30 January 2004
SINGULAR DEATH AT ASHTON UNION HOSPITAL
The Ashton police were notified of the death under singular
circumstances at the Ashton Union Hospital on Sunday of
Richard PICKERILL, aged 75 years, formerly a coal miner.
Deceased lived alone at Alma-street, Droylsden, and had
not followed any regular employment for 20 years. He suffered
very much from asthma, and had a habit of sitting near
the fire to enable him to breathe. During the past four
weeks he had complained to his daughter, Mrs Annie CORDON,
who lives at 150 Greenside-lane, Droylsden, of being unable
to use his legs, and thus he had fallen at times.
On Sunday, January 17th, his daughter sent
her son to the house with his dinner, and on the boy’s
return he told her his grandfather had burnt his hands.
On the same day a woman named Mary TAYLOR, 19 Campbell-street,
Droylsden, was passing the deceased’s house, and
saw blood on the doorstep. She saw PICKERILL standing
behind the door in a dazed condition bleeding from a wound
over the left eye. He told her he was trying to cross
the street when he fell and cut himself over the eye.
She went and informed his daughter, who
dressed the wound, and also attended to burns on his hand
and leg, caused by his falling against the fire, and gave
him some brandy. She sent for a doctor, but as he did
not come, she had her father removed to her house. On
the 22nd inst he was seen by Dr HOWSON who ordered his
removal to the workhouse hospital, where he was conveyed
in a cab, and died as stated.
NEWTON HEATH CHILD BURNED TO DEATH
A remarkable series of burning accidents took place in
Manchester last week, and three cases had a fatal result.
All the victims were children, and a singular coincidence
is the fact that all the children were two years of age.
One of these was Sarah Helen LISHMAN, of Foxall-street,
Newton Heath, the daughter of a boiler maker. At the Coroner’s
inquest the mother of the deceased gave evidence that
the little girl was, in the morning, rocking her baby
brother close to the fire. There was no guard to the fire,
but the fender was down. Though no explanation could be
given of the accident, the mother thought that a cinder,
which had been knocked from the grate, had ignited the
child’s flannelette night dress.
The Coroner (to witness): I do hope after
this accident you won’t dress your children in flannelette.
The mother replied that she would not, adding that the
nightdress worn by the deceased was the only one in the
house. Further evidence showed that the little girl was
severely burned, and died later in the day at the Royal
Mr GIBSON, addressing the jury, said in
all probability this child would not have died had it
not been dressed in flannelette. The great misfortune
was that people, although they knew that this stuff was
dangerous, would have it in their house. As soon as a
light was put to it it flamed up like gunpowder, and it
was almost impossible to extinguish the blaze before great
injury had been done. There was no reason whatever why
people should have flannelette at all, because there was
a non-inflammable material on the market which was sold
at the same price as the flannelette. A verdict of accidental
death was returned.
WATERLOO AND BARDSLEY
Drunk. — Elias EDMUNDS was fined
half-a-crown for costs for being drunk at Bardsley on
the 18th of January.
Dramatic License. —
Jake GREAVES applied at the Ashton County Police Court,
on Wednesday, for a dramatic license with respect to the
Bardsley Church School. — The application was granted.
A Case from Alt. —
John BLAKELEY appeared before the Ashton county justices,
on Wednesday, charged with not isolating a sow in accordance
with the requirements of the law. — Superintendent
HEWITT said the proceedings were taken under the County
Council bye-laws, which provided that swine may be removed
so that they may be kept isolated for 28 days. In this
case a sow was removed from Mossley, and a license, number
10, taken out. The police visited the place and found
it in a sty in company with another. The maximum penalty
was £2. — The Chairman: You will be let off
lightly, and will be fined 5s 6d and costs or 14 days.
A Cordial Reception. —
Thomas MORRIS, a cripple, appeared at the Ashton County
Police Court, on Wednesday, charged with being drunk and
disorderly at Waterloo on the 11th December. He pleaded
not guilty. — An officer said that about 7pm on
that date he was acting in a disorderly manner in Victoria-street,
Bardsley, and attracting a crowd of people who assembled
to see him thrash his wife. He was using filthy language.
— Several officers deposed to him being drunk on
his arrival at the police station.
Defendant’s version of the affair
was that he had left the Workhouse Hospital that day to
see his wife and children. When he got there, he received
an unexpected reception, and his wife informing him he
was not wanted there, and that they had got another name
in the rent book. — The Chairman: The case is dismissed,
get back to the hospital.
An Old Couple’s Marital Troubles.
— The magistrates at the Ashton County
Police Court, on Wednesday, listened to the tale of woe
of an old couple named Olive and John HARDING, when John
was summoned by Olive for deserting her. He pleaded not
In the course of a long harangue delivered
to the magistrates, Olive explained that they were married
in 1859 and had lived together since. Three weeks on Sunday
he pleasantly informed her that they wanted her “in
the earth.” The Tuesday following he left her, and
that morning was the first time she had seen him since
then. She did not know exactly where he was living, but
she had heard he was with her son-in-law, and he had never
given her a halfpenny, although he owned houses that brought
in 23s a week.
Defendant denied saying that she was wanted
in the earth, and as for having 23s a week, the magistrates
would see — handing up a paper — that the
income from the rents was 16s. There was a mortgage and
he had to pay taxes. Furthermore, one night she locked
him out. — Complainant: I didn’t do that on
purpose, it was a mistake. — The Clerk: Are you
willing to take him back? — Complainant: Well, if
he will behave himself, I will. — The Chairman:
Well now, you are a silly old couple carrying on like
this. Live together pleasantly. The case is dismissed.
A Sad Case
An extremely sad case occupied the attention of the borough
justices, on Monday morning, when Samuel Taylor LEECH,
an ex-sergeant of the borough police, was summoned by
his wife, Mary LEECH, for persistent cruelty. He did not
appear. Mr Arthur LEES, solicitor, appeared on behalf
of the complainant. The Bench would remember that defendant
appeared in the court a few weeks ago charged with neglecting
his wife and family. The case was then adjourned for three
months in order to see if LEECH’s behaviour improved.
At that time, one of the allegations made
was that of drunkenness. Since that time, it appeared,
up to the present, he has gone from bad to worse, and
had been drinking all the time, and on Tuesday night it
culminated in an assault. Questioned by the clerk, Mrs
LEECH that since he left the county court as a bailiff
he had earned nothing, and she had three children to clothe
and provide for. A separation order with 10s a week was
Drunk and Disorderly. — Herbert
GRIFFITHS was charged at the Ashton County Police Court,
held on Wednesday, with being drunk and disorderly at
Hurst on the 16th January. — It was his first offence,
and he was, therefore, let off with a fine of half-a-crown
Breaches of the Peace. —
Mary DEWHURST appeared at the Ashton County Police Court,
on Wednesday, and pleaded guilty to committing a breach
of the peace at Hurst on the 9th of January. — She
was bound over to be of good conduct for three months.
— Jane COX and Walter HILL were summoned at the
same court for committing a breach of the peace at Hurst
on the 16th of January. They pleaded guilty. — They
were bound over for three months. — HILL and a woman
named Amelia POTTER were also summoned for the same offence,
and pleaded guilty. — They were similarly dealt
The Late Mr Arthur HAGUE. —
On Sunday morning a large number of relatives and friends
attended divine worship at the Methodist New Connexion
Chapel, Queen—street, Hurst, to pay a last tribute
of respect to their deceased brother, when the Rev Mr
BAINBRIDGE preached a very impressive sermon. Mr HAGUE
died in the smallpox hospital at Ashton-under-Lyne on
Tuesday week. This is the third death this family has
had in a fortnight — father, mother, and brother
all gone in so short a time. Mr HAGUE was highly respected
by the members of the Hurst Conservative Club, of which
he had been a member for a good number of years.
THE SMALLPOX CASES
AT THE HOSPITAL
Sir,— I write to correct an error made by “I’m
Bono Publico” in a letter published in this evening’s
issue of you paper. He in it refers to a case of smallpox
sent into the Borough Hospital from Hurst, and who died
on the 19th, stating that it was the worst case we ever
had in the hospital since its opening. Unfortunately this
is not so; the worst cases we have had have been cases
of malignant smallpox, where the patients succumbed to
the disease within 24 hours of the attack, cases much
more shocking and offensive than the above. We have had
such cases to attend to within the twelve months.
It is quite true the patient he refers to
had been vaccinated in infancy, for he showed two marks;
but he had not been re-vaccinated and the vaccination
of infancy had ceased to be any protection.
I am, yours faithfully,
WM. HUGH HUGHES
Medical Officer of Health
ASHTON AND DISTRICT
The Ashton and District Burns Club held their annual festival
in honour of the birth of Burns, the Scottish poet, on
Monday evening, at the Good Samaritan Hotel, when a goodly
number of members attended. The room presented a bright
and cheerful appearance, the decorations being enhanced
by portraits of the poet and views of Scottish scenery.
A sumptuous dinner was provided, including
the indispensable “haggis.” Mr HAGUE read
extracts from the “ode to a Haggis.” Afterwards
Mr J MACGREGOR presided, and was supported by Messrs BAIRN,
MACKENZIE, BLYTH, ROBINSON, FRENCH, WOOD, KNOTT, HEGGIS,
APPLEBEE, MELROSE, EMMETT, WOOLIVEN, HYSLOP, BIGGS, SIZER,
BLACK, and others.
In the course of his address he referred
in sympathetic terms to the death of Mr HAGUE, the erstwhile
president of the Caledonian Associates. The loyal toast
was observed, proposed by the Chairman. Councillor MACFARLANE,
of Dukinfield, was entrusted with the toast of the evening,
“The immortal memory of Burns,” in the course
of which he surveyed the character and motives, national
devotion, and the wide and diversified range of subjects
the poet chose, and read an excellent rhyme which he had
composed for the occasion.
Votes of thanks were given to the host and
hostess and the chairman, and a very successful evening
was brought to an issue by the singing of “Auld
Lang Syne” in true Scottish fashion.
FATAL HOIST ACCIDENT
On Monday afternoon a shocking accident occurred at the
Victoria Mill of the Newton Moor Spinning Co, Dukinfield.
Just before five o’clock, one of the operatives,
Jesse GOODWIN, aged 29, residing at 116, Church-street,
was in the fourth spinning room, when by some means he
fell down the hoist hole to the bottom. He was picked
up as quickly as possible, and Dr PARK was sent for. He
had sustained a fracture of the skull, which itself was
sufficient to cause death, but in addition to that, one
arm and his legs were broken. The body was removed by
Constable HALL, and Mrs GOODWIN was naturally overcome
with grief. They were only married three months ago.
The inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon
in the Court Room. Mr C BURTON was the foreman of the
jury. Mr WALMSLEY, H. M. Inspector of Factories, and Mr
W KERFOOT, manager of the mill, were present. The following
Elizabeth GOODWIN said: I live at Church-street,
Dukinfield. The deceased Jesse GOODWIN, was my husband.
He was 29 years of age, and was a factory operative in
the employ of the Newton Moor Spinning Company Limited.
I last saw him alive on Monday morning last when I went
to my work. He was then quite well. About six minutes
to six o’clock in the evening, when coming up King-street,
I was told he had met with an accident.
His dead body was brought home about twenty
minutes past six o’clock. He had never complained
to me about his work at the mill. He never said it was
dangerous. He had been at this particular job about two
years and a half. — By the jury: It was part of
his work to take skips up and down the hoist. He said
it was the nicest shop he had ever had.
The Coroner took the liberty to express
his own and the jury’s sympathy with Mrs GOODWIN
in the loss she had sustained by the death of her husband.
They were very sorry for her.
George HOSKINS said: I live at 113 Lodge-lane,
Dukinfield, and am employed at the Victoria Mill, belonging
to the Newton Moor Spinning Co. About a quarter to five
o’clock on Monday afternoon I was working with the
deceased on the top floor of the mill. I saw him get on
the hoist alone and let himself down to the third floor.
The next thing I noticed was the hoist moving
upwards. I then shouted but did not get any reply. When
I did not get any reply I ran to the third landing and
saw the hoist doors open. I closed them and ran to the
bottom. I found the deceased lying in cellar, he lying
in the well of the hoist. There were also two skips containing
cops there. The deceased was alive, but insensible.
He was removed and placed in the cellar,
and only lived a few minutes. He died just before Dr PARK
came. Witness did not hear any noise. He took two skips
with him, and the other two skips which were found at
the bottom must have been from the third storey. It is
possible he might have stepped backwards with the skips
thinking the hoist was there. I had not seen the skips
on the third landing.
I have never known the hoist to move itself.
It is easy to stop and start the hoist. — By the
jury: It was quite light at the time, and the mill was
not lighted up. — We could have put a light in if
we had liked. — By a juror: The doors are fastened
inside. — The skips are dragged into the hoist backwards.
There was no one in the cellar that night to interfere
with the ropes of the hoist. There are no notices to the
effect that no one must touch the ropes. The cop carrier
had gone home because we were working short time.
Mr WALMERSLEY explained the of the hoist.
The deceased must have been in the habit of dragging the
skips into the hoist, and the hoist having descended,
he fell down. He might have pulled the rope too far and
reveresed the movement of the hoist.
In reply to questions, witness said the
scavengers were not allowed to interfer with the hoist.
In his opinion the deceased pulled the rope of the hoist
amd reversed it. It had never done that before. There
was a proper hoist attendant at the mill, but he had gone
The Coroner said the engineer was present
to give evidence if necessary, but he did not think they
need call him. It was quite clear deceased must have fallen
from the third landing to the bottom of the hoist-shaft.
The engineer could not tell them as much as the last witness.
— A juror thought they might hear what he had to
James WARHURST was then called, but was
not sworn. He stated that on the afternoon of the day
in question, just before five o'clock, he was on the steps
on the first landing, when he met a little piecer, who
said "Jesse GOODWIN has fallen down the hoist."
Witness went to the bottom, and saw the deceased there
and the last witness HOSKINS.
The Coroner: Did you examine the working
of the hoist. No. — A juror: How were you for light?
— Oh, there was a good light. — What time
did the mill stop? — Five o'clock. — The Coroner:
Was the little piecer at the bottom when GOODWIN fell?
He said not. He was in the landing and saw GOODWIN falling.
— A juror: Have you ever known boys to tamper with
the hoist ropes at the bottom? — No. — Still
they are not protected? — Yes, by doors.
Mr WALMERSLEY: Had the boy any skips with
him? — No. He did not say anything to me except
"Jesse has fallen down the hoist." — Had
he been in the cellar? — Yes. — Is it likely
he would be fetching skips so very late? — Yes.
— A juror thoguht that the little piecer might have
brought as a witness. — Mr KERFOOT said the boy
might have seen the deceased working the hoist, and he
would know that he was the only person engaged with the
The Coroner did not think that was material.
It had been explained by Mr WALMERSLEY how the accident
happened. It was very probable, as Mr WALMERSLEY had said,
that deceased was dragging the skips backwards into the
hoist which he thought was there, and it was not, and
he fell down. The man had always been accustomed to the
hoist being there, and he no doubt took everything for
granted instead of looking.
Mr KERFOOT said it would be almost for an
accident to occur when the mill was in full work. On this
particular occasion they were working short time, and
most of the people in the lower rooms. Anyone bent upon
mischief could go into the cellar and pull the ropes,
but ordinarily there was always a man specially there
to conrol the hoist. There was no danger to any outsider.
He could assure them that he and his directors
very much regreted the accident. The deceased was generally
very careful, and a most likely man for getting to a position.
His young widow had the greatest sympathy, and also his
His father, and another brother, worked
with them, and he was the most unlikely man that he knew
of to do do as he had done. In his opinion he over-pulled
the hoist, and whilst he was fetching the skips the hoist
descended. This fact would be unknown to the deceased,
and he would back into the hoist hole thinking the hoist
The Coroner: You don't think there has been
any tampering with the hoist ropes? — Mr KERFOOT:
Not at all, sir. There were only two or three minutes
elapsed between deceased getting three skips and returning
to the hoist with them. There was no time for anyone to
tamper with the hoist. I have never seen a boy at the
bottom of the hoist since I have been there.
Mr WALMERSLEY: Ten seconds would be sufficient
time to cause an accident. — Mr KERFOOT: That is
so. It has been so in this case. I am speaking from an
experience of 28 years since the mill was built, and this
is the first fatal accident we have had.
The Coroner: What do you say, Mr WALMERSLEY?
— Mr WALMERSLEY: I think the hoist on the bottom
floor should be guarded. I will see Mr KERFOOT after the
inquest, and we may come to some arrangement with regard
to it. — A juror thought a notion might be put up.
Mr WALMERSLEY: From my experience I have
very little faith in notions. The strict rules of the
mill are better than notions. The jury then returned a
verdict of "Accidental death."