Old Stratford Accidents

The Northampton Mercury April 19th 1788

On Sunday morning last, about Three o’Clock, Banks, the Driver of one of the Chester Coaches, by a sudden Jolt of the Carriage, was thrown from the Box, near Stony Stratford; by which Accident both his legs were broke. The Horses went on with the Coach through Stony Stratford, and brought in safe to Old Stratford, notwithstanding they pulled a Waggon on the Road, without Passengers knowing any Thing of the Accident.

The Northampton Mercury January 2nd 1813

Miraculous Escape. Wednesday evening last, as Mr. John Richards, draper, of Stony Stratford, was on his way from Mr. Hillyer's to Mr. William Clark's of Old Stratford, he fell from a precipice nearly 30 feet in height, and, strange to relate, escaped totally unhurt.

The Northampton Mercury August 7th 1830

On the 21st ult. Mr. Hall master of the national school at Potterspury, in this county, went with his son, a youth about 19, to bathe in the canal near Old Stratford when, from some unknown cause they were both drowned. By this truly lamentable occurrence, a disconsolate widow is left in circumstances which greatly increase her unhappy bereavement.

The Northampton Mercury September 4th 1830

A subscription is being raised for the benefit of Mrs. Hall, of Potterspury, whose husband and only son were unfortunately drowned a short time since, while bathing in the Grand Junction Canal, near Old Stratford. The amount already subscribed is £85.

The Northampton Mercury April 28th 1838

COACH ACCIDENT.  The Manchester mail that runs through Birmingham, was upset while descending the canal bridge, near Old Stratford, Buck. On Wednesday morning week, owing to the driver of a timber drug having neglected to allow it proper room to pass. From this cause the driver of the mail was compelled to pull too near the side, when one of the wheels running upon a step leading down to a house, was thrown against the premises with great force, by which the driver and three passengers were thrown to the ground - one of whom was so much injured as to obliged to be left behind. The horses, in their endeavours to get the coach on the road, broke the pole, and set off to Stony Stratford at full speed, one of them being much injured by dragging the pole behind it. It is singular that in breaking from their trammels, the horses caused the coach to fall down on the opposite side of the road, by which it was much shattered.

The Northampton Mercury March 24th 1866

ACCIDENT. On Thursday evening last an accident happened at this station [Wolverton] to Mr. Horwood of Old Stratford. Mr. Horwood, who is between 60 and 70 years of age, came up by train, and, when alighting, his foot slipped, and one of his legs, got between the carriage and the platform. On being extricated, it was found that his leg was broken near the knee.

The Northampton Mercury November 6th 1869

ACCIDENT. As Mr. Hewitt, representative of Messrs. Phillips Bros. Brewers, of Northampton, at Stony Stratford, was returning home from Towcester market, and when near to Potterspury, one of the wheels of the vehicle came off, which so frightened the horse that immediately started off at full speed, throwing Mr. Sanders, of the Black Horse Inn, Old Stratford, who was riding with Mr. Hewitt, out into the road. Mr. Hewitt succeeded in gaining control over the animal, and was in the act of getting out of the trap, when it started off, and a projecting part of the vehicle caught him in the ribs, and threw him with considerable force to the ground. The horse continued his career, passing several conveyances on the road without damage, through the toll-gate at Old Stratford where it appears to have slackened speed, but gain impetus in coming down the hill, as it came through the street at a tremendous pace, and turned direct into the Bull Inn yard without injuring any one. Both Mr. Sanders and Mr. Hewitt, with the exception of several bruises and a violent shaking, were not hurt. The horse's legs were very much cut, and the vehicle considerably damaged.

The Northampton Mercury December 25th 1886

ACCIDENT. On Sunday last, Dec. 17, Mr. Graham's coachman was returning from Wellingborough in charge of a brougham and a pair of horses, and when at Old Stratford, it collided with a dog cart, both vehicles being damaged, that of Mr. Graham's to the tune of several pounds. The coachman was violently thrown from his seat, and sustained a severe bruising, his face being very much cut.

One horse Brougham

Invented for Scottish jurist Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, or simply made fashionable by his example, a brougham (pronounced "broom" or "brohm") was a light, four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage built in the 19th century.[1] It had an enclosed body with two doors, like the rear section of a coach; it sat two, sometimes with an extra pair of fold-away seats in the front corners, and with a box seat in front for the driver and a footman or passenger. Unlike a coach, the carriage had a glazed front window, so that the occupants could see forward. The forewheels were capable of turning sharply. A variant, called a brougham-landaulet, had a top collapsible from the rear doors backward.[2] In the 1930s, a brougham was a two-door sedan, especially one electrically driven. The term was also applied to a vehicle similar to a limousine but with an outside seat in front for the chauffeur and an enclosed cabin behind for the passengers.

The Northampton Mercury October 7th 1892

NARROW ESCAPE FROM DROWNING. A boy named Sidney Mackerness, about three or four years of age, son of Mr. Mackerness, of Old Stratford, was playing alongside the canal on Saturday, when by some means he fell into the water. Help not being forthcoming at once, the little lad's position was extremely critical. Ere it was too late, however, help arrived. Mr.  Jefcoate, of New street, Stony Stratford jumping into the canal and rescuing the child. Medical aid was procured, and in a short time animation was restored, the boy has now recovered from the effects of the immersion.

The Northampton Mercury June 9th 1899

SERIOUS ACCIDENT AT OLD STRATFORD. On Friday morning last, Mr. S. Smith, a farmer of Puxley, was drenching a heifer at Old Stratford, when it was frightened by his dog, and, plunged forward, drove the point of its horn into the unfortunate man's eye. Mr. W. Panter, who was assisting him, at once drove the sufferer to Dr. T. S. Maguire's, Stony Stratford, who advised his removal to Northampton Infirmary. On arrival at the Infirmary it was found the eyeball was smashed, and it was successfully removed the same evening.

The Northampton Mercury January 20th 1905

ACCIDENT. On Monday afternoon a serious accident happened to Mr. Walter Slaymaker, coal merchant, etc. It appears that some timber was being used in constructing a yard, when a large piece fell, knocking Mr. Slaymaker down, and rendering him unconscious for a short time. The piece of timber fell across Mr. Slaymaker’s body. Dr. Powell was quickly in attendance. It was feared Mr. Slaymaker, had sustained internal injuries, and he was removed to Northampton Hospital on Thursday.

The Northampton Mercury May 31ST 1907

ACCIDENT. About 7.30 on Friday evening a lad named William Hopkins, of Old Stratford, was knocked down by a pony (attached to a governess car) driven by Mr. T. Hawley, the wheel of the car passed over him. The boy was taken into Dr. Bull’s and attended to. He was found to be bruised, but it was expected he will be all right in a few days.

Governess Cart

A Governess cart is a small two-wheeled horse-drawn cart.[1] Their distinguishing feature is a small tub body, with two opposed inward-facing seats. They could seat four, although there was little room for four large adults. The driver sat sideways on one of these seats. The centre rear of the body was lowered, or else had a small hinged door, and there was a step beneath. The wheels were of moderate size, always fitted with mud guards, and usually carried on elliptical springs. The axle was either straight or dropped, giving a low, stable, centre of gravity.

The purpose of the cart was to be light enough to be drawn by a well-tempered pony or cob, who would be gentle enough, according to the mores of the time, to be handled by a lady. This gave rise to the cart's name, as they were frequently used by governesses to transport their child charges.[2] The governess rode in the cart with the passengers, where they could easily be observed. The cart was also relatively safe, being difficult to either fall from, overturn, or to injure oneself with either the horse or wheels.

The governess cart was a relatively late development in horse-drawn vehicles, appearing around 1900 as a substitute for the dogcart. These were a similar light cart, but their high exposed seats had a poor safety record for passengers, particularly children, falling from them.

The Northampton Mercury June 25th 1909


On Sunday there was a motor smash at the cross roads at Old Stratford, two cars, one coming from the direction of Northampton and the other going up the hill towards Towcester, colliding.
Both cars were considerably damaged. Fortunately the occupants did not sustain serious injury. Several including some ladies were much bruised and upset, however, and they were taken into the residence of Mrs. Rolls and attended to. By Dr. Bull.
Later in the evening Mr. O. Hamilton, of the Automobile Engineering Works, Old Stratford, took the occupants of one car up to London. At the time of writing our correspondent had been unable to obtain the names of the car occupants.

The Northampton Mercury June 10th 1910


A meeting of the committee of the Northamptonshire Automobile Club:

The R.A.C. wrote respecting the dangerous main road crossing at Old Stratford, and it was decided that the secretary should see the county surveyor.

The Northampton Mercury January 24th 1913


Mr. J. R. Rogers, of Stony Stratford, had an exciting experience whilst riding through the town on horseback on Thursday afternoon. He was riding a valuable hunter, when the animal took fright and galloped through the High-street, in the direction of Old Stratford. On reaching Old Stratford, however, the horse slipped, and fell into a deep trench by the roadside. Fortunately, the rider escaped unhurt, but the animal broke its fetlock, and had to be destroyed.

The Northampton Mercury July 12th 1918


An accident occurred to Mrs. And Miss Marchant whilst out driving in a governess car on Monday. They were returning from Stony Stratford about seven o’clock in the evening and, when near the bridge, Miss Marchant, who was driving, observed a runway coming at a great pace from Old Stratford and on the wrong side of the road. She immediately got out and held the horse’s head, but the runaway failed to clear and her mother was thrown out on to the road. With assistance Mrs. Marchant was taken to Mrs. Adams’ house and attended to by Dr. Powell, who found that the collar-bone was broken. Mrs. Marchant is now going nicely. The horse and van, belonging to Mr. Wm. Payne, greengrocer, of Stony Stratford, had been left in Mr. Slaymaker’s yard at Old Stratford, and it is presumed that a line-prop fell on it and startled it. After the collision it continued at a great pace through Stratford, and making Calverton turn past the Green was eventually stopped by Mr. Woollard, lieutenant of special constables.

The Northampton Mercury September 26th 1919

Two motorists collided at the cross-roads at Old Stratford on Wednesday week. Mr. Frank Davis, accompanied by a man named Henry, was retuning homewards when the car collided with a great force with a motor belonging to Messrs. E. and H. Roberts, which was proceeding to Deanshanger. Mr. Davis was severely shaken and Henry suffered slight concussion. The lorry and car were damaged considerably. One of the wheels of the lorry was completely smashed and splintered, but the tyre was unpuntured.

The Northampton Mercury October 22nd 1920

On Thursday afternoon last, in the High-street, Henry Douglas Brown, aged 4½ years was run over by a motor car, driven by Mr. W. Andrews, of Loughton, Stoke-on-Trent, who was travelling in the direction of London. The accident occurred near the top of the High-street, in the vicinity of the Wolverton-road turn. The motorist promptly pulled up, and picking the lad up, carried him into the St. Mary’s School, and later conveyed the lad to his home at Old Stratford, and fetched the father, who was working in a field nearby. He afterwards called for a doctor. The injury to the boy was a broken thigh.

The Northampton Mercury

ACCIDENT.- An accident occurred at Old Stratford on Saturday night last. It appears that a motor car, driven by Mr. Percy Robert Hedges, of Great Linford, was returning from Buckingham and when opposite Mr. Cave's garage, collided with three horses which were being taken by Mr. Jack Button to a field. Two horses were knocked down and injured and had to receive veterinary treatment. Button received a severe shaking when knocked off a horse which necessitated medical treatment. The car was damaged, the radiator knocked in and a lamp smashed.

The Wolverton Express April 12th 1963

A car travelling towards Old Stratford from Yardley Gobion direction last Thursday night collided with the bridge at the “Dogs Mouth”.  The incident occurred at 11 15pm and the four occupants of the car, all from Bletchley, were injured. Taken to hospital were the driver Kenneth J Harvey c/o 67 Denbeigh Road, Richard Spanner 28 Warwick Road, Patricia Ann Taylor, 79 Tattenhoe Lane, and Shirley Harrison 102 Carnarvon recent.  The two women were detained.