7 November 1903

Interesting Case at Stalybridge

On Thursday, at the Stalybridge County Court, before his Honour Judge Reginald BROWN, KC, Hugh WEBB, cycle dealer, 28 Oldham-road, Ashton, claimed £3 10s, of which 22s 6d was for repairs to a cycle, from Joe BROOKS, the well-known cyclist and footballer, of Stalybridge. The remaining portion of the claim was for money lent. The present address of defendant was St Mary’s-road, Watford. Mr Allen HOWARD, solicitor, appeared for defendant who was not present in court.

Plaintiff’s case was that he repaired BROOKS’ cycle and lent him a sum of money. The account had been presented, but defendant had refused to pay. The Judge: Is defendant here? – Plaintiff: No, sir; he is a professional football player, and is now living away from Stalybridge. – Mr HOWARD: Now, is it not a fact he was to ride your machine, and you had to keep it in repair? – Plaintiff: No, sir.

Is it not a fact that BROOKS’ prizes were shown in your window week after week? Only twice. – Yes, and what was the consideration – that he rode your machine? No, he had not bought one then. – Then what was he showing his prizes in your window for? Because he wanted the frame of a bicycle finishing

Do you suggest he never won a prize on your machine? Yes; he bought a frame and had not a pair of wheels for it, and he was “hanging on” to Dwelaps to get them! – (Laughter.) The first time he rode my cycle was when Jim GREEN challenged the world. He had told someone that if I put him in court he would give me a good hiding. – (Laughter.) But you are a bigger man than he is. – (More laughter.) – I am not saying anything about that; I never fought in my life, it is nothing in my line.

His Honour: These cycle makers advertise certain makes? – Mr HOWARD: Exactly. – His Honour: But they do not lend them money? – Mr HOWARD: In some cases they do when they are going to race meetings. I know some years ago some of the so-called amateurs made a good deal of money out of it!

His Honour: I am afraid it is not confined to cyclists, and the sooner it is put down the better. Eventually the case was adjourned to enable BROOKS to be present. The rehearing will take place at Ashton on the 19th inst.

The funeral took place at the Cemetery, Dukinfield, on Wednesday afternoon, of Mr Matthew BOON, formerly of Ryecroft, Ashton, whose death took place at his home, Vernon-street, Farnworth, Lancashire, on Friday of last week, at the age of 53 years. Deceased was well known in Ashton, he be before going abroad many years ago, a member of the Methodist New Connexion Church, Stamford-street, and also connected with the MNC, Trafalgar-street, where his brother, Mr Job BOON, is at present the organist.

The deceased left Ashton over 20 years ago, where he was then employed at Mr Jas Smith BUCKLEY’s mill, Ryecroft, and journeyed to Russia to take up an appointment of manager at a cotton mill at Tvar, from which position he retired a few months ago on account of an internal malady, and came home to England, taking up his residence at Farnworth where he died.

A goodly number of relatives and friends gathered at the cemetery to watch the interment, which was conducted by the Rev J E MEIR, Bethesda Chapel, Dukinfield. The coffin, which was of rich polished oak, with brass mountings, was conveyed in a hearse with glass sides, and there were a few wreaths and other floral tributes. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr Isaac BARNES, undertaker, Oldham-street. The coaches, with the mourners, were as follows:-

First coach: Mr and Mrs William ARCHER, Mrs J BARNSLEY, and Mrs and Mrs N MOORE.
Second coach: Mr and Mrs J BOON, Mr W BOON, and Miss L BOON.
Third coach: Miss M MOORE, Miss L MOORE, Miss E POLLITT, and Mr BLEZZARD.
Fourth coach: Mr G BALLE, Mr A HOLT, Mr Z MAWDSLEY, and Mrs MAWDSLEY.

How the Other Half Live

A side-light was thrown on the way in which a class of people live, by the appearance at the Ashton Police Station the other day of two ragged street urchins, so unkempt and uncared for that they seemed almost strangers to civilisation. They were brought into the police office by Sergeant BUTTERS, who, noticing their suspicious behaviour, had recognised one of them as a boy from Manchester, guilty on several occasions of running away from home and causing his father, formerly a soldier at the Ashton Barracks, endless amount of trouble. He was 11 years of age.

The other boy was taller and a year or two his senior, and said he came from Middlesboro to Dukinfield, where he had been living with some relations, who could do no good with him because he would not work. Both boys, judging by the furrows on their necks, looked as if they had never had a proper wash for weeks, and in their answers to the questions some rather remarkable admissions were made.

”Where did you sleep last night?” quoth the inspector in charge. – Under the dobby horses on the Market Ground. We crawled underneath and slept near the boiler, where it was warm. – Where did you sleep the night before? In one of Millward’s busses. – And the night before that? Here the boys’ memories appeared to fail them and they were stuck.

When did you leave home? Over a week ago. – How have you obtained food? He (meaning the bigger boy) crept under Uncle John’s pie stall on Saturday night, and took some pies, and we ate them under the dobby horses. – Anything else? Jimmy went into a shop with a penny to buy a cake, and there was no one in the shop, and he took two pies and gave me one. – How did you get the money? Carrying parcels at the station and begging. – Where did you wash last? At the horse trough on the Market. – How did you come across each other? We were both looking round the Market Ground for tabs. – Birds of a feather, eh? We have not known each other long.

Further questioning elicited the information that the boys took some straw into a sewer and slept there, and that the smaller of the two boys had been sent by his mother to a loan office to pay 2s, and he ran off with the money. The boys were sent to the workhouse, and, thanks to the vigilance of the police were subsequently restored to their parents.

Such cases reminds one of the story of David Copperfield running away from home, and it would be well if sowing wild oats had a corresponding beneficial result. All’s well that ends well, but also boys of this character too often degenerate into systematic vagrancy and become irredeemable.

During the last three or four Sunday nights the confectioner’s shop of Daniel BULLOCK in Margaret-street has been broken into, and money extracted from the till. On Sunday evening a watch was set, and Thomas CROOK, a grocer, secreted himself on the premises.

About 8.30 he heard the door open and to his surprise Mary Jane NEWTON, the next-door neighbour, walked into the shop in her stocking feet. He caught hold of her and she asked to be let off. He gave her into custody. At the Borough Police Court on Monday, NEWTON, who is a married woman with several children, was charged with housebreaking and remanded on bail.

The Ashton policed, under a warrant issued by the Birmingham Police, have arrested Joseph SCHOFIELD, formerly of Ashton, for an embezzlement alleged to have been committed at Birmingham. SCHOFIELD, about six months ago, resided in Minto-street, and was well known in that part of the locality. Up to that time he worked at the shop of Mr Joseph TAYLOR, jeweller, Old-street. It is expected that he will be tried very shortly.

We understand that the syndicate of gentlemen who have floated the Minerva, Rock, Atlas, Curzon, and Tudor Mills, have decided to erect another mill on a site adjoining the Curzon Mill, Hurst.

The mill will probably have be the same size and capacity as the present Curzon Mill, namely about 90,000 spindles, and when erected will pay a sum of £300 per week in wages. We understand the directors are to be Mr Samuel NEWTON, who is chairman of the whole of the above companies, together with His Worship the Mayor (Councillor J B POWNALL), Councillor E BARLOW, Colonel POLLITT, and Mr L H MARLAND.

County Court Case

On Thursday, at the Stalybridge County Court, before his Honour Judge Reginald BROWN, K.C., a young girl named Florence A BOOTH, of 104 Kenworthy-street, Stalybridge, sued through her next friend, her mother (Lilly BOOTH), to recover £10 damages from Thomas WARD, of Forester-street, Stalybridge. Mr TIPPING, barrister, Manchester, appeared for plaintiff. Defendant was represented by has wife.

Mr TIPPING said his client was nine years of age, and the damages were in respect to a dog bite on the 12th July, 1902. On that date the little girl was sent an errand by her mother, and while in the shop defendant’s collie dog ran out and bit her badly. In consequence, she was attended by a doctor for nine weeks, and suffered considerable pain.

He thought his Honour would agree that the damages claimed were very moderate. The damages included the doctor’s bill (£2 11s 6d), nourishments and nursing. Counsel asked the judge to examine the child’s leg and see for himself what a wound had been caused.

Evidence was given by plaintiff, who said defendant’s dog rushed at a little log, but bit her leg instead. – Mary BRIGHT, a neighbour, corroborated, and said plaintiff did not do anything to cause the dog to bite her. – William JONES, a coal-lurryman, said defendant’s dog bit his back three days’ before biting the girl. Mrs WARD came and beat the animal away from him. He told her then the dog should be destroyed, and he also spoke to defendant, but he said “nowt.” – Counsel: Perhaps he thought you could afford to be bitten. – (Laughter.)

Mrs BOOTH, the girl’s mother, was also called and she spoke as to the injury inflicted. – Mrs WARD: I brought the girl nourishments. – Mrs BOOTH: You brought her two oranges and half-a-pound of strawberries. – (Laughter.) – In reply to the Judge, witness said her daughter was terribly upset lest she should die. They had two “fearful” nights with her.

She had no idea but that Mrs WARD had paid the doctor’s bill, as she promised to do, until Dr SCOTT died. Witness then received a letter from Mr INNES, solicitor, asking for a settlement of the doctor’s bill, and when she took it to Mrs WARD the latter threw it in the street and otherwise treated her discourteously.

The judge remarked that collie dogs were generally the cause of these sort of cases, and if men would keep such animals they must be prepared to pay. He gave judgment for five guineas, to be paid at the rate of 8s per month.

Sir, – I was somewhat surprised to find in your even-edition of Nov 3rd, that by the request of the Stalybridge people we in Ashton are to be inconvenienced by a less number of cars running in a morning, which will put us back to four per hour, same as the old horse cars.

I contend that the bare statement is not quite sufficient to satisfy certain patrons and ratepayers, who make frequent use of the morning cars, and live on the route. If a person walking gets five minutes’ start of car, it is hopeless to expect to ride, but if running more frequently, it would save time to wait and take the car, and, I am convinced, would pay the Corporation.

Perhaps the Chairman of the Tramways Committee will give some satisfactory reason for the alteration, or perhaps feel inclined to run a few extras between the Park and Old Square. I am sure we are fully justified as ratepayers in expecting a better services in a morning. If patronage is wanted, cultivate it. It will not be got by keeping people waiting in the Old Square or on the route in all sorts of weather for a quarter of an hour. It is absurd.

It is also to be hoped that the committee’s attention has been called to the Saturday night’s mad rush for cars, and the loss sustained by not taking all the passengers. Surely something could be arranged, either in the way of extra or larger cars or trailers. – Yours.
An Interested Ratepayer

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