23 March 1901

Grogging Spirit Casks

Two landlords, one of them Miles ROTHWELL of the White Lion Inn, Booth-street, were summoned "at the insistence of the Inland Revenue authorities for having on his property a cask which had been subjected to a process for the purpose of extracting spirits absorbed by the wood."

"It was well known in the trade that casks of spirits in the bonded warehouses absorbed a considerable quantity of the spirits in the wood. It had been found that after these casks had been emptied by licensed victuallers, they were subjected to a process called ‘grogging’. In other words, water was put in to the casks and the absorbed whisky abstracted from the wood was brought into consumption without any duty being paid upon it.

"It was estimated that the Inland Revenue lost a quarter of a million duty every year and an Act of Parliament was passed prohibiting any persons from extracting the spirits so absorbed." ROTHWELL was fined 30 and the ‘grogged’ spirits were confiscated.

"Some excitement was created at Woodhouses on Monday morning when it was discovered that a refreshment room belonging to Mr W S WILSON situated in close proximity to the Crime Lake was on fire. Constable HODKINSON and a number of other persons were attracted to the scene of the fire and strove energetically to save the building from destruction by means of water brought from the canal.

"Their efforts were unavailing as the flames gained a firm hold of the building and its contents consisting of tables, chairs &c, and it was soon apparent that the whole concern was doomed to destruction. The damage, which is nearly covered by insurance, will amount to 120. No cause can be assigned for the outbreak as the place had not had a fire or light in it for some days.

"A charge of obstructing the footpath was preferred against Henry RAMSDEN, James CAMPBELL and Jesse OUSEY at the Ashton County Police on Wednesday. RAMSDEN and CAMPBELL pleaded guilty, but OUSEY said he did not see where the obstruction came in.

"A constable stated that at 20 minutes to eight on Sunday night, the defendants and about 30 others were standing on the footpath in Union-road, Hurst. They had been cautioned many a time about the practice. There was a chip potato shop at the bottom of Union-road and a few yards of spare land. The defendants stood there and obstructed the whole footpath.

"OUSEY said they were not standing on the flags; they were standing on the spare land. There were about 15 of them. Superintendent HEWITT: ‘They not only stand and obstruct the footpath, but they make very unpleasant remarks to people passing.’ The three were fined 2s 6d each.

Ashton pork butcher Walter PRICE sued his former employee, Thomas HUNT for 2 7s 6d which he was supposed to have kept from his meat deliveries. There were conflicting stories about what HUNT had handed over to PRICE and what he hadn’t. The judge found for the defendant, saying: "The Plaintiff has only himself to thank that he did not keep a tally book in which he could enter the amounts which the carter had brought in."

"On Wednesday evening, the members of the Baptist Mutual Improvement Society paid a visit to the above works through the kind permission of Mr APPLETON, the manager. Under the leadership of Mr LEE, they inspected, with much interest, the complicated arrangements for the production of electric light and power. Starting with the grimy stoke hole, the party passed round by the refuse destructors and into the spacious engine-house. The three 500 horsepower engines were examined with much interest.

"On Monday evening, about 50 friends met at the house of Mr W FISH (Canterbury Arms) the occasion being a supper and concert as a farewell to Luke JONES who is shortly to go to South Africa with the local contingent of volunteers. After full justice had been done to a well-served repast, the rest of the evening was spent in singing &c.

"Amongst those who contributed to the evening’s enjoyment were Mr Luke JONES who gave the laughable ditty ‘Jane Magee’. Mr Jonathan FITTON was loudly applauded for his rendering of ‘The Soldiers Goodbye’. Mr Johnny TAYLOR sang ‘Let Me Like a Soldier Fall.’ He got a big reception and gave an encore of ‘John Bull’.

An inquest was held on the death of Joseph BYROM of 29 Dale-street. He was employed by Messrs T Mason and Sons, Oxford Mills and was attempting to lift a flywheel off a lorry when it fell on his feet. He was taken to Ashton Infirmary where a crushed finger was amputated and he was put to bed, experiencing great pain from his crushed toes.

"Deceased was not a strong man and he developed hypostatic congestion of the lungs through lying in bed."

"The following are the enumerators in the Mossley sub-district:

Mossley: Alfred BELL, Stamford-street; Frank BELL, Lees-road; Robert LAWTON, Manchester-road, A E LAWTON, Manchester-road; Heford LAWTON, Mountain-street; Seth RADCLIFFE, Stamford-road; Jas Alfred SCHOFIELD, Fox Platt Terrace; Samuel JACKSON, Egerton-street; Edward WALKER, Stamford-road; Fred MELLOR, Stockport-road; Chas H LINDLEY, Lorne-street.

Hartshead: John DAVIES, Whiteacre-road

Waterloo: James DUNKERLEY, Oldham-road

Hurst: Seth FIRTH, Princess-street; Stephen BARKER, Whiteacre-road; David NEEDHAM, George LOMAS, Queen-street; Francis HARTLEY, Princess-street, C H H LEES, Queen-street.

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