RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY

 
 

 

 

 

Birmingham Daily Post


MONDAY, 30th., AUGUST, 1858

THE RAILWAY CATASTROPHE NEAR DUDLEY,
CONDITION OF THE WOUNDED.

It affords us much satisfaction to be enable to state that no further death as yet resulted from this sad casualty, although the condition of a least two of the wounded is such as to preclude all hope of their recovery. These are Richard Wassell, of Prince’s End, who received serious internal injuries and severe wounds in the head; and Samuel Clark, of Bilston, who sustained injury to the spine. It is not expected hat either can survive many days. The former is lying at the Swan, and the latter at the Cock, Moor Lane. Charles Turner, of Prince’s End, who sustained much severe injury to the side and head that his recovery was at first looked upon a hopeless, is going on more favourably than expected and serious consequences are no longer apprehended in his case. He accommodated at the Crown Inn, Brettel Lane. Joseph Webb, of Prince’s End, whose leg was fractured and his foot so seriously injured that amputation of one toe was necessary is still very ill, but progressing as favourably as could be expected, considering the serious nature of the injuries he sustained. William Kendrick, who had his thigh broken in two places, is also going on as well as can be expected. Miss Corser, Burton-on-Trent, who received a very serious scalp wound is recovering rapidly. This young lady is engaged to be married to Charles Turner, who is injured above and being on a visit with his friends accompanied them to Worcester on a pleasure excursion. Miss Bevan, and Mrs. Wycherley, who are staying at Mr. Naden’s, the former of whom lost a toe, and the latter had a leg broken, are progressing as well as can be expected. So also is Thomas Brett, of Daisy Bank, who had his ribs and collar-bone broken, and sustained other severe injuries, although he cannot yet be considered out of danger. William Harley, Dudley, tailor, whose wife was killed, is so far recovered that it is expected he will be able to remove to his home in a few days. Henry Augustus James, son of the postmaster of Coseley, has already been removed, as have one or two others whose injuries were not very severe. Mrs. Lones, whose collar bone was broken, and who was otherwise injured, is also going on well. Edward Jones, of Dudley Port, hairdresser, who has been accommodated at the Crown, will be so far recovered as to be able to proceed home in a few days.

Brett, it appears, rode in the van with the guard from Worcester, and he stated that after leaving Brettel Lane there were only two besides himself and the guard in the van. The guard was George White, who has been in the employ of the company as a luggage guard for five years past, and bears the character of a steady attentive man. The other persons in the van in addition to the guard were Henry Marshall, boatman of Worcester, who was killed, and another man from Worcester, named Williams, who did not sustain serious injury. Brett also states, that as soon as the carriages broke away from the first part of the train at Round Oak, the guard immediately applied his break, at the same time waving his lamp to the driver of the other train which he knew to be advancing on the same line. Directly after passing Moor Lane Bridge, the second train appeared in sight, and the guard redoubled his exertions at the break. Finding his efforts unavailing, and that a collision was inevitable, he advised the other persons in the van to jump out, himself setting the example. Brett, however, was the only one who followed it; and he, poor fellow, sustained grave injuries. Marshall was killed; but Williams happily escaped.

There is no doubt that the consequences of the collision would have been much more serious if there had been a rather longer interval between the two trains – if the carriages which became detached had passed Brettel Lane station before the second train arrived there. As it was, the latter train had not attained its full speed at the time the driver perceived the carriages which had been detached from the first train returning: whereas if they had met the second train before it stopped at Brettel Lane, and while it was travelling at a rapid speed, the force of the collision would have been much greater.

The occurrence continues to excite much interest in the neighbourhood, and large numbers of persons daily visit the spot at which it took place. The effects of the accident are severely felt in the neighbourhood of Prince’s End, Coseley and Tipton. There all the dead, with the exception of Marshall and poor Mrs. Harper, resided, and most of the wounded came from the locality. No less than seven of the unfortunate people killed, were buried at Coseley Church, on Friday; one was interred there on the previous day, and one on Saturday.

On Friday, Captain Tyler the Government Inspector of Railways, visited the scene of the accident, and spent the whole of that and the following day inspecting the line and collecting information as to the mode in which it is worked. He was accompanied by Mr. Adcock, the secretary, Mr. Wilson, the engineer, and Mr. Sherriff, the general manager of the line. On Saturday, a series of experiments were made with a view to ascertaining the speed at which carriages would descend the incline on which the accident happened, and the amount of break power necessary to ensure perfect control over trains on that portion of the line. With the results of these experiments we are, of course, unacquainted, but the fullest information on the subject will no doubt be communicated by Captain Tyler at the inquest, to be resumed on Wednesday.

We are informed that Captain Tyler will again visit the scene of the accident again to-day.

We are sorry to learn that the number of the wounded appears to have been understated rather than the reverse. It is said that in the neighbourhood of Bilston, Coseley, Tipton and Prince’s End alone, there are upward of 100 persons who have sustained more or less injury by the accident.