17 October 1903

Died in the Street

The Ashton police were apprised on Wednesday morning of the sudden death of Charles Napier TANDY, aged 19, who resided at 103 Wellington-street, Ashton. Sarah Ann TANDY, a factory operative, informed the police that deceased, who was her brother, resided with her. She did not know there was anything wrong with him, though twelve months ago he was an in-patient at the infirmary through having been kicked by a horse. He left the house at 5.30 that morning, and about 8.30 he was brought home dead.

Ernest TOWNSEND, of 471 Jermyn-street, informed the police that about 7.30 on Wednesday morning he went for a load of manure to Shepley’s stables in Water-street, deceased asked him if he had come for the load of manure, and he answered “yes.” Deceased immediately fell on the footpath. Dr TWOMEY was sent for, and pronounced life extinct.

The inquest was held at the Free Trade Inn, Booth-street, on Thursday, by Mr Ernest BIRCH, deputy coroner. The foreman was Mr Albert DAVIES.

Sarah Ann TANDY said deceased was her brother. He was a carter, in the employ of Mr SHEPLEY, of Water-street. He was aged 19. Over 12 months ago he was kicked by a horse in the right leg, and had to be taken to the Infirmary, where he was an in-patient for a month. He had enjoyed good health since. She last saw him alive at five o’clock that morning. He was brought home dead about half-past eight.

Ernest TOWNSEND, a carter in the employ of James TOWNSEND, said that about a quarter to eight he went to Joseph SHEPLEY’s stables for some manure. They began talking. He asked witness if he had come for the manure, and he answered “yes,” and then deceased fell to the floor on his back. Witness said to him, “Now, Charlie, what’s the matter?” and he received no reply. He went pale in the face.

Witness called for Mr SHEPLEY, and they put him on the chair and gave him a drink of water, and Mrs SHEPLEY went for Dr TWOMEY. When he came the doctor said he was dead. — A verdict of death from natural causes, probably from failure of the heart’s action, was returned.

Sir, - The cars running from Ashton to Manchester have hit upon a very good method by pulling up in the Old Square instead of Stamford-street, thus avoiding the stoppage of traffic, and minimising the danger to passengers, as well as to cyclists. But to my mind the Stalybridge cars have just commenced to carry out the bad practice (that the Manchester cars have dropped) by standing in the narrowest place possible, where only one trap, motor car, or dray can pass at one time.

As for cyclists, they must risk everything. Without any alteration to the points or cable the cars could get six or eight yards further into the square, so that it would be possible to see from George-street, instead of having to dodge round the corners to see the car. Doubtless the person in charge of arranging these matters will see the inconvenience and risk to passengers. — I am,

Letter from a Dukinfield Man

Mr John POTTS, of Logan Valley, Brisbane, Queensland, has kindly forwarded us a cutting from the “Brisbane Observer” of August 29th, together with an accompanying letter written on 1st September. He says, “The enclosed cutting from the Brisbane Observer will explain the object of my writing to you, also to ask if you if you would kindly put it before some of the cotton mill owners that this part of Queensland (we are 27 miles from Brisbane by railway and about 45 by water) will grow cotton with any part of the British Empire.

Last year was one of the driest ever known in Queensland, but I put in a few seeds and got good cotton, of which I enclose a sample. I think the only way we could get it started here is by the cotton manufacturers taking the matter of growing up. I have been trying for years to get the Queensland Government to give it a start through our members.

Some twenty odd years ago the cotton growers got a bonus, and when that was stopped they gave up growing it. I am sure that if the cotton mill owners of Lancashire took the matter up this part of Queensland could put under cotton five or six thousand acres or more if it was wanted. If you will kindly put this matter before some of the cotton manufacturers I will gladly give them all the information. I can about this part of Queensland for cotton growing.

The small sample of cotton enclosed by our correspondent appears to be excellent quality and staple, and we commend his letter and offer to the British Cotton Growing Association. It may be of interest to add that Mr POTTS was formerly located in Dukinfield, having been born in Town-lane. He adds that some 20 odd years ago he used to fetch about 20 dozen “Reporters” for Mrs COOKE, newsagent, Town-lane.

The cutting referred to is a leaderette entitle, “The Shortage of Cotton,” as follows:-

”A message that ought to carry its lesson to us in Queensland cabled from England to the effect that owing to the shortage of cotton, 1,000 operatives at Macclesfield have been thrown out of work for the past three months. Arrangements for the relief of the distressed workpeople has been started and we may expect with the characteristic generosity of the British public the pressing of this untoward state of things will be relieved.

It seems to us that the relief movement should also commence on this side of the world and that a fund should be started, collecting funds to keep the Macclesfield folk from starvation. — that will be done and well done in England — but in the direction of cultivation of the raw material the manufacture of which is the means of living of thousands of people in the old land.

It has been shown that cotton of the finest quality can be grown in Queensland, and we believe that a little push and energy upon the part of the authorities in Queensland would enable Queensland to become a producer of raw material for British manufacturers to an extent little dreamed of at the present time. Now is the opportunity for drawing attention to this country as a storehouse for Great Britain.

The picture of working people, who necessarily live from hand to mouth, becoming dependent on charity for their subsistence when every now and then the supply of raw material suffers a diminution is a sad one. It is also an entirely unnecessary one if the producing power of the British Empire is taken into account. Mr Chamberlain might turn his attention to the colonial Governments with a view of finding out the best areas for cotton culture within the borders of the dominions of the King.

We regret to record the demise of an old, well-known, and esteemed resident and employer of labour in Dukinfield, Mr Thomas BLOCKSAGE, brick and tile manufacturer, Birch-lane, which took place last Friday morning at his residence, Dewsnap House. He had been an invalid for a lengthened period, and under medical treatment. Of late, he gradually became weaker, and expired, as stated above, at the age of 75

He was founder of the well-known firm of Thomas BLOCKSAGE and Sons, and he succeeded in obtaining large business connections in various parts of the country. When his sons — Mr John and Mr Henry BLOCKSAGE — arrived at age they entered the business, and materially assisted their father in developing it. Unfortunately, Mr John died some years ago, and since then the responsibilities of the business have devolved to Mr Henry. In addition to the Birch-lane establishment, the firm has a branch at Elland in Yorkshire.

The late Mr Thomas BLOCKSAGE never took any active part in the public or political affairs of the town, preferring to take a passive interest in what was going on around him. He was a gentleman of quiet demeanour, and respected by all who knew him. Mrs BLOCKSAGE died some years ago, and the only representative of the family left and Mr Henry BLOCKSAGE and Miss BLOCKSAGE.

The interment took place at Dukinfield Cemetery. The afternoon was wet and gloomy, but notwithstanding many persons were present at the Moravian Chapel, where a funeral service was conducted by the Rev Wm TITTERINGTON. The streets along the route of the funeral cortege were lined with many people, and particularly in Dewsnap-lane and Birch-lane districts much sympathy was shown, where the deceased was a familiar figure.

The brick and tile works off Birch-lane were closed for the day, and the employees attended the funeral in a body. The coffin was of oak with brass mountings, and enclosed was a leaden shell in which the body was placed. The inscription on the brass plate was: “Thos. BLOCKSAGE died October 10th 1903 in his 77th year.”

An open hearse, drawn by four horses, conveyed the coffin to the Moravian Chapel, where it was borne into the sacred edifice by the following workpeople who acted as bearers: Messrs Sam HEALEY, S MYCOCK, T SIMPSON, John MARLAND, Herbert LONSDALE, J BIRCHALL, Wm EDWARDS, John LONSDALE, Tom MARSLAND and Jas HEALEY.

The sympathies of everyone will be extended to Mr and Mrs Charles WEBB and family, of the Crescent, in their anxiety consequent upon the critical illness if their son, Mr Pickford WEBB. We are sorry to say he lies in a very precarious state suffering from that insidious disease consumption. His medical attendant is Dr BOOTH, who has also had the assistance of specialists from Manchester.

The first sitting of magistrates at the new Police Court was held on Thursday. There was only one prisoner in the dock, a poor, miserable-looking, dilapidated fellow with a patch over one eye, charged with begging. Superintendent CROGHAN said as this was the first prisoner who had been brought up in that court, with their worships’ permission, he asked that he be discharged. The application was granted.

Alderman FENTEM then observed that it had been his pleasure to be connected with the old court for a good many years, and during that time he had been struck with the singular absence of crime in Dukinfield. Now they had come to this new court he hoped crime would still further diminish.

AN UNUSUAL APPLICATION. — An unusual application was made to the Hyde County Magistrates on Monday by Mr SHAW, of the Gardeners’ Arms, Astley-street. He stated that he had lost his license, and applied for a fresh one. In reply to a question he said he had not used the license for any other purpose, but had lost it. A new license was granted the applicant.

A BIT EXCITED. — Henry NOBLE, a collier, living at 80 Town-lane, Dukinfield, was fined 2s 6d and costs at Hyde County Police Court, on Monday, for being drunk and disorderly in King-street, on October 10th. Defendant told the magistrates, Messrs E CHAPMAN, MP, G W RHODES, F WILD and Henry SIDEBOTTOM, that he got a bit excited over a question of wages, which he and his fellow workmen had been discussing all the afternoon.

REPORTED AS DEAD — A DUKINFIELD SOLDIER RETURNS HOME. — Private Harry LEIGH, who served through the South African campaign, has just returned home to Dukinfield, where he received a hearty welcome. Private LEIGH belongs to the 1st Manchester Regiment, which, under Sir George WHITE, bore the brunt of the fight in the early days of the war

LEIGH successfully served through the engagements of Elandslaagte and Glencoe, and was in Ladysmith. While in the besieged town news of his death in a sortie was sent by heliograph to General BUTLER, and LEIGH’s name appeared in the casualty list published in the Press. Later the War Office confirmed the news of his death, and his family at Dukinfield received the sum for which his life was insured.

PIGEON FLYING. — At the Railway Inn, Dukinfield, the belt in connection with the Easter sweepstakes was flown for on Saturday, from the direction Ashton Moss, distance 1½ miles. Result:- A HEGINBOTTOM’s Speculator, 2 min 37 sec; W RIMMER’s Jolly Fifer, 2 min 40sec; J BALL’s Sceptre, 2 min 27 sec. Timers, Messrs HEGINBOTTOM and WALKER, mapper, Thomas COOP, Hollingworth.

At the Gardeners’ Arms, the third belt in connection with the New Year sweep was flown on Saturday, distance 1¼ miles, in the direction of Denton, with the following result:- L HALL’s Old Sam, 1 min 46 sec; William JARVIS’s Spion Cop, 1 min 49 sec; William SHAW’s Whistling Crow, 1 min 53 sec. Referee and timers, Messrs PARKER, MITCHELL and HALL; mapper Ellis WOLSTENHOLME, Gorton.

A BEGGAR’S “PHILOSOPHY” — Amongst a batch of offenders for begging, who appeared before the Manchester City Justices, on Monday, was John MALONEY, a cripple. He was seen by a constable to beg from door to door, and asked by the Bench why he did that sort of thing, he ejaculated: “I have only one leg, and I cannot get work.” — (Laughter.) — The Chairman thought prisoner’s story was “all moonshine.” He knew a man who had only one arm and one leg, and he could work all right. — Prisoner: I have been trying to get a watchman’s job.

The Chairman: You can get a much better job than that if you wanted it. You fellows don’t like work, and never look for it. We have had one man here this morning who had admitted that he has been begging for a living for five years. It’s a nice thing isn’t it. — Asked how long he had been in Manchester, MALONEY said not very long. He had been in the suburbs — to such places as Ashton, Dukinfield, Hyde, etc. — The Chairman: You thought Manchester was a better place to beg. You will have to go to Strangeways for one month with hard labour.

FOOTPATH OBSTRUCTION. — At the Police Court on Thursday, three lads named Charles BROWN (14), Robert BAINS (13), and Thomas PENNINGTON were summoned for obstructing the footpath in Crescent-road, on the 17th inst. — An officer stated that he saw the defendants and several others obstructing the footpath. Witness saw several ladies and gentlemen leave the footpath to pass them. — Superintendent CROGHAN said he was constantly receiving complaints from tradesmen about this obstruction nuisance. — Mrs BAINS said her son had never been up before, “not even for the School Board.” — The Bench fined BAINS and PENNINGTON 1s each with costs, and BROWN, who did not appear, 2s 6d and costs.

Henry BRUCE, George BRUCE, Wilfred ASHTON, and John MOODY, youths, were summoned for obstructing the footpath in Lodge-lane. All the defendants pleaded guilty with the exception of MOODY. — Superintendent CROGHAN informed the Bench that scarcely a week elapsed without complaints from shopkeepers and residents about the conduct of these young people in the streets. — Fined 1s each without costs.

NEIGHBOURS QUARRELS. — At the Police Court, on Thursday, Ellen FORD, an elderly woman, summoned John William BRIDGE for assaulting her on the 3rd of October. Complainant said she lived in Gate-street, and was a widow. On the date named, the defendant called her an old Irish So-and-so, and accused her of telling tales to the landlord. She denied it, and then he shoved her, broke her spectacles, and cut her face. — Mary KEENAN, sister, said she saw defendant give her sister a good shove, and she fell.

Defendant said he was coming across Globe-square with his wife. He had had a drop of drink, and the complainant called him a dirty blackguard. He simply pushed her. — The Chairman said defendant had practically pleaded guilty to a technical offence, and he would be fined 2s 6d without costs.

Louisa MORGAN summoned Percy HOWARD for assaulting her on the 7th. — He pleaded not guilty. — Complainant said she lived at 25 St Mark-street, and was a married woman. On the date named defendant came to her house, and wanted to get her husband outside. She resisted him, and then he struck her on the breast with his hand. — Defendant admitted shoving her, after Mrs MORGAN had pushed him. — Fined 2s 6d costs.

Mr CROASDALE, hatter, Melbourne-street, has during the week displayed in his window the helmets and officers’ caps for the Glossop Police Force. Their smart appearance attracted considerable attention.

ILLNESS OF A CONSTABLE. — It transpired at Monday’s police court that Constable SHAW was laid up with sickness, and would not be able to resume his duties for an indefinite period. Consequently a charge of being disorderly which the officer preferred against Charles MULLHOLLAND was adjourned, defendant pleading not guilty.

AN INTERESTING POINT. — On Monday, at the Police Court, George HADFIELD, shopkeeper, High-street, was charged with wilfully having set his house chimney on fire. He pleaded that it was quite an accident, and objected to the word “wilfully.” — Constable H S WELLS was thereupon sworn, and he said that at 8.45 on the night of the 6th instant he saw a large quantity of smoke and soot issuing from defendant’s chimney, and upon going to the place Mrs HADFIELD admitted having placed some waste paper on the fire which she had got in emptying a box of sweets. Witness told her that she might have destroyed the paper underneath the grid.

The Mayor said the clerk had advised the magistrates that if people ran such risks by placing paper on the fire they were guilty of real carelessness. — Defendant would have to 2s to pay for costs. — “Not the price of a good sweeping,” added the Mayor. Captain BATES, Chief Constable, thereupon pointed out that the penalty imposed would not meet the expenses, and this was tantamount to taxing the ratepayers. — The Mayor: What is we had dismissed the case entirely? — Captain BATES: Well, that would be telling me I ought not to have brought the case at all. It will certainly make the police think twice before they proceed.

Mr Herbert KNOTT said the decision was not a reflection on the police, but the charge in this instance was “wilfully.” — The Mayor: And the magistrates think the chimney was not wilfully set on fire. — Captain BATES: Then he had no right to have been fined at all! — The Mayor: It was carelessness. — Captain BATES said he would be glad to save the expense to the borough by not bringing such cases in future. — Mr KNOTT: We must deal with every case upon its merits.

Alderman SIMPSON remarked that the bench did not give the Chief Constable any instructions. — Captain BATES: But they give me a line — a lead. — Alderman SIMPSON: Just so. — The Mayor: The bench can deal with a case just as they think fit. — Captain BATES: Certainly; I am only pointing out that the balance in this case will have to come out of the rates. — Mr KNOTT said in some instances the firing of a chimney might be due more to carelessness than anything else. — The Mayor brought the discussion to a close by remarking that the prosecution of offenders might save hundreds of pounds worth of damage being done.

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