sent most exquisite bowers
to bedeck the wards, and altogether his gift was a truly
Another unlooked for, but nevertheless welcome
a gift was that of the girls of the Guildford High School,
Surrey, who sent, through the matron, a parcel of clothing
worked by themselves. Mrs HAMILTON, Chester Place, again
provided Christmas cards for the patients and nurses.
Miss TIPPING, Alderley Edge, sent two beautiful scraps
books for the children’s cards, which had been compiled
by two boys in her Bible class. The Hurst Village Band
came on their round, and kindly played in front of the
Infirmary whilst their dinner was going on.
DISTRIBUTION AT ASHTON
New Year Cheers for Old Colliers and Widows
The annual distribution of the Kenworthy Charities to
old colliers of the district and widows took place in
the Borough Court-room, Ashton Town Hall, yesterday (Friday)
forenoon by the Mayor, Alderman A SHAW. The number in
receipt of the charities was 36 males and 36 females,
each of whom received a package of articles of clothing,
boots, etc, of the value of 32s, or thereabouts. There
was a large attendance.
The Mayor presided, supported by his two daughters, Miss
SHAW and Miss Agnes SHAW. Councillors J B POWNALL (clerk
to the Parish Church vestry), E BARLOW, and R BRADLEY;
Messrs J W KENWORTHY, JP, S NEWTON< J T EARNSHAW, J
SNELL (Chief Constable), and J W POWNALL.
The Mayor, who was given a hearty ovation,
wished them all a very happy and prosperous New Year,
and said it was his privilege to take a leading part in
one of the most pleasing duties which the Mayor of any
borough could possibly be called upon to perform, especially
at the commencement of a New Year. The charity was one
which they ought to feel very proud of. — (Hear,
The late Mr John KENWORTHY, by his will
dated January 22nd, 1861, left two legacies of £2,000
each to be invested in Government securities, so that
the capital sum should be absolutely safe for all time.
The income of this money had been placed in the hands
of trustees, who were the Mayor of the borough for the
time being and the churchwardens of the Parish Church.
The money was to be expended in wearing apparel to be
given to 36 old men, and 36 women, being wives or widows
of colliers, and they must be 60 years of age or upwards.
A gratifying feature was that they had still
with them in the town two of the descendants of the late
Mr John KENWORTHY, and they could not but wish them good
health and prosperity during their time of remaining with
them. — (Applause.) He alluded to Mr Geo. Henry
KENWORTHY, of Hurst Hall, and his son, Mr J W KENWORTHY.
— (Applause.) It was a noble gift on the part of
the late Mr John KENWORTHY to make this generous provision
for so deserving a class as the old colliers of the district.
He was sure he voiced the feelings of everyone
present when he said that these gifts of clothing were
gratefully appreciated. He would not detain them any longer,
but would proceed with the distribution, and would invite
everyone present when they left the room to pass into
the county police-court, where they could enjoy a cup
of hot Bovril. — (Applause.)
Mr S NEWTON proposed a vote of thanks to
the Mayor, and said that during the short time he had
been Mayor of the borough he had on all possible occasions
done everything he could for the public welfare, and he
was sure no greater pleasure could be given to him than
presiding over that meeting. He whole heart and soul were
with the working men of the town, and that being so he
was the right man in the right place. — (Applause.)
Councillor BRADLEY seconded, and said the
Mayor took a great interest in anything appertaining to
the working classes, and this would benefit the aged and
deserving poor of the borough. — (Applause.) The
motion was carried with acclamation, and the Mayor afterwards
handed the parcels to the recipient.
ACCIDENT AT ASHTON
Stalybridge Man Injured
A very sad accident occurred about 2.30 on Wednesday afternoon
on the site of the old Gas-street Mills, Ashton. Four
men were engaged winding a stone, weighing about 15cwt.,
by means of a crane, two men being at each handle. When
they had raised the stone about 12 feet from the ground,
the crane gave a jerk and one of the men called out of
the others to let go.
Three of the men let go the handles simultaneously,
but the fourth, named Wm. LOMAS, residing in Bridge-street,
Stalybridge, in the employ of Mr Jas. RUDYARD, contractor,
Turner-lane, Ashton, failed to do so, and in consequence
he received a terrible blow on the head from the rapidly
revolving handle which felled him to the ground. He received
serious injuries to the back of the head, and was picked
up and placed in a cart and driven with all possible speed
to the infirmary where he is in a precarious condition.
OPINION OF THE STEEPLE JACK
Mr James McDONALD, 31 Wellington-street, Ashton-under-Lyne,
writes: - So many different people in the borough have
been giving their opinions as to the cause of the chimney
at Gas-street Mills collapsing two hours before the time
stated by me that it would fall. I shall be much obliged
to you if you will let them know, through your valuable
paper, the following.
First of all, the base or square of the
chimney was very badly cracked on two sides, the cracks
running parallel with the points of the huge blocks of
masonry that were resting on top of the square of chimney.
Secondly, there were the flues that ran into the chimney
in two opposite directions exactly under the crack in
the base. Thirdly, I have heard them say that the men
were very lucky they were not killed.
Now that is all a fallacy, for anyone who
says that does not understand what he is talking about,
for the chimney gave me warning two hours and a half before
it fell, by cracking and grunting when the weight had
gone on the props, that it was on the move. I had five
pitch-pine blocks supporting the huge weight of brickwork
at the time.
When I heard the first crack I took the
men away and I got two more uprights, which I at once
got fixed, making in all seven pieces. I told the men
to work very carefully, and keep their ears open, and
be ready to clear out of danger when they thought it was
going to fall over, which I am proud to say the men did,
having plenty of time to do it.
Hoping that my explanation of the whole
affair suits the people that had so much to say about
something they nothing at all about.
The Rev John HANDFORTH, at one time connected with St
Peter’s Church, Ashton-under-Lyne, on one occasion
met his match in the person of Jonathan KELSALL, the then
sexton of the Parish Church. Sad to relate the latter
was much too fond of his cups, and frequently started
his libations early in the day.
Jonathan lived in rooms over where the parish
hearse was kept, and this building, which was known as
“the hearse house,” adjoined the old Parish
School, which stood at the top of Church-street adjacent
to the churchyard. One morning the Rev Mr HANDFORTH went
from the rectory to Jonathan’s residence for the
purpose of giving him some instruction as to a particular
duty required of him, and was informed by Mrs KELSALL
that Jonathan was digging a grave in the yard.
Mr HANDFORTH went in search of Jonathan,
and at last saw earth being thrown at fitful intervals
from a grave which was fairly deep, inasmuch as the person
working at it could not be seen. On reaching the graveside
Mr HANDFORTH said “Good morning, Jonathan.”
The latter had been freely indulging, and looking up with
bleared eyes returned the salutation.
Seeing the state the sexton was in, Mr HANDFORTH,
in reproachful tone, said, “Oh, Jonathan, Jonathan
man, when will you repent?”
Jonathan, nothing abashed, replied, “Mister
HANDFORTH, I’m astonished at yo’, an’
a parson too, axin a question like that.”
The reverend gentleman, taken somewhat aback,
said, “Why are you astonished at my question, Jonathan?”
The old man, with a huge chuckle, replied,
“Well, Mister HANDFORTH, yo’ ought to know
verra weel at ther is no repentance in th’ grave.”
Needless to say the conversation was carried
no further. Mr HANDFORTH turned on his heel, leaving Jonathan
to enjoy the thought of his having discomfited the parson.
The great interest which has followed the above tournament
all through is still maintained, and each game proves
an attraction to the billiard enthusiasts who congregate
Details: - Joe MORRIS (scratch) v. A NEW
(rec 85). This game was played before a good attendance.
MORRIS got going from the start, and quickly drew towards
his man, and making consecutive breaks of 31, 25, and
29, eventually won somewhat early by 55.
E GRAHAM (rec 25) v. F SMALL (rec 75). GRAHAM
displayed capital form, scoring useful contributions at
every visit to the table, and who won quite comfortably
J LOMAS (rec 40) v. W GARNER (rec 60). GARNER
went right away from the start, and keeping in front all
the way won a splendid game by 24.
A GARFORTH (owes 55) v. E HEAP (rec 60).
Before a full room, HEAP was the first to score, but GARFORTH
came along with two consecutive breaks of 13 and 23, and
again got in with a splendid 22, but afterwards fell away.
HEAP hereabouts was in great form, and scored rapidly,
and quickly increased his lead to over 100. GARFORTH came
again with consecutive contributions of 20 and a beautifully
played 51 (chiefly at the top of the table) which brought
him close to his man. He afterwards passed him with serviceable
breaks of 22 and 38, but HEAP got in front again. GARFORTH
got a beautiful break of 27 (all off the red), and eventually
won an exciting game by 25 points.
J WHITEHEAD (rec 15) v. Sam WILLIAMSON (rec
90). This was one of the best contested games during the
tournament. WILLIAMSON is at first to score, and showed
good form all through the game, but WHITEHEAD crept gradually
up to his man, but never caught him until the score read
196-197, WHITEHEAD winning a very exciting game by four
W COOPER (rec 110) v. J WALKER (rec 30).
COOPER was first to score, and kept the lead all through
the game, winning by 17 points.
The draw for the fourth second resulted
as follows: W COOPER (rec 110) v. W GARNER (rec 80); J
MORRIS (scratch) v. J DAVIES (rec 40) or J JARVIS (rec
10); A GARFORTH (owes 55) v. J WHITEHEAD (rec 15); C WELLS
(rec 30) v. E GRAHAM (rec 25).
THE ASHTON POST OFFICE
During the past Christmas season, it is estimated that
about 123,000 letters, etc, were dealt with, in large
proportion being for delivery in Ashton and the surrounding
towns, and 3,000 parcels were received for delivery in
There has been a generous response to the
department’s invitation to post early, so much so
that the heaviest postage of the season were made on Wednesday,
23rd December. During the evening of that day the crush
of business to be transacted at the Head Office counter
was altogether unprecedented.
The local arrangements worked well on the
whole, the extraordinary pressure of business being kept
well to hand by the employment of a largely augmented
force of willing workers, both on collecting and sorting
the huge mass of seasonal greetings.
One of the chief hindrances to the work
in preparing letter for delivery has again been found
in the imperfectly addressed missives; in many cases the
numbers of the houses being omitted from the address,
and in all such cases any one but the regular postman
is quite unable to deal with them.
ACCIDENT AT DROYLSDEN
Dukinfield Greengrocer’s Experience
On Tuesday evening, between nine and ten o’clock,
a collision took place with an electric car and a greengrocer’s
cart, which resulted in the driver of the car being very
much shaken, and thrown into the roadway. The cart was
in the charge of Matthew HIGGINBOTTOM, a greengrocer,
of Wharf-street, Dukinfield, who was on his way to the
When passing along Manchester-road, opposite
the Trinity Wesleyan Chapel, the horse was startled by
the approach of an electric car, which came over Christy’s
Bridge, a few yards away. The animal turned its head towards
the chapel, and both the driver of the cart and the electric
car, seeing a collision was almost inevitable, endeavoured
to prevent a serious accident. This was too late for the
horse backed the cart into the car, and the force of the
collision threw HIGGINBOTTOM (who was standing on the
cart) into the roadway.
For a time he was unable to speak, but eventually
he came round, and acting on the advice of Dr HUGHES (who
was passing soon afterwards), Sergeant BARROW conveyed
the man to the Police Station, where he was kept warm
and attended to. It was at first thought that HIGGINBOTTOM
was seriously injured, but happily it was ascertained
that this was not so. He remained at the Police Station
for several hours, and eventually returned home.
DEATH OF A
DUKINFIELD COTTON SPINNER
We regret to record the death of Mr William Henry BALL,
cotton spinner, Crescent Mills, Dukinfield, which took
place on Thursday week at his residence, Lyndhurst, Southport.
In July of last year (1902) Mr BALL had a severe stroke,
from which he never recovered, and had been confined to
bed ever since, suffering from insular sclerosis.
He was born at Glossop 68 years ago, and
after completing his education he entered the establishment
of his uncle, the late Mr Frederick CRAVEN, of Thornbridge,
Derbyshire, in the established firm of Bayley and Craven,
calico printers, of Manchester. He had been a cotton spinner
during the last 25 years, being a member of the firm of
Bowker and Ball, first in Oldham, and for the last seven
years at Crescent Mill, Dukinfield, locally known as the
Old Barracks, which was burnt down, but rebuilt many years
ago, the last tenants being Bow Mills Company Ltd. He
was also a member of the firm of Joseph Bowker and Co,
Limited, Park Mills, Hollinwood.
Mr BALL was well known in the Manchester
district, where he resided in Prestwich Park, afterwards
at The Mount, South Reddish, and later on at Wood Bank,
Dukinfield, in order to be near his business as his health
was failing. He was a member of the Manchester Exchange
and the Conservative Club, but never took part in public
affairs in any of the towns in which he was located, devoting
all his time and assiduity to the business in which he
He, however, retired from active participation
in the affairs of the firm soon after coming to Dukinfield
in 1896, and had been living at Southport during the last
two years. He is survived by Mrs BALL and three sons.
His death has caused deep regret amongst all those who
knew him. He was held in high esteem by the operatives
in his employ, and when the news of his death was made
known the flag was hoisted half-mast on Crescent Mill.
IN STAMFORD PARK
Sir, - I was one who witnessed the opening of the above
park on July 12, 1873, and was at that time, and am up
to the present, under the impression that some part of
it was for the recreation of the children in the way of
swings and playgrounds, &c. This last year I have
been making observations, and I see that the boys’
and girls’ swings are entirely done away with. I
should like to ask through your valuable paper who has
done this, and if they have done it with the consent of
I am a ratepayer in this district and have
felt grieved at the action taken. I should like to ask
if it is the intention to put more swings in another part
of the park or not, because it was intended, by putting
up these swings, to take the children off the streets
and keep them out of danger. On Good Friday and other
holidays, when so many boys and girls visit our park,
what are they going to amuse themselves with?
Nearly all the ground, or a good portion
of it, has been taken for bowling greens, which reminds
me that those men very likely who are using these bowling
greens used to be some of the boys who used the swings
and don’t require them now, because they are men.
Last summer, I saw lurry loads of children from Gorton
arrive, but I don’t know how they passed their time
away. Perhaps it was on the lake, but they could not be
on all afternoon, because they could not afford it.
I remember living in Openshaw about eight
years ago, and as a teacher in one of the Sunday schools,
along with other teachers, we organised a trip to Stamford
Park on a workman’s car, and the scholars used to
enjoy it then, but I cannot say how they could now, because
they have done away with the swings and nearly all the
playground, and it also says “Keep off the grass.”
I cannot see where the children can amuse themselves only
in dabbling in the water. It is very important that the
children should have recreation.
I remain, yours truly,