21 September 1901

At the Oldham County Court, on Thursday, Walter TAYLOR, of Waterloo, was the applicant in a claim for compensation from the Chamber Colliery Company Limited, for injuries received in an accident at the company's Wood Park Colliery, Bardsley. Mr Richard SMITH, barrister, was for the applicant, and Mr ELLIS, of Wigan, was for the respondent company.

The applicant had lost the tip of a finger and had another crushed on the right hand. A question of law was raised which affected the question of the average wage. The applicant, owing to a previous accident at the same place, had been away 13 weeks, and the respondents had paid him during that period only 15s 7d per week, that being one half his average wage. The respondents contended that during that period the applicant was in their employ at 15s 7d per week, while the applicant submitted that the absence from work terminated that period of service, and his return to work was the beginning of a new service.

His Honour held with the applicant on this point and gave judgement for the applicant for 5, with costs on the scale of 10 to 20.

We record with regret the demise of Mr Hedley WRIGLEY, of Dean-street West, who passed away peacefully on Thursday evening, after having suffered with patience an illness lasting about two years. He was from the commencement of his working life connected with Messrs Gartside's Brookside Brewery, being employed in the office. He gained the confidence and esteem of his employers, and rose to a post of considerable responsibility, which he filled with credit.

In his youth, he was passionately fond of athletic pursuits. He was one of the founders of the old Audenshaw Rugby Football Club, and playing half-back (and frequently three-quarter back) was one of the most prolific scorers for his side. Goal-kicking from a "placed" ball seemed to be to him a special gift. For several years before football career closed he played for the Ashton Rugby Football Club, and was highly esteemed by his colleagues.

About two years ago he was stricken with spinal trouble, which brought about almost total paralysis. His friends at the Guidebridge Conservative Club purchased a batch chair for him, in which he was able to get about in the open air on fine days. At one time it was thought his condition was showing signs of improvement. The hope was not to be realised, however, and he gradually sank and died as stated, aged 38 years.

He leaves a widow and three young children to mourn his loss, for whom there is the sympathy of a wide circle of sorrowing friends of the deceased. Mr WRIGLEY was, as previously indicated, a Conservative in politics one of the thinking, loyal supporters of the cause; a lover of England. He served some years on the committee of the Guidebridge Conservative Club, and by the members of this institution he was held in the highest respect, his genial presence being ever welcome. Genial in manner he remained even in his sore affliction and trial.

A House Deliberately Fired Man Rushes Into The Flames

Early on Monday morning the Fairfield-street Fire Brigade were called to an extraordinary outbreak in King-street, off Chancery-lane, Ardwick. At 53 King-street, lived a man named William FOX, who worked as a labourer at Chesters' Brewery, and his wife and father-in-law, a man about 65 years of age, named RUSHTON, who followed no employment. On Saturday FOX was away with fellow workmen on a picnic from the brewery, and returned between ten and eleven o'clock. His wife and her father were then in the house, and it is supposed they were asleep. The house is an ordinary cottage, with front room, kitchen and a small scullery on the ground floor. The place is said to have been very well furnished for a house of this description.

At about one o'clock in the morning FOX gathered together the bulk of the articles downstairs and piled them up in the kitchen. He barricaded the back door with a heavy piece of timber, and then fired the pile of furniture. Then he left the house, closing the door behind him, and gave the alarm. The fire brigade turned out with all possible despatch, and on reaching the place, which is rather difficult to get at, found the back portion of the house blazing furiously. The man and woman succeeded in getting out of the house, FOX assisting his wife to escape through the window of the front room, whilst the older man made his exit over the backyard wall.

The brigade made great efforts to check the flames, but the water poured upon them seemed for some time to have little effect, and when the fire was burning most furiously, FOX shouted: "I might as well die with the lot," and rushed into the building. Police-Sergeant ASHER followed him, and pulled him out of the flames, but FOX repeated the attempt, but was rescued by the Sergeant and Constable HAGUE (C198), both of whom were badly burned. FOX sustained serious injury to the arms, face, and neck, his hands were badly cut by his breaking the windows. He and the officers went to the police station, where their injuries were attended to. FOX was in such a state that it was deemed advisable to detain him as an inmate, and this morning he was reported to be "very poorly." Both the officers are off duty.

The fire lasted about an hour, and practically gutted the back portion of the premises. The greatest damage was, of course, done in the kitchen, and here every scrap of woodwork was destroyed. The window frame was burned away, and the flames penetrated through the ceiling into the bedrooms above, the beams being almost burnt through. The scullery also suffered and the staircase was almost destroyed, offering to-day a very doubtful method of reaching the upper rooms. Nothing remains in the front room but a few books and ornaments, one chair, and the shattered remains of a piano.

It is said that Mrs FOX and her father had been drinking heavily for four or five weeks, and that FOX previously threatened to burn the place, although he is said to have been a fairly temperate man. Should he recover from his injuries it is very likely that he will be charged with arson. Mrs FOX and her father, after escaping from the house, found temporary refuge with neighbours, but next morning left for Bradford (Manchester). The affair has naturally created a sensation in the district, and police officers are on duty to prevent curious people entering the house.

Adjourned Inquiry

The adjourned inquiry into the cause of death of Mary Ann KIELEY, wife of Edward KIELEY, waiter, Crompton's Yard, off Pitt-street, Ashton, was held on Thursday afternoon, at the Nelson Tavern. The inquest was adjourned on September 11th, and a post-mortem examination ordered to be made in consequence of a rumour as to a disagreement between the husband and deceased, which, the coroner said, was going about.

Dr TWOMEY deposed to having attended the deceased about eight months ago for an ulcerated leg. He had made a post-mortem examination. Deceased was a sufferer from Bright's disease, and the cause of death was syncope and failure of the heart's action, accelerated by chronic alcoholism. Externally there were a few superficial scratches on the face, and a slight contusion underneath the right ear, but none of them of any importance, and quite insignificant.

Edward KIELY, husband of the deceased, said his wife had been ailing on and off for 14 years through drink and neglect. She had been in the infirmary for a weak heart and bad legs, and was discharged from there in a dropsical state. The last four years she had taken heavily to drink. About three weeks ago she had a very heavy drinking bout, and witness got a Mrs LEECH to look after her and to clean the house. Deceased got up again and recommenced drinking.

Witness was at home on the Sunday, the day before her death, for about an hour, his wife being then sitting on the sofa drunk. When he returned home at night his daughter was sitting by the sofa on which her mother was lying. Witness told the daughter to go to bed, and she did so, and witness, seeing that his wife was drunk, did not speak to her, but lay down on the bed beside her with his clothes on. His wife wakened him next morning, and appeared somewhat lively.

He got up at 6.15 am, and went to work. He returned home to dinner at 1.30, and found his wife lying drunk on the sofa, and snoring very heavily. He was disgusted, and did not stay more than twenty minutes in the house, just long enough for his daughter to serve his dinner. Shortly before seven o'clock in the evening, a woman came to him and told him to hurry up home. He did so, and on arrival found his wife dead on the sofa. He had had no words with his wife that week-end, but they had quarrelled hundreds of times. On the Friday night he had told her to get away, and gave her a push.

Bridget LEECH, a neighbour, deposed to having looked after deceased, whom she described as being a sufferer from bad legs and addicted to drink. Witness never saw her and her husband quarrel. The husband was a very quiet man. The jury returned a verdict of death from natural causes.

Unveiling Tablet at Bardsley

The parish church of Bardsley was crowded on Sunday afternoon on the occasion of the unveiling of a mural tablet in the interior of the church in memory of Private Samuel TAYLOR. Of the 3rd V.H. Manchester Regiment, who died at Germiston, South Africa, on March 19th 1901.

Private TAYLOR was a parishioner, and formerly attended the church and Sunday school, and was well known and a general favourite in the district. He was one of the first draft of volunteers from the Manchester Regiment to be despatched to the seat of war, and in March last, just before he would, in the ordinary course, have been returning home in fact preparations were going on for his public welcome home he was struck down with enteric fever and died. A local subscription was soon started, the result of which was the erection of the tablet unveiled on Sunday by Mr E LEES of Parkbridge. It is of white marble on a ground of black marble, and bears the inscription: "This tablet was erected by public subscription in memory of Private Samuel TAYLOR, of the 1st V B Manchester Regiment, who died whilst serving his Queen and country at Germiston, in South Africa, March 19th 1901, in his 31st year; lay hold on eternal life."

Where Art Thou?

Sir, Let us hope this will not be our cry. I suppose Stalybridge was once mainly supplied from the following spots, viz: Spring-street, Pump-street, Waterloo, Walmersley-street formerly Spout-street about the corner of Cross Leech-street and Mason-street, and I believe, Quarry-street, Set-street also; a trough of spring opposite Souracre Tavern, farther towards Sunacre, a well at Black Rock, near the railway bridge, near Wear Mill, and Scout Rocks, Spring-grove.

If all the above could again be brought into use they, or most of them, might be of great service in case of need. I think three great reserves could easily be made and supplied, say at or above the house of the late Mrs J F KNOTT, supplied by Spout Brook, Luzley, and Higher Heyrod; at Crows-I'th'-Wood, or Spring Grove, all these good spring water (for drinking). The supply at the top of Queen-street and Waterloo was very plentiful at one time. For instance the reservoir supplied the old bowling green and two old mills in Queen-street. If not all drinking water, could they not be used to great advantage for mills and sanitary purposes, and thus save our drinking water?

Perhaps some other abler person than I may suggest the means of bringing these into use again or some other sources. But I think it is time we began to set our house in order. Thanking you for your valuable space, I beg to remain, yours faithfully.

Hill Crest, Stalybridge, September 19, 1901

James MARSDEN, a travelling showman's labourer, was in the dock charged with stealing a pocket handkerchief under the following circumstances: Rebecca BERTENSHAW said: I am the wife of John BERTENSHAW, signalman, and reside at 245 Moorside-street, Droylsden. At 5.15 pm on the 12th I was at Charlestown Station waiting for a train to Droylsden. I sat on one of the seats near the refreshment room. I saw the prisoner come and sit down next to me. I had used my handkerchief and put it back in my pocket.

Shortly afterwards I put my hand to my pocket and found the prisoner's hand in my pocket. I said "What are you doing with your hand in my pocket? Take it out." He said "It's all right." I said "Never mind all right, take it out." He did so and I then missed my handkerchief. When I found his hand in my pocket he had hold of my purse. I afterwards found my handkerchief under the seat upon which prisoner sat. Prisoner admitted having the handkerchief. He had a drop of drink. In reply to the Bench, Inspector LATHAM said he knew nothing against the prisoner. There had been a number of pockets picked lately, and these cases were difficult to get at. The Bench committed the prisoner to gaol for seven days.

THROWING STONES — James COOPER and William DONNELLY, boys, were summoned for throwing stones in Oldham-road on the 5th inst. Constable STOREY said the defendants were throwing stones at one another across the road to the danger of passengers. Fined 5s 6d each for costs.

ALLEGED THREATS — Sarah RYAN was summoned for making threats towards Esther CHURM on the 7th. She pleaded not guilty. Complainant said the defendant broke her door open and she had to go into a neighbour's for protection. The Bench did not consider a case had been made out, and dismissed the information.

DISCHARGING FIREWORKS IN THE STREET — A youth named George WILLIAMS was summoned for discharging fireworks in Portland-street on the 6th. He pleaded not guilty. Constable FURNISS stated that at 8.20 pm he caught the defendant discharging fireworks. Defendant denied firing it and said he picked it up. As it was his first appearance he was discharged with a caution.

A FORGIVING WIFE —Mary Ellen LITTLEWOOD summoned her husband, John Robert LITTLEWOOD, for assault. Defendant did not appear. Complainant came forward and said she did not wish to go on with the case. The Clerk: How is that? He has given over drinking. And if he starts again you will come here again, I suppose, for another free summons. You had better come round and pay for this summons. Case withdrawn.

ALLEGED THEFT OF A DOG — Charles MITCHELL was charged with stealing a dog belonging to Dr COOKE, JP Mr J B POWNALL, who appeared to prosecute, said with permission of the bench he desired to withdraw the case. Since the proceedings had been initiated inquiries had been made, and they were satisfied the defendant had no intention of stealing the dog. He was a man of respectability, and Dr COOKE desired to withdraw the summons and pay the costs. Granted.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY — Harry SHORT was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Old-street on the 4th. He did not appear, and the case having been proved a fine of 20s and costs or one month was imposed. He had been up four times. William SHELMERDINE was fined 5s 6d and costs for being drunk in Oldham-road on the 14th. He had been up eight times. Joseph HOPKINS was fined 5s 6d for costs for being drunk and disorderly in Stockport-road on the 14th. It was his first offence and the Chairman told him that had it been "simple drunk" they would have let him off.

DRUNK AND ASSAULTING THE POLICE — A young man named William Henry BOND, who conducted himself in a most eccentric manner in the dock, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Wellington-road, and with assaulting Constable BRATT whilst in the execution of his duty. He pleaded not guilty. Constable BRATT stated that at 6.40 on Saturday night his attention was called to the defendant by a woman who said there was a madman creating a disturbance in Old-street. He went there and saw the defendant with a big stick in his hand rushing at people, and he knocked several down. He took him into custody, and when in Wellington-street, defendant threw him to the ground, bruised his arm, and digged into his body with his feet. Inspector said defendant had been up 11 times, thrice this year. The Bench fined him 10s and costs for being drunk and disorderly, or 14 days, and 20s and costs, or one month for the assault. Defendant: That is six weeks. I've got to do it now. He was conveyed to the cells dancing a jig.

AN INCORRIGIBLE DIPOSMANIAC — An old woman, poorly clad, named Mary WYKE, was charged with being drunk in Howard's-court on the 8th. Constable DIXON stated that at 3.15 he found the defendant in a helpless state of drunkenness. He took her home on the police ambulance, and reported her. The Clerk: You are here again Mary. Immediately you get your money every quarter you spend it in drink. We have tried all ways to reform you. Mrs FIELDING (the court missionary) has spoken to you. Mrs FIELDING: She says she will go to a home if it can be arranged, but there is no home she can be sent to under the Inebriates' Act. She has been once in London. The Clerk: No one knows more about her than I do. There are places where the interest upon her money would keep her. She has been once, but came out, and started to be worse than before. Defendant: I want to get back to London. The Clerk: You want to get back anywhere out of here, I have no doubt. The Chairman: You have told us many pitiful tales before now, but you will be fined 5s and costs, and you will then not have so much for drink.

Preaching on Sunday evening at the Methodist New Connexion Chapel, in Oldham, the Rev Henry HOPE took for his subject, the Wakes. The diversions of the Tommy field fair ground were mostly innocent and amusing, and if there were some of them which devout people could not find diverting, they must remember that there were things which the irreligious might enjoy without doing any harm. People will have amusement, and he thought religious people had foolishly and unnecessarily denounced amusements of some kinds.

If the churches tabooed manly sports and exercises it would create a perverted Christianity. Why should a man be accused of a lack of Christianity or high moral character because he was addicted to athletic sports or liked to look at a ludicrous show sometimes? After pointing out how everything about the showground suggested the things which were transient, Mr HOPE said the wealthy and wise people of Oldham had turned their backs on the wakes shows and had gone in their thousands to Torquay, Blackpool, and Douglas, leaving some of us poverty-stricken people at home.

Councillor Joseph BARDSLEY is an ardent Protestant Churchman, and on Tuesday night he presided over the first public meeting of the newly-formed Ashton Churchmen's Protestant Association. He made a speech thoroughly condemning those clergymen of the Church of England who introduced Popish accessories into the services and who were teaching Romish practices in an insidious manner. He appealed to the Evangelical and Protestant Churchmen of the district to combine in condemnation of Romeward ceremonials.

THE MURPHY BROTHERS AGAIN —James MURPHY and Alfred MURPHY, of Dukinfield, were in the dock charged with being drunk and disorderly on the 14th inst. Constable DISTON said the defendants were fighting, with a large crowd around them. He dispersed them in Cavendish-street, but they went to the bottom of Mill-lane and started again. The Clerk: Resumed hostilities. Inspector LUDLUM read a list of previous convictions against the defendants. Fined 10s and costs or fourteen days each.

WORKPEOPLE'S TRIP — On Saturday Mr James HARGREAVES, Grove House, Sandy-lane, treated his workpeople to a free outing at Belle View Gardens. They were conveyed, to the number of fourteen, to their destination in wagonettes &c, and on arriving a splendid knife and fork tea awaited them. The good things provided very speedily disappeared, and then the party dispersed to see the various attractions of those famous and popular grounds not, however, before according a hearty vote of thanks to their employer for this repeated display of kindly generosity and thoughtfulness.

On Tuesday Samuel Henry NADIN, of 21 Leech-street, Dukinfield, put an end to his existence in a most determined manner. About twelve months ago he received certain injuries at Hurst Nook Colliery which incapacitated him from work ever since. This had rendered him despondent. About 8.30 on Tuesday morning his wife saw him in bed. He was then apparently asleep, and she did not disturb him. About 12.30 she went upstairs again and found him hanging by means of a rope attached to the bedpost. His knees were on the chamber floor and his head a foot higher, and it was apparent that he had strangled himself. Dr CLARKE was called in, and pronounced life extinct.
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