Orrell (Interesting Old News)

Published by Brian on Thursday 28th July 2022

Another mixed bag of old, interesting news, this time for Orrell. Read about mystery bones found at the Stag Inn and a toy balloon fraud...

Orrell Road, looking towards Orrell Post.
Orrell Road, looking towards Orrell Post.

Leeds Intelligencer 22 December 1831


We regret to announce that TWENTY-EIGHT men, women, and children lost their lives, on Thursday afternoon, by an explosion of hydrogen gas in the New Engine Colliery, at Orrell, near Wigan. The origin of the accident is unknown, for all who were in the pit perished, including John Williams, the head-man, and Lister, his second; the body of the former was found near the mouth of the mine. Upwards of seven hours elapsed before any one could enter the scene of destruction, and then it was evident that the explosion was most violent, and that death did its work instantaneously. About five and forty children have thus been bereaved of a parent; and many widows have lost their sole support. The shaft of the mine os 245 yards; from thence the workmen descend 170 yards by an inclined plane, making a total of 1794 feet below the surface of the earth.

Morning Herald (London) 21 February 1859


A dreadful explosion of fire-damp took place on Saturday in Walthew House Colliery, belonging to Messrs. Brancker and Co., the circumstances of which are very unusual in connection with mining operations. In the "Tower Hill Division," 800 yards south of the entrance to the mine, there is a "goaf," (or stoppage to fence off some old workings), near to which Henry Fairhurst bored the coal for firing a blast; but as he bored into what is termed as the "fast," or solid coals, the powder was not sufficient to remove the hard mass, and the flame of the charge found its way into the "goag" 8½ yards distant. In this "goaf" there must have been some foul air, which being centrally located, did not appear to the fireman's lamp, as he examined it before Fairhurst fired his blast: and the fuse sending the smoke thither, cased an explosion, by which Ashurst (the fireman), Henry Fairhurst, Peter Fairhurst, Thomas Reed, and two drawers, named James and John Berry, were blown instantly against the side of the pit. John Berry was killed on the spot, his neck being dislocated; he was also burnt by the fire damp. James Berry had his arm broken in two places, Thomas Reed had his ankle dislocated, and the others were injured by bruises, without broken bones. Some of the stoppings of the works were blown down; and as the pit is a very large one, with plenty of air, it is fortunate the explosion did not travel beyond the "goaf" already mentioned, or the loss of life would have been terrible. The pit is considered well ventilated, and is worked with safety lamps.

Stroud Journal 11 January 1868


At the Wigan Police Court on Monday, Thomas Horrocks, who said he resided at 8, Back Thomas street, Shudehill, in Manchester, was placed in the dock, charged on his own confession, with having murdered his wife. - The evidence offered was that of John Hurst, of Orrell, near Wigan, one of the "Hallelujah Band," now holding services each Sunday in the Theatre Royal, and to which body it appeared Horrocks had belonged in Manchester. On Sunday evening, both prisoner and witness were in the Theatre. The prisoner refused to shake hands with one of his old friends, and declined to assign any reason for his conduct. Witness took him into a small room, and there he spoke to him, when he said he should be d-----d and go to h---- before the morning. Witness remonstrated with him, and "gave him a few religious consolations;" but the prisoner declared that all was of no use, as he had murdered his wife by cutting her throat. - The Magistrates remanded the prisoner for inquiries to be made. - He now states that his statement was only a joke.

Bradford Weekly Telegraph 14 May 1870


The coroner's inquiry as to the death of Peter Winnard, of Orrell, near Wigan, who had died from the effects of a shot wound received in a beerhouse on the 25th ult., was resumed on Saturday. Deceased was standing in the beerhouse, with the muzzle of a gun uner his arm, when a man named Cartwright, noticing that a cap was on his nipples but not thinking the gun was loaded, pulled the trigger, and Winnard received in his armpit a wound which resulted in his death. - The jury decided that death was attributable to inadvertence, and strongly censured Cartwright for the manner in which he had acted.

Manchester Evening News 28 May 1897


Last evening a sad fatality took place at Orrell, near Wigan. Wilfred Lancaster, six years of age, son of a coal dealer, was riding in the front of one of his father's carts, and was in the act of receiving a bunch of flowers from a brother, when he overbalanced himself and fell, a wheel of the cart passing over his head. The boy died immediately afterwards.

Liverpool Weekly Courier 14 July 1900


On Sunday William Larthwaite, aged 15, a rope changer of Far Moor, Orrell, near Wigan, was drowned in the reservoir there. He left home with some companions to fish, and subsequently he said he would have a bathe. He was warned not to do so as he could not swim, but he entered the water and got out of his depth. Two boys attempted a rescue, but they were unsuccessful.

Cotton Factory Times 07 June 1907

Factory Act Prosecutions.

At Wigan, on Friday, the Sandbrooks Spinning Company, of Orrell, Wigan, were summoned for time-cribbing. Mr. Clark, inspector of factories, stated he found machinery at defendants' mill running four minutes after the legal hour. He had taken proceedings against the company in twenty cases. The offences were admitted, and an oversight on the part of the engineer pleaded. A fine of £1 and costs in each case was imposed, the fines totalling £32.

Wigan Observer and District Advertiser 13 August 1910


At the Wigan Borough Police Court, yesterday (Friday), Thomas Barton, of 8, Lodge-road, Orrell, was charged under warrant for obtaining by false pretences, 27½lbs. of ham, 29lbs. of cheese, 12lbs. of tea, 32½lbs of bacon, and one lunch tongue, value £4 3s. 6d. between the 6th and 9th June, from Mr. Elisha H. Monks.
The Chief Constable said the prisoner went to Mr. Monks' warehouse and got the stuff using the name of a Mrs. Moyers, of Billinge, who was a well-known customer of Mr. Monks. For six months prior to March last he was in the employ of Mrs. Moyers and it was part of his duty to come down to Wigan and take things back to her from Mr/ Monks' warehouse.
He sold one man a ham for what was a fair price considering the story told, and he sold all the other things to another man to whom he told a plausible tale. He said his name was Barton and he was a grocer at Orrell, and he was on the rocks and wanted to clear out his business. The man looked in a directory and found there was a grocer named Barton at Orrell.
Evidence was given by Annie Grayson, Mill-yard, Chapel-lane, John Lowe, 5, Melverley-street, Jane Moyers, a grocer, of Gautley Lees, Billinge, whilst Detective Wills said he received the prisoner from the custody of the Southport Police on Thursday.
Prisoner pleaded guilty, and said he was very sorry. He was teetotal for ten months, and he got into bad company and did not know whatever came over him. He had been drinking, and must have gone off his head to get those things because Mrs. Moyers had been so good to him.
The Chief Constable said Barton had been up seven times.
Prisoner was committed for two months.
The purchaser of the things said the stuff was pressed upon him by the prisoner whose story he believed. The goods had a wrapper on bearing the name, "Barton, grocer, Orrell."

Pall Mall Gazette 17 February 1923


To-day the inquest was held on the human remains unearthed at the rear of the Stag Hotel, Orrell, Wigan.
The Stag is a 200 years old hostelry at the cross roads now being rebuilt in Wigan.
The licencee said that while landlord of the old inn in 1914, prior ro removal to Wigan, he buried relicts which a medical student from Manchester presented to him in 1910 when he was licencee of the Bush Hotel, Bolton.
Witness collected curious objects, and for some time kept the human skull and arm bones in question on the mantlepiece of the hotel in Bolton.
On hearing of the discovery at Orrell witness immediately communicated with the police, pointing out the exact spot where he had buried the remains.
The coroner said he was glad the mystery had been satisfactorily cleared up, and the certificate for the burial of the remains was granted.

Shields Daily News 06 July 1923


At Salford, yesterday, Walter George Hendy, 28, no fixed address, was sentenced to three months' imprisonment, and Thomas Brown, 23, of Orrell, near Wigan, was bound over, for obtaining by false pretences 33 gross of toy balloons, valued £40 18s. from A. Berman and Sons.
It was stated that the accused told the prosecutors they wanted the balloons for disposal during the Blackpool carnival, and that Brown gave a cheque in payment that was dishonoured.

Liverpool Echo 14 July 1925


As a result of a motor accident at Birkdale, to-day, Albert Hall, 72, Kew-road, Birkdale, is in the Southport Infirmary with a compound fracture of the leg and a cut on the head.
He was riding in the sidecar of a motor-cycle, driven by Ernest Ball, 72, Kew-road, Birkdale, which, at the corner of Guildford-road and Stamford-road, met a 5-ton lorry, loaded with bricks, belonging to Albert Petty, Orrell, Wigan.
Ball turned to his right to avoid an accident, and the lorry driver did the same. The sidecar hit the lorry and was smashed. The front part of the lorry went through a hedge into a garden.

Liverpool Evening Express 07 October 1941


The British Empire Medal had been awarded to Lance-Corporal Ellis Green, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Green, of 47, Lodge-road, Orrell, Wigan, for his work and bravery during air raids on Coventry and the Midlands, in rescuing the O.C. of the company from a difficult position. At the risk of his own life he went back for him. Lance-Corporal Green's father is a coal miner at Langate Colliery, Bryn.

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