Private James HILL wrote to the Reporter
from the Boar War. "We have no
tents here so we are obliged to sleep
in the open air with one blanket and
an overcoat for covering. Food is very
scarce here, but one of our volunteers
stole a sheep yesterday and we had a
jolly meal, I can tell you. All the
Stalybridge lads are doing well, but
some of them feel a bit put out because
they can get no beer. They swear they
will have a good blow-out when they
was a fine example of reverse dietetics
this week 100 years ago when a milk
dealer was fined 15 shillings for serving
his customers skimmed milk. Joseph BONSALL
from the Back o the Hill Farm
appeared at Police Court charged with
selling milk that had 12 per cent
of its fat taken out. Clearly
a retailer ahead of his time!
After low fat
milk, a pioneer of low-alcohol drinks.
Police put out a warning to publicans
after John MIRFIN, landlord of the Woodman
Inn, George Street, Stalybridge, was
caught selling whisky 45 per cent below
proof. He claimed that the heat
of the house had caused the spirit
to expand which had led to evaporation
taking place. He was fined two shillings.
I thought that was a hanging offence
in these parts!
James COCKER of 98 Beatrick Street,
Ashton admitted stealing lead worth
£12 from a garage. "Thats
right. I took it and weighed it in about
two weeks since" he told magistrates.
He claimed he had troubles at home and
was desperate for money, but was now
looking for a permanent job. COCKER
was fined £2 10 shillings and ordered
to repay the £12
great England and Lancashire opening
batsman, Cyril WASHBROOK was at Ashton
Boys Club with advice on how to spot
a googly. "Watch the back of the
hand," he told them. "When
a googly is bowled, the back of the
hand is shown and the ball is thrown
from the back of the hand. A batter
should make up his mind what to do when
the ball leaves the bowlers hand
and not be caught in two minds.
of 41 Astley Street, Dukinfield, asked
magistrates for an order of separation
from her husband because he was lazy
and would not work. They had been married
for just eight months but had lived
at six different addresses in that time.
Her husband had lost eight different
jobs due to the fact that he would not
work. The case was adjourned for three
months and the husband ordered to pay
40 shillings a week maintenance.
Old Chapel Sunday School is looking
for former scholars to help celebrate
its 200th birthday. The school
on Chapel Hill, Dukinfield is holding
its bi-centenary party on the weekend
of 23 September. If you want to take
part, contact Dawn Buckle on 01457 763721.
The Way We Were this week devoted a full page
to the work of fellow family historian, Colin
Brannigan (who may even be reading this?) He has
been researching his family who originated in
Ireland and settled in Stalybridge. I only intend
summarising some of the main points, but you can
by email if it is of interest.
Colins great grandparents,
Thomas BRANNIGAN and Sarah MASON had seven children,
all born in Stalybridge and living at 16 Back
Castle Street in the 1881 Census. Neighbours included
LYNHAM and MAHON who would be later related by
The youngest of the seven children,
Mary, proved to be Colins toughest challenge
and I would imagine the most rewarding to crack.
He was fortunate to have letters written by Mary
to her family from a boarding school on an Indian
reservation in Canada. He had no idea what she
was doing there, or of what circumstances lead
her to leave Stalybridge, or to explain why she
spoke and wrote mainly in French.
It transpired that Mary was one
of over 100,000 children sent to Canada from Great
Britain between 1869 and the early 1930s. During
the child immigration movement, they were often
orphans, as Mary was at the age of 13.
She sailed from Liverpool on the
SS Numidian on 24 September 1891 and arrived in
Quebec on 7 October. Mary was in the care of the
Catholic Childrens Rescue Society and was
adopted by a Catholic family in Canada. Mr and
Mrs Luger-Joseph BELCOURT already had ten children.
At the age of 19 became a nun, taking the name
Sister Marguerite in honour of her adoptive mother.
A member of the Grey Sisters of
Nicolet, she taught at a boarding school on the
Piegan Indian Reserve in Alberta and it was through
the Order that Colin was able to obtain a six-page
biography of his relative. Mary also wrote a letter
to Colins grandmother that makes for touching
"I have something which I would
like to tell you, but it is only for yourself.
Now as you are alone (following her husbands
death) I will ask you never to part with your
children and if anything did happen to you and
that they might be left orphans, let your will
be known that they must never be sent to Canada.
I tell you this as I would tell my own sister.
"Now I must tell you the reason.
Some are lucky but others are very badly treated,
they are more like slaves. Now all that is for
yourself that you may never consent to let your
children be sent to Canada."
Colin is keen to link with other
researchers. He would love to hear from anyone
who knew his father, Frank BRANNIGAN, a butcher
like his father or his mother, Bertha Anne who
was a sister at the Lakes hospital. Marys
sister married William BOOTH of Ashton in 1887.