31 January 1903

At the 135th anniversary, an installation meeting of the Lodge of Sincerity, No 174 of the Ancient Free and accepted Masons of England, held on January 21st at the Guildhall, Gresham-street, City, Mr G T H SEDDON, a native of Ashton, received at the hands of the lodge, in which he was initiated in 1868, a very pleasing testimonial. This took the form of a special vote of thanks passed unanimously by the lodge and beautifully engrossed and illuminated on vellum, and handsomely framed. There was a large gathering of the members of the good old lodge, as well as of visiting brethren, among them being several Grand officers and Provincial Grand officers.

At the request of the W.M. the presentation was made by Bro. Charles LACEY, P.M., Prov. G DEACON, Herts, the treasurer of the lodge, who spoke in very feeling terms of the long and valuable service Bro. SEDDON, P.M., P.Z., &c had rendered to the lodge as its organist and musical director for a period of 35 years, and also as a Past Master for 24 years. He, having been closely associated with Bro. SEDDON from the time of his initiation, felt very proud that he should have the honour of being selected to make the presentation.

Bro. SEDDON, in reply, thanked the brethren for this mark of their esteem, and hoped he might be pardoned if he said he felt proud to think that this was the second time within twelve months that he had been similarly honoured, the brethren of Yarborough Lodge, No. 564, having last January presented him with an organist’s jewel in gold, in recognition of his having completed 30 years as organist of that lodge, having joined it a short time after his initiation. He did not forget either that in addition to the beautiful present now handed now handed to him, he wore upon his breast a valuable Past Master’s jewel, also the gift of the Lodge of Sincerity – his mother lodge.

Over 100 brethren partook of the sumptuous banquet which followed, and Bro. SEDDON received an ovation on rising to respond to the toast of his health. Bro. SEDDON left Ashton in October 1855 to take up musical duties in the metropolis, and his career there had been one of continued success. He is well-known throughout the United Kingdom as a band contest adjudicator, having been appointed at nearly all the first-class contests, including Belle Vue and the Crystal Palace.

Before the Mayor (Alderman BAILEY)

A DESERTER.- James HOLDEN, a private in D Company of the 4th Battalion Manchester Regiment, stationed at Cork, was charged with deserting from his regiment on December 1st. It was stated by Inspector MOORE that from a conversation he overheard, he went shortly before eleven o’clock on Tuesday night to a house in Fernley-street, where he saw the prisoner, and asked him if he were on a pass. Prisoner said he had lost his pass, and he handed witness the railway warrant produced, which showed he should have returned to Cork on the 29th November. – The prisoner, who was in uniform, was remanded pending the arrival of a military escort.

CHIMNEY FIRING.- The following were summoned for allowing their house chimneys to be on fire. – Thomas SHAW, Manchester-road; Peter HARROP, Frances-street; Alfred WOOLLEY, Gee Cross; and George OLDHAM, Jackson-street. – Fined 2s 6d each.

A HINT TO LICENSING APPLICANTS.- Alfred Smith HIGGINBOTTOM was granted temporary permission to sell at the Unity Hotel. – Arthur BLACKSHAW, confectioner, applied for an occasional wine license, from 8 to 2 on Tuesday next, the occasion of the tradesman’s ball, at the Armoury. – The Magistrates’ Clerk (Mr T BROWNSON) intimated to Mr BLACKSHAW, and to any other person that might make a licensing application, that twenty-four hours’ notice should be given to the police, to enable inquiries to be made. – Granted.

AFFILIATION CASE.- Nelson MORTIMER, a miner, of No 7 East Parade, Eastborough, Dewsbury, was summoned in respect of the illegitimate child of Bertha BOOTH, 3 Godley-street, off Victoria-street, Newton, of which he was alleged to be the father. Mr H BOSTOCK, solicitor, appeared for the complainant, and Mr BLAKELEY, solicitor, Dewsbury, for the defendant. It was stated by Mr BOSTOCK that there had been a legitimate courtship, and in a letter to complainant, the defendant put this: “With best love, from your ever loving friend, Nelson.” – (Laughter.) There were several crosses attached. – After a lengthy hearing, the magistrates made an order upon the defendant to pay 5s 6d a week until the child attained the age of 14 years, also incidental expenses and costs.

THE “CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR” AGAIN: MAGISTRATES DISAGREE.- Charles WAINWRIGHT, of George-street West, hatters’ labourer, applied to the Bench for a certificate exempting him from having his child vaccinated. He had fortified himself with the customary plea – he had a “conscientious objection” to vaccination, and “believed it would be injurious to his child’s health.” – After a brief conversation by the magistrates – the Mayor and Mr SYKES only were now sitting – it transpired that the former was in favour of granting a certificate and the latter against. – Magistrates’ Clerk (to applicant): You are aware that there are cases of smallpox about? – Applicant: Yes, sir. – Magistrates’ Clerk: In face of that, you persist in the application? – Applicant: Yes, sir. – The Mayor (to Mr SYKES): You still hold out? – Mr SYKES: Oh, yes. – Magistrates’ Clerk (to applicant): The Bench are divided, and you will have to make another application.

WARNING TO UNRULY BOYS.- A boy named Robert BURKE, 42 Syddall-street, a half-timer, was summoned for assaulting another boy, Benjamin COOK, on 26th January. The information was laid by Mr W STANSFIELD, draper, in whose employ the boy COOK had been working. This boy gave evidence showing that he was 14 years of age. About 12.30 on Monday he was passing Croft-street, when the defendant rushed out, and hit him in the eye. He knew him, but was not playing with him. BURKE, when he came into the arcade, brought his mates, who came round the penny stall, and asked if witness wanted to fight. BURKE and his mates met witness when he went home to his meals. BURKE said COOK asked him to fight, but this COOK denied. Mr STANSFIELD said this thing had occurred so often that he was bound to make an example of it. This was the third time that COOK had been given a black eye by boys who came into the Arcade to annoy him. He did not wish to press the case, but wanted the boy to be protected – The defendant, or his mother, were ordered to pay costs.

Prisoner Again Before the Hyde Magistrates

A special sitting of Hyde magistrates – Councillor BARRON, Mr A T HIBBERT, and Mr S N BROOKS – was held on Saturday at the Court Room, Beeley-street, when Francis RYAN, of 28 Tame-street, Stockport, was again charged with unlawfully making false and counterfeit coin, resembling certain of the King’s current silver, between the 1st and 29th December last. He was also charged with uttering false coin. Mr Joe COOKE again appeared for the defence.

The Chief Constable asked that RYAN should be committed to the Assizes. Mr COOKE said he thought it would be more desirable and better in the interests of everybody if they understood what the prisoner was being charged with. The Clerk: That would be the better course because there are a number of possible charges, and I think the best course would be for the evidence to be gone through and then the magistrates consider which charge they will take.

The evidence was again gone through, the Clerk reading the same. In his address to the bench, Mr COOKE submitted that, although they heard in the course of the evidence that the prisoner’s character hitherto had not been unblemished, yet he contended that upon the charge of uttering base coin there was not the slightest evidence against him. As they perfectly knew, in these criminal cases the strictest proof must be brought to prove the charge against the accused.

What had they got against the prisoner on the charge of uttering base coin? They started with the woman HICKLING, and she submitted that her evidence was the only evidence whereon hung the charge against the prisoner. He therefore claimed that when they came to analyse the evidence they could come to no other conclusion than that the evidence was altogether too meager to send the prisoner for trial on a charge of uttering false coin. If the whole case was put before a jury of twelve men, they would conclude that the evidence was not sufficient.

The magistrates here retired, and upon their return into court after a lengthy absence, the Chairman said that before giving any decision, the bench would hear the second charge. The second charge was then gone into, that of unlawfully making false and counterfeit coin.

The first witness was Josephine DOWNEY, and in answer to the Chief Constable, she said she could not account for the metal that was found by police in the house in Tame-street, Stockport. By Mr BARRON, witness admitted that there were several liquor bottles in the house, but the one produced only contained liquor.

The witness Thomas Henry MOSS, of Manchester, a letterpress printer, said in cross-examination by Mr COOKE, that he got his living by begging when he had no money. It was not a fact that he roamed about from town to town, day by day.

The witness Isaiah SLATER, jeweler, Market-street, Hyde, said he had further examined a piece of the metal produced and found that the specific gravity of the piece was of the same specific gravity as the coins produced. In answer to Mr BARRON, witness said he had no doubt whatever that the piece of metal produced were the same kind of metal as the coins were made of.

Mr COOKE, addressing the bench, said that on the charge of manufacturing base coin there was really no great amount of conclusive evidence against the prisoner. It did not seem a very likely thing that prisoner would serve the man MOSS with the ten coins mentioned in the manner he said he had – on trust. What did MOSS want with the coins? He got them to make money in order to carry on his calling. Did it not strike the bench that when MOSS was found with the ten coins upon him that he must have had previously other base coins upon him? MOSS, to his mind, appeared to have been living on the proceeds of the nefarious system he had been carrying on. Again, on his own admission, he had been convicted twice or more times for passing base coins.

The prisoner pleaded not guilty to both charges, and he was ordered to take his trial at the next Chester Assizes on both counts. With regard to the evidence of the woman DOWNEY, Councillor BARRON said the bench regarded it as very unsatisfactory.

Two Other Victims

On Tuesday afternoon it was discovered that there were three cases of smallpox at 23 Ridling-lane, Hyde. Walter ROYSTON, son of Mrs ROYSTON, has been working at Reddish, and it is supposed that he contracted the disease there. The mother and a sister named Minnie contracted the disease, and all of them were at once removed to the hospital, but we are sorry to state, the mother died whilst being taken there. The house has been fumigated, and every precaution is being taken to prevent the disease from spreading.

Yesterday (Friday) William Henry COTTRILL, collier, was in the dock at Stalybridge, charged with cruelly neglecting his child. He had given himself up to police at Mansfield, Notts, a warrant being out for his arrest. The prosecution was instituted by Inspector REDDY of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, for which society Mr A LEES, solicitor, appeared. Sentence of four months hard labour was passed.

Two soldiers from Ashton Barracks were in the dock at the Borough Police Court on Thursday, charged with being drunk on licensed premises, the Commercial Hotel, Ashton, and refusing to quit when asked to do so on Jan 28th. Prisoner KENAN was further charged with doing £3 damage to a mirror at the same time and place. – Prisoners both pleaded guilty.

Jos. CLEMENTS, waiter at the Commercial Hotel, Old-street, stated that prisoner KENAN went to the bar and asked to be served, and the barmaid refused to serve him. He then went into the bar parlour and asked for a glass of beer and witness told him he could not be served. Prisoner said “If I cannot be served there’ll be a hot house here.” He thereupon pulled off his gloves and threw them on the floor along with his stick and unbuttoned his jacket. He picked up a water bottle from the table and threw it at a mirror and broke the glass.

Adam NELSON, officer’s servant at Ashton Barracks, deposed to seeing the disturbance, and to seeing KENAN pick up the bottle and throw it at the mirror. Both prisoners had had too much drink to be served.

A private from the barracks deposed to being on police duty when he saw MORGAN running down Old-street with his jacket unbuttoned, and no belt on. He arrested him, whereupon he became very violent, and witness had to call in the assistance of the police.

Constable HILTON deposed to seeing the two prisoners drunk at the Commercial Hotel. Both had their jackets off, wanting a fight. One of them rushed at witness, who got hold of him.

The two prisoners were very indifferent in the dock, which caused the Chairman (Councillor W KELSALL) to remark that they had been making fools of themselves in court. The magistrates fined MORGAN 5s 6d, and costs, or 14 days’ imprisonment, and KENAN 5s 6d, and costs, or 14 days’ imprisonment, for being drunk and refusing to quit, and the cost of the mirror and court costs, or to go to gaol for another 14 days. – Both prisoners said they would prefer to go to gaol, and they were accordingly removed below.

Annual Party

There was a large gathering at the Gardeners’ Arms, Taunton-road, Ashton, on Saturday afternoon, the headquarters of the Ashton and District Fanciers’ Society, the occasion being the annual party and distribution of challenge cups and special prizes won at the recent annual show which is held in connection with the society.

About 100 members and their wives and friends sat down to tea, and this number was considerably augmented afterwards, the spacious showroom at the rear of the house being utilised to its fullest extent. After tea dancing, which entered largely into the evening’s enjoyment, was interspersed with songs, solos on the concertina, &c, by members and friends.

The president of the society, Mr Robert FISH, occupied the chair, and he was supported on the platform by Mr P SMITH, the old energetic century. On a table in front of them were placed the six handsome silver cups, together with the gold and silver medals that went along with them, which were to be presented to the successful exhibitors. Mr N DITCHFIELD presided at the piano, and the proceedings began with a dance.

Mr FISH said as they were all aware that the annual show of the society took place recently, and notwithstanding that it was the best show the society had held insofar as quality, quantity, and attendance were concerned, there had been a loss on the show, this having been incurred through extra expenses in its management. Notwithstanding this, the society was at the present moment in a most prosperous position, and he had it from his friend Mr FISH that they had now 70 members absolutely clear on the books, and this in itself was something to be proud of. – (Hear, hear.)

Despite the keen competition that took place at the show, it was gratifying both to himself and the members to know that 49 of their members had gained prizes and specials which, when summed up, amounted to the respectable total of over £30. – (Hear, hear.) As to the financial position of the society, there was nothing but encouragement, for when he told them at the present moment the treasurer had in hand the nice nest egg of over £15, they would agree with him that they were making rapid progress.

Besides having this nice little nucleus they stood unique as a society so far as regarded property, for they had silver cups, pens, staging, &c, of the value of over £50, estimated at the very least, and it would be found a rather difficult task to discover a society in Lancashire to eclipse them. – (Hear, hear.) These were the most salient features in the society’s position, and he would not dwell further thereon, as he knew they were bent on enjoyment. – (Applause.)

The Chairman then made the presentations. The first recipient was Mr R ORMEROD, who won two cups, one for poultry and one for pigeons. In acknowledging them, Mr ORMEROD, amid cheers, intimated that next year he would have pleasure in giving a cup for the best pigeon shown that had never won a cup either in their show or any other show. The other recipients of cups were Mr A FISH (poultry), Mr READ (poultry), Messrs GIBSON and McDONALD (rabbits), and Mr W NIELD (cavies).

At the close of the presentations, Mr W CATLOW moved a vote of thanks to the retiring officials for the exertions they had put forth to make the recent show the great success it was. Mr T DEAN seconded this, and the Chairman, having briefly replied, dancing and singing was resumed.

Amongst those who contributed to the evening’s entertainment were Miss M JONES, Mrs H M MELLOR, Mr Edward MARSH, of Bardsley, with Mr Thomas DIXON, of Ashton, as the humorist, who contributed songs, while Mr GARNER, of Worsley, played selections in brilliant style on the English concertina. Hearty thanks were tendered to the host and hostess, and the company shortly afterwards separated.

On Friday night last a public meeting was held at Chapel-en-le-Frith “To consider what steps should be taken respecting the poor quality and impurity of the gas supplied to the district.” The gasworks are private property, and 5s 6d per 1,000 feet is paid for the illuminant.

Mr T HOWARTH, chairman of the lighting inspectors, presided, and said for years they had been writing to the proprietor of the gasworks, but could get no reply. The quality of the gas was unbearable, and the inspectors wanted power to levy a rate, so as to see what the law could do for them.

Mr J HEATHCOTT suggested that the Board of Trade be placed in possession of the facts, and informed that the public were being both poisoned and punished. – The Rev J C STREDDER said that in the Parish Church there was a poor light, a bad smell, and a poisonous atmosphere. Mr CHALLONER contended that for the size of the place, the gas compared favourably with other places.

Major LINGARD moved that the Board of Trade be written to and placed in possession of the facts, and asked for their advice.

Return of bathers for week ending January 24th, 1903:
Men’s Swimming Bath, 2nd Class ………………………………. 84
Men’s Swimming Bath, 2nd Class, extra towel …………. 11
Women’s Swimming Bath, 2nd Class ………………………...   1
Boy’s Swimming Bath ………………………………………………….  23
Girl’s Swimming Bath …………………………………………………..    4
Men’s Private Bath, 1st Class …………………………………….  16
Men’s Private Bath, 2nd Class ……………………………………. 65
Women’s Private Bath, 2nd Class ………………………………. 18
Total ……………………………………………………………………………  211
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