DEATH – EARL William 49yrs Upleatham Branch Line/Redcar

Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn News 10/12/1874


            This morning, a man named William Earl, 49 years of age, residing at Coatham, was found dead on the railway about a mile from Redcar, having apparently been killed by a passing train. Deceased was a platelayer in the employee of Messrs.  Pease, of up Leatham Mines, and was last seen alive at 6:30 o’clock, on their up Leatham branch line, about 200 yards east of its junction with the North Eastern Railway. He was found near the same spot at a 7:45 o’clock, lying in the four-foot quite dead. There were no marks on the body except about the head, which was terribly bruised. Information of the sad occurrence has been sent to the coroner at Guisborough, and the inquest is expected to be held tomorrow (11/12) Saturday.

Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn News 17/12/1874

An inquest was held at Mr John Hikeley’s Lobster Hotel, Coatham, on Saturday morning, before Mr William Robinson, deputy coroner, on view of the body of William Earl, of Coatham, who had been in the employ of the Messrs Pease as platelayer on their up Upleatham branch-line up to the time of death. Christopher Liddle, of the railway police, attended the inquest, to watch the case on behalf of the North-Eastern Railway Company.

The following evidence was given :-

James hold, sworn: I reside at Station Road, Coatham, and am a weigh clerk for Messrs Pease and Co. Leatham Mines. I knew the deceased slightly. I last saw him alive yesterday morning, about ten minutes to seven o’clock. I walked with him down the line from Redcar Lane crossing to the weigh office, which is about a mile and three quarters from Redcar station. I left him there at the time stated, and he went on towards Marske. Deceased seemed in good health and spirits, though we had very little conversation on the way, the  weather being stormy. There were no engines past while I was with him.

By the Foreman of the Jewellery: When I left deceased he went on towards Marske. There is a foot-roared at the side of the line where workmen generally walk when they go to the mines, but it is not railed off. The part of the line where I left the deceased belongs to the North-Eastern Railway Company.

John Watson deposed: I live at Cat Flat cottages, near Marske, and am a platelayer on the North-Eastern Railway. I knew the deceased perfectly well. He worked as a platelayer on the Upleatham branch line, and was 49 years of age. It is nearly 2 months since I last saw him alive. Yesterday morning I was going over my length of line to the Upleatham junction, and found deceased lying in the four-foot of the up line, about 200 yards east of the junction. He was quite dead. Deceased was laid on his right side, close to the rails. There was no part of his body on the rails. I examined deceased’s body, which was warm, and found it fearfully bruised about the face and head. Nothing appeared to have gone over him. There were several trains generally passing about that time, going in both directions; and a coal engine passed the spot coming from Saltburn, just before I discovered the body. The morning was very stormy, and I think deceased must have been struck with the engine whilst walking along the line with his head down. It was quite dark, and he had no lamp with him. The coal engine I mentioned had a light in front. There were footprints in the snow 10 yards beyond where deceased was laid, showing that the body had been carried back that distance.

By the Jury: It was on the Marske side of Upleatham junction that deceased’s body was found. To go to his work he had to pass the junction, and turn up Messrs Pease’s branch-line near Marske bridge. I think it would be in Marske parish that the body was found, on the North-Eastern Railway.

Christopher Liddle, on being sworn at the request of the jewellery, said: I am a police officer in the North-Eastern Railway, and I’m stationed at Redcar. Deceased had no business on the part of the line where he was found. I was not aware that the men going to work at the Upleatham mines, walked on the line from Redcar Lane crossing. Where the body was found it was in the way he would go to his work. There is no footpath at that part of the line. There are boards on every crossing mentioning people against trespassing.

The deputy coroner having briefly summed up the evidence, the jury a verdict that deceased was “Accidentally killed.”

At the request of the jury, the deputy coroner promised to write to the Directors of the North Eastern Railway company, urging them to endeavour to stop workmen walking on the line.


Lol Hansom August 22, 2014 Doctors & Health