22 June 1901


Dukinfield Town Hall
Great Demonstration of Sunday Schools - The Mayoress Starts the Clock
In the presence of some ten thousand spectators the new Town Hall or Municipal Buildings, erected by Dukinfield Town Council, was opened on Saturday afternoon. The site occupied is a plot of land adjoining the old Council Offices, and upon it an edifice has been reared which, from an architectural point of view, is not equalled by the municipal buildings of any town for miles around.

The architects are Messrs John EATON, Sons and CANTRELL, of Ashton-under-Lyne, and their skill has produced a structure which adds still further laurels to their already high reputation. The contract for the building was let to Mr John ROBINSON, of Ashton, and he and his sub-contractors have done their work in a very creditable manner.

The style of architecture adopted is Gothic, and the material used is red brick, freely relieved with stonework of an ornamental character. The interior of the building has been arranged so as to provide accommodation for all departments of municipal work, and in future years the borough officials will be centralised and the ratepayers will be able to transact business with greater ease and facility than hitherto.

A commodious Council Chamber and committee rooms have been provided and the School Board and overseers will, in future, find habitation here. It is estimated that the erection and furnishing of the building will absorb between Ģ14,000 and Ģ15,000, a sum much in excess of the amount originally intended when the project was launched. However, the public have got a splendid asset for their outlay, and those who have seen the hall admit that it does credit to the new borough and to everyone who has been concerned in its erection.

A shocking cycling accident occurred on Wilmslow-road, near Handforth, on Saturday, shortly after four oėclock, the victim being Mr S A B FISH, solicitor, of Oldham-road, Ashton. He was riding his machine in the direction of Alderley, about four oėclock, in the rear of a wagonette, with the occupants of which he was conversing. He attempted to get to the front of the vehicle, but not noticing a trap coming in the opposite direction, with the result that the shaft of the trap struck him on the right side, lifted him off his machine, and carried him along. He was carried clinging to the shaft for a distance of about 400 yards, Councillor George LEIGH of Stockport, the driver of the trap, being unable to bring the startled horse to a standstill. Eventually the frightened animal was stopped and Mr FISH was taken off the end of the shaft. Mr FISH died on Sunday at noon.

A member of the Ryecroft Church choir, who was an eye-witness of the accident, gives the following account: The members of the choir went on a picnic on Saturday afternoon to Alderley. We started from the schools in Ashton at a quarter to two oėclock in the afternoon in a char-a-banc, the party consisting of 26 persons. We had gone as far as Burnage, when we were overtaken by Mr FISH, Mr H LINDLEY, and Mr G H JONES, who were on cycles. At a subsequent period Mr FISH again overtook the char-a-banc and engaged in conversation with those upon it.

When we were approaching the village of Handforth, on the Wilmslow-road, Mr FISH apparently desired to pass in front of the conveyance, and for this purpose turned aside and put on extra speed. Immediately a horse and trap coming in the opposite direction appeared and before Mr FISH could get out of the way the trap was upon him. The shaft struck his right side and he hung suspended in front, with his hands apparently clutching part of the harness. He was carried in this way for about a quarter of a mile. The char-a-banc at once stopped and many of the occupants ran back when they saw the trap stop, and the unfortunate gentleman removed from the shaft.

The trap was being driven by Councillor George LEIGH, of Stockport, along with whom was his wife and also two lady friends. The driver exerted himself to his utmost, but the animal was a spirited one, and could not be readily brought to a standstill. Mr FISH was then conveyed to the house of Mrs MOORHOUSE, Fern Bank, Handforth. Some of those present ran off for a doctor. One who resides close by was away from home, but ultimately three doctors arrived. Meanwhile three of the Ryecroft party, who are ambulance men, went into the house and did what they could in order to stop the bleeding. When the doctors arrived they held out very little hope, and said the only person who could do anything was a skilled nurse. Later in the evening a telephonic message was sent to Manchester Infirmary for a nurse to be sent as soon as possible.

Deceased was 34 years of age. He was born in Ryecroft, Ashton, and was the youngest son of the late Mr George FISH, grocer, Mossley-road. He served his articles with Mr GARFORTH, solicitor, Dukinfield, and at the early age of 20 was admitted a member of the Incorporated Law Association. Last year he took his degree of LLB at Owens College, Manchester. After serving with Mr GARFORTH for about five years he commenced in practice for himself at premises in Grey-street, subsequently removing to more convenient ones in Booth-street. He was unmarried and lived with his mother and sister at Sunnyhurst, Oldham-road, Ashton. He was a member of the Ryecroft Independent Chapel, with which place of worship he had been connected all his life, and for some time was secretary of the Sunday school. He was a Freemason and occupied the position of Worshipful Master of the Royal Albert Lodge, Stalybridge. Recently he became a member of the Minerva Lodge, held at the Pitt and Nelson, Ashton.

He was an enthusiastic cyclist, and in his time has toured extensively throughout England, Scotland, and Switzerland. He was a member of the Cyclistsė Touring Club. It is only recently that he commenced writing a series of articles on "Week-end Cycling Tours" for the columns of the Reporter. In his "spins", both at home and on the Continent, he was usually alone, and often would go away he did on the present occasion without any company whatsoever, sometimes going long distances and being absent from home for a prolonged period.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, no blame being attached to the driver of the dogcart.

— At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, Arthur MAIDEN pleaded guilty to keeping a dog without license on May 2nd, and was fined 5s 6d and costs. — James BAILEY also pleaded guilty to a similar charge, and was fined 5s 6d and costs.

A LAMENTABLE CASE — Emma ALLCOCK failed to appear at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, to answer a charge of committing a breach of the peace. — Superintendent HEWITT said that the husband of the defendant had been, and stated that his wife could not appear as they had a child dying. He asked for the case to be adjourned for 14 days. — Granted.

HE CARRIED 1OLBs OF MEAT — A grey-haired man named William LAX was before the Ashton county justices on Wednesday charged with being drunk and disorderly at Hurst on May 31st. — A constable gave evidence as to seeing defendant drunk, and attempting to go into the Church Inn. He began swearing and creating a disturbance. — Defendant pleaded not guilty and said some boys were throwing stones at him. He was not drunk. He went to Ashton, and carried 10lbs of meat back. — (Laughter.) He had not been out of the house a quarter of an hour. He had a wife and four children. — Fined 5s.

I.0.G.T. — The Hope of Hurst Lodge held its weekly meeting in the Co-operative Hall, Russell-street, Hurst. The lodge was opened at 7.35 by Mr SMITH, Chief Templar, and after the business had been done he called on Bro. DABBS to take the chair, as he and Bro. GREENWOOD were responsible for the nightės entertainment. The programme was gone through by Sisters PARKINSON and GREENWOOD, Bros. SMITH, DAVIES, WOOD, ROBINSON, HOWARTH, MARSLAND, GREENWOOD and Sister GREENWOOD. A concertina solo was given by Bro. DABBS. Bros. DABBS and GREENWOOD were thanked for the able manner in which they provided the entertainment.

IN AID OF THE SICK — A grand concert was held on Tuesday evening at the Minersė Refuge, Hurst Cross, for the benefit of Mr George ROBERTS, who has been off his work for nearly two years through ill-health. The following local singers gave their services free. Mr James BROOKES opened the concert with an overture, followed by Ben ASHTON with "Itės nice to have a home of your own," the rendering of which was warmly applauded, and he sang as an encore, "On her wedding morn." Jonathan FITTON sang in splendid style "Whisper, and I shall hear," and "Death of Nelson." Robt. HANDLEY, a well-known local baritone, sang "Friends of the brave" and "Daddy."

A novel feature was Mr BRIERLEYės gramophone, which was really a treat in the "Hallelujah Chorus," &c. Mrs Harry MONKS next sang "Fancy Iėm off the earth" and "Thatės that." Arnold FIRTH gave two pleasing tenor songs, "The holy city" and "Ye that be weary." Silas HAGUEės fine rendering of "Take back your gold" pleased the company, and Arthur WRIGHT also sang "Beautiful working order" which evoked roars of laughter. Mr Samuel CAMPBELL, in thanking those who had bought tickets, said that after the money was in there would be a nice little balance left. Mr James PASHLEY officiated, and the best thanks were given to the artistes and others.

Compensation for the Widow and Family

At the Ashton County Court on Thursday, a case under the Workmenės Compensation Act was tried. The case arose out of the death of Edward ANDREW, which occurred on July 17th last at Ashton Gasworks whilst in the execution of his duty. Mr WILKINSON (barrister), instructed by Mr J BRADBURY (solicitor), represented the relatives, and the Ashton Gas Company was represented by Mr J B POWNALL (solicitor).

Mr WILKINSON said this was a claim for compensation for the widow and three children of the deceased, Edward ANDREW, who was employed by the Ashton Gas Company, and who was found dead under circumstances which pointed to his having been struck by a spoke of the fly-wheel of a donkey engine, of which he had charge, whilst trying to move the wheel round with a bar of iron in order to start the engine. There was a mark on the deceasedės neck as if something had struck him.

John WIDDOWSON, engineer, said he had inspected the engine at the Gasworks. If it stopped on the centre one was obliged to use a crowbar to start the engine. Witness calculated that if deceased was struck by the spoke of the wheel it would be a blow of about half a ton. — By Mr POWNALL: There was ample time to pull the bar out on the wheel starting. — Harry HALL, engineer, spoke to examining the engine, and agreed with the statement of the previous witness.

James ANDREW, brother of the deceased, stated that after the accident he saw deceased laid on the ground with an iron bar by his side. — By Mr POWNALL: There was a black mark on the side of the deceasedės face. — Mrs MAKIN deposed to washing deceased, and to seeing a mark extending from the neck to the shoulder. — Mrs ANDREW, widow of the deceased, stated that deceasedės wages were about 22s a week. Three months ago a child was born, and on the right side of its neck there was a mark corresponding to that on the deceased.

Joseph TOWNLEY, foreman of the gasworks in July, stated that he saw deceased at the corner of the retort house shortly before his death. The length of the bar was about seven feet. — Similar evidence was also given by a man named BENNETT. — Mr POWNALL, for the defence, contended that there was no evidence to show that death had resulted from an accident. Had there been an accident his clients would only have been too willing to meet all liabilities.

Dr MANN stated that he made a post mortem examination of the deceased, and there were no marks of violence on him beyond two slight bruises on the face, which would not be sufficient to cause death. Inside the head there was an excessive amount of fluid, composed of serum and blood. — Mr WILKINSON asked for Ģ171 12s, as three yearsė wages at the rate of 22s per week. — His Honour gave judgement for the plaintiff, the money to be appropriated: Ģ20 to the widow; 10s per week for the widow and 4s per week for each child.

— At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, Charles ROBERTS pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly at Bardsley on 31st May, and this being his first offence a fine of 5s was imposed.

PREFERRED TO GO DOWN — W H ANDREW pleaded guilty to being drunk at Bardsley on 15th June, and was fined 5s 6d and costs, or 14 days. — Defendant preferred to go down.

RIDING A BICYCLE WITHOUT LIGHT — A charge of riding a bicycle without light was preferred against Fred NIELD on Wednesday. — Defendant pleaded guilty, and said he was only about 50 yards from home. — Fined 1s and costs.

WARRANT FOR ARREST — John SMITH and James COLEARY were charged with committing a breach of the peace on May 31st. — Defendant SMITH appeared and said COLEARY had gone away. — SMITH was bound over to keep the peace for three months, and a warrant was issued for the arrest of COLEARY.

NEGLECTING WIFE AND CHILDREN — A charge of neglecting to maintain his wife and family was preferred against William HARRISON on Saturday. — Mr William SIMON (relieving officer) stated that his wife and children had become chargeable to the Union to the extent of Ģ2 3s. — Defendant pleaded guilty, and was sent to gaol for 14 days with hard labour.

Mr J W BLACKSHAW, who was recently charged at the Ashton Borough Court with obstructing the police in the discharge of their duty at the Ashton Moss Colliery during the recent fire, writes: - I should be very much obliged if you would allow me to correct an omission your reporter made in the above case. In my evidence on oath I strongly denied using any bad language, it being a habit I do not indulge in, and I also denied refusing to leave the grounds when requested.

— Betsy Ellen SIMPSON was fined 5s 6d costs for being drunk and disorderly in Lower Wharf-street on the 15th.

A DRUNKEN ROACH — A man named Edward ROACH was in the dock charged with being drunk and disorderly in Dale-street on 14th of June. — Constable WILLIAMSON said the defendant was kicking at a door. — Fined 5s 6d for costs.

STRAYING HORSES — John COCKS was fined 5s 6d costs for allowing two horses to stray in Taunton-road on 6th June. — Defendant sent a representative who said the horses had been frightened out of the field by boys playing cricket.

PLAYING PEGGY IN THE STREET — A youth named Harry BATES was summoned for obstructing the free passage of William-street on the 12th June. He pleaded guilty. — Constable BARTON said defendant was playing peggy at the corner of William-street and Hertford-street. The Chief Constable said he had received many complaints about lamps and mill windows being broken. — The Chairman characterised it as a very dangerous practice, and fined defendant 2s 6d and costs.

WAGSTAFFE WAGS HIS TONGUE — An elderly man named Alfred WAGSTAFFE appeared to answer a summons for being drunk on the Market Ground on the 15th inst. — Defendant, who was very polite loquacious and eloquent, said he had never been locked up in his life, never been summoned in his life during the 70 years he had lived in the town. — Mr HULME: A very good record. We discharge you this time. — Defendant (bowing and scraping): I humbly and most respectfully beg leave to return my sincere and heartfelt thanks for your kindness.

AN UNPROVOKED ASSAULT — Bertha FOOTE summoned Annie HIBBERT for assaulting her on the 10th June. She pleaded guilty. — Complainant stated that on the day named, the defendantės mother was talking insultingly about her mother, and she went to see what she had to say about it. — When she got inside the defendant seized her, threw her hat on the fire, and threw her out of the house. Defendant said Bertha came in making a bother. She ordered her out. She would not go, and said she could not put her out, and so she did. — Fined 10s and costs.

HE BELIED HIS NAME — James Patrick LAMB was summoned for a breach of the peace in Wellington-road on the 9th June. — Sergeant BAILEY said his attention was drawn to the defendant, who had a crowd around him and shouting. He had the clasp-knife produced open in his hand, and he was thirsting to run it into some woman he had been quarrelling with. — Defendant said the woman pulled some hair pins out of her head and scratched his face all over. He did not intend to use the knife. — The Chief Constable, in reply to the bench, said defendant had been up 11 times. — The Clerk: He belies his name. — The bench bound him over to keep the peace for three months in his own recognisance of 40s and pay the costs. In default, seven days.

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