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About Me

Found 4 results

  1. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who said, that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes, I would like to add another to that statement. I can virtually guarantee that if you go to someone's house for what ever reason, you will see a pint pot or a glass that has been nicked from a pub, c'mon admit it, we have all a Stella, Carling, Heineken, Boddingtons or Holts glass lurking in the cupboard... This story from the pages of the Salford City Reporter, September 1921, tells of what happened to a Mrs Catherine Walker who was found to be in possession of drinking glasses from a local pub, be warned. She appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with stealing (or receiving, well knowing them to have been stolen) five drinking glasses from The Cattle Market Hotel, Cross Lane, Salford and a further charge of being in unlawful possession of 44 more glasses. Superintendent Clark told the Court that a few days ago from something that came to the knowledge of Groves and Whitnall brewery who owned the pub and was passed onto him, concerning a number of drinking glasses in a house on West High Street, Salford, a search warrant was applied for and granted. The next evening, Detectives Coates and MacDonald visited the house and asked Mrs Walker if she had any drinking glasses that didn't belong to her, bearing the name of the Cattle Market Hotel, to which she replied, "No". One of the Detectives went into the living room and saw two glasses with the Imperial measure stamp on them, on the table, in a nearby locked cupboard was found a further 44 glasses, five of which were stamped, Cattle Market Hotel. She told them that the five glasses had been in her house for a number of years, and then added that she ran a boarding house which catered for artists performing at the nearby Salford Hippodrome and thought that, "theatricals had bought them in at various times" as for the other glasses they belonged to her. The manager of the Cattle Market was asked if there was any marks on the five engraved glasses which would indicate if they had been taken within the past two years, he said that in the case of two of them, that particular glass was not made two years ago. For the defence, Mr A. Gilman Jones said that with regard to the first case there was no evidence of theft, and as a matter of fact Mrs Walker had only been in the Cattle Market pub once during the past, three or four years, and that her husband had died, two years ago. He then tried to switch the blame onto the Artistes who had stayed at her house who he described as being, "happy go lucky people and travelling on a Sunday they brought food with them including, glasses, knives and forks, and they must have visited the Cattle Market pub and brought them out of the pub and back to her lodging house" Seems plausible enough to me. Mrs Walker then told the court that she had seen some of the glasses stamped, Cattle Market Hotel, and it was simply neglect on her part, not to return them, and since her husband had died there had been no new additions to the glasses collection, is she blaming him, now? The Stipendiary Magistrate ruled that she was guilty of receiving the five stamped glasses and fined her £5 or 28 days in prison, the second charge against her of unlawful possession of the other glasses was dropped. A strange case to say the least, I wonder who tipped the brewery off about her glasses collection, a disgruntled lodger perhaps? and also was she allowed to keep the remaining other glasses? So the next time your in Wetherspoons or some such pub, think about Mrs Walker afore slipping a glass into your pocket or bag....
  2. You may have heard the expression, "Forbidden Fruit" and this rather sad story from August 1921, helps illustrate the meaning behind it. Henry Simmonds aged 53, who lived at North George Street, Salford and James Pollitt aged 23, who resided at Water Street, Manchester appeared at Salford Magistrates Court with stealing gooseberries otherwise receiving them knowing them to have been stolen...yes that's correct, gooseberries. Simmonds have been employed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company for several years as a loader, whilst Pollitt was employed by a wholesale butcher. In response to to repeated cases of fruit pilfering, the company had gone as far, as to use two of their detectives to to hide in the goods yard and keep observations on the workforce. They saw Simmonds on several occasions bend down and take fruit from a barrel which he was unloading off a train and eat them, as if this wasn't bad enough, Pollitt was then seen to climb onto a railway waggon and also eat some fruit, however he was seen by the keen eyed detectives to put something into his jacket, followed by Simmons who did the same. As Pollitt was leaving the goods yard, Detective Bolas sprang into action and asked him what he had in his pockets, Pollitt admitted having some gooseberries and said that the other men unloading the fruit were also eating them. Simmons was also stopped and searched, rather comically he was seen swallowing the evidence and five squashed gooseberries were found in his pocket, this was all the evidence the detectives needed for the men to be arrested. They were taken to a nearby police station and charged with theft, Simmons pleaded not guilty, whilst Pollitt who had been caught red handed, pleaded guilty to this heinous offence. In the Magistrates Court, Mr Howard Flint who was defending Simmonds put forward the rather half hearted excuse that the fruit was loose in the barrels and could have, in transit accidentally fallen into his clients pockets.... Furthermore his client had unloaded 36 baskets of fruit that day and he could have filled his pockets with gooseberries, yet instead he had, only taken four or five, which were squashed. Predictably the Magistrate, Alderman Hughes, dismissed the notions of fruit accidentally landing in pockets etc and showed that he had no sense of humour by finding both men guilty, and they were fined £1 each but were warned if the fine wasn't paid in seven days they would go to prison for 14 days! Talk about petty, the sad thing is that, Simmons who had no previous convictions would not only get a criminal record but he would lose his job at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, this at a time of economic gloom for the whole country, obviously they shouldn't have nicked a few gooseberries but it was hardly a major crime was it?
  3. I came across this entertaining story from the pages of The Salford City Reporter from August 1921 which tells of the mishaps that befell Acting Sergeant Groves, one night on Regent Road, Salford and a crowbar wielding rescuer. The full story came out at Salford Magistrates Court in Bexley Square when Samuel Royle aged 19 from West Union Street and Gilbert Saunders aged 20 from Gledhill Street, appeared charged with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting Acting Sergeant Groves. A/S Groves who took the stand sporting a black eye and limping heavily gave his account of the fateful night, he said that he saw Royle. singing and shouting, and acting in a drunken manner, and asked him to be quiet and move along. To which Royle, replied, "Who are you spoofing?",then punched him in the face at which point all hell broke loose as A/S Groves was punched from behind and kicked to the ground by several people. Royle broke free and ran some fifty yards along Regent Road before being rugby tackled to the ground by the .plucky A/S Groves again a group of men joined in kicking and punching him in an attempt to release Royle. Help came from an unlikely source as a passing tram driven, driven by a Mr Connell came to a halt, he grabbed a cast iron, points iron and waded into the mob attacking the policeman, hitting anyone in his way and as he told the Court, "I used the points iron to some good effect" which was met with laughter from the public gallery. Mr Connell then helped the injured onto his tram and took him to the nearby, Salford Royal Hospital for treatment to his injuries which included, black eyes, bruised legs, knees and arms, these resulted in him being off work for several days. P.C. Wood took the stand and told the Court that he heard a police whistle and went to his comrades aid, there he saw, Royle rolling about on the floor with, A/S Groves, he manged to restrain him and took him to Regent Road Police Station where he continued to act like a "mad man" Saunders then went into the witness box and said that he had heard, screams and shouts and saw his pal, Royle on the floor when somebody hit him on the head knocking him out, and he woke up in the cells, possibly our crowbar wielding hero had claimed another victim? The Stipendary Magistrate, Mr F.W. Atkin, clearly didn't believe a word that Royle and Saunders had said and took the side of the police. Both men were fined, £1 for being drunk and disorderly and a further punishment of one months hard labour in Strangeways Gaol for assaulting A/S Groves was added. Seems a lively night on Regent Road and Mr Connell wasn't a man to be taken lightly by all accounts, as they say, The Good Old Days!
  4. This story comes from the pages of the Eccles and Patricroft Journal, August 1921 tells of the sad deaths of two American sailors in Eccles, and with a Coroners verdict that is slightly puzzling. The S.S. Hartford was an American registered ship which moored at Irwell Wharf on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, Eccles in late July 1921 and the crew headed off out for a night in Eccles to enjoy the local pubs, and with an added relish because at this time, America was a dry country due to the controversial Prohibition Act of the same year. After an evening drinking the crew made their way back to their boat at about 10.30pm, a fight broke out between several men on the deck of the boat, resulting in the death of two crew members, Irvin Siers and William Fentress, and John Munden being taken to Green Lane police station and charged with the murder of Irvin Siers. An Inquest was held at The Grapes Hotel, Peel Green by the Manchester Coroner, Mr G. S. Lereche to determine their causes of death, also in attendance was the American Consul to Manchester, Mr Holliday watching on in the interest of the accused, John Munden, an American citizen. The Coroner told the Jury of nine men that many of the crew had been drinking in Eccles before returning to the ship, a drunken row broke out in which Siers was involved, a cry of "man overboard" was heard, a sailor by the name of William Fentress jumped overboard to help save Siers, lifeboats were thrown down to them, however Siers continued to struggle and was dragging his rescuer, Fentress down with him. Edward Darling another crew member clambered overboard on a rope and urged the men to grab his legs, sadly the men were too exhausted and sank into the murky water, their bodies were recovered the next day by the police using grappling irons. Mr Lereche then said that several witnesses would be called who had said, that they seen, John Munden strike Siers in the fight and then drop him overboard, and it would be for the Jury to decide how Siers and Fentress had met their deaths adding that there would be three alternative verdicts. The First would be a deliberate killing by Munden, Second, that without intending to kill he committed an act resulting in Siers death, which would mean, Manslaughter, the Third alternative being that the man got into the waters accidentally, the verdict on Fentress would be accidental death. Lee Galvin the Chief Officer told the inquest that he was informed there were men fighting on the deck, and found a number of men brawling, when he heard the cry of, "man overboard" and saw Fentress enter the water. David Blackwell the Second Cook said that he saw two men fighting and that Munden picked up Siers and dropped him over the side of the boat, he added that both men had been drinking and he didn't think that Munden intended to throw the man into the water. The Inquest was adjourned for the day. Fred Gentry, an engine wiper, took the stand and said that he saw both men fighting, when Siers was held back, he demanded to be released so he could carry on fighting Munden, he then described Munden as looking, "half crazed" as he picked Siers up and dropped him overboard, although Munden did help lower a lifeboat to aid the rescue of the two men in the water. Edward Darling a friend of Siers said that they had both been drinking in Eccles, and had drank about seven or eight glasses of beer before returning to their ship, he too heard the fighting but did not see Munden, and to his credit Darling did overboard on a rope in an attempt to save his pals life. P.C. Duggan of the Ship Canal Police told the Jury that he was on duty at Irwell Wharf when he heard the commotion, he questioned and detained Munden, who told him that he was drunk and had been beaten up in a fight, he was taken into custody and removed to Green Lane police station for further questioning. Finally, a John Crowe a night watchman said that he saw Siers pushing and shoving Munden despite being told by several people to calm down, and when questioned by Munden's Solicitor, Mr Hockin gave some evidence that would prove crucial. He said that the S.S. Hartford had a list to the starboard and that the ships handrails were only three foot six inches high, and that, "anyone capering about or carrying on might easily go overboard, if under the influence of drink" After hearing all the evidence, the Coroner told the Jury that in the case of Fentress his cause of death was accidental and as for Munden it would be mere assumption that he deliberately pushed Siers overboard and that it was possible that he dropped him overboard to, "cool him down"... The Jury retired to consider their verdict and came back with the verdict that Siers met his death through accidentally falling over the hand rails whilst staggering about on deck, and Accidental Death verdicts were delivered on both men. Munden appeared at Eccles Magistrates Court and was told by the Chairman, Mr C, Fenton that to a great extent he was responsible for the deaths of both men, owing to him being drunk and fighting, and that has had come from a dry country it was pity he wasn't dry whilst in this country and was then free to leave the Court. Words fail me, surely the witness statements about him dropping Siers overboard was enough evidence to give a verdict of Manslaughter?, could it have been that with Munden being American the authorities didn't want to ruffle any diplomatic feathers? A strange story with no consolation for Irvin Siers. Photos: S.S. Hartford
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