Monday, May 12, 2014

A beer dray crash in 1915

In 1915 the Newport Pagnell Brewery was still a going concern and on February 1st of that year two men, Job Griffin and Henry Stanton, set out with their dray loaded with barrels for delivery to Bradwell, Wolverton and Stony Stratford. Their vehicle, interestingly, was steam operated.

On the way back to the depot at 1:30 pm., presumably having completed deliveries to Stony Stratford, the vehicle skidded on the  rise going up from Creed Street to the bridge going over the former railway line, now McConnell Drive. The report described the road surface as "greasy" but it does not say what was on the road to cause the skid. As the vehicle was not loaded down with heavy barrels the back wheels went out of control and the lorry crashed into the corrugated iron railings on one side of the bridge.

The vehicle crashed down some 20 feet onto the railway line pinning the men beneath the wreckage.
When the crane arrived to lift the wreck they found Henry Stanton already dead and Job Griffin with serious injuries. he was taken to Northampton Hospital where sadly he died four days later.

An inquest was held into the accident later at the North Western Hotel. Griffin had a reputation as a careful and experienced driver and no fault was found.

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