16 January 1904
LETTER FROM A DUKINFIELD
MAN IN SOUTH AFRICA
A Doleful Tale of Emigrant Prospects
Alderman John STAFFORD, Reliance Rope Factory, has received
the following letter from his friend, Mr Ernest W HUXLEY,
dated December 20th, who is staying at Saxon Boarding
House, Church-street, Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa:—
I am writing you a line to let you know
how I am going on. Well, I am not doing so well at present,
for we have been on strike at Durban for 11 weeks, so
you see I have trekked up country again to Pretoria. It
is the nicest country I ever saw.
I came up here last Thursday night after
a 28 hours’ ride in the train, and it’s the
devil’s own ride up here. You talk about crossing
the Bay of Biscay. It is not in it. From Durban to Pretoria
511 miles, and the line rises close upon 6,000 feet, so
you can tell how quick the trains travel. The trains have
to keep going round mountains to get up, and it has to
be a very narrow gauge. You can shake hands with each
other if one is in the first carriage and the other in
Well, I will change the subject. They wanted
seven plasterers for Pretoria, and I said “here’s
one” for anywhere so that there is some work, as
I have not long to be here. I am living in the same street
as Kruger’s house is in, about 100 yards lower down
the street on the other side from where I am staying.
There are all sorts of tumble down places just about his
house. It is only one storey, and an altogether poor affair.
There are two big stone lions on each side
of the main entrance. The house is now an hotel, bearing
the name of the Residency Hotel, having been opened in
June this year. I am going to send the club (Town-lane
Reform) a photo of it as big as I can get, and when I
come home I hope to see it framed and hung up in the smoke-room
along with the other two I sent in the paper. I hope you
will see to them being framed.
I haven’t forgot the sticks yet for
the boys of the fishing club. I may tell you that Pretoria
is surrounded by hills, and the look-out houses and forts
are still on top of them, but no guns in them. There is
a very large cemetery here. I went in last Sunday and
had a look at the poor Tommies’ graves. There are
about 1,500 of them laid low there. I also saw Mrs Kruger’s
grave, which had across the bottom of the stone the inscription
“Kruger” cut in six-inch letters, so that
if a blind man goes he can feel them.
I started to work here last Saturday, the
12th. They only pay once a fortnight. This week the boss
has given us notice of a five per cent reduction. Just
my luck. Out of the frying pan into the fire. The wage
here at present is £7 a week, £2 board and
lodging, and a bob a glass for beer or spirits. So you
see it is not all profit. Trade is very bad in South Africa.
There are thousands of bricksetters and joiners walking
There is a place just outside Durban called
South Coast Junction, and there is a big Salvation Army
farm there. Hundreds of men of all sorts of trades are
working there for bare board and lodging, especially carpenters.
There are hundreds of people starving in this country.
The place is fairly up the pole through this Chinese labour
question. The masters have given all trades notice of
a reduction here this week. Money is as fast as it is
possible to be. I hope you are doing well in your business.
Remember me to the D.W.A.S. boys. I hope to be with them
some time next year.
POULTRY STEALING AT
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, before
Messrs C T BRADBURY and A B MOORES, Thomas RUSHOLME was
charged with stealing six head of fowl, the property of
Messrs John BROADBENT and Son, at Droylsden.
James DEARDEN, a fireman in the employ of
Messrs BROADBENT, said it was part of his duties to look
after some poultry. On the afternoon of the 2nd of this
month he saw the fowl safe on the mill premises. He locked
the door of the cote but left the key in the lock. On
the following morning at eight o’clock he found
feathers spread about the floor. He examined the number
of poultry, and missed six, the value of which is 25s.
He had since identified the remains of the
missing fowls when in the possession of Constable CAMERON.
— Nicholas FISH, landlord of the King’s Head
Hotel, deposed to buying one of the fowls from prisoner
for 2s. — Prisoner was sent to gaol for three months.
WATERLOO AND BARDSLEY
New Constable. — The successor
of Constable (no Sergeant) HODGKINSON, who it will be
remembered was transferred to Mossley some time ago, is
Constable SWARBRICK, of the Ormskirk Division.
Conviction at the Sessions. —
William SIMMS, of Reading, who appeared some little time
ago before the county magistrates at Ashton, charged with
stealing 18s 6d from the till of the Waterloo Industrial
Cooperative Society (butchering department) appeared at
Salford Sessions on Monday. He pleaded not guilty, but
the offence was proved, and he was sent to prison for
nine months’ hard labour.
Coal Dealers Fined. —
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Edwin
DRAYCOTT and Joseph PURDY were charged with having on
a lurry seven sacks of coal of less weight than represented,
at Waterloo, on January 2nd; also with being party to
a fraud in the use of a weighing machine and weights.
DRAYCOTT said he knew nothing about it,
but PURDY pleaded guilty, and said in extenuation that
he filled the bags, but another man weighed them. —
Mr WILSON, solicitor to the County Council, said it was
a very bad case. It appeared that Robert McKNIGHT was
in Oldham-road on the date in question, and there saw
PURDY in charge of a lurry laden with coal. On examination
he found a total shortness of weight of 75lbs. —
DRAYCOTT was fined 5s 6d and costs in each case, and PURDY
10s and costs in each case, or 14 days.
SHOCKING CASE OF CHILD
NEGLECT AT ASHTON
Children Homeless, Father Sent to Prison
At the Ashton Borough Police Court, on Monday, George
CLOUGH was before the magistrates charged with cruelty
to his children by neglecting the same. Mr A LEES (solicitor),
prosecuted on behalf of the National Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Children. Defendant pleaded not guilty.
Mr A LEES described the case as an abominable
one, and said it was disgusting that such a state of things
should exist. The defendant was charged with neglecting
his three children, Dorothy (aged 12), John (10), and
Samuel (5). From a visit by Inspector REDDY it was found
that two rooms on the ground floor were devoid of furniture,
and the walls and floor dirty. There were two bedrooms,
one wholly devoid of furniture, and the other being used,
apparently, as a bedroom and living-room. In the latter
the inspector found the two boys of the defendant.
There was very little covering on the bed,
considering the very inclement weather, and the only food
consisted of a bit of bread and margarine. There was no
fire in the grate, and no coal to make a fire. Everything
about the place was filthy, and the condition of things
was such that the inspector called Dr HUGHES’ attention
to the matter, and he made an examination of the children.
The inspector went to Park Parade Station
and there found the defendant, who was a coal stoker.
He told him that if there was no improvement he should
have to report the matter. He went again next day, and
no improvement had been effected beyond the providing
of a little bread. The inspector, in company with Constable
ROSSBOTTOM, waited at his house until 11.30pm, but he
had not then returned, and they went away and met him
in company with a woman.
Defendant it might be explained was a widower,
and lost his wife last Whitsuntide. His mother-in-law
returning home late one night after a party found the
defendant’s two boys asleep on her doorstep. As
to the girl, a neighbour, Mrs OUTRAM, had had her at her
house since December 9th. Her grandmother had expressed
her willingness to take the girl.
On January 2nd the landlord turned the family
out because he had not been able to see the father for
about five weeks. The children became homeless and the
two boys were taken to the Workhouse. He had behaved brutally
to the children and struck the girl. On January 1st, he
went to Mrs OUTRAM’s house about 12.45 in the morning
and knocked her up and demanded the child. There were
other and worse features of the case, one being that since
his wife’s death, he had kept company with low characters.
The sleeping arrangements too were totally inadequate
Dr W H HUGHES, junr., deposed to being called
into defendant’s house at Whitelands, and finding
the house in a filthy condition, clothing and food quite
insufficient. There was a bit of fire upstairs, and the
children were huddled about it to keep themselves warm.
Inspector REDDY deposed to visiting the
defendant’s house on December 28th, and bore out
the solicitor’s opening statement. Defendant threatened
him, and said that if he came again he would kick him
out. It was on account of an anonymous letter that he
visited the house.
Dorothy CLOUGH, aged 12, daughter of the
defendant, said her father had not given her sufficient
money for food. The food consisted of bread, margarine,
and tea. Her father had been addicted to drink, and had
come home at all hours of the night, sometimes in company
of women. They had not always all slept in the same room.
Witness went to live with Mrs OUTRAM a month ago because
she was ill. On one occasion, her father had struck her
with his hand. He had pawned some clogs which were bought
before her mother died.
Defendant said his daughter had been put
up to say what she had done. He had not pawned anything.
Mrs SHAW, 52 Audley-street, Ashton, mother-in-law
of the defendant, deposed to seeing him often in drink.
On returning home at midnight one night when she had been
to a party, she found defendant’s two boys asleep
on her doorstep. There was no fire in his house for three
days on one occasion. The children had often come to her
house filthy and crying for bread, and she had fed and
Mrs OUTRAM, neighbour of the defendant,
deposed to taking the defendant’s child, Dorothy,
to her own home. The defendant came to her house one night
and threatened to kick the door down. Witness on one occasion
saw a woman enter by the back-door.
Defendant said the whole of the statements
were a pack of lies. He had gone home at night at six
and seven o’clock, and could not get in. On Christmas
morning there were two brothers waiting to give him a
good hiding, and he kept away. — The Clerk: Perhaps
it would have done you a bit of good. — (Laughter.)
The Chairman said this was an extremely
bad case; one of the worst that had come before him. They
were desirous of making an example, and defendant would
be committed to prison for six months.
THE MYSTERY OF AN ASHTON
Cruelly Ill-treated at Stalybridge
On Monday, at the Stalybridge Police Court, before the
Mayor and other justices, two Ashton young men, residing
in Crickets-lane in that borough, named George LOWE and
Joseph GALLAGHAN, were charged, the former with cruelty
to a donkey by working it whilst in an unfit state, and
the latter with causing the animal to be worked. They
both pleaded not guilty.
Police-inspector BEAUMONT said that on Tuesday,
29th December, he was on duty in Market-street, Stalybridge,
when he saw defendant LOWE in charge of a small donkey
which was attached to a cart loaded with salt, sand, and
stones. Noticing that the donkey was very lame, the officer
stopped defendant and asked him if he was aware of the
animal’s condition. LOWE replied: “Well I
have found it out this morning.
Witness instructed defendant to walk the
donkey home quietly, and he afterwards communicated with
Inspector ROBINSON of the R.S.P.C.A. The cart was a great
deal too large for the donkey, and the load as well. The
cart, indeed, was big enough for a horse. — LOWE:
I only had twelve lumps of salt on. — GALLAGHAN:
Please, sir, I bought the donkey in the dark. —
(Laughter.) — The Mayor: Oh, not in a poke. —
Inspector ROBINSON spoke as to having inspected
the donkey in a stable in Crickets-lane, Ashton. He found
the animal to be aged and painfully lame on the off fore-leg.
It had only one shoe on, and consequently was foot sore.
The lameness was of some standing, and the donkey was
quite unfit for any kind of work. In reply to his questions,
GALLAGHAN, who was the owner, said he had only had the
donkey a few days, and that it only cost 13s — (Laughter.)
He pointed out to the owner that he could not have expected
a good, sound donkey for 13s.
The Mayor: Do you think it had been lame
long? Witness: I am quite sure, sir; at least three or
four days. — Alderman FENTON: Where is the donkey
now? Witness: I have no idea. — GALLAGHAN: I have
sold it, sir. — Witness pointed out that it was
apparent that the donkey was being handed about from one
GALLAGHAN, addressing the magistrates, said
he had bought the donkey the night before Christmas Eve
from a man named HOWARD at Ashton. He bargained for 13s,
and paid 3s on account, consequently he still owed 10s.
The Mayor: Do you mean to say you bought
the donkey without examining it or seeing it do any work?
— GALLAGHAN: I did, sir. — (Laughter.) —
The Mayor: Why, the donkey might have been a dead one
from what you knew. Is this the first time you have gone
in for live stock? — GALLAGHAN: Please, sir, it
is the first time. — Mr NEEDHAM: It will be a warning
to you, I should think.
The Mayor: But where is the donkey now?
— GALLAGHAN: The man has taken it back. —
Captain BATES: It has not gone to Germany? — (Laughter.)
— GALLAGHAN: No. — Inspector ROBINSON: I will
promise your worships that I will follow it up. I will
find out where it is.
The Mayor: You must look a deal more innocent
here than you do when hawking salt! — (Laughter.)
— A fine of 1s and costs or 7 days’ imprisonment
was imposed in each case, defendants being allowed time
in which to pay.
HYDE COUNTY POLICE
Generous People at Dukinfield. —
Michael HOPKINS, aged 65 years, of no settled abode, pleaded
guilty to a charge of begging in Town-lane, Dukinfield,
at 7pm on Saturday last. — Constable DALE saw the
prisoner come out of four different public-houses, and
on inquiry found he had been begging. At the police station
he found 3s 7d upon him. Prisoner was the worse for drink
and was using bad language. — Prisoner said he had
been an excavator, but was unable to work now as his hands
were crippled. He had worked at Dukinfield, Stalybridge,
and at Johnson Brook for many years. — Superintendent
CROGHAN said there was nothing against him, and it spoke
well for the generosity of Dukinfield, as he had 3s 7d
upon him. — Prisoner: They are people that know
me. — He was fined 2s including costs.
Asked a Doctor if he was Drunk.
— Mark NIELD, of 10 Bethel-place, Dukinfield,
aged 30 years, was summoned for being drunk and disorderly
in Astley-street, at 12.30am on January 9th. — He
pleaded not guilty to drunkenness, but admitted being
disorderly, saying he was excited. — Sergeant LECKEY
and Inspector SKITT were together in Astley-street when
they saw the defendant, who was being taken home by three
men. He broke away from them and knocked Dr MILLER up.
Inspector SKITT said previous to this he
had seen NIELD in King-street with his daughter aged seven
years and six months old. He was pulling her along, and
the child was screaming for her mother. He was drunk then,
and he took him and the child to the police station. Witness
handed the child over to the custody of her mother, and
afterwards let the defendant go. Later he saw him with
the three men Sergeant LECKEY had spoken of. Defendant
broke away from the men and knocked Dr MILLER up, and
asked him if he was drunk. The doctor told him to go home
and come again in the morning when he was sober. —
This was his first appearance, and a fine of 2s 6d without
costs was inflicted.
GOLDEN WEDDING AT DUKINFIELD
”On the 9th January 1854 at the Albion Congregational
Chapel, Ashton-under-Lyne, by the Rev William THOMAS,
of Ryecroft, Joseph William HADFIELD to Jane THOMSON,
both of Ashton, and now of Dukinfield.” This announcement
in our marriages, &c, columns last Saturday, relates
to the nuptials of our old and esteemed residents Mr and
Mrs J W HADFIELD, sen., of 112 King-street, and the parents
of Mr J W HADFIELD, ex-elective borough auditor and licensee
of the Chapel House Inn, Astley-street.
Fifty years ago Mr HADFIELD was 27 years
of age, and Miss THOMSON 23, the daughter of a clothier
of that name, who carried on business in Stamford-street,
and relative of Mr THOMSON, the scientific explorer and
missionary in Africa. At that time, Mr HADFIELD, who was
a baker by trade, carried on a confectionery business
in the Market Avenue, Ashton, opposite the old post office,
and to this day there exists under the causeway an oven
which was put in by Mr HADFIELD for the purpose of his
A few years afterwards he emigrated to America,
and travelled through the Southern States, Florida and
Cuba, and was present at the building of the historic
fort of Key West. He returned to England just prior to
the ever memorable cotton famine. After the close of the
American war he went out a second time to the States,
but after only a brief stay he bent his footsteps towards
old England, where he has remained ever since, mostly
in this district.
He commenced dealing in yeast, which business
he followed up to seven years ago, when advancing age
obliged him to retire. He was one of the oldest “barm”
dealers in the district, and Mr HADFIELD was a well-known
figure in the streets of the town as he passed to and
fro with his merchandise wrapped in a check handkerchief
on his shoulders. There were only two others engaged in
the same trade when he commenced, and at that time “badgers”
shops were few and far between, but considerable profits
Another institution in those days was the
“wet barm” dealer, who perambulated the thoroughfares
with a donkey, over whose patient back panniers were crossed
containing the fluid, whilst the vendor tootled on a long
post horn for customers. These old stagers have been completely
wiped out, and the business is numbered among many other
old-time methods of trading.
With the expansion of towns, the increase
in population, and the opening of more grocery and provision
shops, the demand for dry yeast has advanced in proportion.
This important adjunct to the domestic baking day is very
rarely conveyed by hand. Each wholesale dealer must needs
possess a horse and float in order to efficiently supply
the increasing number of customers, otherwise it would
be impossible to keep up with demand.
Mr HADFIELD has lived to see all these changes,
and we congratulate him and his good lady upon having
lived to attain that important epoch in married life,
a golden wedding. Last Sunday afternoon the event was
duly celebrated at the Chapel House, when a large number
of relatives and friends partook of tea in the clubroom.
Amongst those present were Mr and Mrs J
W HADFIEKD, senior; Mr and Mrs George HADFIELD, Stalybridge;
Mr and Mrs H WHITTAM, Dukinfield; Mr and Mrs J BEARD,
Stalybridge; Mr and Mrs J EDGE, Ashton; Mr J THOMSON,
Ashton; Mr J W HADFIELD, son; Mr and Mrs E PRIEST, son-in-law
and daughter; Mr and Mrs J H SELLARS, Dukinfield; and
Mrs McCARTNEY. The health of Mr and Mrs HADFIELD was toasted,
and hopes for continued longevity were expressed. A number
of presents were sent by relatives and friends.
Lord B____ was out shooting the other day when one of
the party, a novice at sport, unfortunately shot him in
the legs. He fell and lay flat, and the keeper ran up,
exclaiming, “I hope you are not much hurt, my lord.”
“Oh, no,” said his lordship, coolly. “But
can’t you get up?” “Oh, yes, I could;
but, you see, if I got up he might let me have the other