16 July 1904
TRAMCAR ACCIDENT AT
Deaf and Dumb Boy Knocked Down
The remarkable utility of life savers on electric tramcars
was again demonstrated at Waterloo, on Monday forenoon.
A boy about 4 or 5 years of age, named Edward ASHLEY,
residing near the Liberal Club, Oldham-road, and stated
to be deaf and dumb, was crossing the road at the same
time as an electric tramcar was passing along from Oldham
to Ashton. The driver of the car is stated to have sounded
the bell several times and before he could pull up the
boy passed in front of the car and was knocked down.
There was much consternation among the passengers
who naturally came to the conclusion that the injuries
would be very serious. Fortunately the lifeguard saved
the boy from being crushed by the car passing over him,
but he received a nasty wound in the head from which blood
flowed freely. He was carried into his home close by and
Dr BOWMAN sent for. On arrival the boy was in great pain,
and the doctor placed him under chloroform and applied
several stitches in the wound. He is progressing favourably.
MARITAL TROUBLES AT
At the Ashton County Police Court on Wednesday, William
LOFT was summoned by his wife, Elizabeth LOFT with deserting
her. Mr GARFORTH, who appeared on his behalf, pleaded
Mr WATSON, who appeared on the wife’s
behalf, said that on the 25th of May last the husband
was summoned for assault, but the charge was withdrawn
on the understanding that a deed of separation should
be prepared and signed by the defendant. Defendant’s
solicitor attended at his (Mr WATSON’s) office,
and consented to 5s. a week for a year, and afterwards
7s. 6d. per week. However, there were certain articles
which the defendant required, which the woman was willing
to give up.
Mr GARFORTH said it had been discovered
that with the assistance of male accomplices the woman
had forced her way into the house and taken certain articles,
leaving nothing but a blanket.
Mrs LOFT gave evidence and said they were
married in 1899, and had no children. They had lived at
Limehurst about 18 months, and had been very uncomfortable
during that time. The desertion took place on the 14th
of May, when he went he went into the house. She followed
him, and he ordered her out, saying he wanted “t’other
woman,” who lived in Bradford. He then turned her
out about a quarter to 12 that night, and she had been
living with her mother ever since.
Mr GARFORTH said that if she wanted she
could have gone back; she could then. His client could
not afford to keep two establishments, not could he keep
a grass widow. The magistrates granted an order for 5s.
a week, with advocate’s fees.
FALLING AN OLD COLLIERY
CHIMNEY AT BARDSLEY
Through successive generations, the tall, square brick
chimney, known as Wilde Colliery, has towered over its
rural surroundings, as evidence of a busy industry, but
of late years the pit has been closed down and dismantled,
and a fortnight ago the disused buildings were disposed
of at a sale by auction. These are being demolished and
the useful material carried away.
On Saturday morning, about five 0’clock,
the operation of falling the chimney took place. A large
crowd of people gathered about the pit-head eager to witness
the collapse of the old pile. The work was undertaken
by Mr J ROBERTS, assisted by a number of the miners employed
at the Coperas House Pit, and the operation was successfully.
The bricks on one side of the chimney were stripped as
if by lightning, giving it a somewhat dilapidated appearance
on that side.
The preparatory stages of the falling process
consisted of undermining the south side of the chimney
and inserting charges of dynamite which were exploded
from a distance by means of a fuse. When the explosion
occurred the pile was seen to quiver for a moment, and
then topple over until it described an acute angle almost
where it snapped in two portions and fell to the ground,
causing a great cloud of dust. The bricks were removed
and used for building purposes.
SHOCKING CASE OF NEGLECT
”A House Swarming with Filth and Vermin”
Sickening Effect Upon an Alderman
At the Stalybridge Police Court, on Monday, John BLEWITT
and his wife Clara BLEWITT, of No. 2 Henry-street, off
Bridge-street, were charged with neglecting their four
children in such a manner as to cause them unnecessary
suffering. They both pleaded not guilty, and elected to
be tried by the justices, instead of going to Quarter
Mr J. B. POWNALL, solicitor, Ashton, appeared
to prosecute on behalf of the N.S.P.C.C.,
and said he did not press the case so much against the
husband as against the wife, for to a certain extent the
man was to be pitied. He was the unfortunate possessor
of a wife who took drink, the result of which was the
neglect of their children, and instead of having a decent
home from the wages of the husband, who earned 10s. a
(BLEWITT: Scarcely.) — Mr POWNALL:
Well, not far off. — Mrs BLEWITT: He has been out
of work. — Mr POWNALL: He can, at any rate, earn
a considerable sum of money, and with the assistance of
his wife there is no reason why they should not have a
decent home, and every comfort for their children.
Proceeding to comment upon the condition
in which the home was found by Inspector REDDY, Mr POWNALL
observed that the house was filthy and verminous, and
there was not over two ounces of bread in the place; indeed,
the house was in a pitiable and neglectful condition.
The case was discovered quite accidentally.
It seemed that the inspector was in the neighbourhood
where the BLEWITTs resided, when he saw some boys fighting.
He interfered, and seeing the neglected state of some
of the boys — the BLEWITTs — he made inquiries,
and ultimately got to the residence. Mr REDDY found the
living room in a filthy condition; the beds were devoid
of proper covering, and what clothes were on were swarming
with fleas. There was also a utensil containing excreta,
which had not been emptied for a fortnight.
He (Mr POWNALL) did not wish to dwell upon
the condition of the house: the question was — what
could be done to remedy it? He held in his hand a leaflet
of the society, which contained a report of a somewhat
similar case tried before Sir John BRIDGE. In that case
the woman was sent to gaol for six months, she having
already suffered shorter sentences and the husband wrote
thanking the Bench for what they had done. In six months
time the woman returned to her home a good and sober woman.
Sir John, in sentencing her, said he did so with the idea
of curing her of her evil habits, and restoring her to
her children a sober and happy woman.
Inspector REDDY was called, and he bore
out Mr POWNALL’s opening statement. He added that
the house was reeking with filth, and it was one of the
worst cases he had seen for years. When he visited the
house on the first occasion the husband was sober, but
the wife was out drinking with another woman, and ultimately
Mrs BLEWITT turned up in a state of intoxication. —
Mrs BLEWITT: You lie, sir! — Mr REDDY went on to
say that the woman asked him what he wanted there, and
who had complained about her.
Mr POWNALL: Did you see the children? —
The Inspector: I did, sir. — Mr POWNALL: How did
you find them? — The Inspector: In a most deplorable
state, verminous and filthy, and the boy, about 14 years
old, had no shirt on. — Mr POWNALL: I think the
Chief Constable also saw them. — The Inspector:
He saw the three boys later. Alderman FENTEM and Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY
went to the house.
Mr POWNALL: And I believe Alderman FENTEM
had a very unpleasant experience? — The Inspector:
He was sick, and ran downstairs as fast he could! —
In your opinion the children were neglected in such a
manner as was likely to cause them unnecessary suffering?
Yes. — And in your opinion who is to blame? Mrs
BLEWITT by far. — Speaking of the man’s earnings,
Mr REDDY said he was a furnaceman at the Globe Ironworks,
and never got less than 10s. each shift.
The Mayor: Have you any questions to ask?
— Mrs BLEWITT: No, sir; he has been out of work.
— The male defendant claimed that he was not to
blame and the officer could not say anything against him.
Dr F. J. ROBERTS-DUDLEY corroborated the
inspector’s testimony. The excreta in a bucket must
have been in the house a fortnight at least. There were
no blankets or sheets on the beds — simply a mass
of rags swarming with fleas and lice! The children were
“alive,” and he (the doctor) never visited
such a case before; it was something awful.
Alderman FENTEM had previously expressed
a desire to visit such a case of this kind, and accordingly
they gave him the opportunity here. Mr FENTEM went upstairs,
but he was not long there; he was sick, and he afterwards
said he could not have believed that such a state of things
existed had he not seen for himself. Neither could the
gentlemen on the bench scarcely believe that people existed
in such surroundings
Councillor BOOTH: Are any of these children
going to school? — Mrs BLEWITT: Only one, and Clara
is not old enough. — Mr POWNALL: Has Christopher
left school? — Mrs BLEWITT: No, he is at school
to-day. — Sergeant GEE described the sight at the
house as “something sickening.” The male defendant
told the police that his wife was addicted to drink. —
Constable Alex WELLS gave similar evidence.
Dr McCARTHY: Did you see any facilities
for the children to wash themselves, because children
14 and 15 years of age are surely old enough to keep themselves
clean? — WELLS replied that there was a broken bowl
there, but in his opinion they were too idle to was themselves.
The sergeant was re-called, and in reply
to Alderman RIDYARD he said the defendants had not been
under the observation of the police. This was the first
time he had come in contact with them. — Mrs BLEWITT:
I was never drunk in my life. — The male defendant
said this was the first time he had been in court, and
he handed up to the Bench a document which showed that
before coming to Stalybridge his children attended Sunday
Alderman RIDYARD: Do they attend Sunday
school here? — BLEWITT: They have done a few times.
— Alderman RIDYARD: That, perhaps, is the start
of the whole business; they went to Sunday school before
they came here, and have now given up. — Dr ROBERTS-DUDLEY:
They would not have them in a Sunday school! — The
Mayor (to BLEWITT): Through your carelessness. —
BLEWITT: No, sir. — The Mayor: Then your wife’s.
— Mrs BLEWITT: Oh, no. — BLEWITT: It is through
their own faults; I have had a lot of hardships since
I came here.
The Mayor: It costs very little to keep
a house clean. — BLEWITT: I have not troubled anyone
for anything. — Alderman RIDYARD: It strikes me
that you have not taken a father’s place in a house.
It is not for the children to look after themselves. —
Mrs BLEWITT: He is too strict with them! — (Laughter.)
— BLEWITT said he had called Constable GRIMSHAW
into his house several times, and he (the father) had
had the children on their bended knees and made them beg
pardon, and they had said they would be better.
The Mayor: You have lived in that house,
and after hearing what has been said about its condition,
do you think you are doing your duty by allowing such
a condition to exist? — BLEWITT: I cannot always
be in the house. — Captain BATES: The children are
simply in rags, and have nothing on their feet.
Alderman RIDYARD questioned the male defendant
as to why he did not go to his work last week, and his
reply is that he wanted Monday off, and “this trouble”
coming on afterwards he had neglected his work all the
week. — The Mayor: Did you want Monday to rest on?
— Defendant: I did, in a sense. — Alderman
RIDYARD: After Sunday. — (Laughter.)
The magistrates retired, and after an absence
of about ten minutes they returned. The Mayor then announced
that the decision was to adjourn the case three months
to give defendants an opportunity of trying to improve
the condition of the house and the children. They desired
that the inspector should visit the house regularly, and
if no improvement was visible to bring the parties before
the court before expiration of the three months. Then
the sentence would be the highest possible.
WATERLOO AND BARDSLEY
Case at the Assizes.— At the Manchester
Assizes, on Thursday, John William HUNTER, a Waterloo
youth, was charged with an at Ashton some time ago. After
hearing the evidence, the jury acquitted him.
Bowling, Not Throwing.— Robert WALKER
and Stanley DAVIES were, at the Ashton County Police Court,
on Wednesday, charged with throwing stones at Waterloo.
Their parents, who appeared, pleaded “guilty to
bowling stones, but not throwing them.” —
Sergeant LEEMING said that on the 26th of June, about
five minutes to seven, they were throwing about a dozen
stones at some other boys. He had had complaints of this
sort of thing before. — They were fined 5s. for
Bowling Match.— There
was a capital attendance of the followers of bowling at
the Old Soldier Hotel, Denton, on Thursday, when W. H.
ANDREW, of Waterloo, and Walter PLATT, of Denton, contested
a match of 71 up. ANDREW had three start. In the first
twenty ANDREW had all the advantage, playing very well,
the totals in his favour being 10-2, 14-5, and 22-11.
From this PLATT played up, and at 26-24 was in front.
They repeatedly peeled, and when half-time arrived ANDREW
was in front 36-33. On resuming, PLATT gained the first
end with a single. Right up to the sixties there was little
in it, the scoring being level at 62 and 64. ANDREW then
played some fine ends at long lengths, and eventually
won by 71 to 66.
In connection with Queen
Victoria’s Jubilee Institute for Nurses, the
Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment
of the following as “Queen’s Nurses,”
to date July 1, 1904:— Ashton-under-Lyne: Minnie
THOMPSON, Mary L. LOCK.