Leeds Mercury (24/Apr/1905) - Tramcar Runs Away: Bad Smash at Huddersfield

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



The Huddersfield Corporation have been most unfortunate with their electric-tram system, and bad luck seems to stick closely to them, for on Saturday another accident was added to the list.

On Saturday morning, car No. 24 left Northumberland Street for Bradley at 7.40. Matthew Smith, of Holly Terrace, Calton Street, Huddersfield, was the driver, and John Earnshaw, who resides in the neighbourhood of Lowerhouses, was the conductor. The car travelled all right until it got past the Woodman Inn, Bradley, where there is a steep decline towards the canal bridge.

The people who were waiting at the Bradley terminus were startled on seeing the car come down the hill at a terrific rate.

It jumped the rails, and proceeding down the road for over 150 yards, it dashed into the garden wall of Cooper Bridge Villa, which is occupied by Mr. Thornton, crushing through it, and breaking down a very large tree which stood in the grounds. When at a standstill it was seen that the car was over three parts in the garden.

When the car passed the terminus the driver was at his post, but apparently seeing that it was impossible to pull the car up, he went through the lower saloon to the rear of the car and jumped off. He fell very heavily to the ground, and sustained severe injuries on his left side. His head was cut, the left eye being badly bruised. His left arm was fractured. When picked up he was in an unconscious state. He was at once taken into one of the houses close by, and the police-officers rendered first aid.

The Police Horse Ambulance was telephoned for, and on its arrival he was conveyed to the Huddersfield Infirmary in a most critical condition.

Earnshaw, who was more fortunate than his comrade, states that when the car ran away he was thrown off, and does not remember how Smith left the car. The only injuries he sustained were to his hands, and although suffering from shock he was able to proceed home in a cab.

Fortunately there were no passengers in the car at the time, for, according to a young lady who saw it travelling down the hill, it was going at lightning speed. The front of the car was damaged, and the machinery underneath was badly twisted.

Mr. R. H. Wilkinson, the manager of the tramways, told our Huddersfield representative that at present no cause could be found for the car running away.