Gratton Steam Wagon Driver Killed


Gratton Steam Wagon Driver Killed

A verdict of " Accidental death" was returned at an inquest held by S. A. H. Burne, District Coroner, and a jury at Leek Town Hall on Saturday afternoon on Samuel Wood a widower, aged 37, Yew Tree Villa Gratton, Endon, who was killed in an accident at Upperhulme on the previous Thursday.

Evidence of identification was given by John James Clewes, of Brook House Farm, Horton who said Wood was a steam wagon driver employed by Messrs. W. A. Tatton and Co Ltd at Upperhulme.


Walter Heath, of Smithy Cottage, Gratton, Endon, said that about 5pm on Thursday he was on a steam wagon driven by Wood and loaded with lime. The wagon was returning down a hill at Upperhulme, near the Roaches, in low gear at a very slow speed, probably not more than 3 m.p.h.The vehicle had a foot brake on the fly-wheel and also a foot-brake on the back wheels, both of which the driver was using.

Apparently the back brake must have got worn and was not acting very well and Wood was applyin extra pressure on the fly-wheel brake with the result that the wheel got so warm that it expanded broke in two and went off with a. bang.

The flying pieces caught Wood, who fell over on to witness. A portion of the wheel must have struck the water glass which broke, causing steam to come out. Witness shut off the steam and water and drew up the wagon by steering it on to the verge by the wall which bordered the road. The wagon was not out of control when the wheel broke.