18 June 1904

A FRACAS IN ST MICHAEL’S SQUARE, ASHTON
”A Horrible Spectacle”

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, Thomas LAMB and Robert BENT were charged with committing a breach of the peace in St Michael’s square on the 6th of June. BENT only appeared, and pleaded not guilty.

Mr Abraham PARK appeared, and gave evidence as to seeing a crowd of women in the square at the corner of Scotland-street. On going closer he saw BENT and another man fighting. A fact which struck him forcibly was that the man BENT was taller than the other man, and knocked him down and commenced to savagely kick his face. There was quite a pool of blood around the pair. BENT wore a pair of sharp-pointed clogs. The whole affair was a horrible spectacle, and the women were distressed beyond belief.

Defendant said that he was the man who was underneath and being kicked, but Mr PARK expressed his consideration that it was otherwise. — Constable MORTON deposed to arresting the two men. — Defendant was bound over to be of good behaviour for three months.

LONDON VIOLINIST’S DEATH
a Former Ashton Man

An open verdict was returned on Thursday at the inquest on the body of Harold Wilfred HORNBY aged 33 (or 35), a London violinist, who disappeared mysteriously ten days ago. He had been engaged at the Lyric Theatre during the run of the “Duchess of Duncase.” His body was recovered from the Thams on Tuesday.

Mrs (unreadable) HORNBY, the widow, said her husband suffered from nervous hysteria, and two years ago lost his memory through that cause. The witness identified the gold watch and souvenir engraved “Rosaline,” found on the deceased’s body. At the conclusion of her evidence, Nrs HORNBY was (unreadable) with a fit of hysteria, and was conveyed out of court in a fainting condition.

It is said that Mrs HORNBY, long before she had more normal ground for for anxiety, was warned in a dream that her husband would disappear. Mr Samuel HORNBY, deceased’s brother, used to keep the Ryecroft Inn, whilst the family, prior to their removal to London, kept a confectionery establishment on Stockport-road.

SOLDIER’S ORPHANS’ FUND
Sir — Would you kindly allow me to draw the attention of your readers to the balance sheet of this fund, which appears in your advertisement columns, as this is one of the funds which the public some time ago so generously subscribed to? They will be glad to know that no expense whatever has been incurred, but that all monies have gone direct to relief.

Our Chairman (Mr MAXWELL) has kindly allowed us the use of his office for meetings, and the auditor has done his work gratuitously. We have still seven children on our books, and the assistance afforded has been greatly appreciated.
Yours truly, W. Augustus PAREY, Curate of Hurst, Ashton-under-Lyne

ASHTON AS A WEAVING DISTRICT
Sir,— Being interested in weaving, I noted the remarks made by Councillor BARLOW in the town council, “That it had been said that weaving was leaving Ashton; it had been a good weaving district at one time; he failed to see why it should not be so again; weaving should be developed in the district.”

Our friends have helped the spinning, why not the weaving? I should say work on the same lines as other districts who make it pay and have taken the Ashton trade from us. For example, I see in one district £10 shares are selling for £50, and two new concerns in course of erection. What are we doing in Ashton? If a stir is not made soon, weaving will be a thing of the past.
INTERESTED

THE TRAMWAY DEADLOCK
Sir,— Can nothing be done in the present stupid deadlock with regard to the tram service between Ashton and Stalybridge? Twice to-day have I been unfortunate enough to be turned out of the “ha’penny” trams at the park gates in the pouring rain and compelled to tramp to my destination, with the chagrin of seeing the Stalybridge tramlines outside my house in full working order and no trams running.

Stalybridge people are compelled to go to Ashton for business purposes, and whilst recognising the clever move of the Ashton committee in inconveniencing the public in the hope of bringing the joint committee to their knees, I must emphatically protest against the stupid policy of “grab” which is being shown in this unreasonable dispute. If the two bodies cannot agree, why on earth cannot they go to arbitration?

We all know that railway passengers exist for the convenience of the railway officials and railway shareholders, but it is a pity to find the notion creeping into tramway management also, and that such a splendid service of trams should be disorganised and so much money wasted (Ashton cannot work its ha’penny trams at a profit) on account of the fads of our “men of light and leading” on the Town Councils is disgusting indeed.

Let some of these clever gentlemen wait until next November, and they will hear a few things.
Yours, &c, THOMPSON CROSS, 13th June, 1904

MAKING A FALSE ATTESTATION
Interesting Case at Ashton

On Wednesday, at Ashton County Police Court, Clarence BARKER was charged with making a false attestation. He pleaded guilty. -- Superintendent HEWITT explained that on joining the Militia at Ashton, BARKER was, in compliance with regulations, asked, "Have you ever served in the army, marines, or Royal Navy? If so, state which." To those questions he had answered in the negative, knowing that he had served in the Royal Engineers stationed at Chatham. The maximum sentance for such an offence was three months. -- He was committed for 14 days.

CLAIM FROM AN AUDENSHAW MAN
At the Ashton County Court, on Thursday last, before His Honour Judge BROWN, K.C., Henry HULME, farmer, claimed from George HINES, of Audenshaw, the sum of £38, being the price of two horses and a cart, and defendant made a counter claim for £5 2. 6d. for commission and for keep of horses. Plaintiff was represented by Mr BYGOTT, solicitor, and Mr H. BOSTOCK, solicitor, Hyde, appeared for defendant.

Henry HULME, plaintiff, said defendant was his brother-in-law, having married his sister. Defendant in the year 1903 had from him two horses, valued at £22, and a cart, £16. It was arranged that defendant should sell the horses and cart for the best price possible, and pay the money so received over to witness. Although defendant had sold the horses and cart, he had never paid over the money to witness, although he had applied to him for it, and when witness's solicitor wrote defendant demanding payment, he never took any notice of the letter.

Cross-examined by Mr BOSTOCK, defendant stated he had been on friendly terms with both defendant and his wife. He denied that the horses and cart belonged to his mother, who died in April, 1903. He also denied that defendant's wife had paid to him £26, which was 5s. more than what defendant had sold the horses and cart for.

On behalf of the defendant, Mr BOSTOCK called Mrs HINES, defendant's wife and plaintiff's sister. She remembered the horses and cart being sent to her husband for him to dispose of the same. The horses and cart sold for £25 15s., and witness had paid over to plaintiff £26, and defendant still had a cart which was taken in part exchange for the cart belonging to the plaintiff. She paid over to plaintiff a sum of £12 in gold, and later she paid him another £6, after which she sent £8 through the post. She did not get any receipts for the money.

Cross-examined by Mr BYGOTT, she said the reason they paid 5s. more than they had received was that they had the cart in hand which they had taken in exchange. The letter containing the £8 she posted herself. Defendant was not present when she paid the moneys to her brother. She received the moneys from the defendant, after which she paid them over to her brother. -- George HINES, the defendant, corroborated.

His Honour, in giving judgment, said he believed the evidence of Mrs HINES, who was a much better business person than the plaintiff, and who had admitted that he was on friendly terms with defendant and his wife. He couldn't believe that Mrs HINES would state that she had paid the moneys over to her brother unless such was the case. The plaintiff's case, therefore, failed, and there must be judgment for the defendant HINES.

With regard to the counter-claim, defendant would be entitled to some commission for selling the articles, but as he still had the cart taken in exchange, he would not allow the counter-claim.

THE DEATH OF AN ASHTON CHEMIST
An inquest was held in the court room, Ashton Town Hall, on Monday forenoon, by Mr J. F. PRICE, district coroner, on the body of Mr John HALL, chemist, Market Avenue, whose death took place suddenly on Friday of last week.

Margaret HALL, wife of the deceased, said he was 47 years of age, and had rather indifferent health for the last four or five years, being troubled with heart weakness and rheumatism. For the last two years he had been troubled with epileptic fits, and had been attended by Dr MANN. He had three very severe fits, the last being about three months ago.

He had been medically attended for about six months. He complained of feeling unwell on Saturday week, and that his knee was bad. On the Sunday he went out for a walk before dinner, and went to church at night. On the Monday, he complained again, and said he thought he was going to have a stroke. He went in and out of the shop, but did not do much.

On the Thursday he did not get up until about 3 o’clock in the afternoon, as he was not well, and he came downstairs to take some health salts. He looked very bad in the face, and lay down on the couch. He said he would go and have a shave, but did not do so, as he said he felt too poorly. He never tasted food on the Thursday, but drank freely of health salts.

Witness went to bed, leaving him on the couch, and never heard him come to bed. She awoke about 6.35 on Friday morning, and missed him from bed. His trousers were on the bedrail, and he had apparently been in bed. She came to the conclusion where he had gone, and she got up and dressed and went downstairs.

The backdoor was open, and when she went to close it she saw him lying on his face, his brow on a flag, and his arms underneath him. She ran out to him, and knelt down beside him, and called him, but he did not speak, and his face was quite cold. She sent for Dr MANN, who came, and said he had died as the result of an epileptic fit.

He had been very very cheerful during the past fortnight. Formerly he had been of intemperate habits, but during the last two years he had been better, and she had nothing to complain about. They were happy together, and there was no reason to suspect he had done anything to himself.

George McEWEN, 48, Old-street, umbrella maker, said he had known the deceased about 20 years. He last saw him alive on the Monday prior to his death, and was talking to him, and he made no complaint. Witness was called to the house by Mrs HALL on Friday morning lying on his face in the yard. Witness sent for Dr MANN, and they carried him upstairs. His hands were clenched, and face discoloured. He was a cheerful man, and there appeared to be no unhappiness at home.

Thomas Andrew HALL, brother of the deceased, said he wanted to know the nature of the bruises. There was one on the forehead which did not appear to be the result of falling. He wished to know why Mrs HALL left him downstairs, to which Mrs HALL replied that she went to bed expecting him to follow shortly. Sometimes he went to bed first and sometimes she, and they did not wait to take each other upstairs.

Mr HALL: What I want to know is why the children were not brought as witnesses? — Several jury men remarked that the question was irrelevant, and the coroner told him to sit down.

Mr D PICKERING voiced the sympathy of the jury with Mrs HALL in her bereavement, and another juryman rose and said the deceased had been a gentleman, agreeable to everyone.

The jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.

HEAVY LOSSES OF PIGEONS
Of 35,000 homing pigeons released on Saturday, 10,000 failed to regain their cotes before dark. This was due to the mist and
and south-east wind.

The 17,000 Lancashire pigeons thrown into the air at Bournemouth and Weymouth had a severe struggle for home. The fastest covered the journey of over 230 miles in a little over seven hours.

About 8,000 Yorkshire birds were released at Winchester, and the losses were heavy. Most of those birds which did reach home were flying for more than ten hours.

Heavy losses have been sustained by London fanciers. Sixteen thousand of their birds, after being detained by bad weather at Aldernay for eight days, were released on Friday, with the result that only 100 reached their cotes the same day.

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