3 September 1904
SMASH AT ASHTON
Narrow Escape of a Cabman
A somewhat alarming accident on Thursday afternoon in
Katherine-street, Ashton. It appears that about three
o’clock an electric car was proceeding along the
street at the usual speed, when, on reaching the junction
of Portland-street and Katherine-street, a cab belonging
to Messrs T. Wood and Co., cab proprietors, of Stalybridge,
crossed the lines and collided with the car. The driver,
Frederick Thomas MILLER, of Harrison-street, Stalybridge,
was thrown violently off the seat, and one of the shafts
was broken. MILLER sustained no injury beyond the shock.
Death on the Way to the Station
The inhabitants of Bardsley and Waterloo were on Monday
shocked by the news of a very sudden death, under peculiar
circumstances. It appears that Nancy ARRUNDALE, aged 64,
of 18, Keb-lane, Bardsley, wife of a platelayer, was going
to Park Bridge Station, along with her husband, and a
family named BRADBURY, en route for Cleethorpes for the
day, about twenty minutes past six on Monday morning,
when (on reaching Fairbottom-road) she was seized with
a violent pain in her chest, and became very ill.
Doctor MITCHELL, of Oldham, was accordingly
sent for, but the unfortunate woman expired before his
arrival. The body was removed home, and Dr MITCHELL examining
it a little later said death had been caused by heart
PREMISES FOR AN UNLAWFUL PURPOSE AT HURST
A youth named Arthur HARDY stood in the dock at the Ashton
County Police Court, on Wednesday, charged with being
on enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose at Hurst,
on the 12th of August. He pleaded guilty.
Superintendent HEWITT explained that HARDY
was found on premises belonging to a greengrocer at Hurst.
Some fruit baskets had been opened, and some plums were
lying about. There was no previous conviction recorded
against him. – His sister appeared and pleaded that
he was always a good boy at home.
The Magistrates’ Clerk: Will you promise
not to do anything like this again? – Prisoner (who
appeared to feel his position keenly): Yes, sir. –
The magistrates dismissed him with a caution.
A CAR AT GLOSSOP
Exciting Street Incident
On Thursday noon a street accident occurred at Glossop
which fortunately was attended with only slight personal
injury. Mr J. BROWN, J.P., of Charlesworth, who had been
sitting at the Glossop Court Sessions, was being driven
to his residence, and when passing along High-street West
the horse shied at some baskets by the side of the footpath,
containing commercial traveller’s samples, and dashed
into one of the electric cars which was passing in the
Mr BROWN and his coachman were thrown out
of the vehicle, the shafts and the footboard being splintered.
The electric car was considerably damaged, and the horse
received a bad cut on one of the forelegs and other injuries.
Mr BROWN, the coachman, and the driver of the car luckily
Milliner’s Shop in Flames
A fire, which created considerable alarm and excitement
in the town, occurred on Tuesday afternoon at the shop
of Madame ATKINSON, milliner, of Market-street, near the
Information of the outbreak was conveyed
by Frank Newby HARRIS to Constable BUTLER, at the Hyde
fire station, at 3.57. Four firemen, with the float, turned
out immediately and were not more than a minute or so
before they arrived on the scene, when they were joined
by the Chief Constable and several other firemen.
Being closing day, the shop was shut up,
and an entry had to be forced into the premises. The glass
in the shop door was broken, and it was seen that the
fixtures and stock, consisting of hats, boxes, and trimmings,
were well alight. Four “Fire Queens” were
used for extinguishing until the hose could be brought
into operation, and then it only needed a small quantity
of water to effectively extinguish the flames.
Altogether, the time occupied in putting
the fire out was about twenty minutes. Still the damage
done was very considerable, for the contents of the shop
for the contents of such a shop are usually of a valuable
character. Nearly all the stock was burned, or spoiled
by water, though the brigade succeeded in saving a lot
The fire was mainly confined to the front
shop, which, after the brigade had left, presented a ruined
appearance. It had been cleared of almost everything,
and the floor, walls, and ceiling were full of charred
matter, and saturated with water. In the ceiling, too,
there was a hole where the fire had burned through into
the bedroom, but no damage was done there beyond the furniture
being wet with the water that had been directed upon the
fire to stop it from proceeding any further. We understand,
however, that all was covered by insurance.
The outbreak is supposed to have been caused
by a fire which had been left burning in the grate after
the shop closed at dinner time for the usual half-holiday.
There were some boxes and fittings near the grate, and
it is conjectured that these became ignited.
The contents of the shop being inflammable
the place would soon be in flames. The shop is situated
in the middle of a block of buildings, so that the danger
of it spreading to them was very considerable, and it
was only through the prompt action of the brigade in getting
the “Fire Queens” to work while the hoses
were attached that perhaps prevented such a catastrophe.
A WIFE AT GORTON
Husband Sent to Gaol
Martha GODFREY, who lives in School-street, Gorton Brook,
has been in Ancoats Hospital a fortnight, suffering from
injuries to the head. She came out a few days ago, and
was able to appear at the Manchester City Police Court,
on Monday, to give evidence against her husband, Thomas,
who was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm upon
She told the justices she had been married
18 years, and on Saturday, the 13th of August, she went
home, in company with a neighbour, as she was afraid of
her husband. She admitted having had a drop of drink,
and when she knocked at the door he refused to let her
in the house. He came outside, and from that time prosecutrix
remembered nothing more until she was in Ancoats Hospital.
– The Clerk: Do you know what he did to you? No,
but he either kicked or hit me. She had, she said, been
in the hospital about a fortnight, and was now an out-patient.
Mrs O’BRIAN spoke to going home with
the prosecutrix. She left her on the doorstep, and when
she had gone a few yards, she heard the little girl scream.
Witness ran back, and saw prisoner hitting his wife. She
saw she was bleeding, and her head seemed to be injured.
Shortly afterwards the horse ambulance came, and the woman
was taken to hospital.
Prisoner admitted striking his wife on the
side of the face, but denied causing the injuries. He
said she fell against the table leg, and after he put
her on the sofa she tried to get off again, and fell over
the arm of the sofa. Outside she fell over a grate. She
went out at dinner time after he had given her his wages,
and he never saw her again until after eleven o’clock
in the evening. She was, he said, then drunk.
The Bench fined him 21s. and costs, or one
CRUELTY AT WOODHOUSES
An Extraordinary Letter
Threatens to Hang Himself and Murder the Children
At the Ashton County Police Court, on Wednesday, Annie
PRICE charged her husband, Charles PRICE, with persistent
cruelty at Woodhouses. He pleaded guilty.
Complainant said they had been married seven
years last April, and had four children. He was everlasting
hitting and beating her. He wouldn’t work, and when
she bought food threw it behind the fire and broke the
pots. He also came home drunk very often. – The
Chairman: Where does he get the money from if he doesn’t
work? Complainant: I don’t know, he works a little
now and then.
Defendant’s version was that the whole
quarrel commenced a week last Monday, when having secured
work he had to rise early. He wanted his wife to get up
and put some buttons on his trousers, but she wouldn’t.
He didn’t mind getting his own breakfast, but he
did object to mending his trousers. He had to return two
hours later because they were short of tackle. The reason
she brought that charge against him was because he went
home drunk on Monday night and broke a few cups.
Complainant: In July while asleep in bed
at night after working all day, he came up, pulled me
out, and kicked me downstairs. If I can get away from
him I am willing to work and keep the children. I dare
not live with him; I’m afraid, proper afraid. He
has also written this letter to me (handing it to the
The Chairman (after perusing the letter):
That’s a nice letter to write, isn’t it? Is
it true? – Defendant: No, sir, it isn’t. –
The Magistrates’ Clerk: Then you didn’t intend
killing the children and hang yourself? And your little
girl didn’t open her eyes when she saw the axe in
the bedroom? – The Chairman: Had you an axe in the
bedroom? – Complainant: Yes, sir, my mother found
it there. – Defendant (emphatically): That’s
The magistrates granted a separation order
and custody of the children with 5s. a week.
A WAKES ROBBERY
The Out of Work Brigade
One of the inevitable robberies which the Wakes brings
in its train was disclosed at the Borough Court, on Thursday,
when Samuel BARDSLEY and Martin GATELEY, two youths stood
in the dock charged with breaking and entering the lock-up
shop, 5a, Cavendish-street, and stealing a quantity of
sweets and mineral waters, the property of Marjorie CRABTREE
Marjorie CRABTREE, wife of David CRABTREE,
of 52, Park-street, said she had a lock-up shop at 5a,
Cavendish-street. At 6.30 on Friday evening week she locked
it up, leaving all secure. At 7.30 p.m., the 29th of August,
she discovered that the shop had been entered. She missed
twelve bottles of sweets, two boxes of chocolate, a tin
of caramel toffee, and other articles to the value of
16s. It appeared as if the thieves had gained admission
through the window.
James Edward SHIRT, of 29, Higher Wharf-street,
said that at 5.30 on Wednesday, the 24th of August, he
saw the two prisoners at the corner of Higher Wharf-street
and Cavendish-street. Bardsley said, “Will you come
on the little ground (at the back of the house broken
into)?” He answered, “Yes,” and went.
When they got there the prisoners entered the shop, and
he (witness) left them.
James Levi McCARTHY, a labourer, of 24,
Higher Wharf-street, said about 6 o’clock on the
date of the robbery he saw the two prisoners in Higher
Wharf-street. BARDSLEY was eating some toffee and he (witness)
asked for some. BARDSLEY pulled out a cake of the toffee,
and gave him some caramel toffee and a piece of chocolate.
On Sunday, BARDSLEY said GATELEY, himself, and the last
witness had broken into the shop.
Sergeant HEIGHWAY deposed to arresting the
two prisoners on Tuesday morning. When he charged them,
GATELEY answered, “No mineral waters; that’s
a lie.” BARDSLEY made no reply. – The Clerk
formally charged them. – BARDSLEY denied the robbery
and GATELEY admitted it.
The Chief Constable said both the youths
had been before the court, but not for that class of offence.
He might say they were out of work, and they were roaming
about the night through. There had been several attempts
in the district, and he had no doubt the youths had broken
into the shop on previous occasions.
The Clerk: BARDSLEY appears to be one of
the no-work brigade. – The Chief Constable: That
is so. – The Chairman: BARDSLEY, you have been before
me previously. Besides doing ill yourself, you are leading
other lads astray. You will go to prison for a month with
hard labour. You, GATELEY, will be dealt with more leniently.
You will be dismissed this time.
GENTLEMAN AND HIS BICYCLE
Relieved of it at Hazel Grove
On Monday, a very respectably dressed man named William
HOPKINSON, a hatter, of Buxton-road, Stockport, was charged
at the Stockport County Police Court with having taken
a bicycle at Hazel Grove on Saturday.
A Dukinfield cashier, Joseph OLIVER, said
he was cycling in the district on Saturday, and he called
at the Bull’s Head Inn, Hazel Grove, leaving his
bicycle inside a rail outside the house. When he came
out the bicycle had disappeared. It was worth £3.
He did nothing to prove the case against the prisoner.
– A tram conductor named Herbert WALSH stated that
he saw the prisoner in possession of the bicycle.
Constable HULME, of the Stockport Borough
Force, stated that at about midnight on Saturday, he found
the bicycle on the footpath in Buxton-road, about 50 yards
away from the prisoner’s house. He saw marks on
the pavement, and went to prisoner’s house and questioned
him, and afterwards gave information to the county police.
Constable KENNEDY stated that at 2.30 on
Sunday morning he arrested the prisoner. When charged
he said, “I have not done it.” He admitted
having ridden a bicycle on Saturday night and said he
did not know to who it belonged. He was liberated on bail,
and went to the police station at four o’clock on
Sunday afternoon, and said, “I admit taking the
bicycle. I was in drink, and did not know what I was doing.”
The Chairman (Mr. Henry BELL): That is no
excuse, you know perfectly well you were taking the bicycle.
– Superintendent McHALE said the prisoner had been
previously fined for a similar offence. His father was
a very respectable man.
The prisoner’s father made a statement
to the Bench. He said there could be no better lad than
his son when he was not under the influence of drink.
He had no need to have done this trick. If the Bench would
deal leniently with him he would be responsible for him.
– The police commissionary (Mr. PICKETT) said he
had had some conversation with the prisoner who realised
the seriousness of the offence, and had promised to turn
over a new leaf.
The Chairman said that as this was prisoner’s
second appearance for larceny he ought to be sent to prison.
But as the owner of the bicycle did not wish to press
the case and the prisoner had promised to turn over a
new leaf, they would let him off with a fine. He would
be fined 20s, or in default of payment have to go to prison
for 14 days.
The proceedings in the Blackpool Police Court against
the lady fortune tellers of that favourite seaside resort
will have been read with interest throughout Lancashire.
One rather likes the contemptuous toleration with which
these unblushing impostors have generally been treated.
Those who have no more sense than to spend their money
in the indulgence of such senseless frivolity are perhaps
just as well off without it.
If not swindled in this comparatively harmless
fashion they might fall an easy prey to the greater rascals
who would fleece them in a more pernicious manner. Butler
informs us in his “Hudibras”
pleasure is as great of being cheated as to cheat."
And so it is, we suppose, with most of the innocent “consultants”
of the lady palmists who carry on such a lucrative business
at most holiday resorts and in many great cities.
It is part of the pleasure to have their
fortunes “told” by persons who have really
fewer means of making a good guess than the persons themselves
whose fortunes are told. We should imagine very few of
the “consultants” would admit, any more than
the police did to being really “deceived”
by the palmists.
They go for the fun of the thing, desiring,
we suppose, to gratify an idle curiosity, and to leave
none of the experiences of Blackpool out of their category.
The peculiarity of the cases is that none of those who
encourage the palmists ever complain; it is always some
witness expressly put on by the police. Of course, the
professors of occult science, male or female, really knows
nothing from his pretended source of divination. It may
the fond maids in palmistry
They tell the secret first which he reveals.
Then, of course, the affectation of “mystery”
is one of the good of all the so-called “occult”
sciences. The price is not great and “what harm
is there in it?” they ask. They easily nibble at
the wily bait held out to them, and have no idea from
first to last that they are being defrauded. Besides,
if there is anything essentially wicked about the business,
the “consultants” are participants in the
crime, and should be equally amenable to punishment.
But no attempt is ever made to institute
a prosecution against the silly people who throw their
money away in such a foolish manner. The law treats them
as poor, innocent victims who need to be protected from
a set of fraudulent impostors. It does not say, as it
might do, to those who complain about such tricksters:
Is’t for a man of your repute
To credit fortune tellers? A pretty rogue,
That never saw five shillings in a heap,
Will take upon him to divine man’s fate,
Yet never knows himself shall die a beggar,
Or be hanged up for pilfering tablecloths,
Shirts, and smocks hung out to dry on hedges.
Of course, your seaside professional who
can pay a rent of £50 for the season at Blackpool
cannot be classed in the same poor category, but the imposture
is just the same in both cases.
Another view of the matter may be presented.
The fair, honest trader, who gives full and substantial
value for the money of his customers may compare his own
scanty gains with the larger proceeds of some other individual
who is carrying on some illegitimate game and cheating
the public. He informs the police at last, and puts a
spoke in the wheel of the rogue.
In Blackpool there are thousands of people
seeking by fair and legitimate means to lay hold of the
visitors’ cash, and they may object to anybody else
doing so in a manner discountenanced by the law. This
sort of thing has been carried to a great length in Blackpool,
and, apparently, has not been objected to for a great
number of years.
It has evidently become a more flourishing
business than that of the lodging-house keeper, and perhaps
needed the discouragement of fines of £25 and costs.
But, after all, some people may imagine that the humbugs
of the place are not quite so inimical to its interests
as others suppose, and may think it is better to leave
the whole matter to be regulated by the common sense of
the people or their want of common sense.