Monday, 21 March 2016

Chorlton Railway Incidents ................... another story from Tony Goulding

As I was formerly employed by British Rail for more than a decade and am now in receipt of a railway pension I thought it time to pay a little homage to those far off tines when “Rail was King” 

Station Approach, 1960
Here then are a collection of stories connected to the railways in Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

On the morning of Saturday 2nd. September, 1899 an unidentified man killed himself at Chorlton-cum-Hardy railway station.

As the 7-36 up train to Manchester approached the platform the man ran out from under the stair case and threw himself in front of the engine.

To the horror of the waiting passengers he was struck on the head and died shortly after being lifted from the track.

Another Suicide
On Sunday 10th January, 1909 another case of self-destruction occurred. This time it was a 33 year old shop assistant, Mary Jane Cockerill.   The unmarried Mary Jane lived with her widowed mother two sisters and a young brother at 87, Oswald Road. She reportedly had been ill for some time and apparently stepped in front of an express train near Chorlton-cum-Hardy’s station.

Accident and subsequent legal battle
Whilst attempting to alight from the 10-15 arrival at Chorlton-cum-Hardy station on 18th September, 1907 a lady named Hewitt was thrown onto the platform and injured.

After she had been awarded £40-00 compensation, at Salford County Court, the operating company

The Cheshire Lines Committee appealed to the Kings Bench Division, claiming they had not been negligent.

The case was heard on Wednesday 13th May, 1908 when the justices Darling and Phillimore reversed the judgement of the lower court. Evidence was presented that the passenger in question had been trying to leave the train before it had come to a halt.

Mysterious Fatality

Railway sidings, 1960
On Sunday evening 17th May, 1908 between 8-00 and 8-30 the body of a man, later identified by pawn tickets in his possession as a Mr. Parker, was discovered close to the railway line in Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

Despite an appalling injury to his head and the severing of both an arm and a leg the man was found alive.

He was rushed to the M.R.I. where he died shortly after admission.

 The two halves of the body of a man were discovered by a signalman of the Cheshire Lines Railway in the early morning of Thursday 14th November, 1918 on the rails under St. Werburgh’s Road Bridge.

At the St Werburgh's Railway Bridge, 2011
An inquest was held the following day when a verdict of suicide was recorded.

Owen James Brown was a watchmaker, aged 49, who resided at 77, Nicholas Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

A number of pawn tickets for watches with a variety of pawnbrokers appeared to indicate that his business was faltering. His daughter Dorothy also gave evidence that her father had been suffering with poor health for 3-4 months.

 Drunk and Disorderly Behaviour

Station Buildings, 1960
On 11th November, 1891 three intoxicated youths arrived at Chorlton-cum-Hardy station by the 19-27 train.

When asked to produce their tickets they initially refused to do so.

Subsequently, it transpired that one youth did not have a ticket and an escalating altercation took place over the sale/purchase or a ticket for him.

During this confrontation the young porter, William Ranson was assaulted and threatened sufficient for him to seek the shelter of the porter’s room.

The outcome was that the three youths, the Latham brothers William and Edward B. and their friend Walter Johnson were brought before the magistrates at the Manchester County Police Court the following month on charges of being drunk and disorderly.

Walter Johnson was also charged with the assault on the porter. At their trial it was stated that there had been an increase such activity and the Cheshire Lines Company asked that an example be made to show that abuse of their staff would not be tolerated. Especially important in the case of Chorlton-cum-Hardy as, only a month before this incident, there had been a renewal of the entire staff at the station.

The Railway Station from the air, 1926 
All three defendants were found guilty and fined 40/s + costs each Walter Johnson was additionally fined 21/s+costs on the assault charge.

To close an aerial view of the site in 1926: just because I think it is a great picture and was taken by the evocatively named “Imperial Aerial Photography Company’’

© Tony Goulding, 2016

Location; Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester

Pictures; Station Approach, 1960 A E Landers, m18313, Wilbraham Road, sidings, 1960, A E Landers, M 18314, Main Station Buildings, 1960, A E Landers, m18315, Chorlton railway station from the air, 1926 Imperial Airways Photo, m72049, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, and Railway Bridge, 2011, REF:by@optimistontherun,2011/cc by-sa3.0,https/ Wiki-Commons

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