10 January 1903

An extraordinary case was heard before the Hon. Walter LINDLEY in the Matlock County Court on Monday. The action arose out of a Quarter Sessions case, and was a claim by Mr F W ASHBY, cycle agent of Matlock Bath, against Samuel SPIBY, son of an Ashton-under-Lyne business man, who was sued for £15 for the detention of two bicycles.

The case, as stated by Mr James POTTER, was that the defendant, with another young man named HEMMINGWAY, of Clay Cross, called in August at the plaintiff’s shop and hired two bicycles, defendant paying 1s 6d for two runs of one hour each. But the defendant and his comrade disappeared with the machines, and a warrant was issued, and eventually SPIBY was arrested at Ashton, and the bicycle recovered. HEMMINGWAY was apprehended at Clay Cross, and his machine was found to have been sold to a pawnbroker, and again to a man in Hyde-road, Manchester.

The two young men were sent for trial to the Quarter Sessions. HEMMINGWAY was sentenced and SPIBY discharged. The action was for the loss of he use of the cycles for 48 days during which the prosecution was in hand, and also for loss of time and expenses in trying to trace the men. His Honour held that the plaintiff could recover, but only for the time until the cycles were found, and he gave judgment for that and the expenses incurred at £5 and cost. Defendant was allowed to pay at £1 a month.

King Pantomime has prominence in the theatrical world, and his revels will continue both here and elsewhere for some time longer. We have the present week only of the gambols and frolics of the Baron and his masculine daughters, and the wooing of the winsome “Cinderella” by her gallant Prince, and then the little lady bids adieu, and “Aladdin,” from the “Arabian Nights,” with his wonderful lamp and cave of jewels immediately steps into the breach.

Some very important and effective changes have been introduced for the final appearance of “Cinderella.” The “specialties” have been increased by the addition of new artistes. Two clever song and patter comedians, Messrs CRIBB and CRIBB, appeared for the first time on Monday evening, and their comic absurdity of song and dance, and their eccentric humour gave an impetus to the fun which the audience greatly appreciated, and later the introduction into the ballroom scene of Monsieur and Mddle. VEZZEY, the latter an accomplished player of the concertina.

Mddle. VEZZEY, a charming little lady in her teens, gives an extraordinary and deft exhibition of her skill, and great humour is imported into the artiste’s “turn” by the introduction of a highly trained dog whose canine intelligence is shown in posing on his haunches on a table and playing a miniature concertina, and afterwards a violin. This clever “turn” was applauded to the echo.

”The Sunbeams” are beaming with an increased brilliance this week, and the artistes, generally, are working with greater vigour and earnestness. By mistake in our previous notice, the amiable and talented soubrette, Miss Rosie SYLVESTER, was deprived of her due need of merit, and the credit given to another. We are pleased to repair the error, and to emphasise the opinion, generally entertained, that Miss SYLVESTER’s song and dance, “Who’ll be Johnny No 2” is one of the features of the pantomime, and her sprightliness and gracefulness of action and poise are noticeable throughout. The “panto” should be an increased attraction to amusement seekers for the week.

SUDDEN DEATH. – Information was received at the Hurst Police Office on Monday of the death of Lilian GLISTER, aged 13 weeks, daughter of Elizabeth and John Henry GLISTER (a soldier stationed in Malta), of 10 Boyd’s Buildings, Hartshead. The child, according to the statement of the mother, had enjoyed good health up to about five weeks ago, when Dr MANN prescribed for it for bronchitis. The doctor, however, had not seen the child for a few weeks, and about two a.m. on the 5th inst. The mother fed the deceased with condensed milk and barley water. About four a.m. the same day she noticed the child suddenly clutch its hands and expire. The Coroner was notified of the circumstances, but an inquest was deemed unnecessary.

INTERESTING GATHERING AND PRESENTATION. – On Saturday evening Mr S THORNLEY, teaching of the second select class in connection with the Methodist New Connexion Sunday School, Queen-street, Hurst, invited a number of scholars and friends to a gathering held in the schoolroom. About 70 responded to the invitation. The schoolroom was arranged after the manner of an “at home,” being tastefully decorated for the occasion.

Having partaken of tea the guests were entertained to a well arranged programme consisting of songs by Miss Edith RICHARDSON (contralto, Hooley Hill) and Mr THORNLEY. Recitals were given by Mr RICHARDSON (elocutionist, Audenshaw), and solos on the violin and mandolin were given by Miss GRIFFITHS (Audenshaw). The proceedings were interspersed with games of various descriptions. During the evening Mr THORNLEY, who has been a teacher of the young men’s class for about 13 years, was presented by the Rev W D BAINBRIDGE, on behalf of the scholars, with a beautiful writing case as a mark of appreciation and respect.

HIGHER HURST CO-OPERATIVE DEBATING SOCIETY. – On Wednesday evening last the monthly meeting of this society took the form of a smoking concert and miscellaneous entertainment in the Russell-street Hall. The room was well filled, and an enjoyable evening was spent under the chairmanship of Mr S KITCHEN, J.P. The programme included pianoforte selection by Mr PANCOTT, who also accompanied the singers; songs by Mr Arnold FIRTH, Mr S TAYLOR, and Master STAFFORD; gramophone selections by Mr Percy ASPINALL, “gradely Lancashire sketch” by Mr Luke BROADBENT; Mr George FLOWERS whose whistling solos received well merited applause, and a ventriloquial sketch by Mr Robert ASHWORTH, which caused great amusement.

Mr KITCHEN made a neat little speech on the education of the children in the beauties and works of nature, and suggested that a portion of the educational fund should be devoted to this purpose. During the evening pipes were frequently charged with tobacco manufactured by the C.W.S. at their Manchester tobacco works.

At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, a girl 12 years of age, named Alice BISHOP, was charged with larceny at Audenshaw. – Mr A LEES (solicitor, Ashton) appeared on behalf of the defendant.

Elizabeth SMETHURST, smallware dealer, Denton-road, Audenshaw, stated that on the 30th of last month defendant came into the shop. Witness left the shop for a short time and saw the girl put some wool under her dress and a roll of linen tape in her pocket. Witness went into the shop and asked her what she had been doing, and she replied “Nothing.” Witness requested her to empty her pocket, and she did so, and subsequently she began screaming and asking for witness to let her go, as she was fainting. Witness detained her until her mother arrived. The value of the wool and tape was about 2s 2d.

By Mr A LEES: A great portion of your stock-in-trade was lying on the table. Prisoner concealed the goods in her dress and smoothed the dress down to stop it bulging out. – Mr LEES described the case as a painful one on account of the girl being of such tender years, for which he asked the consideration of the Bench. The girl was of respectable parentage, and he had a latter from the headmaster of the Wesleyan Day School, Hooley Hill, where she attended with the utmost regularity and punctuality, and only three absences were registered against her during the whole of that period.

There had never been any complaint of her conduct or of any dishonesty. She had no need for such articles as those alleged to have been taken. He asked the magistrates to give her the benefit of the doubt; if convinced of her guilt to apply the First Offenders Act.

The Bench were of the opinion that defendant committed the theft, and bound her over under the First Offenders Act in 40s to be of good behaviour for the next six months. – The Chairman asked the parents to inculcate better habits into the girl, to which defendant’s mother said she had never had any complaints before. The girl had spent shillings a week for pies and cakes. – Prosecutrix: She has spent them in chocolates. – The Chairman: It is no excuse if you spent pounds with the woman.

WATERLOO CO-OP SOCIETY AND THE SALE OF COAL. – At the quarterly meeting of the above society, held in the Co-operative Hall, on Monday night, Mr R BUCKLEY presiding, the question of the sale of coal to members of the society was discussed. This has been a moot point for some time, it having been considered advisable that the society should embark into the coal dealing business for the purpose of meeting the requirements of the members. The question was considered in all its various aspects, and ultimately it was decided to submit the matter to the ballot of members. The election of officers resulted in Mr R BUCKLEY being re-elected president and Messrs J SWANE and S BUCKLEY committee. Mr SLATER was elected auditor.

ANNUAL SCHOLARS’ PARTY AT TAUNTON SCHOOL. – The annual scholars’ party in connection with the Taunton School was held on Saturday. There were about 230 present to their tea, after which a well arranged programme was gone through, under the chairmanship of Mr R THORNLEY (superintendent). Songs were given by Messrs Ernest SCHOFIELD, William SCHOFIELD, and Charles ANDREW and Misses Lilian HIBBERT and Alice SCHOFIELD, and pianoforte solo by Miss Hannah MILLER. The pianoforte accompaniments were given by Mr J BUCKLEY. Oranges were also distributed amongst the scholars.

TRAMWAY OBSTRUCTION IN BARDSLEY BROW. – Passengers on the electric cars plying between Ashton and Oldham had an unusual experience in changing on Saturday, caused through an obstruction on the tramlines. A large boiler was being drawn along the brow when the front axle of the lurry conveying the boiler broke, and the load fell forward and obstructed the tramway track. Fortunately there were two electric cars on either side of the obstruction, and these were able to ply backwards and forwards to their respective terminus, the passengers alighting and changing cars near to where the boiler and lurry lay in the roadway. By means of hydraulic jacks and a plentiful supply of timber the boiler was cleared from the track during the afternoon, and through communication restored.

Damages for Injured Horse

Henry HAWKE, wheelwright and shoeing smith, of Bentinck-street, Ashton, sued at the Ashton County Court on Thursday, before his Honour Judge Reginald BROWN, K.C., James WALTON, farmer, of Smallshaw, for £4 for shoeing and smith’s work done. Mr LEES appeared for the plaintiff, and defendant was represented by Mr T H HEWITT, solicitor of Ashton.

The defendant counter-claimed for £13 1s for damages alleged to have been sustained by injuries caused to his horse at the end of November, 1900, by the plaintiff’s servant as a shoeing smith.

Mr HEWITT explained, with respect to the counter claim, that whilst the horse was being shod, it was “burnt quick.” It was first thought it had been pricked, but a veterinary surgeon examined it, and he said the horse had been burned.

Mr LEES was cross-examining Mr WALTON with respect to the value of a “knacker,” and suggested about 30s or £2 when His Honour remarked that it would be more than that. It would be made into sausages by now. – (Laughter.)

Percy BROADBENT, in the employ of the last witness, spoke to taking the horse to be shod. – Mr LEES: Didn’t the smith say when you went for it that the shoe was as valuable as the horse? – (Laughter.) – Witness: No. Mr LEES: Didn’t the horse kick? – Mr HAWKE: It hadn’t a kick in it. – (Laughter.)

Dr HARRISON, veterinary surgeon, Ashton, said the horse was burned, and it was extremely painful to the slightest pressure. He valued the horse at between £6 and £10. The shoe was too hot and the foot was scorched.

George F WILD, a shoeing smith, of Ashton, editor of the “Farmers’ Journal,” and a member of the Association of Farriers, gave evidence, and stated that a competent and efficient shoeing smith should not have scorched the animal as had been done in this case.

Mr HAWKE said the horse came to the smith as a cripple. It had a leg as thick as two. Witness had kept a forge for 27 years and he had never before had any complaint. The man who shod the horse was unfortunately dead, but he was thoroughly competent, as he been brought up to that sort of work all his life.

Dr NEW, veterinary surgeon, Ashton, said he had examined the horse before the alleged injury. It had a thick leg which caused lameness. If a horse was burned at the foot it ought to be better again in a few days. The horse was getting what they call “worn out.”

His Honour found a verdict for the plaintiff on the claim for £3 17s 9d. Defendant succeeded on the counter and he was awarded £6 6s.

Nothing further has been done with regard to the proposed joint smallpox hospital, two sites for which – Hartshead and Mayhills – are at present on the table. The promoters of the scheme are at present awaiting the reply of the trustees of the Stamford estate and to the concessions they are prepared to make for their offer of the alternative site at Mayhills in exchange for the Hartshead site already secured by the Ashton Corporation, the acquisition of which for smallpox purposes the Estate seem to think might be derogatory to the interests of the surrounding tenantry.

The farm buildings at Mayhills are already being used by the Mossley Corporation for the purposes of a smallpox hospital, and there are some nine beds provided. No doubt Mossley would like to retain possession of these farm buildings, as the rent to them is only about something like £20 a year. The members of the Limehurst Council seemed to be divided upon the point which appears to have taken place at recent meetings. Dukinfield is said to be showing signs of diffidence on account of the provision which they have made for two or more beds at Hyde Hospital. Audenshaw seems indisposed to come to any agreement other than that the basis of the monetary contribution should be on population instead of rateable value as proposed.

Alderman SHAW (chairman of the Sanitary Committee) and Mr T POTTER )sanitary superintendent) paid a visit of inspection to both the Hartshead and Mayhills sites last week, and the adaptability of the two areas to hospital purposes was thoroughly considered. Both sites have their advantages and disadvantages. Many representatives of the joint authorities are inclined towards the Mayhills site on account of the good road leading for a considerable distance to it. Whichever site is ultimately adopted the roads leading immediately thereto will need reconstructing. Another joint meeting is to be held shortly when something definite is expected.

A Mother’s Peculiar Plight

A singular outbreak of smallpox occurred in Brook-street, Ashton, on Wednesday afternoon. It appears that a little over a fortnight ago a collier residing in that street was taken away to the Borough Hospital suffering from smallpox. The day after removal his wife was confined, and all went well with the child until Wednesday afternoon when symptoms of smallpox were discovered.

The mother and child, as might naturally be expected, could not be separated, and as it was necessary to remove the child to the Borough Hospital the mother had to go along also and be received as an inmate of the institution. The child, under the fostering care of the mother, is doing as well as can be expected, and it hoped that the case might turn out to be a mild one. The father is convalescent, and is expected to be discharged from hospital in a day or two.

There are now 13 cases under treatment at the hospital, as well as the mother of the child, who so far has not shown any symptoms of the disease.

A Casual Inmate’s Pride

A man named John BROWN was in the dock at the Ashton Borough Police Court on Thursday charged with destroying his clothing whilst an inmate of the casual ward of the Union Workhouse on January 8th. – Prisoner pleaded guilty, and said the clothing was in a disgraceful state, and he was ashamed of walking about the streets in the attire through people pointing at him. He could not get any fresh clothing by asking for it.

Magistrate (Mr T D STEEL): What do you want – a new suit? – Prisoner: I wanted fresh clothing when asking for them. – In answer to the Clerk, prisoner said his usual occupation was walking about Shudehill Market, carrying greengroceries, but work was slack. - The Clerk: What are you doing in Ashton? I had no means of obtaining lodgings. – Why should Ashton be favoured with you presence? I keep going around when I can get nothing special to do.

Mr McEWAN, porter at the Union Workhouse, said that prisoner had never asked for any fresh clothing. Moreover, it was impossible to provide clothing for all the casuals that they had – a matter of some 300 or 400 men per week. – The Magistrate sentenced prisoner to one month’s hard labour.

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