Fair Ground Tragedy at Mexborough

December 1942

South Yorkshire Times – Saturday 26 December 1942

Fair Ground Tragedy

Kilnhurst Man Killed at Mexborough

Lack of supervision of roundabouts was deplored by the Doncaster District Coroner (Mr. W. H. Carlile) at an inquest at Mexborough on Tuesday on Ronald Meggitt (22), shell examiner, of 32, Thorn Road, Kilnhurst, who was fatally injured when he overbalanced on the “Swirl” at Mexborough fair on Saturday.

William Wildman, metal  turner, 17, Edlington Street, Denaby, said he was employed by Mr G. E. Tuby at his fair at Mexborough part-time, collecting fares. About 6-30 he saw Meggitt who got into No. 4 car and before it started was standing in it. Witness told him to sit down, but Meggitt said he would be all right, and continued to stand. The next time witness saw him he was sitting on the side of the car, with one foot in and one out. The car swung round and he overbalanced and fell on to the boards at the side. His foot or his jacket must have been caught by a catch on the bottom of another car which took him round six times. Witness told the operator of the roundabout. Mrs. Tuby, to stop the machine. She was not aware of the accident until then but the machine was stopped Immediately, and he found Meggitt under No. 5 car. With help he tried to lift the car, but failed, and had to set the machinery going again to get Meggitt out.

Coroner: If patrons do not do as they are told could not you turn them out?—Witness: They will not be told. It is not my job to turn them out.

The Coroner asked witness if it would not have been better to get men to lift the car off the man rather than to set it going again and risk increasing the man’s injuries —Witness said no one came forward to help.

Coroner: Surely on a Saturday night there must have been plenty of men there.

John Prendergast, colliery lamp man. 4, Winfield Road. Wath, said Meggitt overbalanced and the next car that came round must have dragged him. The machine was stopped immediately, and he saw that Meggitt was pinned under a car. He went to help but agreed that it would have been better if the car had been lifted off the man. All the cars were full and the roundabout was going very fast when Meggitt fell.

Dangerous To Fool About.

Ellinor Tuby, wife of G.E. Tuby, proprietor of the Mexborough fairground, said on Saturday she took charge of the “swirl.” which was driven by electricity. She controlled the roundabout from its centre by sitting in a box which was open at the front and back so that she could only see part of it. The roundabout was only dangerous if patrons fooled about. She did not see the youth until Wildman told her to pull up. When the machine stopped she saw Meggitt under a car, and they asked her to move the machine a bit to release him. She did so. They always told patrons to sit down, and she had several times made disobedient ones get off.

Coroner: Don’t you think someone ought to be there to supervise? —Yes. I should like a constable on duty there in future.

Inspector Waugh: Is it not a fact that you get busiest when the public houses turn out?—Yes.

Dr. Peter Cosgrove, house surgeon at the Hospital said Meggitt was admitted at 10-40 p.m. He examined him and found him to be dead. There was a laceration on the back of the head, a slight one on the forehead, and he had a fractured skull. The cause of death was laceration of the brain. In answer to the Coroner, witness said that moving the machinery to release him might easily have added to his injuries.

Summing up, the Coroner said there was no evidence to show that Meggitt was the worse for drink. There were notices on the roundabouts, so that patrons were adequately warned. He stressed the importance of there being more supervision to prevent people doing such foolish things.