Railway Snippets

This is just a collection of interesting snippets, that I have come across whilst searching the local newspapers and other documents.  Some of these articles have more information and to denote this, I have put a few dots ……

5 Dec 1868 – Mr. WIGHT we hear has resigned the appointment of station master, on the Isle of Wight Railway, at Ryde, which he has held for the last few years. (IW Observer)

29 Jan 1876 – Benjamin JOLLIFFE of Yafford House, Shorwell, gentleman farmer, was killed in a rail accident at Abbotts Ripton, Nr Peterborough.  Inquest at Huntingdon ……   Daniel ATTRILL of Dean Farm was injured, also Mr CHIVERTON age 27 of Chale Farm injured ……

11 Mar 1876 – An Isle of Wight Railway employee, Joseph LACEY, was knocked down by goods wagons which had been shunted at Winstone siding, by the engine, and several of them went over his leg, no-one was with him at the time except the guard whose name was SMITH. Not seeing LACEY he went to look for him and found him stretched on the ground with his leg very badly fractured.  Assistance was speedily obtained and the poor fellow conveyed to the Infirmary, where he is progressing favourably, amputation being found unneccessary.
(IW Advertiser, Ryde & Ventnor Times)

20 July 1876 – A presentation of a valuable testimonial was made to Shanklin Station Master Mr G. HUMBY, who during the five years of his being stationed there, has gained by his uniform courtesy and general efficiency, the good will and respect of all whom his duties have brought him into contact.  The idea originated in Mr HUMBY’s promotion to a superior position at Ventnor ……

7 Oct 1876- A claim was made against the Isle of Wight Railway Co. by Mr George PLUMBLEY of Ventnor, for the value of a cow killed by falling off the down onto the line near the mouth of the tunnel at Ventnor …… verdict for the plaintiff.

15 Jun 1876 – We are pleased to say that due to the central position of the Sandown Railway Station, Messrs Smith & Sons have given the distinction of having a News & Bookstall placed on the Sandown platform, under the management of Mr BALL.

17 Nov 1877 – A most melancholy accident happened at Ventnor railway station resulting in the death of a goods guard named William George WHITEWOOD, deceased being knocked down by the buffer of one of the waggons which struck him on the left side and broke four of his ribs as he was about to couple them together.  An hour or so after the accident, the men at the station placed the injured man in the van for the purpose of taking him through to the Infirmary, but before they had proceeded through the tunnel he had breathed his last ….. (IW Advertiser. Ryde & Ventnor Times)*

26 Apr 1879 – At 10am on Friday morning, as a goods train from Ventnor for Brading arrived on the Quay close to St Helens Harbour, the newly-made ground gave way and the guards’ brake-van with one waggon, went over the Quay into the harbour. One waggon was dashed to pieces. The passengers consisting of the guard, two captains of schooners, and one man belonging to Messrs Pickford & Co., were locked in the Brake, and had it not been for the guard passing the key through a window, and a man coming to their assistance and opening the door, they would in all probability, have been drowned. (IW Advertiser, Ryde & Ventnor Times)  *

15 Mar 1883 – Accident at St. John’s Station – About 2 pm. on Tuesday a man named John DURRANT while engaged in shunting met with a somewhat serious mishap.  He appears to have been in the act of jumping on to an engine when he caught his feet in the “points” and had one of them badly hurt, one toe in particular was much bruised.  He was taken to the Infirmary.  (IW Times)

28 Jun 1884 – The ship Garonnee in which Mr. ASTRIDGE, late Stationmaster at the Esplanade and Pier Head Stations, sailed for Australia, reached her destination (Sydney) a few days ago.  The telegram announcing the vessel’s arrival reported that “all was well” on board; so it may be concluded that Mr. ASTRIDGE has safely arrived at his Antipodian home.

1888- A fatal accident to a man named MOODY of over 80 years of age and who lived at Wootton, happened between Wootton and Havenstreet Stations, when he was knocked down by the 2.59 train from Newport.  Driver COLEMAN brought the train to a standstill as quickly as possible ……  (IW Advertiser, Ryde & Ventnor Times)  ~

7 Apr 1888 – We are glad to hear that steps are being taken to give some public recognition to the unfailing courtesy and tact with which Mr CONNOR carried out his important duties while engineer and traffic manager of the Isle of Wight Railway.  (IW County Press)

12 Jan 1889 – Robbery from a waiting room, Albert SUMNER age 16, was charged with stealing clothing to the value of 15 pounds.10 shillings, the property of Thomas BRADFORD , horse dealer of Totton, nr Southampton …… Samuel JENNINGS, porter at the station …… prisoner sentenced to one month imprisonment, with hard labour.

12 Jan 1889 – Last Thursday evening, Mr William GREENWOOD, for many years Station Master at Newport station, of the IW Central Railway and now of Cowes, was presented with a purse of 30 guineas and two framed illuminated addresses.

30 Mar 1889 – An Inquest was held at the IW Infirmary last evening on the body of William HAINES, age 75 at the institution named, as a result of injuries received from a passing train, on Wednesday.  Appearing on behalf of the Railway company were Mr R.HICKS, secretary; Mr H.K.DAY, traffic manager; Mr BRENT, engineer; Mr W.WHEWAY, inspector; John HOLMES, driver of the train; Ernest H.LONG,  fireman; Mr Albert SHAW , station master at Sandown ……

4 Jan 1890 – A serious accident befell the Stoker of the Bembridge train on Christmas Day, he was sitting on the rail of the engine and in turning the sharp corner at Carpenters, near St Helens Station, he accidentally overbalanced and fell.  He was bruised and shaken, with blood oozing from his nose and ears.  He was conveyed to his home, where he has since been in a critical condition.

18 Jan 1890 – An Island Railway case in Chancery, Freshwater, Yarmouth & Newport Railway Company v. JACKSON etc. re the disposal of the engine “Freshwater” ……

18 Jan 1890 – The serious charge of embezzling 3pounds 16shillings and 3pence, in varying amounts, was brought against John Richard WALKER, clerk and cashier to the IOW Central Railway Company, living at Newport ……

25 Jan 1890 – The high winds of Friday blew down the engine shed at Freshwater Station, a structure of wood and corrugated iron about 40ft long and 20ft wide.

11 Apr 1891 – West Cowes – We hear that Messrs BALL & Sons, have obtained the contract for building a new railway station here and that work will commence at once.

19 Mar 1892 – Railway accident at Alverston, George John MOORE guard in charge of the train, Henry BUCKETT railway labourer ……

20 Jan 1894 – During shunting operations at St Johns Road, Ryde Station, one of the employed named WHEWAY, was injured by a truck passing over him.  Fortunately no bones were broken, he was taken to the Infirmary.

27 Jan 1894 – Death on 13th at Cowes, of Mr Alexander HINDMARSH, at the age of 76, removed from our midst one who was associated with Island railways in their earliest days.  He was the driver, we believe, of the first train which ran on the first railway constructed in the IOW – Cowes to Newport – and he occupied that position for some years, no face more familiar on the line than that of Alexander HINDMARSH.  He was promoted to a responsible position in the Company’s works and filled it with characteristic conscientiousness, in every way he was a most worthy man and enjoyed the esteem of all who came in contact with him.

22 Aug 1894 – Passengers by the last train from Freshwater on Sunday evening has an unpleasant and rather alarming experience. All went well till nearing Carisbrooke station shortly after 8 oclock when instead of keeping to the main track the train went off on to the siding, crashing into five chalk-laden trucks standing there. The report of the collision was heard a good distance around and a number of people were quickly attracted to the scene of the accident. Fortunately the train, which had slowed down to stop at the station, kept the metals and was not damaged, but the force of the impact naturally had the effect of severely shaking the passengers, among whom quite a panic prevailed for a time. Several passengers were rather severely bruised and knocked about. Mr Frank CHARLOW, outside porter at Shanklin station, sustained a rather painful injury in the region of the chest. He was leaning on his walking-stick (a stout cane) at the time of the collision, and he was thrown forward with such force that the stick was split up the middle and the end pressed heavily against his chest, though not breaking the skin. Mr Charles BROWN a member of the West Cowes Local Board, was seen with a large swelling over his eye, consequent on being thrown across the carriage, and other cases of similar injury were reported. The passengers alighted as best they could and made for the platform and waiting-room, a short distance ahead, and after some time the train backed out of the siding. It was then discovered that two of the trucks had been completely smashed up. A quantity of chalk had found its way through the front lights of the engine, but, miraculously enough, the driver and stoker escaped serious injury. After about half an hour’s waiting, another train, sent for from Newport, was seen approaching, but was signalled back, as the train which had been in collision was now alongside the platform and shortly afterwards resumed the journey to Newport with the passengers. Mr E.W.HARLEY was temporarily acting as station-master at Carisbrooke on Sunday, in the absence through illness of the regular station-master (Mr PRIESTLEY), and he stated that he was positive the points were all right when he left the signal-box, shortly before the accident, to book passengers. He alleged that some one must have tampered with the points in his absence from the box. (IW County Press)

19 Jan 1895 – Cow on the line … As the train due at Sandown from Ventnor at 9.38 was entering Sandown station, a cow belonging to Mr T .COX of Nunwell House Sandown, was noticed standing just off the metals, but not far enough away for the train to pass it safely. The driver brought his engine to a standstill and the animal passed safely on to the path to the waterworks.

4 May 1895 – Calbourne .. A railway accident on Thursday afternoon, while a goods train was shunting at the station here, a truck by some means got off the line, the regular train service being much delayed in consequence. (IW County Press)

7 March 1896 – An inquest was held on Monday at the house of Mr Robert HOOKEY, Bartlett’s Green, near Ryde on the body of Oliver Frank PHILLIPS who was found on the I.W. Railway on the previous morning ……. verdict Suicide.

17 June 1899 – The St Helens District Council would look with disfavour on the projected light railway being carried further than Ryde road, Seaview, considering the dangerous corners and steep gradient in crossing High street at right angles on a steep hill.  see also 21/28 June large article about this subject

17 Oct 1903 – PC TAFT, the Ryde Pier constable, who had done good service for some years as a collector for the Joint Railway Companies’ staff outing, has been presented by those he has benefited with a handsome acknowledgement of his services, in the shape of a pair of carvers in an oak case, the presentation being made, with a few kindly words, by Mr. FROUD, the stationmaster, and duly acknowledged.  (IW Observer)

22 July 1905 – Mr WHEWAY the veteran traffic inspector on the I.W. Railway, met with a serious accident on Thursday, resulting in his left leg being amputated below the knee ……

7 June 1907 – Railway tickets 500 miles … The daily issue of these popular weekly season tickets are now in operation. These tickets entitle the holders to travel 500 miles for 10s.6d.

9 July 1910 – A serious accident occurred to a fitter named George HERBERT, living at 54 Gladstone road, Wimbledon and employed by the London & South Western Railway.  HERBERT had been sent to Ryde to perform some work in the tunnel between Ryde esplanade and St Johns Rd ….. a light engine coming through the tunnel from the esplanade and he was knocked down, his companion, draughtsman, Sidney TAYLOR, also from Wimbledon, had a narrow escape.  HERBERT was conveyed to the County Hospital ……

5 Apr 1911 – A meeting at Cowes of the St Marys Guild  and the C of E Mens Society, had an interesting debate on the question “Would the nationalisation of the railways be for the good of the nation? ” ……

Jan 1912 – A railway worker named WALES , had a 20ft fall from a signal at Blackwater ……

5 July 1918 – Owing to the depletion of staff by the constant calling up for the Army, Mr. A. WHEWAY has been released from the duties of stationmaster at Wroxall and has been appointed to the booking office at Sandown.  His place at Wroxall has been taken by a Newport lady. Mr. P. JENKIN, stationmaster at Ventnor, will superintend the work here and at Wroxall.  This is a war measure necessitated by prevailing conditions.  (Mercury)

6 Sept 1918 – Mr. Tom CHIVERTON, who has been invalided from the Army, has been appointed to the charge of Wroxall Railway Station.  He was severely wounded during the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsular. (Mercury)

Sept 1919 – Mr A.WHEWAY has been appointed Station Master of Sandown in succession to Mr PIERCE, recently deceased.  …… he is the son of Mr William WHEWAY, veteran Station Master of Brading ……

Oct 1919 – Some of the men at Ventnor Station returned to work on Saturday last, before the strike officially concluded.  The restricted service was run on Monday, with better connection with mainland trains.  On Tuesday the full service was returned. …… A remark by one railwayman who was on strike was, “who says the railway company can’t afford to pay us more?  They could easily do it by paying less for the right to run through certain lands”.  He struck a good point.

28 Feb 1920 – PRESENTATION, A presentation was made on behalf of the staff of the Joint Railway Co. on Thursday to Railway Constable Richard PILE who has been engaged for many years at the Esplanade station. The gift consisted of a malacca walking stick suitably inscribed and a fountain pen which were handed to Mr. PILE by the stationmaster, Mr. J. FRENCH, and suitably acknowledged. Mr. PILE is leaving for Portsmouth. (Observer) 

25 Mar 1922 – H.F.WILLIAMS, who for upwards of half a century has been a familiar figure to travellers on the IW Central Railway.  For the last 18 years has been Station Master at Mill Hill, he entered the service when 21 and served 51 years and 8 months, has been a guard, travelling inspector, also station-master at Newport, Merston, Mill Hill and has served under five managers. …… (County Press) also 1 Apr 1922

14 May 1925 – One of the oldest and most respected officials at the Pier, Mr. Thomas SNUDDEN, has retired after a continuous service of 34 years, during which he has worked under four managers, the first being Mr. ROBERTS.  He served as a porter at the Pierhead for a few years, but for the last 30 years has been one of the collectors at the Pier entrance, and most attentive and courteous in the performance of his duties.  Mr. SNUDDEN is 62 years of age, and all will extend their best wishes to him in his voluntary retirement. (Times)

27 Apr 1929 – G.H.FRENCH (photo), Station Master at Ryde, completed 50 years service on Friday last ……

26 Oct 1929 – Two new paddle steamers, with a promenade deck from stem to stern, have been ordered by the Southern Railway Company ……

23 Nov 1929 – Death of George HENLEY, a former well known Railway Official, at Medina Avenue, Newport, age 73.  Mr  HENLEY worked at Sandown.

25 Jan 1930 – Three Railway men who have worked 150 years between them for the railway, were each presented with a gold medal, driver H.J.REES, station master G.H.FRENCH, guard J.H.COBBETT.  (photo)

11 Apr 1931 – Mr & Mrs F. NEWLAND (photo) completed 52 years on the railway in 1927, 36 of which at Ventnor Station, his twin brother was Station Master at Merston Station for many years ……

11 Apr 1931 – Photo of Malcolm BUCKETT, Station Master at Ryde.

31 Mar 1932 – The oldest railway engine in active service in Great Britain is to be withdrawn from use and sold as scrap in about six weeks time. This is the “Ryde” built 68 years ago, which has latterly been in use on the Brading and St. Helens line, and also carried out much shunting. It was the first engine to travel on the Ryde to Sandown line after its construction…… (Times)

13 Apr 1940 – A rather alarming collision occurred at Ryde St. John’s-road Station on Sunday night between a stationary train and a light passenger train coming from the Pier-head. The stationary train was beside the southernmost platform, which is not much used during the winter. It appears that the other train was diverted from the main track on to this line. Driver Fred CASS and Fireman J. WILKS were in the locomotive cabin, and the guard was Tom RAYNER. All three men suffered from shock…… (C/Press)

28 Mar 1959 – Station Master of Wroxall, Sandown and Newport Stations, Mr A WHEWAY and his wife, celebrated their Golden Wedding (photo), also he having been a railway man for 50 years.

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