Shocking Accident at Penistone Station.
An inquest on the body of Elliott Hawkyard, a young man who was employed at Messrs. Charles Cammells and Co.’s Works, Penistone, and who lodged at Thurlstone, was held on Thursday, at the Wentworth Arms, Penistone. The deceased was killed by falling from the parapet of the viaduct, near Penistone Station, on Tuesday night. He was a passenger by a train from Sheffield to Penistone, and as the night was dark, and he rather short sighted, it is supposed that he mistook the parapet of the viaduct for the platform of the station, and after stepping out of the carriage to the parapet, took another step forward and fell to the ground, a distance of 75 yards. The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death,” and added a recommendation that an iron railing should be placed along the whole length of the parapet. The Coroner said he would forward the recommendation of the jury to the Secretary of State.
One thought on “Sheffield & Rotherham Independent (13/Sep/1884) – Local Intelligence: Shocking Accident at Penistone Station”
Elliott was my great great uncle. He was actually travelling from Armitage Bridge to Penistone as detailed below:-
TRAGIC DEMISE Elliott had attended the funeral of his maternal grandfather (Joseph Drake) in Armitage Bridge (not far from Berry Brow station on the Penistone Line) that day and it sounds as though some of the family members had sat in a pub afterwards. Elliott likely set off around 9pm to catch the train home. Penistone Station is about a 30 minute walk from Thurlstone where Elliott was living. Although small, it used to be a busy station as it was on the old Woodhead Line and had regular services to London via the Great Central Main Line. It wasn’t uncommon for the lower priority Huddersfield trains to have to wait outside the station on the viaduct until a platform became available. I’ve read of one account of a drunken passenger mistakenly thinking the train had pulled into the station and getting out — the stone parapet of the viaduct was about the same height as the carriage floor and apparently that passenger had drunkenly walked along it to get to the station! Elliott’s train had been stopped on the viaduct and at least one impatient passenger had decided to get out and walk. The only other person in the compartment with Elliott was Joel Midwood (of Walkley, Sheffield) who mentioned that someone had got out and Elliott said “If they’re [i.e the train] not going on, I’ll get out too”. Although Joel tried to stop him, Elliott opened the door, jumped across onto the parapet, overbalanced and tumbled straight over. The train then moved off and passengers were able to raise the alarm at the station. Elliott’s body was found soon after and he’d fallen over 200 feet. Although Joel left his address with the stationmaster, it apparently wasn’t passed on to the police and he wasn’t called to the inquest. However, he later gave a statement to a Sheffield newspaper and thought that Elliott might have been a little light-headed from “having smoked very much all the way” on the journey. DMC 22nd June 2015
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