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Old news detailing sports, crime, violence and suffering in Victorian Wigan. All stories taken from The Wigan Observer And District Advertiser, 1890. Material kindly loaned by Ron Hunt.


Saturday, November 22, 1890.

MIDNIGHT VISIT TO A TARPAULIN WAREHOUSE.
   Five lads named Wm. Shaw, John Bagnall, Joseph Daily, Walter Hampson, and Wm. Coghlin, all hailing from Wallgate, Lyon-street, and Pitt-street, were charged with breaking and entering into the tapaulin manufactory of Mr. F. Baldwin, Great George-street on the 17th inst. - The Chief-constable (Captain Bell) stated that the owner of the works had had to complain of the premises being broken into at night time. The prisoners had gained an entrance into the works, and had turned on the gas and stayed there all night breaking things and doing a great deal of damage. It was a very risky business, as the place might very easily be set on fire. The prisoners were only charged with committing the offence on the 17th inst., but they had evidence they had done the same thing before that date. Their plan was to buy a candle in order to see their way. - Mr. Baldwin said for some time past the place had been made into a kind of rendezvous during the night for a number of boys of the stamp of the prisoners. The damage they committed was serious, and they had cost him about 30 in six months. On Sunday night they were in, and deliberately broke a sewing machine. The great danger was fire, and the lads were in the habit of taking matches with them, in fact he had picked up hundreds himself. It was with the utmost difficulty that he could turn off the gas at the meter, and yet the lads managed to do it. Besides that they had got into his office and upset all his papers. - The prisoners were remanded until Monday, and ordered to be fed on bread and water in the meantime.



Wednesday, November 26, 1890.

OVERCROWDING HOUSES AT PEMBERTON.
   The following residents of Pemberton were prosecuted by Mr. Ellis (Messrs. Peace and Ellis), who appeared on behalf of the Pemberton Local Board, for permitting overcrowding in their homes:- Elizabeth Walsh, 20, Victoria-street, and Geo. T. Sherrington, 53, Bridgewater-street, were ordered to abate the nuisance at their houses within a month, and also to pay the costs. - Samuel Whitton, 4, Fleming's-yard, Bridgwater-street, and James Wilson, 3, Bridgewater-street, who had abated the nuisances by leaving their houses, were ordered to pay the costs. - Defendants complained that they were unable to obtain houses in Pemberton. - Mr. Ellis said it was a difficult thing to find empty houses in Pemberton. It was hard to take those prosecutions, but they had no option, as the law relating to public health required them to act as they had done.



Wednesday, November 26, 1890.

ASSAULT.
   Henry Heaton was summoned for assaulting Alice Green, at Ince, on the 12th November. - Mr. Rowbottom appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Lees defended. - The case arose out of a rumour that the complainant had starved a child which she had recently buried. The defendant went to complainant's house, and a row ensued, in which Mrs. Green contended that she was severely assaulted. - A fine of 5s. and costs was imposed.



Wednesday, November 26, 1890.

ALLEGED THEFTS.
   John Ashall was charged with stealing a pick, between the night of the 14th and the 15th inst., from the works of Mr. Braddock, Carmill, Ashton. It was afterwards found in a broker's shop at St. Helens, prisoner having sold it. He was sent to take his trial at the Quarter Sessions. - William Wharton was charged with stealing a coat and vest from a dwelling-house at Hindley, the property of a fellow lodger named William Edwards. The latter left for Wales on the 21st ult., leaving his clothes in the bedroom, and when he returned they were missing, and the prisoner had flown. Afterwards the clothes were pawned at Ancoats, Manchester, and the prisoner was arrested. - He was committed for trial.



Wednesday, November 26, 1890.

ALARM OF FIRE.
   A startling rumour circulated in Wigan about three o'clock on Friday afternoon that a fire had broken out at the Rose Bridge Cotton Mill, at Ince. An application was actually made for the services of the Wigan Fire Brigade, and immediately after the whole of the brigade turned out with one of the engines. On reaching the Douglas bridge, in Darlington-street, however, a messenger stopped the engine and informed Inspector Peers, who was in command, that the fire had been extinguished. It appears that some cotton at one of the roving frames had ignited through friction, but the flames were extinguished in a very short time by a few buckets of water.



Wednesday, November 26, 1890.

ENTERTAINMENT AT THE INFIRMARY.
   The first of a series of entertainments which it is hoped will be arranged, took place in the Day Room of the Infirmary, on Tuesday week. The entertainment was given by the Rev. R. Tebbs, by the permission of the Board of Management, and the room was well filled by patients, friends, and nurses. The Rev. R. Tebbs presided, and the following gentlemen were also in attendance:- The Rev. P. Hains, the House Surgeons, and Matron, Messrs. G. L. Campbell, C. Appleton, J. Phillips, Johnson, and W. Taberner (secretary). The following programme was well rendered:- Song, "The king's own," Mr. J. Hilton; song, "The wolf," Mr. J. Hilton; song, "The better land," Miss Green; song, "Twickenham ferry," Miss Green; musical drill (12 infants from St. Thomas's School), under Miss Appleton and Miss M. Moss; song, "Darby and Joan," Miss Hains; song, "The flowing tide," Miss Hains; recitation, "King John and the Abbot of Canterbury," Mr. J. Phillips; stump speech, "The peep show," Mr. J. Phillips; song, "John Peel," Mr. A. Lamb; song, "The clang of the hammer," Mr. A. Lamb; duet, piano, Miss Holmes and Miss Hurst; duet, piano, Miss Holmes and Miss Hurst; "Bohemian girl," (piano and violin), Mr. Tebbs and Mr. Thomas Lea; "Life let us cherish," (piano and violin), Mr. Tebbs and Mr. Thomas Lea; song, "He wipes the tear from every eye," Miss Hilton; "God save the Queen," Mr. Appleton proposed, and Mr. Johnson seconded, a vote of thanks to Mr. Tebbs and his party, which was put to the meeting and carried with acclamation. Mr. Tebbs responded. The whole lasted two hours, and the patients evidently enjoyed it very much.



Wednesday, November 26, 1890.

FIRE AT STANDISH BLEACH WORKS.
   Soon after ten o'clock on Saturday night, the inhabitants of Standish were alarmed by the sound of prolonged whistling proceeding from the Standish Bleach Works, a sound which at that hour proclaimed only too clearly what had occurred. The works were very soon surrounded by a large crowd, and immediately a band of workers was formed with a view of manipulating the fire appliances on the premises. These were brought into operation with such good effect that it was soon apparent that they would be able to confine the fire to one portion of the buidling. For several hours the brave fellows who had volunteered their services stuck to their work, and although handicapped by insufficient appliances, ultimately succeeded in subduing the flames. Of these men it is impossible to speak to highly, and the proprietors are under a heavy debt of gratitude to them. The fire engines from Haigh Hall and Chorley were obtained, but only when the fire had been practically extinguished; notwithstanding this, valuable assistance was rendered in more quickly quenching the remains of the destructive element. The delay in obtaining these engines was chiefly owing to an unsuccessful application being made for the services of the Wigan Fire Brigade. Half an hour after the telegram was despatched to Wigan, a reply came that the works were out of the boundary, and suggesting an application to Chorley. We have not yet been able to ascertain the amount of damage sustained.



Wednesday, November 26, 1890.

SINGULAR ACCIDENT IN DEAN WOOD.
   On Saturday last an unusual accident occurred in Dean Wood. It appears that a woman named Elizabeth Holcroft went to the wood for the purpose of picking sticks to be used as firewood, and whilst doing so slipped on some damp leaves, and falling broke one of her legs. Luckily for her, a boy was with her, presumably on the same errand as herself, and he proceeded to a farmhouse not far distant. A cart was taken and the woman removed home, Dr. Johnstone setting the broken limb. Had the boy not been in her company the woman might have lain in this secluded spot for hours.



Wednesday, November 26, 1890.

GUILTY.
   Ellen Bennett, of Ince, was charged with stealing two tins of beef and salmon from the shop of William Baron, Manchester-road, Ince, and valued at 2s. 6d. - Mr. Superintendent Brassington prosecuted. - A lad named Joseph McCaffery, saw the prisoner take the tins about twenty minutes past nine, on Saturday night, when the shop was full of customers. She placed them in her "brat," and was walking away, but was overtaken at the end of Lord-street by Henry Hesketh, one of the assistants in the shop, who had been informed of the robbery by the lad. At first she said she had bought them, but afterwards told the young man it was only a joke. - Prisoner, who pleaded guilty, was fined 10s.; in default, seven days' imprisonment.


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