Mexborough& Swinton Times June 28, 1941
Denaby Child’s Death
Struck by Falling Spouting
How 22-months-old Hazel Cox, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas George Cox, of 84, Blythe Street, Denaby, was fatally injured by a piece of spouting which fell from the roof of 115, Loversall Street, Denaby, last Thursday, was described at an inquest at the Fullerton Hospital on Saturday when the Doncaster District Coroner (Mr. W. H. Carlile), recorded a verdict of “Accidental Death”.
Lizzie Cox, mother, said the houses in Blythe Street and Loversall Street stood back to back, and the child was attracted into Loversall Street by a loud speaker van.
Annie Elizabeth Moore, of 10 Loversall Street, Denaby, said she saw Hazel Cox sitting on a chair outside 115, Loversall Street, playing with another child. The length of spouting seemed to hit her on the back of the head and knock her flat on her face. There was apparently nothing to cause the spouting to fall and no wind. Mr. R. S. Pennington who represented the Denaby and Cadeby Colliery Company, who own the houses, pointed out that even if there was no wind in the street the conditions above the houses might have been entirely different. Mrs. Moore said extensive damage to the spouting had been done by last year’s snow, but some repairs had been effected by the Colliery Company.
Minnie Hunt, of 115, Loversall Street, Denaby, said on Thursday when she was returning home about 4.45 p.m., she saw the spouting fall on the child, took her home, and subsequently to the hospital where she died at 8 p.m.
John Stafford, of 18, Tickhill Street, Denaby, foreman in charge of outdoor repairs and employed by the Colliery Company said he had inspected the house after the accident and found that two lengths of spouting, each 6ft. long, had become dislodged at the front of the house, one of these by heavy snow last year. The Colliery Company owned 1,800 houses in Denaby, and about 80 per cent of these had been similarly affected. Since March, 1940, 40,000 feet of spouting had been put up. He had ordered hi men to take down any dangerous spouting, so obviously the piece which had fallen on Thursday was not considered dangerous. The woodwork to which the spouting was attached had not rotted but the nails which fastened it rusty.
Albert Thorpe, of Park Mexborough, assistant clerk at Denaby Colliery, said part of his job was to take down complaints from tenants of houses. As complaints about spouting were so frequent he might not have entered it in the report book.
Dr. D. T. Clark said he went to the Fullerton Hospital at 6 p.m., and found the child still alive and being attended. She was then unconscious and died about 8 p.m. Cause of death was a fractured skull.
The Coroner said although the shortage of spouting and labour was recognised, it was dangerous to leave half a spouting on a house, and this should have been immediately removed.