5 March 1904

By Joseph Isaac NEWTON - No III

This should have been the third in the memories of Bardsley, however, this section of the Reporter was pretty well unreadable. I hope to continue it next week.

(To be continued.)

First Class Passenger — Third Class Ticket

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday forenoon, Herbert MADEN, described as a music hall artiste, was charged with travelling on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, with intent to defraud the company. He pleaded not guilty.

Mr H E DANIEL, a solicitor to the company, appeared to prosecute, and explained that on Friday, the 5th of February, defendant, in company with a young lady, was a traveller on the train due to arrive at Ashton at 7.18. On the arrival at Charlestown station they were seen to alight from a first-class compartment, and walk to the opposite end of the station. Later they left the station, tendering a third-class ticket, Manchester to Ashton.

Josiah COLLINS, a porter, on duty at the time, said defendant and a lady were in the first-class compartment. They alighted and went to the opposite end of the barrier. He spoke to Porter DAWSON. Shortly afterwards, they left the station, giving a third-class ticket. Witness, along with Porter DAWSON, followed them. Defendant promised to be responsible for both.

Joseph DAWSON, porter, and Fred WATSON, guard, corroborated, and said that there was plenty of third-class accommodation. — Defendant was fined 10s and costs with advocate’s fee, or fourteen days.

Abour 7,20 on Saturday night some alarm was created by an outbreak of fire at the Astley Arms, Chester Square, Ashton. Smoke was seen to be issuing from the bedroom floor, and a communication was at once despatched to the West End Police Station.

Sergeant BUTTER and two constables shortly afterwards arrived on the scene, just as the bedroom floor was bursting into flames. Acting promptly, they took up the hearthstone in front of the fireplace, and also a few boards, and were thus able to get at the fire, which was extinguished with a few buckets of water. The fire was caused by a beam below the hearthstone becoming heated and ignited.

The Superintendent and the Magistrate

At the Dukinfield Police Court, on Thursday, John BRIDGE (9), Harry SIGLEY (10), and Hannah POTTS (14), were charged with stealing 112lbs of coal, value 10s, the property of Messrs HEMMINGWAY and Co, under the following circumstances:—

Constable HALL said he was on duty in Globe-lane on the 1st inst. At 7.15 pm he saw the three defendants coming across a field from the direction of the Great Central Railway siding, each with bags on their backs. When they saw him they dropped the bags in the field, and ran away. He looked at the content of the bags, and found they contained coal. He concealed himself and watched the bags. In about 20 minutes the same three defendants came back and fetched the bags. They carried them in the direction of Globe-lane, and he followed them. They dropped the bags again and ran off.

He afterwards saw the defendant SIGLEY, and he admitted stealing the coal. He requested his parents to bring him to the police station, and the three defendants were brought by their parents. He charged them with stealing coal from the G.C. siding. BRIDGE said he did not know he was doing any harm. The defendants SIGLEY and POTTS made the same reply. Witness subsequently weighed the coal, and there was 112lbs. It was all good coal, and no cinders.

Joseph WOOD said he was 12 years old, and lived at 93 Ashton-street, Dukinfield Hall. He remembered seeing the three defendants on the night in question. The girl POTTS asked him if he had seen a policeman, because one had been after them for stealing from against the wagons in the siding.

Detective-inspector COTTRILL, of the G.C. police said Messrs HEMINGWAY, of Nottingham, stored coal on the G.C. siding near Globe-lane. He had received many complaints about coal having been taken. The coal taken was valued at 10s. — Mr W E WOOD: Is this coal protected in any way? — Mr COTTRILL: It is in the siding in the usual way, and people who went near were trespassing. There was also a watchman on the spot. — Mr WOOD: Is it not under lock and key? — Inspector COTTRILL: No. — Mr WOOD: It is a great temptation to poor people.

The Mayor: Anything known against them before? — Superintendent CROGHAN: As regards POTTS and BRIDGE, they have not parental supervision. One of the brothers of POTTS --- Mr W E WOOD: We are trying the boy POTTS and not his brother. As a magistrate, I decline to listen to anything about POTTS’ brother. — Superintendent CROGHAN: I have no interest in him. — Mr WOOD: Whatever POTTS’ brother may be is no evidence against this lad.

Superintendent CROGHAN: I did not know I was doing wrong. I was giving information to the Bench. If I have done wrong I am sorry. — Mr WOOD: As a magistrate I shall not listen to it. — Superintendent CROGHAN: I have never seen it objected to before — Mr WOOD: I object to it. — Superintendent CROGHAN: I am not aware that what I was about to say would be irregular. — Mr WOOD: So long as I try cases here I will try them upon their merits. I think it is entirely out of order whatever the Superintendent may say. — Superintendent CROGHAN: Am I to understand I am not to go on with the remarks.

The Bench consulted with Mr WESTBROOK, the clerk, after which the Mayor said they would hear what Superintendent CROGHAN had to say. — Superintendent then said the girl POTTS’ brother got six months’ imprisonment at the last Knutsford Sessions for house-breaking. On that occasion it was shown that the children were not under parental control or supervision. The family came into Dukinfield from Ashton about 10 months ago, and he had their record from Ashton.

Prior to getting six months for house-breaking, there were three or four convictions against the boy. He simply stated these facts to prove what sort of a home this girl had, and to show that the parents would not look after her. As regard SIGLEY, he had a good home, and the father looked after the children.

The Mayor: They have not been here before? — Superintendent CROGHAN: No. — SIGLEY’s father appealed to the Bench to be lenient with the defendants, and deal with them under the First Offenders Act. — The Bench adopted this course, and bound the parents over in £5 each to bring the children up for judgment when called upon.

Failing to Pay for the Licenses

A batch of fanciers of the canine race, whose love of the animals was not so strong as to warrant them paying for licenses, appeared before the County Police Court, held at Ashton on Wednesday, each charged with keeping a dog without license. Edwin JONES of Audenshaw, who, when charged with the offence, pleaded guilty to not having one when the officer visited his place, but said he had taken one one out before he received the summons, was fined 5s for costs.

Harriet GREGORY, when charged with keeping two dogs without license, disclaimed, in a lugubrious voice, all ownership of the animals, saying they were her son’s. — An officer deposed to finding the two dogs in her house. On asking the son if they were his, he said they belonged to a man living in Trafalgar Square. He spent two hours but could not find the man.

During the officer’s recital, defendant persistently interrupted with a garrulous explanation of the circumstances, until the Chairman, in an exasperated voice, asked her if she would be quiet. The case was adjourned until the original owner could be found.

The third case showed — according to the defendant’s explanation — a remarkable case of fidelity. Fred JOHNSON, the defendant, when charged with keeping two dogs, explained that the dogs would persist in following him from his work. They had done for three months. The Chairman: Ah, you are the owner then. He was fined 5s 6d and costs.

At The Ashton Borough Court, on Thursday, before Alderman SIDDALL, Colonel EATON, C.B., and Mr N B SUTCLIFFE, William SMITH was in custody charged with wounding his brother, Samuel SMITH, on March 2nd. The Chief Constable said the injured man had to be taken to the District Infirmary, and was not able to appear that morning.

Evidence was given by a constable that about 7.30 on Wednesday night he was called to Whiteacre-road, where lay a man bleeding and unconscious. Witness waited until he became, and he said his brother had struck him on the head with an axe. He was attended by Dr HUGHES, and taken to the infirmary.

The Chief Constable said the prisoner afterwards admitted striking his brother with an axe. He asked for a remand until Monday. — The magistrates granted the remand, and allowed bail, prisoner in £20, and two sureties of £10 each.

An enterprising Yankee came over to England and decided to open a shop in a Midland town next door to a man who kept a shop of the same description, but was not very pushing in his methods. The advent of the Yankee, however, caused the older trader to wake up, so he affixed a notice over his shop with the words, “Established 50 years,” painted in large letters. Next day the Yankee replied to this with a notice over his store to this effect:— “Established yesterday. No old stock.”

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