11 June 1904
SINGULAR ACCIDENT TO
AN ASHTON CORPORATION PAVIOR
Struck by a Pick
To the heavy clouds of dust blown about on Monday were
attributed a singular accident which befell a pavior in
the employ of the Ashton Corporation, named Alfred SMITH,
residing at 206, Katherine-street.
He, along with other Corporation workmen,
were engaged in laying the setts along Whitelands-road,
when a thick cloud of dust was blown along the road. Another
workman, named John SIMISTER, was using a pick close by
in order to break up the ground, when, as was stated,
the dust became so thick that they could hardly see each
other, and as SMITH changed his position the pick descended,
and the point struck him on the buttock inflicting a nasty
The police ambulance was requisitioned,
and he was immediately conveyed to the District Infirmary,
in charge of Constables ALFORD and WOLFENDEN.
ACCIDENT TO A LADY
CYCLIST AT ASHTON
An alarming accident occurred in Chester-square, Ashton,
about six o’clock on Saturday evening, by which
a lady cyclist, named Mary Elizabeth OLDFIELD, of 7, Robinson-street,
Ashton, narrowly escaped very serious injuries.
She was cycling through the square in the
direction of St Peter’s Church, when she collided
with an electric tramcar, throwing her with much force
to the ground. She was picked up by the driver of the
car, and assisted into Dr SMITH’s surgery close
by, where she was found to be suffering from shock. She
was afterwards driven home in a cab.
ACCIDENT IN ASHTON
An accident occurred to a woman named Elizabeth Ann POTTS,
wife of Jos. POTTS, collier, 53, Jermyn-street, Ashton,
on Saturday night. She was walking through the Market
Hall when her foot slipped and she fell, severely injuring
one of her legs, which was deformed. Dr PEARCE attended
to the injuries, and she was taken home in the police
ASHTON AND DISTRICT
FREE CHURCH COUNCIL
Camp Meeting in the Market Ground
On Wednesday night a camp meeting, under the auspices
of the Ashton and District Free Church Council, was held
on the Market Ground. On the platform there were present
Messrs. William HAMER (chairman), Revs. Thomas HOOPER,
Bramwell DUTTON, and A. T. GREENWOOD, and Mr George TAYLOR.
After several hymns has been sweetly sung
by the choir of the Ashton Union of Christian Endeavour
Societies (under the conductorship of Mr J. A. YOXALL),
who were present, the Chairman explained the objects of
the meeting — that if the people would not come
to them, they would go the people, and expressed the hope
that that meeting would bear fruit in many hearts among
The rest of the evening was spent in speaking
and singing, the Rev. Thomas HOOPER and Mr George TAYLOR
delivering eloquent addresses.
BREACH OF TRAMWAY BY-LAWS
An Obnoxious Passenger
At the Ashton Borough Court, on Monday, a young man named
Frederick KING, of Dukinfield, was charged (1) with using
profane language on a tramcar; and (2) with refusing to
leave the outside of the car when requested to do so,
on the 27th May. Defendant pleaded guilty. — Mr
F. W. BROMLEY, town clerk, said he was instructed by the
Tramways Committee to prosecute the defendant, who, having
pleaded guilty, he would state the facts shortly.
It seemed that on Friday, the 27th of last
month, defendant and a friend tried to get upon a car
coming from Stalybridge to Ashton at the Sycamore. Defendant’s
friend was drunk, and was not allowed to go on the car.
Defendant got on while the car was in motion.
He would not go inside or on the top, although
frequently requested by the conductor to do so. When the
car got near the Albion Chapel the conductor had it stopped,
and he brought round the driver. They both requested KING
to go on the top, and he again refused. It was not until
a police officer came that he did.
When he did comply with the conductor’s
request, he used very abusive and profane language. He
was asked for his name and address, and at first he refused
to give it, but ultimately complied.
As this was the first case which the Corporation
had found it necessary to bring before their worships,
he was desired to say that they would on every occasion
rigorously have the by-laws complied with. They knew the
tramcars were a great boon and convenience to a large
number of people. A very many women travelled by the car,
and it would be intolerable if they could not do so without
being compelled to listen to profane and disgusting language.
He did not make these remarks as applying
to this case in particular, but generally. The conductors
had very difficult duties to perform. The Tramways Committee
insisted upon their being civil and obliging to the public,
and on the other hand they intended to insist that the
public should not oppose the conductors and officials
in carrying on their duties. Therefore in future they
hoped these cases would be very, very few indeed.
Dr COOKE: Was he under the influence of
drink? — Defendant: I had had some, your Worship.
— Dr COOKE: As this is the first case, and you seem
a respectable sort of man, we shall deal more leniently
with you. It should be generally known that the Tramways
Committee will on no occasion allow abusive language or
rough conduct to prevail on their cars. In your case this
morning we shall fine you the costs of the court, which
will be 5s. 6d. in each case.
Mr BROMLEY: Will you allow the advocate’s
fee? I don’t think the committee should be put to
any unreasonable expenses in carrying out their duty to
the public. — Dr COOKE: Very well, we allow it.
THE CASE OF HARD SWEARING
Perjury Somewhere — The Police Vindicated
At the Dukinfield Police Court, on Thursday, Sarah Ann
LOMAS, married woman, of Birch-lane, was charged on an
adjourned summons with being drunk and disorderly in Birch-lane
on the 30th May.
Superintendent CROGHAN informed the magistrates
(Alderman J. KERFOOT and Mr T. MORTON) that the case had
been adjourned since last Thursday. On that occasion defendant
was summoned for being drunk and disorderly in Birch-lane
on the 30th ult.
A constable swore that she was drunk and
creating a disturbance at the corner of Birch-lane and
Meadow-lane at five past 11 o’clock at night. She
denied it in toto, and she was corroborated by her husband
and a man named BIBBY. They swore she was perfectly sober,
and that she was never out of the house on that occasion.
In other words, the policeman was swearing a lie.
It was apparent that flagrant perjury was
being committed on one side or the other, and it might
damage the constable. He (Superintendent CROGHAN) made
an application for the bench to adjourn the case with
a view to getting independent witnesses to give their
version of the affair, and let the magistrates and the
public see who had been committing perjury
He hoped the bench would believe him when
he said he was most anxious that the police should swear
the truth. It was most important that they should do so,
and the Chief Constable had over an over again impressed
them with that fact. If the police were not truthful,
they were not honest. It was essential that policemen
should be truthful and honest.
If an officer did choose to swear a deliberate
lie and commit perjury he must take responsibility. He
was not only liable to dismissal from the force, but also
proceeded against for perjury. He had only one object
in view, and that was to get at the truth. He had witnesses
who would tell the bench what had happened, and he would
leave it to the justices to decide which side had committed
Constable Ernest HALL was then sworn. He
stated that he was on duty in Birch-lane on the night
of the 30th May at 15 minutes past 11 o’clock when
his attention was called to the defendant standing at
the corner of Birch-lane and Meadow-lane, about 20 yards
from her own door. She was drunk, shouting, and using
very bad language. He went to her and persuaded her to
go into the house.
She went as far as the doorstep, and then
renewed the shouting and bad language. She went inside,
but came out again after witness had walked a short distance
from the door. Eventually her husband took her inside.
She was in the street altogether about a quarter of an
hour. He did not know the woman before, and had not the
slightest feeling in the matter. He reported the case
in the usual way.
Alderman KERFOOT: With regard to your evidence
about her being drunk. How would you describe her drunkenness?
— Mr MORTON: Was she staggering about? — Witness:
Yes, she was staggering. I walked by her side from Meadow-lane
end to her door, a distance of 20 yards, and she kept
bobbing against the wall.
Superintendent CROGHAN: What was her language?
Was it that of a sober woman? No, it was filthy language.
— The Deputy Clerk: Any questions to ask the witness?
— Defendant: Did you come to the door and say you
would report me? Yes. — Wasn’t that the first
time you saw me? No.
Thomas JONES, cowman at Victoria Farm, stated
that at 10 past 11 o’clock on the night of the 30th
he was coming down Meadow-lane, and heard a noise in Birch-lane.
He saw Mrs LOMAS at the corner of Birch and Meadow-lanes.
She was cursing, and he came to the conclusion she was
Superintendent CROGHAN: Have you any doubt
about her condition? No, she was drunk. I saw the constable
come across the street to her and tell her to go into
the house and behave herself. — Have you been compelled
to come here and give evidence? Yes. The Deputy Clerk:
Any questions to ask? — Defendant: No. I was not
outside and he did not see me.
Elizabeth PATTEN, 50, Birch-lane, stated
that on the afternoon of the 30th at 4.30 she saw Mrs
LOMAS at her own door. At that time she had had a drop
of drink, but was not drunk. About five past eleven o’clock
she saw her and the constable at the corner of Birch and
Meadow-lanes. — Superintendent CROGHAN: What was
her state then? — Witness: She was not so drunk
but what she could walk without assistance — Was
she drunk or sober? She was not so drunk that she required
to be carried. — She was drunk? Well, she was drunk.
— You didn’t want to come here? No, I am very
sorry to come. — You have been summoned here? Yes.
Lucy COKELY, 47, Birch-lane, said that at
five minutes past 11 o’clock she was in her house
when she heard a noise outside. She went to the door,
and saw Mrs LOMAS standing on her own doorstep. She was
making a noise — swearing. She came off the doorstep
and staggered towards Meadow-lane. — Superintendent
CROGHAN: Was she drunk? Yes. — You have been compelled
to come here on summons? Yes, I did not want to come.
— I don’t blame you. — The Deputy Clerk:
Any questions to ask? — Defendant: No, I never saw
William WOOLLEY, cabdriver, 1, Anne-street,
off Birch-lane, stated that at 11.15 he was going home
along Meadow-lane, when he heard Mrs LOMAS shouting on
her own doorstep. In his opinion she was drunk.
The Deputy Clerk: Do you wish to come into
this box and give evidence on oath? — Defendant:
No, I will stop here. — Then call your witnesses.
Joseph BOYD, 56, Birch-lane, repeated the
evidence he gave last week, that he heard a bother in
the street, and saw a policeman at Mrs LOMAS’s door.
The officer told her to go into the house, and she did
so. He could not speak to her condition as he did not
see her. He had seen her at 8 o’clock, and she was
all right and sober.
Superintendent CROGHAN: You are a bit more
careful in your evidence this morning than you were last
Thursday. Didn’t you swear that when you saw her
on the doorstep she was sober? No. — Will you swear
now she was drunk or sober at a quarter past 11 o’clock?
I did not see her. — I have nothing more to ask
Joshua LOMAS, husband of the defendant,
was called. He said he and his wife were having a few
words in the house shortly after 11 o’clock. His
wife was standing near the door when the constable came
up and told her if she did not go inside he should report
her. She made a remark that she was in her own house,
and was only having a few words with her husband. Witness
then got up and closed the door.
The Deputy Clerk: What state was your wife
in? She was not drunk. — Superintendent CROGHAN:
You don’t swear so positively about your wife’s
state as you did last Thursday. Will you swear she was
sober? She was not drunk. — Last week you said she
was sober and had no sign of drink. Do you still say she
was sober? Yes. — Do you know that your wife was
in the Wheat Sheaf in the afternoon? No. Were you in there?
Yes, in the evening. — Will you swear you do not
know that your wife was there drinking when you were in
the taproom? Yes.
Will you swear you do not know that she
had whiskey at Mrs TAYLOR’s, 57, Birch-lane that
night? I don’t know. — Did you have some there?
Yes. —You’re your wife there? Yes. —
How many women were there? Four or five. — Were
they all drinking whiskey? No one was drinking whiskey
while I was there. — You had some though? Yes. —
Will you swear you did not drink out of the same cup as
your wife? I don’t know whether it was the same
cup or not. — Did you see your wife drink any? No.
— Perhaps you did not leave her much to drink? Perhaps
Will you swear that your wife did not leave
the house before the constable came? Yes. — Do you
think it reasonable that all these people have come here
to tell lies about your wife? No, but they would not have
come if they had not been made. I am not saying this as
a threat, but possibly you will hear more of this.
Witness: At the last hearing the constable
said that a shopkeeper had made complaint about the disturbance.
Why had he not brought him as a witness. The inspector
and four constables had been making a house-to-house inquiry,
and causing more commotion than ever. — Superintendent
CROGHAN: Why haven’t you brought the tradesman?
I didn’t want to bring him from business.
Alderman KERFOOT: Have you anything against
her? — Superintendent CROGHAN: No; it is her first
appearance. I have nothing prejudicial to her character.
The magistrates consulted with the deputy
clerk after which Superintendent CROGHAN said if the bench
had made up their minds to convict he would ask that they
should order the defendant to pay something towards the
cost of bringing the witnesses for the police.
As the bench were aware, it was a most difficult
thing for the police to get witnesses to give evidence.
They did not like to come against their neighbours, and
he did not blame them, but in the interests of truth and
justice he had summoned them. That had entailed some expense,
and it was not fair that the county should bear the whole
This was not of their seeking. It had been
forced upon the police. The evidence last Thursday branded
the police officer with perjury, his credibility was at
stake, and he thought it hard that the county should be
put to needless and unnecessary expense through the stupidity
of the defendant and her husband.
The Bench then fined defendant 5s. and costs,
and 10s. expenses for witness in addition. In default
14 days. The fine and costs amounted to £1 18s.
SUICIDE OF AN OLD MILLBROOK
At 8.45 on Thursday morning the dead body of Samuel BANKS,
aged 76, a well-known resident of Millbrook, was found
suspended by a rope tied round his neck and fastened to
the ceiling of his house, No. 1, Grenville-street. Deceased,
who was a woollen weaver by trade, had been in failing
health for some time, having suffered from bronchitis
and heart affliction.
He was left sitting in a chair downstairs
early on Thursday morning, his wife retiring to bed, and
at seven o’clock he was heard walking about the
house, but upon getting up later Mrs BANKS was horrified
to find her husband hanging as stated. The body was cut
down by Finlay McKINLEY, Co-operative Society butcher,
and Mr NEWTON, coroner, fixed the inquest for 2.30 on
Friday afternoon. A report of the inquiry will appear
in our Monday’s edition.
ACTION AGAINST AN OPENSHAW
The ordinary business routine of the Ashton County Court
on Thursday was relieved by a very acceptable touch of
humour. Mr George HEATHCOTE, of Dukinfield, sought to
recover £15 11s. 6d. for professional fees from
Moses BERRY, formerly of Dukinfield, and now of Openshaw,
for business done in connection with the sale of certain
BERRY alleged that the charges were excessive,
and that superfluous cab fares entered into the bill of
costs. He gave evidence in a manner which elicited roars
of laughter from the assembled solicitors, and the judge
rebuked him two or three times.
He alleged that Mr HEATHCOTE “had,
along with other solicitors done the cake-walk —
walked off with his money.” — (Laughter.)
He made a personal appeal to the judge to exercise partiality.
Ultimately the judge found for Mr HEATHCOTE.