RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY

 
 

 

 

 

Birmingham Daily Post


WEDNESDAY, 1st., SEPTEMBER, 1858

THE RAILWAY CATASTROPHE NEAR DUDLEY,
ANOTHER DEATH

 

We regret to have to add to the list of deaths resulting from this sad casualty, the name of Samuel Clark, who expired about eight o’clock yesterday morning, after enduring great suffering. The poor fellow had his back broken, and no hope of his recovery was entertained from the first. Information of his death having been communicated to the Coroner (T. M. Phillips, Esq.), who had appointed the adjourned inquest, in reference to the Brockmoor murder, for yesterday, he directed the immediate summoning of the same jury as were empanelled in the enquiry into the other twelve cases opened last week, and at two o’clock the inquest was opened at the Cock Inn, Moor Lane, where he had been accommodated since the accident, and where the body lay. Formal evidence of the identity of the body having been given, the Coroner adjourned the enquiry until to-day, at the Bell Hotel, where it will be renewed in conjunction with the enquiry into the other twelve cases.

We are happy to learn that Richard Wassell, whose case was looked on as only second only to that of Clark in point of gravity, is much better and hopes are entertained that he may ultimately recover. John Webb; suffering from compound fractures of one leg, and who has had one toe amputated, is doing well, as is Mr. Kendrick, who sustained a fracture of the leg and thigh. These three are accommodated at the Swan Inn, and are attended by Dr. Walker, of Brierley Hill, and the Company’s surgeons. Mr. Harley, tailor, Dudley, who unhappily lost his wife by the collision, was so far recovered as to be able to be removed to his home yesterday morning. He was also was accommodated at the Swan. Now Clark is dead, the only sufferer remaining at the Cock is Miss Corser, of Burton-on-Trent, who received a severe scalp wound and other injuries. She is progressing favourably. Mrs. Wycherley, and her sister, Miss Bevan, both of whom were staying at Mr. Noden’s, Moor Lane House, are doing well. Mrs. Wycherley, who is in an advanced state of pregnancy, sustained fracture of the leg and other injuries, and her sister injuries to one foot, necessitating amputation of a toe, and injury in the back. They, as well as Miss Corser and the patients at the Swan, are under the care of Dr. Walker. Charles Turner, injured in the side (lung protruding), and Thomas Beck, hurt in the shoulder and elsewhere, lying at the Crown Inn, Brettel Lane, are both doing well. Edward Jones, who was staying at the same place, went home yesterday, convalescent. All those who were accommodated at the Whimsey have been removed to their homes and are doing well. Mrs. Fisher, at the Royal Exchange, will also, it is hoped, be able to be taken home in a day or two. Turner is under the care of Mr. Norris, of Brierley Hill, and Mr. Harding, Stourbridge. Brett is attended by Mr. Osbourne, of Stourbridge, and the Company’s surgeons.

Yesterday, a further series of experiments to test the working of the line were made. Mr. Adcock, the secretary, Mr. Sherriff, the general manager, and Mr. Wilson, the engineer of the Company were present, as were also Mr. Craig, the engineer of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire, and the traffic manager of the Great Western of Ireland Railway. The results of the experiments showed that one break is sufficient to hold a train of the same weight as the first excursion train from Worcester to which the accident happened, and to stop a train of the same weight as the portion that broke away within 200 yards, after it had attained a speed of six miles; but a second break had to be applied in order to stop the train when it had been allowed to attain a speed of ten miles an hour. Experiments were also made to test the strength of the couplings in ordinary use, and the result showed that a shackle of half the strength of those commonly employed is sufficient to have bourne the entire weight of the excursion train. It is inferred from these experiments that the shackle which broke must have been previously damaged and that the guard (Cook) could not have applied his break to stop the carriages which broke away, until they had attained considerable velocity.

In addition to the valuable watch that the police are in possession of, one Robert Drake has an unclaimed watch in his keeping. Of property of less value found on the line after the accident, the police have in store. Private parties possessing unclaimed property should hand it to the police authorities.

The Rev. E. C. Perry, the clergyman who was in the train at the time of the accident, with 200 in his charge, in the special sermon which he preached on Sunday evening last, and which drew a congregation for which sufficient accommodation could not be afforded in the sacred edifice, said – “Whether I shall ever travel by another excursion train I know not. It is certain that as I am in my senses I shall not do so under similar circumstances, still less is it likely that for the sake of a few pence I would ever again incur the risk of having children under my special supervision, unconsciously removed by death from this world to another, without a moments notice; or mutilated or crushed so dreadfully as preclude the possibility of their ever following their earthly employment/ With regard to the management of the train by the Company’s servants; it cannot be doubted that there was a great lack of precaution and want of foresight, which were absolutely necessary to run such a monster train with safety to the lives of passengers.”

The matter continues to excite much interest, and the adjourned inquest to-day anxiously anticipated.