5 December 1903

Some regrettable incidents have taken place recently at St Mark’s Church, Dukinfield, and many of the congregation attending that place of worship are wondering what will be the next move of the church officials. How was it there were no special anthems at the re-opening of the organ? Is a question that has been often asked, the replies being various and unsatisfactory.

So far as we can gather, the facts are as follows:— Some weeks ago the relations between the officials at St Mark’s Church and their organist and choirmaster (Mr A E SPAFFORD) became strained owing to the arrangements made for the re-opening of the organ — in which Mr SPAFFORD took a great interest — the organist and choirmaster had, with the knowledge of the officials, been preparing the choir for two special services, four anthems and other musical changes having been practised for the occasion, he, of course, expecting to conduct the re-opening services.

A week before the re-opening, however, as we are informed, after morning services, the organist was abruptly notified that a stranger was to take the whole of the services in connection with the re-opening of the organ. Thus being given to understand that his services would not be required, Mr SPAFFORD considered that such treatment was not courteous nor in accordance with professional etiquette, and strongly resented it, and the officials were offended at him.

The adult member of the choir were taken into the confidence of their leader, took sides with him, and endeavoured to arrange a compromise. Believing that they had succeeded in their object, the evening service on November 15th, when the Mayor officially attended divine worship and the collection was taken for the District Infirmary, was taken by Mr SPAFFORD and his supporters in a hearty manner.

Notwithstanding this, the officials ignored the previous negotiations and brought in a strange organist for the whole of the re-opening services, the choir, however, declining to sing the special music prepared under the leadership of a stranger, though they were in their places and went through the ordinary services in a creditable manner.

It was then thought by the organist and choir that matters would resume their usual course, and a practice was arranged for the following Wednesday evening. When the choristers assembled, however, the church was locked up. After waiting in the rain for some time their leader arrived and went for the key, but was told he could not have it, so no rehearsal was possible then. This treatment naturally offended the adult members of the choir, and they resolved to discontinue their voluntary services.

Last Sunday morning only the boy members of the old choir presented themselves, and, with the assistance of the church officials and a strange organist, did the best they could with the service. At the evening service the choir benches were better filled, but it must be admitted that the quality of the singing was far below that which had been heard at St Mark’s for some time past. The adult members of the choir, who are all strongly attached to the church, are still prepared, in the event of the officials making the amend honourable, to once more take their places upon the choir.

The death took place suddenly on Friday afternoon of last week of Jesse LOMAS, market gardener, residing at Victoria Gardens, Lees-lane. Deceased was 61 years of age, and was strong constitutionally, but for some years had suffered from a disease in the throat which troubled him a deal in the winter months, for which he had been attended by Dr Bisset SMITH. Within the past month his throat commenced to trouble him again, but it was not deemed sufficiently serious to call in a doctor.

He retired to bed about 8 o’clock on the night previous to his death, and made no complaint. On getting up the following morning his wife noticed he was ill and went for Dr SMITH, who was out. On her return he said he felt better, and she gave him soda water and beef tea to drink. Whilst in the house she heard a noise, and on going upstairs found deceased lying on the floor. She sent for Dr SMITH, who arrived shortly afterwards, and pronounced life extinct.

Sequel to a Cycle Accident at Dukinfield

At the Ashton County Court on Thursday, before his Honour Judge H BROWN, K.C., Jane Alice DAVIES, of 73 Birch-lane, Dukinfield, claimed from Samuel LEIGH, overlooker, Newton Moor, £15 as damages for injuries alleged to have been caused by the defendant negligently and furiously riding a bicycle and running into her. Mr GARFORTH appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr BOSTOCK was for the defendant.

Mr GARFORTH said that on August 24th, about 20 minutes to 11 o’clock at night, plaintiff was walking from Hyde to Dukinfield, and when near the Angel Inn, at the bottom of Pickford-lane, she was stepping into the roadway, when she was knocked down by the defendant, who was riding a bicycle at the rate of 14 miles an hour, with his head down, apparently to avoid the rain which was falling.

Plaintiff was severely injured, and lost two front teeth, and had to be taken in a cab to a doctor. — Plaintiff corroborated, and said she lost three weeks’ wages at £1 per week as a weaver at Harrison’s mill, Stalybridge, and her clothing was damaged and had to be cleaned. — Dr SMITH, of Hyde, stated that he attended the plaintiff, who was suffering from a broken nose and a lacerated wound, two black eyes, left knee bruised and swollen, half of the right leg bruised, and severe nervous irritation.

Mary HIGGINBOTTOM said she had just bade good-night to the plaintiff when she heard a scream, and saw defendant crash into her. When carried across the road plaintiff was bleeding from the nose and mouth like a tap. — John LISTER, shoemaker and clogger, deposed to seeing the defendant riding at the rate of 12 to 14 miles an hour.

Mr BOSTOCK submitted that by her action in not looking round plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence. Defendant blew his whistle loudly several times, and was not riding at a greater pace that 8 or 9 miles and hour. — Defendant corroborated.

Constable WOOD said he saw the plaintiff step in front of the machine in the middle of the tramline. The defendant blew his whistle, and was travelling at 8 or 9 miles an hour. When witness picked him up he had the whistle in his mouth. Plaintiff remarked to witness that if she had looked where she was going the accident would not have happened. — Samuel PHILLIPS, Pickford-lane, Dukinfield, and Arnold BROOKS, Angel Inn, Dukinfield, spoke to seeing the defendant travelling at about 8 or 9 miles an hour. He blew his whistle, but she did not seem to take any notice.

His Honour said the evidence of excessive speed was feeble. He was satisfied that the defendant blew his whistle. It was what the law called a pure accident, and he must therefore non-suit the plaintiff.

Some excitement was created in the neighbourhood of the canal at Cavendish-street Bridge, Ashton, about eight o’clock on Tuesday night, by a report that a man had attempted to drown himself. It appeared that a man named Thomas JARVIS, aged 57 years, residing at Mills’ lodging-house, Crickets-lane, threw himself into the canal at the aforementioned spot, but was seen by a number of people, who assisted to get him out of the water. Constable CROSSLEY came on the scene, and took the man to the Town Hall, where he was attended to by the medical officer of health, Dr W H HUGHES, and subsequently removed to the Union Hospital.

Identification of the Body

On Wednesday morning the body of a woman about 60 years of age was found in the canal behind the Great Canal goods warehouse. It appeared that about five minutes to ten John PREECE, a carter, was looking through one of the windows of the warehouse when he observed the body floating on the water. With assistance he got it out, and removed it to the waiting room at Park Parade Station, where artificial respiration was resorted to. Dr HUGHES, junr, was called, and pronounced life extinct.

The body was thereupon removed to the mortuary. The body is that of a woman about five feet in height, with dark brown hair, turning grey, grey eyes, a wedding ring, and a gold earring in right ear. The clothing is a green plaid shawl, with red and white stripes, black dress, trimmed with beads, black and red striped skirt, green stuff underskirt, red flannel petticoat, and a light fawn plaid shoulder shawl, grey stockings, and elastic-sided boots.

The body was subsequently identified as Elizabeth MORRIS, aged 64 years, residing with her daughter, Mrs Mary Jane CHADWICK, 47 Holden-street, Ashton. She had not had a settled home for some time, and had not had a settled home for some time, and had not been settled in her mind since the death of her husband in February last.

She left her daughter’s house on Saturday evening, and returned again on Tuesday and stayed all night, departing at 9.20 the following morning, saying she would go and see her son, who lives in Botany-lane. She had been suffering from pains in her head for a long time, for which she was attended by Dr MANN a month ago. She also suffered from bronchitis.

The inquest was held in the court room at the Town Hall by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner. — Mary Jane CHADDERTON, wife of Tom CHADDERTON, hatter, of 47 Holden-street, Ashton, said deceased was her mother, and was a widow. She was 64 last birthday. She had had no settled home since her husband died nine months ago, and had been strange in her mind since then.

Before Tuesday night she had been staying with her son, but on that date she went back to witness’s house. At that time she seemed strange in her manner. On Wednesday morning she got up about eight o’clock, and left the house about 20 past nine, saying she was going to her brother’s, after which witness was to meet her and go to Dr MANN’s to be treated for pains in her head. Witness never saw her again until she heard of her death on Wednesday night. She had never threatened to commit suicide, and seemed much as usual when she left the house.

John PREECE, a carter, of 19 Fleet-street, Ashton, said that on Wednesday morning about ten o’clock he saw the body floating on the Manchester and Ashton Canal from the office of the Great Central goods warehouse. He ran down, and with the assistance got the body out. Artificial respiration was resorted to, and she was removed to the waiting-room at the Park Parade Station, where further efforts were made to restore animation. Shortly after Dr HUGHES came, and pronounced life extinct.

A verdict of found drowned was returned.

An inquest was held in the Court-room, Ashton Town Hall, on Friday afternoon, by Mr J F PRICE, district coroner, touching the death of George LOVEDAY, butcher, which took place suddenly in the Newton Tavern, Wellington-road, Ashton, on Thursday of last week.

Alice GARLICK, widow, 21 York-street, Ashton, said the deceased had lodged with her for over two years. He was 41 years of age, and had suffered from pains in the left side. He was given to drinking habits, and only worked a few days together. The week before his death he was working as manager for Messrs NELSON and Co, butchers, Stamford-street, Ashton. For three days he had been drinking.

On Sunday he complained of being ill, and did not get up on Monday until after dinner when he went out for a short time. He was very ill on Tuesday, and got up and went to Dr BOWMAN’s surgery and obtained some medicine, afterwards returning home and going to bed. He complained of very severe pains in his side.

On Wednesday witness went and saw Dr BOWMAN who advised her to poultice the deceased, which she did, and he remained in bed. She last saw him alive at 11.15 on Wednesday night when she put him a poultice on and went to bed. She did not know that he had gone out on Thursday morning, and was surprised to hear of his death. There was no carbolic or other poison in the house, and deceased had never threatened to commit suicide.

After his death, witness found a letter on his dressing table. On Sunday night a man came to see deceased, and she overheard a conversation about butchering. — The coroner read a letter from NELSON and Co worded as follows:— “unless you arrive at the office before 12 o’clock on Monday and give an account of yourself and your cash, it will go into other hands.”

James ALLSOPP, licensee of the Nelson Tavern, Wellington-road, Ashton, said the deceased came into his house on Friday morning at 7.25 and appeared to stagger into the lobby. Witness thought he was under the influence of drink. He asked for a glass of rum, but witness did not serve him. He looked very bad, and witness asked him if he was ill, and he replied that he was bad after drink. He was standing at the bar window, and almost immediately afterwards sank down in a crouching position , and witness caught hold of him to prevent him from falling. He appeared to be dying, and witness placed him on the floor where he expired.

Dr BOWMAN said the deceased called to see him on the Tuesday, and complained of pains in his left side, and having a very ill appearance witness prescribed for him, and advised him to go home and go to bed. On Wednesday morning witness received a message to visit him, and on making an examination detected signs of pleuro-pneumonia in the left side. He was very ill and not in a fit state to get up. Witness impressed upon him the necessity of remaining in bed.

He did not see him alive again. From the condition he was in, he might die suddenly from exertion, and the fact of his getting up and walking about might bring it about. Death was due to sudden failure of the heart’s action consequent upon the exertion and the pressure of pleuro-pneumonia. The quantity of alcohol taken by deceased had over stimulated the heart. It was a very frequent disease with intemperate people.

A juryman said he had known deceased for seventeen years, and he had always been addicted to drink. — Several jurymen expressed the opinion that the deceased had not taken poison. — The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the doctor’s evidence.

Prosecutions at Ashton

At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, Joseph SAXON, of Waterloo was charged by Mr WILSON, of the Lancashire County Council, with selling butter at Waterloo not of the substance demanded. Mr J B POWNALL, who appeared for the defendant, pleaded guilty subject to an explanation.

Mr WILSON stated that the county analyst had certified that the butter contained 20.21 per cent of water, 72.29 per cent of butter fat, 6.57 per cent of salt, and .93 of curds. The proportion of water and salt was too large. The Board of Trade had stipulated that if butter contained more than 15 per cent of water it was not fit for sale. He would like to say, on behalf of the prosecution, that the correct amount of butter fat, which in this case was 72.29 per cent, was 80 to 82 per cent.

Mr J B POWNALL, for the defendant, saw no reason to dispute the statements of Mr WILSON, but it was rather a remarkable case, as the sample taken by Superintendent HEWITT was just an odd quantity which, having run out, Mr SAXON had obtained from another shop, where he sent for a dozen pounds of Irish butter, and the superintendent had just happened to call at the shop on that date. He would like to point out that Irish butter stood on a very different level to Kiel, and it was generally agreed that 1 per cent was not a fair allowance. It was unfortunate that Mr SAXON omitted to get a warranty when he purchased the butter.

Mr WILSON remarked that the County Council had nothing against Mr SAXON, and he had a remedy against the person from whom he bought it. It was an extraordinary thing, but at the present time there seemed to be an outbreak of excessive water in butter all over Lancashire, and there had been many prosecutions of late.

The Chairman said that they did not consider this a serious matter, as it seemed to be quite a mild case in comparison with some others. Defendant would be fined 10s and costs, and the advocate’s and analyst’s fee.

Edward ASHWORTH was charged with exposing margarine for sale without a label, and for selling to Superintendent HEWITT on the 21st October one pound of margarine without having a printed label on the panel identifying it as such. Defendant pleaded not guilty.

Superintendent HEWITT said that defendant kept a small provision store in Oldham-road, Waterloo. On the date in question he went to the shop, and there saw eight or nine pounds of what appeared to be butter, but it had no label attached. He asked for a pound, calling it butter. ASHWORTH said, “Oh, that’s margarine.” When asked where the label was he said, “It’s there,” but it had fallen on to a box of biscuits that stood under the butter, and was in no way attached to the margarine. He then sold it to the witness, wrapping it in a paper which bore no printing, but had written on it “Margarine.”

Mr WILSON observed that the Act required that the letters should be printed in capital block letters, distinctly legible, and to contain no other writings. — The Chairman(to defendant): You will be selling real butter for margarine if you don’t mind. — (Laughter.) He was fined 5s and costs in each case.

A “hybrid elephant” was Lord Derby’s description at a lecture on Saturday of the new “pedrail” traction engine. The lecture was delivered at the Liverpool University by Professor H S HALE-SHAW before the members of the Self Propelled Traffic Association, who by the aid of models, diagrams, and cinematograph views were enabled to thoroughly appreciate the highly ingenious manner in which the inventor has adapted the natural movements of the higher animals to mechanical locomotion.

Once, said Professor HALE-SHAW, the pedrail got down into a ditch through the carelessness of the driver. The professor expected that nothing but another traction engine could get it out of the hole, or that perhaps it would have to be dug out. But the driver simply put on full steam, and the hybrid gave a snort and walked out of the hole in a manner suggestive of a high-stepping elephant.

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