20 October 1900

"A highly amusing election story has reached us from the Prestwich Division. In a certain district where Conservatism is pretty strong, there was much confidence displayed over the chances of Captain HOULDSWORTH, and it was thought advisable to prepare some sort of demonstration in honour of the return of the Tory candidate.

"One happy genius hit upon a novel idea. He proposed that a coffin with the inscription ˜Here lies CRAWLEY' should be made and paraded after the announcement of the figures. One enthusiast went even further. He set the Boys' Brigade Band into training, special attention being given to the ˜Dead March' and made complete arrangements for their participation in the parade of jubilation.

"Judge the consternation that prevailed in the local Tory dovecote when it was found that the Liberal candidate had been returned with an increased majority. Needless to say, the funeral so elaborately planned did not eventuate."

Martha Ann BRIERLEY, aged 48, was seen to throw herself from the viaduct where the canal passed over the River Tame. Despite the 30 foot drop, she was rescued and found to have a broken right ankle. She was the wife of William BRIERLEY, a foreman in Stalybridge. "She had been in a despondent state for some time and under the care of Dr TALENT.
"Thomas NUTTALL, Ada NUTTALL and Jas. NUTTALL were charged with committing a breach of the peace at Bardsley on October 1st. The male defendants pleaded guilty and Ada NUTTALL pleaded guilty under great provocation." The police had found them at 11.50pm, shouting, cursing and swearing. "James NUTTALL was urging his brother Thomas to fight Ada NUTTALL's husband. Defendant Ada NUTTALL handed a paper to the magistrates saying ˜that's what Thomas NUTTALL called me." We can but hazard a guess of the cause of the dispute. They were bound over to keep the peace for three months for 40s.

It is hard to imagine our city fathers condoning ˜drugs', let alone 'peddling' them, as was apparently the case in 1900. The Angel Inn in Stalybridge was without a landlord because the tenant was being prosecuted for being in breach of his licence. The person chosen "to sell upon the said premises" was Mr MASON, the borough accountant.

"At first sight, this might seem a curious mixture," wrote the Reporter. "But investigation shows that the public official is only the nominal and temporary licensee. The Angel Inn is the property of the Corporation and they contemplate a re-construction of the building on modern lines and after the system which is in vogue in Blackpool. "Local temperance reformers will perhaps be shocked by this intelligence, though it must always be borne in mind that whatever profit § and we presume the hotel will make at least a little § will go towards the reduction of the rates."

Sound chaps, these reporters, although one suspects that today's council could not run the proverbial, even if they still owned a pub! Speaking of which..

James Henry HARROP (maybe one of mine) and John HAMPSON appeared before the Ashton magistrates charged with obstruction at Waterloo. Both pleaded guilty as policeman Sgt Dove told how he had witnessed the pair, each in charge of a horse and cart "one going in the direction of Oldham and the other in the direction of Ashton. Both of them claimed right of the tram road and neither of them would give way and they collided. The Chairman: "Your're two nice boys, you are. You will be fined 6s each for costs."
At about 4.30 on Sunday afternoon, Joseph ASHTON of Market-street, Stalybridge reported a fire at Charles STUBBS', picture frame maker. "With all possible despatch, hose van was sent to the scene of the fire which was found to be raging in the back bedroom which is used as a workshop by the tenant. Branches were got to work from the hydrants in Albert-square and Caroline-street." The cause of the fire was unknown and there was water damage to the neighbouring Wharf Tavern.
(I would be grateful to anyone who can explain the rules)
Upwards of 900 people gathered at the Higginshaw Ground in Oldham to watch a wresting match between J BURNS of Lees and S ANCHOR of Hurst. It was the best of three back falls with 50 pounds at stake. BURNS was trained by Jack BARKER from the Hanging Gate in Diggle, while ANCHOR was under the tutelage of Sam MOORES at his home in Pendleton.

Twas ever thus! Given the reported apathy at the present US Presidential election, take or lose heart from the Reporter: "Though less than a fortnight will elapse before 1st November, very little interest § and certainly no excitement § has been shown with regard to the municipal elections in Stalybridge. Still, we are told that contests will positively take place in several wards, Millbrook excepted."

In one of the wards, Mr J W SIMISTER had a ˜walk over'. "Who the other candidates are for the remaining wards is not yet definitely known."

This lack of enthusiasm affected both parties (yes, I know Labour was there, as well as Liberal and Tory, but I think their two seats in 1900 allows me some grace).

People were approached but "Generally speaking there has been a disinclination on the part of these gentlemen to accept the honour."

Sound chaps I think — anyone who wants to become a politician should be automatically disbarred! Then again, as Aristotle observed, he who refuses to be involved in politics shall become governed by his inferiors!

Having been totally non-PC, can I be the first to offer to ˜person' the barricades :o))

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