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Tony Flynn

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. Tony Flynn


    Greengate at this time had to be possibly the worst slum dwelling area of Salford with hundreds of people crammed into squalid rooms in shared houses, a fertile breeding ground for crime and disorder. It was also the location of the first black community in Salford with many of them, sailors who had left their ships in Salford and settled here, forming their own communities, sadly not to everybody's liking. Salford Magistrates Court was reported as having a packed public gallery, as crowds had flocked to see what the sensation what all about following the lurid headlines in the press. Thomas Williams a black man was charged with being on enclosed premises on Duke Street for an unlawful purpose, alongside him in the dock were Albert Cuthbert, Jack Andrews, Lewis Wyndham, John Barber, Thomas Peters, George Nelson and William Johnson who were all charged with assault by striking and kicking P.C. Noddle in the execution of his duty and unlawfully rescuing Thomas Williams from the lawful custody of of P.C. Noddle in Gravel lane, Salford. Further excitement was caused when one of the accused, Thomas Peters had to be carried to the dock seated in a chair as he had sustained a fractured leg in the melee, also face wounds which were covered with cotton wool. Detective Sergeant Clark told the court that Thomas Williams had walked into a house on Duke Street, Greengate whilst the occupier a tailor by the name of John Fennell was working in a back bedroom, in the kitchen was a man named Henry Williams who asked Thomas Williams what he wanted, he was told that he was looking for a man called Peters. He was told that there was nobody of that name there but refused to leave the premises, Mr Fennell came downstairs and he threatened to call the police, Williams ran out of the house pursued by Fennel and Henry Williams. He darted into another house and quickly fled through the back door but was apprehended by P.C. Noddle who had been alerted by the commotion. Joined by Fennell and Williams he attempted to take Thomas Williams into custody when they were suddenly attacked by 50 black men some carrying, razors, knives and sticks. The three men were badly knocked about by the mob and the prisoner was rescued and made good his escape. Police from the nearby Chapel Street police station were quickly on the scene to help quell a potential riot, they made arrests at various house in the area and were identified by P.C. Noddle as having been concerned in the affray. D.C. Clark said that Thomas Peters took a large part in the fighting and was found in possession of a razor with a jagged blade, razors were also found on two other men. John Fennell and Henry Williams both gave evidence in which Williams said that he lived with Fennell and there had been several instances of, "coloured men" walking into the house at all hours, uninvited, and on one occasion a "coloured man" walked in when Fennell's sister was sat alone, , she called out to him and the man fled the house. Chief Inspector Markland then took the stand and said that when Williams was captured, Thomas Peters began to obstruct P.C. Noddle when negroes from Greengate area gathered together and attacked the men. P.C. Noddle drew his staff and struck several of the attackers but after a short struggle managed to liberate Williams, when he was rearrested it took six policemen to subdue him as he "fought like a wildcat" D.I. Markland then added that there had been a lot of trouble with "these coloured men" and he had been called out to quell the disturbances five times and they were becoming, "a perfect nuisance". In his defence, Thomas Williams said that he entered Mr Fennell's house in error, whilst all of the other accused men, denied taking part in the affray. Alderman Linley the Chairman of the Bench said that they considered that Cuthbert and and Andrews had taken the least part in the affray and they would go to prison for one month with hard labour. All of the other men in the dock were sentenced to three months imprisonment with hard labour. He than added, "I hope this will be a lesson to you men, we are determined to protect the police against any rowdyism of this kind" and then asked D.I. Clark to to make representation to the Home Office that these men were becoming a nuisance. The story doesn't end there because the Chief Constable of Salford, Major C.V. Godfrey actually called at the Home Office in London that week and handed over a report which read. "The presence of these negroes in Salford was causing a great deal of of dissatisfaction and was looked upon as a public menace. "We recommend that they be returned to their respective colonies, especially so as the labouring work which they had been undertaking during the war can now be satisfactorily done by the returning soldiers and sailors. "Many of these men are living with white girls and several had been convicted for living on the immoral earnings of women. "Several had also been convicted for offences committed on the high sea's including threats to inflict grievous bodily harm on officers with razors and other weapons. "The white population in the districts of Greengate and the docks area were living in terror at the present time and it was feared that serious trouble would occur in the near future" If that isn't scaremongering to an incredible degree I don't know what is. Basically he is asking for "coloured" people to be deported back to the county of their origin whilst chucking in large does of racist rhetoric, guaranteed to inflame tensions even higher, if any existed at all, a shocking thing for the Chief Constable of Salford to say, in my opinion, and almost on par with Enoch Powell's, "Rivers of Blood" infamous speech in 1968. A browse through and pages of the court cases in Salford will show that the vast majority of crimes ranging from murder, arson, theft, violence, drunkenness etc were committed by white Salfordians of both sexes. On reflection it's a sad testimony of the mindset of the time that people of a different skin colour could be blamed for a "reign of terror and fear". Happily the "serious trouble" that Major Godfrey predicted, never happened and life went on in Greengate.
  6. Thomas Bell the landlord of the Windmill pub in Pendlebury, Swinton appeared at the Manchester County Police Courts charged with with wilfully inflicting grievous bodily harm on a four year old boy called, John Wilcock who resided at Engine Brow, Pendlebury. The court was told that on Sunday, 23rd February 1919, John was playing with a few friends outside the pub when for some reason he decided to peer through the letter box of the pub. He was met with a faceful of boiling water chucked at him from inside the pub which scalded him about the eye's.. Mary Wilcock the boy's mother rushed him to a local Doctor who treated his injuries, he was then taken to the hospital for further treatment and was discharged that day. Richard Price a collier told the court that he noticed a group of young lads playing outside the pub, and a young boy lifting the letter box and looking through. He then heard the boy scream and run away, rather ominously he noticed a pool of steaming water on the pavement outside the pub. Rose Dixon who lived in the pub took the stand and said that she had heard the letter box rattling and saw Thomas Bell standing in the vestibule but she couldn't see what was in his hand as he had his back to her. Minutes later she heard somebody banging on the pub door and in came Mrs Woodcock with young John in her arms, she too had noticed steam coming from a pool of water outside the pub. Cross examined by Mr Watson for the defence she said that Bell had been in the Army since October 1914 but last Christmas had a severe bout of influenza which led to pneumonia, this resulted in him going into hospital for treatment. When he did come home she noticed that he appeared, "a bit queer"...read into that what you will. P.C. Woodworth told the court that when he arrived at the pub to to make enquiries, Bell rushed past him and ran upstairs, the plucky P.C. caught hold of him by the legs and dragged him to the floor and arrested him. He was taken to Pendlebury Police Station and charged with assaulting the boy, to which he replied, "I am not guilty of that" Addressing the Magistrate's on Bell's behalf, Mr Watson gave a lengthy and strange explanation for Mr Bell's actions. He said there was no evidence before them to suggest that it was an act that was done deliberately for the purpose of injuring the child and that the correct assumption was that it was done impulsively in a moment of irritation to frighten the children who had been annoying him. He did not dispute that the water had been thrown and naturally it was a most unfortunate incident. Mr Bell had decided to make himself a cup of tea and had a kettle of boiling water in his hand for that purpose when he was annoyed by children rattling the letter box and without thinking of the consequences, he threw the water at the closed door and some appeared to have spurted through the opening, sadly hitting the boy in the face. In what seems a plea for mercy, Mr Watson continued that Bell was anxious to to make any possible reparation as far as the child was concerned, and to pay Mrs Woodcock £5 for any expenses that she had been put to, also something substantial as well. Does that sound to you like he is attempting to buy the family off? With a final flourish he added that the Magistrates to come to the conclusion that Mr Bell was a thoroughly, respectable man, but was queer in the head and that the least rattling of the letter box would irritate him. The Chairman of the Bench, Mr Hugh Howarth then decided that a fit punishment would be that Bell would be fined £1, with a further £1 for legal costs, also Mrs Woodcoock to be given 10 shillings and the other two witnesses five shillings each. He was told that he was fortunate that the boy wasn't badly injured or he would be facing a far more serious charge. Superintendent Keys then piped up that Bell was an absentee from the Army! However the Magistrates decided that to adjourn that charge for a week so that the Military could be informed, and Mr Bell walked free from the Court. So what do we make of this, if Bell was an absentee from the Army, no wonder he wanted to pay the family off, however his fine was considerably less than what he had offered! If he was an absentee, how come he was the Landlord of a busy pub, hardly hiding away was he? I'm certain that the Military would take into account his service record and also his sickness record and discharge him, I hope so. It's a good job that "Trick or Treat" hadn't yet landed on our shores or I would imagine there would be a lot more scalded kids in Pendlebury, if Mr Bell had his way.
  7. It also attracted various characters including "Ladies of the Night" who were keen to meet foreign seamen and show the myriad attractions of Salford and The Barbary Coast, a popular nickname for Trafford Road and Cross Lane which had dozens of pubs, some of which had tables screwed to the floor, just in case of brawls, The Fox being a good example. This story concerns Angel Diaz, a Spanish seaman who appeared at Salford Magistrates Court in February 1919 charged with assaulting Albert Davies and Joseph Schofield on Trafford Road, Salford. Diaz had appeared at the courts the week before charged with this offence and was remanded for a week in custody whilst investigations were made. Davies a recently discharged soldier told the court that he was walking along Trafford Road when he met Diaz who to him, appeared to be under the influence of drink. He gentlemanly stepped aside to let Diaz pass him, however Diaz muttered something to him, then seized him by the throat, forcing him against the railings at the side of the road. A struggle ensued in which Diaz drew out a knife and struck him in the back, cutting his overcoat and wounding him twice. A soldier named Schofield and some civilians came to Davies's assistance, Diaz then stabbed Schofield in the leg to which Schofield punched him to the ground no doubt concerned for his own safety. Diaz was pinned to the ground and detained by several citizens and no doubt a few sly digs and kicks were administered to him in order to fully restrain him. P.C. Noddle -his real name! - arrived at the scene and took Diaz into custody possibly for his own safety whilst Davies and Schofield were treated for their injuries at Dr Cranes surgery on Regent Road. In court the Spanish Consul spoke out for Diaz and said that Diaz and another seaman were walking along Trafford Road with two girls when Davies and Schofield stopped them and told them to leave the girls alone or there would be trouble. The other seaman ran off no doubt worried for his health and Diaz had only pulled out his knife to protect himself. Detective Clark however said that the police had been unable to find any foundation for Diaz's suggestions. The Magistrate then sentenced Diaz to one months imprisonment with hard labour. So was Angel Diaz a happy go-lucky seaman looking for a night out in Salford with two lady companions when he was threatened by irate locals and it all turned nasty? Perhaps it would have been better if he had followed his friends example and ran away instead of flashing a knife about and stabbing two people. A months imprisonment for stabbing two people is very lenient and perhaps the Magistrate took into account that Trafford Road could be quite a daunting place for a foreign seaman with a pocket of money looking for a good time. Finally I wonder how Diaz managed to get another ship out of Salford assuming that that his ship had sailed without him, in more ways than one. Sailor beware!
  8. The story concerned two brothers, both described as being, Russian Jews, however one was described as a fighter and the other a "shirker" - shirker being a common name used at this time for people who did their best to avoid conscription to the armed forces. The headline to the story read, "Shirker rooted out of his hiding place", strong language to say the least. The full story unfolded at Salford Magistrates Court when Maurice Miller, 23 who resided at Broughton Lane, Salford was charged with, "failing to furnish to the Registration Officer of Salford as to his change of residence and also with failing to to furnish particulars affecting the accuracy of the information previously supplied" This was the Alien Registration Act of 1914 when at the outbreak of World War One, all aliens over 16 were required to register at local police stations and to demonstrate a good character and knowledge of English. This was partly due to a fear of spies, informants and basically, wrong 'uns. Detective Inspector Clark told the Court that the prisoner had registered himself at the Aliens Office in Salford in February 1916, in March 1918 a calling up notice was served upon him by the Military Authorities but this he failed to answer. The police were informed but a search of Salford and surrounding areas failed to show any sign of him. Enter his older, unnamed brother who was born in Russia but had come to England in 1916, presumably with his brother, Maurice, this chap voluntarily joined the British Army and was soon fighting in France. In early February he had come home on a fortnights leave and was, "disgusted" to find that his brother was missing and even worse had failed to to join the colours. He told the Court that he vowed to find him even if he spent his fortnight's furlough tracking him down, true to his word a search of the Strangeways area found Maurice. He dragged him to the Broughton Police Station, remarking, "You are now going to face the music!" and handed him in. Maurice Miller told the court that he had been sleeping out rough. Sergeant Smith said that, "this suggestion was repudiated by his tidy appearance" and then added rather sinisterly, "There is an organised scheme to to keep these foreigners in hiding whilst they are evading the law and they were not sleeping out rough, but were living in known houses in the area" I assume he his hinting at that so called, "safe houses" were available for foreigners to hide in whilst evading the law. Detective Inspector Clark added, "It is entirely owing to his brothers loyalty to the Crown that the prisoner is here this morning and has set a glowing example". The Magistrate Mr J. Jackson then sentenced Maurice Miller to, two months imprisonment with hard labour and at the end of his sentence he would be recommended for deportation! Yes Maurice Miller was a deserter from the army but for the press to label him as a "shirker" and a "foreigner" is biased to say the least. Also, Sergeant Smith's suggestion there were, "known houses" in a predominantly Jewish area of Salford, presumably for Russian Jews, doesn't that smack of anti-semitism? After he had served his sentence, Maurice Miller was to be recommended for deportation, but where to? Russia a country I should imagine he had good reason to flee from in 1916, a country that was still in turmoil after the October Revolution of 1917, also the country was infamous for it's pogroms of Jews. Surely he would have been executed the minute he set foot back in Russia? As for his older brother, no doubt he was acting in a bout of misguided loyalty to the Crown, did he see it as, "I have done my bit, and now it's about time he did his, and it's my patriotic duty to hand him over to the Authorities". Possibly but could he lived with the knowledge that he had sent his younger brother to a possible firing squad by his actions, I doubt it. Hopefully Maurice Miller learnt his lesson in prison and was not deported back to Russia. A strange case which shows the jingoism and and fear of foreigners that was prevalent in the country at that time, and on reflection has it changed all that much in the last 100 years?
  9. The following story from February 1919 shows that way back then begging was still a problem, with many of the so called beggars, men who had served for their King and Country and returned home to a “make Britain a fit country for heroes to live in.” as promised by David Lloyd George, sadly not the case. William Wilson, 65 of no fixed abode appeared at Salford Quarter Sessions charged with being, "An incorrigible rogue and begging". P.C Charles of the Manchester City Police told the court that he was present at the City Court in June 1918 when Wilson was convicted of being a "rogue and vagabond - begging" and received a three months prison sentence. Next up to put the boot of authority in was D.C. Ernest Smith who said he was present on November 11th when Wilson was convicted of being a "rogue and vagabond and went to the Salford Sessions, which meant that he had spent three months in prison awaiting trial. Fair play to William Wilson for taking the stand and defending his good name from these alleged slanderous statements from our Boys in Blue. Wilson stated that the description of him as a "rogue and vagabond" was never mentioned in his first trial, also his desperate circumstances led him to beg as he lost his small 27 years income. He could not get regular employment as he was unwell, while a Doctor could relieve him, he could not cure him, only an operation could do that. Wilson then went on this amazing yet bonkers rant, which is printed word for word it's that good. That last out burst brought laughter from the Bench, after the laughter had subsided Mr A.M. Langdon the Salford Recorder, showed that he had no sense of humour by stating. Blimey you have to feel some sympathy for Wilson, if not only for that rousing speech which Clarence Darrow would have been proud of,.... look him up. He probably was a bit of a pest mithering people for money, but at least he seemed to do it in style and he would have made a Preacher of some repute I don't doubt, I would have gone to hear his sermons, I'll bet they were fun though.
  10. Which brings me neatly to a story that I posted last week about the gun toting Salford pub landlady from the Nelson Inn, Ordsall Lane, Salford. I was curious to know why the accused David Simpson got such a lenient sentence for what was a very serious offence. I fearlessly delved into the archives of the Salford City Reporter for 1919 and came across a follow-up story to the court case which shows that Jane Landers was very economical with the truth in the witness box about the events of that fateful day in January. The new case was heard at the Salford Quarter Sessions before The Recorder, Mr A.M.Langdon K.Q. and the Mayor of Salford, Alderman E.Mather with Mr Horrowitz for Simpson and Mr Rycroft for Landers. Initially Jane Landers had told the court that she met David Simpson in the Derby Hotel, had a brief conversation and one drink with him. Mr Horrowitz began his cross examination of Landers and was soon picking holes in her defence. He asked her if she had several glasses of stout with Simpson earlier on in the day whilst sat in her pub, the Nelson Inn, she denied this She was asked if she had gone out to buy fish and chips for Simpson and her sister on the same day, again she denied this. Horrowitz asked her if the brewers dray arrived when Simpson was in the pub, she agreed that the dray did arrive that day but Simpson was not in the pub. She was then asked if a Mrs Bowie and Mrs Waterford were sat in their company at the Derby Hotel and did they not also come back to the Nelson Inn where Mrs Bowie played the piano, again this was denied by Landers. Finally she was asked if that when woken up by the sound of breaking glass in her bedroom door and she shouted out who was there, did Simpson shout out, "Davy" or did she hear, Daddy?", she remained adamant that he said, "Daddy" It's not looking to good for Jane Landers is it?, talk about when in a hole stop digging. Horrowitz then questioned P.C. Gleeson who arrested Simpson and had stated that Simpson was sober when arrested. He then "Suggested" to the P.C. that Simpson was almost incapable with drink, also why was he not given a test at the police station to prove that he was drunk so that he could be charged with that offence also? P.C. Gleeson glumly muttered, "No" to all questions asked of him. David Simpson took the stand looking resplendent in the full Army uniform of a Quartermaster Sergeant of the Royal Scots regiment and told the Bench that he had served for 16 and a half years in the British Army and had fought in the Boer War and in France where he was wounded and discharged as being permanently unfit, adding that he had never been in trouble with the police or the Army in his life. He then said that he had arrived in Salford at 5am from Colchester where he was in a Military Hospital, he went to his married sister's house in Gloucester Street, at 1pm he went for a glass of stout in the Derby Hotel and stayed until 2pm On leaving the pub he met Mrs Bowie and Mrs Waterford and had a chat with them, Jenny Landers came along the road and was asked by Simpson if her name was "Kitty" to which she replied, "No, Jenny". Minutes late she returned and asked him if he would like to go back to her pub, the Nelson Inn for a drink along with her unnamed sister to which he accepted. Whilst there a brewers dray arrived and Jenny Landers said to him, "You must have brought me good luck, the beer has come". After having drank more stout he gave her money to go and buy some fish and chips for the three of them, they all stayed in the pub until 7pm and then went to the Derby Hotel for more drinks. At the Derby Hotel Mrs Bowie and Mrs Waterford joined them and they all drank whisky until closing time then returned to the Nelson Inn where Mrs Bowie gave them a song on the piano, it seems like an early episode of Coronation Street, we are just missing Ena, Martha and Minnie. He then told the Bench that he left the pub about 10pm with Mrs Bowie, Mrs Waterford and the unnamed sister, after that he could only remember vomiting at the police station the rest of the evening was a blank. He had no memory of returning to the pub, how he gained entry, being threatened with a gun or even being arrested, that's some memory loss for such an incident packed evening. Two witnesses including the landlord of the Derby Hotel stated that they had seen Simpson and Jane Landers entering the pub together and being joined by other women. Mr Horrowitz then told the Bench that Simpson was "simply a drunken freak" aman who had been drinking heavily all day and had eaten little food, he had caused no trouble throughout the day, had made no improper suggestions, left the Nelson Inn peacefully and quitely. Also it was suggested that Simpson had climbed over the pub wall, but there was no marks on his clothes or bruises to his hands, it was not denied that Simpson had got into the pub, but even Simpson could not profess to to suggest any motives because he could not remember with all the alcohol he had consumed that day. The Recorder Mr A.M. Langdon said it would appear that Simpson having returned from France had got so drunk that he did not know what he was doing which was no credit to him, but they had taken into consideration that he had been discharged from the Army hospital "and could not "carry" as much drink as Scotsmen usually do" which was met with gales of laughter for some reason. He then said that Jane Landers should have been called to give evidence in both court cases also it was not shown that Simpson was on the premises for a specific criminal purpose. "Under the circumstances I am going to give Mr Simpson the benefit of the doubt" then ordered that his previous conviction be quashed and he could leave the court without a stain on his character. More questions than answers in this case I think, why was Jane Landers so adamant that Simpson hadn't been in her pub that day and denied other questions put to her? I can only assume that her husband who was serving in the Army would not be too pleased to hear that his wife was entertaining men in his pub whilst he was away with the Army, drinking illegally and who knows what went on that day, a curious case to say the least. Justice of a sort for David Simpson I suppose but I do know that my good friend and corner-man, Billy Nolan will be pleased to see a fellow countryman's good name exonerated!
  11. Salford Magistrates Court heard a rather, strange case when David Simpson hailing from Motherwell in Scotland appeared on remand charged with breaking into and entering the Nelson public house on Ordsall Lane, Salford with intent to commit a felony. Jane Landers the landlady of the pub was standing in for her husband who was serving in the British Army. She told the Bench that on the evening of Friday, 24 January 1919 she had been in the Derby Hotel, Salford with her sister when she saw the accused, whom she had known since childhood. He asked her if her name was Kitty Harrison (her maiden name) she replied, "No, I am, Jenny" At 9.30 she and her sister left the pub and left for home where she locked and secured the doors and windows before retiring to bed, the other occupants being her three year old child and a 12 year old, nephew. At 1.15am she was rudely awakened by the sound of the glass on her bedroom door being smashed and the shape of a man in the room. She cried out, "Who's there?" to which came the enigmatic reply, "Daddy" Showing amazing courage she leapt out of bed and seized a loaded revolver from the bedside table and aiming it at him shouted, "Get out of this room or I will blow your brain's out!" He attempted to climb out of the bedroom window and once again showing real composure, she told him, "Not that way out, out of the front door or I will shoot you dead" Wisely he raced down the stairs and out onto Ordsall Lane, and straight into the arms of a passing P.C. Gleeson who promptly nabbed him on the spot and carted him off to Trafford Road, police station. And who was this mystery man? non other than David Simpson the man from the Derby Hotel. Simpson was charged and remanded in custody for a week. Jane Landers told the Court that her husband was with the Army Pay Corps in Notingham and she was looking after the pub for him, and on the evening of 24th January she and her sister went for a drink at the Derby Hotel. Mr Hinchcliffe for the Prosecution asked her if she she had been drinking for most of the day with Simpson,she replied an emphatic, ""No" For the Defence was Mr Desquesnes a well known local figure questioned Jane if it was true that she had known that Simpson had been discharged from the Army and had been out celebrating with him at several pubs in Salford?, she strongly denied this and stated that she had, had a brief conversation with him, no more, no less. He then turned his attention to P.C. Gleeson who had stated that Simpson was sober when he arrested him. Desquesnes disagreed with him and said that Simpson had been drinking a considerable amount of stout that day, also he had been discharged from a Military Hospital a few days earlier and was in no fit condition to drink alcohol. He then suggested that that in his mind that there was no doubt that on the night in question, he was not acting criminally by any means, the whole incident was really the actions of a "freak" and there was no evidence that he committed a burglary or felony. Fully in his stride Desquesnes added that there was no intention on the accused's part to do anything of a criminal nature, but it was an incident in respect of which the prisoner must naturally expect to be visited with some consequences, and that he had already served a week in custody and that a sentence of imprisonment with hard labour would involve the forfeiture of his Army pension. After due deliberation the Bench stated that women whose husbands were away on service must be protected and that the accused must go to prison for five weeks without hard labour. A strange case indeed, was Simpson drunk and thought he had somehow charmed Jane Landers into letting him stay the night?, an odd way of showing your affection by smashing down the bedroom door, though. What would have happened if she hadn't had the loaded revolver by the side of her bed, also what would have happened if she had blown his brains out as threatened, I'm fairly certain she would have got away with that charge. I think Simpson got off lightly receiving a prison sentence of such leniency and also keeping his Army pension, not to mention his brains which could have been decorating the walls of a bedroom in a Salford pub
  12. The street planners certainly had a gallows sense of humour calling it Paradise Row, when the reality was that it was a hovel of terraced houses, with shared rooms, little hygiene and a communal outside toilet for all the residents. Crime, drunkenness, violence, poverty and an early death were the accepted norm in Greengate for the poor, malnourished residents, any wonder that law and order was frequently broken. One of the residents of Paradise Row was Ellen Brazell, who appeared at Salford Magistrates Court charged with the theft of a shoulder of bacon, valued at £3-2 shillings and eight pence. Detective McDonald and P.C. Blakeley were on street patrol in Greengate when they saw Ellen sitting on a doorstep, looking slightly the worse for drink. The boys in blue could'not help but notice that she had something rather bulky hidden underneath her shawl, and when asked what it was, she replied, " Its nothing" The police opened her shawl and found concealed in there a full shoulder of bacon weighing 40Ibs!, not something you would casually carry around with you. Asked to account for the this "bonanza of bacon" this "glut of gammon" this " pulchritude of pork" - that's enough bacon puns, insert your own if you must - her answer was, "A man who has just gone past into a nearby house, put it onto my knee and asked me to mind it" Ellen was taken to the local court and remanded in custody for a week which seems a rather harsh sentence. The following Saturday, Ellen was once again before the Magistrates, this time things would get worse for her. James Williams the manager of a local grocery shop at 117 Greengate told the court that two shoulders of bacon had gone missing from outside his shop the previous Saturday. Poor, Ellen took the stand and pleaded that, "I know nothing about the other piece" hardly the cleverest defence. The Magistrate asked her if she had anything else to say in her defence, to which she replied, "I am guilty, only for me having had a drop of drink it would not have happened. I am very sorry and leave myself in your hands" That seems quite an honest admission of guilt with a plea for leniency thrown in, she had already served a week in the police cells. D.C. McDonald then took to the stand and proceeded to put the proverbial trotter in, sorry boot, not trotter! He told the Bench that Ellen did have a criminal record for theft and drunkenness and was no stranger to the courts, what a swine! In all fairness he did say that Ellen had a husband serving in the Army and a son who was also serving in the Royal Navy. Sadly this mixed bag of information cut no crackling with the Magistrate who sentenced her to one month's imprisonment - without hard labour. You have to feel sympathy for Ellen who had already spent a week in remand and was now facing further imprisonment for receiving the stolen bacon. Imagine living in a slum like that and a windfall of food is dropped in your lap, well i know that I would be off like, Tom, Tom the Piper's son with my swag.
  13. However did you know that the IRA organised campaign of bombing and sabotage against the civil, economic, and military infrastructure of the United Kingdom from 1939 to 1940, The S-Plan or Sabotage Campaign or England Campaign as it became known was intent on wreaking death and damage to the country and it was partially successful. In January 1939 bombs exploded in London and Manchester, sadly a chap called Albert Ross aged 27 was killed whilst walking through Stevenson Square when a bomb exploded and he was hit by a flying manhole cover. The following day an unnamed man was walking along Barton Road when he noticed an alarm clock in a field next to an electricity pylon, he had heard about the bomb explosions that had taken place the day before and quickly informed the police. D.S. Naylor and D.C. Downs from Green Lane police station arrived at the scene and quickly discovered that the clock was part of an explosive mechanism. Fastened to the pylon and some seven feet from the ground were three sacks containing gelignite, detonators and dynamite, fortunately the clock which had been primed to explode at six o clock had stopped and thus prevented an explosion. If the pylon had come down it would have meant a total power black-out in the Eccles and Davyhulme area and could have affected the nearby Barton Power Station, the possible real target. Police also took possession of an IRA leaflet saying, "Give Ireland Its Freedom" which had been pinned to the noticeboard at St Catherine's Church, Barton. The caretaker Mr Arthur Cookson had seen the leaflet earlier in the day and didn't take much notice, later in the evening he saw the notice flapping about soaking wet, hanging from the board. Later on he saw a policeman at McAlpine's shop near Barton Bridge and told him what he had seen, both men returned and to their amazement found that a new notice had been pinned up, meaning that the IRA man was in the area at that time. He described seeing a mystery man in the churchyard the night before, middle aged in his 50's wearing a light coloured raincoat and cap hanging about the church gates, who disappeared when he approached him. Armed police were stationed at Barton Bridge and Barton Power Station in case of any further bombing attempts. I couldn't find if any people were arrested in the Eccles area in connection with this bomb, however on 23 January two women were arrested in Manchester in possession of explosives including one barrel of potassium chlorate, two Mills bombs, 49 sticks of gelignite and 10 electric detonators. Were these women in any way responsible for the Eccles bomb? again I could not find any record of anybody being charged with the Barton bomb. A fascinating story which had an happy ending but could have been so close to disaster for the local area.
  14. This story concerns the Black family, Ada and her husband Benjamin who lived on Broadway, the road at the side of Salford Docks. Trouble began when they boarded the already full tram at Regent Bridge next to the old Grove's and Whitnall brewery and soon after a fight broke out which ended in a court case at Salford Magistrates Court. Ada and Benjamin appeared before Mr J. Bolton the Chief Magistrate charged with allegedly assaulting Edith Griffiths the tram conductress and tram Inspector, Mr Sutcliffe. Edith was first in the dock and told the Magistrate that she was the conductress on the 98 tram which was running from Deansgate to Salford Docks via, Water Street. The tram departed at 9.20pm with a full compliment of passengers which included nine standing inside and six standing on the upper deck, and before setting off Edith put the safety chain across the rear platform to indicate that the tram was full and also to stop people sneaking on. At Regent Bridge she was upstairs collecting fares, no people left the tram but two people had boarded it and had blatantly lifted the safety chain to gain entry! Is nothing sacred? When the tram arrived at the junction of Cross Lane and Trafford Road, ticket Inspector Sutcliffe got on board and asked Edith had everybody got a ticket, so she decided to check on the two mystery passengers and was met with total silence when asked if they had purchased tickets. She asked again and was told by Ada Black, "What's your problem, we are in no hurry", I would have taken that as a no and left her alone. Edith then informed Inspector Sutcliffe what had happened, he then bravely informed her to get their names and addresses, after such such a robust reply from Ada I would have told him to ask them, surely that was his job, you wouldn't have had this nonsense from Blakey from "On the Buses" Ada once again asked Ada Black for her name and was met with a punch to the side of the head, to which she cried out, "You Awful woman, what did you do that for?" Inspector Sutcliffe attempted to separate the two women and was punched in the the face by Benjamin Black for his troubles. All four of them spilled off the bus and Benjamin continued to pummel Inspector Sutcliffe, ripping the buttons off his prized tunic and bending his thumbs backwards which he described as, "severely hurting me" The boys in blue were quickly on the scene but not before Ada took to her heels and ran off, only to be caught by PC Usher and the Black's were taken into custody. In her defence Ada told the court that she had offered to pay her fare but the conductress told her she was too busy to collect any more fares and that she was the one assaulted, a claim that Benjamin backed up, adding that he too was assaulted by Inspector Sutcliffe. Oddly enough the Chairman of the Bench said that the conductress was to blame for this incident by taking the safety chain off the rear platform and for, "Making rather more of the incident than was necessary" However he added that Ada had no right to strike the conductress and fined her five shillings. As for Benjamin Black, incredibly all charges were dropped against him! in my opinion he was the guiltier of the two by assaulting both the conductress and the Inspector. No moral to be learnt here then or to quote Hunter S Thompson, "Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion"
  15. However for some, British soldiers and sailors who had been captured in combat it was a different story, many of them were forced to make the long trek home, alone and often on foot and when they returned they told the eager, waiting press, horrific stories of the inhuman and barbaric way that many of them had been treated by their captors, the Beastly Hun. This story from the pages of the Eccles and Patricroft Journal from December, 1918 tells the story of a Clifton soldier, Lance-Corporal, Fred Williams who had been serving with the Lancashire Fusiliers but was captured in March 1918 near the village of Roisel in the Somme region of France. The story he told the reporter is quite an extraordinary one which at time beggars belief. Fred who was a Medical Officers Orderly was captured by the Germans and shot in the leg as he tried to escape, fortunately for him it was only a flesh wound as he would be grateful for later. He was taken to their front line and this is where his ordeal would begin, he was made to carry a wounded German on his back for eight miles, then a further six mike march before being put in a cage along with other prisoners for the night. The next day he was forced to march along with other prisoners, a gruelling,18 miles without food and water, and this was just the beginning. Incredibly the next day he was marched for another 20 miles where they were given a a quarter pound of bread and a cup of coffee to sustain them before being locked up in cages for the next three days, adding that the German captors then stole all their valuables and belongings. "Suitably refreshed" the men were marched 17 miles to a railway station to board a train to a P.O.W. camp near Munster, there were no trains and so the men slogged on for another 10 miles, that's an incredible 27 miles in one day without adequate food or water. Eventually Fred arrived at Munster where he spent three weeks awaiting trial for possession of a firearm whilst looking after wounded soldiers, a charge he denied to no avail, but was found guilty and sent to a local mine at Saterfeld where was working alongside local woman at the bottom of the seam, digging out coal at the bottom of the shaft. In August he was given an easier job working with the Red Cross in his P.O.W. Camp which held some 800 British, French, Belgian and Russian soldiers which sounds a far better option that working down t'pit! Two days after the Armistice was signed Fred was told to make his way home and walked 34 miles in wooden clogs to Friedriechfeld and a military hospital, after treatment he was sent home and arrived in Hull on November 23rd. Once safely home he told the reporter some examples of the shocking treatment meted out to prisoners by the German guards. They were told to salute German officers and if they didn't were beaten to submission. The most shocking story and which I find hard to believe concerns an Irish P.O.W. , described as being six feet four inches in height who refused to salute to the German's saying he would never do so, a German officer then spat in his face, which enraged the Irishman who floored the German with one punch, he was arrested and taken into their custody. Fred then states that he was told to get an ambulance and pick up the Irishman and take him back to his hut. He found that the man had both his arm's chopped off and his tongue cut out and had to be fed by a rubber tube, surely the man would have bled to death? propaganda or truth? I have read stories of British P.O.W.'s being beaten and battered by the German's but never something like this. We were then told that when the mail arrived the German's would taunt them with the letters before burning them in front of them, also when they were served fish a rare treat, ammonia would be poured into it to make it inedible. I just don't know what to make of Fred's tale hopefully it wasn't all true, I do know that the British public were eager to read stories about how barbaric the Hun were, roasting babies on bayonets and raping nuns was a common story have read, again how true was this? Whatever the truth Fred was looking forward to re-joining his old employers, The United Yeast Company in Manchester and hopefully live a quiet, normal life, he certainly deserved one.

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