ASHTON AND DISTRICT
With the Black Knight, the glory of Easter Monday
in Ashton has departed. There were only three or
four miserable get-ups at which nobody could possibly
get up a laugh, and at which not even the smallest
child could be the least alarmed. With regard to
the laugh an exemption may be made.
One of the Knights sitting on a box
on a hand-barrow toppled over with the jerk at starting,
and landed on his back in the gutter, much to the
amusement of the spectators. Perhaps that was the
sole example of fun extracted from the whole of
But the old custom was kept was kept up to the full
of thousands of outsiders flocking into the town
from all the regions round about. What they came
to see they might have some difficulty in explaining.
There was nothing to interest anybody except the
crowds themselves. It was worth ones while
watching the electric cars arriving and departing
with full loads of passengers. The police were kept
busy counting the number to prevent overloading.
The cars, going in couples, were filled as fast
as the people could crowd into them, and had no
heed to wait a minute. It was the same both on the
Oldham and Hyde departure platforms.
We presume all these people came only for a pleasant
afternoons outing, and with no idea of seeing
the Black Knight. The shops were open as usual,
and perhaps did a little extra business. It might
be suggested that this disposition of the people
to flock into Ashton might be turned to advantage.
It has no doubt originated through the exhibition
of the Black Knight, and the desire of parents to
show the effigy to their children. But will they
continue to come when it has become universally
known that the display has been abandoned? And if
they cease coming may there not be a substantial
loss to tradespeople of various kinds?
Would it not be worth while to get up an improved
and glorified display, something like the Lord Mayors
show in London, with the Mayor in his state robes
and the members of the Corporation riding in gilt
carriage, and official collectors gathering money
to be distributed for some charitable or beneficial
purpose appealing to the whole of the inhabitants
and even to outsiders as well, such as the reservists
There would be something more to be said in favour
of this than of the old Black Knight displays in
which the money was only collected for the individuals
who kept the thing going. Of course, in any scheme
for the resuscitation of an Easter Monday display
there would have to be an effigy of the Black Knight
on horseback. The effigy would not need to be the
stiff block we used to sell. It would have to be
something superb and striking from an artistic point
of view if it were not to sink under the ridicule
which overwhelmed the later exhibitions.
It would have to be something of which the Mayor
and Corporation would have no occasion to be ashamed
and something that would be supported by the general
opinion of the people as an interesting revival
of an ancient custom.
THE CONTEST IN WEST WARD. The polling
in connection with the contest in West Ward for
a seat on the Urban District Council will take place
on Monday from 12 oclock to 8pm. The three
candidates, Messrs T DEAN (C), W MARSDEN (L), and
S HOWARD (Independent), have issued manifestos,
but no meetings have been held so far as we can
ALLEGED DRUNKENNESS ON LICENSED PRENISES.
James CROPPER and George Henry HAGUE were before
the Ashton county justices on Wednesday charged
with being drunk on licensed premises at Hurst on
March 17th. Defendant HAGUE: Its no
use us saying owt. We might as well pay, as we wurno
drunk. A constable deposed that at twenty
past nine on the night of March 17th he saw the
defendants drunk going into the Royal Oak Inn, Nook
Lane, Hurst. He followed them in and found them
in the taproom. They had been refused drink by the
landlord on the ground of their being the worse
for it. They had been refused drink at the Church
Inn and the Miners Refuge. The case
was adjourned to enable the defendants to procure
OLD FOLKS TEA PARTY AT ASHTON
There was a happy gathering of old people at the
Ashton Parish Church Central Schools on Thursday
night, the occasion being the annual party given
as the outcome of subscriptions from parishioners,
got together by a committee of workers from the
Parish Church Central School and Cockbrook and Whitelands
branch schools, the chief of whom were the Rector
(Rev G A PUGH), Major BRADLEY, Messrs J WALTON,
W WILDE, James CROWTHER (secretary), and J FISHER
Old people having attained the age of 65 years and
over were entitled to a ticket for the party, and
some 328 old folks availed themselves of the opportunity
to fraternise a little and to talk over the past.
The combined ages of those present amounted to 22,936
years. The average ago was just over 70 years. The
oldest person present was Sarah MALLINSON, aged
88, and the next oldest Joseph WOOD, aged 86. There
were 181 present between the ages of 65 and 70;
134 between 70 and 80; and 13 over 80 years of age.
A sandwich tea was provided, followed by an entertainment,
consisting of contributions by Mr W H BARKER (piano)
and family, viz, Misses Lena BARKER (violin) and
Ethel and Nellie BARKER (vocalists). Master Harry
BARKER (viola) and Master Bert TAYLOR (cello). Mr
J JOHNSON sang humorous songs. Songs were also rendered
by Mrs GOSLING, Miss BOOTH, Messrs D BROADBENT,
J W SHAW and others; recitations by Mrs HINDLE and
The Rector presided and delivered a short address
in which he said that that would be the beginning
of many tea parties, as it was Coronation year.
Both the old and young would have a very good time
of it. The middle-aged people would be left out
in the cold. (Laughter.) The General Purposes
Committee were very generous for voting so much
to the Mayor for enabling the town to rejoice at
an event which many of them had never seen before,
though some of the older people in the room would
no doubt remember the Coronation of Good Queen Victoria.
ON behalf of the clergy and congregation, superintendents
of the Sunday schools, and teachers, and workers,
he would bid them a hearty welcome. (Applause.)
A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to all who
had in any way contributed to the days enjoyment.
A number of old people attended from the Union house
and Mr MILLWARD kindly provided for their conveyance
to and from the school.
ADULTERATED MILK AT DROYLSDEN
Cases at the Ashton County Police Court
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
Emily HULME was summoned under the Food and Drugs
Act for selling a pint of milk which was not of
the nature, substance, and quality required by the
Act, at Droylsden, on February 25th. Mr Wingate
SAUL, who appeared to prosecute, said that the summons
was taken out under section 6 of the Food and Drugs
Act 1875. The sample of milk was taken by Superintendent
HEWITT who went to the defendants shop and
asked for a pint of milk. The milk was served by
a little girl, but the mother came, and the superintendent
told her he had bought the milk for analysis.
He divided the milk into three parts, in accordance
with the Act. Defendant said to the superintendent,
It is yesterdays milk, which we use
for rice-puddings and for cooking purposes, and
you should not have been served with it; let me
have it back. She further said, Nothing
has been done to the milk here. He submitted
that the defendant evidently knew at the time that
the milk was not what it ought to be. The analysis
showed that contained 2.3 per cent of fat and 9,57
per cent of other solids. The standard was 3 per
cent, so that the milk was nearly one per cent below,
and there was one-third less fat in the milk than
there ought to be.
The superintendent did not see any other milk in
the shop, and therefore any customer must have been
served with the milk of poor quality. Defendant
said that the milk was sold in mistake. She sold
it exactly as she got it from the farmer, but she
had not taken the precaution to obtain a warranty
in order to relieve herself of the responsibility.
The magistrates fined defendant 10s 6d and costs,
which with the analysts fee (9s) and the advocates
fee (£1 1s) came to £2 0s 6d.
Elizabeth BELL, an old lady, was next charged with
a similar offence under the Food and Drugs Act,
at Droylsden. Defendant admitted the sale
of the milk, and said she had sold it as she had
got it, and that she had not obtained a warranty.
She had dealt with one particular farmer for 30
or 40 years, and never had any complaints before.
Mr Wingate SAUL (barrister), who appeared to prosecute,
said that the analysts certificate showed
the sample milk contained only 2.69 per cent of
fats and 7.88 per cent of other solids. This was
a very bad case of adulteration. Not less than 6
parts of water had been.
ROADS AT HURST
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
John BOSTOCK was charged with obstruction by riding
a horse on the footpath at Hurst, on March 16th.
A constable stated that at 10.45 on Sunday, the
16th of last month, he saw the defendant riding
a horse on the footpath in Broadoak-road. He rode
on the footpath for about fifty yards. Witness called
out several times to him.
Defendant admitted riding on the footpath for about
twenty-six yards, but it was because the road was
so bad. He kept to the road as long as he could.
The local authority had been written to, saying
that they would be responsible for any damage to
Superintendent HEWITT: It is an ancient highway.
The Magistrates Clerk: It is not a good road.
The Chairman (Mr Lees BROADBENT): Is this road under
the Urban District Council or the Corporation?
Superintendent HEWITT: It belongs to the Council
of Hurst. The Chairman: Why dont they
repair it? Superintendent HEWITT: It is a
great length. The Chairman: They could repair
it and charge. The Urban District Council should
do it. I am very sorry to see that you are so far
behind in the neighbourhood of Ashton, and keep
such bad roads. The bench fined defendant 6s for
A WALKING BACKWARDS FEAT
Great interest was Monday centres of the walk backwards
from Macclesfield to Buxton (twelve miles) by Mr
George ALLCOCK. It was for a wager of £100,
and the time limit was three hours and a half. Crowds
of sporting men and holiday-makers watched ALLCOCK
start and finish. ALLCOCK accomplished his task
in three hours and seven minutes amidst tremendous
SINGULAR DEATH OF A CHILD
An inquest was held at the Victoria Hotel, Ashton,
on Tuesday morning, touching the death of Elsie
BUCKLEY, infant daughter of Jas. BUCKLEY, 30 Ellison-street,
Ashton, who was found dead on Saturday morning.
Mary BUCKLEY, wife of Jas. BUCKLEY, warehouseman,
said that the deceased was her daughter and was
five months old. She had enjoyed good health from
birth, but on Thursday a slight cough revealed itself
for which witness gave her a teaspoonful of cough
mixture said to contain syrup of squills which she
had obtained from a neighbour. The child did not
cough much, nor show any signs of difficulty in
Witness and her husband went to bed on Friday night
about ten oclock, taking their child with
them. It was then in good health, and was not coughing.
The child lay with witness and her husband, and
was placed on the outside of the bed facing witness.
About midnight the child began to cry, and witness
gave it the breast, afterwards placing the child
in an easy resting position on the pillow.
Witness went to sleep, and on awakening about 8.50
on Saturday morning she found the child in the same
position on the pillow, frothing at the nose and
mouth. Witness lifted the child up and found it
was dead. She awakened her husband, and immediately
sent for a neighbour. Her opinion was that the child
had died similar to another child of hers, namely,
in a fit. She did not think the child had been smothered.
Dr HAMILTON had testified to the first child having
died of a fit.
Agnes BOWERS, wife of John BOWERS, labourer, 30
Ellison-street, said the deceased was her grand-daughter,
and had enjoyed good health, never having been ill
since birth, with the exception of a slight cough
on Thursday. Witness had been nursing the child.
Witness heard the childs mother shout out,
Oh, my child is dead. She went upstairs
and found it was so, but the child was then warm.
Her opinion was that the child had died in a fit,
and not smothered. Witness saw the cough mixture,
but she did not know how much of it had been given
to the child.
The Coroner said he did not think there was anything
in the medicine to cause death. It was more probable
that the child had been smothered, seeing that it
was allowed to lie so near its mother. Cases of
this kind were occurring week by week, and it was
generally attributed to fits. The jury returned
a verdict of death from natural causes, probably
DRUNK. Charles SKIRVIN pleaded guilty
at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
to being drunk at Audenshaw on March 16th, and was
fined 2s 6d for costs.
NO NAME ON CART. W TORKINGTON pleaded
guilty at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
to having no name on cart at Audenshaw on March
17th, and was fined 6s for costs.
VEHICLE WITHOUT LIGHT. James PICKUP
was fined 1s and costs at the Ashton County Police
Court, on Wednesday, for having no light on his
vehicle at Audenshaw on March 14th, to which he
BEGGING. Thomas BRANNON was in custody
at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
charged with begging at Audenshaw on April 1st.
Prisoner pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to seven
RIDING BICYCLE ON THE FOOTPATH. John
SHARPLES pleaded guilty at the Ashton County Police
Court on Wednesday to a charge of obstruction by
riding a bicycle on the footpath at Audenshaw on
March 17th, and was fined 1s and costs.
BREACH OF THE PEACE. William MORRISON
and Daniel BAKER pleaded guilty at the Ashton County
Police Court, on Wednesday, to committing a breach
of the peace at Audenshaw on March 16th, and were
bound over in 40s to keep the peace for three months.
SLEEPING OUT. Thomas STANSFIELD was
charged at the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday,
with sleeping out at Audenshaw on April 1st.
A Constable deposed to finding prisoner at 12.45
at night sleeping on some boilers on the premises
of the New Moss Colliery Company. The watchman had
told him that he lived at Hooley Hill. He had had
some drink, and it made him stupid. The bench
took a lenient view and dismissed the case.
HIS TOE MADE HIM WOBBLE. Martin CUMMINGS
pleaded not guilty at the Ashton County Police Court,
on Wednesday, to being drunk in charge of two horses
and a lurry at Audenshaw on March 14th. Sergeant
JOHNSON deposed to seeing defendant drunk in Denton-road,
Audenshaw, in charge of two horses and a lurry and
detaining him at the police station. Inspector
HUMPHRIES deposed to seeing defendant drunk at the
police station. Defendant said he had been
on the road since five oclock in the morning
and had only had two cans of beer. He had had his
toes crushed and this made him wobble. (Laughter.)
The magistrates fined defendant 5s for costs.
KEEPING HIS BIRTHDAY UP. Paul ADAMS,
Walter LAPPITT, and James JAGGER, three youths from
Clayton, were before the Ashton County Justices,
on Wednesday, charged with using obscene language
at Audenshaw on March 16th. LAPPITT pleaded
guilty and the other two not guilty. A constable
deposed that at 9.15 on Sunday night March 16th,
he saw the defendants in the road shouting, swearing,
singing comic songs, and using obscene language.
Witness concealed himself behind a telegraph post
and caught LAPPITT who said he did not give a b
for anyone as he was 21 that day and he was keeping
his birthday up. JAGGER said they were only
singing. The Magistrates Clerk: What
had you been doing in Ashton? We had naturally been
out; it is a common occurrence. The Clerk:
We could do very well without you. You are a bit
of a nuisance. Superintendent HEWITT: We have
numerous complaints from residents about these gangs
of youths. The Bench fined defendants 5s each.
SUICIDE BY HANGING AT ASHTON
The Ashton police were apprised, on Tuesday morning,
of the death by hanging of Mary Elizabeth SMITHSON,
aged 28, widow of Charles SMITHSON, who died about
18 months ago and resided at 90 Oldham-road. Deceased
had not enjoyed good health for a number of years,
having been troubled with asthma. The death of her
husband also seems to have preyed upon her mind
very much, and she had been heard many times to
threaten she would do away with herself.
She had been a partner in a chip potato business,
along with Millicent KENNEDY, with whom she resided.
The two retired to be about 12.15 on Monday night,
and on Miss KENNEDY awaking about 7.30 next morning,
she missed her from bed, and on going downstairs
she found deceased suspended in her nightdress from
a peg in the passage leading to the pantry. She
was then dead. Deceased had penned several missives
to relatives indicating her intentions.