Friday 5 January 1917
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The engagement is announced of Miss Mabel Winifred Blackwell, younger daughter of Mr John Blackwell of Lo-Kiah, Avondale Grove, Shipley, with Major Louie Botha, son of General Botha. Major Botha has been serving as aide-de- camp to General Smuts and is now on the staff of General Van de Venter. He has been decorated with the Distinguished Service Order for his gallantry. Major Botha was educated at Sandhurst Military College, London, and is now, like his fiancée, 24 years of age. Miss Blackwell went out to Nairobi as companion to her sister, Mrs G W Corr, whose husband, a Surrey gentleman,
owns a very large store in the capital of British East Africa. Before going to Africa, Miss Blackwell was well-known in Bradford and Shipley amateur theatrical circles. Leading part Along with her brother, Lieut Blackwell (who by the way has been awarded the Military Cross), she took the leading part in many productions. The accompanying illustration which is the reproduction of a photo of Miss Blackwell and Major Botha, was recently received by Miss Lister of Kirkgate, Shipley, Miss Blackwell’s personal friend.
Shipley society engagement announced in Africa
An incident which took place in Shipley during the early part of the week had its sequel at the Bradford West Riding Police Court yesterday when a peculiar story of how a man masqueraded in female attire and flirted with men of the Royal Flying Corps was related to the magistrates. The prisoner who presented a ludicrous appearance and still wore the costume in which he was apprehended was called Fenton Butterfield (30) described as a yarn scourer and resided at Keighley. The charge against him was one of loitering with intent to commit a felony. Peculiar case Superintendent Fairburn said it was a most peculiar case. On the night of Dec 31st the prisoner was loitering about near the YMCA Soldiers’ Institute, Shipley at 11 p.m. A soldier of the name of Hoyle went to the Institute Café but found it locked up. He spoke to the prisoner and said “I want some tea but the place is locked up.” The prisoner replied, “Well, you can come home
with me to Windhill. My sister is in and will make you some tea.” Hoyle accompanied the prisoner to the house at Windhill and inside there was a person partly dressed who proved to be a man. There was not a woman in the house. Hoyle got no tea whatever but was given some wine. After Hoyle had been in the house a few minutes he was invited to go upstairs. He refused, however, afterwards going outside. The prisoner followed him and carried on as though he were a woman. Hoyle eventually returned to his billet an told his companions of his adventure On the following night the prisoner was again outside the Institute masquerading as a woman. Hoyle saw him and pointed him out to his comrades. Hat and wig One of them named Haigh went up to the prisoner and asked, “What are you doing here?” he replied, “I am waiting for a soldier.”
Haigh then said, “Shall I do? Can I come with you?” “Yes,” said the prisoner, “I don’t mind.” Haigh, who suspected the prisoner was a man made a grab at his head, pulling off his hat and wig. The man tried to get away but the soldiers prevented him from doing so. Mr Cragg, Magistrate’s Clerk: If this is a man, why not take his hat and wig off now? (laughter) Contaminating Proceeding, the Superintendent said that the prisoner was taken to the police station. The man was masquerading as a woman, trying to contaminate young soldiers and he asked that he should be severely dealt with. There were young lads amongst the Flying Corps 21 years of age, who had left good homes to serve their county whilst a man such as the prisoner, 31 years of age, went about trying to contaminate them. The prisoner pleaded guilty and declined to say anything else. He was sent to prison for three calendar months with hard labour.
Man masquerading as a woman lands in court
Among the items on the fashion page this week was this: The extremely chic and becoming model hat is made of black panne velvet. It has a stiffened part which rises to a point in front; and the soft, gathered crown is pouched all round. These hats require the minimum of trimming and the only ornament on this one is a smart plaque in beetle colouring which is paced right in the front. The making of the hat would not be difficult to the amateur milliner, though care in the purchase or cutting of the shape would have to be exercised. The point in the front is a particularly becoming feature. The beautiful furs shown seem to be the natural accompaniment. Thus adorned, a wearer would have nothing to fear either from weather or adverse criticism.
A chic, new-shaped velvet hat
Cllr W Holmes, chairman of Baildon Education Committee, reported on the fact that the Central Schools had closed for the holidays two days earlier than planned. “The reason was because the school was entirely without coke.” The chairman had visited the school at the request of the headmaster and found that teaching could not have continued without risk to the scholars. There had also been a shortage at Woodbottom School. Mr Blakey of Shipley Gas Works had said he would do his best to keep the school supplied following many closures the previous winter, but when asked why this had not happened he said that Shipley Council had requisitioned all the horses and carts for removing the snow from the streets.
Lack of coke forces school to close early
Cllr Lord presented a report to Calverley Council suggesting that 50-100 houses should be built in the village. The chairman said that could easily be done providing there was certainty they could be let. The report stated that it was quite clear that the shortage of houses was making itself felt throughout the length and breadth of the land. Not only was it in urban districts alone, whither for well-known reasons the population had for some time tended to live, but in rural districts too. Old cottages The old cottages of rural England had done duty for a long time and had gradually become unfit for human habitation One had read descriptions of these houses and the present condition of many of them was appalling. Very few houses had been built to replace the unfit. This coupled with the fact that more money and shorter hours drove the young men and women into the town or overseas to the Colonies, all tending to the depopulation of our rural districts. Destroy life It was estimated that at the present time there was a shortage of 50,000 cottages. At the low estimate of £200 each, a sum of £10m would be required to build that number. This large sum of money could hardly be spared be the need never so pressing. Unfortunately all the money was needed for producing and using that which destroyed life and not for that which would help to preserve and ennoble it. It would be a shame if the men who were fighting for us had to come back to  unfit houses and possibly to unemployment.
Rural crisis created     by shortage of suitable new houses
Shipley Pension Committee, who had the job of trying to help the families of wounded or killed servicemen, were presented with a difficult case involving a woman whose husband had died after falling out of a tram while on leave. The Army Council had referred the matter to a national committee two months before but no decision had been made and in order to keep the woman from starving, Shipley Committee had made an allowance of 23 shillings a week, although technically she was not entitled to receive a pension. At the front Cllr Blythe said the case was an extremely hard one. The soldier had been at the front for many months and was on a short leave in this country when the accident occurred. He added it was not right that a local fund should have to bear the cost in such a case. The responsibility was absolutely with the Government. The man had entered the battlefield and was wearing khaki although at the time he was not in the danger zone. It seemed to be an awful state of things. The treatment was altogether inhuman. The committee agreed to keep paying the allowance at least until they met again when it could be reconsidered.
Easing effect of inhuman treatment
in attempting to board a tram-car near the Wellington Hotel, Greengates on Saturday evening, Mr James Proctor of Carr Bottom Road, lost his footing and sustained a number of severe bruises about the face and arms. His many friends will be glad to hear that he is making a rapid recovery. Mr Proctor is a well-known member of the Wesleyan Church and present acts as caretaker. He has been a trustee and class-leader for upwards of 40 years.
Fell boarding a tram
Idle Nurse’s visits
Nurse Snowden presented her monthly report to Idle and District Nursing Association: District visits paid, 245; new patients, 10; discharged, 9; died, 1; left on the books, 27.
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