9 April 1904

”Reasonable Disobedience”

At the Ashton County Court, on Thursday, before his Honour Judge Reginald BROWN, K.C., two claims were heard against the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. Charles HARRISON and J E WATSON, porters, claimed £3 11s 3d and £4 1s respectively for work done and wages in lieu of a month’s notice. Mr ORWIN (solicitor, Manchester) was for the plaintiffs and Mr ACTON (barrister) appeared for the railway company.

Mr ORWIN said that in February 24th, 1904, at 8.40 in the morning, the plaintiffs went into the cabin provided for the purpose to have their breakfast. It was an unwritten rule which governed the goods yard that the shunters and porters should have half an hour for their breakfast between eight and nine o’clock in the morning. They had actually started eating their breakfast when an order came to go and lead a dray with goods. They refused to do so until they had had breakfast, considering that having started at the allotted time they were free from orders until the time had expired.

The yard inspector reported them to the agent who demanded an explanation, and was told that as they had started their breakfast they did not feel they should sacrifice the only chance they had of having breakfast for something which might easily wait for a few moments. The result was that they were dismissed without notice. It was an unreasonable order, which they were not bound to obey.

Charles HARRISON, Bright Terrace, Oxford-street, Ashton; and John E WATSON, Midlothian-street, Clayton, formerly permanent porters in the employ of the L and Y Company, bore out the solicitor’s statement, and said the custom was to finish the job on which they were engaged before going to breakfast, and not be called upon to lead a lurry at breakfast time, although odd jobs occupying about a minute had sometimes been requested, but never demanded.

For the defence, Mr ACTON called Samuel KEMP, carter, who deposed to going to the station for a lurry load of cotton, and the two plaintiffs refusing to leave their breakfast to load him. — Matthew ENTWISTLE (goods inspector) deposed to reporting the plaintiffs, and Joshua TAYLOR (goods agent) spoke to dismissing them. It was understood that the men should go to breakfast about 8.30 to 9am, if circumstances permitted. They were allowed half an hour. Mr ACTON contended these were acts of disobedience for which the men were liable to dismissal.

His Honour said there must be disobedience of a reasonable order to justify the dismissal of the men. It was not for a workman to judge between himself and employer as to whether an order was reasonable or not. On the evidence he came to the conclusion that the order was given before 8.30, the usual breakfast time, and they ought to have obeyed. The only amounts to which they were entitled were: HARRISON, £1 15s 3d wages; and WATSON £2 1s 2d for which he gave judgment; no costs.

On Monday afternoon a somewhat alarming accident occurred at Cockbrook, through a wagonette drawn by two horses belonging to Mr John ANDREW, of the Globe Hotel, taking fright. It appears that they were standing at the farm of Mr Frank GEE, at the top of Arundel-street, when during the absence of the driver, George BRASSINGTON, the horses took fright and dashed down Arundel-street, across Stalybridge-road into the houses across the way.

One of the horses fell and was dragged along the ground, but the other mounted the steps of some cottages and forced in the doorway, and, as may be imagined, creating something like a panic amongst the inhabitants. Both horses were cut rather severely about the head, but were otherwise unhurt. They were attended by a veterinary surgeon.

The death took place at his home, Rose Cottage, Hurst, in the early hours of Good Friday, of Mr Samuel WHITWORTH, aged 83 years, after an illness which commenced in November last. Up to that time he enjoyed good health, in spite of the fact that he had long since passed the allotted span. Dr HILTON attended him for his complaint, and it is characteristic of the vitality of the old gentleman that he was only confined to bed for two days, even although the nature of his malady was such that little or no hopes were entertained of his recovery.

By his demise Hurst has lost one of its oldest and most respected inhabitants whose familiar figure people that learned to look up to and respect. In his daily walks he was often seen at the hostelry of his granddaughter, Mrs Robert WINTERBOTTOM, Pitt and Nelson, Ashton, of which he was the licensee for about 20 years, until succeeded by Mr WINTERBOTTOM a few years ago.

It was always a pleasure to hear his fund of anecdotes of his early life as a collier in Hurst and interesting experiences in connection therewith, and as a farmer, and when in after life he settled down as a grocer at premises in Hillgate-street he displayed that business tact and judgment which won for him success.

On the death of his son John, who had been the licensee of the Pitt and Nelson for about four years, he took over the license of the hostelry, and held it until his retirement, about three or four years ago, to take up his residence in his native place, Hurst, where he was an extensive property owner. He was temperate in his habits, and a much-respected member of the Methodist New Connexion Church.

His motto was work, and his whole life has been characterised as full of earnest activity. He was formerly a member of the old Hurst Local Board, and his political views were Liberal, though he never took a prominent part in politics. His wife pre-deceased him 14 years ago, and there is one daughter, Mrs HILTON, living.

The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon at St John’s Church, Hurst, and was witnessed by a large number of people. The coffin was conveyed in a hearse with glass sides, and there was a large number of floral tributes. There were six coaches containing the mourners, and the bearers were nephews and tenants of the deceased. The funeral inside the church was conducted by the Rev W A PARRY, who also performed the ceremony at the graveside.

Crowds and Rollicking Fun

Men may come and men may go, but Daisy Nook, like the proverbial stream, goes on for ever. It has long been a favourite rendezvous on a Good Friday, and ever since it was immortalised by Ben BRIERLEY, it has gone on in the old sweet way worthily maintaining the traditions belonging to it. The sequestered nook to which the juvenile heart yearns is oriental to a degree in its unchanging conservatism. “Red Bill’s” whitewashed inn continues to dispense the doughty “nut brown,” and “Owd Ab’s” cottage hard by is still fragrant with the memories of the cup that cheers but not inebriates.

The “Hencote” still preserves its sacred associations with the savoury bon-bon and other comestibles, and “Jack o’Flunters,” “Fause Juddie,” and “Sam o’ Duckies” are names significant of past and present associations. Ben Brierley Park is as favourite a resort as ever.

The only noticeable tendency towards change in Daisy Nook on Good Friday was in the personnel of the visitors. One could not fail to be impressed by the multitude Yiddish babblers, characterised by their loud dress, high cheek-boned and hook noses, who appear to have migrated from the Manchester district to enjoy themselves in the quaint old hamlet. Ever since the closing of the Sale Gardens, some years ago, the number of Jewish visitors to Daisy Nook has shown a gradual increase. They are good customers, and their savoir vivre is regulated by a code peculiarly their own.

The weather on Good Friday was alternatively playing at spring and winter, and with the thousands of feet tramping over them the tortuous roads converging to the Nook were indescribably dirty; notwithstanding which there large crowds of visitors, and a collection of shows and other paraphernalia such had not been seen for years. The police, under Sergeant LEEMING, were on the alert, and were augmented by a special staff of constables from other districts.

Taking a circuitous route from Bardsley Bridge along the canal path for a short distance and past what has been dubbed, for want of another name, the “Wishing Well,” across familiar fields skirting the Limehurst district, one is suddenly brought into full view of Daisy Nook from an elevated position, with breezy uplands hallowed by past associations.

Descending by a muddy and treacherous defile, with many pleasant associations, past the entrance to Ben Brierley Park, one is landed at once into the surging multitude of holiday makers, with the constant blare of penny trumpets, almost splitting one’s ears, reminding one of Mafficking (sic) night, mingled with the raucous cries of itinerant hucksters, the clanging of gongs, and, above all, the eternal strains of “Bill Bailey” from an indomitable organ in connection with the roundabouts.

”All the fun of the fair” could be had for the modest brown. A feature of the fair was the extraordinary number of “greatest attractions of the twentieth century” which everywhere confronted one. One “novelty of the century” was a show the imperious proprietor of which was mounted on an old ginger beer box outside inviting a small crowd to come and see a lamb alive, born with its head on the wrong way.

The “world renowned fire king” is the next show, attracted large crowds, who stood eyes all agog watching him candle and torch lighting with the flames from his mouth. Visions of still more daring feats were held out to those passing inside the show, such as walking with bare feet on hundreds of nails with their sharp points upwards, broken glass, &c.

The next door neighbour was “Karo,” who was said to be alive, a mystery to all doctors; also the human frog. At the extreme end was “Clancy,” the redoubtable light-weight champion boxer, who with the politest characteristic of the fraternity undertook to “stop” three men in one night; and alongside was a circus doing nothing just then, the only apparent sign of life on the stage being a fat, sleepy dog, which would have compared favourably with the pariah dog of the East after a gluttonous meal.

The greased-lightning photographer was in evidence, turning portraits out at the rate of about one a minute. There were scores of other attractions, including old “Aunt Sallies,” love in a tub, cocoa nut stalls, roundabouts, swings, football, horse rides, ice cream, coffee, and other refreshment stalls, and dancing to the music of the Daisy Nook Band.

Whilst the excitement was at its height, a storm of snow and rain came on, and there was a rush for Red Bill’s. But lo! The door was locked, and in a feminine voice, from the half open window through which foaming gallon jugs periodically passed to and fro, squeaked out to the crowd that it was like Sunday, and the house did not open “legally” until 6pm, but that bona fide travellers would be attended to in an improvised wooden structure across the way, the door of which was guarded by a constable.

Daisy Nook being three miles from anywhere, they all claimed to be bona fide travellers, and there was an ugly rush, so that like Paddy’s barrow, it was as broad as narrow.

The Ashton police were apprised of the death under singular circumstances, which took place at the Ashton District Infirmary, on Saturday, of John MOORS, a whitesmith, aged 51 years, residing at 165 Cotton-street, Ashton. He left home about nine o’clock on Saturday morning to go to his work, and was then in his usually good health, and did not complain of anything to his wife.

About 10 o’clock he and another workman named John BROUGHAM went with a handcart to deliver an oven, and when in Lees’ Square MOORS seemed to become dizzy, and his colleague caught him in his arms and prevented him from falling. He was carried on to the footpath, and Dr HUGHS’ assistant sent for, who ordered his removal to the Infirmary, where he was taken in a cab in an unconscious state, and died two hours after admission. The doctor was of the opinion that death was the result of cerebral haemorrhage.

The Gorton police have received information that a man named Edward SHAWCROSS, of 2 Garden Place, Gorton, is missing from home. He is 25 years of age, and has not been seen since the 30th of March. He is a man of slender build, with fair complexion, and has a slight impediment in his speech. He is 5ft 9ins in height. He is dressed in a black jacket and vest, with top hat.

George Cooper was in the dock at the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday charged with stealing some fowls, the property of John STANTON. — Superintendent HEWITT, in applying for a remand, said when arrested he was not sober. — John STANTON, a farmer, of Haughton Green, said the poultry produced were his. On Tuesday night in consequence of something he heard he went to his hencote and there found prisoner. The remand was granted.

At Knutsford Sessions, on Tuesday, before H C YATES, Esq, deputy-chairman, and other justices, John GRUNDY and John William BOWERS were indicted for obtaining money by false pretences from several persons at Dukinfield in January last.

From the evidence of the prosecution, it appeared that the prisoners called at several places in Dukinfield representing themselves to be travellers for the sale of tea, and that they were opening a shop in the Avenue, Ashton-under-Lyne, and were giving presents to the first 20 customers who called at the shop. They also stated that their head office was in Deansgate, Manchester. These statements proved to be false, and prisoners were apprehended and subsequently committed for trial.

Both prisoners pleaded not guilty, but the jury found each of them guilty, and GRUNDY was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and BOWERS to six months’ imprisonment. — BOWERS had been previously convicted of obtaining money by false pretences.

George Henry SMITH, of Dukinfield, labourer, was charged with committing a criminal assault on a girl named Elizabeth HYDE, at Dukinfield, on the 26th February. Evidence was given of the alleged assault, and the jury eventually found prisoner not guilty. The Chairman, in discharging him, said he ought to be ashamed of himself, whatever the result of the case was.

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