Crane Fatality at Cadeby – Policeman’s Son’s Shocking Death – Trying To Stop a Runaway

July 1905

Mexborough and Swinton Times July 8, 1905

Crane Fatality at Cadeby
Policeman’s Son’s Shocking Death
Trying To Stop a Runaway

A shocking accident in which James Bellerby, aged 27, living with his parents at the Police Station Cadeby, met his death, occurred at the Cadeby Main Colliery on Monday morning.

An enquiry into the circumstances was held at the Police Station, Cadeby, on Wednesday afternoon by the district coroner, Mr F.Nicholson. Mr A. Walker, Chief Inspector of mines was present, Mr A.H.Barnard, agent, and Mr Williamson, engineer, represented the Colliery Company. Mr W.H.Braithwaite was the foreman of the jury.

The first witness call James Bellerby, father of the deceased, who gave evidence of identification. Witness was a police constable in the west riding constabulary, station at Cadeby. Deceased was a crane driver, employed at the Cadeby Colliery. Witness last saw him alive on Sunday evening, shortly after 9 o’clock. He went to work as usual about 530 on Monday morning, and shortly after 10 o’clock brought home dead.

In answer to Mr Walker, witness said deceased and never complain about his work. He had been employed at the Colliery about seven years.

Arthur Rylatt, a Labour, working at the Cadeby Colliery, said deceased was driving his crane on Monday morning. Witness saw him about 6:10 o’clock, when he was engaged in oiling the bearings. The deceased did not actually work the crane until about 9:45 o’clock. A number of man, along with witness, were engaging in removing some “light” work. The deceased then shifted some “heavy” work for them. HA which held the iron which they were lifted, slipped off and deceased asked witness and another man to sprag the wheels of the crane. They did so, but as deceased had gone as far as he wanted he asked them to take them out. After going a short distance to put them in again, but the crane run over them and brought them up. To crane then run down the incline into a shed.

In answer to Mr Walker, witness said to crane was going very slow. He did not know whether there was a brake on the crane.

John Dodds, and engine driver employed at the Colliery, said at 9 o’clock in the morning he was in the headgear at the pit and saw the crane running away. He saw the deceased deliberately jump down in front of it with a sprag in his hand. He could not say what happened afterwards.

In answer to Mr Walker, the witness said the crane was fitted with a brake, which, if applied, he thought could have stopped it.

John Simpson, a labourer, residing at 105 Annerley Street, Denaby, said the crane ran down a distance of 60 yards. He did not believe it went over the deceased, but crushed him against the beams and the carriage of the crane.

Vincent Rhodes, Engine wright at the Cadeby colliery, said he had been employed there for 15 years. The deceased was a spare crane driver, and been employed in that capacity off and on for four years. Examined the crane after the accident, and found that it had run into some girders. The machinery was all right. The brake was off, but in complete working order. In his opinion, if the brake had been applied the accident would have been avoided. The gradient was one in 75.

Answer to Mr Walker, witness said the engine was out of gear. He believed the deceased got confused. He was a very steady man, careful and attentive to his duties. Witness thought he would have been all right if he had stayed in the crane instead of jumping off.

The jury returned a verdict that the deceased was “Accidentally killed”.