6 October 1900

There was a reunion at the Town Lane school of farmer scholars, teachers and ministers to celebrate its centenary, At 5,30pm, there was an organ recital by Mr Eli COPE which was well attended. "The place was packed and many people could not obtain seats. The front of the platform was lined with flowers and presented a very attractive appearance. On the wall at the back was the appropriate motto 'For Auld Lang Syne'"

Chapel warden, Alderman James KERFOOT addressed the audience saying that "as a humble descendant of James OLIVER, he was proud to hold the place assigned to him. It was very gratifying for him to note that a descendants of James OLIVER were continuing active work in this school. (hear, hear)"

Present at the party were former ministers, John Page HOPPS, George Hamilton VANCE, Philip H WICKSTEAD, Alex GIBSON, Lawrence SCOTT, W C HALL, W TITTERINGTON and J MAGEE.

Great Procession and Demonstration

A hastily summoned demonstration in support of the striking carmen gathered at Ashton Town Hall. The procession was headed by Hurst Village Reed Band, followed by the banner of the Tramway and Horsemen's Union, and set off to follow the tram route to Denton.

"A considerable number of women and girls falling into line as Denton was approached. At the Denton Car Depot, the band struck up 'the Death March' and the processionists uncovered. Then there was a storm of grease and hooting."

On the market ground, Mr T MALLIEU, president of Hyde Trades Council, spoke at length on the history of the Free Labour Association. Mr GAMBLE of the Felt Hatters Union moved "That this meeting considers the demands of the electric carmen to be just and reasonable and pledges itself to support them until they obtain their rights." This was seconded by Edward BURKE.

Drivers who broke the strike were often pelted with stones and mud and their tramcars needed police escorts. One Joe MATLEY, a driver for the Hyde Electric Tramway Company was found guilty of assaulting the police and throwing missiles and fined three pounds by Ashton Police Court.

There was a general election taking place a hundred years ago. As mentioned in a previous summary, this took place over several weeks, rather than on one day. I wrote last of Matthew White RIDLEY who had the young Winston CHURCHILL speaking in his support. The Conservative was elected MP for Stalybridge this week in 1900, but with a majority whittled down to just 81 votes over Liberal candidate, John Frederick CHEETHAM. "I must say we have had a good fight and I am happy to say, a fight conducted with perfect good humour on both sides," said RIDLEY.

William LEIGH, 65, a tinplate worker of Yew Tree Farm Bredbury, died from his injuries after being run down by a brewer's dray. PC MASSEY said he was on duty and saw the deceased crossing the road in the direction of the park gates, He then noticed the dray in the charge of Moses PICKFORD turning out of Newbridge Lane into New Zealand Road and shouted out a warning. "The deceased turned around and looked in my direction and seemed to see the horses. Then he turned back to go towards the Park Hotel. His back was to the lorry and the off-horses knocked him down and went over him."

The horses stopped and the MASSEY "called to the driver who backed the horses, but they plunged and trampled on the man again." LEIGH was pulled clear and there was a large wound on his right arm. Conscious and coherent, he was taken to hospital where he died two days later.

"A lad named William ACKERS, 14 years of age, employed at the Bradford Colliery and living in Forge-lane, Bradford, was on Wednesday morning crushed by a wagon whilst at work in the pit. His head was badly injured and he was removed in a serious condition to the Royal Infirmary. The unfortunate youth died at that Institution on Wednesday afternoon."
And finally, there was a furious row between the coroner and a witness over a dead man's reputation. The body of Benjamin TRAVIS, 56 year old engineer from Dukinfield, had been found by a boatman early one morning in a canal in Ashton. An argument started between the coroner and Mr TRAVIS' son as to whether the deceased had been drinking.

The coroner said: "I have asked you six times now, yet you continue to make a mystery of it. Did he come home drunk? I have had enough of it. Look here, you must not be rude, I am not here to take any impudence, and don't let's have any more of it. You have been very stupid up to now."

The incident got so steamed up that the reporters of 1900 were asked not to print any further details.

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