Birmingham Daily Post
FRIDAY, 1st., OCTOBER, 1858
THE RAILWAY CATASTROPHE NEAR DUDLEY
The enquiry, before T. M. Phillips, Esq., coroner, into the circumstances attendant upon the late unfortunate accident on the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway resumed yesterday, at the Bell Hotel, Brierley Hill. William Fenton, Esq. chairman of the Company, and J. S. Pakington, Esq., on of the directors, were present. Mr. W. G. Craig, locomotive engineer of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway; Mr. Markham, locomotive engineer of the Midland Railway; Mr. Blackmore, superintendent of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway; Mr. Sherriff, the general manager, Mr. Adcock, the secretary, and Mr. Wilson, the engineer of the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway, were also in attendance. James Burchell, Esq., solicitor, London, and Charles Pidcock, Esq., solicitor, Worcester, were likewise present. Mr. King, of the firm of Collis, Bernard, and King, of Stourbridge, attended as the legal adviser of the Company; Mr. J. E. Underhill, Wolverhampton, for Cook; Mr. Nelson, of the firm of Southall and Nelson, Birmingham, on behalf of the Skeldings family; Mr. Burbury, for the friends of Marshall and Mills; and Mr. Homer, on behalf of Mr. Harley, of Dudley. The Rev. E. C. Perry, of Copperfield, and Mr. Chellingworth, civil engineer, of West Bromwich, were also present.
Thomas Brett was the first witness examined. He said: I am a blacksmith, and live near Daisy Bank Station. I went by the excursion train from Daisy Bank to Worcester on the 23rd of August last. I rode in one of the carriages, not in the van. As we were going two stoppages occurred in consequence of chains breaking. One was at Brettell Lane, but I do not know where the second was. I do not know who were the guards of the train. We arrived at Worcester at a little after twelve, and we left in the evening about six o’clock. I returned in the first train, and rode in the van with Cook, the guard. I tried to get into several of the carriages, but they were full, and Cook told me I had better get into the van. There were two boatmen in the van besides myself and Cook; one named Marshall, and the other Williams. A little boy and a porter also rode in the van part of the way. Cook had the care of the break. I had some rum and water—a quartern of rum, and some water in a pint bottle. Cook had some of it. There was no light in the van between Worcester and Brettell Lane. It was sufficiently light to see what was going on. There was a light between Brettell Lane and Round Oak. I did not perceive any shock before the accident happened. I have not been tampered with by anyone, nor have I been asked any questions at all by any person in reference to this occurren