22 March 1902


Sir, – Having often had the pleasure of attending dances and other forms of social entertainment at the Ashton Town Hall, I should like, through the medium of your paper, to call attention to the small ante-room which is used as a ladies’ cloak room. May I ask if anyone knows why the hooks are placed in such close proximity to the ceiling as to make it impossible for a woman of average height to hang anything upon them?

The room used by gentlemen is a commodious apartment, fitted with a good supply of numbered pegs, which are well within the reach of an eight year old child. Ladies, however, who are of course less in stature than the favoured sex, have to perform a series of gymnastic feats in order to lodge their garments upon the hooks provided for them, which are also insufficient in number.

Then again, there is no mirror. Imagine a ladies’ dressing-room without this most necessary appendage! We don’t ask for any ornaments for the mantelpiece, but we do want a mirror. If the Mayor has any superfluities of this description in his parlour, I am sure he will be only too pleased to confer a lasting favour on the ladies of Ashton. If not, I trust the Town Hall Committee will see their way to the expenditure of a few shillings in this direction before the concerts and dances of next season commences.

Not only would a looking-glass be a convenience for the ladies, but it would also be appreciated by the opposite sex on certain occasions, although they are supposed to be above such weakness. In any case, it would prove a valuable adjunct when public meetings are held, enabling temperance orators, political combatants, &c, to take a last look at their intellectual faces, and to rearrange their ties satisfactorily before entering the arena. – Trusting this matter will some time receive the attention it deserves, and with anticipatory thanks, I am, faithfully yours,

Drinking Turpentine and Ammonia

An inquest was held at the Junction Inn, Turner-lane, Ashton, on Monday morning, by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner, on the body of Elizabeth GREEN, aged one year and ten months, daughter of Samuel and Lizzie GREEN, Turner-fold, off Turner-lane, Ashton.

Lizzie GREEN, wife of Saml. GREEN, outdoor labourer, said that the deceased child was her daughter, and had been a healthy child. On Wednesday evening last, about six o’clock, witness was in the scullery washing clothes. Her daughter, Hannah, was at the slop-stone, and deceased was standing close by. On turning the handle of the wringing machine she looked round and saw the child towards her and she fell on the floor crying. It seemed hard to take her breath, and she changed colour.

Witness screamed out “Oh Hannah, she’s taken ammonia!” and on picking her up she could smell ammonia. Witness saw the bottle (produced) on a low shelf within reach of the child. The cork had blown out and witness heard the noise as it did so. She could not find the cork. She ran out with the child and told a man about what had occurred. She went for Dr BOWMAN who gave the child an emetic, and she vomited blood. The doctor continued to attend the child up until its death, which took place on Friday at 12 o’clock noon.
The bottle originally contained a half-penny worth of ammonia and a half-penny worth of turpentine, but she had used some for working purposes. The doctor told her that the poison had been got from her stomach, but that inflammation had been set up in the system. It was not her custom to keep a liquid of this character in the house, and she only obtained this as a special case.– The Foreman remarked that it seemed a little careless to keep a poisonous liquid of this character within the child’s reach.

Mary Hannah GREEN, daughter of the last witness, said she was standing at the slopstone when the child drank the liquid. Her brother was sent for the liquid from the chemist’s shop. Witness put half of it in the kitchen boiler. On hearing her mother scream she turned round and saw the child on the ground. The shelf containing the liquid was only about two feet from the ground. Her father afterwards threw the bottle away.

The Coroner said it was unfortunate that the mother did not put the bottle away instead of on the shelf.– A Juryman: It should have been elevated.– The Coroner: It is a dangerous practice. If children see a bottle they will try to drink out of it. A little forethought was what was required. The jury returned a verdict of misadventure.

On Saturday evening last the sixth annual St Patrick’s Ball, held under the auspices of the William O’BRIEN No 1 Branch of the U.I.L., took place at Ashton Town Hall, when a large number assembled and spent a most enjoyable evening. There was a profuse display of the “chosen leaf and bard and chief.” Mr Tom CHEETHAM’s Orchestral Band provided some very spirited and pleasing dance music, not least popular, of course, being selections of familiar Irish airs. The M.C.s were Messrs A FARLEY, J DOHERTY, and Jos WILSON, while various other duties were performed by Messrs DALY, JORDAN, MULLIN, FINAN, HENNESEY, DORAN, DUFFY, HONE, BYRNE, BRENNAN, HALL, and BROADHURST.

At the Ashton Borough Police Court, on Monday, a young fellow named Thomas EDWARDS was prosecuted by the RSPCA for cruelty to a horse on the 21st ult.– Mr J B POWNALL said he appeared for the New Moss Colliery Company, and they desired to acknowledge the assistance given to the company in this case by Inspector POCOCK on behalf of the company he represented. The company considered it a duty they owed to the public, and to the other men and horses employed in the mine that the defendant should be brought, and if the bench were satisfied with the facts he asked them to inflict such punishment upon defendant as would deter him and others from inflicting cruelty upon the ponies such as had been done in this case.

Under an arrangement in the colliery at a certain time the boys came up the haulage of the No 2 brow with their ponies, and they were entitled to come out first, and take their ponies to their proper places and leave the pit first, which was only fair as they were boys, the men to leave afterwards. One boy named ATHERTON was bringing his pony out and had to pass the defendant. In passing him the pony happened to graze against him. That was all the provocation that seemed to have been given for what the defendant did. He deliberately jumped upon a tub and kicked the pony three times in the eye causing it to bleed and suffer injury.

More cruel conduct without any reasonable provocation was almost impossible to conceive, and he asked the bench to deal with the defendant in a summary way.– Harry ATHERTON was called, and bore out Mr POWNALL’s statement. He said others saw the act beside him.– The Chairman: Is the pony’s eye permanently injured? – Mr POWNALL: Perhaps Inspector POCOCK can tell that better.

Inspector POCOCK was then called. He stated that in the 28th ultimo, in consequence of information received from the New Moss Colliery Co, he went down the pit and saw the pony in question. It was in excellent condition, and seemed to be well cared for, in fact, the whole of the ponies were in similar condition. He found the pony had a deep incised wound three-quarters of an inch in length, and cutting down in the bone. It was very tender about the face.

He ascertained how the wound had been caused, and no doubt it could have been done by kicks of considerable force with clogs.– Mr POWNALL: You saw the pony a week afterwards.– Inspector POCOCK: Yes, and the pony would scarcely allow me to touch it.– Defendant’s statement was that ATHERTON was bringing the pony along a narrow place between two tubs, and if he had not done something the pony might have killed him.– The Clerk: You could have not have kicked the pony on the eye if you had been down. You must have been at about the same elevation.– Defendant: Yes. I had to jump from the ground, as the pony was on top of me.– The Bench considered the case proved, and fined defendant £1 and costs, or one month, and allowed expenses to the five witnesses.

The members of No 1 Select Class (males) held their annual party on Tuesday evening last. A first-class tea was provided, and afterwards the evening was given up to amusement. The programme consisted of songs by Miss Lily CLAY, Messrs Jas. WRIGLEY and W ROBERTS; readings by Councillor W A YOXALL (teacher); and Lancashire sketches by Mr A COCKCROFT. The entertainment was divided into three parts, and a ping-pong tournament was held during the intervals. Winner of the ladies’ prize, Miss Lily DYSON; gents, Mr Jas. WRIGLEY. The committee are to be complimented on the great success attending their efforts, as the party was, without doubt, one of the most enjoyable ever held in connection with the schools.

LICENSE TRANSFERS.– At the Ashton Borough Police Court, on Monday, the following licensed houses changed hands:– Caledonia Inn, Warrington-street, from Joseph RILEY to Harold MOSS. Mr WATSON (EATON and WATSON) made the application, and said when temporary permission was granted evidence to character was called.– The Chief Constable said there was no objection. He had got a letter from the police at Dukinfield stating that the applicant’s character was satisfactory, granted.

Friendship Inn, Booth-street from Robert FORD to Thomas WOOD; Walk Mill Tavern, Victoria-street, from Ellis E HAMER to Robert HARROTT; Delamere Castle, Old-street, from David GARFORTH to Edward TAYLOR; Queen Inn, Oldham-road, from James BROADLEY to Alice BROADLEY.– Mr WATSON applied on behalf of Thomas George KAY for a music license for the Buck and Hawthorn Inn, and it was granted.

LECTURE ON THE SUN.– On Sunday last Mr CROSSFIELD, of Ashton, delivered a very interesting lecture on the above subject to the members and friends of the Star Field Naturalists’ Society, held at the house of Mrs LOMAS, Star Inn, Cotton-street. Owing to the death of Mr James MAWDSLEY (one of the vice-presidents), Mr Herbert ARMITAGE occupied the chair. He said that himself and the rest of the members were very sorry to lose the services of Mr MAWDSLEY, who took a great interest in the society, and they all sympathised with the wife and family he had left behind.

The lecture was of a very instructive character, and was illustrated by diagrams. Great credit must be given to Mr CROSSFIELD for the intelligent manner in which he handled the subject.– On the motion of Mr HOLT, seconded by Mr H THORNLEY, a hearty vote of thanks was tendered to the lecturer, and a like compliment was paid to the chairman, which terminated the proceedings.

A Victim of Sleep-Walking

The Ashton Police were apprised of the death of Harriet COLLINS, an old lady aged 82 years, which took place at her home, 97 Burlington-street, on Monday morning, under rather singular circumstances. Deceased had enjoyed perfect health up to about six months ago, when she complained of dizziness. Dr WALLACE was called in, and gave the cause as old age.

Deceased had been in the habit of walking in her sleep. She complained of dizziness on Saturday afternoon, and when she retired to bed the bed-room door was fastened as a precautionary measure in case she should get up in her sleep. About 1.30 on Sunday morning Constable ROBINSON was going on his beat when he heard groans as if someone was in pain, and on climbing over the gate going into the backyard of the house he saw the deceased woman lying on the ground, having apparently fallen through her bedroom window.

She was then unconscious, and the Constable blew his whistle, and after awakening the inhabitants of the house he ran off for a doctor. On examination it was found that the woman was suffering from a compound fracture of the left shoulder. She gradually sank and died as aforestated.

Was held at the Buck and Hawthorn, Katherine-street, on Tuesday noon by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner.

Julia COLLINS, wife of Joseph COLLINS, cotton spinner, said the deceased was her mother-in-law, and lived with her. She was a widow, and had very good health for an old woman, but about six months ago she complained of dizziness, and she had been subject to it on and off ever since. About three weeks ago Dr WALLACE was called in and said she was breaking up as a result of old age. Her memory failed her and she had been known to get up in the night-time and dress herself in order to go to a party. She had done this several times, and in consequence the bedroom door had to be fastened.

Witness last saw her at 3.30 on Saturday afternoon, when she complained of feeling dizzy. Tea was taken to her at 5.30 and 8.30. Witness was aroused by a constable about 1.25 on Sunday morning who told her that deceased was lying in the yard. Witness went down and helped to carry her into the house, and put her on the couch. She was quite sensible. Witness asked her what she had done, and she said she must have been soft, as she should not have done it had she known. She said she had fallen through the coal-hole, but there was no coal-hole to fall through.

Dr WALLACE came and examined her, and said that her shoulder was broken. She was sensible all day on Sunday, but could not say how she got through the window. The door was fastened with a hook and staple outside. Witness afterwards examined the bedroom, and found the window open, the curtains hanging down, and the bed moved out of its place. A looking glass and several pictures were twisted on one side. Deceased slept by herself.

The Coroner: Someone should have slept with her, and then this perhaps would not have happened. It has all been done for the sake of her health.– A Juryman: I think the lady and the master of the house have done all that they could to procure the woman’s safety.– The Coroner: Somebody ought to have been in the room, judging by the state she was in.– Mr FINNERTY (juryman): Working people cannot engage a day and night nurse.– Witness: I am very grieved by it.– A Juryman: You have shown that you have been careful.
The Coroner said there was no doubt as to what was the cause of death. The shock was sufficient to kill her, considering her age. There was no doubt that she had fallen through the window.– A Juryman: She had evidently been rambling in her sleep. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

George ETCHELLS pleaded guilty, at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, to being drunk and disorderly in Higher King-street, Hurst, on March 2nd, and was fined 5s.

DOG WITHOUT LICENSE.– At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Emma ELLIOTT was charged with having a dog without license at Hurst.– Defendant sent a letter pleading guilty, and stating that she was unable to attend.– A fine of 5s 6d and costs was imposed.

LICENSE OF THE OLD BALL INN.– At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Mary ANDREW, Ernest ANDREW, Frank ANDREW, and Alice KENNERLEY, exors of the will of Wm. AUDREY, deceased, were granted the transfer of the license of the Old Ball Inn, Broadoak-road, Hurst.

BREACH OF THE PEACE.– Henry JONES and Sarah Ann JONES were brought before the Ashton County justices, on Wednesday, charged with committing a breach of the peace at Hurst on March 1st.– Defendants pleaded guilty, and were bound over in 40s to keep the peace for three months.– Clara LYONS also pleaded guilty to a similar charge, and was bound over

Yesterday a special police court was held at Dukinfield before Alderman PICKUP and Mr W UNDERWOOD when a man named James KEVILL, said to be a collier, of Ashton, was charged with collecting alms in King-street and assaulting Constable COUTH whist in the execution of his duty.

The Officer stated that at 5.30pm he saw the prisoner coming from a shop in King-street. He accosted him and asked him why he had been in the shop as he looked a suspicious character. He said he had been to buy a packet of “tabs.” Doubting the statement the officer took prisoner into the shop, and the tenant said he had been begging. He was then taken into custody. The prisoner resisted the arrest and a large crowd assembled. After considerable difficulty, the police, with the assistance of the civilians, secured the prisoner, and he was conveyed to the police station.– The bench sentenced him to 14 days’ imprisonment in each case.

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, the following were each fined 4s 6d and costs for having dogs without licenses: Thomas MILLWARD, Sophia HYDE, Thomas EDWARDS and William LANGLEY.

BREACH OF THE PEACE.– George SPEDDING was before the Ashton County Justices, on Wednesday, charged with committing a breach of the peace at Audenshaw on February 22nd. Defendant pleaded guilty, and was bound over in 40s to keep the peace for three months.

HOUSEBREAKING.– At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, John Edward HULME was in the dock, charged with being found on enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose at Audenshaw the previous night.– Prisoner pleaded not guilty.– Walter KNIGHT, 20 Ashton-road, Audenshaw, said that the previous night, he and his wife left home, locking up the house, and returning about 10 minutes to 10 he heard a noise in the house. On going round to the back he saw the prisoner climbing another backyard door to get into another yard, and subsequently he crossed over in the direction of the Moss.

The backyard gate was open and a window had been broken by a stone which was lying in the kitchen. He caught the prisoner and detained him. He had known him six or seven years.– Prisoner said he was returning from Ashton, and he happened to go round the back. He was a bit drunk. When he was drunk, he always went through the back ways for a near cut. He was not getting over the wall.– Superintendent HEWITT said that prisoner had been previously convicted for housebreaking.– The magistrates committed him to prison for two months with hard labour.

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Thursday, before his Honour Judge Reginald BROWN, K.C., Mr C N PRATT, solicitor, made an application for discharge on behalf of William PENNY, paint and varnish merchant, Ashton, bankrupt. The report of the official receiver (Mr DIBB) stated that the receiving order was made on March 27th, 1895, on the creditors petition. The liabilities to rank for dividend were estimated at £1,376 9s 11d. The assets were estimated to produce £437 17s, but they realised only £299 2s 11d. The balance available for costs and distribution was £209 16s 4d, instead of £417 16s 6d, as estimated by the bankrupt, and a final dividend of 1s 3d in the £.

The report said that the bankrupt appeared to have commenced business in Manchester, with a view to supplying goods to a company he floated, the Egret Mill Co Ltd, Old-street, Ashton, which was practically a one-man company, and in order to evade an agreement he had entered into with the company. It was submitted that the bankrupt was guilty of misconduct of a somewhat fraudulent character, misconduct which resulted in a loss of about £430, and which had fallen wholly on his creditors.– Mr PRATT said that the debtor was exceedingly sorry for what he had done and of the way in which the creditors had suffered.– His Honour suspended the discharge for three years, dating back 12 months.

Government Contracts and Fair Wages

Mr H WHITELEY asked the Secretary of State for War, in the House of Commons, on Thursday, whether he was aware, in connection with the carrying out of a painting contract at Ashton-under-Lyne Barracks in July last, that the Ashton-under-Lyne and District Trades and Labour Council made complaint to the military authorities as to the employment of unskilled labour, and the payment of less than the standard rate of wages for the district, and that the military authorities immediately ordered the dismissal of the men in question, and later on caused the work to be done again by skilled workmen, paid the standard wages; and seeing the that the contractor admitted having acted contrary to the spirit of the intention of the House of Commons resolution of 1891, could he explain why the authorities refused to exclude the offending contractors from tendering in future for Government work?

Mr BRODERICK: I am aware of the complaint mentioned. Provided a contractor pays the current rate of wages when warned, he is not held to be disqualified for future tendering. The circumstances, however, are noted against him.
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