1889: Application to take over road

WESTMORLAND COUNTY COUNCIL

The quarterly meeting of this body was held on Wednesday, at the Town Hall, Kendal. The Chairman, Mr. James Cropper, presided, and there was a large attendance of members.

– An application was made by the promoters and subscribers of a road adjoining Oxenholme Junction with Helmside cottages to take over the road as a main road. A generally favourable view was expressed as to the convenience of the new road, but as the preliminary steps had not been taken the matter was allowed to stand over. – The main roads committee stated that an arrangement had been come to with the Kendal Corporation that the latter should be paid at the rate of £120 per mile for the maintenance of about two miles of road in the borough. –Mr. W. H. Wakefield opposed the confirmation of this on the ground that it was excessive, pointing out that the contribution should be in proportion to the wear and tear caused by traffic to the railway station from outsiders. –The Mayor of Kendal (Ald. Baron) contended that Kendal was receiving too little instead of too much, referred to the committee as being the most penurious in the matter. Kendal last year contributed £3,141 to the rates of the county, and did not get back half. They only wanted what was fair, and would be satisfied with no less. –The minutes of the committee were confirmed, there being only two dissentients (Mr. W. H. Wakefield and Mr. W. Wakefield).

Lancaster Gazette, 28 September 1889

1887: Struggle on an engine

A serious affair has just occurred between an engine-driver and fireman on one of the passenger trains running on the loop line between Oxenholme and Windermere. A dispute took place with regard to the work, and the driver, pouncing upon the fireman, gripped him savagely by the throat and knocked him down. The driver then produced a pocket knife, but owing to the greater strength of the fireman, his purpose was averted. On reaching the first station, Staveley, the fireman acquainted the station-master and guard of what had taken place, and at Oxenholme he left the engine and proceeded to a doctor to have his injuries attended to. The fireman’s neck was much injured, the wind-pipe being affected. An inquiry was held by the officials of the London and North-Western Railway Company at Oxenholme, with the result that the driver was dismissed the services of the company.

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 20 August 1887

1880: A Terrible Tragedy!

A case which came before the Mayor and other magistrates, on Monday last was the means of putting to an end one of the most absurd rumours that could have been set afloat, with or without an ultimate intention in the excitement of electioneering.

On the evening of last Saturday week, a feeling of indignation was generally expressed when it became bruited about that Dr. Iliffe, in driving by the gate of Oxenholme Park, had been struck with a large stone, and seriously injured.

It was soon afterwards stated that a dastardly outrage had been intended upon the person of Mr. C. W. Wilson, a prominent supporter of the Conservative Party, and for whom Dr. Iliffe in the gathering darkness had been mistaken. The big stone, it was said struck him on the shoulder, having evidently been aimed at his head, and that had the intention succeeded he most indubitably have been killed.

As Dr. Iliffe dropped the reins “it was the greatest wonder in the world” that the horse did not run away and kill both the doctor and his attendant, though this was not made clear; and it seems moreover that the horse behaved remarkably well, as it stood quite still while the doctor got out of the trap, and found the would-be assassin (so it was said) behind a tree, when he (the miscreant) ejaculated, “By – it isn’t Kit Wilson, after all!” This explained the whole detestable plot! There were other harrowing details which our readers may fill in as their imagination prompts, and when complete they will be as near the actual facts as was the foolish rumour, which the more credulous so greedily swallowed.

The facts adduced in the magistrates’ court, where George Stubbs, was charged with assaulting Walter Iliffe, were as follows: – Dr. Iliffe (the plaintiff) was driving with his attendant near Birklands when he was struck with something – it might have been the stone produced which his attendant had picked up in the road. He got out and overtook a lad who told him it was the defendant who had thrown at him. Defendant pleaded guilty, but declared it was a sod he had thrown. He would not have done so, but a companion, William Graveson, hearing the vehicle approach said, “Whose carriage is this? – let us sod them.” They didn’t know at all who was coming.

A witness, Henry Graveson, said he was with his brother and defendant when the latter said. “Here’s a carriage coming. I’ll sod them.”

Dr. Iliffe said it might have been a sod that struck him. His arm was not bruised at all.

The magistrates decided to fine the defendant 10s. including costs, allowing a month for payment.

Previous to the notable trial there were many who held to the belief that “there was something in it which would come out,” which of course was correct.

Kendal Mercury, 16 April 1880

1878: Fatal accident to a mail driver

On the morning of Christmas Day, William Phillipson, engaged as driver of the mail cart from Windermere to Oxenholme, was about to return with his bags from Oxenholme railway station, when a quick goods train for Liverpool passed. The unfortunate man appears to have been struck by the train, his dead body being thrown  on to the platform, shockingly disfigured about the face and head. One of his shoes was torn off and thrown a few yards away, and the bags he was carrying were damaged.

Liverpool Mercury, 27 September 1878

1875: Painful accident at Oxenholme Station

An accident of a very painful and serious nature occurred at Oxenholme railway station on Tuesday morning, by which a head porter named Thompson Holmes sustained such injuries as to render his case one of a very critical nature. From what we can learn it appears that at about a quarter past two in the morning a goods train, proceeding northwards, stopped at the station, and, for the purpose of giving some instructions to the driver, Holmes got on to the engine. Immediately afterwards a train from the south, due at 2.17, entered the station, and Holmes jumped into a six-foot way for the purpose of crossing to the platform. By some means, however, the unfortunate man was caught by the moving train, and one of his arms was torn completely out from the socket, as, on assistance being procured, it was found to be hanging by a small portion of flesh and skin. As speedily as possible, the necessary steps were taken and Holmes was brought to Kendal, and at once taken to the hospital, where, on his injuries being examined, amputation of the injured limb was pronounced necessary. The pain from the injuries appeared for some time to be but little felt by the sufferer, the shock having produced a numbness of sensation, though he was perfectly conscious, and repeatedly much distress on account of the condition of his mother, with whom, being a single man, he had lived, and to whose support he had contributed. He is regarded as a faithful and useful servant of the Company, and has been much liked by all with whom his avocation has brought him into contact.

Lancaster Gazette, 6 March 1875

1871: Lightning

On Friday afternoon … a thunderstorm of great violence burst over Kendal and the district. It commenced about 2.30, and continued till six o’clock. It culminated about 4 in a terrific flash of lightning., accompanied by an almost instantaneous peal of deafening thunder. Another flash and thunder clap fully as violent followed at six o’clock, after which the storm gradually rolled away. At the Kendal railway station the electric fluid entered the room where the telegraph instrument was placed, passed into an adjoining room, and again through another door on to the platform. At Oxenholme Junction it struck the telegraph instrument, burst a gaspipe, and fired the gas, which in turn set fire to some woodwork and the wall paper. At Staveley, about four miles from Kendal, the lightning set fire to a barn, destroying a quantity of hay, and also the roof of the building.

Bedfordshire Mercury, 26 August 1871

1868: Frightful accident at Oxenholme

Between ten and eleven o’clock on Thursday morning, a fatal accident occurred just outside Oxenholme Railway Junction, Westmorland. A platelayer, named John Cross, was at work on the line, and near him was an overlooker, Joseph Beard. Suddenly an engine was observed running towards the men, and the driver was heard blowing his whistle with great vehemence. Beard called to the platelayer to get out of the way, and then he himself moved aside. The next moment he was horrified to see Cross pass over the line; at the same instant the locomotive dashed on to the unfortunate fellow, lifting him from his feet, and causing him to turn a complete somersault in the air. When picked up the body was fearfully mutilated; life was extinct. On the same night C. G. Thomson, Esq., Coroner held an inquest on the body, when the jury returned the verdict, “Accidentally killed by an engine on the Kendal and Windermere Railway about half-a-mile from Oxenholme Station.”

Kendal Mercury, 4 January 1868

1861: Natland

This township is an instance of special circumstances, producing a considerable proportionate change. The establishment of the Railway Station (Oxenholme) and its houses, with one or two other dwellings, adds 25 per cent. to the population of 1851.

Superintendent Registrar, Kendal

Kendal Mercury, 15 June 1861

1851: Coroner’s Inquests … Death by Drowning

On Saturday morning last the body of a young woman, named Eleanor Hayhurst, was found in the canal, close to the Highgate Settings Bridge.  An inquest was held the same day at Oxenholme, before R. Wilson, Esq., when the following circumstances were given in evidence:-

James Cleasby, of Oxenholme, in the township of Kendal, farmer, deposed – Eleanor Hayhurst, the deceased was my servant. She has served me since last Martinmas and was intending to leave my house at Whitsuntide. Some wearing apparel had been misplaced a short time ago, and I named it to the deceased last night about ten o’clock. The doors of my house were then bolted and made fast for the night, and we were about going to bed. We had no high words, and I told deceased that if she would take the things to their proper places nothing more should be said about them. He was then standing in the passage on her way to bed.  She made no reply to what I said, but stood still about five minutes. She then moved to the out-kitchen, extinguished the candle, placed it and the stick upon a table as she passed, and unbolted the doors and hastened out of the house. She did not add anything to her dress, nor did she speak to any one. I hastened after, and ran into the garden calling her by name, and I looked about for her but could not find her. I therefore returned and called my men-servants, and we searched all the outbuildings, but we could not find her there. It was then so dark we thought it useless to search the fields. We sat up to daylight, and the recommenced the search. Having searched various other places, we went to the canal, and, after searching there some time, I found a knife which one of my servants identified as her property. We then returned home and took drags with us. We very soon found the body of the deceased. She was in the canal, quite dead, and had apparently been drowned. We found the body under the Highgate Settings Bridge, in this township, and we removed it here. There are some very steep steps down to the canal bank from the road, and it was very dark when she left my house. If she had been intending to go on the canal banks to Kendal, these steps would be her direct road. The deceased was about twenty years of age.

James Parkinson, of Oxenholme, farm-servant, said- The deceased was a fellow-servant of mine. I assisted to search for her after she was missing yesterday night, and was there when her body was found. My master asked me to name to her that some clothes were missing, and I did so whilst we were milking yesterday. She denied that she had taken them, and desired me to go and search her boxes, which she said were open. She said she wished she was dead, and appeared very much distressed in mind.  She said such stories were enough to drive anyone mad. I believe I was the first to name the missing clothes to her and she at once desired her boxes to be searched.

Verdict – Found drowned.

Westmorland Gazette, Saturday 31 May 1851