Accidents and a repulsive tramp

1846 – Child Burnt at Kinnersley

Here it is, the inevitable report of a child’s clothes catching fire – every village had a sad list of these.

Hannah Skyrme aged 7 strayed too close to the hearth, and her clothes caught fire.  She was burnt to death.

1852 – Leg Smashed in Threshing Machine at Kinnersley

George Ambury of Castle House, Clifford was attending his steam threshing machine at Kinnersley when he became careless and his leg ended up being pulled between the rollers of the hopper, where it was crushed to pieces.

He was taken to his father’s house where Messrs. Trumper and Llyde, surgeons, of Hay checked him over and decided that the only course of action was to amputate his leg at the top of the thigh.  They performed the operation straight away, using chloroform to put him out, and he never felt the leg being removed.

He recovered well.

1863 – Fatal Accident on Railway Line at Kinnersley

John Stead aged 25 was a platelayer and repairer on the Hereford, Hay and Brecon Railway;  he was working at Kinnersley station which was not yet opened and on the evening in question went to light the signal down the line.

As he walked back, he was knocked down by a special train and was found lying beside the rails – still alive but with “his brains protruding”.

George Dowdeswell was the engine driver on the West Midland Railway that night, and he said that he set off from Hereford to Eardisley at 9.10 p.m.  When he came to the Norton Canon bank he saw a light which told him that the line was clear, so he carried on and it wasn’t until the next day that he found out a man had been killed.

John Hemming, the Kinnersley station master said that the station was not yet open for passengers, but that there were safety procedures for when the special train came through.

The verdict was accidental death.

1866 – Tramp Cuts Horses’ Tails Off

This man may well be the culprit of several instances of this crime being reported elsewhere in Herefordshire at the time.

Tom Thomas “a repulsive looking” tramp, who admitted to going by several names, was charged with cutting off the tails of three horses belonging to James Smith a farmer of Kinnersley.

The tramp, whatever his true name was, admitted to the charge – he had no choice as he tried to sell the horse hair in Leominster at the marine store belonging to Mr. Jones, and it was found to match the remaining tail hair of the horses belonging to James Smith.  He said that he was looking forward to having a good seven years in gaol with a bed and something to eat every day, but he was probably disappointed in his sentence of three months’ imprisonment with hard labour.