13 February 1904

George TAYLOR, a butcher of George-street, Hyde, was brought before the magistrates at Hyde County Police Court, on Monday, charged with stealing 7s 7d from a drawer in a bedroom of the Black Horse Inn, Town-lane, Dukinfield, the property of Samuel MASSEY, on Sunday, the 7th inst.

Samuel MASSEY, licensee of the Black Horse Inn, stated that the prisoner came to his house on Saturday night last, and stopped there during the week-end. He had known the prisoner for the last two years, and during that time, prisoner had been in the habit of stopping at his house at week-ends. He said it did him good to stay at week-ends. — (Laughter.)

On Sunday afternoon, the 7th inst, prisoner went upstairs to lie down. Prosecutor had about 12s in a drawer in the bedroom where the prisoner went, and shortly afterwards he went up to the room. Being near-sighted he looked if the prisoner was in bed, but not finding him there he went towards the drawer where the money was placed, and found TAYLOR sitting near it.

Prisoner put his hand up to his head, and said, “Oh dad; I am bad,” so he told him to have an hour in bed. He had missed money before and it struck him to look at the drawer. He found the drawer unlocked, and a skeleton key was in the lock. He exclaimed, “Hello, what’s this, we’s ketched thief at last!” — Prisoner said, “What? Don’t make any bother.”

Prosecutor shouted the girl upstairs, told her what he found, and also told her to fetch a policeman. He then asked him, “Where’s that money?” Prisoner put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a handful of silver and copper. It was counted by the policeman, and there was 7s 7d altogether.

Constable CUNLIFFE stated that on Sunday night, about 7.40pm, he apprehended the prisoner and conveyed him to the police station at Dukinfield. He charged him with stealing 7s 7d, and prisoner replied, “I admit taking the money.” — TAYLOR was formally charged in court with the theft, and pleaded guilty.

Superintendent CROGHAN said prisoner was a native of Congleton. He was a butcher by trade, and was at present employed in Hyde. He recently came from Oldham, where he had a wife and family living. There was no previous convictions against him as far as he could glean at present. He knew that prisoner had been in the habit for some time of coming to Dukinfield, and staying at this house. He was a married man, but was living apart from his wife, and was cohabiting with a woman in George-street, Hyde. Prisoner had been employed for 12 years by a pork butcher in Market-street, Hyde.

The Chairman said this was a very serious offence for a man of his age, but instead of sending him to prison, he would be fined 20s and costs, or 14 days’ hard labour.

Hyde Miner Crushed to Death

The district coroner (Mr J F PRICE) held and inquest in the court-room, Ashton Town Hall, on Monday afternoon, on the body of Patrick KELLY, collier, who met his death on Friday of last week. Mr GERRARD (H.M. Inspector of Mines) was in attendance, as were Messrs WORDSWORTH (colliery manager), and Jesse BUTLER (miners’ agent).

Maria KELLY, wife of the deceased, 1 Holt’s-passage, off Water-street, Hyde, said her husband was 49 last birthday, and she last saw him alive at 4.45 on Friday morning, when he left home to go to his work. She heard of his death about 8.15 the same morning. Deceased had been a coalminer all his life, and had worked at the Moss Colliery off and on for several years. She had never heard him complain about his work, or being short of timber.

Thos BOWKER, 34 Katherine-street, Hyde, said he was a collier at the New Moss Colliery, and had worked along with the deceased about three months. On Friday they commenced work about 6.15 in the Roger Mine. They began packing until the tubs came about 7.30, and they “jigged” a tub up, and subsequently sent for more “jig” props. They “jigged” a second tub, and then witness asked deceased if he must pull a lump of coal off in order to “jig” a tub.

Deceased said he would pull it off himself, and witness must go on with his packing. Witness saw him get hold of a bar to pull the coal away, and then went to pick up a shovel, and whilst his back was turned he heard a noise, and on looking round saw that the roof had given way, and a large stone had pinned the deceased to the ground, doubling him up and leaving his body scarcely visible.

Witness called for help, and four men came, and they tried to lift the stone, but they could not do so, and further help was obtained. By means of rails they lifted the stone and extricated the deceased. The stone was seven or eight feet long and four feet wide, and weighed about two tons.

Deceased appeared to have been killed instantaneously. He was under the stone about twenty minutes. The fall appeared to have been caused by a slip in the roof. They knew about it, and had taken precautions by setting timber, and had set several props the day previously. They had not set any props that morning, but intended doing so. There were five or six props in a space of about six yards.

Deceased was in charge of the place, and witness received his orders from him. The props in front of the coal face exceeded the distance allowed by the rules by about a foot. They were anxious to get the coal down, and did not wait to put a prop up. The fireman had been his usual rounds during the night. There was plenty of timber about 90 yards away.

The Inspector (Mr GERRARD) said the number of pit fatalities in the district had considerably increased and in 39 fatalities ever so many of them, as in the present case, had resulted from the timbering rules having been absolutely disregarded. — A juryman said it appeared to be an error of judgment.

The Coroner said it had arisen purely from the fact that they were impatient in waiting for a prop. The rules stated that the props must not be more than five feet apart, and there was a space of 10 feet 6 inches on the face and 6 feet 9 inches from the jig props to the place.

The foreman, addressing the witness BOWKER, said the jury were of the opinion that there had been some negligence in trying to get coal a little quicker than usual, and they ought to be very careful for the future. The jury thought there had been an error of judgment. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death.”

Impudent Frauds

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, John ALLEN was charged on remand with obtaining goods by false pretences from Lewis ANDREW. — Mr T E GIBSON defended, and Mr Arthur LEES appeared to prosecute.

Lewis ANDREW, of Wellington-road, lamp dealer and herbalist, said he remembered prisoner coming to his shop on Friday morning, the 11th of December last. He asked to see the table lamp produced, which he reached down and unpacked. He said, “That will do,” as soon as he saw it. He then asked to look at an enamelled bucket, candlesticks, and brushes, which he selected. The total value would be £1 6s 9d.

Prisoner said, “Will you send them up?” Witness asked what was his name, to which he replied, “Mr ALLEN.” He then said, “You are the gentleman Mr PARK recommended. He replied, “Yes, my wife was here a week or two ago for some goods.” Witness knew him by previous transactions he had had with him.

Mr Abraham PARK, examined by Mr LEES, appearing for the prosecution, said he did not know the prisoner in the slightest, not had he ever authorised him or his wife to use his name for the purpose of obtaining goods or any other purpose.

Questioned by Mr GIBSON: He had known a Mr William MELLOR, of Royton, who was formerly connected with the P.S.A. Society, and through his connection with the society he (Mr PARK) was acquainted with him. He knew Mrs MELLOR slightly also. The member of Mr MELLOR’s family possibly might know him. He did not know prisoner’s wife was a daughter of Mr MELLOR.

Sergeant HEIGHWAY deposed to arresting prisoner about half past nine on the morning of the 30th January as he was leaving home. He made no reply to the charge. Prisoner was furthermore charged with attempting to obtain goods by false pretences from Messrs LEIGH and ARDERN.

John WHALLEY said he was an assistant in the employ of Messrs LEIGH and ARDERN, Stamford-street, Ashton. On the 28th of November he came to the shop and asked to look at some blankets. Witness showed him some, and he asked for a quarterly account to be opened with him. He replied, “Our terms are cash, and if you want to open an account you must see Mr ARDERN.

Mr ARDERN came in and asked him for a reference. Prisoner suggested that he did not care about his affairs being inquired into, but his wife was a personal friend of Mr PARK. The goods were not supplied. On the following Monday, witness went to see Mr PARK, who informed him that he knew nothing at all about him. A letter was written to him informing him of this, but the witness received no reply.

Prisoner was remanded until next Saturday, being allowed bail in £30 in each charge, and one surety of £50.

The “Buskin’” Nuisance

A case which coincided somewhat with the plea of the Ashton music hall licensees, that the decision of the licensing justices last week in regard to music halls and music licences would result in an influx of what are known as “buskers” in the district, came up at the Ashton County Police Court on Monday, before Mr J WOOD, when an unkempt man, named John BEAN, was in the dock charged with begging at Audenshaw

In reply to the charge, he said he was what was called “buskin’” — singular at various places, and going round with the hat. He said that he came from Yorkshire, and admitted that he had been up for the same offence before. — The magistrate: You are one of those ne’er-do-wells, continually rambling about the country, and getting your living this way. — Superintendent HEWITT: He’s a professional.

Constable HILL deposed to seeing prisoner going about begging in Guide-lane at 10 o’clock on Saturday night. — The prisoner endeavoured to show the magistrate by argument the differences between singing and begging, but he was promptly shut off by the magistrate, informing him that he would have to go to prison for seven days.

A highly-pleasing and instructive entertainment was furnished by Mr Jasper REDFERN’s Vaudeville Combination and grand series of animated pictures at the Oddfellows’ Hall during the current week. There was a crowded hall on Monday evening, and every one came away with the consciousness of having spent a profitable evening. It is the first visit of Mr REDFERN’s photographic entertainment, and has come direct from Sheffield, where Mr REDFERN’s firm is permanently located as opticians and scientists and experts in animated photography.

One of the prime features of his exhibition is a practical demonstration of photography in natural colours, and the pictures are produced by the bioscope on the canvas in all the beauty and charm of nature’s own, especially the flowers. The pictures as a whole are so excellent they are deserving of mention in detail.

The animated section includes the Royal procession in London last week to the opening of Parliament. There is also a grand spectacular representation of moving figures on the canvas, in fifteen tableaux, showing the rise and fall of the great Napoleon, from boyhood to his defeat at Waterloo, including his crossing the Alps and the burning of Moscow, and his death at St Helena

Another important series of animated pictures shows the Australian bushrangers, a gang of desperadoes. We see their camp, and their attack and capture of the mail convoy, their making off with the loot, and finally their defeat by a strong force of mounted scouts, and their ringleaders shot.

The trick and comic films were greeted with shouts of delight and laughter. Besides the usually French views of extraordinary transformation, and topsy-turvy pictures of persons and places, which astonish as well as amuse, there are some home scenes and foreign incidents of great interest. We have an Arabian phantasia, sports, a long railway journey on a Swiss mountain line, showing clearly the mountain ranges and deep gorges, producing the same effect to the eye one gets in travelling by rail, and getting glimpses of the country as you pass.

A very interesting portion, too, are the singing pictures, or songs illustrated. This series are coloured, and are shown on the canvas as the singer proceeds with his song. In this manner two male vocalists — Mr Charlton HOWARTH (tenor) and Mr J E LINSTEAD (baritone) — sang some popular ballads, including “stay with me, my darling, stay”, “The stowaway” and other songs, and the duet “Excelsior”.

All these songs were illustrated by appropriate pictures and greatly added to the pleasure produced by the excellent vocalism of the artistes named. Mr Austin McLOUGHLIN was an effective piano accompanist, and the descriptive lecturer Mr LINSTEAD. There will be a matinee at three o’clock on Saturday afternoon.

A middle-aged woman named Sarah BROWN was before the Manchester city justices on Monday, charged with being drunk and incapable at Openshaw. She denied the incapability, and said the doctor at Ancoats Hospital would be able to certify what was the cause of it. It was not being “over drunk” at all.

The officer who proved the case said he gave her a chance to go away, but she refused to do so, and used abusive language. Sarah told the justices she was on her way to Ashton-under-Lyne to see the colonel at the barracks. She took the train to Fairfield station, and after she had left the station she remembered “something coming over her.” She was found in the condition described by the police in Cornwall-street, Openshaw.

The Court Sergeant said that was her 5th appearance. The last time she was before the court she was discharged. — The Bench now imposed a nominal fine.

An Oldham draper named TURNER recovered, at Manchester Assizes on Saturday, £30 damages from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company for assault and false imprisonment.

The case arose, according to the plaintiff, through a misunderstanding on the part of the railway constable, named LEWIS, who had treated a newsboy rather roughly for selling papers on the company’s premises. This excited the indignation of several passengers, who expostulated with LEWIS, and the latter threatened to lock up anyone who went past a certain spot.

Mr TURNER, coming on the scene, was seized by LEWIS and roughly handled, and ejected from the station, although he possessed a return ticket for Oldham. When the case had been part heard, Mr SHEE, on behalf of the company, intimated that they offered to pay plaintiff £30 and costs, and on these terms the case was settled.

On Thursday, at the Dukinfield Court House, Mr F NEWTON held an inquest into the death of John LEONARD, who met his death under the following circumstances.

Sarah LEONARD said she was the wife of James LEONARD, coal miner, and lived at 4 Hill-street. The deceased, John LEONARD, was their son, and was in his sixth year. About six weeks ago he was brought home unconscious about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. There was a swelling on the side of his head. He recovered consciousness in about half an hour, and said he had fallen off a wall. He did not say anyone had pushed him off.

He apparently recovered from his injury, and went to school for three weeks. He had occasionally complained of pain in the head when she washed him. He died last Monday at two o’clock. He had the whooping cough, and was attended to by Dr BOOTH. He had been unconscious ever since a week last Monday night, but he was not delirious. She told Dr BOOTH a week on Tuesday that he had fallen from a wall, and last Saturday he said the injury had developed into inflammation of the brain.

Hannah GREAVES said she was the wife of Richard GREAVES, and lived at 9 Hadfield Row, Dukinfield. About six weeks ago she saw the deceased walking along the top of a wall in front of her house. She told him to come down, but he did not do so. She turned her head, and afterwards hearing a noise she looked again, and saw the boy lying amongst some paving stones beneath the wall. She went to him. He could not stand. She carried him home. There was no one near him when he was on the wall. A great many children walked along that wall when the school loosed.

The Coroner: It looks as if it were built on purpose to invite children to go there. There ought to be some railings put up, or the wall made sloping, so the children could not walk along it. There did not appear to have been anyone near the boy when he fell, and on one could have pushed him off. Dr BOOTH had sent a letter that an inflammation of the brain or an abscess had set in, which proved fatal. Whose property was it?

Several jurymen thought it belonged to Mr W H ASHWORTH. The Coroner said it was dangerous, and should be attended to. The Foreman agreed, and said there ought to be some pointed coping put up in place of the flat stones.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. The jury made a presentation or recommendation to Mr ASHWORTH to reduce the danger attached to the wall.

Squire LOWNDS appeared before the Borough magistrates, at Ashton, on Monday forenoon to answer a charge of assault preferred against him by Mr Arthur LEES on behalf of Robert McMEEKIN, the licensee of the Park Hotel, Park Parade.

Mr LEES, in stating the case, explained that on Saturday, the 30th of January, defendant went into plaintiff’s house, who, having had trouble with him before, ordered him out. He took no notice, and walking from one room to another commenced using strong language.

Mr McMEEKIN again asked him to go out and, LOWNDS refusing, he went to fetch a policeman. Defendant followed him, and when turning from Park Parade into Delemere-street vicinity assaulted him, kicking him on the forehead, arm, and knee.

The Clerk: Well, what have you to say? — Defendant: I didn’t kick him. I only hit him with my fists. I am very sorry. He was fined 40s and costs.

A case of some interest to the inhabitants of the district, having regard to the fact that it is the first of its kind in Ashton for some time occupied the attention of the borough magistrates at Ashton on Monday morning when William LAWN, of Manchester, was charged with committing a breach of the peace by crying newspapers for sale on a Sunday. He pleaded guilty.

The Chief Constable explained that in consequence of many complaints he had received he had sent a constable in plain clothes to the district of Birch-street to report anyone committing such offences. — The officer proved the offence, and said the defendant was shouting at the top of his voice.

The Chairman: As it is the first offence of its kind for a long time, you will be dismissed. — Defendant: Thank you, sir.

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