17 September 1904

The cloggers in connection with the Ashton, Dukinfield and District Master Clogger’s Association are up in arms. They have a grievance — one quite common in other branches of industry, viz., the cutting down of prices for work done. An effort is being made to regulate prices, and if possible to bring all engaged in the trade into line.

Unfortunately out of about 40 shops in Ashton only 24 are in the association, and the difficulty appears to be in trying to win them over. One or two have proved stubborn, and prefer to work on individualistic lines, making their own list of prices, and in consequence during the week the association has issued posters calling upon the public to support them by patronising association shops.

According to one member of the association the dispute has been pending some time, and it has been, he said, a sort of Atlantic rate war, cloggers cutting to such an extent that it had been a case of doing work for nothing. The usual price for fixing a set of clog irons, viz. 4d., had been reduced to 1½d, the actual cost of the irons. The result has been that the trade at some shops charging a fair price and paying a fair rate of wages had gone down by about 70 per cent.

Instances, he said, had come to their notice where boys, a little shrewd evidently, had received 4d. from their parents to pay for ironing, and walked some distance to a shop charging 1½d., and pocketing the difference. He added that the association was strong enough to take effective measures towards bringing about a termination of the existing difficulties.

(To the Editor of the “Reporter.”)

Sir, - Your note in last Saturday’s issue on this matter was decidedly right, intimating as it did that a more extended notice should have been given of the proposed change of hymn book.

The “Parish Magazine” for September certainly says:— “We shall use the new edition” at the re-opening services of the Church, but “we” is used only in an editorial sense, because, apparently, not a single member of the congregation seems to have been consulted on the question, nor, so far as can be ascertained, has any one member either desired or asked for the change.

The book at present in use, with its 552 hymns, is surely sufficient for all purposes. It may possibly be urged that some of the hymns are unsuitable, but their use can be omitted.

But is the new edition — bound similarly to “Hymns Ancient and Modern” — and largely supplemented from that collection, free from fault? What about the doubt raised by hymns 135 and 144? Both refer to the Cross — the first as “Blest Tree, most sacred and divine,” the second commences every verse with “Bound upon the accursed tree.”

Personally I am inclined to think nobody will welcome the change. Least of all those booksellers who hold stocks of the edition now in use.

Yours faithfully,
Cross Keys
Ashton, Sept. 15th, 1904

Sympathy of the Jury

On Monday forenoon, Mr J.F. PRICE, district coroner, held an inquest at the Ashton Town Hall touching the death of Alice BIRCH, confectioner’s assistant, aged 28 years, who died on the previous Thursday morning under distressing circumstances. Mr. Alfred ADAMS was the foreman of the jury.

Emma BIRCH, deceased’s sister, stated that she was a confectioner’s assistant, and was in the same employment as her sister at Mr. John ANDREW’s, confectioner, 95, Katherine-street. She had enjoyed good health, but had been depressed and quiet for six months. She asked her sister what was the matter. Sometimes she spoke and sometimes she didn’t. Her reply was sometimes “nothing,” and at others she merely looked at her (witness), and burst out crying.

She went about her work as usual. They went to bed at 11.30 on Wednesday night, the 7th inst, and slept in separate rooms. Deceased slept with another sister in another room. Alice got up on Thursday morning about ten minutes past six. Witness could hear her going about the house and speaking to someone, she didn’t know whom.

Witness went downstairs about 8.30, and not seeing her about inquired for her, and was told she was missing. Search was made for her, and she was found in the cellar of Mr. ANDREW’s shop by a servant named FISH

Deceased had occasionally complained of pains in her head, and had been very erratic in her actions. She had been in the habit of singing whilst going about her work, but suddenly ceased doing so, and appeared despondent. There was a bottle of chlorodyne kept in the shop used for mixing in cough tablets, and deceased knew where it was. Witness found a stool on the floor just below the bottle. — By a juryman: Deceased had no trouble that she knew of.

Annie FISH, domestic servant, in the employ of Mr. John ANDREW, said she had known the deceased about nine years. She had noticed nothing very unusual about her lately, but she appeared quiet. About eight o’clock on Thursday morning witness went to the shop, and half an hour afterwards was asked by the last witness to go and look for her sister.

She went down into the cellar, and found her lying on her back at full length on the floor, breathing heavily. There was a cup and spoon on the floor beside her. Witness ran for Dr. WALLACE, and he came, and remained with her until her death. Witness knew no reason why she had taken her life.

Alfred COLLINS, 16, Wimpole-street, in the employment of Mr. ANDREW, said he saw deceased on Thursday morning last whilst going through the bottling place on the shop floor. She was standing still, and he did not notice if she had anything in her hand. He bade her “good morning,” and she said “good morning” in reply. There was nothing unusual about her. Witness noticed that she had ceased to sing as usual.

Dr. WALLACE, Cowhill-lane, Ashton, said that on Thursday morning of last week he was called to the shop of Mr. ANDREW, confectioner, and found her lying on the sofa, unconscious and breathing slightly. The pupils of her eyes were dilated, and froth was issuing from her mouth. There were no marks of injury. There was a smell of chlorodyne, and the cup found beside her had contained chlorodyne.

Witness tried artificial respiration for almost an hour, but she was too far gone, and died in his presence about ten o’clock. The cause of death, in his opinion, was chlorodyne poisoning. She had taken two to three ounces, whereas an ounce and a half would have been sufficient to cause death.

Questioned by the Coroner Mrs. John ANDREW said she last saw her alive at St James’ Church on the Sunday evening previously, when she appeared all right. — The jury returned a verdict of suicide whilst temporarily insane.

The Foreman (Mr. ADAMS) voiced the sympathy of the jury with the relatives of the deceased and Mr. And Mrs. ANDREW. He said he had known the deceased’s family for a great many years, and he felt that everyone around that table had great respect for them. — (Hear, hear.)

The funeral took place on Monday afternoon at Christ Church, Ashton, and was watched by a large number of sympathising friends. The funeral service was held at St James’ Church, where the deceased had been a singer on the choir for many years.

There was a very large assemblage in the church, and the choir, including Madame Jenny HOLDEN, deceased’s former tutor, was in attendance, and sang very impressively two of her favourite hymns, “For ever with the Lord” and “One sweetly solemn thought.” The organist (Mr. A. ANDREW) played the “Dead March”. A number of church officers and the superintendents of the Sunday school were present.

The service was conducted by the Rev. T.B. DIXON, assisted by the Rev. J. WOOD (curate), who also conducted the last sad rites at the graveside. The hearse conveying the coffin was literally covered with wreaths and other floral tributes. The coffin was reverently borne to the last resting place by male members of the choir. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr. BARNES, undertaker, Whiteacre-road.

Theft of Lead from the Workhouse

At the Ashton Borough Police Court, on Thursday, Joseph Henry THOMAS, a labourer, who said he was a native of Ashton, was charged with stealing 46lb. Of lead, value 8s., the property of Mr G.H. COOP, plumber, Ashton.

George TAYLOR, who is in the employ of Mr. COOP, last saw the lead (produced) at 5.25 on Wednesday afternoon on the roof of the new workhouse building. He missed it the following morning. Constable WILD took prisoner into custody on Mossley-road at eight o’clock on Wednesday evening, and the following morning he charged him with the theft of the lead.

Prisoner expressed his sorrow, and as there was nothing known against him (except an offence for drunkenness many years ago) the Bench bound him over to keep the peace for six months.

Lodger’s Mean Theft
Michael GREEN, of the labouring class, has been lodging at the house of Mrs. TAYLOR, of 146, Cotton-street, Ashton, for about twelve months. She went to Cleethorpes on the 5th inst. For a few days, leaving £18 in a drawer in the kitchen. When she returned home on the 10th she missed £2 from the money in the drawer.

Detective HEIGHWAY arrested the prisoner, and in reply to the charge he said, “It was my intention of paying her back.” — The Clerk: They all say that. The Bench sentenced GREEN to one month’s imprisonment, the Chairman remarking he would have time there to get sober.

At the Stalybridge Police Court, on Monday, Hannah ARMITAGE charged her husband, Joseph ARMITAGE, with deserting her on the 11th of August. Mr. Arthur LEES, solicitor, Ashton, represented the complainant, and Mr. F. THOMPSON (Messrs. BUCKLEY, MILLER, and THOMPSON) was for the defendant.

In opening, Mr. LEES said the facts of the case were very simple. The parties were married on the 3rd of April, 1901. At that time complainant was a spinster living with her sister, and at the time of the marriage the sister came to live with Mr. And Mrs. ARMITAGE, and the three had lived together down to the 11th of August.

On that day in consequence of what her sister said to her, Mrs. ARMITAGE spoke to defendant as to his leaving her. He refused to say anything about it, and took a lurry load or trap load of furniture to his sister’s at Springhead. He said she could go with him if she liked, but she did not consider there was sufficient convenience for a man to take his wife to the house being already occupied by defendant’s sister, her son and three daughters. The house had only two bedrooms, and she thought there was no more room than was required for the purposes of the then occupiers of the house.

On the following day he returned, gave her 9s. 6d., and took the rest of the furniture away. Mr. LEES cited a case to show that although there might be an offer to support, there would still be desertion, it having been ruled that a woman was entitled to the society and protection of her husband’s name and house in cohabitation.

The complainant gave evidence in support of her solicitor’s statement. Her husband’s wages as assistant surveyor for the Stalybridge Corporation were £3 5s. per week, but owing to ill-health he had been unable to follow his work, and the Corporation were now allowing him 30s. per week.

In cross-examination by Mr. THOMPSON, complainant said she had told all about the matter so far as she knew. She knew that the 30s. per week was a grant from the Corporation for three months, and would cease at the end of another month. She knew he was in a very precarious state of health.

Her sister had lived with them from the time they were married. Defendant sold some of his furniture, and she and her sister brought theirs to replace it. Before the defendant went to Springhead her sister had taken a home in Peace’s Yard, and had moved some things belonging to her. She denied that defendant had asked her to go to Springhead. He never named it till he had taken the furniture there.

She said she would live with him in any house of their own, but she would not go to live in lodgings. When defendant was working he gave her £3 a week. — Mr. THOMPSON was proceeding to ask complainant relative to moneys she had saved out of this allowance, when Mr. LEES objected on the grounds that this was a matter for the civil court.

The magistrates overruled the objection, and in reply to Mr. THOMPSON complainant said she thought she was entitled to a share of the money. Her husband had money saved apart from his income. She admitted that both she and her sister had a little money to live on.

Complainant’s sister, Grace HARROP, also gave evidence. The reason she took the house in Pearce’s yard was that she thought it would be more comfortable for the husband and wife to be together. The defendant told her to take all that belonged to her. He said that he thought they would go to Springhead. She supposed he meant himself and his wife. She told him her sister would not go to live at Springhead. Replying to Mr. THOMPSON, witness said that when her sister got married she gave witness her furniture. When defendant went to Springhead she did not go to the house in Pearce’s yard.

Mr. THOMPSON, in defence, contended there had been no desertion. After reviewing the facts relative to the marriage, and subsequent events, Mr. THOMPSON said that when the complainant’s sister moved the furniture the effect was to denude a great part of the house. The evidence showed clearly that defendant had the clear intention of taking his wife with him to Springhead. He had made arrangements sufficient for a man in his position.

They were to have a bedroom at his sister’s, the sister’s son having arranged to go in lodgings elsewhere. He repeatedly asked his wife to go with him, but she refused. In those circumstances he held there had been no desertion. In support of Mr. THOMPSON’s statement defendant said the reason he arranged to go to Springhead was that the doctor had recommended him to get to the hills, where he formerly lived.

Cross-examined by Mr. LEES, he did not consult his wife before making the arrangements with his sister. He did not take her with him, but she knew all about the place. He had worked for the Stalybridge Corporation for over 40 years. He did not expect to be able to work again.

After hearing the evidence of defendant’s son as to his father requesting him to go to live with him at Springhead, the Bench retired. On their return the Mayor said the magistrates were of opinion that there had been no desertion. The case was consequently dismissed.

A very pretty wedding took place on Thursday morning of last week at the Wesleyan Church, Warwick-lane, Coventry, when Miss Miriam Eveline BALES, second daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Henry BALES, of Pendennis, Brunswick-road, Coventry, was united in marriage with Mr. Arthur COLLINS, Chief Clerk in the City Treasurer’s Office, Coventry, and eldest son of Mr. And Mrs. William COLLINS, of Stalybridge, an official under the Stalybridge Corporation.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev. J.T. TYREMAN, and was witnessed by numerous friends. The bride was given away by her father. She wore a dress of white silk trimmed with Mechlin lace, and a wreath of orange blossom, with silk embroidered veil; she also wore a gold chain, and carried a lovely white shower bouquet, the gifts of the bridegroom.

The four bridesmaids were attired in fancy French delaine dresses, with silk sashes. Their hats were of pale green straw trimmed with corn lace and shaded pink and cream roses; they each wore a gold broach, and carried pink and white shower bouquets, the gifts of the bridegroom.

Some excitement was created in Stalybridge shortly after 6.30 p.m. on Monday by an alarm of fire at the corn mills of Messrs. BUCKLEY and NEWTON, Mottram-road. The workpeople were just returning home from the mills and workshops, and a large crowd gathered in the vicinity of the mill.

A telephonic communication was dispatched to the Town Hall, and the fire alarm rang. The float, with a contingent of firemen, was speedily dispatched, followed, in an incredibly short time, by the steam engine, belching forth thick volumes of smoke and flame as the spirited vehicle dashed along the thoroughfare. The services of the steamer fortunately were not required, and it was wheeled round and back to the Town Hall.

The fire broke out in the engine house through the overheating of the bearings, and immediately it was discovered the fire brigade in connection with the mill set to work, and in conjunction with the first contingent of borough firemen put out the flames by jets of water from hydrants in Mottram-road and the mill premises. Very little damage was done by the outbreak.

Stalybridge Chief Constable’s Warning

Prior to the commencement of the ordinary business at the Stalybridge Police Court, on Monday, before the Mayor and other justices, the Chief Constable (Captain BATES) said he had received several police reports during the last week of children under the age of eleven carrying on street trading.

One could only suppose that in many cases it was done without the knowledge and consent of the parents. He would like the parents to clearly understand that no child under the age of eleven could be allowed, under the Act of Parliament, to engage in any street trading of any sort, hawking newspapers, matches, flowers, or anything else. He hoped that notice would be taken of this warning, and no proceedings would be taken against them this week.

He trusted there would be an improvement next week, and there would be no necessity to take out summonses against either the parents or the children. He hoped the bench would support the action of the police in this matter. He had instructions from the Watch Committee to enforce the Act of Parliament. The crying of Sunday newspapers had become an absolutely intolerable nuisance in the smaller streets of the borough. The police had instructions to report future offences.

The Mayor (Alderman R. WOOD) thought it was very fair on the part of the Chief Constable to give them warning because he supposed the intention was only to prevent these acts being committed contrary to law. (Hear, hear.) He hoped the parents would take note that if the practices were continued, action would be taken by the police, and that action would be supported by the bench.

His own opinion was that the Sunday papers had come to stay, but whether people selling them were to be allowed to cry them was another matter. He thought these people would be wise if they would get their customers before hand, and arrange to deliver the papers quietly at their houses, instead of crying them on the Sabbath morning, particularly when people were quietly worshipping in church or chapel. — (Hear, hear.)

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