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- Pay Up.—The Borough Council notifies its intention of suing for all rates unpaid after the Ist May. Held Over.—Two Road Board reports, our leading article, and some local matter have been held over.

The Grain at Lyttelton.—During Friday, Saturday, and Monday, 46,000 facts of grain were carried to Christchurch and the port.

Civil Service Commission. —Owing to the amount of work that still lies before the Civil Service Commission, the members are not expected to come as far south as Ashburton until early next week. Sporting.—At the request of several gentlemen interested in sporting matters, Mr. James Wilkie has called a meeting for Saturday night, at Quill's Hotel, to consider the question of holding the usual Ashburton Steeplechases.

A Much Needed Improvement —The bridge over the Wakanui Creek near Hay Smith’s gate is about to undergo a process of renovation, and not before it was (panted, as the wheels of heavily loaded ilrays and wagons have testified of late.

Lecture. —A lecture was delivered last evening in the Templar Hall by the Rev. W. Keall on the “Trial of Ardent Spirits,” to a fair audience. The lecture w'as listened to attentively throughout, and at the conclusion a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the rev. gentleman.

Celestial Traders. —We notice that John Chinaman, with his alrnond-eye turned to business, is at present engaged in extensive operations in the iron trade in Ashburton. The various blacksmiths in the township are selling all their old horse shoes to John, whobnys them at about LI a ton, bags them up, and sends them o China.

Entertainment. —There will be given, at an early date, an entertainment in connection with one of onr local churches, which we should imagine will be both novel and interesting. The whole of the details are not yet matured, but we are informed that dissolving views, accom named by a destriptive lecture, with vocal and instrumental music, will form the major part of the programme. Horticultural Society. —A meeting of the Horticultural- Society was” held at Mr. Anstcc’son Tuesday night, when about a dozen members attended. An excellent paper on the culture of grapes in this district was road by Mr. J. Sealy. It contained information of the practical and useful character that was to be expected

from a professional gardener of Mr. Sealy’s standing, and elicited some discussion. After Mr. Sealy had been thanked for his paper, it was announced that the one to be read at next meeting would be the production of Mr. Mayo._ Serve Him Eight. —Mr John Cochrane, known among his neighbors on the Wakanui Creek to be a farmer who treats his land with a view to making it a home

for himself, and to crop it in such a way that the stamina of the land will not be exhausted in a couple of seasons—has met with his due reward. His record from the threshing machine shows that by working h— land properly, and keeping it in "ood heart, he excels any other return yet°recorded. His wheat has turned out 52 and 60 bushels per acre respectively for K . two paddocks. His barley, which by the way, showed the largest return in the agricultural statistics last year, is on this occasion 70 bushels per aci e, and his oats 'on the average about 70. We hope that our readers who wish tb w< rk their farms in a prac’ c\l manm p will take a few lessons from Mr. John Cochrane, and next year vfe may have to record a large number of\instances in which the work done will < B keiye.them right.”

Mount Somers Railway.’ —The Mount Somers line will be open for traffic to-day. The Hospital. —Over seventy applications for the positions of master and matron of the hospital have been received by the County Council, but consideration was deferred till the arrival of either Mr. Saunders or Mr. Wright, who, together with the Chairman, formed the Hospital Committee. The absence of both gentlemen on Commission business left the Committee without a quorum, and Mr. Coster was added to its membership, so that the arrival of Mr. Saunders, with the Civil Service Commission, will enable the appointment to bo made. Masonic Hall. —This fine building has now been completed, and has been taken over by the Committee of the craft from the builder, Sir. George Parkin. In a former issue we noticed the plans of the hall in accordance with which the building has been erected. Mr. Parkin has faithfully fulfilled his duty, with the result that the Lodges meeting in it in future will have as comfortable and secure a home as any Masonic Lodge ever possessed. The building will be consecrated with an imposing ceremony on the IGth, and a ball will be held in the evening. K' v ‘

Plain Figures. —At the Agricultural and Pastoral Association Committee meeting on Tuesday, Mr. W. Silcock moved, with the object of promoting honest dealing, that the Association should pledge itself to support only such tradesmen as marked their goods in plain figures. The motion was not accepted for the reason that the Society could not control its individual members in the direction the mover indicated. But doubtless the hint will be useful to dealers, as a man is always best satisfied with article on which the price is marked in such characters as he can understand.

Ashburton Fire Brigade. —The usual monthly meeting of the Fire Brigade was held on Tuesday, when about a dozen members were present. Captain Wilkie said the state of the finance was as follows ; Cash in bank, L 9 2s. Gd.; County Council grant, LSO ; Borough Council grant, L 25; total, LB4 2s. Gd. Balance due Burt and Co., for fire-bell, Ll 7 12s. 4d., thus leaving the amount of LG7 10s. 2d. at the disposal of the Brigade for uniforms, or any other purpose they might agree to expend it on. It was resolved that Burt and Co.’s balance be paid, and several other small accounts were passed. After considerable discussion as to the best method of expending the balance of funds, it was resolved that an order should be sent to Shand, Mason, and Co. for 25 helmets, 1 dozen keys, and a controlling nozzle, and that belts for the brigade be made by some local tradesman. One new member was proposed and one resigned. A Narrow Squeak. —Regarding the break-down of the case against Skedgewell, the man who had a very fair show of being sent to prison for an alleged criminal assault on a woman at the. Wheatsheaf Hotel, the “ Times” says ; “ The woman who was the chief witness for the prosecution gave her evidence most clearly and circumstantially, and, though severely cross-examined by the prisoner, did not vary from her previous statements, or make any damaging admissions. The Judge had summed up and remitted the case to the jury for their verdict, when he noticed that the jury were more than usually animated in their discussion. His Honor asked if any of the jury knew more of the case than the evidence had disclosed. One of the j urymen said he did, and upon being sworn proved that the female witness referred to had perjured herself in one of her replies to the prisoner. This led to further enquiries by his Honor, the result of which was that a constable proved two other denials of the woman to be equally untrue. Under these circumstances the Crown Prosecutor declined to ask the jury for a verdict.”

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The Ashburton Guardian, COUNTY AGRICULTURAL & SPORTING RECORDER THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 1880., 8 April 1880

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