13 August 1904

The Dangers of Throwing Lighted Matches About

The danger accompanying the careless throwing about of lighted matches was again demonstrated on Sunday afternoon. Whilst passing the grocer’s shop of Messrs ROGERSON and DEWSNAP, 69 Margaret-street, Ashton, about 3.25 on Sunday afternoon, Francis BLACKSHAW noticed smoke issuing in thick volumes from underneath the doorway. He gave the alarm, and communicated with the West-end police station, where telephonic communication was established with the Town Hall.

The alarm bells were rung, and the float and a contingent of firemen quickly dispatched. On the arrival of the brigade it was found that a quantity of paper had somehow become ignited under the doorway, and burnt itself out. It is supposed that some children playing about the shop had pushed the paper under the doorway, and that someone passing had thoughtlessly thrown down a lighted match, setting fire to the paper.

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Walter ACKROYD was charged with assaulting Martha WALKER on the 30th of July. He pleaded guilty.

Complainant said that on the date in question she was talking to ACKROYD’s wife, who remarked that the neighbours had been saying something about her. She asked what it was, but Mrs ACKROYD wouldn’t answer. At this point ACKROYD came out of the house shouting that if they wanted any bother he could settle it with his ——— fists and clogs. He then set at her, and they commenced struggling on the floor.

In a short time he went in the house, and soon after came out having changed his shoes for pit clogs, and distinctly kicked her in the ribs, and when her sister interfered he hit her in the mouth also. — Mary BARNBROOK corroborated, and said she was talking to a neighbour when she swathe two struggling on the floor. She went to separate them, and ACKROYD went in but shortly afterwards returned with some clogs, and kicked the complainant with them.

Defendant’s version of the affair was that he was asleep on the sofa when he heard the complainant quarrelling with his wife. He went out and told them he wanted no bother, and went in again. Looking out a little later he saw the complainant strike his wife, who retaliated by throwing the bucket of water on her. He went out in his stockinged feet, but as the ground was scattered with stones, he had to return to put his clogs on, and went outside again.

The magistrates dismissed the case.

At The Ashton Borough Police Court, on Monday, Charlotte PRESCOTT summoned her husband, George PRESCOTT, for persistent cruelty. Mr GARFORTH, who appeared on PRESCOTT’s behalf, pleaded not guilty.

Charlotte PRESCOTT, the complainant, gave evidence, and said they had been married 36 years, and had three children, the youngest of whom was eleven. On Tuesday night she returned from Manchester, where she had been selling garden produce. Whenever she failed to bring sufficient money her husband beat her, and on Tuesday, the date in question, he came home beastly drunk, and kicked her and turned her out of the house with her children, since which they had been out and had nothing to eat.

He had often assaulted her — every time he got drunk — and she was afraid to live with him. He had threatened to make an end of her time and again. — Cross-examined by Mr GARFORTH, complainant admitted that her husband had brought her daughters bicycles and musical instruments, and lived in a larger house on purpose to indulge those hobbies.

Gertrude PRESCOTT, daughter of the complainant, deposed to seeing her father turn her mother out of the house on Tuesday night when he was drunk. — Cross-examined by Mr GARFORTH, witness confessed that her father was generally an excellent parent, and she had nothing to complain about.

Edith PRESCOTT, another younger daughter, and Amy BINNS, a neighbour, corroborated the last witness, whilst another neighbour characterised the language used — which she heard through the wall — as “something disgraceful.”

Mr GARFORTH submitted that the man was of the greatest respectability, and was a well-known tradesman of the town, and had always treated his family with the greatest kindness. As he understood it, complainant had been forbidden by the doctor to take any drink, because some time ago she fell off the cart and severely injured herself, as a result of which the doctor had said she would get hysterical if she took drink.

He asked the magistrates as a matter of law to decide that there was no persistent cruelty, and going further would say that if they decided to grant a separation order they would break up a hitherto happy home and fairly prosperous business. The husband was quite willing to take her back.

George PRESCOTT, the defendant, was sworn, and gave evidence. Their home was very happy, he said, until about two years ago when his wife commenced taking drink. He would say on oath that he had never kicked or struck her. On the Tuesday in question he and his daughters had been working at the garden, came home, and found complainant away.

They had to wait for tea until seven o’clock. When she came up she commenced swearing at him, and he did threaten to strike her if she didn’t stop. She then went out of her own accord. On Wednesday she returned from her mother’s, and without any provocation commenced using bad language again.

Ann SMETHURST, a widow and daughter of the couple, said she had been a frequent visitor to her parents’ house, and from what she had observed up to a short time ago they were very happy. It was the drink which had caused the misery.

The Chairman said the Bench were unanimous in their opinion that a separation order ought to be granted: 12s. and custody of the children would be allowed.

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, Maria NEWTON summoned Eliza MORRIS, and Eliza MORRIS summoned Sarah Ann BROADBENT for assault on the 27th July. — Both pleaded not guilty.

Mrs NEWTON explained that on the date in question she was hanging her clothes in the yard, when Mrs MORRIS’s husband came up to her, and alleged that she kept a disorderly house, and called her names. She made no answer at the time, but later on she went to his house and asked Mrs MORRIS why her husband had said such a thing, and challenged her to prove it. Mrs MORRIS immediately began calling her filthy names, and attacked her, her husband standing by and urging her on.

Later, when the MORRISes received the summonses, they went into the yard and cut down some clothes she had been washing which were hanging on the line. They fell to the floor and, and got spoiled, having to be washed again. — Defendant denied having struck her, saying she only pushed her, and alleged with great vehemence that Mrs NEWTON’s name was not Maria, but Isabella.

The second charge now arose for consideration, and from the evidence it appeared that Mrs BROADBENT was stood at her door with a baby in her arms, when, seeing Mrs MORRIS strike Mrs NEWTON, she remonstrated with her, and received as a reward a smack in the face herself. — Louisa BROADBENT corroborated.

Mrs MORRIS’s version of the fracas was that her husband never mentioned any house when he spoke to Mrs NEWTON, but, proceeding, made serious allegations against Mrs NEWTON. The magistrates, however, stopped her, and dismissed the case.

Over the Garden Wall

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Jane MURDEN summoned Timothy MOORHOUSE for assaulting her at Woodhouses. Mr T.F. HEWITT, solicitor, who appeared on his behalf, pleaded not guilty.

Complainant said that she lived at 53 Woodhouses. MOORHOUSE was her next-door neighbour, and was always calling her names. The assault was that he put up his hands and invited her to “come on.” At the time he was standing at the other side of the fence.

The Magistrates Clerk: Was he near enough to strike you? Well, no; he was about three yards off. — Mr HEWITT remarked that the alleged assault had arisen out of a neighbour’s dispute. The complainant’s children had pulled down the fence, but alleged that his client had done so. The magistrates stopped the evidence, and dismissed the case.

At the Police Court, on Thursday, John HYDE and Albert BULLOCK, brewer’s draymen, were charged with leaving a wagon in Queen-street so as to cause an obstruction. They pleaded guilty of leaving their horses in the execution of their duty. They were delivering beer.

Detective KENNY stated that at seven p.m. on the 3rd he was in King-street, when his attention was drawn by Superintendent CROGHAN to an obstruction in Queen-street by two horses attached to two brewer’s drays. One horse had no nose-bag on, and the other was across the street. At that time there was a lurry with a horse attached to it coming along King-street, and the driver wanted to go into King-street. He could not do so, and started cursing, and a man removed the obstruction.

Witness went into the Seven Stars, and found one of the defendants in the cellar, and the other coming from the bar. — Defendant HYDE: When you came in, wasn’t I coming from the bar with a book in my hand? Yes. — Didn’t I tell you I had just been to have the book signed by the landlord? Yes. — You asked me in one man could not look after the horses and the other deliver the stuff? Yes. And I told you distinctly one could not put the barrels in the cellar.

There was no further evidence, and HYDE then said he had been accustomed to deliver beer there for the last seven years, and that was the first time he had been spoken to by the police. It was a side street, and he had always drawn the horses and lurries up there because the cellar door was there. They delivered eight 36s, one 18, and twelve dozen bottles of beer, and he could not see where they were losing any time.

The Deputy Clerk: It is not a question of time, but of obstruction. — Alderman WOOD: You allowed your horse to stray across the street. — HYDE said that was an accident. The horses would do that once in a time, but it was something unusual for this mare to shift at all. They ought to have time allowed to deliver the stuff, and he thought the summons was a little bit off.

Alderman WOOD told defendants that obstruction had been proved, and they would each be fined 2s. 6d. for costs. — HYDE: I should like to know if we are to be allowed to deliver beer when we are working? — Alderman WOOD: I cannot answer that question. It is for your employers to settle that.

Fit and Well for the Channel Swim

Sir, — I would like my many friends in Stalybridge to know that I am feeling wonderfully fit and well. I have done a couple of good long swims in the Channel since my arrival here, and I feel confident that with ordinary good luck I shall get across to France. I never was better in my life, and if only the water is not too cold there is little doubt that my Stalybridge friends will be able to congratulate me on Sunday week.
Yours truly, Jack HAGGERTY
Shakespeare Hotel, Dover, Aug 10th, 1904

On Saturday morning, at the Stalybridge Town Hall, an inquest was held on the body of Albert POOLE, and aged man, who had been found dead on the floor of his house in Birch Yard, off Caroline-street, on Friday morning. Mr Harry BAYLEY was foreman of the jury.

Julia Ann POOLE, widow of deceased, gave evidence of identification. She resided at 16 Elizabeth-street, off Turner-lane, Ashton, and deceased, who was her husband was 65 years of age, and was by trade a shearer at the Globe Forge. Latterly he had been hawking pies and peas.

They had lived separately for twelve years, and during the past four years had lived alone at the Birch Yard, Stalybridge. On Wednesday last he came to her, and said he intended to go before the Board of Guardians the next day to procure a Workhouse order. He did not make any complaint, though he looked poorly. She gave him 2s. on Tuesday when he visited her.

Edwin McCABE, of 82 Brierley-street, Stalybridge, a labourer, deposed that on Friday he was working at the Friend and Pitcher Inn, Caroline-street, and not seeing POOLE about, as was his wont, his suspicions were aroused, and about 11 a.m. witness, upon going to deceased’s house, noticed the door key on the outside.

The door was unlocked, and upon opening it witness found the old man laid behind the door dead. There was a bruise on the left side of the forehead. Everything was quite in order in the house. Later, the body was removed to the mortuary at the Town Hall. Deceased had not made any complaint to witness, but had been feeble for some time.

The Coroner: Have you any reason to suspect foul play? Detective LEE: None whatever, sir. — The Coroner: The bruise might have been caused by the fall? Detective LEE: Yes, a doctor has seen him, and he thinks so. — The Coroner: Was he a steady man? Detective LEE: Well, he took drink at times; his calling almost compelled him, as he went from public-house to public-house hawking.

The Coroner suggested to the jury that death might have been caused by apoplexy. The jury concurred, and a verdict of death from natural causes was returned.

Theatre Bar Open After Eleven P.M. — Heavy Penalty

At the Stalybridge Police Court, on Monday, before Alderman RIDYARD (in the chair), Dr McCARTHY, and Councillor BOOTH, the lessee of the Grand Theatre, Corporation-street, Mr Arthur CARLTON, was summoned on three separate informations, viz. (1) selling intoxicating liquor to William L. WYKES and others during prohibited hours, to wit 11.50 p.m. on the 20th ult.; (2) opening his licensed premises for the sale of intoxicating liquor, and (3) keeping open his licensed premises for the sale of intoxicating liquor

Mr Fred THOMPSON, solicitor (Messrs BUCKLEY, MILLER, and THOMPSON) defended and pleaded guilty. Captain BATES said that under the circumstances he would only proceed on the first charge.

Sergeant GEE said that at 11.50 on Wednesday night, the 20th ult., in consequence of seeing lights and hearing voices in the Grand Theatre bar, he entered along with Inspector BEAUMONT and Constable HAMER. In the circle bar were a number of people — men and women — and behind the bar were two barmaids.

On the counter and in front of the men and women were glasses containing beer, stout, and spirits. Mr ROOKE, the manager, was present, and witness asked him who the people were. He replied, “Three of them are my guests, and the remainder are members of the ‘Chinese Idyll’ company.”

Asked what account he chose to give for having the people on the premises during prohibited hours, Mr ROOKE said, “I thought I could keep them in after eleven o’clock, and they have not paid for any drink.” Constable HAMER remarked, “Have you paid for the drink?” and Mr ROOKE answered. “Oh no, I haven’t; it will be booked against them, and they will pay at the week-end.” Witness then took the names of the people present, and told Mr ROOKE he would be reported.

Mr THOMPSON addressed the Bench in mitigation of the penalty. He said this was a matter entirely outside Mr CARLTON’s personal knowledge, although he was responsible for the act of his manager. On this particular night the theatrical company had been playing rather late, and after the performance they adjourned to the bar for a drink.

This kind of thing was contrary to Mr CARLTON’s instructions, and the manager was at fault in allowing people to stay there after hours. Mr CARLTON was very sorry it had occurred, and he had sent Mr MITCHELL down to represent him. He (Mr THOMPSON) might also say on behalf of the owners of the theatre that it was contrary to their instructions.

The evidence of the police was admitted, and Mr THOMPSON asked the Bench, under the circumstances, to deal leniently. Mr ROOKE was under a very strong agreement, and the penalty would, he believed, be enforced upon him. The owners were very sorry this had occurred, as since Mr CARLTON took over the theatre he had improved the tone of the place, and there had not been any trouble as in days gone by.

The magistrates consulted for a few moments, and the Chairman the said: We can only look upon this as a very serious offence. We have decided to impose a penalty of £5 and costs.

A Slight Shock in Ashton

On Monday night (English time) within an hour of each other, earthquakes shocks were experienced in regions as far apart as New Zealand and Lisbon. The earthquake was severe in New Zealand, but in Lisbon the shock, which was felt about fifty minutes later than the New Zealand disturbance, was only slight, and did no damage.

A Reuter’s message from Wellington describes the earthquake as the heaviest for many years. Several public buildings were seriously damaged, and many private firms and householders sustained heavy losses. No loss of life, however, is reported. The time was 10 on Tuesday morning (New Zealand time), and the shock was felt in both islands.

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