There's only one girl for me...
On Monday 20th May 1912, a gruesome murder took place at a Blackburn mill. The victim was 18 year old Alice Beetham of Billinge Street, who worked as a weaver at Jubilee Mill. For several weeks, she had been going out with Arthur Birkett of Riley Street, who was also a weaver at the same mill. On the previous Thursday she had told Arthur that she no longer wished to go out with him. It is believed that Alice's father did not approve of Arthur, which may have been the reason for breaking off the relationship, or it may have been because she felt Arthur was too passionate.
Not long before the murder he had spoken to a fellow weaver about Alice saying "There's only one girl for me, and if I don't get her I'll have none". On the day after Alice had finished with Arthur he went to the home of another weaver, Mrs. Wagg who was a friend of both of them. He told her that Alice had "chucked him". She tried to console him, saying "there are plenty more". Arthur made a remark "I will chop her.... head off". At the time this seemed like an innocent remark spoken in the heat of the moment, but was later to assume greater significance.
"There's only one girl for me..."
"You look crammed... what's to do?"
"She died almost instantly"
Birkett found guilty of murder
Souvenir napkins were sold
Account of the Murder by relation of Alice Beetham: Louise McGarry