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Tony Flynn

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  1. Cricket, that most English of games, the smack of leather on willow, cucumber sandwiches in the pavilion, or whatever tickles your fancy. Also even as I type the Ashes are being contested between England and Australia and so I thought it would be apt to post this rather sombre story of August 1919, from the pages of the Eccles and Patricroft Journal. It tells of a fateful cricket match played between Monton, St Paul's and the Swinton Second Team at the Monton cricket ground. Swinton Second had just finished their innings and Monton's Captain, Francis Smith strode up to the crease for the opening over. With only a few balls bowled, Smith had already struck himself over the heart with the top of his cricket bat handle, attempting "to pull a ball to leg" (whatever that means) A few balls later however Smith misjudged from the Swinton bowler, James Arthur Hindle and the ball struck him on the heart. To the horror of players and spectators, Smith staggered a few steps and then collapsed to the floor, and had to be carried to the pavilion. A Dr Young was summoned to his aid but on arrival he "found life to be extinct"...what a quaint expression for dead. Obviously the game was abandoned and his body was taken away by ambulance. Francis Smith was 48 years of age and lived at Mirfield Drive, Monton, he was described in the paper as being "an accomplished player and one of four brothers who all played in local cricket leagues" He had been captain of the Monton team for three seasons and as a mark of respect the flags on the Monton and Swinton cricket clubs were flown at half mast, whilst both teams sent floral wreaths to his funeral. An inquest was held at the Blue Bell public house, Monton with Mr P.R. Bennett the Deputy County Coroner presiding over the inquest. Smith's daughter, Bessie told the inquest that her father had always enjoyed fairly good health and had left home at 2.30pm on the Saturday to play cricket. James Arthur Hindle took the stand and told the Coroner that he had bowled the ball that had struck Mr Smith. He said that the ball was straight and rose a little striking Smith in the stomach, who attempted to pull himself together but collapsed. The Coroner asked Hindle if that instead of playing the ball, the deceased seemed to appear to double up over the wicket? Hindle replied, "I did not think the blow from the ball would have killed him because it was not a fast delivery" Dr Young told the inquest that he thought it was the second blow which proved fatal and he would have appeared to have died from shock following the blow. Finally the Vice-Captain of the Monton Cricket Club, Sydney W. Painter told the Coroner that the accident happened about 5.30pm, and owing to the weather the deceased mistimed the speed of the ball and did not make his stroke. After hearing all of the evidence Mr Bennett registered a verdict of "Accidental Death" The newspaper noted that a special service for "men only" was held at the St Paul's Church, Monton on the Sunday afternoon, to his memory. A sad and perhaps cautionary tale, and I wonder if there is some kind of memorial or trophy in memory of Francis Smith? it would be nice if there was reminder of his sporting life, does anybody know?
  2. Vandalism, doesn't it get on your nerves? the number of times we must all have witnessed smashed up phone boxes, broken shop windows, litter bins set on fire etc. It's a good job that this loutish behaviour didn't go on in the olden days when you could leave your front door open and......Hang on! Take of your rose tinted spectacles and have a read at this story culled from the pages of the Eccles and Patricroft Journal, August 1919. Gerald Openshaw who resided at St Georges Crescent, Salford and Frank Gallop who resided at Gilda Brook Road, Eccles appeared at Eccles Magistrates Court charged with doing wilful damage to public property. James Flitcroft who resided at Monton Road told the Court that he was near his home when he saw a group of young men smashing electric street lamps by throwing bricks at them. Being a good minded citizen he told them to stop, he was met with the casual remark, "Let the Goverment pay" Flitcroft replied that it was the likes of him and others who would have to pay the bill. Unimpressed by his high moral standards the men sauntered away, laughing and jeering. Flitcroft then made his way to the nearby home of Sergeant Tomlinson and told him what he had seen, you have to hand it Mr Flitcroft he was keen. The good Sergeant went in to the night and spotted the men stood by a night watchman's fire close to the Blue Bell pub. He told them who he was and that he was investigating the smashing of street lights, they started o joke about it until he reminded them that this was no laughing matter and asked for their names and addresses...I think you know what's coming. Openshaw gave his name as Mr Estills who resided at Broad Street, Pendleton, Gallop point blank refused to give any details, two other men with them also refused to give any details. He let them go and said they would be prosecuted for this offence and contacted by the police. Amazingly enough the next night, Sergeant Tomlinson who was on duty in Monton saw the two men and gripped them, he told them that he had checked their details and they were false, he must have been bluffing surely? Both men then rather meekly gave their correct details and said they were willing to pay the damage done to the street lamps. They were charged with with the offence and bailed to appear at Eccles magistrate the following week and face the wrath of Mr F. Halsall, the Chairman of the Bench. In court it emerged that the two other men involved in this incident one was a Lieutenant West of the Australian Army, an upper crust vandal no doubt, the other culprit had vanished altogether. Mr Angus, the Eccles Borough Electrical Engineer (a grand title) told the Court that the two accused had called at his home last week and had offered to pay for the damage if they could avoid police proceedings, adding that they were both recently demobilized from the Army and were simply having a "rag" Obviously their pleas for help fell on deaf ears and the inscrutable Mr Angus as they both stood in the dock. A witness, Mr Harry Williams who lived on Lansdowne Road, Monton gave evidence and told the court that he saw the two accused and Lieutenant West smash a lamp in Monton Road by throwing bricks at it, he then saw Gallop climb a lamp-post unscrew the bulb and smash it on the floor, Openshaw then did the same and hurled the bulb into the road. The Magistrate asked Mr Angus if there was damage done around Monton that weekend and was told there was trouble all over the Borough with vandalism. The Chairman of the Bench, Mr F. Halsall told the men , "I am surprised that young men in your position should given the trouble of providing false names and addresses, there is too much of this wilful damage going on in the Borough and if any other person is brought up before me they will be severely dealt with" Each man was fined five shilling and sixpence. That is a paltry amount for the offence committed and reading between the lines I think that Openshaw and Gallop came from wealthy families, their home addresses were then and now desirable areas to live, also for them to be associated wit h a Lieutenant from the Australian Army makes me wonder if they weren't officer class. Also calling at the home address of the Borough Electrical Engineer and asking if they could pay to keep them out of the court, surely bribery or some other charge? I wonder how two ordinary Privates from the British Army fresh from France would have fared faced with the same charges, before Mr Halsall?
  3. I am certain we have all witnessed shocking behaviour on our buses, trains and trams over the years, I can still recall the horror of the last bus out of Victoria bus station as a callow youth and have witnessed a hail of meat and potato pies being hurled in a scene reminiscent of Agincourt, yes the good old days. So this story from August 1919 reminds us that loutish behaviour is not a modern day phenomenon as two drunken chaps bring a new meaning to, men behaving badly. Amos Williams 28, who lived at Irlams Place, Salford appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with with being drunk and disorderly in Eccles New Road and assaulting a female tram conductress, Ethel Featherstone. Inspector Mitchell told the Court that Williams and his chum, Joseph Mullen boarded the tram at Eccles Cross and were going to Weaste to meet a female friend. However this journey to meet the mystery woman was curtailed when Amos Williams loutish behaviour resulted in the police being called. Whilst the conductress was collecting fares upstairs, he decided it would be fun to continually ring the bell much to the annoyance of the other passengers. One one occasion he rang the bell so vigorously that driver slammed the brakes on thinking it was an emergency stop, much to Williams amusement. An elderly chap, Edward Smith, had the temerity to tell Williams to behave and asked him what he thought he was playing at? Williams responded by grabbing hold off his legs and dragging him to the floor of the tram, were he began kicking him. Ethel Featherstone. came downstairs to see what all the commotion was about and asked him what he was doing, his reply was to slap her across the face and then attempted to push her off the tram, which fortunately had stopped. I noticed the driver of the tram hasn't come racing to her rescue! The police were called at Weaste and managed to drag the two drunken men off the tram and into police custody and reflect on their behaviour. In his defence, Amos Williams told the Magistrate: "I had drank a lot of beer that day" Truthful but hardly the best defence he could have come up with is it? He was fined £1 or 30 days imprisonment for being drunk and disorderly, also he was fined £3 and six shillings for assaulting Ethel Featherstone or 28 days imprisonment, with the fine being paid to her in costs. P.C. Cormie took to the stand to testify against his co-accused, Joseph Mullen who was also charged with being drunk and disorderly. He told the court that Mullen kept interfering with Williams arrest, using bad language and even going so far as to attempt to incite the tram passengers to help release Williams! Williams was hardly popular with the tram passengers so I should imagine his pleas fell on deaf ears. Mullen told the Magistrate: "All I did was to walk to the police station and see how my pal was and if he needed any money, then I got arrested" He was fined £1 or 14 days imprisonment. So a warning for us all, don't balloon on public transport unless you want to spend the night in the cells and face a possible hefty fine..and I haven't mentioned a single person I know!
  4. I came across this very sad story in the pages of the Salford City Reporter from the first week in August 1919 and tells the story of a Salford school outing, which went tragically wrong and ended up with the loss of three schoolboys. Mr H.B. Winfield was the Headmaster of the Salford Secondary Modern School which later became the Salford Grammar School as we knew it. He had arranged a three weeks camping holiday in the Lake Disrict at High Lodore for pupils, teachers and old boys. On the day of the tragedy they set sail for a picnic at Manesty Woods an island off Derwent Water, some 25 boys including the Headmaster and a form teacher, Mr S. Duckworth, taking five boats from Lodore, taking the precaution of having at least one good swimmer in each boat. They had rowed about half a mile when the wind sprung up and the water got choppy, it soon got worse as fierce gusts of wind blew up a storm. This was to have fatal consequences resulting in the three deaths and an inquest being held at Keswick preside over by Mr. E. Atter. Mr Duckworth told the inquest what had happened on that fateful day Mr Winfield then took the stand and gave his version of events. A search party set out to look for the missing boys, sadly Eric Molloy's body was found at 2.40pm, the bodies of the two other boys David Watkinson (17) and Herbert Fenton (15) were found close together the next morning. Mr A. Watkinson the father of David told the inquest that his son was an expert swimmer but he had never known him to go into the water with his clothes and boots on, which would no doubt hamper him. He then added that he thought that the boats that the boys were in should be examined if possible. The Rev S.C. Robinson on behalf of the relatives of Eric Molloy thanked Mr Duckworth for doing his utmost to save the deceased boy, as he did by placing him on the upturned boat. The schoolboy Vernon Thomas gave evidence and said that he saw Eric Molloy clinging to the boat but little else, adding, The Coroner, Mr E. Atter summed up by saying, Herbert Fenton lived at Bolton Road, Pendleton and was buried in Weaste Cemetery, Salford with schoolchildren laying wreaths. Eric Molloy (13) lived on Tatton Street, Salford and was buried at Greenfield, Oldham again his school chums laid wreaths in his honour. David Watkinson was a resident of Farnworth and was educated in Salford, he was buried in a local church in Farnworth again school friends were in attendance. A very sad story with nobody to blame, but it's hard to imagine the sorrow these boys families must have had to suffer, taken away at such an early age.
  5. Initially concerns were raised that the headstones were being neglected and possibly heading for landfill. It was even thought by some that the markers had been removed from grave sites but having spoken to the site manager today we were reassured that this was not the case, in fact Salford University Archaeological Unit had been fully involved and were due to pay a future visit to the site to undertake further excavation work at a later date. No human remains have been found on the site. So rather than find desecration of graves we actually found a very respectful level of conservation going on. A source at Salford University has also confirmed this to be the case. Also a memorial stone has been unearthed albeit broken in half, which reads, Irwell Street, New Weslyan Schools, laid by Alderman Thomas Davies, Superintendant of the School on Saturday August 31st 1872. It is thought that the gravestones were buried as part of previous excavations of the site over 40 years ago; only to be uncovered once more as part of the current excavations. They have been recovered as carefully as possible although some were understandably damaged having been lain in the ground for so long. University archaeologists will be paying another visit to the site in the coming months as a small section is suspected of possibly holding human remains, although that is unconfirmed as yet. The area has been cordoned off from the rest of the site to allow for inspection and further study. Should any human remains be found they will be respectfully removed and re-interred elsewhere within the boundaries. A spokesman for Salford City Council said: As for the gravestones, they are to be reburied at the site, this time properly laid down flat to help conserve them for future generations to find should the site ever be dug again. The chapel was founded in 1815 and closed in 1962, older readers may recall that in the early 1960s stories appeared in the local press that local children had broken into the crypts and had opened coffins, stealing jewellery, even stories of local kids playing football with skulls! which I find hard to believe! Alderman Davies Photo: ArtUK
  6. It took a little longer than expected as some of the photos were heavily damaged but we managed to salvage them and even managed pull a few photos from the contents sheet that we didn't have actual photos for. They may not be as high quality but they were too good not to include. So without further agadoo, we present to you the third and final part of the 1970's Eccles photo collection. We still have no idea as to the identity of the mystery donor but we wholeheartedly thank him/her for allowing us to digitally preserve them for future generations to enjoy.
  7. Life can be strange and as a glowing example of this I was in Eccles Library today or home as Karl calls it, when the young librarian chap comes over and hands me a wallet full of, no not cash, black and white photographs of Eccles, some 26 in total the first 11 which are below in part one of what is a two part article. Sadly the chap who left them for me never left his name, but blimey they are fascinating, they show Church Street, Eccles which to be fair hasn't changed that much - just wait until October 2019 when The Top House and Booths come down . The photographs of Church Street show shops such as Woolworths, , The Chicken Barbeque, Twin Stores, Rediffusion, Clifford Turner, Edith Lloyd, Radio Rentals, Crossley's, Fryers, Eccles Journal, Waterworths, Loofe's, Quine, Village Wool Shop, Ashworths, R. Quinns, Waddiloves, Little Dolphin, W H Smiths, H. Fairhurst, need I go on! Can't forget the pubs we have The Top House, Cross Keys, Grapes, Oddfellows, Hare and Hounds, and the Bulls Head! It is a proper nostalgic walk through time, OK they were taken some 48+ plus years ago but what a amazing set of photos they are. Eccles had recently been pedestrianised and you can see concrete flower beds, all removed now and sets of benches in the middle of Church Street, again all gone. They must have been taken earely on a Sunday morning because there are no people in the photographs apart from a stray dog walking past the Hare and Hounds pub. On the contact sheets are views of the Eccles Precinct, and it looks eerie, what is now Wilkos was then called Giro, of all names! A Nat West bank is slap in the middle of the Precinct, also shops such as Jones the Jewellers, Bacon and Cheese Shop, Hamlet Grill, Curtess Shoes, Dorothy Perkins etc. Did anybody work in these shops? if so the memories should come flooding back, I shall not mention if you supped in any of the pubs because we all know the answer to that one. So that is two great Eccles photographic finds in a few months, with the amazing George Shepherd exhibition which drew record amounts of people to the Eccles Community Art Gallery and this smaller but in my opinion, important find. Finally mystery donor will you reveal yourself and more importantly are there any more left lying around? If so you know where I am most days! Part Two will be coming tomorrow but for now we leave you with these little gems.
  8. Yet again another story of everyday Salford folk when combined with alcohol, police assault always ends up in tears if not the Salford Magistrates Court as his story from June 1919 shows. John Lyons who resided at Hudson Street, Broughton appeared at Salford Magistrates Court dressed in full Army khaki uniform charged with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting P.C. Bradshaw. Alongside him was his father, Joseph Bradshaw of the same address but no khaki uniform, charged with assaulting P.C. P.C. Fairbrother. P.C. Bradshaw told the court that he was passing the Royal archer public house when he heard a commotion and saw a group of men arguing, in the middle was John Lyons, shouting and gesticulating. The brave bobby, "requested" that John go home, only to met with a punch to his face and was then gripped around the neck as John attempted to strangle him! Happily, PC's Brady and Walker happened to be passing, always a bobby there when you want one isn't there? P.C. Walker told the Court that he went to P.C. Bradshaw's assistance and it was with some difficulty they managed to get the "slips" on him, as he was, "fighting like a madman" P.C Brady backed him up by saying that he saw John attempting to strangle P.C. Bradshaw, when he noticed Joseph Lyons grab P.C. Fairbrother by the throat causing him an injury that required medical assistance. A brawl then ensued with several people joining in, and it was with some difficulty that the two men were taken into custody. Mr Desquesnes appeared as Defence for John Lyons whilst Joseph chose to defend himself. Rather smoothly Desquesnes told the Bench that that he had no reason to doubt the accuracy of anything said by the police and had to admit that his client had committed an offence...however. He then asked the Bench to be lenient with him and to take into account that he had been in police custody since Saturday evening, and with a final roll of the dice told the Court that John had promised to be "well behaved" for the rest of the time of his leave. Joseph Lyons denied assaulting P.C. Fairbrother and stated that he was the one who had been assaulted and on the evening in question there was great confusion outside the pub and all he could remember was a P.C. telling him to clear off. Superintendent Clarke then chipped in that both men had several convictions for being drunk and disorderly. Surprisingly John Lyons was sentenced to prison for seven days with hard labour. Joseph Lyons was then given 14 days in prison with hard labour. Perhaps Joseph should have pleaded guilty and would have received a lesser sentence? As Gilbert and Sullivan wrote in the Pirates of Penzance, A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One, especially in Salford at closing time. Photo: Royal Archer.
  9. Tony Flynn


    Sadly this would not be the case for the Jones family who had attended their daughters wedding, followed by an appearance at Regent Road Police Station, Salford Royal Hospital and finally Salford Magistrates Court, so quite an eventful day. Robert Hunter Jones who resided at Brighton Street, Salford with his long suffering wife Ada, appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with assaulting his wife on 18 June, 1919 the same day as the nuptials. Superintendent Clark told the Court that both parties had attended their daughters wedding were both of them, "appeared to have taken more drink than was good for them".. Robert went with Ada to a local beerhouse, he left at 9pm and left Ad in there, she left an hour later, when she arrived home this is when the trouble started. Robert told he Court that he wanted to go to sleep, however Ada who was obviously enjoying herself wanted to sing at the top of her voice. He asked her to stop singing so that he could get some sleep. when she refused he walloped her over the head with a frying pan to shut her up! Ada made her way to regent Road Police Station, no doubt with her head ringing, she saw P.C. Sumner who took her to Salford Royal Hospital for treatment to her injuries. She was examined by Doctor Ghosh who found that she had suffered two cuts to her scalp but not serious to be detained and was sent home. Robert had been arrested but was released on bail the following day to appear at the Magistrates Court. When charged he said, " Yes it is correct that i hit her on the head with a frying pan, but she annoyed me because she wouldn't stop singing" Not the best defence line I have heard. The Stipendiary Magistrate asked Ada if she had been drinking? She replied that she had only taken four glasses of beer and that they had both been drinking at the wedding, but not a lot. Superintendent Clarke said to him it would appear to have been a drunken quarrel, which is underestimating it a bit in my opinion. The Stipendiary Magistrate asked Ada if she was afraid of her husband? "Only at weekends when he is drunk" was her reply. Robert was bound over to keep the peace for 12 months, a lenient sentence. As for Ada I should imagine she limited her singing to when her hubby wasn't in the marital home. Photo: Brighton Street 1962
  10. Settle down in the cheap seats please! Laydeez and Jellymen it's the news you have all been waiting for, possibly. After the amazing success of last years history walk around Eccles, I (Tony) shall be doing the Eccles history walk which is mainly pub related I admit, but it's all history, on Sunday 30th June meeting at Eccles Train Station at 1pm. As per usual I shall regale you with tales of murders, suicides, arsenic contaminated beer, secret tunnels, millionaire born in local pub, Lusitania Riots, pub that was wrecked, foul mouthed Mynah bird, railway crashes, cholera pits, sundials, graveyards, bomb damaged buildings (bullet holes in the wall actually), long forgotten pubs, Eccles Cross, Eccles racecourse (yes we did have one) have I mentioned Fred Engels yet?, ladies of the night and much more, much more. How much is this historical, hysterical extravaganza going to cost me I hear you cry in alarm? The lowly pittance is a mere £3, yes you read that correctly, but as with all cheap deals there is a catch... I am doing this walk in aid of the emergency weekend foodbank at Mustard Tree, Eccles, after a conversation I had with the Manager, Peter Askew, a fine chap, who explained the plight many families face. So every penny will go towards purchasing food for them, also I ask you to bring along tinned food, such as, beans, meat, fruit, pot noodles, soup, rice, pasta, toiletries such as soap, wet wipes, toothpaste, talc etc which will go towards making up food parcels for the needy of the area, and believe me there are plenty of them. So I hope I have pricked your conscience and you come along and enjoy yourself knowing that you have done a good deed! I haven't mentioned the quiz yet, which takes place after this walk, with prizes! no, not tinned food, books etc and who knows there may even be a copy of the fabled History of Eccles Pubs book up for auction?
  11. Angie Shepherd was aware that her father George was a keen amateur photographer and when she heard that he was about to chuck out his collection of negatives from 1963 - 1980 into the bin after being stored in a box in his bedroom, thankfully she sprang into action. When she sorted through them, apart from the beloved family photos, she was amazed to discover a treasure trove of photographs taken of long forgotten streets, fairgrounds, Whit Walks, local pageants, pub scenes, demolition sites and a series of images he took at his place of work, including Protector Lamp, Monton and Metal Box Company, Salford. When I first saw some of the photographs that Angie sent me, I was transfixed by them, he has captured Eccles and Salford to perfection, each image required several viewings, I swear if Morrissey had seen the fairground photographs taken by George they would be gracing the Smiths album covers. George has captured everything and I mean everything, who are the Asian people stood outside the Medina Restaurant on Patricroft Bridge watching the Whit Walks? the young children in fancy dress parading through Eccles? the men proudly marching past the Cenotaph? the shopkeepers outside their corner shop in Sunnyside Street, Ordsall?, the elderly ladies peering from an upstairs widow at a procession passing below? For me the photographs of the work places are fascinating, we see a long serving employee being presented with a transistor radio as a retirement present, the entire workforce sat outside for a group photo, a young girl dressed up in the traditional garb of a soon to be bride, men at work on lathes, a chap sat on a metal staircase with a really pensive look on his face. Both of these factories are long closed down but George has captured the spirit of the workplace and I for one can look at these photographs time and time again and see something new every time, truly great photography. I visited George at his home in Peel Green with Karl H Davison who kindly filmed the event to find out more about the photographs and how they came about. George told me that he grew up in Aldred Steet, Patricroft, and after being demobbed from the Army he took up his hobby more seriously, he did have a Box Brownie camera but switched to a Voigtlander 35mm camera, this was followed by a Praktica camera, for all you camera buffs. He took his trusty camera with him everywhere, cafe's, walks, social events, the pub, carnivals, parks, taking photographs as he saw and storing away the negatives, and I think we should all be grateful he did. I asked him if he had ever thought of exhibiting his photographs and having an exhibition, his reply was priceless, "No, It was a memory lane for myself, I could take these photos and look at them and be taken back and be reminded of happy times" What a lovely sentiment. It is no exaggeration to say that George's photographs are an important social document that has skillfully captured the way we used to live and play and a great visual record for all times. The exhibition entitled, "A Walk Down Memory Lane" will be shown at Eccles Community Art Gallery, Boothway, Eccles Precinct from Saturday 11 May until Saturday 2 June 10am - 4pm. The gallery is also open on a Tuesday and Friday between 11am - 2-pm. I urge anybody who has either lived in the Eccles/Salford area or who has a love of photography to call in and view the photographs, who knows who you may recognise? I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed. All photographs used in this article are the copyright of George Shepherd, any unauthorised use or distribution is prohibited.
  12. However P.C. Norwood told the Salford Magistrates Court in April 1919 a completely different story, you decide. P.C. Norwood told the Magistrate that he was on duty in Bury Street when he came across the Fisher family, stating that William was very drunk and using, "very obscene language" and advised him to go quietly on his way home. William was having none of this and according to to our boy in blue he became violent and kicked him several times about the shins and body. An effort was made to put the handcuffs on him when Irene sprang into action, hitting and kicking P.C. Norwood which enabled William to show a clean pair of heels. Irene was then handcuffed and taken to the nearby Chapel Street police station for her troubles. Ever the gentleman, William who for some reason had summoned his Mother-in- Law caught up with the couple and began to abuse P.C. Norwood, he too was dragged kicking and screaming to the police station, presumably the Mother - in- Law stayed quiet which could be a first. William went into the witness box prepared to defend his and his wife's honour and asked P.C. Norwood several questions which were hardly up the standard of Clarence Darrow. "Did you not stop me and my wife when we were walking home quietly after having been to the theatre?" P. C. Norwood replied in time honoured fashion. "I spoke to you about your behaviour and requested you to go away but you declined" William carried on, "When I ran away did I not return with my Mother-in Law to see what you were locking up her daughter for?" P.c. Norwood agreed that this was the case and she did indeed turn up at the police station.. Now it was the time for the police to unleash the big guns as P.C. Gleeson took the stand and told the Magistrate that he had seen William Fisher at 10.30pm at Chapel Street police station where he refused to give an account of himself and told him to, "mind your own *******business" The Magistrate said he considered the case proved but as the couple had not been in trouble with the police before they would be dealt with leniently and fined them five shillings each or five days in prison. Hopefully the Fisher family were able to pay the fine and then enjoy their evenings of culture and refinement with out ending up in the local nick. One question that did puzzle me is, did the Fisher family leave Salford and move to Stradhoughton in Yorkshire? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.
  13. This little story from April 1919, tells about a particularly, feisty Salford woman, Sarah Donohue who appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with an assault upon Sergeant Grainger the Salford Summons and Warrant Officer. It was his unfortunate job to track down people who had failed to pay their court fines and either obtain the money or arrest them, as you can imagine a fun filled job. Sarah Donohue lived at Park Place, a side road off Cross Lane which was notorious for being an area of lodging houses, shared houses with a reputation for drunkenness and brawls. On the evening of April 2nd, Sergeant Grainger called at Sarah's lodgings in search of money she owed to the Magistrates Court in reference to an order granted by the Local Education Authority. The hapless Sergeant had called three times at Sarah's house in a fruitless attempt to get money from her and on each occasion she had, "acted abusively towards me" He then told the Magistrates that when he saw her on the Monday evening he could tell from her demeanour that she had no intention of paying him the outstanding money. He told her, "quite frankly" that if she did not meet her obligations, i.e. cough up the money that she owed, she would have to accompany him to the Cross Lane police station. Sarah wasn't taking this threat lightly and tried to incite a group of women she was drinking with by saying that he was going to lock her up for the sake of five shillings and he should be ashamed of himself. The women tried to persuade her to borrow the money from her friends, she put on her shawl and said to Sergeant Grainger that she would be back with the money shortly. Sadly, Sarah had no intention of stumping up the money and instead walloped Sergeant Grainger in the mouth, splitting his lip and drawing blood, as he tried to arrest her, she scratched his face drawing even more blood. He managed to arrest her and cart her off to the police station where she acted like, "A mad woman" screaming and shouting. In her defence she told the Magistrate that, "I asked him if he would give me the chance to get the money and he said that he would have me instead and dragged me to the police station. The court was told that Sarah was no stranger to the courts and had numerous convictions for drunkenness, which sealed her fate. Sarah was sent to prison was 14 days with hard labour. Image:Cross Lane police station.
  14. The Jones brothers of Eccles are worthy members of that club as they proved at Eccles Magistrates Court in March 1919 when John appeared accused of Unlawful Wounding of his brother. The court heard that the feuding brothers, John and the other sadly unnamed were originally good friends and when John came back from the Great War they decided that the two of them would set up a green grocery business in Winton, Eccles, so far so good. The arrangement was that the unnamed brother who was an Engineer in Manchester would provide between £30 - £40 to set up the business and he, his wife and four children would live at the shop. John was to manage the shop in the daytime and after he had finished his shift would go to Manchester to meet his brother after he had finished his night shift amd purchase produce from the local markets. The friendship soured on Sunday 17 March, 1919 when there was dispute between them about John not getting to the market in time resulting in John giving him a black eye which obviously soured the relationship. John told the Court that he didn't go in work on the Monday and on the Tuesday morning was out in connection with the business. He returned to the shop and asked where his brother was and was told that he was at the cottages behind the Jolly Carter pub. Mr Parker for the Prosecution asked John why he went to the cottages, his reply was none to subtle, "To give my brother a good thrashing" Parker then told the Court that when John got to the stables his brother was nowhere to be seen, however he was seen coming out of the kitchen door of the pub. John hit him three times with a hammer and the pair started fighting and rolling about on the floor. John denied taking the hammer with him and said, somewhat bizarrely, that he had, "taken his false teeth out as a precaution in case of a fight" In the fight the unnamed brother got the upper hand, and the hammer and started walloping the living daylights out of John. The Landlord of the Jolly Carter, John Baines said that he heard shouting and saw the brothers fighting and managed to separate them whilst the police were called. P.C. Woodworth told the court that he took John into custody who said to him, "I wish I could have killed him" not helping himself here is he? Then the real reason for the fight came out, the unnamed brother had told him on the Sunday, after the black eye incident presumably, that he was selling his share in the business and not to him. John then went to the shop on the Tuesday to remove stock which he said was his only to be told by his brothers wife that he couldn't take any stock as his name wasn't above the door and furthermore his brother had sold his share of the business. So this was the reason why John went to see his brother, and no doubt the reason for taking the hammer and his false teeth out. Mr Watson for the Defence told the Magistrates that his client had been serving in very hot climates abroad with he Army and some allowances should be made for that and asked for the charge of Unlawful Wounding be reduced to the lesser charge of Common Assault. He then added that John wished to express his regret at what had happened and surely the fact that he had taken his false teeth out proved that he was not going for a fight! What was John going to do, bite him to death? The Magistrate, Mr A. Dempsey decided to bind John over in the sum of £10 to keep the peace for six months and must also pay the Court costs. So who do we have sympathy for, John the hard working if somewhat erratic ex-serviceman who felt that he had been diddled of his share of the company, or the unnamed brother who was no doubt sick of getting second prizes from his violent brother and wanted rid of the business? Hopefully the brothers kissed and made up though I somehow doubt it, the story made me laugh though. Image: Jolly Carter pub.
  15. The language used to describe the men is frankly disgraceful, yet was acceptable at that time. The original story headline was, "Attacked by Negroes" and "White Man beaten with a poker". James Johnston described as being a "coloured" man was charged with assaulting John Hall at a house in Duke Street, Greengate, Salford and was remanded in custody for a week. Detective Inspector Clark told the Magistrates that Hall was living in at Queen Street, Greengate, Salford and had come to visit his brother William who had a room in a house where Johnson lived. He alleged that Johnson came out of his room and attacked him with a poker for no reason, hitting him about the head, arms and body, another "coloured" man joined in the attack hitting him with a poker several times. William Hall heard his brother's screams and shouted out of his window for help. P.C. Gleeson came to his aid and found him to be suffering cuts to his head, arms and hands, and took him to Salford Royal Hospital for treatment where he was given an X-Ray. The following day two more "colored" men were arrested by the police and charged with assaulting Hall, this time the Salford City Reporter headline read, "Two More Niggers Charged" The men were William Daniels and Obadiah Williams, the police advised the Magistrates to remand the men in custody for a week whilst further investigations were carried out. One week later the mean once again stood in the dock at Salford Magistrates Court, described by the paper as being, "Sequel to Negroes concert party" The paper described the assault happening in a lodging house in Duke Street were a negro concert party was being held, "niggers" were strumming banjos and white women danced" That set the tone for the case implying that white woman by dancing with black men were immoral and therefore loose women. William Hall took the stand and told the court that he returned home about 10.30pm and was searching for his key in his jacket when Johnson rushed out of his room and struck him on the neck with a poker, he managed to get into his room and lock the door. Presently his brother John called to see him and he to was attacked by three "colored" men armed with sticks and pokers, knocking him to the floor. P.C Gleeson arrived on the scene and found John Hall bleeding profusely from a head wound, he arrested Johnson and managed to get Hall to the hospital for treatment. Along with his head wound he was found to have bruises and cuts to his arms, shoulders also his thumb bone had been split in three parts. Hall said that if P.C. Gleeson hadn't arrived in the nick of time he believed that the men would have killed him. All of the men denied the allegations but were all found guilty. James Johnston was sentenced to prison for two months with hard labour, the other two men were given six weeks in prison with hard labour. The Magistrate asked that the Home Office be informed of this case. You may recall that the Chief Constable of Salford, Major Godfrey had recommended to the Home Office that convicted black men should be sent back to their respective colonies following the so called Race Riot in Salford. I have never found any evidence of any of these convicted men being deported I am happy to say. Would the Salford City Reporter have said that black women were found dancing at this party, I doubt it very much, it's just because they were white women and their behavior was considered taboo.at this time. And as for using the "N" word to describe the men, it is sad but that word was acceptable in common parlance of the day, but today it makes for uncomfortable reading. There is no doubt that the three men were guilty of assaulting the Hill brothers and justice was served but the way it was reported still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Photo: Artisan Dwellings, Queen Street, Greengate, Salford

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