Houdini, "The Handcuff King" made another sensational appearance
at the Wolverhampton Empire Palace in May. A report at the time
said: "In acceptance of a local challenge he suffered himself to
be fastened up in a packing case specially made. A large committee
were invited upon the stage and when the mysterious Houdini was
safely incarcerated in the box all and sundry took turns at knocking
nails into it. The case was then crated up and lifted into a cabinet.
Houdini had declared his intention of getting out at some time,
though he could not guarantee a re-appearance before the final curtain
call. After an exciting wait of less than ten minutes however he
appeared before the astonished audience without his coat and with
a disarranged collar. The box was in precisely the same condition
as when the last nail was knocked in. Tomorrow evening Houdini will
take up another challenge to escape from a straight waistcoat such
as is used for the murderous insane."
Sir Henry falls ill with chill: Plans for Wolverhampton Council
to honour the veteran actor Sir Henry Irving in February were cancelled
when he fell ill after contracting a chill.
had performed to a packed audience at the town's Grand Theatre the
previous night, but a doctor confined him to bed.
Sir Henry's manager Bram Stoker, now best known as the author
of the horror novel Dracula, apologised on his behalf. The Mayor
Councillor R.E.W. Berrington was to have presented Sir Henry with
an illuminated address to honour his long service to English drama.
Sir Henry recovered enough to appear at the Grand in Becket that
night, but the next day called off the rest of his farewell tour
after he was advised by doctors not to act for two months.
Sir Henry died in Bradford on October 14, aged 67, the night after
performing in the play The Bells. He had recovered from his illness
and resumed his farewell tour.
A good year for the roses: The world famous French actress
Sarah Bernhardt, who was in Wolverhampton in July to perform in the
play Pelleas and Melisande at the Grand Theatre, opened the annual
Wolverhampton Floral Fete in West Park.
She arrived by carriage with fellow actress Mrs Patrick Campbell,
who carried her pet dog Ping Pong under her arm, to perform the
ceremony after the band of the Life Guards played the Marsellaises
in her honour.
Madame Bernhardt was reported by the Express & Star to have
been fascinated by the display of roses in one tent, remarking:
"Elles sont superbes les roses! Extraordinaires!"
Football humour: Albion 'not dead yet': January 12 - At the
West Bromwich police court today(Thursday), some little humour was
introduced during the hearing of an application by Mr Dempster for
an occasional licence for the Albion ground for the Leicester Fosse
English cup-tie on Saturday.
When asked by Mr Bywater (magistrate) whether the Albion were
going to win, Mr Dempster replied, with an air of confidence: "yes."
Mr Bywater: "Then the Albion are not dead yet?" (laughter).
Mr Dempster: "No." (laughter).
Mr Bywater:"But you have nearly killed them, haven't you?" (renewed
Mr Dempster: "Not yet, there is a spark left."
Mr Bywater: "It is to be hoped they won't kill you." (laughter).
The application was then granted.
Two days later Albion went down 5-2 to Leicester in their first
appearance in the cup's intermediate round following their relegation
from division one the previous year.
Stourbridge race sequel in court: Thomas Turner and Charles
Cook, young men, of Spring Street, Lye, were charged at Stourbridge
police court in August with "unlawfully obstructing the footpath at
Pedmore on 28 July by running a foot race thereon".
Police constable Bevan said that on the 28th, owing to complaints
that were made, he and two other officers went to Pedmore.
He found the defendants "almost naked, having only small garments
"They were running a race of about 100 yards from the Ham Lane
to the Foley Arms.
"There was an obstruction through their conduct.
"The defendants denied they were racing. They wore proper nicks,
the same as were worn at football."
The bench fined the defendants 5s each and costs or seven days.
George Bingham and William Adams were charged with aiding and
abetting in the obstruction in the case.
Pc Bevan said one of the defendants gave a signal for the race
and the other held the runners' clothes.
They were fined 7s 9d each including costs.
Some interesting figures regarding the system of providing free breakfasts
for the poor children in Dudley schools were handed to the Express
& Star in March by Mr J. M. Wynne, secretary to the education
During the month of February 1905 there were 10,203 meals supplied
in the town district, 2.240 in the county district and 2,239 at
Woodside, making a total of 14,682.
Commenting, the Express & Star said: "This large amount of
good work has been done at a cost of 61 or a little less than 1d
"This shows excellent management on the part of the Rev T Keates
and the Rev Alfred Thompson and hearty co-operation on the part
of the school staffs.
"The value of such work in a time of depressed trade like the
present and particularly in wintry weather such as we have lately
been experiencing can be readily appraised."