1926: Exciting Fire Scenes

EXCITING FIRE SCENES – FARM GIRL’S BRAVE RESCUE OF DAZED MAN – A TIMELY DISCOVERY AT OXENHOLME

The prompt and plucky action of a 17-year-old servant, Margaret Bateson, led to the rescue of all the inmates of a burning isolated farmhouse on Fellside, at Oxenholme, four miles from Kendal, at midnight on Sunday. Unaided she rescued a 23-year-old labourer from an upstairs room.

The girl, who sleeps above the kitchen, was awakened by fumes. She went downstairs for a drink of water and found the kitchen on fire. Returning upstairs she roused the farmer’s son, Henry Rishton. By this time the stairway was impassable owing to smoke, and Rishton, telling the girl to rouse the others, leapt 18 feet from the bedroom window in his bare feet. He got out the car ready to drive to Kendal to summon the fire brigade.

Frank Rishton, aged 77, the farmer, was awakened by the motor horn, and went to the bedroom window and threw out his son’s trousers and slippers.  The old man then awoke his 70-year-old wife and wrapping her in a blanket let her down to the roof of an outbuilding against which the son, before his departure, placed a ladder.

In the meantime Margaret Bateson had awakened the two male farm servants, George Mason and Wilfred Smith. The latter went through the window to assist his employer, who had escaped in the same way as his wife. Together they did their best to fight the fire.

Margaret Bateson, on finding that Mason had not escaped, re-entered his bedroom and found that he had been overcome by the fumes. She dragged him from bed and across the landing into her room, beneath the window of which as another outbuilding. After a great effort she got Mason through the window and together they slid down the sloping roof, dropped six feet on to another roof, slipped down this, and jumped ten feet to the ground.

Frank Rishton, in an interview, said that had the alarm been given a few minutes later the household would have had no chance whatever of escaping. The fire engine was bogged in a muddy lane leading to the farm and had to be dragged out by a tractor. The brigade fought the fire until five o’clock in the morning. The loss includes old oak furniture, pewter and brass.

Miss Bateson told a “Lancashire Daily Post” correspondent that she was aroused about midnight by a tickling sensation in the throat. “Realising the house was on fire,” she said, “I threw something about me and roused Harry Rishton, son of the farmer, Frank Rishton. Then I went into the farm men’s room across the landing opposite mine. This was full of smoke, and George Mason was gasping and struggling for breath on his bed. The fumes here were suffocating. By the noise I knew the others were busy, so I shook Mason vigorously, and at last got him up. Assisting him across the landing into my room I helped him to climb on to a roof. Still holding his hand we slid down on to the second roof, where Mason had to lie gasping for breath before we could both jump to the ground.

Lancashire Evening Post 14 December 1926

 

1926: Fatal thorn scratch – Oxenholme engine driver’s death

Mr. G. E. Cartmel (Coroner for South Westmorland) held an inquest on the body of William Duckett (67) of 15, Helmside, Oxenholme, an engine driver employed by the L.M.S. Railway Company.

Duckett, it was stated, was a widower and lived with his daughter, Mary Jane Duckett. On Friday night, the 12th inst., he was walking home from Oxenholme railway station, having been on a visit with his daughter to Lancaster. It appears that a motor car came along, and Duckett stepped in to the side of the road behind his daughter, catching his face in a rose bush which was hanging over the  wall. At the time he entertained the fear that his eye had been injured, but when he arrived home it was found that only the flesh at the corner of his eye had been lacerated. Miss Duckett attended to the wound, and next morning at 4 45 her father went to work feeling better. He retired to bed that night about nine o’clock, but at 12 30 Miss Duckett was disturbed by her father’s laboured and heavy breathing. She gave him some milk and bathed his eye with hot fomentations, later calling in Dr. Edgcumbe from Kendal. The doctor attended him up to the time of his death, which occurred at 6 45 p.m. on the 20th inst.

At the inquest, which was held at the deceased’s home, the Coroner returned a verdict that death was due to heart failure following blood poisoning accidentally received from a scratch by a rose thorn.

Lancashire Evening Post, 26 November 1926

1925: Kendal man killed – Fatal accident on railway at Oxenholme

A railway fatality occurred at Oxenholme Junction, near Kendal, about 9.20 this morning, when Ernest Nevinson, porter-guard, employed on the London, Midland, and Scottish Railway, was in the shunting yard. He was knocked down and run over by a light engine returning to the sheds. His body was badly mutilated, and Nevinson was dead when admitted to the Westmorland County Hospital at Kendal. He was a married man, living at Stramongate, Kendal.

Lancashire Evening Post, 20 August 1925

1920: Colonel Killed – Motor-Accident on Kendal-Oxenholme Road

A distressing fatality occurred on Oxenholme-Kendal road last evening.

Mr. Arthur Wilson, of Raysholme, Oxenholme was motoring towards Kendal about eight o’clock when nearing Brookside he overtook Colonel John Thompson, who was walking towards Kendal. The night was extremely dark, and the colonel, who was apparently walking in the middle of the road was not noticed by Mr. Wilson until he was close upon him.

Mr. Wilson swerved the car to avoid the colonel, but the wing caught Colonel Thompson in the back. The colonel fell heavily on his head in the road. Mr. Wilson removed the colonel to the side of the road, and motored to Helm Chase to telephone for medical aid. Dr. Walker went out immediately, but death had taken place before his arrival.

Colonel Thompson, who was 73 years of age, was one of the tallest men in Westmorland. He was in charge of the Kendal composite company of Volunteers in the South African War, where he served with distinction, and also saw home service in the late war. He lived with his sister at The Lound, Kendal. He was a bachelor.

Lancashire Evening Post, Tuesday 16 November 1920

1920: Accident at Oxenholme – Trucks Derailed – Traffic Delayed

An accident to a goods train near Oxenholme station on Thursday evening dislocated the main line traffic on the London and North Western Co`s system for many hours. A goods train left Carlisle at 1.25 on Thursday afternoon bound for Bushbury near Crewe. When it arrived at Oxenholme about four o`clock it had to be shunted to make way for passenger traffic. When the 4.20 p.m. from Kendal for the south had departed from Oxenholme the goods train was signalled to come from the loop to the main up line , the goods engine was pulling about 42 wagons. The loop line does not finally join the main line until near Oxenholme No 1 signal box at Helmside. Signalman George Mattocks saw a portion of the train pass his box , when thirty-three of the wagons had passed he noticed one of them leaving the rails to be immediately followed by four others , he at once put the advance signal against the train and the driver pulled up. Two of the wagons turned over when under the bridge but fortunately they fell to the outside and traffic on the down line was not seriously impeded. The front portion of the train was sent to Milnthorpe and a gang of men at Oxenholme shed did what they could with jacks to get the trucks back on the rails. The weight of the trucks was too much so the breakdown gang with a steam crane was summoned from Tebay this arrived about seven o`clock , but was not sufficiently heavy for the task , consequently the Preston gang was telephoned for and arrived shortly before 9 o`clock with a fifty ton steam crane. Four of the trucks which were ordinary ten-tonners were easily accounted for, but a six wheel Caledonian truck which was loaded with heavy sheet steel for ship building created greater difficulty, the load having to be removed before the truck could be lifted , by 11.30 the four lighter trucks had been placed in the sidings. About mid-night when all the mail trains had passed through the men were able to work without interruption and the local platelayers were soon at work replacing the 100 yards of permanent way which had been torn up. The damage to the line was considerable but it was hoped the dislocation of traffic would cease today. Nobody was injured , trains were delayed considerably, some being more than an hour late. The cause of the accident is not known but is believed to be due to journal on a wagon breaking as it left the loop line points. Mr Raffles the Oxenholme stationmaster and the local staff worked with the help of Mr Knights the Carnforth stationmaster ( late of Oxenholme ). The officials in charge of the Preston Gang included Mr Dingley (Crewe) Inspector Hall (Lancaster) and Mr Chatwood (Preston).

Westmorland Gazette 16 October  1920

1920: Housing Tenders at Oxenholme

At a meeting of the South Westmorland Rural District Council on Saturday, Major Cropper presented a report as to the housing scheme at Oxenholme. Tenders had been received, he stated, and these were so far beyond their worst fears that there seemed no other course open to them but to present them to the Ministry of Health. A representative of the Ministry had been down, and had suggested various reductions, but they were still at least 30 per cent. Above anything the Ministry would pass. At the price quoted the economic rents of the houses if erected would be £100 without rates.

Lancashire Evening Post, Monday 26 July 1920

1910: Oxenholme Tragedy – Lytham man’s terrible death on the line

Verdict of “suicide whilst temporarily insane”

The inquest was held at Oxenholme Railway Station, last evening, on the body of Thomas Grimshaw (41), insurance agent, 4, Queen-street, Lytham.

Deceased’s wife stated that her husband had complained of pains in his head and stomach for some time. The insurance company had written her stating that there was nothing wrong with his books. They had been at Endmoor for a little time, and she supposed him to have left to go back to Lytham. He was found dead on the line near Oxenholme on Saturday.

Evidence as to the finding of the body was given, but as to the train that passed over him it was impossible to trace it. The body was quite out of the way of any pathway.

A letter was read by the Coroner, which deceased probably wrote just before his death with the fountain pen found on him. It read:-

Mother also grumbling. Cannot help it. Hope you will get a better husband next time. Been good pals. Hope to meet [soon]. God bless baby and Tom. Hope got home all right.

The Coroner said there was no doubt the poor fellow was in a fit of temporary insanity and threw himself on the line.

A verdict of “Suicide whilst temporarily insane” was returned by the jury.

Lancashire Evening Post, Tuesday 9 August 1910

1909: Oxenholme – Railway Mission

On Monday a successful gathering was held to celebrate the third anniversary of the opening of the Mission Hall. Numerous guests, after partaking of a substantial tea, were addressed by Mrs. Isaac Braithwaite. The chair was occupied by Mr. John Parker, who referred briefly to the work and progress of the Mission under its earnest leader, Mrs. Page. The latter in a few well-chosen and touching words, thanked the members and workers for their help and sympathy. The tables were presided over by Mrs. W. Phizackerley, Mrs. Ellison, Mrs. Chris. Dobson, Mrs. J. Parker, assisted by many willing helpers. The programme included music and recitations by Miss Wilkinson, Mr. W. Phizackerley, Master C. Ewen, Miss Black, Misses Robinson, Miss Fanny Jackson, and Mr. Parker. Miss Wilkinson presided at the organ.

Westmorland Gazette, 18 September 1909

1890: Porter killed at Oxenholme Junction

Another of those shocking accidents, which have during the past few years been numerous at Oxenholme Junction, occurred on Thursday evening. The unfortunate man was named William Langhorn, he was 25 years of age, and lived at Helmside, leaving a widow and three children to mourn his loss. The circumstances are very simple and are easily told. It appears that about 7-40 p.m., Langhorn was engaged in shunting operations at the north side of the station, near to the signal box, when he became caught between a horse box and a railway carriage. He was very much crushed, and expired almost immediately. Mr. Moffatt, station-master, and the foreman porter (Armitage) both witnessed the sad affair, which was quite an accident. The body was removed to one of the waiting-rooms to await an inquest.

Westmorland Gazette, 18 October 1890