17 September 1888
THE HOP CROP.- The hop season of 1888 will rank in Kent as one of the most disastrous known within the last decade of hop industry. With a largely diminished acreage as compared with former years, the crop, taken generally, has been a dismal failure. In the case of many of the largest growers within the immediate vicinity of Maidstone, several hundreds of acres will be innocent of the presence of a bin, mould and the manifold enemies of the hop having effected their devastating work. In the large districts of the Farleighs, Hanton, and Yalding, which usually require the services of more than 15,000 pickers, only a mere fraction of this large number has been employed. The county town of Maidstone is a severe sufferer from the collapse of this important industry, as it is estimated on good authority that a prosperous hop season benefits it to the extent of 30,000£. - A Worcester correspondent says that the fine weather of the last week has improved the hops on the poles, and has dissipated some of the blight and mould. Where they have been well cared for the hops are looking well. Some little lots of the new growth were offered at market on Saturday in Worcester, but being mostly of inferior quality, they did not sell readily. One parcel is understood to have made 8£ per cwt., and an offer of considerably more money was declined for a choice sample.
LYCEUM THEATER.- Mr. Mansfield, we are asked to state, has so far recovered from his rheumatic attack of Saturday that he will reappear this evening in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," which will be preceded, at eight, for the first time, by "Lesbia," a classical comedy in one act by Mr. Richard Davey.
Thomas Egan, middle-aged, was charged, before Mr. Alderman Gray, with being drunk and assaulting a constable in the employ of the Great Eastern Railway Company.- The prisoner was seen by the constable at Liverpool-street railway station on Friday afternoon, and as he was seen to be drunk he was requested to leave the station. He refused to go, and struck the officer a blow on the mouth, making it bleed, at the same time saying, "I am 'Leather Apron,' and big enough to do for you." Assistance was obtained, and prisoner conveyed to the police-station.- Mr. Alderman Gray fined him 10s. or seven days' imprisonment.
A well-dressed woman, who refused her name and address, was charged, before Mr. Marsham, with disorderly conduct. She was found asleep in the garden of a house in Park-place, East Greenwich. A constable being called, the prisoner called out, "For God's sake lock me up; I don't want to be killed." She behaved in a disorderly manner, and was charged. She now said she came from London to look for her husband, who she thought was in the neighbourhood, and went to sleep in the garden, being afraid she might be murdered, like the women in Whitechapel.- Mr. Marsham discharged the prisoner.
The detective officers continued their investigations yesterday, but up to a late hour last night no arrest had been made, neither is there any immediate prospect of an arrest being effected. The public of the neighbourhood continue to make statements, which are committed to writing at Commercial-street station, and in several instances the police have been made cognisant of what the informants consider to be suspicious movements of individuals, whose appearance is supposed to tally with that of the man wanted. Every "clue" given by the public in their zeal to assist the police has been followed up, but without success, and the lapse of time, it is feared, will lessen the chances of discovering the perpetrators of the crime.
On Saturday night a meeting of the Vigilance Committee took place at the "Crown" Tavern, 74, Mile-end-road, for the purpose of considering what steps should be taken to aid the police in the search for the murderer. In the absence of Mr. Lusk, the chairman, Mr. Aarons, the proprietor of the tavern, was voted to take the chair, and, in opening the proceedings, he said that he had great pleasure in announcing that Mr. Spencer Charrington, of the brewery adjacent, had, with his usual liberality, sent a cheque for 5£ as a contribution towards the reward fund. In announcing other subscriptions, including 5£ from Mr. Lusk and a similar amount from himself, the speaker said that he had during his efforts to obtain subscriptions towards a reward for the apprehension of the murderer, had evidence of the dissatisfaction which existed owing to the withdrawal of Government rewards for the discovery of murder, for with one exception every contributor had expressed an opinion that it was the duty of the Government to offer a substantial reward in such cases, and many persons who were ready to lay down 100£ towards any charitable object had flatly refused to subscribe to this fund on the ground that it was the imperative duty of the Scotland-yard authorities and of the Home Office to offer a pecuniary inducement to persons (not the actual murderers) to come forward and give information. Other gentlemen having addressed the meeting, the proceedings were adjourned until to-day, when a definite programme will be arrived at as to the amount to be offered as a reward for information.