4 April 1903

Sir, - At the meeting of the Market stallholders and shopkeepers adjacent to the Market, held at the George and Dragon, Mr Alderman SHAW, as chairman, is reported to have said that the Stamford-street shopkeepers had made a request to the Tramways Committee “that cars coming from Manchester should both enter and leave the town by way of Stamford-street.”

Permit me to say most emphatically that the deputation which waited upon the Tramways Committee made no such request as is attributed by Alderman SHAW, and also to state that the deputation were appointed to represent tradesmen who are located in the town covering much wider ground than Stamford-street. The deputation simply asked “that cars from Manchester should enter the town by way of Stamford-street,” no request being made as to the way of going out. It would have been quite right if going out had been by Old-street.

Mr Alderman SHAW is not on the Tramways Committee and may have been misinformed. Mr SHAW (no doubt warming to his subject) is said to have made these remarks, “that a more selfish, unreasonable, and more one-sided thing he never knew in his life, and that he would like to lift the question on very much higher ground than the shopkeeping interest.

Now, for a man who has three shops in the Market, one of which is twins (if I may make use of a bull), who is advocating for all he is worth that cars from Manchester shall drop prospective customers at his own shop doors is surely utter selfishness and one-sidedness. But what Lancashire man has not heard the quotation, “that there’s always the most thrutching where there’s the least room?” Surely there never was a case better fitted for applying it than the present to Mr Alderman SHAW.

It is not difficult to imagine that if some people (who might be named) had occupied premises in Stamford-street, very little would have been heard of “engineering difficulties;” they would have been minimized instead of being magnified, and got over as they are in other towns. As chairman of the meeting when the deputation to the Tramways Committee was appointed, and as one of the deputation, is sufficient justification for my taking up the pen now.

Thanking you in anticipation of insertion, I am your truly,
Henry LEES

PS – We are informed that many changes to matters imperial will date from the 1st April next. May I be permitted to suggest, as desirable, that some changes may be made to date as from the 1st November next and succeeding 1st Novembers in matters local?

Sir, - Mr Henry LEES denies that any request was made to the Tramways Committee “that the electric cars should enter and leave the town by Stamford-street only.” This proposal was strongly advocated at the meeting of Stamford-street shopkeepers, held March 18th, and I have also the authority of the chairman and several members of the Tramway Committee that such a request was made by the deputation that appeared before them. I repeat that such a proposal is selfish, unreasonable, and one-sided. – Yours truly,
Allen SHAW

SEQUEL TO A MARRIAGE. – A charge of committing a breach of the peace at Hurst on March 12th was preferred against Amelia HUGHES at the Ashton Police Court on Wednesday. – Defendant said she was very sorry, and added that it was the first time she had known what a breach of the peace was. She had never spoken six words to a policeman in her life. – Constable REID said that at 6.45 on the night in question defendant was out in the street causing a disturbance in Lower King-street, and refused to go into the house. She also refused to give her name. – Defendant said she had a son married. She had been 30 years a housekeeper, nine years a widow and a voter, and never done anything wrong before. – (Laughter.) – The Chairman (Mr R BATES): You are a wonderful white hen that never laid away. – (Laughter.) – Defendant was discharged.

WESLEYAN METHODIST CHAPEL. – On Saturday last, in aid of the new building fund, a sandwich tea and concert was held, promoted by the ladies. About 200 sat down to tea. The Chairwoman (Mrs COULSON, of Hurst) stated that the object of the gathering was to assist the new chapel committee to raise the sum of £250, in addition to the amount already raised, so that building operations might be commenced at an early date.

An interesting programme of music was afterwards gone through. The solo pianist and accompanist was Miss THOMPSON, of Ashton, assisted by her brother, Mr J B THOMPSON. The other contributors were Miss Florrie HALL, of Hurst; Miss Kitty LOVATT, of Dukinfield. Miss Violet JUDGE gave a song, and much merriment was caused by a humorous duet by Misses TONGE and BEECH.

The second part consisted of tableaux vivants with limelight effects, Mr Edward CHEETHAM having charge of the lantern. As a result of the effort the ladies will be able to hand the sum of £10 to the building fund.

The Flower-Seller and his Mother’s Grave

”It was all through having a drop of drink, which arose because of talking of my mother’s grave,” was the plea advanced by Peter MASSEY to the magistrates at the Manchester City Police Court, on Monday, when charged with traveling on the railway without having previously paid his fare.

When the 7.50 train from Handforth arrived at the Longsight L and N W Station the previous night the prisoner was drunk. When he was asked for his ticket, he said he would pay at the other end, but having no money upon him he was given into custody. – The detective who arrested him told the Bench the prisoner gave four different names and addresses.

Prisoner said he had walked from Manchester to Wilmslow to his mother’s grave. He had a “drop” through talking about that, but he felt positively certain he got a ticket for Cheadle. His father lived at Parsonage Green, Wilmslow, and he lodged at present with “Alf HEYWOOD, of Salford.” – The Chairman: What are you? – Prisoner: I sell flowers, and I take the remainder to my mother’s grave every Sunday.

He pleaded he would never do such a thing as defraud the railway company, but did not seem at all surprised when he was fined 10s and costs, or 14 days.

Body Not to be Exhumed

The Home Secretary has instructed the acting City Coroner (Mr L J AITKEN) to complete the inquest on the body of Mrs TAYLOR, of Longsight, in connection with whose death the husband has been committed for trial at the next assizes on a charge of manslaughter. It will be remembered that the inquiry was opened by the late City Coroner (Mr SMELT), and the body has since been buried in Southern Cemetery, which is outside the area of Mr AITKEN’s jurisdiction. The question, therefore, arose whether he or the County Coroner should conclude the inquest, and the matter was referred to the Home Office. The Home Secretary has also intimated that it will not be necessary to exhume the body.

In the King’s Bench Divisional Court on Wednesday, a question came up on the appeal from the justices of Oldham as to whether the keeping of a penny-in-the-slot machine is an offence under the Gambling Houses Act of 1854.

The defendant was convicted under the Act for keeping a machine into which, on a penny being inserted, the coin was jerked up and fell into one of four columns. Falling into one the penny was returned, and finding its way into another it secured a twopenny ticket, for which that amount of sweets or non-intoxicating drinks was given.

The Oldham justices held that it was an offence under the Act, and against this decision the appeal was brought. After arguments by Mr A L DAVIES for the applicant and Mr ACKLAND for the respondent, their lordships reserved judgment.

DEATH OF A FORMER DUKINFIELD RESIDENT. – Mrs ORMAN, the wife of Mr George ORMAN, of the audit department of the G T Railway in Montreal, and formerly resident in Dukinfield, died on Tuesday, March 17th, after a lingering illness. Mrs ORMAN was a daughter of the late Mr George THOMPSON, who was at one time well known in Dukinfield as a contractor, and who took a prominent part in public affairs. Previous to coming to Canada, about eight years ago, the family resided in Birmingham, Mr ORMAN being secretary of the Midland Counties Sunday Closing Association. Mrs Joseph TAYLOR, of Dukinfield, is a sister of the deceased lady.

DUKINFIELD CYCLISTS’ CLUB. – The members of the above club were greatly disappointed at not being able to carry out the opening run last Saturday, owing to the miserably bad weather. It was their intention to have a short ride out and then return to headquarters to be entertained to a good, substantial meal tea, generously provided by their respected vice-president, Mr Joseph HULME.

However, the bad weather did not prevent them from enjoying Mr HULME’s hospitality, which duly came off at the time appointed. After thoroughly enjoying the spread before them, the rest of the evening was spent in convivial manner.

Shortly after five o’clock on Wednesday morning a shocking accident occurred at Messrs HARGREAVES’ Riverside Paper Mill, the victim being Edward LAVIN, aged 18 years, who resided with his parents in Brierley-street. The youth was engaged on one of the machines when, by some means or other, his left arm became entangled. It was found that LAVIN’s arm was dreadfully mangled. Information was at once conveyed to the Town Hall, and the police conveyed the unfortunate youth to the District Infirmary in the horse ambulance.

ACCIDENT AT THE CAVENDISH SPINNING COMPANY. – A boy named RODGERS, employed as a piecer at the Cavendish Spinning Company, was admitted to the District Infirmary on Wednesday morning suffering from severe injuries to the face as the result of being struck by a broken strap. On inquiry at the Infirmary yesterday it was stated that the injuries were progressing satisfactorily.

AN ANTI-VACCINATOR. – At the Ashton Borough Court, before Messrs Henry HALL, Allen SHAW, T D SEEL, and S KITCHEN, and application was made by Lewis WARDLE for a certificate of vaccination exemption for his child, Katherine, born on the 14th January. – The Clerk: Do you conscientiously object? – Applicant: I do. – Mr HALL: Well, what do you mean? – Applicant: I mean to say I believe vaccination to be injurious.

Mr HALL: In face of the smallpox going about, and the great precautions that are necessary? Yes, I do. – What can you say about that? What have you to say? – I have a conscientious objection, and I believe it to be injurious to health. – That is not enough. You must explain some reason for it. You must consider the matter carefully.

I believe it will be injurious to the child’s health. – Well that is usually said, you know. Do you speak from mere caprice, because other people are stupid upon the question? No. – Is that all you have to say? Yes, I have a conscientious objection.

The magistrates consulted, after which Mr HALL said: The majority of the bench are in favour of granting it to you. I can only say I should hesitate to do so.

There are a number of midwives in this borough, and they ought to make a note of the fact that the Midwives Act of 1902 came into operation last Wednesday. The council of a county or county borough becomes the local supervising authority over midwives within their area, and is empowered to exercise general supervision over those practicing within its area, investigate charges of malpractices, and to suspend any midwife from practice if her suspension appears necessary to prevent the spread of infection.

The new Act provides that any woman who, after April 1, 1905, not being certified under the Act, uses the name or title of midwife, or any name or description implying that she is so certified, or is a person specially qualified – and recognised by law – to practice midwifery, shall be liable to be prosecuted against and fined £5.

After April 1, 1910, no woman may habitually and for gain attend cases of birth unless certified under the Act, and any woman so acting may be subjected to a £10 penalty. Any woman who within two years from the date of the Act claims to be certified, her claim is to be admitted provided she holds a certificate approved by the Central Midwives’ Board, or satisfies the Board that up to the passing of the Act she had been at least one year in bona-fide practice as a midwife, and that she bears a good character.

Warning to Retail Dealers

On Monday, at Stalybridge Police Court, Thomas ASHWORTH, shopkeeper, Grosvenor-street, was charged with selling milk not of the nature, substance, and quality demanded by the purchaser. He pleaded guilty to selling the milk, not knowing that it was impure.

Inspector BAMFORTH said that on the 5th March he visited ASHWORTH’s shop and purchased a pint of milk from his daughter, for which he paid 2d. After the purchase had been completed, witness told the girl the milk was for analysis by the borough analyst, and he divided the milk into three parts. He now produced the analyst’s certificate, which showed that the sample contained 13 per cent of added water.

Defendant said he was not aware but that the milk was right. He had not been selling long, and he should not sell again. Captain BATES said ASHWORTH had made the mistake of purchasing the milk from a farmer without a warranty. It was very stupid of him to do that. Inspector BAMFORTH remarked that he had told defendant he had made a mistake in not procuring a warranty, but he had only been in business about five weeks.

Captain BATES: He had purchased his milk from a man who was convicted in this court a short time ago for selling impure milk. – Mr JACKSON: Did you buy the milk as pure milk? – Defendant: We did not enquire. – Captain BATES: But did the farmer say it was pure? – Defendant: He never said anything about it. – Mr CARTER: You bought it as milk? Yes, sir. – Mr JACKSON: You do not know whether the farmer had a “milk and water” label on his can? No, sir.

The Chairman pointed out to ASHWORTH the seriousness of the offence, and added that the Bench had the power to inflict a fine of £2. Defendant had palpably been guilty of culpable carelessness, but as he was new to the business he would only have the small fine of 10s and costs to pay, or 14 days’ imprisonment.

The Mayor of Ashton (Councillor J B POWNALL) attended the mass meeting which took place on Thursday in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, of persons “engaged or concerned in the manufacture and sale of excisable liquors.”

The object of the meeting was stated to be “to raise an emphatic protest against the action of the justices in suppressing or threatening to suppress licenses, and to call upon the Government to protect the rights of private property in licenses, just as is the case in regard to other property, by passing a measure to make it unlawful without giving full compensation, to suppress a license in the absence of some serious infringement of the law.”

There were several thousand people present, and hundreds were unable to find accommodation.

Councillor J B POWNALL, in proposing a vote of thanks to the chairman, said he attended the meeting as the Mayor of a neighbouring borough. – (Applause.) He was not afraid to face the music on that matter. (Cheers.) They were there to protest against the action of certain magistrates throughout the county, and he hoped the pressure brought to bear by such a magnificent meeting would have the result most desired. – (Applause.)

Interested as he was in the legal profession, he confessed from time to time he had been amazed at the vagaries and eccentricities of magistrates. He was, however, glad to say that public opinion was proceeding in the right direction, and ere long that large section of the community represented there that day would have justice and fair play meted out to them which they had demanded and required for many years. – (Applause.)

On Sunday and Monday last, special services were conducted in the Wesleyan Chapel and Schoolroom, Waterloo, by Mr Moses WELSBY (better known as “Owd Mo”), the popular evangelist, who is associated with the Joyful News Mission, Rochdale, so efficiently worked by the Rev Thomas CHAMPNESS. Of the whole of “CHAMPNESS’s men” no one is in greater request than “Owd Mo,” the converted collier and his touching stories are listened to with interest and appreciation wherever they are related.

As a consequence there was a large congregation to hear him on Sunday afternoon, and in the evening the audience filled the capacious schoolroom, the chapel being found inadequate to hold all who were wishful to hear the preacher.

Mr WELSBY spoke with all his old fervour, both services being much enjoyed. On Monday evening, Mr WELSBY gave a lecture entitled “Living pictures, or some people whom I have met.” Mr E C BAINBRIDGE, of Ashton, presided, and there was again a large gathering.

The lecture consisted of the recital of incidents in the life of the lecturer, some of which were humorous to a degree, others equally touching and pathetic, whilst all were given in the plain and homely, yet effective style for which “Owd Mo” is so famous, and which has made him so instrumental in leading his fellow men out of the darkness of sin into the light of Christian experience. At the close of the lecture a collection was taken in aid of the Joyful News Mission.

”So the engagement’s off?” “Yes; she advised him to practice economy, and he started by getting her an imitation diamond.”

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