16 April 1904

The death took place under singular circumstances, on Thursday morning, of Ann WOOLLEY, aged 58 years, of 83 Stamford-street, Cockbrook. She had been in delicate health for 20 years, and had been under medical treatment for bronchitis and heart disease. About 7.50 on Thursday morning she was found by a neighbour, Mrs TURNER, foaming at the mouth, and died almost immediately.

The death took place, under singular circumstances, on Sunday forenoon, of Sarah Ann HYDE, aged 62 years, residing in Pitts Yard, off Park-street. She had enjoyed good health up to about two years ago, when she began to suffer from bronchitis and indigestion, for which she was attended by Dr HAMILTON, who continued in attendance up to about eleven moths ago.

She was troubled in the night-time with difficulty of breathing. About eight o’clock on Sunday morning she got up to eat a good breakfast, and appeared in good spirits. Throughout the day she went about the house apparently in good health, and ate a good dinner and tea.

In the evening she went on a visit to a daughter, who lives in Ashton, and while returning along Church-street, about 9.30pm, she was suddenly taken ill and had to be assisted home. She was placed in a chair, and made a remark to one of those in attendance that she thought she was going to have an attack of her old complaint. Dr HAMILTON was sent for, but on his arrival shortly afterwards the woman was taken worse and expired.

A rather startling discovery was made about 12.30 noon, on Wednesday, at a house numbered 78 Church-street, Ashton, occupied by a woman named HANSON, widow of the late Mr John HANSON, licensee of the Talbot Inn. A lodger at the house returned home to dinner, and, finding no one about, after waiting some time he proceeded upstairs, and there found Mrs HANSON hanging by the neck from a cord tied to the curtain pole in the back bedroom. He cut her down, and she was then quite dead.

The Publican’s Woes

An interesting case from Lees occupied the attention of the Ashton county magistrates on Wednesday, when Edward and James ROGERS were charged under the Licensing Acts with refusing to quit the Buck Inn, Crossbank, when requested by the licensee. They pleaded not guilty.

The licensee said that on Sunday, the 3rd of this month, the two defendants, along with their father, entered his hostelry about dinner time. He refused to serve them, not because they were drunk, but because they had created disturbances many times before. He did not, however, refuse to serve the father, who shortly after left.

Later in the day they came again, when he once more requested them to quit. They refused, and commenced shouting and singing.

A few weeks ago, James had entered his house and ordered a gill of beer. He drank half, and witness asked him where his money was? Defendant answered, “All right,” and drank the other half, and then said he had no money. – (Laughter.)

He had also treated the company all round, and then offered him a bad coin in payment. – The Chairman: It is own house, and you go out if he tells you. You will be fined 5s for costs each.

Singular Cases

At the Glossop Petty Sessions, on Monday, three youths named Thomas CHARLTON (13), of Woolley-lane, Hollingworth; Charles HALL, 41 Lees-street, Woolley Bridge; and Joseph HADFIELD, of Woolley-lane, were charged with stealing a packet of cigarettes from an automatic machine at Dinting Station, the property of the Automatic Sweetmeat Company.

Mr John ROWLAND (chief inspector), who prosecuted, said the company had three machines at the railway station on the Great Central Railway, and the stationmasters acted as agents in filling the machines up and collecting the money. During the past five or six years a tremendous raid had been made on the machines at Glossop, Hadfield, and Dinting stations, and a special watch had been kept.

On the 4th instant, Mr Thomas JACKSON, stationmaster, Dinting, cleared two machines at 12.30, and found over 130 checks in them. At 4.30 he saw the boys on the platform, and observed CHARLTON put something in one of the machines, and draw out cigarettes. The lads were taken into a waiting room, and the police sent for.

Checks were found in their possession, and the lads made statements incriminating each other. One of the lads made the remark that he did not like the cigarettes, as they made him sick. – (Laughter.)

In reply to the Bench as to how the lads got hold of the checks, it was stated that a large quantity of checks had been buried in a refuse heap at Hadfield by a Co-operative Society. The checks were obsolete, and about 480 of them had been found.

The Bench bound defendants over to come up for judgment when called upon; and they were informed that if they were summoned again within six months they would each receive twelve strokes with a birch rod for the present offence.

The singular circumstances in connection with the death of a 13 month old child, named Earnest HUNT, were reported to the police on Monday evening. Since the death of its mother in October last the child had been under the guardianship of a widow named Elizabeth NEWTON, residing at 83 Town-lane, Dukinfield. And had been in a weakly condition in consequence of whooping cough.

“It was fed on infants’ food, and condensed milk, and although taking plenty of nourishment, the child seemed to decline in strength, and on Monday morning became ill, and was taken to Dr BOOTH’s surgery, and examined by Dr BISHOP. Subsequently the child was taken to the establishment of Mrs BEECH, photographer, 34 Mill-lane, in order to have his photograph taken, and while being placed on a stool he suddenly became convulsed, and died almost immediately.

Children Who Wasted Away – Serious Allegations by the Police

On Tuesday noon, Mr F NEWTON, district coroner, held an inquest at the Town Hall, Stalybridge, touching the death of Tom BETSWORTH, aged three months. The following evidence, which revealed a shocking state of affairs, was adduced:–

Elizabeth Ann BETSWORTH, mother of deceased, said she was the wife of Thomas BETSWORTH, a carter, and they resided at 1 Kershaw’s-court, Chapel-street. Deceased had been delicate from birth, and eight weeks ago Dr HOWE said he was unfit to be vaccinated. He said the child was wasting away, and that she must not give it anything but the breast and lime water. She complied with the instructions.

In the afternoon he commenced to draw up his legs as if in pain, and he kept crying. On going to bed she placed the child on the edge, and she laid next to him. Her daughter, aged ten years, slept on the other side of witness. During the night, the baby was quiet, and at three o’clock she gave him the breast.

The Coroner: You told the police that the child slept in the middle? – Witness: No, sir; I did not. – The Coroner: It seems strange that you should tell two tales.

Continuing, witness said that when the baby had the breast she put him away from her and went to sleep. At four o’clock on waking she found the child dead, and she accordingly woke her husband, who fetched in a policeman.

The Coroner: Were you sober when you went to bed? – Witness: Yes, sir. – Has the child had sufficient food? Yes, sir. – Never been short of food? No, sir. – Is your husband in full work? Yes. – Have you been visited by the inspector for the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Children? Yes. – For why? I do not know, sir.

Detective LEE: Didn’t the officer whom you called in say anything about the dirtiness and filthiness of the place? – Witness: No. – Detective LEE went on to say there was a flock bed in the house, and this had been bought since the inspector visited. The bed was not clean, the flocks were scattered about, and it was not fit for a child to sleep in. For anyone weakly, the conditions were, of course, worse.

The Coroner: Has she been summoned before the magistrates? – Detective LEE: No, sir, but she has been warned. The case was reported to Inspector REDDY, and he visited the house along with a constable and warned the woman.

The Coroner: How many children have you? Witness: Two now. – What ages? Three and ten years; I buried one eight weeks ago two years of age. – Had that one a long illness? Yes, it was under the doctor from being born. – Detective LEE: Yes, it wasted away to nothing! Witness: I have cleaned the place through and bought new clothes. – Detective LEE: Yes, since the child died. Witness: I cleaned it through on Saturday.

Detective LEE: You should be able to look after your house and keep it clean. It is a well-known thing by people who pass the door that the smell is sufficient for them outside without going in! There is no excuse for a woman like you.

The Coroner: Does your husband drink? Witness: No, sir; he gets a pint of beer, but he does not get drunk. – Does he neglect his work? No, sir. – Now why can’t you keep the house tidy? I have done, sir. I washed the floors on Thursday and Saturday, but they are black, and you hardly tell they have been done. – Detective LEE: The bed has been saturated through, dried, and saturated again. You know that perfectly well.

The Coroner: If you have children it is your duty to look after them, and make them as comfortable as your means will allow. You should keep the beds clean. You will never have good health unless the dwelling in which you live is properly ventilated and kept clean, and you will never rear children until you act on a different principle to what you seem to have acted. What rent do you pay? Witness: Half-a-crown a week. – How many rooms have you? Two bedrooms and two rooms downstairs.

You have now got no children who require so much looking after, and perhaps you will have more time to spend upon your home. Was this child troubled with diarrhoea? Yes, sir, it was very relaxed.

The Coroner (to Inspector REDDY): Perhaps you will keep a watch on this house, and see if there is an improvement. There are only two children now, but you can keep it in mind.

Inspector REDDY said he first visited the house on the 9th February, and he was sorry to say the place was in a most shocking state. Constable GRIMSHAW was present, and the husband of the woman said he had often beaten her for not keeping the house clean. Two days after their visit one of the children died.

The Coroner: I am not at all satisfied with the statements she has made with regard to the position of the child in bed, because her first statement was made to the officer immediately afterwards. The chances of the child living under the conditions it was reared were very remote. Now, do you promise to look better after your house? Witness: I will, sir; I have made it respectable now, and I will keep it so.

The Coroner: You do not know what injury you did yourself and the neighbourhood in which you happen to live by being dirty and filthy. It breeds disease and brings on epidemics. You may go.

Addressing the jury, Mr NEWTON observed that from the evidence it would seem that the child had been wasting away, probably from consumption of the bowels, and although the mother had not perhaps done as she might have done, this complaint was most likely the cause of death. Dr HOWE was called in some time ago, and found the child too weak to be vaccinated, but after that no medical man was consulted.

The jury agreed with the coroner’s views and returned a verdict of, “Death from natural causes, probably consumption of the bowels.”

Work Sent to London

During the past few weeks, students of the art department of the Heginbottom Technical School, Ashton, have been putting the finalising touches to the work annually sent up to the Board of Education, London, in connection with the National competition and certificates. About 80 works of art, representing 80 students, have been sent up.

They are of very high quality, the requirements of the department being considerably higher than in past years. There are now some 260 students in connection with the School of Art. The day classes are doing remarkably good work, and are well attended.

The work of the school is divided into productions during the year and personal examinations. The productive capacity this year has been greater than usual, thanks to the able assistance received by the art master, Mr J H CRONSHAW, at the hands of the new assistant art master, Mr C E E CONNER, and a capable staff of teachers.

Perhaps the most important were the works of the assistant art master, Mr CONNER, and Mr S E HEWITT. The first-named was a figure composition for two panels depicting “The Fall.” Mr HEWITT’s work shows a decided improvement on last year’s, and he is advancing steadily towards the goal of his ambitions. His design of a music cabinet, to be depicted in fumed oak, was classic and full of meaning and inspiration.

He also executed several surface designs from woven hangings, and Mr CONNER designed a suitable panel for a medicine chest, representing a sick child; also a wardrobe in oak, with semi-classical figure compositions.

One of the soundest set of works was by Mr W WASHINGTON, whose draughtsmanship is almost unique in connection with the institution, his shading drawing of the Dancing Fawn being very fine.

Three female students, Misses Evelyn CRYER, Vera F ROBINSON, and Molly GARTSIDE submitted still life water colours of the crustaceans, Miss CRYER’s being characterised by truth and accuracy and good draughtsmanship, while Miss ROBINSON displayed skill and bold vigorous treatment.

Miss GARTSIDE’s work was noteworthy for its sweet, fresh colouring and sympathetic treatment. A little ha and fast study is needed, with the training she already possesses to enable a full and adequate expression of the intellectual side of art, coupled with good draughtsmanship.

For good all-round work and careful delineation of facts, Mr R BUTCHER was prominent with a set of original designs, and Mr J E RAWSON, a first year student, displayed the true art temperament in an excellent monochromic study and designs.

Mr Marshall HOLMES executed a very good model bust of a figure of Venus There was a good nice collection of applied art by Messrs W H SMITH and W TAYLOR, and group studies in oils by Misses H HALL, T TRENOR, and E WELSH; also a conventional design for weaving by Mr P BIRTWISTLE; highly-finished designs by Messrs W BOOTH, J G CHEETHAM, R JONES, and C ROBINSON; painting in oils by Misses G WOODCOCK, D CHORLTON, M WRIGHT, and M HUDSON; shading and letter sheets by Messrs W TRAVIS and J A KERSHAW; a good all-round set of works, including designs, shadings, and plant studies by Mr J L ROBINSON.

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