Tuesday 26 May 2015

William Shenton 1887-1963 Northampton Mercury 7th November 1952

Northampton Mercury 7th November 1952

County Parade

If the smell of engine smoke still lingers in the nostrils of 65-years-old Mr. William Shenton, of Woodford Halse, so too does the “tally-ho” of the hunt ring in his ears.

For although Mr. Shenton said goodbye last August to the railways after spending 47 years on the footplate, he has not given up his favourite hobby of following hounds.

It was 40 years ago that he first took an interest in hunting, and for very many years both he and Mrs. Shenton have been seen regularly at meets of the Pytchley, the Grafton, the Bicester and the North Warwickshire.

They used to go on a motor-cycle, but since his wife gave up following, Mr, Shenton has reverted to a bicycle.

He knows every covert and every draw for many miles around his home, and so does his eldest son, William, who, in addition to being gamekeeper at Whittlebury Lodge, is earth stopper to the Grafton. The very air Mr. Shenton breaths has fox-hunting associations, for his cottage was once one of the outbuildings of Woodford House, where a son or a former Earl of Derby held hunting parties. And on ground which is now Mr. Shenton's garden was a hospital for sick hunters.

Railway Century

Mr. Shenton's family association with the railways goes back for 100 years and, with his son in the same trade, a second century is commencing.

His grandfather, John, joined the old South Yorkshire Railway, later to become the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire line, and later still the Great Central. In 1851 he rose to be a driver.

His father, Richard, another driver, started work in 1870 at Mexborough Yorkshire, and 47 years ago Mr. Shenton himself began his railway career as a cleaner.

He was promoted fireman in 1912 and driver in 1919. He drove troop trains in both the 1914-18 and the 1939-45 wars.

He cannot calculate the number or miles he has travelled by train, but during one period of 14 months he drove passenger trains for 228 miles every day.

During the first world war, it was common to do 20 hours at a stretch and then be liable to recall to duty after only eight hours’ rest.

When he retired in August, his place as driver was taken by his youngest son, George, who is also a keen follower of hounds.

Northampton Mercury 7th November 1952

Monday 25 May 2015

William Shenton 1887-1963 The Northampton Mercury Friday, September 16, 1926

The Northampton Mercury Friday, September 10, 1926.


The tragedy of deafness at Culworth.

Farmers death.

A verdict of "accidental death" Was returned by Mr W.E. Whitton, sitting with a jury at an inquest held at Watts' farm, Culworth, on Wednesday afternoon, on Thomas Watts, a farmer, aged 61, who was killed on the London and North Eastern Railway on Tuesday morning.

Superintendent Butler, of Towcester, represented the police; inspector Frond (district locomotive inspector), the L. N. E. R. ; and Mr. Lawson Sanders, The Associated Society of locomotive engineers.

Mr. George Watts, farmer, of Culworth, a brother, said on Tuesday Mr Watts, Who worked for him, was going to work in some fields on the opposite side of the railway line which were reached by means of a level Crossing. Witness and his wife had repeatedly begged his brother not to use the crossing as he was very deaf.

Sarah Ann Watts, wife of the previous witness, said shortly after Mr Watts had left to go to work she heard an engine whistle and on going outside saw him on the level crossing, but as she could not see him after the train had passed, she concluded he had got safely across.

William Winnett, call, who was in charge of a gang of platelayers working on Woodford side of Watts level Crossing, said William Shenton, an engine driver, stopped the train he was driving and said he had knocked down an elderly man at a level Crossing.

Ernest George Partlett, parish constable at Culworth said when he found Mr Watts body the right leg was severed near the hip, the left arm nearly severed from the shoulder, the left leg smashed at the thigh, the head smashed, and the upper part of the body badly torn. The body was 60 yards from where it had been struck, was practically stripped of clothing, and almost unrecognisable.

William Henry Shenton, engine driver said he was driving a train of horses from Banbury to Doncaster, and when passing Eydon-Road crossing noticed an old man about to step on to the up line at the level Crossing further ahead. He blew his whistle, but the man kept on his way, looking on the ground. Witness slowed down, but driving about 50 miles per hour when the engine hit the man, who was then almost in the middle of the 4 foot way. He had only about 100 yards view of Watts's and did the best he could, blowing the emergency whistle in addition to the ordinary one.

In reply to a question, witness said he did not think the circumstances warranted his pulling up before. He knew he had knocked Watts down, but did not think there could be anything left of him.

The jury returned a verdict of "accidental death" and exonerated the driver of the train from blame.

The Northampton Mercury Friday, September 10, 1926

Sunday 24 May 2015

William Shenton 1887-1963 Northampton Mercury – Friday 20th May 1904

Northampton Mercury – Friday 20th May 1904


ACCIDENT- On Monday morning, as William Shenton, a youth employed by the Great Central Railway Company, was cycling round Eydon, and on returning down Barnett’s Hill, a very dangerous declivity, and at which several cycling accidents have happened, he lost control of his machine and was unable to get round the very sharp corner, with the result that he ran into the wall and received a very nasty incised wound on the face, necessitating nearly a dozen stitches. As is the case in many such accidents, he was riding without a brake. After being in violent contact with the wall he was naturally very much shaken, but managed to get to the nearest house, to occupants of which kindly conveyed him home, where he was placed under the care of Dr. Hayes. The injured youth is progressing favourably.

Northampton Mercury – Friday 20th May 1904

Saturday 23 May 2015

Richard Shenton 1857-1923 The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent Wednesday April 11 1900

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent Wednesday April 11 1900



Yesterday forenoon, Mr. P. P. Maitland, coroner, held the adjourned inquest at the Town Hall, Barnsley, relative to the circumstances attending the death , of Bernard Outram, aged 25 years, stoker, of Railway Cottages, Staveley, who died from severe scalding sustained in the railway accident at Smithies on the morning of the 30th ult. on the Great Central Railway.

It will be remembered the express goods train from East Ardsley to Annesley, of which deceased was the fireman, was wrecked owing to the main line being fouled by several wagons of a goods train. Both the driver (Richard Shenton) and the deceased were injured, the latter dying at the hospital from severe scalding.

There were present at the inquiry Mr. Froudainer, district superintendent ; Mr. Barber and Mr. Preston of the locomotive department of the Great Central Railway; Mr. J. H. Dobson, of the A.S.R.S.; Mr. Jos. Raley, solicitor, who held a watching brief; Supt. A. C. Quest, and the Chief Constable (Mr, G. H. Butler), the widow of deceased was also present.

Geo. Hall, railway guard, of Mexboro‘, employed by the Great Central Company, was recalled and questioned as to several statements. Replying to Mr.Raley, witness said he could not have unintentionally given a signal with his hand to Ibbotson, the driver of the pilot engine. He knew from the position in which he carried the lamp.

Frederick Rutherford, of 31, Schofield Street, Mexboro', said he was the driver of the goods train from Mexboro' to East Ardsley, which stopped at Smithies Siding on the morning in question. He explained his train was there divided for shunting. Witness engine shunted the wagons into the loop, and he stayed at the water column for the engine to take water. After he had finished taking the water he blew a pop whistle to indicate he had finished taking water.

When you blew the whistle did you intend the pilot engine to put back to you?—No.

Why not?—I knew it would not be wise owing to the position of the wagons.

He would have run into you?—Yes.

Witness added he had only got three or four wagons distant from the water column when he heard the crash. He shut steam off and applied the brake. Witness last saw Hall ten minutes or a quarter of an hour before the accident, when the wagons were un-hooked.

If you had blown a long whistle would it have been an instruction for him to move?—It might have led him to more.

If you had blown a long whistle would it have been an instruction for Ibbotson to move?—Not altogether.

I don't know what you mean.-He wants a signal from the guard.

Is there any rule on that point as to a "pop" whistle and a long whistle?—Well, we always do so; it is the understanding we work on.

If you blow a long whistle is it necessary for the guard to more?—the guard should give a signal.

Witness added: If I had blown a. long whistle I should say I was to blame, but I didn't. I would not think of giving a signal, but would leave it to the guard.

David Cass, ļ¬reman, of 110, Church street, Mexboro’, explained he was on the engine with the last witness, and said he only heard at short whistle given, which was to indicate the engine was on the move.—By a Juror: It was usual for the train engine to back the wagons to the wagons on the pilot engine.

Dr. Goodman, house surgeon at the Beckett hospital, said deceased was admitted suffering from severe scalds on the body. He sank and died the next day. He made a post-mortem examination of the body, but found no fracture. Death was due to exhaustion and shock.

The Coroner intimated at this stage that Ibbotson the driver of the pitot engine, could give evidence if he wished, and pointed out the serious allegations against him.—Mr. Raley, who represented Ibbotson, said his client desired to give evidence.

Geo. Ibbotson, of 28, St. John terrace, Grace Street, Barnsley, engine driver, after being cautioned in the usual way, explained he was the driver of the pilot engine, to which was attached six wagons and guard’s brake of the goods train. He said the engine was standing on the main line waiting for the signal.

What sort of a whistle was it?—Just one short whistle.

And hearing that short whistle?-I considered that was my signal.

Witness added he just opened the whistle and gave his engine steam, and then heard the crash.

By Mr. Raley: Rule 183, relating to signals to engine drivers, did not apply to drivers of pilot engines. He had been a driver for three years, and I it was usual to take the signal from the train engine. Witness thought when he started they were going straight away. Witness thought the train had been coupled together again fully ten minutes before he moved. It was usual to signal to the train engine. They seldom signalled to the pilot engine.

The Coroner summed up, pointing out that the early part of the evidence set up serious statements against the driver of the pilot engine, but subsequently they had conflicting statements. They did not always seem to adhere to general rules. If a man deliberately broke a rule and caused the death of a person then their verdict should be manslaughter; if, however, they considered the driver of the pilot engine was not bound to wait for a signal from the guard, or that be misunderstood or thought the whistle from the train engine was a signal, then it would be an unfortunate accident. The Jury, after consultation, returned a verdict of “Accidental Death,” adding an expression that though the accident was originally due to the pilot engine driver Ibbotson, they did not attribute any criminal neglect or blame at all.

The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent Wednesday April 11 1900

Friday 22 May 2015

Richard Shenton 1857-1923 Reading Mercury 7 April 1900

Reading Mercury 7 April 1900

On the Great Central Railway at Smithies, near Barnsley, an express goods train has been wrecked and the driver and fireman were injured. The engine left the rails, and many waggons mounted the engine, forming a confused mass of wreckage to the height of about 25ft., completely blocking all lines. The driver, Richard Shenton, and the fireman, Bernard Outram, of Staveley, were buried for about an hour, and when recovered were found to be badly injured. Outram died at the Beckett Hospital, Barnsley, on Saturday.