A RAIL INTEREST GROUP is appealing for people to come forward if they have any information on Bromsgrove rail worker accidents which could support its research, writes Neil Gordon.
The Lickey Rail Group began researching the accidents after receiving a talk on the Railway Work, Life and Death project from Portsmouth University, with the group particularly keen to hear from family members of rail workers involved.
A total of 15 Bromsgrove accidents have so far been researched by the group including John ‘Jack’ Wilson, who suffered chest and shoulder injuries in 1911 during an accident involving two wagons.
Mr Wilson was born in 1889 to Alfred and Sarah and later married Elsie Warman in 1915. The couple had children John and Violet and lived in Barnfield Road, Bromsgrove, and Mr Wilson died in 1982 aged 93.
Another worker accident researched is that of Charles Biddle who suffered a bruised back after tripping over a rail on a brake van in 1925.
Mr Biddle was born in 1858 to Francis and Hester and later married Susan Porter in 1880. The couple had four daughters and settled in Stoke Road, Aston Fields. Mr Biddle died in 1949 aged 91.
A spokesperson for the group said: “We very much want to hear from anyone with information on John (Jack) Wilson or Charles Biddle, or any of the other workers detailed on our group’s website, so we can share our findings and hopefully also gain new information.”
Scaife and Rutherford deaths
In November the group commemorated the anniversary of the deaths of Bromsgrove rail workers Thomas Scaife and Joseph Rutherford who were killed in 1840 when the boiler exploded on their locomotive.
Lead of the Railway Work, Life and Death project, Mike Esbester, attended the event at St Johns Church and said: “It was a privilege marking the anniversary of Thomas Scaife and Joseph Rutherford’s accident at their amazing headstones. That goes to the heart of our project – discovering past railway employees, their work and their accidents.
“It’s excellent to see the Lickey Rail Group get off to a good start as they research Bromsgrove railway workers. We’re looking forward to working closely with them.”
For information on the Railway Work, Life and Death project visit www.railwayaccidents.port.ac.uk.
Readers are advised that both websites contain details of injuries and fatalities. However, they do not show any images of accidents.