The engine coming over Henley Bridge is called Onward. She belonged the Froud’s Saw mills at Assendon. The picture was taken in 1899 as Onward was off to South Africa for the Boer War . My grand father Samuel Froud drove the engine in South Africa as a civilian driver. He had a Ladysmith bar on his SA medal, so I have reason to believe Onward was based at Ladysmith. Onward stayed in SA and the ministry supplied Froud’s with another engine that was named Victory.
When Samuel came back from South Africa as Onward was staying the Army let him keep the Name plate,which he bought back to England. The name plate now hangs in my brother Michael’s house in Randburgh, South Africa after he moved there in 1972. Michael has tried to track Onward down as we have the engine number. But with no luck.
Thanks again Richard, can anyone else shed any light on the missing Onward? Do get in contact if you do!
My old man came across this interesting article whilst looking at some local Berkshire history involving steam.
Shocking Death of a Drunken man at Hermitage.
An inquest was held at the “Fox” Inn, Hermitage, on Wednesday evening, before Mr. J. C. Pinniger, Coroner, on the body of a man named Caleb Wernham, aged 35 years, a woodman, who was killed by being run over by the truck of a traction engine on the previous day. The Rev. P. A. Longmore, vicar of the parish, was foreman of the jury.
The first witness called was
David Kent, a labourer, of Long Lane, who deposed that at about half-past seven on the previous evening, he was in the road walking beside the traction engine, belonging to Mr. Bagge, which was being driven towards Newbury. He was on the right hand side of the engine. Deceased, who was very drunk, was also walking behind the engine. Witness saw the deceased fall sideways between the fore wheel and the hind wheel of the first truck. The hinder wheel passed over his belly, just across his loins. Witness shouted out, and the driver stopped the engine immediately and before the wheel of the second truck reached deceased. Witness pulled deceased out from beneath the truck, and laid him on the side of the road. When witness pulled him out, deceased said, “You b——, you have broken my leg.” Witness knew deceased well. Previous to the occurrence, deceased, who was very drunk, swayed about the road, and when witness tried to prevent him getting near the truck, he said, with an oath, they would not run over him.
Witness, continuing, said the deceased had fallen down on the ground by the side of the engine once before, and would not get away, and continued saying he would go with the engine. When in the Fox public house, deceased sad to the driver who was there also, “Ain’t you going to ask us to drink?” The driver said, “I think you have had enough now,” but deceased caught hold of the glass and had a drink. Richard Deacon, who was also with the engine, warned the deceased to keep way. There were three men besides the driver with the engine. One was in front of the engine, two were walking by the side of the trucks, the driver being on the engine. Deacon was walking near witness and deceased when deceased fell. Deacon being in front of the deceased, and witness behind him. None of the men with the driver were at all “beery.”
One of the Jury remarked that there were enough of them there to have thrown deceased over the hedge if he would not go away.
It was stated that deceased died about an hour after the occurrence. He was, it was said, a very obstinate man when drunk, and could only be controlled by force.
Thomas Partridge, engine driver for Mr. Bagge, deposed that he was engaged with the engine taking bricks from the kiln near the “Fox,” and left the kiln with a load about half past seven. There were two trucks attached to the engine. Before they started, witness saw the deceased at the “Fox.” He was then a little the worse for drink. Deceased drank about half a small glass of beer, which he gave him when he asked. Witness started in about a quarter of an hour after that. He saw the deceased by the side of the truck once after that. He was then very drunk and tottery. Witness say “Halt, he is run over,” and witness stopped the engine at once. David Taylor was in front of the engine and the other men were trying to persuade deceased to keep away from the engine. Deceased did not talk to witness while he was on the engine. Deceased did not get up as far as the engine, but kept along by the side of the truck.
A Juryman said it was very dangerous place for a drunken man to be walking along by the side of the engine. Even a sober man, if he stumbled over the lumps in the road, might have fallen under the engine or the trucks.
In answer to a juryman’s remark that he thought the engine should have been stopped when the deceased persisted in accompanying it. Mr. Bagge, who was present during the enquiry, said that if they stopped the engine every time they met a drunken man, they would not be able to get through their work at all.
The Coroner remarked that he thought a man’s life was of more consequence than the work.
The Jury returned the following verdict: – “That the deceased met his death by falling accidentally under the wheels of a loaded truck while in a state of intoxication; and that no blame is attached to the driver of the engine.
The Jury gave their fees in behalf of the widow and six children of the deceased, and to this amount Mr. Bagge, the owner of the engine, added a donation.
We are requested to state that the Coroner did not concur with the finding of the jury, “that no blame was attached to the driver.”
Newbury Weekly News Thursday 13th May 1880
I recently received an email from a Mr Cubes, nothing out of the ordinary there I get a lot of emails from steam people. However this email certainly cheered me up, it was titled the return of steam! It appears Mr Cubes has finished a lengthy restoration on a Fowler B6 and Fowler A4 both repatriated from Auz in the early 90′s. So what’s a man to do when he’s got two large road locos? Obvious isn’t it? Start a haulage company! He tells me the plans are to operate a regular commercial steam haulage service out of his yard in Manchester, he is currently advertising for work and the really exciting news is he has already secured a contract with a heritage brick and masonry company to regularly deliver 30ton loads! Up to two a week no less!
This is fabulous news for steam enthusiasts and sure to be an exciting spectacle to see in action! I have been promised some pictures of the first run and I’m looking forward to that. I really hope the business thrives and will definitely be paying a visit in the near future to see it in action.
Happy Easter all Spark Arrester readers.
A bunch of us from the yard popped down and watched Tangers stopping at Newbury station in Berkshire last Saturday morning. Embracing the lovely 2013 British spring weather the engine looked superb arriving in a blizzard and smelt even better! It certainly spurred us to get on and get the engines back out on the road.
Today I photographed the death of a local icon in Oxfordshire, after 42 years Didcot coal fired power station will be shut down and the cooling towers will slowly breath there last puff of steam into the sky. It has been know for a while that due to EU regulations regarding clean energy that British coal fired power stations would have to close, but it was a shock when a chance conversation last week alerted me to the fact that Didcot would be being shut down at the end of March. I then reached for my camera and have tried to photograph it during its last days, a couple of days of fog hampered my efforts but I managed to get a few good shots culminating in today’s pictures being the last images to see the station with all six cooling towers going and what looks like the last of the Daw Mill going up the chimney before complete shut down later today.
I’m sure with two major British coal fired power stations due to close in close succession must have had an effect on the Daw Mill owners sad decision to not reopen their coal mine after its recent fire, I do hope this down turn in demand for coal isn’t going to affect its availability to us steam enthusiasts.
So a strange subject to get all misty eyed about and not traction engine or a loco but never the less it is I think a rather nice icon of steam now set to disappear from England, I know nuclear and gas powered stations are still steam turbine electricity generators but I don’t think you can beat electric made from the black stuff, sorry EU!
I do love a windmill or water turbine though!