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

1884: A Long Service – James Hardman

There will in future be missed a familiar face from Oxenholme Station. Old James Hardman, who came with the first railway train which steamed up to the Oxenholme platform and has ever since served the Company as porter there, has been dismissed for old age. Hardman is hale and hearty at sixty-seven, and was as good as ever at his post as ticket collector at the station gates. Before going to Oxenholme he was porter on the Preston and Lancaster line about four years, and he has been thirty-eight years at Oxenholme, and never lost a day. Such a long and faithful service surely has earned a pension, and the travelling public, to whom Hardman was so well known, would be glad to learn that the Company has made some little provision for their servant in his old age.

Lancaster Gazette, 2 January 1884

1880: Fatal Accident at Oxenholme Railway Station

An accident of a very distressing nature occurred on Saturday last at Oxenholme Railway Station, to a man named Stewardson Martin, who was employed at the works now going on there, and who sustained such injuries that he died the same night, after being conveyed to the Kendal Memorial Hospital. On Monday an inquest was held at that institution, before C. G. Thomson, Esq., coroner, and the following evidence was given:-

Mary Martin, of Yard 94, Kirkland, widow, deposed: The deceased, Stewardson Martin, was my husband. He was 50 years of age. He was a waller by trade, and in the employment of the contractor for the additions to Oxenholme Station.

Joseph McKenna, of 118, Silk Street, Manchester, joiners’ labourer, deposed: I am working at Oxenholme Station. At a few minutes past 12 o’clock at noon on Saturday last, I was standing at the south end of the platform at Oxenholme Station, near the Booking Office. I saw the deceased, he had just received his wages at the office of the contractor at the south end of the station, and proceeded to cross the line. He walked into the six-foot, and appeared to be counting his money. When in the six-foot he suddenly stopped and appeared to be going to turn around to go back the same way. Just at that moment a train came up, and as he turned round he saw it and endeavoured to proceed to get across and out of the way. Just as he was getting on to the parapet wall on the west side, the engine caught him and knocked him down between the parapet and the rails, and he lay there until the train had passed. I went to his assistance, and deceased was immediately removed to this hospital. The train from the South was slackening speed as it came up to the deceased. It stopped within forty yards of the place. I was too far away I could not hear any whistle. I did not see the train coming from the south until it was close upon the deceased. The subway is not yet completed. If deceased had been looking south he could have seen the train at a distance of 500 yards.

John Thomson, M.B., of Kendal, deposed: I attended deceased from the time of his being brought to the Hospital on Saturday, until his death. When he was brought to the Hospital on Saturday, until his death. When he was brought to the Hospital he was suffering from a broken arm, internal injuries, and one of his legs was all but severed from his body. Dr. Leeming amputated the leg in my presence, and, although he was very ill during the operation, he rallied well, and lived about eight hours after the operation. I saw deceased at eight o’clock on Saturday night last. I attributed deceased’s death to shock and internal injuries. I asked deceased how the accident happened, but he did not seem inclined to talk, and said he did not know anything about it until he found himself here. When I saw deceased on Saturday night, I was of opinion deceased might die of collapse at any time.

James Wilson, of South Street, Carlisle, engine driver, deposed: I was driving a passenger train from Preston to Carlisle, on Saturday last. We were timed to reach Oxenholme at 11.59, but we did not arrive until 12.9. Before coming to Oxenholme I shut off steam below the distance signal, and on coming to the Station I should be driving at the rate of between four and five miles an hour. I did not see deceased upon the line, but just as we were stopping I saw a hat and heard a crack in front of the engine. I took up the hat and gave it to one of the porters, and gave information. So far as I could see the line was perfectly clear. I blew my whistle just before the iron bridge which crosses the line, a distance of about 60 or 70 yards from where the accident happened.

Thomas Mitchell, of Carlisle, extra fireman, deposed: I was on the engine with the last witness on Saturday last. Just before entering Oxenholme Station, on looking out I saw the line was clear. I saw a man standing in the six-foot, and when we were about an engine length from him he made a rush across the rails on which we were travelling. The engine buffer plank struck him and knocked him down.

Helena Dickie, Matron of the Hospital, deposed: The deceased was admitted into Hospital about half-past 12 o’clock on Saturday afternoon last. Deceased died about 20 minutes to 10 o’clock in the evening.

Verdict: “Died from injuries received by being accidentally run over by a passenger train at Oxenholme Railway Station.”

Kendal Mercury Friday 17 September 1880


Note: Stewardson Martin was around 4 years younger than his widow stated.  They had six children ranging in age from 1 up to 16 years. 

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: A Gatekeeper killed at the Oxenholme Level Crossing

On Saturday last an inquest was held at the railway-station, Oxenholme, by C. G. Thomson, Esq., on the body of James Armer, gatekeeper at the level crossing at Oxenholme, who had been struck down and killed that morning by a luggage train, as detailed in the following evidence: –

Matthew Armer, of Old Hutton, labourer, deposed. – The deceased James Armer was my son. He was 21 years of age. He was not married. He was the gatekeeper at Oxenholme Station on the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway. He had been in the employment of the London and North-Western Railway Company for several years, but had only acted as gatekeeper at Oxenholme for about five weeks. Deceased had been on day duty for the last fortnight. His hours were from six o’clock in the morning until six o’clock in the evening. He took all his meals with him to work.

Robert Armstrong of Carlisle, deposed: – I am an engine driver in the employment of the London and North Western Railway Company, and have been in the service of the company for nearly 23 years. I was this morning driving a luggage train which leaves Carlisle at 3.30 a.m. It is due at Oxenholme at 6.18 a.m., but is it not marked to stop at Oxenholme. We were rather more than an hour late this morning, and approached Oxenholme about 7.30 a.m. We ran through Oxenholme Station at about a speed of fifteen or twenty miles an hour; certainly under twenty miles. Just before the engine reached the cabin on the south side of the gates, on the east side of the line, I saw the deceased come from the direction of the cabin and went right in front of my engine. It was not quite light at the time. I whistled, but could see nothing of the deceased. I looked at the other side and saw his cap fly off, and I was sure the engine had struck him then. I stopped the train and came back, and found deceased had been removed to the porters’ room. He was not dead, but insensible. There was a train on the down line running north as we passed the level crossing. My engine would be about ten or fifteen yards from the deceased when I first saw him, and I think that if he had gone direct across the line he would have cleared it. I saw no one near deceased. The signals were all right for our passing through the station. I afterwards examined the engine and found marks on the ash box as if it had come into contact with deceased.

James Robinson, of Upperby, near Carlisle, deposed: – I acted as fireman on the engine driven by the last witness this morning. We passed through Oxenholme Station at a speed of about twenty miles an hour. The driver whistled just before we reached the level crossing, and I saw deceased’s cap flying off as we passed the gates.

Henry Nelson, of Oxenholme, deposed: – I am a foreman platelayer in the employment of the London and North-Western Railway Company. About half-past seven o’clock this morning I was in deceased’s cabin, with himself and John Park, the pointsman and signalman at the south end of the station. We were all talking. We had not been more than two or three minutes in the box when the north end signalman gave four gongs, which is the signal that a goods train is approaching from the north. Park returned the signal with one gong, which means all right – that the road is clear. Deceased asked me to open his gates, and I said “well, when I have more time,” and he then took down the gate keys and went and opened the goods yard gate on the east side of the line, and I afterwards heard him run down past the cabin, but I did not see him. The next thing I heard was the goods train passing and whistling for breaks. After the train had passed we found deceased lying in the four foot about twenty-three yards below the gates. He was lying with his face downwards. We lifted deceased into the six foot, and then went for assistance and removed him into the porters’ room, where he remained and died in about twenty minutes. Deceased was very much injured uponhis head, and one foot was smashed. He was never sensible after we found him.

Verdict – “Accidentally killed.”

Westmorland Gazette, 16 December 1871

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