23 November 1901

Damages Estimated at £10,000 – Grand Work by the Fire Brigade

A disastrous fire took place at Hyde on Saturday night at Long Meadow Mill, Clarendon-street. The fire broke out in the top storey and the origin of it is at the time of writing unknown. Constable BASFORD was on duty in Market-street when Mr Walter MARSLAND came to him and informed him that the mill was on fire. Three of Mr MARSLAND’s sons were in the office balancing the accounts when they saw a red glow, but were unable for some time to account for it. Eventually they found out that it was a fire, and one of them ran to fetch the overlooker, another went to the fire station, and the other sought assistance elsewhere
About eight minutes past eight Inspector WATSON, with four firemen, left the fire station with the steamer, and were joined on the way by three other firemen, and were taken to the mill down Market-street, and through Lipton’s yard, but Mr MARSLAND jun. Advised that the engine should be taken down to the Clarendon-street entrance, as there was a better supply of water. At this juncture the Chief Constable appeared on the scene.

The fifth storey was burning furiously, and pieces of glass and slate were beginning to fall, which made things highly dangerous to the firemen, and the Chief Constable had the engine removed to the Market-street side. In the meantime the other members of the brigade had turned up and were ably assisted by employees of the corporation and members of the old fire brigade. A donkey fire engine, belonging to the firm, was also on the scene, but for some time it did not work very well. It was afterwards got going and rendered very valuable assistance.

The scene at the time was one of awful splendour. The whole of the top room, which is about 30 windows long, was one mass of flame, slates and pieces of glass were continually falling into the street, shafting was dropping on the floor, and the crashing of the timber and the falling of the roof were almost as loud as cannon shots. A dense fog prevailed, but in spite of this, the red glare of the fire could be seen at a great distance. Great crowds of people were gathered in the vicinity, many with anxious faces as they saw the means of livelihood being destroyed, and others who seemed to regard the whole thing as a huge joke.

The fire for a considerable time simply roared like a fiend, and the heat could be felt a great distance away, and notwithstanding the excellent work of the firemen, the fire did not appear to decrease. The mill is situated in the midst of much valuable property, and many fears were entertained that some of it might be caught by the fire. Happily their fears were groundless, but had there been a strong wind things might and probably would have been different. The stall holders on the market ground were evidently afraid that some of the burning cotton might be blown on their stalls, for they quickly packed up and made themselves scarce.

The huge blaze, the firemen on the outbuildings working the hoses, the officers running to and fro, the dense crowds of people, and the still denser fog, and the falling of the roof and the machinery was scene which will live long in the memory of those who saw it, and apart from the suffering which it must necessarily entail by throwing people out of employment, was really grand.

Inspector WATSON and several of the firemen ascended the higher floors, where they found a line of hose had been coupled up by one of the employees of the mill. A length of hose was similarly connected with the third floor and was supplied from the hydrant in Market-street. Several lengths of hose were carried up the fire escape and attached to the hydrants in the street, from which there was a good force of water. The engine was got to work on the Market-street side under very great difficulty owing to the dense fog. Four lengths of suction had to be put down, and a hole had to be dug in the ground before even a supply of muddy water could be obtained.

The engine was kept working until 3.30 on Sunday morning, when the flames were extinguished, but steam was kept until five o’clock. Three lines of hose were kept going from the hydrants until twelve o’clock at noon. At 2.55 in the afternoon it was again necessary to apply the hose to extinguish some flames which had again broke out on some beams. The town without doubt owes a deep debt of gratitude to the Chief Constable and his men for the very able way in which they dealt with the conflagration. Mrs DENTON and Mrs STANSFIELD very kindly supplied the firemen with hot coffee which was most appreciated.

Flowery Field Case at Ashton County Court

Esther HALLSWORTH, of Flowery Field, widow, claimed from the Dukinfield Collieries, Dukinfield, compensation for the loss of her husband. On the 31st July last, applicant’s husband, Phillip HALLSWORTH, was working at correspondent’s Dunkirk Pit, and as he was in the act of getting coal, a portion of the mine roof fell upon him, causing injuries from which he died the same day. Deceased left the applicant surviving, but left no children. She earned 15s per week as a cotton operative.

His Honour made an award for £150 and ordered £20 of it to be paid to applicant forthwith, and the balance invested and paid to applicant at 8s a week.

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, James Patrick LAMB (18), labourer, was charged with unlawfully wounding Alice GREGORY, by stabbing her with a knife on the 9th instant. The following evidence was called:–

Alice GREGORY said: I reside at Bingham’s lodging house, 19 Pitt-street, Ashton. Shortly after midnight on the morning of the 9th instant I was in the house. The prisoner came in. William MORRISSEY and Benjamin DOWNING were there. LAMB said to MORRISSEY, "What have you been again of my woman for?" He got hold of MORRISSEY and tupped him in the stomach with his head. MORRISSEY got hold of him to put him outside. When they got in the street they started fighting. I went between them to separate them. LAMB said, "I’ll soon quieten you." He took a knife out of his pocket and stabbed me in the right arm. I fell to the floor and whilst I was down he stabbed me in the side. I don’t remember anything after that until I was in the lodging-house. I was afterwards taken to the Town Hall and seen by Dr HUGHES jun. On Monday morning I was taken up to the hospital and have been there until this morning. I feel rather weak now from loss of blood.– By the prisoner: I did not fetch a poker to you or strike you with anything.

Dr HUGHES junr. said: On the 12th Nov. I was called to the Town Hall to see Alice GREGORY. She had a wound on the back of the right side of the chest clean cut, half an inch across and penetrated through the skin into the flesh. It did not enter the chest. She had another wound in the middle of the right arm on the inside. A third wound on the right arm close to the shoulder was of a superficial nature. She was in an exhausted condition, and had lost a considerable quantity of blood
By the Chief Constable: There must have been considerable force to cause the wound in the side. It penetrated her corsets. I did not consider it a dangerous wound because the corsets protected her. Such a wound could have been inflicted by a knife. The cut in the corsets corresponded with the wound in her side.

Constable CORBETT said: I approached the prisoner at furnished rooms at 19 Pitt-street, and brought him up to the Town Hall. I there charged him with unlawfully wounding Alice GREGORY by stabbing her with a knife. He replied "I don’t use knives. I never used a knife in my life." There was no knife found upon him. I have searched his lodgings and not been able to find a knife.

William MORRISSEY was charged with unlawfully wounding James Henry LAMB on the 9th ins. – The Chief Constable asked for a further remand.– Dr HUGHES said he had seen LAMB that morning. He was doing very well but was not fit to appear that morning.– Remanded for a week.

BAD LANGUAGE.– Andrew SMITH was fined 5s 6d costs for using bad language on the 10th inst. and pleaded guilty. He had been convicted before.

VEHICLE WITHOUT LIGHT.– Joseph CRONSHAW was summoned for using a vehicle without having a light attached on 8th inst. He pleaded guilty and was fined 5s and costs.

ALLEGED ROBBERY.– Rose DOWD and Elizabeth FINN were charged with stealing a gold watch and chain, hat, umbrella, the property of Elizabeth WALSH, on the 12th.– The Chief Constable applied for a remand for a week and it was granted.

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY.– Mary Jane WILSON was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Cotton-street on the 13th inst. She was making use of bad language.– Fined 7s 6d and costs.– James STOTT, drunk in Chester Square on the 14th was discharged on promising not to come up again. Betsy SIMPSON was fined 5s 6d for costs for being drunk in Bow-street on the 15th.

SON IN AN INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL.– William WRIGHT was once more at the insistence of the Home Secretary to contribute towards the support of his son in an industrial school.– In reply to questions, defendant said he was a cop carrier and earned £1 per week. He had five children, one working. He was willing to pay 1s per week.– The Chief Constable asked for 1s 6d and the bench decided to make an order for 1s 6d per week.

TRESPASSING ON THE RAILWAY.– James HARROP was charged with trespassing on the Great Central Railway at Guidebridge Station.– Inspector COTTRELL said the offence was sleeping on the company’s premises during the night time. They had had trouble with him before. When found, he said he was running the racket as he had nowhere to go.– Constable INGHAM, one of the company’s officers, stated that at 3.15 on Sunday morning he found the defendant sleeping in the first-class gentlemen’s waiting room. He woke him up, and asked him what he was doing there. He seemed a bit stupefied for a bit and did not answer, evidently having been drinking on the previous night. Ultimately, he said, "Well, I know I have done wrong, but I had nowhere to go and I thought I would run the racket. I have been kicked out before." Witness added that he warned the defendant against a similar act on the 28th ult.– In reply to the Clerk, defendant said he was a mechanic by trade, but had only just come back from America. He had been waiting for work.– The Clerk: People who wait for work never get it. Work does not come to them. They have to go to it.– The Chief Constable said defendant said had been up once before for an offence which occurred at a certain club.– The Clerk said on that occasion he was bound over to be of good behaviour and come up for judgement when called upon.– Defendant was fined 5s 6d, and costs, and warned that if he came up again he would be dealt with more severely.

About noon on Saturday a shocking discovery was made in the vicinity of Limehurst, a man being found in the fields with his throat cut and a deep wound, as from a stab with some instrument, on the right side of his neck. Information was immediately given to the Waterloo police, and Constables HENDRY and NEWTON, along with Sergeant DOVE, had the body removed on a stretcher to the Dog and Pheasant Inn, Limehurst. The body had evidently been exposed for some time, as it was frozen, and it was with some difficulty that the clothing was removed.

Large numbers of people were naturally attracted to the spot to have a look at the body, and late in the afternoon it was identified by some relatives as that of James TAYLOR, a twiner minder in an Oldham cotton mill, who resided at Scott-street, Oldham. A diligent search was made at the spot where the body was found, and ultimately an old pocket knife was picked up. Whether the wounds were self-inflicted or nor is a matter for conjecture, especially the one which had been inflicted on the neck. About a fortnight ago, it appears the deceased had an attack of influenza, which made him very low-spirited and he could not take his food. He left home about eight o’clock on Wednesday morning, saying he was going for a walk to see if it would give him an appetite.

Alfred TIDSWELL of Higher Alt Hill, Parkbridge, said that on Saturday morning last at about quarter past eight he was out shooting and found the body of the deceased in Fairbottom Clough. He was on his back in a leaning position against the side of the clough. He could see the wound in his throat, but observed no weapon about. He did not disturb the body, but went and informed the police. There was no appearance of a struggle in the vicinity of where deceased was found.

The Coroner said there was very little doubt that it was a case of suicide. The question was the state of mind the deceased was in. There was very little evidence to show what state of mind he really was in, so the best thing to do would be to return an open verdict as regards that. Accordingly, a verdict of "Suicide, there being no evidence to show what state of mind deceased was in at the time" was returned.
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