17 September 1904
CLOGGERS DISPUTE AT
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
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
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.
CHANGE OF HYMN BOOKS
AT ASHTON PARISH CHURCH
(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.
Ashton, Sept. 15th, 1904
SAD SUICIDE AT ASHTON
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
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
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
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. —
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,
LARCENIES AT ASHTON
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.
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
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.
MARRIAGE OF A STALYBRIDGE
MAN AT COVENTRY
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
FIRE AT A STALYBRIDGE
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.
CHILD LABOUR AND SUNDAY
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
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.)