12 December 1903
SAD DEATH OF A YOUNG
ASHTON SOLDIER IN INDIA
Mr James SLATER, manager at Messrs Mason’s Oxford
Mills, Ashton, has received the sad intelligence of the
death of his son William, a private in the 1st King’s
Own, stationed in India. The circumstances surrounding
the occurrence are of a mysterious nature, and so far
the only possible explanation is that suggested in the
kindly letter of the officer commanding, which is as follows:—
1st Battalion the King’s Own
Regiment (Royal Lancaster)
18th November, 1903
Dear Mr SLATER, — I am very sorry to say that
your son, William SLATER, of “D” Company,
the King’s Own Regiment, is dead. On Sunday evening
last about 10.30, he was found, badly injured, on the
ground near his barrack room, which is upstairs, about
36 feet from the ground. When last seen he was in bed.
I think he must have walked in his sleep.
He was unconscious when he was found,
and never spoke a word before he died. The priest came
to the hospital, and the doctors did all they possibly
could to help the poor boy; but he passed away before
one o’clock on Monday morning, Nov 16th. On Tuesday
morning, Nov 17th, we buried him in the Military Cemetery,
near the Soldiers’ Hospital, Calcutta.
There is no reason to suppose that
your son wished to die, and we feel sure that his death
was quite accidental. It is very sad to lose so fine
a man in such a way, and we are all very sorry for your
great loss. Your son was a good soldier, and you have
my deepest sympathy in your trouble. — Yours very
William HOUGHTON, Major
Young SLATER was a native of Ashton, and
a member of St Ann’s congregation, at which church
he was for many years an acolyte. He was 24 years of age,
and formerly worked at Oxford Mills, and later entered
the railway service, working at Park Parade (Ashton),
King’s Cross (London), and other stations.
About the time of the relief of Mafeking,
he has a desire to take part in the war, and enlisted
in the King’s Own in the hope of being sent to the
front. In this he was disappointed, however, for he was
sent to Malta, going from there to India some three months
ago. Mr SLATER and family have received many kind expressions
of sympathy, including a letter of condolence from the
members of the Oxford Mills Bowling Green and Billiard
PROMOTION FOR A WATERLOO
Readers will be pleased to learn of the promotion of Constable
HODGKINSON, of the county police, to the post of sergeant.
Constable HODGKINSON has had an eventful career, although
perhaps the district (Woodhouses) that was assigned him
seldom needed his services. He figured prominently in
the Bell Clough murder case, unearthing some damaging
evidence against the murderer.
Another case in which he acquitted himself
with some credit was the apprehension of a thief who had
broken into a mill, and about twelve months ago he was
promoted to the merit class for using artificial respiration
in a case of drowning. He first went to Woodhouses on
the 15th of June, 1891, and his genial and pleasant disposition
made him a favourite with all. He has been drafted to
Mossley, where he will take up his duties in his new position.
CURIOUS LICENSING APPLICATION
Wilfully Withholding a License
On Wednesday, at Stalybridge Police Court, Mr WADDINGTON,
solicitor, Manchester, asked the bench to grant him, on
behalf of Messrs Wilson, brewers, a copy of the license
of the Commercial Hotel, Melbourne-street. The outgoing
tenant, Kate HALL, has refused to give up the original
license, and he would prove to the satisfaction of the
magistrates that proper application had been made to her
for it, but that she was withholding it for some ulterior
The magistrates’ clerk (Mr WHITEHEAD)
said Mrs HALL had actually signed the notice agreeing
to the transfer, and promised to bring the certificate
the following morning. Mr WADDINGTON said Mrs HALL had
made inconsistent statements, and had refused to give
up the license. In reply to the chairman, the clerk said
the act of withholding a license was illegal, and proceedings
could be taken against her in a civil court. Mr WADDINGTON
was perfectly in order if he proved that the license had
been wilfully withheld.
Tom BURGESS, clerk in the employ of Messrs
Wilson, brewers, Manchester, said he saw Kate HALL on
Tuesday evening, and held a conversation with her. She
said she should not give the license up, and she asked
witness why he was running after her. — The Chairman:
Did she say on what ground? — Witness: She said
she wanted some more money.
The assistant magistrates’ clerk told
the magistrates that Mrs HALL came to Mr WHITEHEAD’s
office on Thursday and expressed her consent to the transfer.
Witness asked her for the license, and she said it was
locked up in a safe at the Commercial Hotel. She promised
to bring it to the office the next morning, but she had
not done so.
The bench acceded to Mr WADDINGTON’s
application, and then gave temporary permission to sell
to the new tenant, George HILTON, who has held a beerhouse
license at Bolton.
DEATH OF MR AARON CHEETHAM
The death of Mr Aaron CHEETHAM came with a painful shock
at the end of last week. Very few outside his immediate
family and friends were aware that he had been seized
a fortnight previously by paralysis of the brain, from
which he never recovered consciousness, and died last
Friday afternoon at his residence, Etherow, Scarisbrick-road,
Mr CHEETHAM was born in Stalybridge 49 years
ago, and attended Old Chapel Sunday School up to leaving
the neighbourhood half a dozen years ago. He filled all
the offices connected with the school, and his services
were highly appreciated by his colleagues.
In business Mr CHEETHAM was a coal merchant.
He was well known on the Manchester Coal Exchange, and
his unexpected demise in the prime of life has caused
much regret and sympathy with his widow and children.
Mr CHEETHAM married Miss SMITH, sister of Mr William SMITH,
borough accountant and committee clerk, of this town.
DEATH OF A DUKINFIELD
After attaining the venerable age of 91 years, Mrs Eliza
HAUGHTON, of 108 Town-lane, died last Saturday. She was
the widow of Mr John HAUGHTON, book-keeper at Messrs Summers’
Globe Ironworks, Stalybridge, who pre-deceased her about
12 years ago. Although a native of Stockport, she came
to Dukinfield 60 years ago, and has resided in the town
She was a familiar figure in the Town-lane
district, and a great favourite amongst the children,
who showed the venerable lady extreme respect. A regular
worshipper at the Old Chapel, she was also a prominent
party at the annual gathering of old folks at the school
Having lived to see the crowning of King
Edward VII, it was her good fortune to take part in five
Coronation celebrations, all of which, except for the
one last year, took place when she was residing at Stockport.
When seven years old she took part in the procession to
celebrate the Coronation of George III, and in the subsequent
17 years she played an important part in the jubilations
consequent upon the crowning of George IV, William IV,
and the late Queen Victoria.
Mrs HAUGHTON enjoyed fairly good health
up to a week or two of her death, which was really due
to old age and exhausted nature. She is survived by three
sisters. Mrs CLARKSON, of Millbrook, aged 77, Mrs WILD,
Church-street, Dukinfield, 75, and Mrs COOKE, of Smallshaw,
The interment took place on Wednesday, at
the Old Chapel, from the residence of the deceased’s
niece, Mrs ASHTON, of Town-lane. The carriers were Councillor
W WILLIAMS, Messrs John JACKSON, W SHAW, J LISTER, T CATON,
J BROOKES, J BESWICK, and W REES.
The mourners were: Mr and Mrs Walter ASHTON,
Mr Moses WILD, Misses Nellie and Edith ASHTON, Mrs CLARKSON,
Mrs E COOKE, Mrs Wright WILD, Mr and Mrs Joseph WILD,
Mr and Mrs Jas WILD, Mr and Mrs W WILD, Mr A WILD, Mr
and Mrs H COOKE, Mr and Mrs BENNETT, Mr and Mrs George
COOKE, Mr and Mrs R COOKE (Stockport), Mr E KENYON, Mr
and Mrs HARGREAVES (Ashton), Mr R HADFIELD, and others.
The funeral rites in the chapel and at the
graveside were performed by the Rev Hugon S TALER, M.A.
HOOLEY HILL & AUDENSHAW
NO LIGHT. — William BURNS was charged
before the county justices, at Ashton on Wednesday, with
having no light on his vehicle on the 20th of November.
When asked if he was guilty, he answered, “Certainly.”
He was fined 1s and costs or seven days.
DRUNK IN CHARGE OF A CHILD. —
Sarah Ann HAMPTON appeared at the Ashton County Police
Court, on Wednesday, in answer to a charge of being drunk
in charge of a child under the age of seven, on the 21st
of November. She pleaded guilty, and was fined 5s for
costs or seven days.
RED HALL P.S.A. SOCIETY, AUDENSHAW.
— The members of the above society met
on Sunday, when Mr James SCHOFIELD, president, was in
his accustomed place. A very useful and practical address
was delivered by Mr J PIDCOCK, of Ashton, who had chosen
for his subject “Personal influence.” Solos
were excellently rendered by Miss Bertha HALL, of Ashton.
The hymns were accompanied by the band, Mr T HALSTEAD,
of Droylsden, ably presiding at the organ.
COTTON TRADE DISPUTE
The Effect of the “Barber Knotter” at Hyde
The winders’ dispute at Throstle Bank and Flowery
Field Mills, Hyde, is not yet settled. A statement signed
by one of the directors, Mr A M FLETCHER, has been issued
on the firm’s behalf, to the weavers, winders and
warpers employed by the firm. In this it is said that
it has been found after ample test that winders could,
and did, earn 20 per cent more with the “Barber
Knotter” patent than without it. The firm, it is
pointed out, suggested that this 20 per cent should be
divided equally between the firm and the winder.
Pending a permanent agreement, it was agreed
that the firm should deduct five per cent, and this was
ratified by a letter dated October 29th, 1902. It is further
stated that the agreement was afterwards rescinded at
the request of the local secretary on the distinct understanding,
however, that the matter should be pushed forward for
settlement, three months being mentioned as the outside
limit of time.
Since then the firm have repeatedly asked
for a settlement, but without result. The directors then
decided to reduce the rate by 10 per cent, which was done.
They maintain that the winder can earn more wages with
the “Barber Knotter” and 10 per cent off that
without it at the old rate. They contend that better work
is made for the warper and weaver, and that it is the
firm’s duty to make use of every appliance for the
economical working of the concern, consistent with the
welfare of the workpeople.
We append the winders’ reply to the
above circular distributed to the operatives employed
at Bayley Field, Carr Field, Middle, and Throstle Bank
”We, the winders employed at the above
mills wish to make the dispute clear from our point of
view. First, we ask no weaver or warper to sign their
name or agree to take extreme action unless they are satisfied,
of their own free will, that the winders’ wages
are far too low, and that they are of opinion the employers
were not justified in reducing our wages 10 per cent for
the use of the Barber Knotter.
”We deny the statement — that
we earn 20 per cent more wages with the knotter than without
it. All the winders at every one of the above mills have
expressed themselves that for equal counts, spindles,
hours employed, weights, quality, and every other condition,
they can earn as much money per week without the knotter
as with it on fine counts of yarn.
”The local secretary could not accept
any reduction in prices under the same conditions in Oct,
1902; besides, the alteration only affected Throstle Bank
Mill, where the winding system was being overhauled for
the Northrop looms; he had no instructions from us (the
winders) or the amalgamation to accept or agree to any
alteration in prices for the knotter only.
”The secretary reported to a meeting
of the Throstle Bank winders that it anything was agreed
upon between the Central Committee and the Employers’
Association that we, the winders, would be affected, but
if no change in rates of payment took place between the
two parties, then we have no right to suffer a reduction
in wages. It is quite evident to us, as winders, that
our employers want to pay less wages than other firms
do who are using the knotter.
THE TREATMENT OF POOR-LAW
Miss Bertha Mason Speak at Droylsden
The larger room of the Droylsden Reform Club was given
up on Wednesday evening to the Droylsden Women’s
Liberal Association, who held another of the series of
meetings arranged during the winter season. The principal
speaker was Miss Bertha MASON, a member of the Ashton
Board of Guardians and the Ashton County Elementary Education
Sub-committee, and it was not surprising that the larger
room was so well filled.
Mrs GREEN briefly introduced Miss MASON,
their president, and said the subject she had chosen was
one of very great interest to everybody who had the welfare
of the children at heart. — (Hear, hear.)
Miss MASON said the problem of how to deal
with the bona-fide tramp was exercising the minds of Poor-law
Guardians a very great deal. The problem of out-relief
was ever a pressing anxiety and responsibility to all
Poor-law reformers. — (Hear, hear.) The problem
of the deserving poor was always with them, and the question
of how to relieve destitution without increasing the evil
was another matter which would have to be satisfactorily
solved. But lastly, and not the least important, was the
question of how to deal with the children of the State.
All those problems were full of interest,
full of difficulties and complexities. With regard to
the last named, the problem of children, there was an
element which was lacking entirely — the element
of hope and possibility. — (Hear, hear.) It was
the problem of the children, with its hope and possibilities
that she had been asked that night to speak upon.
It had been a general custom to keep all
Poor-law children entirely in workhouses. They lived there
day and night. They never left the place except on rare
occasions when perhaps they were taken for a walk by one
of the officials, or invited out to some little treat
by a kind and generous outsider. They were dressed in
workhouse uniform, and they associated with no one but
children of their own class. But of late years a change
had taken place, and now it was admitted on all hands
that of all the training grounds for children the workhouse
was absolutely the worst. — (Hear, hear.)
Miss MASON went on to deal at considerable
length with the subject, and in advocating strongly an
effort on the part of the Board of Guardians to bring
about an improvement in the surroundings of the children,
she went on to urge the adoption of the “scattered
homes” system, which means that the Guardians should
place the children in separate cottages under the care
of a motherly woman.
It is superfluous to state this suggestion
caught on. Miss MASON does not hold that “scattered
homes” are an exact production of a working man’s
home, but she argues that family life does exist in them
to a large extent, and in such a cottage each child had
more chance of learning habits of thrift, economy, and
self-reliance than was possible in a workhouse. —
As to the cost of the system she had advocated,
from what she had learned from other unions who had adopted
the “scattered homes” their figures showed
that the system was not an expensive one. The problem
always before Poor-law Guardians was how to relieve the
destitute and decrease pauperism. — (Hear, hear.)
Prevention was better than cure, and it seemed to her
that the only satisfactory solution of that most difficult
question lay in beginning with the children, and so teaching
them that they would not have either occasion or desire
to fall back upon Poor-law relief. — (Applause.)
The address was listened to with much interest,
and the ideas Miss MASON had set forth impressed the audience
very greatly. Miss CHORLTON moved a vote of thanks to
Miss MASON. Mrs BEEDAM seconded, and Mrs G HIBBERT supported,
all giving a few practical remarks. The vote was warmly
accorded, and after the acknowledgement the only other
business had reference to the annual social.