Denaby boy’s death – Burning tip at Maltby


Denaby boys death.

Burning tip at Maltby.

A dreadful experience.

An unusual story was told on Monday morning at an inquest held at the Rotherham Borough courthouse by Mr W.J.Bradford (Borough coroner). The deceased was Harry Westwood, aged 12 years, son of Harry Westwood, of 4 Barnborough Street, Denaby main, who expired in the Rotherham hospital on Friday evening of last week.

Mr Norman Gibbs, chairman of the Maltby Parish Council, and Mr Benjamin Hey, sanitary surveyor to the Rotherham rural district Council, attended the inquest.

Thomas Westwood, miner, of 16, Alexandra Street, Maltby, said the deceased was his brother, and he came on a visit from Denaby. He was sent to a tip in a quarry on Maltby crags to pick coal. The tip was in an old quarry hole, and the ashes from the village were thrown there. He saw the lad on the tip. The lad had a bucket. He began to come to the top, and the next the witness saw was the bucket rolling to the bottom. He looked for the boy and could not at first see him. He then noticed his hand come out of a hole and went to him and pulled him out. The land was badly burned about the arms and hands. He left him at the doctors. At the place where the boy went through the ashes were burning. The witness explained that the drying of matter from the road had formed a crust through which the lad had fallen.

In answer to Mr Gibbs, he said there was a proper road to the tip, and if the lad had used it the accident would not have happened. There was a notice board, but he had never read it. The public were allowed to roam all over the crags.

Dr Dobson said the boy was admitted to the Rotherham hospital on Friday last, suffering from severe burns over the whole of his body. He died the same day from shock.

The jury returned a verdict of “accidental death” and recommended that the public authority should take steps to see that the place was better protected.

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