Sunday, 24 January 2016

THE RAILWAY MYSTERY OF AUGUST 1908


Unknown Lady's Death
An inquest was held last evening at Furness Vale touching the death of a well-dressed unknown woman who was found dead on the Buxton branch of the London and North Western Railway between Furness Vale and New Mills early on Tuesday morning.
Frank Wm. Green son of the Furness Vale station master and a porter at Disley, said he was walking along the line to his work when he found a lady's hat in the sixfootway about 150 yards from Bank End Bridge. Twenty yards lower down he noticed what he took to be a bundle of rags, but which proved to be the dead body of a woman, which he lifted into the six-foot. He did not notice if there was any sign of a struggle. There was no public footpath or crossing near the spot, and he did not see much blood.
Joseph Wood, who went to see the body, said the grass in a meadow between Buxton Road and the railway had been trampled down, and the woman must have climbed a wall four foot high, separating the meadow from the railway. Some coping stones had been thrown off at the end of the track. Witnesses wife found two artificial roses near the wall.
Police sergeant Sandbach said the woman had been dead several hours. There was nothing on the body that would lead to identity. The woman wore a wedding ring and carried a satchel-purse containing 5s 2d, a latch-key and some hair pins. She was about 30 years old. She had wounds on the head, her back was broken, and the toes of the right foot were cut off. No blood had been found on any of the engines that had passed that way. There were blood spots for a distance of about 20 yards along the line. He thought it was impossible for her to have fallen out of a train, she had no ticket on her. A photograph of her had been taken.
The Coroner said if the woman was identified the witnesses could go to his office and make their statements to him. He was of the opinion that she had either deliberately taken her like or come to her death accidentally. He advised an open verdict so that the police could prosecute their inquiries, and the jury returned a verdict of "Found dead on the railway"

 A Strange Funeral
The mystery attending the finding of a dead body of a well-dressed woman on the London and North Western Railway between Furness Vale and New Mills is as great as ever and the prospect of unravelling it is made more and more remote by the burial of the body.
After lying five days, the internment took place on Saturday and as no one came forward to identify the unfortunate lady, the internment had to be taken in hand by the relieving officer of the Hayfield Union, Mr. James Taylor, New Mills, but this could not be done until the body had been brought back from the Furness Vale Station waiting room in another union. It was accordingly taken back and placed in a workman's hut on the line near the spot where it was found, and from this place the funeral took place. The only persons present were the relieving officer, the Union undertaker, the assistant overseer, the sexton and the driver of the dog-cart that had conveyed the coffin, and for a distance of two miles, this little party accompanied the corpse to Disley Church where Canon Slatterthwaite, the vicar, officiated.
The theories of suicide or accident are not shared by everybody. Several policemen who were on Bank End Bridge at four o'clock on Tuesday morning declare there was nothing on the line at that hour, and the body was found shortly after six o'clock. There was no trace of blood or anything else on the wheels of any engines and close to the wall separating the railway from a field near the spotlight where the body was found were two artificial roses - one pink and the other white - from the lady's hat.

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Sunday, 3 January 2016

The Unlucky Dresser

From the Glossopdale Chronicle 20th May 1871

  The inhabitants of Shady Grove , Furness Vale, were greatly alarmed early on Sunday morning to hear of a neighbour's child being lost. It appears Mr James Sharples, foreman tailor to Mr. Mosscrop of Whaley Bridge, went to Stockport on Saturday afternoon to buy a dresser, leaving by the quarter to three train, and taking with him his daughter Polly, aged about five years. On arriving at Stockport he purchased his dresser, and a good bed of flocks, as he is about to leave the neighbourhood for a colder region, (Kinder Scout, near Hayfield) he means taking care of James by creeping over head in his bed of flock after snipping hours. How the child came to be lost is a mystery. After paying for his dresser he went to see his brother Jack and stayed gilling rather too long; on arriving at the station the train was gone, so James would go and have another gill wi' Jack, leaving little Polly at the station , in the waiting room, consoling her with a few goodies, and telling her he would be back directly. Bad luck! He stayed rather too long wi' Jack again, giving him a few styles of broad cloth, and now and then a song; on arriving at the station about midnight, he found that his train had gone before ten o'clock, and his daughter too; the child having been found by a Mr. Cook, of Chapel-en-le-Frith, nearly heart-broken, he brought her along with him and took her to his own home, Chapel station, sending her home on Sunday morning to her mother, who was nearly heart-broken with the loss of her child, and to make things more sad for Martha, Jimmy never turned up till Sunday night, after being rambling about nearly all day in Stockport, in search of his child, besides sending the bellman round the town and outskirts, and giving her description to the police, and offering a good reward for her restoration. On arriving at Furness and finding that his lost child had landed safe at home, he took a run jump into the Soldier Dick, and there gave them his horrible journey of buying the dresser. When he wakened out Sunday morning his yed opened and shut, and tears rolled down his cheeks as big as t'quart pot on th' table, he shed a gallon o' tears he wor shure. It wor biggest trouble he ever had in his life, sin he wor wed to their Matt. He said haum sure I'm daft, he said if it had bin anybody else, haw should ha' laft up my sleeve, bur it wines button. So he went home arm in arm wi' their Matt.