23 July 1904

Sequel in the County Court

At the Ashton County Court, on Thursday, before his Honour Judge Reginald BROWN, K.C., the Oldham, Ashton and Hyde Electrical Tramway Company sued Daniel HALLWORTH, of Moss Side, Audenshaw, for £3 11s. 6d. damages sustained to a tramcar belonging to the company. Defendant also put in a counter-claim for £3 3s. 11d. damage to his horse and cart, on behalf of the company, and Mr T. E. HEWITT, of Ashton, defended.

Mr CHAMBERS, in opening the case, said the accident occurred on the 12th April, at half-past eleven in the morning, at the junction of Margaret-street and St Peter-street, a place where the drivers were warned to exercise the utmost caution to keep a look-out whilst driving down Margaret-street, by reason of the many small cycle streets. For those reasons it was laid down that the driver should not proceed at above four miles an hour.

On this occasion, as the car came down the street, the driver rang his bell incessantly; in fact, he was accounted something of a nuisance by the inhabitants of the streets. What they alleged was that as the tram arrived at the junction of Margaret-street and St Peter-street, the defendant was galloping or running at a high speed along Peter-street, and dashed into the tramcar, the horse’s head going through the window, and a shaft through the panel of the car.

Joseph Robert STANDRING, driver of the car, was called as witness, and said that according to regulations he was proceeding slowly, and ringing his bell. He could not have pulled up in time, as the horse was on him before he knew where he was. — John ROBERTS, the conductor, Mary Elizabeth MILLER, Frank CARR, and Frank STAFFORD all gave corroborative evidence.

The manager (Mr RATHBONE) said the car was fitted with an emergency brake, but when the car was proceeding slowly the ordinary hand brake was of more use.

Defendant, Daniel HALLWORTH, was put into the box, and said he never did drive above 4 or 5 miles an hour. He never heard the bell at all, and he was on the car before he could draw up. He pulled the mare back with such force that sat down, and it was when springing that she ran into the car.

Elizabeth WALTON, James McDERMOTT, and James DIXON gave evidence to the effect that HALLWORTH was riding at an undue speed. — His Honour dismissed both claims without costs.

Fifty People Affected — Alarming Rumours

An alarming sensation was caused in Waterloo on Monday when the news was circulated that many people had been poisoned, some very seriously. Reports even said that many were on the point of death. Happily, however, in the light of subsequent investigation these alarming rumours were discovered in a large measure to be unfounded, and in some cases grossly exaggerated.

Dr COOKE, the medical officer for Waterloo, has called upon us and he assures us that both himself and the relieving officer, and the local authorities generally, know nothing of the statements here made, and that there is no foundation of fact for them in any degree. The reports were circulated only to be denied.

That many people in various parts of the village have been indulging not wisely but too well in that what is perhaps fallaciously considered a cooling mixture — ice cream — there seems little doubt. Tales are told that a local dealer did excellent business on Saturday and Sunday throughout the whole village, and both days being broiling hot many people partook very freely of the cream.

The effects were felt in most cases during the night time and tales are told of doctors being knocked up post haste and the licensee of a local public house aroused for brandy. Serious apprehensions prevailed in many homes where the ice cream had been partaken of by the inmates. In the morning numbers of mill hands and colliers proceeding to work collapsed and had to return to their homes. The entire district to all appearances had been affected.

Happily, little apprehension of fatal consequences is entertained, and it is thought in many instances that the hot weather has had as much connection with the attacks of illness as the ice cream. Under no circumstances is diarrhœa more prevalent than in such tropical weather as we have experienced of late. Fifty people are said to be affected.

Interview with the Manufacturer
On Thursday afternoon a representative of the “Reporter” called on Mr MATTHEWS, of Oldham-road, the manufacturer of the ice cream which was alleged to have caused the illness.

”What is your opinion of the affair?” the reporter asked. “ My opinion is that it is not the ice cream at all,” replied the dealer emphatically, “and kindly put that. You can also give my name. I’m not afraid. I’ll give £5 to anybody who can make the ice cream go bad when it’s packed with ice, let alone going bad itself.”

”What process did you adopt?” “Well, on Saturday at six o’clock we boiled our milk and, of course, when a large quantity is boiled at once it is some time before it cools. In this case it didn’t cool until about 10 or 11. When the man came with the ice he asked “Must I freeze it?” but I told him to pack it, and that is all; nothing impure whatever came in contact with it. I have made ice cream for nine years, so I think I’m about competent.”

”And aren’t the tales exaggerated somewhat?” was asked. “Oh, vastly! The tale ran round the village that 40 children were away from school. When the facts were investigated it transpired that exactly six had been away. Of course, I don’t wish to blame anybody, but when these hawkers from Manchester come up selling strawberries at 2d. a pound, and the whole village almost buys them, that may have something to do with it. As long as our stuff is packed in ice it may be taken into the hottest greenhouse, and it would take no harm.

”I’ll tell you what I’ll do,” continued Mr MATTHEWS to our reporter, “I’ll fetch a neighbour in who will tell you about it.” The neighbour, having been fetched, gave emphatic testimony that on Sunday her children partook of the ice cream, but took no harm, “shutters” and all they had. “Why, my children had the scrapings, and they took not the least harm,” said Mr MATTHEWS, and say that I am willing to give £5 to anybody who could make it go bad when packed with ice.”

Sir,— Your Littlemoss correspondent complains of having dirty water, and considering the rainy weather we have had all over the country is not to be wondered at. There may be filtering beds at Knott Hill works and other Corporation reservoirs, but in disturbed seasons more or less surface dirt will go in from the catchment area, and so find its way to the water taps.

Whatever source your water comes from, in times when it is muddy — people may remedy that state of matters by applying a simple and inexpensive filter by tying a bit of clean flannel over the tap, and let the water run through it. The flannel can be changed once a week, or oftener if required, and when that is done a little surprise may come to such folk as test the water that way by the dirt there accumulated.

Yours, etc, John TRAVIS

At the Ashton Borough Court, on Thursday, Herbert William ABBOTT was charged with stealing a quantity of chocolates, biscuits, and other articles belonging to James SIDDALL, about the 6th of July.

James SIDDALL, ice cream merchant, said he had a lock-up shop off Manchester-road where he sold mineral waters, biscuits, and ice cream. &c. On Sunday, the 3rd July he locked up about 10 o’clock at night leaving well secure. The following Wednesday night he went to the shop and found it had been broken into. A piece of wood had been removed and some chocolates, biscuits, and minerals were missing.

Constable James FEARNLEY deposed to receiving prisoner in custody from the Radcliffe police. He charged him with the offence. He replied, “Yes, I had sweets, biscuits and mineral waters. Prisoner had nothing to say and he was committed to the Assizes.

Scenes at an Audenshaw Rent Day

At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, a case came for consideration in which Mary Jane GORDON summoned John SELLARS for smacking her on the 11th of July. Mr SIXSMITH, who appeared for the defence, pleaded not guilty, and at the same time said he would give notice of objection on the grounds of title and interest of land. He was bound to give that notice.

Mary Jane GORDON, the complainant, then gave evidence, and said she came there for the purpose of obtaining peace and quietness. On the date in question she went out to the landlord, who had come to collect the rents, and asked his permission to clean a window which was splashed with whitewash. She also asked a young man if he would clean the window.

The young man agreed, and obtaining a ladder, carried it up the entry. SELLARS immediately came out and asked who authorised him to go up the entry. She (complainant) put her hand through the window, and said she had given permission. SELLARS then said, “Well, you haven’t to come up here without permission.” She answered that she would never ask his permission. She would ask somebody else.

The same day the summons was taken out, he got hold of her by the shoulders, and called her all sorts of bad names, and pushed her very nearly on her face. She was at the end of the passage where her house reached.

Cross-examined by Mr SIXSMITH, she never attempted to use the passage, although he had told her before and had also told her that the passage belonged to her. — Mr SIXSMITH observed that he going to show that the property belonged to the Great Central Railway Company. — The Deputy Clerk: I don’t see how that matter.

Benjamin TAYLOR, of Henry-square, who gave his evidence in the broad Lancashire vernacular, said in answer to Mr SIXSMITH, that he wasn’t the agent, but t’marstor of the property, and said she was outside the passage. “How long have you owned the property?” asked Mr SIXSMITH. “What does that matter to yo’,” answered TAYLOR belligerently.

Pressed further by Mr SIXSMITH, Mr TAYLOR answered evasively. “I can’t tell you here. My brother will happen tell you. I went looking after brass there, same as she’s done now. — (Laughter.)

The Chairman: It is a question whether the thing happened in the street or in the passage. — The Deputy Clerk: If it took place in the street the magistrates are bound to convict. William TAYLOR gave evidence that the assault took place outside the passage. — SELLARS, the defendant, gave evidence that he pushed her greatly outside the passage, only giving her a final push at the end. — Mrs LITTLE, a neighbour, also gave evidence.

The magistrates dismissed the case, the Chairman advising the neighbours to live apart if they could not agree.

The Tale of a Tin of “Nugget” — John WATERS, Dukinfield, was charged with stealing a tin of “Nugget Boot Polish,” value 4d., at Dukinfield, at 7.30pm on the 14th inst, the property of Richard LISTER. — LISTER, who is a boot and clog maker, of 69 King-street, Dukinfield, told the magistrates that about 7.30pm on the date named prisoner came into his shop and asked him to repair a clog he was wearing..

He took the clog from the prisoner, and went into the workshop, leaving him by himself in the shop. In ten minutes he returned, and missed a tin of “Nugget” value 4d. Witness gave him the clog, and said, “I miss a box from here. I shall want paying for it.” Prisoner pulled it out of his pocket and said, “If I put it back will you say nothing?” Prosecutor said, “I have missed things before when you have been in the shop.”

Virago Armed with a Table Knife

An exciting scene in Uppermill on Monday week was subsequently dwelt upon at Wednesday’s police court. William BUCKLEY, carpet manufacturer, of Uppermill, was the complainant in a charge of assault preferred against Emily SCHOFIELD, a respectably dressed woman, in the condition of life known as middle-aged.

Mr G.F. TANNER, solicitor, appeared on complainant’s behalf. — The latter, in his evidence, said that in the forenoon of the 11th inst. He was going from his workshop down Moorgate-street, when he saw the defendant coming out of her own home in a drunken condition. She jumped down from the house flags and struck him several times in the face. He got out of her way and entered the Granby Inn.

The woman followed him, using insulting language, and the landlady put her out. On his way back to the workshop he stopped to talk to several friends, when the defendant came behind him, her presence being unknown to him until he felt her fists on each side of his head. She again began to insult him, and to avoid her violence he stepped on to some flags, putting out his foot to keep her at a distance.

Her husband, who was on the other side of the street, shouted that if he (complainant) struck her he would give him a good hiding. — Prisoner: And I believe he would have done if you had struck me. — Continuing, BUCKLEY said that at the bottom of Moorgate-street she struck him with a door key, and afterwards sent stones at him, which hit him on the head. She was also in possession of a table knife.

At length he got inside a cousin’s house, and immediately fell down on the sofa in a partially unconscious condition, and a doctor was summoned to attend him. He saw the defendant the day before the trial, and again tried to stop him, but the time he escaped her.

Charles HEYWOOD deposed to what happened when the complainant stopped to talk to witness and several others, this being in accordance with the evidence given. — Eliza BRATT said that BUCKLEY, on entering her house, fell down on the sofa in a dazed condition. She sent for Dr DRUMMOND, after trying the effect of brandy upon him. The doctor ordered her to foment him over the heart, and witness did so for over an hour.

The woman, in reply to the charge, said would say she smacked his face, but he had struck her and used his dogs on her first. It was the first time she had ever been struck by a man. She further stated her belief that the woman BRATT had said right when she said he had run into her house, adding, “And he would run anywhere.” Addressing the complainant, she asked: “Are you not the man noted as a scandal monger, carrying tales all over the place? — This was negatived. — The Bench fined her £2 and costs, but refused to bind her over.

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