30 April 1904

Who Shall Provide the Instruments

Internal strife and complications are rending the working of the hitherto peaceful Band Club, Evans-street, Hurst, the headquarters of the Hurst Village Reed Band. The instruments with which the members were wont to carry off so many prizes are, through senile decay, gradually refusing to perform their allotted task, and things are in a parlous state.

The present year sees the jubilee of the band and it may be imagined that instruments 50 years old have not retained the fire and energy of their youth and are apt to strike the wrong note at some crucial moment. For some time the members have seen the present impasse looming in the distance, and had approached the Club Committee with a view to improving the quality of the playing by providing new instruments.

Naturally the committee hesitated somewhat before launching on such a venture, which would prove necessarily expensive, but eventually by dint of much persuasion, they consented to purchase new ones for the jubilee.

In the Divorce Division of the High Court of Justice, on Monday, Mrs Mary Jane KENWORTHY petitioned for a divorce from her husband, Thomas KENWORTHY, on the ground of his cruelty and adultery.

Mr PRITCHARD stated that the parties were married on February 20, 1888, at the parish church, Denton, and afterwards lived together at Hyde, Cheshire. The husband treated her cruelly. On one occasion he came home to tea and struck her on the back. On another occasion, when she refused to give him money, he threatened her with a razor, and finally cut her arm.

On November 15, 1899, he went off, and he had since left her alone. The husband seemed to have gone to Dukinfield and Ashton-under-Lyne, and since then he had been living with a woman, Emma SIDEBOTTOM. The petition was not presented before on account of want of means, Mrs KENWORTHY having had to support herself, earning 13s a week as a seamstress.

The petitioner gave evidence in support of this statement, and evidence was given that the respondent had been living in adultery at Charles-street, Ashton. His Lordship granted a decree nisi.

Labourer’s Fatal Fall

At the Denton Police Court, on Wednesday, Mr J F PRICE and a jury held an inquiry into the circumstances attending the death of Thomas DOYLE, a labourer, of 15 Leech-street, Dukinfield, who fell from a landing at the new Denton Co-operative Society’s buildings, Amelia-street, Denton. The case was watched on behalf of Mr Joseph CLAYTON, contractor, by Mr H F S CLAYTON, of Messrs J CLAYTON and Sons, solicitors, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Sarah Hannah DOYLE said deceased, Thomas DOYLE, was her husband, and she lived with him at 15 Leech-street, Dukinfield. He was a plasterers’ labourer, and he was 42 years of age last March. He was a healthy man. She last saw him alive about a quarter to six on Monday morning, when he left home to go to his work in Denton. He was in the employ of Abraham JEFFREYS, plasterer and builder, of Dukinfield. The deceased was perfectly sober when he left home. He was generally a temperate man. She heard of his death the same day.

In answer to Mr CLAYTON witness said deceased had a break out at Easter, but since that time he had been very temperate. He had a pint or two on Saturday, but had got over it by Sunday.

Joseph JEFFREYS, 7 Pearson-street, Dukinfield, said he was a plasterer, and worked for his brother, Abraham JEFFREYS, plasterer of Pearson-street, Dukinfield. On Monday, 25th inst, he was working at the new offices in course of erection for the Denton Co-operative Society in Amelia-street. Deceased was working there too, as witness’s labourer.

Witness first saw him at about a quarter to eight that morning, when he brought a hod of mortar up a ladder to him on the second storey, where he was plastering a landing belonging to the staircase. As soon as he saw him he noticed he had had drink. He could not get off the ladder, and witness had to help him off on to the landing. He was very unsteady, and smelt of drink.

Witness got him to empty his hod, and then drew his attention to the danger of falling off the ladder and down the cellar steps. Deceased said he would “mind the next time,” meaning that he would be more careful next time. The ladder reached from the ground floor, which was concreted, to the landing, and was held by four bricks at the end of a rope thrown over a plank.

He came up three times after breakfast, and went down safely. About a quarter past ten o’clock he came up again with a hod of mortar. Witness heard him get off the ladder on to the plank and tip the mortar. Immediately afterwards he heard a noise, and upon looking round found he had disappeared. He saw deceased’s hod below.

He was certain deceased fell from a plank he had fixed himself on the previous Saturday, so that he could tip the mortar easier. The plank was resting on a trestle on the landing. He must have overbalanced himself. Witness went down the ladder at once and saw two joiners bringing him up from the bottom of the cellar steps. He did not appear to be alive, but witness sent for Dr STEWART, who pronounced life extinct.

When deceased came up the ladder first time, witness charged him with being the worse for drink. Deceased said he would be better after breakfast. He could not have suspended deceased for being the worse for drink. — The Coroner: Didn’t it seem a very risky thing to allow a man to go up and down the ladder while under the influence? — Witness: He would have had to go home every Monday morning.

Thomas CLARK, 30 Nelson-street, Hyde, stated he was a joiner, employed by Mr Joseph CLAYTON, Manchester-road, Denton. He saw deceased between 8.30 and 9 o’clock coming out of the street into the building. He could not whether he was drunk or not. He saw him about ten minutes before he fell, and spoke to him. He seemed to have had some drink, but he was not drunk. He thought he was steady enough to go up a ladder.

He saw him go to the ladder with a hod of mortar. Immediately after he heard a noise, and looking up saw deceased at the corner of the landing. He looked as though he had fallen, and was trying to regain himself. He fell over the edge with a chest to a plank. He then turned a complete summersault and fell on his head. Witness went to him and picked him up. He saw he was injured and unconscious. He was dead when the doctor arrived.

Replying to the coroner he said he had never seen a man go up drunk, but he had seen men go up worse for drink. It was hard to say whether deceased could have saved himself after he fell, even had he been sober. A verdict of “accidental death” was returned.

Sir, When the Ashton Parish Church was last decorated there was a lot of dissatisfaction caused by the job being given to a decorator outside the district, and a lot of correspondence followed after the job had been let, but it was too late then, and I think myself it was a great injustice to the decorators then established in the town, and the tradespeople who had been asked to subscribe to the funds, and I thought after the support the people of Ashton and district had given them, preference would have been given to the decorators of Ashton to get out the designs, but a former decorator of the Parish Church has been instructed to get out designs and estimates by former decorator.

I suppose it means the firm who decorated the church last, and if that is so I should like to know why the decorators of Ashton have not been asked to supply designs and estimates, and a prize of, say, £5 or more offered for the best design. The new have a decorative class at the Technical School which might have entered the competition; not only that, they would have had at least half a dozen designs to select from, besides being less expensive.

I think there are enough competent firms in Ashton to supply all the needs of the Parish Church. In fact, I know a firm who a few years ago had three churches (with far more decoration in than the Parish Church has at present) and the largest building in the town on hand at the same time, and no doubt there are other firms as competed in Ashton.

The funds for this purpose have been raised in the town, and I think it should be spent in the town as far as possible. The other night an old Ashton painter told me that when their firm decorated the Parish Church the boss painted and gilded the gates at the entrance gratis (this is thirty years ago), and to his knowledge they had not been touched since. Is there any wonder at the iron work crumbling away if the painting is neglected in that manner.

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