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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.


Friday, December 19, 1890.

KILLED BY AN EXPRESS TRAIN
NEAR BRYN STATION.

   On Thursday afternoon, at the Britannia Inn, Bryn, Mr. S. Brighouse, county coroner, held an inquest touching the death of Andrew Kerse, who was killed by an express train near Bryn Station on Tuesday afternoon. The following evidence was taken:- Martin Cassidy said he lived at Bryn, and worked for Mr. Braddock, contractor. He had known deceased for 13 or 14 years. Deceased was a stonemason, and was 32 years of age. He last saw him alive on Saturday afternoon, when they parted at ten o'clock, and deceased said he was going to Accrington. - George Timperley, chargeman for the London and North-Western Railway Co. at St. Helens, said he saw deceased on Tuesday afternoon shortly after three o'clock about 600 yards from Bryn Station, on the St. Helens side. Witness was in the signal cabin. Deceased was walking in the 6ft towards Bryn Station. The 2 25 express from Liverpool to Wigan was coming on the up main line, and when the train was about twenty yards away the engine whistled. Deceased turned round and jumped into the 4ft. in front of the engine, which caught him and carried him about thirty yards. When picked up deceased was dead. Deceased was not in the company's service. He would have been safe had he stopped still. - Joseph Wilson, an engine driver employed by Mr. Braddock, said on Tuesday last he saw deceased walking in the six foot. When the express neared him the engine whistled, and deceased jumped across the line and was run over. - Wm. Scott, driver of the 2 25 express from Liverpool to Wigan on Tuesday, said he did not know the engine had killed deceased until he heard on Wednesday. - A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned.



Friday, December 19, 1890.

CREATING A DISTURBANCE.
   Mary Hargreaves, Holland-street, was summoned for assaulting James White, of the same street, on Tuesday. The defendant created a disturbance around complainant's house, and assaulted him by pulling his whiskers. A fine of 2s. 6d. and costs was imposed.



Saturday, December 20, 1890.

THE MAY MILL COMPANY FINED.
   The May Mill Spinning Company, Limited, were summoned at the instance of Capt. Brewer, Government Inspector of Factories, Workshops, etc., for allowing the hands to work beyond the time stated by the Act of Parliament, on the 20th ult. - Capt. Brewer prosecuted, and Mr. Tarbuck (Messrs. Taylor, Sons, and Tarbuck) defended. - The evidence for the prosecution was that on Thursday, the 20th ult., Capt. Brewer visited May Mill at dinner time and found that work had been suspended 5 minutes after the proper time, viz., half-past twelve. The inspector compared his watch with the engine-driver's and found that the latter's was 3 minutes slow. - For the defence, Mr. Tarbuck produced evidence that the engine-driver, Alfred Alleworth, commenced to stop the engine exactly at half-past twelve according to Post-office time, and there was a dead stop two minutes later. As soon as steam was shut off the girls would leave their work, so that there was no manufacturing going on after 12 30. - John Cuerdon deposed that the engine-driver's watch was correct with the Post-office clock, Wigan, the same day. - The Bench decided that there had been a breach of the law, and ordered a fine of 2s. 6d. and costs in one summons, and costs in eleven others.



Saturday, December 20, 1890.

DISOBEYING ORDERS.
   Thomas Holland and John Melling were charged with working in a certain place in the No. 5 pit belonging to the Pearson and Knowles Coal and Iron Company, where they were not directed to work, on the 2nd inst. - Holland's defence was that he was in his own working place, and Melling said he did not work at all. - Mr. Peck (Messrs. Mayhew, Son, and Peck) said Ralph Eastham, and underlooker, gave them directions where to work, but they went to a different place. - Each defendant was fined 10s. and costs.



Saturday, December 20, 1890.

ELEVEN QUARTS EACH.
   James Martlew, landlord of the Tippings Arms, Worsley Mesnes, was summoned for allowing drunkenness in his house. The case arose from some proceedings which took place on the previous Friday. Evidence was given by two men, Sculley and Woodcock, that they had eleven quarts each. - Mr. J. S. Hopwood, for the defendant, submitted that although they did drink that quantity there was no evidence that they were drunk beyond the manner in which they behaved and the filthy language used. - A fine of 20s. and costs was imposed.



Saturday, December 20, 1890.

AN UNSAFE LAMP.
   John Richardson, a collier, was summoned for taking down the 6ft. mine of the Hindley Green Colliery, belonging to Messrs. Scowcroft and Co., a lamp which was not a locked safety lamp. - Mr. Ellis (Messrs. Peace and Ellis) said the lamp was found in the return airway, and had no pretentions to being a safety lamp. - The defendant explained that the lamp was one he used whilst walking from his home to the pit, and he forgot to leave it at the lamp-house. He did not have it lit down pit, but used a proper safety lamp. It escaped the eye of the fireman when he first went down the pit, as he had the lamp in his pocket. - The bench accepted the defendant's explanation, and only put the costs of the case upon him.



Saturday, December 20, 1890.

AN ALLEGED OFFICIOUS POLICEMAN.
   William Henry Aspden, of Hindley, was charged with assaulting Police-constable Bennett, of Hindley, on Tuesday week. - Mr. Bryan defended. - It was alleged that the man tupped the officer so severely that he had been off duty for some time. - Mr. Bryan contended that the officer had aggravated the defendant, who was drunk, and had acted in such a manner as to deserve the assault. He (Mr. Bryan) complained of the absence of any certificate or medical evidence to show the officer's injuries, and contended that he was off duty for a cold, and not for the injury. The defendant had an injured arm from the roughness with which the policeman used the handcuffs. - Defendant was fined 5s. and costs for being drunk and disorderly, and the case of assault was dismissed.



Saturday, December 20, 1890.

PLAYING PIGGY ON THE HIGHWAY.
   On Tuesday, at Chorley, Hugh Turner and Charles Baron were charged with the above offence. - Police-constable Scott said he saw defendants playing at piggy on the highway at Crook, on Sunday afternoon, the 7th. He had previously cautioned them, and there were numerous complaints from the passers-by of the nuisance. - Being the first offence they were each fined 2s. 6d. and costs.



Saturday, December 20, 1890.

ALLEGED THEFT OF A WATCH AT STANDISH.
   On Tuesday, at the Chorley Petty Sessions, a boy named John Nuttall was brought up in custody, charged with stealing a watch, valued at 5 10s., the property of Edward Finch, on the 10th November last. - Mr. Lees defended. - Prosecutor said that on the 10th November he took off his trousers at his work. He had a watch worth 5 10s. in the pocket. He left the trousers at the end of the road, and on going back missed his watch. On the 24th he found the watch in pieces upon some timber over Nuttall's head. - Cross-examined by Mr. Lee: I did not give information to the police; my wife did. I got 8s. from the boy's father, and he then refused to pay more. I did not threaten to have the boy locked up. - Mr. Lees: Is it not a fact that on the 10th November prisoner was in the custody of the Wigan Borough Police charged with stealing a pair of boots, and discharged after being remanded? - It was on the 24th November. - A boy named Wood, living at Crooke, said he saw the prisoner on the 10th November, about 5 30 p.m., when he showed him a watch, which he said he had got out of a man's pocket. The next day he showed witness the works of the watch, and said he had smashed it to pieces. - Samuel Rigby said prisoner showed him three wheels out of a watch and the spring barrels. He said a boy had been over-winding the watch, and had given him those works out of it. - William Green said he left prisoner at the place on the 10th, about 12 30 p.m. - In answer to the Magistrates' Clerk, he said the prisoner came out of prison on the day the watch was found. - Mr. Lee submitted that there was no evidence against the boy, and the bench stopped the case and dismissed the lad.


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