RAILWAY AND INDUSTRIAL HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WEST BLACK COUNTRY

 
 

 

 

 

County Express
incorporating
BRIERLEY HILL, STOURBRIDGE, KIDDERMINSTER & DUDLEY NEWS
SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE & EAST WORCESTERSHIRE CHRONICLE


No. 133.] SATURDAY, 17th., JULY, 1869 [ PRICE ONE PENNY

Correspondence
STOURBRIDGE EXTENSION HAILWAY
To the Editor of the County Express

SIR.— Allow me through the medium of your valuable column to draw the attention of the officials of this railway to the fact that the last train from Birmingham is not quite late enough. Last Sunday evening I attended service at a church at Birmingham and was forced to leave church in the middle of a most interesting sermon, to catch the train. Had the train been a quarter of an hour later I could have stayed to the conclusion of the service. This was the case with several others who came by train and hundreds would avail themselves of the opportunity of helping the charities in Birmingham, if they could get back after service, trusting this will be put right next month.— I am, sir yours truly,
A RATEPAYER.


TERRIFIC BOILER EXPLOSION AT BLAKEDOWN.

Yesterday (Friday) morning, the vicinity of Blakedown, for miles around was alarmed by the report of a terrific explosion at the Blakedown Forge, in the occupation of Messrs. John Bradley, and Co. On arriving on the spot, we found that the whole of the forge buildings with the chimney stack was levelled to the ground, the large boiler, capable of driving the engine (12-horsepower) having exploded about 10 o’clock in the morning. Fortunately the working had been stopped for repairs, and the hands upon the premises — six in number — three men and three boys, were engaged in fixing a flywheel to the shafting at a distance of several yards from the boiler, or the consequences would have been more serious. The boiler heads, a mass of more than a ton weight was hurled through a quantity of trees into the pool, upwards of thirty yards distant. The roof of the building, and massive iron stanchions were separated, and bricks and timber sent five hundred yards from the spot. One of the persons present, a lad named Cartwright had a miraculous escape. The massive beam supporting the building — a baulk of timber fifty feet in length, falling close by his side, and grazing him in its fall. Three men and a boy were buried in the debris and when extricated were looked upon as dead. Mr. Cowen, Mayor of Kidderminster, was sent for, who with Mr. Stretton were quickly on the spot, rendering professional assistance. Messrs. Goodwins Miller’s van being near, it was improvised, and four of the sufferers named William Harrison, foreman of the works, Dennis Harrison, his son, Benjamin Hall, and Edwin Carpenter, were removed to the Infirmary as soon as possible, where they were promptly received and attended to by Dr. Roden, Dr. Rose, Mr. Hillman, and Mr. Cowen. The injuries of the two Harrisons are of a character likely to prove fatal the other two were said not to be dangerously injured. Pending the probability of an enquiry we should not be justified in giving expression to the various rumours as to the cause of the accident, but we may say it was stated that the boiler next the furnace bars was burnt almost through, the fractured portion not being in many places thicker than a shilling.
During the day many persons visited the scene of the catastrophe.