1 October 1904


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An Important Decision

At the City Police Court, on Wednesday, an interesting point was raised in regard to the licensing law. It arose out of a case against Patrick MORLEY for selling drink without a license. It was alleged by the police that the licensee of the George and Dragon, a fully-licensed house in Ashton Old-road, was not in charge there, and that the defendant was performing the actual duties. Mr BELL prosecuted, and Mr William COBBETT appeared on behalf of the defendant.

The evidence was to the effect that the police visited the house, and found the defendant in sole charge. MORLEY said that the licensee, Sarah BROUGHTON, had not been there for months. He had not seen her since taking over the management of the house six weeks before. He further stated that Mrs BROUGHTON was employed as housekeeper to the barmen in the house, for which she received 3s. a week.

Superintendent CORDEN told the court that he had sent for the licensee on a previous occasion to obtain an explanation, but she did not come. After another visit to the house she called to see him, and said she knew nothing whatever about the management of the house, and had not been living at the place for some months.

Mr CORBETT submitted that the defendant had the authority of the licensee for selling in the house.

Mr BELL contended that the bona-fide licensee, Mrs BROUGHTON, had no power whatever in the house, and could not give authority to someone else to conduct the business, as she was herself merely a servant with a weekly wage.

The Stipendiary decided there ought to be a conviction, on the ground that there was no authority given on the part of the licensee for the defendant to conduct the business. A fine of 40s. and costs was imposed.

Sights and Sounds on Manchester-road

At the Ashton Borough Police Court on Monday forenoon three young boys named Robert HALL, Ambrose ADDISON, and Richard MASSEY were charged with using obscene language in Stamford Place on the 20th of September. They all pleaded not guilty.

A youth named Henry KING gave evidence to the effect that the three youngsters were using bad language to him as he passed. They always did. One of the defendants (who all appeared to treat the matter as a huge joke): He said he could hear me fifty miles away. That's not true. — (Laughter.)

Another: Did you see me swear? — Witness: No, but I heard you. — The Chief Constable: Is it true that they often use bad language? — Witness: Yes sir. — ADDISON: He said he'd shoot me with a revolver once. He's known as the Revolver King. — (Laughter.) He's often thrashed us too. — The Chief Constable: Is that true? — KING: No sir. I've never been able to catch them. — Ettie POTTS gave similar evidence.

HALL's version of the affair was that as they were going down Manchester-road they saw KING, and a little boy named DRINKWATER shouted, but they never did at all. — The Chairman said the magistrates were convinced that they used bad language, and they would be fined 5s. 6d. for costs each, or 7 days in prison.

An unusual announcement has just been made in connection with an Ashton officer, the Army Council notifying that the services of Lieutenant F.C. CASE are dispensed with. Mr CASE was the senior subaltern in the 5th Battalion the Manchester Regiment. He has served since 1899, and has held full rank since May, 1900. During the Boer War he served with his battalion when it was embodied at Aldershot and in South Africa.

It is with regret that we report the death of Mr James THORNLEY, of Welbeck-street, Ashton, who died rather suddenly after a short illness, aged 58 years. Deceased had been employed as mechanic to the firm of J.H. Gartside and Co., Ltd., at Chapel Hill Mill, Dukinfield, and at Bridge Eye Mill for over thirty years.

Mr THORNLEY was laid to rest at Christ Church Burial Ground on Saturday afternoon, and as showing the respect in which he was held the funeral was attended by upwards of 32 relatives and 20 friends and employees of Chapel Hill Mill. The funeral cortege was headed by Mr John GRACE, Mr James SCHOFIELD (mill manager), Mr Wm. HURST, Mr DERWENT, Mr James BOYLAN, and Mr W.I. HARMAN.

The funeral service in the church and at the graveside was impressively conducted by the Rev T.W. PUGHE-MORGAN, vicar of St Peter' s. Wreaths were numerous, and included a harp, cross, and anchor from the workpeople of Chapel Hill Mill; anchor and wreath, Mr and Mrs George THORNLEY and Miss THORNLEY; anchor, Mrs WHITTAKER; wreaths, Mr and Mrs T. THORNLEY (son) and Miss Turner; wreaths, Mr John HAWORTH and family; wreath, Mr and Mrs Joshua HALL.

Each person attending the funeral was supplied with a fine spray of rosemary, sent by Mr James THORNLEY, who has grown the same at Littlemoss. The mourners and friends attended at St Peter' s Church on Sunday morning, when suitable references to the deceased were made by the vicar.

Robert FLEMING stood in the dock at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, charged with stealing a horse, the property of Silas TAYLOR, at Hurst. — Superintendent HEWITT, in applying for a remand, explained that Mr TAYLOR had a horse in a field. It disappeared, and was next seen in the possession of a man at Oldham, to whom FLEMING and another man had sold it.

Silas TAYLOR said the horse had been out since July. It disappeared, and he next saw it in the possession of the police. He had authorised no one to take it. — The Magistrates' Clerk (to prisoner): Have you any reason why you should not be remanded? — Prisoner: No; I know nothing about it. Can' t I have bail? I' ve four children to keep.

After consideration a short time the Magistrates' Clerk decided to allow bail in sureties of £10, and £20 himself.

On Sunday morning, about nine o' clock, suddenly over the Oldham Edge appeared a black cloud. Gradually this cloud came over the centre of the town, and instead of a downpour of rain people were surprised to find that millions and millions of gnats made up the component parts of the cloud. For some time afterwards the stragglers from this curious army disturbed the peace of mind of people in certain districts.

As the cloud advanced many people came out of their houses to investigate the matter, but gradually the sky brightened in the higher parts of the town, and the little visitors passed away as rapidly as they had arrived towards the lower parts of the town, where they were finally seen disappearing Park Bridge way.

At Failsworth the streets were literally alive with myriads of minute insects which covered pedestrians from head to foot, and in many cases caused people to beat a retreat from their undesirable acquaintance. As the afternoon wore on the pests gradually cleared away.

For several weeks before this, the Reporter gave extensive coverage to a dispute at the Curzon Mill, Ashton, which I have not included in previous Yesterdays because there was so much of it. The next item speculates on how the dispute was resolved, while the item after that concerns court cases against those ordinary people who objected to the use of non-union labour. — Ed.

Lifting the Veil

The mystery of Fort Curzon has been the one topic of conversation during the week, and the number of theories as to the terms of settlement have been about as plentiful as leaves in autumn. None are authentic, however, and the public are simply pining for information.

In official quarters mum' s the word and, although nicely cornered, all that could be drawn from one director was I' m looking at that painter, at the same time riveting his eyes on some decorator going on to a building, and then suddenly doing a skedaddle and vanishing out of sight. Another turned and fled up a stairway the moment he saw the interview fiend and sought sanctuary in the quiet solitudes of a gentleman' s club.

The operatives' officials shut up shop, locked their office doors, and went and played truant for a whole day, and then added insult to injury by telling the gentlemen of the press that they had done it on purpose. Wild horses would not drag any but meagre information from them, and all round there seemed to be a conspiracy of silence.

If anyone asks who is responsible for the settlement, and who is going to take credit for it, the probability is they will be met with the polite retort that it must be the ubiquitous Bill Bailey.

The public, however, will not be denied. People will guess and calculate and air their views. All sorts of rumours have been current as to the alleged friction between the spinners and cardroom operatives on the one hand and the directors of the mill and the Employers' Federation on the other. The Federation, as is well known, have been called upon to pay the piper while the directors called the tune, and this is said to have been an element in the reactionary tendency which led to a settlement.

There is the question of payment for the use of the omnibuses conveying the hands to and from the mill which must have been very expensive considering that at least two drivers and six horses have had to be retained along with the buses the whole of the time. The question as to how far the powers that be can go in expenditure of this character is a matter requiring careful consideration, and if the directors and shareholders of the mill were called upon to bear the burden it is only natural to assume that they would want to bring about a speedy termination of the stirring events of the past few weeks.

Mills worked on the limited liability principle could not be expected to continue unsupported for any length of time such a struggle as that of the past few weeks, and the strain has had its effects even on a fine, well-equipped mill like the Curzon for the balance sheet to be submitted at the half-yearly general meeting of the shareholders to be held on Tuesday, October 11th, contains the following announcement:

To the Shareholders. Ladies and Gentlemen. — Herewith we hand you report for the half-year ending September 24th, 1904, and regret to state that owing to the unfortunate strike and the serious depression in the Egyptian cotton trade, we deem it inadvisable to pay a dividend.

On the other hand, it is stated that all has not been smooth sailing in regard to the relations between the minders and cardroom hands. The minders, it is generally admitted, have made great sacrifices on behalf of their co-workers, and those with the strongest views are said to have taken the matter into their own hands with a view to bringing about a settlement.

Their desire for a settlement was so strong that several are alleged to have shown the white feather by assuming an attitude contrary to the spirit of the union. This was denied by their officials who stated that there had been no friction whatever.

The position was best summed up in a remark by the Mayor (Alderman SHAW), whose efforts paved the way for a settlement. Both sides have given way a little, but neither cares to admit it.

Two more cases arising out of minor disturbances in various portions of the borough were heard at the Ashton Borough Court on Monday.

Elizabeth PRITCHARD was charged with committing a breach of the peace in Curzon-road on the 19th of September. She pleaded not guilty. From the evidence of Sergeant CORBETT it appeared that about 4.45 on the date in question he was on duty in Curzon-road. Just as the buses conveying the non-unionists appeared he saw PRITCHARD shouting at the top of her voice.

He asked for her name and address, and was asked What for? He replied For shouting. She said, Take that woman' s name and address; she has been shouting as well as me. Of course, he could not prove it, and therefore did nothing. Another officer, who was in company with Sergeant CORBETT, corroborated his statement.

Defendant' s version was that she came out of her house to go an errand on Whiteacre-road. She went down Russell-street and over the spare ground into the road just as the buses came. Of course, she had to wait until they passed, and the crowd broke out, and the people rushed up. Did the magistrates think that one person could be heard out of all that length?

She was not shouting; she would take her oath on it, although she had a friend with her who was rather deaf, and she might have spoken rather loudly, but she did not shout. The witness referred to gave evidence corroborating Mrs PRITCHARD, and said she never spoke a word.

The Chief Constable: What time was it, missis? Witness: About a quarter to five. — Was there a great crowd/ Yes. — Were you stood by her side? Yes. — You are very deaf? Well, rather. — And she might have shouted without you hearing. She never spoke a word.

The Chairman (Nr Henry HALL) said the Bench were not quite satisfied about the case. There was a doubt, and the defendant would be given the benefit of it. She would be dismissed

Annie POTTER was charged with committing a breach of the peace in Boodle-street on the 21st of September. She pleaded guilty to just giving one shout when she amusing the baby after the train had gone.

Sergeant CORBETT said that about 4.25 he was in company with a sergeant of the Hyde borough force. As soon as the train started the woman shouted — Defendant: It was the baby who said shout, mamma. — (Laughter.) — The Hyde sergeant corroborated, and said Mrs POTTER had the baby in her arms. — Defendant: It was by my side.

She was bound over to be of good behaviour for three months and pay the costs. Two shillings expenses were given to the officer from Hyde on the Chief Constable' s application.

John DAVIES, a collier, of 19, Crescent-road, Dukinfield, pleaded guilty of being drunk and disorderly in Town-lane, Dukinfield, on September 24th. A constable stated that several of the defendant' s friends were trying to get him home, but he commenced fighting.

Superintendent CROGHAN described the prisoner as a habitual drunkard and he applied for him to be remanded in custody until the following Thursday with a view to him being put on the black list. There were 15 convictions recorded against him for drunkenness, three within the last 13 months, the last being on February 18th last.

Councillor SHERRY pointed out that it was several months since the prisoner was up before. He was fined 5s. and costs, and warned that it he came again he would go on the black list. — Prisoner: I shan' t come here again.

First artist: I received a magnificent tribute to my skill the other day at the exhibition. Second artist: Indeed, what was it? First artist: You know the picture, ‘A storm at sea?' Well, a man and his wife were viewing it, and I overheard the fellow say: ‘Come away, my dear; that picture makes me sick.

The schoolmaster in a certain village put to his pupils the following problem: Suppose in a family there are five children, and mother has only four potatoes to give them, and she wants to give to every child an equal share, what is she going to do?

Silence reigned for awhile in the room. Everybody calculated very hard. At last a little boy stood up and gave, to the great surprise of the schoolmaster, the unexpected answer, Mash the potatoes, sir.

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