Bygone news: 15 Apr 1916 – The Macclesfield Courier

News from the Macclesfield Courier of 15th April 1916.

Licensee and customer fined – Local trade dispute – Call to Youths of 18 – Wounded soldiers entertained – Hurdsfield House Hospital – Macclesfield Football Club’s Closure



James Butterfield, licensee of the ‘Pig and Whistle’ Inn, Mill Street, was summoned under the provisions of the Central Control Board (Liquor Traffic) Order for supplying intoxicating liquor for consumption during prohibited hours, namely, between 12.45 and 1.15 am on April 4th. Herbert Millward, butcher, Roe Street, Herbert Ainscow, licensed victualler, Buxton Road, Ada Ainscow, married woman, and Edward Fairhurst, soldier, were summoned for aiding and abetting. Mr J. G. Barclay prosecuted, and Mr E A Wragg represented the whole of the defendants.

… Butterfield was the licensee off the ‘Pig and whistle’, and on April 4th, Sergeant Wootton, along with Sergeant Hirst, was going along the street at 12.45am when they saw a light in the house named. Listening they heard talking inside the house and recognised the voices of Butterfield and others. They listened from 12.45 to 1.15, and then Sergeant Wootton knocked at the door, and he heard Butterfield say, “Sup up quick and get them out of the road and I’ll let them in.” When the door was opened, and Wootton said, “Have you company?” and Butterfield replied, “Only friends.” The officers went inside and saw Ainscow. Sergeant Wootton said, “Where are the others?” and Butterfield replied, “There are no others.”

… James Butterfield stated that he had held the license of the ‘Pig and Whistle’ since November last. On the night of Monday, April 3rd, his wife went out to supper with Mrs Ainscow, and Mr and Mrs Ainscow brought her home shortly after 12 o’clock. Fairhurst was home on leave, and as his own house was closed he had stayed at the ‘Pig and Whistle’ Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights. At 9.25 on Monday night he entered the house along with Millward, who was his brother-in-law, and they stayed talking, having about four drinks each which Butterfield treated them to, he being under the impression that landlords could entertain their friends after the hours during which drink could be sold…. He stated that he had a copy of the licensing regulations, but he did not understand them.

Mr and Mrs Ainscow … denied having anything to drink in the house.

Mr Wragg then said his defence was based on clause VI of the regulations, which stated that the foregoing clause did not prohibit the lawful consumption of intoxicating liquor by a person on licensed premises or club where he resided. So far as Millward was concerned, he was bound to confess that Butterfield had made a mistake in supplying him, but Fairhurst was in a different category. He was living on the premises and was perfectly justified in being supplied with drink. With regard to Mr and Mrs Ainscow, they had nothing at all. Butterfield was certainly under the impression that he could entertain friends if he did not take payment.

Mr Barclay: Ignorance of the law is never a defence.
Mr Wragg: I defy anyone, except that he is abnormally clever, to understand the Order.

… After consulting in private, the Chairman said they considered the case against the Ainscows had not been proved. In regard to Fairhurst there was a little doubt and they would give him the benefit of it. In regard to Butterfield and Millward, they considered that the case had been proved, and in the present times they thought it very serious indeed. Butterfield would be fined £10 and two guineas [£2 2s.] advocate’s fee, or three months imprisonment, and Millward would be fined 40s [£2] and two guineas advocate’s fee, or three month’ imprisonment.

In response to an application by defendants for time to pay they were allowed seven days each.



Owing to a grievance by the warpers employed by Mr T H Hambleton, J.P., Hope Mills, the Macclesfield branch of the National Silk Workers’ Association instructed their members to hand in their notices last Thursday. This was done, and the notices will expire on Thursday next unless an amicable arrangement is arrived at in the meantime. Considerably over 100 employees will be affected.




Proclamations were issued on Saturday last calling to the colours single men – attested and unattested – of the age of 18.

The proclamations were dated April 10th, and the men are required to report on May 10th for training and service at home until they attain the age of 19.

This order completes the calling up of all single men.



A fitting conclusion to the series fo fortnightly teas and entertainment provided for the wounded soldiers from the General Infirmary and Hurdsfield House Hospital took place on Saturday last, when 34 of the wounded men were taken to and entertainment at ‘The Palace’, Manchester. They were conveyed in motor-cars lent by Messrs. T. Taylor, T. Donohue, T. H. Hambleton, J. P. Allen, J. Nicol, J. McLerie, and the Hovis Company, Ltd. They were provided with a splendid entertainment, after which they were brought back to Macclesfield where a capital tea had been provided for them at the Stanley Arms Hotel by Mrs Beresford and other ladies. The soldiers from the Infirmary were in charge of Alderman W Harrison and Mr A Pepper, whilst those from Hurdsfield House were in charge of Mr F Crew and Mr H W Bloor. At the conclusion of the tea a vote of thanks to all who had contributed to the enjoyment of the wounded men was accorded on the proposition of Alderman Harrison.

… The Cheshire branch of the British Red Cross Society announce that, definite instructions having been received that by the end of this month many women will be required in military hospitals all over the country to replace RAMC man as dispensers, clerks, typists, cooks, and laboratory assistants, they will be glad to receive applications from women between 18 and 50 living in Cheshire who wish to take up such work.



The Committee gratefully acknowledge the following gifts: Picturedrome, free seats; Hairdressers’ Association, hair-cutting and shaving; High School Girls, bandages washed; Hollin Laundry, all sheets washed; Boy Scouts, help with cleaning; S Allen, S Rathbone (one week), V Sisley (half-day); Girl Guides, help with cleaning; A Blackshaw, E Slater (Saturday); E Vernon and L Bradley (Sunday); Miss Birchenough’s subscribers, daily papers; Mrs Wilkinson, flowers; Miss Evelyn Smith, Old Mill Lane, eggs; Mr Burgess, Sunderland Street, magazines; Miss Killmister, sweets, dish cloths, and magazines; Mrs Rogers, eggs; Miss M Davenport, cigarettes; Misses Watson, pies; Mrs Rose and Mrs Lomas, cleaning; Miss O Sherwood, floor cloth; Mrs Stancliffe, cakes; Miss C Stancliffe, eggs; Alderman Harrison, magazines; Mr Nicholls, tea cakes and brown bread; Mrs Sheldon, books and magazines.




A public meeting of those interested in the Macclesfield Football Club was held a the Large Sunday School, Roe Street, on Tuesday night, for the purpose of considering the present position of affairs. Councillor J G Frost, the Chairman of the Club, had specially convened the meeting in view of the fact that some of the old subscribers, since the announcement of the Committee that they had decided to wind up the organisation and sell the stands and other assets in order to discharge the club’s liabilities, had expressed a desire that the nucleus of the organisation should be preserved “for the new football club that will probably arise when the war is ended.”

Councillor Frost presided over a large attendance, among those present being:- Messrs G Sumner (Secretary), G Hall (Treasurer), J Starr (Assistant Secretary), A Brees, D Bloor, J W Bolton, A Edwards, G Sharpley, A Berry, adn T Jackson (members of the Committee), Councillor J A Barlow, Messrs G C King, P Wright, A J Jackson, C W Palfreyman, R J Belshaw, etc.

The Chairman said he thought lost of them would have seen his letter in the Press with reference to the position they were met to discuss. He desired to get and expression of opinion from the subscribers and the well-wishers of the Club with a view to seeing if something could be done to save the stands and the Club generally. If they could get guarantors in respect of the money that was owing they would be able to… continue the Club… whent he war was over. He had seen the manager of the North Cheshire Brewery and put forward a suggestion that the company should find half the amount of the liabilities and friends of the club the other half. Mr Swann (the manager) promised to communicate with the Chairman of the Directors, who had replied that they could not… do anything. However, they did not mind the stands remaining on the ground, but it meant that the longer they were there, the less valuable they would become… If they waited until the end of the war, and the stands were not kept in a good state of preservation, they would only be fit for firewood… If the stands were sold today he felt certain they would realise pretty well what was owing by the club…


Proceeding, the Chairman said he knew there was some sentiment in connection with the proposed winding-up of the Football Club… When they appealed to the public some months ago in regard to the deficit they realised the handsome sum of £20… That did not provide much encouragement for anybody… He thought they might possibly be able to resuscitate the Club on a new basis at the end of the war, starting with more up-to-date stands, having dressing-rooms underneath, etc.

The treasurer, replying to questions, said the subscribers numbered about 200. It was stated that an appeal to the public about twelve months ago brought in £200.


The Chairman said if those subscribers would not come to the meeting they… did not love football very much, and the Club was very much better without them… They had good years and bad ones, and there was no doubt that they never had better football than last year. Some splendid matches were played, but the support was off altogether. People who should have attended did not do so. They did not mind having a football club, but they did not want to pay for it. If a football club was started again after the war it would have to be on a fresh basis altogether… Any Tom, Dick or Harry who paid half a guineas or 7s 6d would not be allowed to dictate to the shareholders as to what they must do with the money. He considered that every subscriber to the Football Club had got his money’s worth, as he was allowed on the stand at half-price. They were not indebted to the subscribers for anything; when the thing went a bit wrong they left, like rats did a sinking ship, and left those who had worked and toiled for the Club to father the debts.


The Chairman, answering further questions, said the North Cheshire Brewery had re-leased the ground to them and were willing that the stands should remain there. The Club had got the ground at a reduced rental owing to the war. Their liabilities amounted to £123, upon which they were paying interest to the bank… of six per cent. Owing tot he recent storms, which blew the barricade down, the Club had been put to an expenditure of over £40… He was afraid it would cost almost as much to renew the stands as to buy new ones. The stands were not up-to-date; the dressing accommodation for visitors was very bad, while the accommodation for their own players was abominable. He had many times felt ashamed of the poor accommodation they had to offer to visitors. Really, he thought the best solution would be to realise their assets, pay their debts, and make a fresh start after the war. Then they could all unite with a view to organising a good football club on a proper basis. Continuing, the Chairman expressed the opinion that they would get far better ‘gates’ if they had a ground nearer the town.


Councillor Barlow endorsed the Chairman’s view that the Moss Rose was not a suitable ground from the spectator’s point of view. It was too far out of the town… on the other side they had no population till they got to Congleton… If they could get a ground in Buxton Road or Beech Lane they would draw upon the population at Bollington and Poynton…

Mr King said it was with great regret that he heard of the possibility of the Club being wound up. He did not know whether it was possible to get 50 or 60 gentlemen each to give £1 a year as a subscription. That would pay the interest on the money owing to the bank, and the remainder could be expended in painting and preserving the stands. Although he lived such a long way from the ground he always continued to get to the matches, whether the weather was fair or foul.

The Chairman: I wish we had more like you, Mr King. A great number of subscriptions are owing today.

The Secretary… said the ground had swallowed up £60 this year, although they had not kicked a ball…. They had had an offer of £20 for the shelter, which was built in 1907 at a cost of £108.

Several… in the room offered to become.. guarantors to the extent of £1; and the representative of the Junior Clerks said they would arrange a match in aid of the movement, by which they might raise £5. The Chairman reminded the meeting that public sympathy was not with football just now…

The Treasurer reported that the Club sustained a loss last playing season of £154 1s 4d. The Chairman: And we never had better football. He added that he did not think Macclesfield could ever pay for a professional team. They could not afford a guinea or 25s for a man to play 1½ hours a week. It was abominable, and there was no sport in it. Mr Wright said in justice to the players it should be said that they suffered a reduction of 50 per cent in their wages.

Mr King observed that after listening to the opinions expressed, he had come to the conclusion that the best course, after all, would be to realise the assets and start afresh after the war.

Mr Wright thought it might be possible to arrange amateur football for next season, and several speakers, in reply, expressed the opinion that there would be no football at all next season, as there would be no players, particularly if the married men were called up for the Army.

After considerable discussion, the Chairman proposed that the stands and other assets be sold, in order to discharge the Club’s liabilities, unless guarantees are forthcoming within a month. Councillor Barlow seconded the resolution, which was carried… and the meeting then terminated.

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