+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

snuff-box. Both, engine-drivers escaped unhurt.—The
other collision was on the Midland Counties Railway. It
occurred about three miles below Rugby, between an
express and a luggage-train. The night was foggy and
the snow was falling, with a sharp frost, and the signal-
lights could be seen but at a very short distance. One
of the front wheels of a horse-box, which was attached
to a passenger-train, broke at the point above-mentioned
and brought the train to a stand-still. About seven
o'clock the engine went on to Rugby and returned with
assistance, and the express did not leave Leicester until
within a minute of eight o'clock. Fortunately, the fog-
signal did not fail; if it had, the consequences that must
have ensued would be frightful to contemplate. After
leaving Leicester the express-train went on at a high
rate of speed, and the fog-signal having attracted the
attention of the driver, he turned off the steam, and just
as the passengers were expecting from the slackening of
speed that the train was about to run into the Rugby
station a collision took place. The express, at the
moment, going at about twelve or fifteen miles an hour,
ran into the luggage-train, and was brought to a dead
stand-still, and the passengers were thrown about in the
carriages with great violence, but without sustaining any
injuries, as far as could be ascertained, beyond bruises
and contusions. The break-van of the luggage-train
presented a singular appearance. The body of it was
knocked up perpendicularly on one end, while the
frame-work was smashed to pieces, the line being
strewed with the fragments. The passengers considered
their escape almost miraculous, and the question was
repeatedly asked, why the telegraph was not resorted to,
to stop the express altogether at Leicester, or fog-signals
placed down the line, at a distance which would have
been sufficient to enable the driver to stop his train long
before he came up to the luggage-train. It was stated
that only one fog-signal was placed on the line.

A dreadful Fire has taken place at Rochdale. It
broke out on the morning of the 3rd instant in the
extensive woollen mill of Messrs. Kelsall, which
was about 90 feet long by 72 wide, and consisted of four
storeys and an attic. The manufacture carried on is
chiefly in flannels, and the whole of the first, second,
and fourth storeys and attic were filled with machinery
belonging to Messrs. Kelsall, whilst the greater part of
the third floor was let off as a carding room to Mr. Stott.
About 150 hands were employed in the concern, of whom
twenty-four belonged to Mr. Stott. At one end of the
mill, over the engine house, Mr. Stott had a machine
called a "devil," which is separated from the rest of the
machinery on the third floor only by a wooden partition.
About an hour after the mill commenced running, the
flames of a gaslight suddenly ignited some "floss," and
the fire communicated quickly with the wool in the
machine itself. There is a bucket usually kept over the
machine, and a pipe from a cistern of water was near,
intended for use in case of fire, but on this occasion the
bucket was out of place, and had to be sought below
stairs. Some time was lost owing to this before water
could be thrown on the flames, and much more valuable
time owing to an abortive attempt to extinguish the fire
by these means ere the police and the fire-brigade could
be communicated with. They were, however, quickly
on the spot, but much time was again lost, owing to the
river being frozen over, as well as the water in the street-
plugs; and by the time the fire-engines were in full play
the fire was bursting from nearly all the front windows
in the third storey. The operatives on the third storey
had to pass almost through the fire to reach the staircase,
and were somewhat scorched in the effort, but those
below escaped without difficulty. For some reason
those in the fourth floor and attic either neglected until
too late this mode of escape, or had remained in ignorance
of the danger. A rush was made to the windows of the
different fronts of the rooms on the fourth floor and attic to
the roof of the factory by the operatives, chiefly consisting
of women and girls, and a most appalling spectacle soon
presented itself to those outside, as the poor creatures
above shrieked and held out their hands for succour, the
flames bursting from the windows below. There were
but few men amongst them, but three of these, H.
Ratcliffe, R. Duckworth, and T. Taylor, are reported to
have acted most heroically in braving the heat of the
fire to assist in lowering the women and young persons
with ropes from the upper storeys before they descended
themselves. Unfortunately the alarm of some of the
females overcame every feeling of danger, and they
resolved upon the desperate risk of a leap. One of these
unfortunate creatures, Hannah Amber, leaped from the
top of the mill into Smith-street, and was taken up in a
state of insensibility. She died soon afterwards, having
broken her back. Margaret Scott was clinging to a rope
from the roof of the building, by which an attempt was
made to lower her, and unfortunately let go her hold
after descending a few feet. She fell in Penn-street, and
was killed. Jane Standring jumped from the fourth
storey into some lime in the back yard, and but little
hopes are entertained of her recovery. A girl made the
same desperate leap, and did not sustain much injury
from it, except to her eyes, which are burnt by the lime.
Of those who had to be carried to their homes with
fractured limbs and other severe injuries, the following
is a list:—Jane Kershaw, Jane Standring, W. Butterworth,
Alice Shore, Mary Wolfenden, Elizabeth Armitage,
Mary Hardman, R. Sutcliffe, Martha Heywood,
and Emma Stott. The fire was extinguished by about
noon, but not till the whole of the main building except
the engine-house had been destroyed, the greater part of
the front wall falling into Smith-street. An Irish boy
is missing, and is supposed to be buried under the ruins.

In the early part of this month the Severity of the
has been extraordinary, not only in this
country but throughout Europe. A violent snow-storm
began in London on the night of the 3rd instant; and
next day the parks, the footways, the roads, were
covered with thick snow. A strong easterly wind blew
nearly all night, many persons found their doorways
blocked up; and here and there drifts many feet deep
were piled up in the streets and roads, leaving bare
patches of ground. Few omnibuses ran; those which
ventured forth were drawn some by four, others by
three horses; and fares rose from sixpence to a shilling,
and in some cases to eighteenpence. Cabs were equally
scarce: and mostly drawn by two horses. Few heavy
goods-waggons were seen, and those few were drawn
by six and eight instead of four horses. As the snow-
storm extended over the whole country, the railway
traffic was nearly stopped. The North Western line
was blocked up at the Tring cutting. The mail-train
was embedded there five hours, and arrived at Euston-
square eight hours behind time. The down-trains
"started" at their fixed times. On the Great Western,
the Plymouth mail due at 4 a.m. did not arrive till 7
a.m. The down-trains started at their time, but there
was "hardly anybody to convey." The Great Northern
was blocked up on both rails at Grantham, and traffic
between Peterborough and Newark was impossible.
Late at night, no trains had arrived, or were likely to
arrive, from beyond Peterborough. The snow in the
cuttings lay six feet deep. The Eastern Counties line
was obstructed; and labourers were sent down by
special engine to clear the rails. "In the Chesterford
cutting at 9 o'clock eight trains were embedded in
the snow." An attempt was made to force a train
through the snow by eight engines; but, after proceeding
half a mile it came to a dead stand. The Norwich
mail arrived at Shoreditch at 9 o'clock P.M., fourteen
hours behind time. The lines in Lancashire, Yorkshire,
Derbyshire, were snowed up. The drifts were very
deep, one sixteen feet. At Birmingham the snow fell
heavily; and in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.
There was a second fall of snow on the night of the 4th,
chiefly in London and the neighbourhood. On the following
day a thaw set in, and was so rapid that the railways
were soon cleared of the snow, and the usual regularity of
intercourse was restored. During the frost the Thames
was nearly frozen over. The ice had accumulated in
masses, the like of which had not been seen these
fifteen years. Between Richmond and Brentford there
was skating. In the Pool and above it the drift-ice
soon rendered navigation all but impossible. The
Margate, Gravesend, Woolwich, and Greenwich traffic
was stopped on Tuesday; the Boulogne and Hull
boats arrived with difficulty; and above London Bridge
only heavy coal-barges, with additional hands, could
make any way. The mountainous districts of North