Friday 7 April 1916
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The body of a woman was recovered from the River Aire, near Hirst Mill, Saltaire on Wednesday and it has been identified as that of Mrs Elizabeth Nicholson, wife of Mr Oliver Nicholson, civil engineer, 12 Oakfield Grove, Oak Lane, Bradford. She was sixty-three years of age and had recently suffered from influenza.
Woman drowns in Aire near Hirst Mill
Shipley Times & Express regularly produced profiles of local ‘notables,’ which often shine a light on how life was lived at the time. This week, the subject was J W R Baxter of Hatfield House, Idle who had recently retired as the manager of the Idle branch of the Bradford Old Bank, with which he had been associated since its inception on June 16th, 1888. ‘Possessing a genial disposition and a keen sense of humour combined with a shrewd knowledge of men and matters, his relationships – domestic and business, social and religious, public and private – have been of the happiest possible character. ‘He is essentially a self-made man and only made his way by “push” and perseverance.’ Workington Railway Mr Baxter’s father was from Idle but was living in Leeds when his son was born. Soon after, the family moved to Whitehaven where the father worked as a goods clerk for the Workington Railway Company. ‘When the son had reached the age of 6½ years his father was killed on the railway. Naturally as soon as he was physically capable he had to turn his hand to work that was very often distasteful in order to assist his mother to keep the wolf from the door. ‘Soon after the death of his father, Mr Baxter, along with the rest of his family, came to reside at Idle and it
was at the Idle Church Schools, under the helpful guidance of the late Mr Veale (head master) that he picked up the rudiments of his education. Self-improvement ‘Every moment that was at his disposal, he used in study and self- improvement. His great ambition at that time and the one that influenced his studies most was to enter the civil service.’ When he eventually took the civil service examination, Mr Baxter achieved 69th place and there were only 47 vacancies. However his studies and a good word from local businessman George Raistrick enabled him to get a job at the bank and he worked there for 27 years. Even after his retirement his expertise was used in helping the amalgamation between the United Counties Bank and Barclay and Co. ‘The firm is now the fourth largest bankers in the country.’
Although his role as bank manager prevented him taking a role in politics or other public life, Mr Baxter had been a key member of Idle Parish Church for half a century. ‘In the year 1874 he took his place as a chorister at the Parish Church and at the early age of 17 he was engaged in the serious work of superintending the Sunday School.’ Low ebb He shared those duties with Jowett Kendall and on the days when he was not superintending, Mr Baxter took a class at the Lower School. ‘He was churchwarden for two years at a time, 12 or 14 years ago, when the parish was in a much less happy position than it is today. ‘It speaks volumes for the spirit of the man that Mr Baxter accepted the office at a time when no other man could be found willing to do so. ‘Church affairs in the parish had then reached a very low ebb indeed as future events proved. Mr Baxter took hold at a most critical time in the history of the church and under his earnest direction, the tide was eventually turned. ‘At that time there was a debt on the church of £54 but after his first year’s work as warden, there was a balance on the Church Funds of £16. ‘This was very gratifying indeed but better times were still in store. In the following year the balance amounted to no less a sum than £24.’
Self-made man who succeeded by “push”
A number of Shipley cases of breaches of the Liquor Control Order were heard at the West Riding Court. John Wilkinson of Manningham, the secretary of the Saltaire Cycling Club, was summoned for supplying whisky during prohibited hours and John Robert Clark, labourer of Shipley, was summoned for consuming it. The police visited the club at ten minutes past midnight on Saturday 11 March and found a number of men there. ‘Clark was noticed to be drinking something out of a tumbler which appeared to contain spirits. Before one of the officers could approach Clarke had dipped his glass into a wash bowl. Inspector Beaton pulled the glass out and on smelling it found that there had been whisky in it.’ Despite several witnesses for the defence each defendant was fined 40s and costs. Summoned for “Long Pull” In a similar case, William Wood, landlord of the Britannia Inn, Valley Road, was charged with supplying rum out of hours drunk by Ann Chilton, ‘a married woman of Windhill.’ Both were found guilty. The landlord was fined 40s and costs ‘and the woman Chilton 10s and costs.’ William Spence, the holder of an off-licence at Shipley was summoned for giving the “long pull.” A man asked for three half pints of beer and it was found that he had been served with a quarter of a pint too much. The defendant pleaded guilty and was fined 40s.
Saltaire Cycling Club among those breaching the drinking laws
The weekly “Our Home Page” included this among a number of sewing patterns available to buy. ‘The illustration shows one of the new white drill blouses which have a vogue every year as certainly as the winter goes and spring comes on. ‘The example given is fully gathered into a round yoke and held in at the waistline by a black leather belt. The model in its entirety is quite the latest cut of blouse. It is simple in line and would not be at all difficult to make up with the aid of the pattern. ‘The collar is of the turn-back variety and a pretty velvet ribbon bow finishes it in front. The sleeves fall out somewhat towards the wrist and are caught into a cuff. ‘The only finishing touch is rows of stitching which are worked all round the yoke and almost to the bottom of the rather long basque.’
A white blouse to welcome Spring
The Idle Cage Bird Society have decided to offer for competition a five-guinea shield. It must be won three times before becoming the absolute property of the owner. The society have had promised another five guineas towards a new shield. They have also a ten guinea cup which was presented to the Society by the late Mr Percy Illingworth. That is to be contested for in open competition. They are hoping to have some very successful shows during the coming season. Mr J Chippindale has been appointed secretary and the president is Mr L Lloyd of Bolton Villas.
New caged-birds trophy
Even though April is here, not much is heard now of the first of the month as April Fools’ Day. Thirty or forty years ago he was a smart youth who could withstand the message or errand which, if carried out, won for him the jeers of his comrades. And sometimes rough horse-play followed a joke and a nasty knock would be witness that the “event” had been duly celebrated. But “other times, other manners” and All Fools’ Day is happily almost forgotten in twentieth century periods. At least one of the poets mentioned it in a felicitous reference to the spring-time of the year: Now if to be an April Fool Is to delight in the song of the thrush, To long for the swallow in air’s blue hollow And the nightingale’s riotous music gush. And to paint a vision of cities Elysian Out away in the sunset flush – Then I grasp my flagon and swear thereby We are April Fools, my Love and I.
April Fool tradition appears to be dying out
An editorial expressed disappoint- ment that a request from Shipley & District Committee to the West Riding Insurance Committee had been turned down. Shipley’s proposal would have made it compulsory for doctors to report cases of tuberculosis to local insurance committees as well as the governing authority. ‘We are surprised that the West Riding Committee cannot see that whilst the local authorities are not aware what the Insurance Committee are doing in the matter and vice versa, the campaign against this dread disease cannot be effectively conducted.
Shipley’s tuberculosis proposal rejected
Three Baildon residents were in court for breaking new lighting restrictions in their houses. Mr Ernest Holmes, a stuff merchant appeared in court and pleaded guilty. PC Smith said he noted the defendant’s bay window at 9 p.m. ‘There were no blinds or curtains and an incandescent light was burning which illuminated the front of the opposite house.’ The defendant said he ‘merely went into the room to get an article and he did not draw the blinds. ‘The light would have been out in three minutes had it not been for the visit of the policeman. Pestered ‘He did not know if he had had any warning before but he had been pestered by special constables ad he was wondering whether or not he would have a claim for damages.’ He was fined nine shillings. Neither Edward Pickersgill, a grocer of Otley Road, who had been on his way to bed when challenged by the police, nor Mr Alfred Jones, a Shipping agent of Threshfield, who had been taking a late bath, appeared appeared to answer the charges But after hearing evidence that both had uncurtained windows that allowed the light to illuminate buildings opposite, they were found guilty and fined 12s with the alternative of seven days in jail.
Baildon residents fined for lighting up the street
CALVERLEY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL Applications are invited for appointment of Park Ranger during the summer season at the pleasure of the Council. Wages 21s per week. Applications endorsed Park Ranger should be forwarded to me not later than April 22nd. J DAVIDSON, Clerk, Council Offices, Calverley.
TOMMY’S COOKER The best and only Cooker for the trenches, burns about 3 hours Price 1s; refills, 1s 6d, At TROMAN’S 15 Commercial Street SHIPLEY