Page images
PDF
EPUB

number last year. But this will by their ruffianism. On the private not be thought extraordinary when waters of the Crystal Palace and it is known how greatly higher residential grounds the amusement was the price of provisions than was pursued with animation and last year, wheat being 21. 158. ld. security. Nor did Royalty itself, per quarter, or 24 per cent. higher; personified by the Prince Consort and potatoes 71. 78. 6d. against and his sons, neglect the invigo61. 10s. The number of persons rating pastime. Numerous accireceiving relief increased from dents occurred to the unwary as 835,787 to 889,942.

they traversed the frozen ground. The

newspapers from all parts Many persons received serious inof the country are full of accounts juries from slipping on

« slides" or of the consequences of the cold unobserved dangers. In most weather. The Thames, the Med- parts of the country, aged, feeble, way, and the Trent were rendered or drunken persons perished ; almost unnavigable by the masses shepherds and tramps on the of ice or frozen snow which, be- mountain-tops or on the moors and coming detached from the banks wolds. and stiller waters, floated up and The sufferings of the poor in down with the tide. The canals all parts were extreme, particularly were fast frozen ; the roads choked among among those whose daily with hardened snow, through which existence depends upon open-air lanes were cut for the passage of labour. In the eastern parts of carriages, with “sidings" to pre- London, in particular, the destituvent blocking. The lower lands, tion was terrible. The dockwhich had been flooded by the labourers and wharfmen choked streams, were frozen over thrown for weeks out of employinto fields of ice. The thickness ment by the stoppage of traffic on of the ice permitted the free exer the river.

Many thousands of cise of the usual sports without these are known to rise every mornthe danger of immersion and ing, in the most prosperous times, drowning, their frequent accompa- not knowing whether they shall niments. On the waters in the earn food for the day; they now London parks the sport went on rose with the frightful certainty incessantly, with many new de- that the food for the day they vices. Railway express trains," could not earn. The benevolence hot dinners, sleighing, varied the of individuals and of societies was routine of ice-quadrilles, spread- exerted to the very utmost; large eagles, and figures of 8, by day; sums were subscribed, exceeding while by night torch-light proces- the power of judicious distribusions, or wild dances, fireworks, tion. The voluntary machinery of and illuminations, gave a pic- the police-courts was overtaxed in turesque aspect to the scenery. the attempt to distribute with For some period these sports some degree of discrimination the afforded a delightful recreation to funds committed to their care. innumerable spectators: but, by Great abuses, beyond doubt, were degrees, the "roughs" obtained a inevitable in our vast and tumul. detestable supremacy, and all per- tuous metropolis; many who were sons who valued their respecta- undeserving obtained and abused bility and safety were driven away the gifts of charity-many of the

were

deserving perished unknown; but property occurred. The Spanish upon the whole the terrible crisis ship Dulce Nombre de Jesus, from was well got over. In the country Havanna for Bristol, laden with the organization of the poor-law sugar, went upon the rocks east of and the voluntary efforts of the Morte Point, and became a total judicious met the calamity more wreck, the captain and three of effectually and wisely by house-to- the crew unhappily perishing. A house visitation.

French vessel is reported to have 1. STORM AND SHIPWRECKS. been wrecked near Morte Bay in On the night between the 31st the course of the night, and several December and 1st January a fierce of the crew were drowned. gale blew around our coasts, by Several fatal shipwrecks took which many vessels were wrecked. place on the north-east coast. A

The Goodwin Sands were the collier brig was driven on the scene of two sad shipwrecks on Whitby Sands and became a total New Year's-day. During the night wreck, the whole of the crew pethe people of Walmer and Deal rishing except a boy. A quantity were alarmed by the firing of guns of wreck seen off this section of in that direction. At daybreak it the coast. On the Ross Sands, was discovered that a large ship the Timbuctoo, of Scarborough, was had gone to pieces upon the sands, totally lost, with the whole

of the and in the afternoon it was known crew. Nothing has been heard of that the ill-fated vessel was the them. A Hanoverian schooner French bark Dugay Trouin, from was also driven ashore, in the Bordeaux, bound to Antwerp, with same neighbourhood, and all hands a cargo of wheat. The crew suc- perished. On the Whitby Sands, ceeded, after much difficulty, in es at the mouth of the Tyne, a brig caping in their boat, when they was grounded; but by the daring made for the North Sand Head exertions of the Cullercoats lifelightship. About 11 o'clock at night boat the whole of the crew, except the booming of guns was heard and a boy, were saved. rockets were seen from near the NUMEROUS RAILWAY ACCIsame spot. It was a dreadful

DENTS.-A great number of railnight, and boats were unable to get way accidents, many of them atoff. In the course of the morning it tended with great destruction of was ascertained that a fine Dutch life and property, occurred during ship, the Guttenberg, for Hamburg the month of January. Although from New York, had been totally these were all occasioned by direct wrecked on the south part of the and specific causes, there can be no sands. The mate and five of the doubt that the intensity of the crew escaped to Dover, but the cold was, in most cases, an indimaster and the remainder of the rect and predisposing cause. The crew perished.

metal both of the “ rolling stock The French coast suffered se and of the rails was rendered exverely, and the passenger steam- tremely brittle. In the case of packets were in great danger. the wheels and other parts exposed Several persons were injured on to shock, the relative position and board of them by the seas. power were affected by contrac

In the neighbourhood of Ilfra- tion; and in respect of the rails, combe a serious loss of life and the bars were contracted to such a

[ocr errors]

degree that ill-fitted rails were were but few passengers in the sometimes found to be sundered as train, and only three in the demuch as four inches. Besides, stroyed carriage. One of these, a therefore, the tendency to fracture, warrant-officer of the Royal Navy, either in the rails themselves or named Patterson, was so frightthe points, by the impact of the fully crushed and mutilated that engines and carriages, these gaps he died a few hours after he gave a jumping tendency to the had been removed to the Railway locomotive carriages, which was Hotel at Sittingbourne. Yet, sinlikely either to throw them off gular to say, the other two pasthe rails, or to cause fractures in sengers (both females) who were their machinery Add to these in the same carriage were very obvious occasions of disaster, the little injured. One of the comrotten condition of the embank- partments of the first-class carriage ments by frost and flood, land- was crushed, yet a gentleman slips, and the half-stupefied condi- therein escaped without serious tion of engine-drivers and assist- injury. The guard and some other ants, rushing at tremendous speed passengers were bruised and hurt, through an atmosphere but few de- but suffered no material injuries. grees above zero, and the frequency On the very next day, on the of these disasters at this season same line, and near the same will occasion but little surprise. spot, another and more serious

4. ACCIDENTS ON THE LONDON, accident occurred. The train, CHATHAM, AND DOVER Railway. which was composed of six pas-A fatal accident occurred on the senger carriages, two break-vans, London, Chatham, and Dover the engine, and tender, left the Railway, near Sittingbourne, to Victoria station at 7.45 P.M. Forthe express train which left the tunately there were but two pasVictoria station at 9.55 A.M. The sengers in the whole train. The train was composed of a guard's train performed the journey at a break-van, two third, two first, and moderate speed, and the enginetwo second-class carriages, another driver was letting off the steam guard's van being the last. Several in order to run into the Teynham delays had occurred, owing to which station, when suddenly the engine it arrived at the Rainham station gave a bound and jumped aside nearly half an hour behind its off the rails dragging with it the time. When within a mile of the tender and all the carriages except Sittingbourne station the tire of the last. The engine, which was one of the wheels of the guard's a large and powerful one, was van, next the engine, flew off

. In turned completely over, and lay consequence, the van immediately upon its side in an adjoining field, went off the rails, and ran over the front wheels were torn off, and the ballast for nearly 200 yards; the whole machinery was torn and it then threw off the rails a third- twisted in a very extraordinary class carriage, which, after running manner. The tender was thrown about 350 yards, was thrown over on some distance: one of the carto its side, and thus dragged along riages was forced on to the other until it was broken to fragments. A side of the line; a first-class carfirst-class carriage was also thrown riage was dragged into a ditch by over and broken. Fortunately there the side of the line; another was

forced across the line; others were and Hereford there is the Dincrushed together in dire ruin. more tunnel, three-quarters of a Of the passengers, a clergyman, mile long. The run from Dinmore travelling in a second-class car to Moreton is generally accomriage, was much hurt by cuts and plished at full speed. Between bruises about the head and body; these two points also the Lugg the other, a third-class passenger, (which from the late thaw had was not materially hurt

. The covered the land on either side engine-driver was found crushed for miles with several feet of water, under a piece of timber, and died until the whole country seemed the following day; the fireman of one vast frozen lake) has to be the engine, and another who was crossed twice. Shortly after crosstravelling on the engine to his ing the first bridge, which is from home, were both taken up dead; 20 to 30 feet above the river, the the guard was not hurt.

passengers in the carriage next to The cause of this disaster was the tender noticed a peculiar senascertained to be the breaking of sation, and observed something fly one of the "horn-plates” of the off. At this time Miss Lowe, a engine. These are pieces of cast. lady of fortune, of Chester, and a iron which protect the fore-wheels young country girl, Mary Jones, and keep them in their places. were sitting nearly together, the The hindermost of these horn former reading a book, and oppoplates on the left-hand frame of site to them a sergeant of marines, the engine having broken, the named Wilcox, with a recruit. wheel would come under the body Suddenly a shock was felt, and the of the engine. No cause for the whole of the carriages were thrown fracture could be discovered ; but off the rails down the embankthe plate proved to be of bad mate ment; the engine and tender rerial and was probably rendered ex- maining on the line.

The cartremely brittle by the intense frost. riages were overturned and were

4. ACCIDENT ON THE SHREWS immersed in the water, here beBURY AND HEREFORD RAILWAY. tween 5 and 6 feet deep, with An accident, attended by the loss of their wheels in the air. Owing to two lives, under singular circum- the intense cold of the weather, stances, happened to the express all the windows but one train which left Shrewsbury for closed, and hence the passengers Hereford at 12.40 P.M. The train, were huddled together in closelywhich consisted of four carriages, confined prisons, which immedicarried an unusual number of pas- ately became filled with water. sengers for this period of the year. In the course of the terrible panic The line, traversing a country that that ensued, the strongest and is frequently inundated by the most active got uppermost, and river Lugg, runs along an embank- the weak and more terror-stricken ment nearly the whole of the dis- to the bottom. The intense antance from Leominster to Hereford guish of the moment no pen can (12 miles); and to facilitate the describe. The engine driver and drainage of the land, a deep dyke, stoker immediately alighted from generally filled with water, runs the tender, released the guard and along either side of the line. some others, and by their joint About midway between Leominster exertions, the doors and windows

were

of the carriages were broken open, run into the Euston station, when and most of the passengers, many it was suddenly discovered that of whom were women and children, some of the carriages were misswere released. Wilcox and his ing, but where they had broken off companion, who were very powerful could not be ascertained. An men, exerted themselves bravely, engine was started with all the and drew several from the water. available assistance to search for But the ice, and the intense cold, the missing carriages. They had benumbed the exertions of the not, however, to proceed far, for rescuers, and the condition of Miss about 40 yards on the London side Lowe and Mary Jones seems to of the Primrose-hill tunnel, the have escaped notice for some time. carriages which had become disWhen they were at length drawn connected were found smashed to from the water they were insen- pieces, and it was soon ascertained sible. The only place of succour that a very serious accident had in the dreary waste of water happened. Lights were procured, around was a peasant's cottage, and it was found that the last two to which the shivering passen- carriages and the break-van had gers were conveyed, and where broken away. The former had they received every attention the been thrown over on to the line, means of the poor occupants could and broken into fragments, while provide. But Miss Lowe did not the break, although it had left the again move, and was probably dead rails, remained on the permanent when removed from the water. way, and was uninjured. Moans Mary Jones was observed to move and shrieks issued from the wreck, and breathe once, and then fell and the efforts of the men were over dead. These unfortunates directed to rescue the passengers. perished rather of the cold than This was a work of great trouble, from drowning. The cause of the for the vehicles had turned comaccident was readily ascertained- pletely over, and the portions of the tire of the right leading wheel the broken carriages had to be reof the foremost carriage had burst moved before the people could be into four pieces. This was appa- extricated. When this was at rently due to the effects of the length accomplished, it was found frost, for the tire was of excellent that a first-class passenger, Mr. manufacture, and had been recently Kelly, of Liverpool, had been tested.

crushed to death ; Mr. Appleby, of 4. ACCIDENT ON THE LONDON Sevenoaks, greatly injured ; and AND NORTH-WESTERN RAILWAY.- that other passengers had received A fatal and somewhat singular ac- hurts of less consequence. The cident occurred on this line at a cause of the disaster seems to have late hour on Friday night. The been that the carriages had sprung Liverpool express train, which off the line at a point where the leaves that place at 5.15 P.M. is rails had been relaid too closely; due at the Euston terminus at that the “ draw-bar" had been 10.50 P.M. The train pulled up broken by the shock, and the folat the ticket platform at Camden lowing carriages had thus become Town, and the collectors had, as detached. they thought, completed their 5. BOILER EXPLOSIONS.-A fatal duties, and the train was about to boiler explosion took place on the

« PreviousContinue »