Police Sergeant Maddocks had been on duty in Wimboldsley on September 4, 1892, and heading for the Verdin Arms at Minshull Vernon; he was to give a notice to the landlady Sarah Broad.

He came upon a group of about 20 men approaching him from the nearby Minshull Vernon railway station where they had arrived from Winsford.

The watermen’s riots were ongoing there and had continued in the nearby towns and villages, and the men were looking for trouble!

The sergeant went into the pub, and when he returned to the road, he was hassled and injured by flying bricks; an Irishman named John Fay came along and told them to leave the officer alone.

Sergeant Maddocks escaped back into the pub, where the door was locked behind him.

When the rabble saw that they could not gain entry, they smashed every ground floor window at the front; one of the bricks thrown through the window hit one of the pub’s servants in the face inflicting severe injuries.

One of the men got through an open window with a knife in his hand, shouting that he would cut the sergeant to pieces.

The intruder opened the front door, and the men got in – most were waving knives and started to search for the officer.

However, Mrs Broad, the landlady, had hidden him in a chest, and they didn’t find him.

On leaving the premises, the intruders shook hands with Mrs Broad and said they wished her no harm; they just wanted to get the policeman because the police were protecting the Salt Union who were strike-breaking in Winsford.

Had she not acted with such promptitude in hiding the officer, he would have received life-threatening injuries with a strong possibility of being murdered.

The men thinking that the sergeant had escaped, went after John Fay, the Irishman who had told them to leave him alone.

Sergeant Maddocks left the pub, and despite his injuries, he managed to recognise and arrest one of the men.

William Thomson and another 10 were later rounded up and charged with being involved in the riots, assault upon the Verdin Arms, the servant and the officer.

They were escorted from Middlewich railway station by a large body of police, and many people were lining the route, some for and some against the prisoners.

They later appeared at Middlewich Police station and were brought before the magistrates.

William and Thomas Thomson, and Samuel Thompson. Samuel Whittaker, George Carter, George Percival, John Dickenson, Walter Cotterall, William Hirst, Edward and Adam Sandbach.

Thomas Thomson and George Carter receive four months imprisonment.

George Percival, Walter Cotterall, Walter Sandbach and Adam Sandbach received three months, and the rest were discharged.

The sergeant did not return to full police duties because of his injuries.