Odd Fellow’s funeral; massive turnip and other such news
1828 – The Illegal Practice of Riding on Wagon Shafts
Coroners and Magistrates were becoming frustrated by the number of cases of wagoners riding illegally on the shafts of their carts and wagons.
In one instance on a Friday evening in October 1828, Thomas Williams, a lad who was servant to J. Matthews of Blakemere, was riding on the shafts of his wagon when the horse became frightened by another cart (the driver of which was also riding illegally) – the horse bolted, causing Thomas to fall off and the wheel of the wagon ran over his head fracturing his skull.
Despite the attentions of both J. Matthews and a surgeon, Thomas died the next day.
The paper made the comment that they hoped measures would be taken to stop this dangerous and lazy practice – something that was very common in Herefordshire. They said that the law already allowed for severe punishment, but that it was not enforced enough.
1843 – Funeral of Odd Fellow at Blakemere
Brother John Jones, a member of the Loyal Hardwick Lodge, Dorstone, was buried in Blakemere Churchyard. Members of the lodge wore silk scarves and white gloves, and the oration was read by P.P.G.M. Gwynne of Hay on Wye.
John Jones left a widow and one child, but because he had only just joined the Odd Fellows Lodge, the rules stated that he was not entitled to any benefit from them; however, the brothers of the Loyal Hardwick Lodge paid for the funeral.
1844 – Massive Turnip in Blakemere
Growing on the farm of John Matthews in Blakemere in August 1844, was a turnip of vast proportions – it was measured at sixteen inches in circumference.
1855 – Death from Exposure at Blakemere
William Knight was a 53 year old single man who worked as a haulier.
He used donkeys to pull his carriage, and early one Tuesday morning the donkeys were spotted standing in the road, with William Knight lying on top of the timber on the carriage.
Allen Watkins, working for J. Bennett of Church Farm, Tiberton, rushed over with brandy and water, but unfortunately William was too far gone to drink, and although he was taken to Mr. Bennett’s he was found to have died on the way.
Detective work ascertained that William had been out all night in pouring rain, as the ruts from his carriage were full of water, and the donkeys had eaten all the grass within reach. Poor William was wet to the skin, and he was frozen.
Verdict at the inquest was Died from Exposure to Cold.
1857 – Blakemere Policeman Neglects his Duty
George Davies, the parish Constable for Blakemere was charged by Superintendent Wilson with neglect of duty.
It seems that on 30th October, George Davies was given custody of two men who were charged with stealing potatoes, and also a chicken. George held the men from late morning until about eleven at night, and then let them go without either charging them or making any report of the case.
He was ordered to pay costs of 13s 6d.
1862 – Rampaging Bull Attacks Man at Blakemere
A very cross bull went on the rampage in Blakemere in late April 1862 – it first attacked Mr. Bennett of Huntley Court, who managed to throw himself clear and suffered only a few bruises.
Charles Pugh however was not so lucky. Charles worked for Mr. Ambrey of Lower Blakemere, and unfortunately found himself in the path of the maddened bull, which charged at him and gored him in the stomach.
He lay in agony for some time before he was found, and although the surgeon, J.C. Lane, was quick to answer the summons he could do little for him other than to move him to the Infirmary to make him more comfortable.
The bull was destroyed.
1867 – Fatal Fall from a Gate at Blakemere
John Parton was a 40 year old married man, who had been washing sheep for Mr. Hall of Kinley in the parish of Blakemere.
He left work in the evening at around 10.30 and on his way home went to let the lambs out of their fold so that they could join the ewes in the field, however when climbing over the gate he fell and landed on his back in the road.
John’s wife was waiting at home for him, but when he had failed to come back by 2 in the morning, she went out to search for him and found him in the road, unable to move.
He was eventually taken home, but was very cold and still unable to move so the surgeon P.B. Giles was sent for, but to no avail, and John died shortly aferwards of injury to his spine.