Bygone news: 13 May 1916 – The Macclesfield Courier

News from the Macclesfield Courier of 13th May 1916.

Escaped from Handforth – Last Groups Called Up – New Duty Imposed on Firms – Rural District Tribunal: Cheshire Wives Very Disappointing – Local Tribunal – Employment of Women in Agriculture – Macclesfield Football Club’s Liabilities



Two German prisoners who escaped from Handforth Camp at 12.20 last night week were recaptured in Manchester on Saturday morning. They were arrested by a Special Constable at Gorton, who overheard them speaking in German and broken English.

The names of the captured prisoners are given as Lieut. Cahn, Bavarian Heavy Artillery; and Sub-Lieut. Johe, of the Blucher.



The proclamation, dated May 13th, calling up the last groups under the Derby scheme – 42 to 46 – was received in Macclesfield on Wednesday by Chief Constable Sheasby. The latter group concerns men who have not yet attained their 41st birthday. The commencing date of the call is June 13th. A further proclamation calls up men of Group 24 as they attain the age of 19. The same dates apply.



By an Order in Council published in the “London Gazette” of Wednesday night, a regulation is made under the defence of the Realm Act, compelling all employers in Great Britain to post in a conspicuous place on their premises a list of their male employees between the ages of 18 and 41.

A revision of the list must be made at least once a month. Failure to make and revise the list or the making of a false entry in it knowingly is to be a summary offence against the regulations. Exceptions are made in the case of munition factories where a register of male persons is kept and in the case of mines where employers have given lists of male employees to the colliery recruiting courts.

Failure by an employee to supply accurate information for the compilation of the lists is made an offence against the regulations. The lists are to be open to inspection by the competent naval or military authority or any person authorised by a Government department at all reasonable hours.



On Thursday the Macclesfield Rural District Tribunal met in the Boardroom at Macclesfield Workhouse.

“I would not give you fourpence for a gross of them,” said an old farmer when asked by the Agricultural representative if he would not find the services of a woman useful. He was applying for the exemption of a son, and stated that he had four sons on the farm. Applicant stated that he would like to have kept all his sons. He did not think the war would have drifted on to be so terrible as it was now.

The Tribunal granted exemption until September 1st, conditionally upon the applicant not applying for a further period in respect of two other sons.

Lord Newton’s agent applied for the exemption of a married man of twenty, who is looking after cattle on a farm at Rainow which is at present unlet. The farm comprised 435 acres, upon which there were 25 cattle, eleven horses, and 117 sheep. The Advisory Committee had recommended that the application be refused.

The Military Representative (Lieut. Collins) suggested that this was work that could be done by a man over military age.

The agent replied that he was unable to procure labour. He had taken on three girls at the home farm. It was impossible to put a couple of girls on the Rainow farm, as the place was 100 miles from anywhere.

Temporary exemption was granted till June 30th.

Six months’ exemption was granted to the headmaster of a school in Derbyshire, but who resides at Taxal. He is 34 years of age, and the number of scholars attending his school is 130.

“Cheshire wives are very disappointing, so far as the Tribunals are concerned,” said the Chairman, with reference to a statement by a farmer that his wife could not milk [cows]. The Agricultural Representative: It is not a case of can’t, but won’t.

A Gawsworth farmer, with 300 acres, appealed for two sons, aged 20 and 21. He has five sons, one of whom attends school. One application was refused, and the other son was exempted until September 1st.
Applicant: That will cripple me from earning a living. I am not satisfied with the decision.
The chairman told him he could appeal to Stockport.



The Macclesfield Borough Tribunal was held on Thursday evening.

A firm of shirtmakers applied for total exemption for a shirt cutter, aged 24 years, on the grounds of indispensability. It was stated that he had served for four years in the Territorials, and now he was in charge of a room where 25 women were employed. It was quite impossible for women to do the work, and if the man had to leave it would mean throwing all the women out of employment. Exemption granted for two months.

A silk weaver asked for exemption on the grounds of domestic hardship. His father was unable to work, and he had to practically support the family. The Advisory Committee suggested that the claim should be disallowed. It was considered that it might be a hardship on the family to take this man, and the case was adjourned for a week for further information.

A master bookbinder claimed exemption on the grounds that he was the only bookbinder in the town and did work for most of the master printers int he town. The Advisory Committee recommended temporary exemption for three months. Temporary exemption for two months was allowed.

Mr H G Barclay appeared to support a claim for exemption on behalf of a dairy proprietor’s assistant, aged 18 years, on the grounds that he was the only assistant his mother had to manage two big milk rounds. The claim was disallowed.

A coal merchant’s son, who was unattested, applied for exemption on the grounds of indispensability. The application was adjourned for eight weeks.

A firm of silk throwsters appealed on behalf of their engineman on the grounds that he was engaged in a certified occupation. Exemption was granted for so long as he remained in his present occupation.



Mrs W R Brown and Mrs James Thorpe, of Upton, have been appointed Hon Registrar and Canvasser by the County Committee for the Employment of Women in Agriculture during the War, for the district of Upton and Fallibroome.

They will be very pleased to receive the names of any ladies in the district who would be willing to work on the land either whole or part time, and for those of them who can afford the time for whole services, arrangements can be made for a course of training at the Henhull County Council Farm free of all cost save railway fare and laundry. The course extends over six weeks, and includes instruction of milking, butter and cheese making, field work, etc. About 500 women have already been placed in situations at an equivalent wage of 15s per week, and even higher where their skill has deserved it.

The wage is not, of course, a high one, but the service of women on the land is a real patriotic one, as it will enable many young men to enlist who from the great shortage of agricultural labour generally are simply indispensible on the land at the present time, and it is pointed out that whilst the work is equally as important as munition working it is, of course, much healthier.

Many farmers who by reason of shortage of labour were reluctantly forced to employ women, speak now in high terms of praise of their usefulness and adaptability. One farmer in Warwickshire, who commenced with two, now has seven, and another large farmer in Lincolnshire harvested his crops last year almost entirely with women labour. They also milked the cows, worked the horses, and did generally the same work exactly as the men had done before them.



An adjourned meeting of the Macclesfield Football Club was held in the Large Sunday School on Tuesday night, to consider the financial position of the club. The chair was taken by Councillor J G Frost, but there was onyl a small attendance.

… At the last meeting it was decided to adjourn the meeting to see if anyone would come forward to find the money to pay off the club’s indebtedness to the bank. Certain men had offered to become guarantors to the bank, but Mr Rowland (manager of the District Bank) was not inclined to accept a number of guarantors and he strongly advised the selling of the stands to realise the amount they owed. … Several builders…said that timber was never so dear as now, and it would be folly to keep the stands idle and deteriorating in value. There was about £123 owing to the bank, and if a number of gentlemen came forward and raised the whole of the money required they would have still to keep the stands in repair. It seemed like almost throwing money away to do that. Since the last meeting the position had changed… as many more men had had to go to the service of the country, and it would be a long time before they could have football … as … in the past. Perhaps if they started junior football … they might get better sport than they had by engaging professionals. He was advised that the best thing to do was to pull the stands down themselves and sell them in small lots of about £20 each. He had … offers to purchase such lots.

Mr King hoped it would be possible to realise the money and still save one of the stands.

Mr P Wright said he knew a gentleman who would pay anything up to £100 to save the stands, and he would hold them as security until it was convenient to repay the money. He went on to criticise the actioin of the committee in running the club when it was not paying.

The chairman said that in face of that criticism he would wipe his hands entirely of the club. It was scant thanks to those who had borne the brunt of the thing when others who should have come to the rescue failed to do so. It only remained now for someone to come forward and relieve him of his obligations and they could do what they liked with the stands. The Chairman proposed that the stands be sold to realise the money owing to the bank. He was not going to be the guarantor for the money any longer. The club had assets and it would be unfair, after all he had done for football, to expect him to pay the money owing.

Mr King seconded.

Mr Wright moved an amendment that the offer of £100 for the stands and other assets of the club be accepted. He said that the gentleman who had made the offer was willing to hold the assets in reserve to form a nucleus for the club when it was reformed. He (Mr Wright) would find guarantors to pay the interest on the £100 until the return of normal times, and that would leave the chairman and the committee to find only £23.

Mr Barlow pointed out that the gentleman referred to by Mr Wright was not taking any responsibility. He was offering to advance £100 on assets which it was admitted would realise over £130. The interest on his money was to be assured, and he would want the club to undertake to repay his £100 to regain possession of the stands.

The Chairman said if Mr Wright’s friend would come forward with £100 he would pay the balance out of his own pocket, but that would finish his liability int he matter; he would not undertake any further responsibility for the repayment of that £100.

Mr G Sumner said he was prepared, as one of the officials of the club, to pay his share of the balance after £100 was paid, but he could assure them that he would cease his association with the club.

After some discussion it was resolved that the offer made by Mr Wright be accepted provided that in fourteen days £100 be deposited and the club relieved of all further financial liability: failing that, the assets of the club wre to be realised.

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