*UNKNOWN* - Can You Help?16 Comments
Item #: 32039
It is strange that he kept this cutting all those years.
Search this site for Ludovic Berry and Dolly for your answers
Dolly the engine and driver disappears at Abram Colliery.
That was April 1945 when a very large hole opened up under the railway tracks and swallowed up Dorothy the engine and driver.
Hi Barrie, the drivers name was ludovic berry and the loco was named Dolly, the disaster is on this site somewhere, very tragic the shaft was filled in it was ludovics final resting place.
The drivers name was Ludovic Barry.
According to a newspaper report on May 1st 1945, the train fell 1,200 feet with its 13 wagons and about 150 tons of coal. The driver Mr Ludovic Berry, a widower, had been a driver for the Maypole Colliery since 1908, and the train load of wagons was the last before he finished work for the day. The brakeman and colleague, Mr John Ward heard rumblings and noticed steam was gushing out, as they approached that part of the railway which crosses what was the main shaft of the old New Zealand colliery, but there was no reason to anticipate danger. When the train was immediately over the old shaft, Mr Ward saw the ground slowly cave. He shouted to Berry to jump but the driver was too late.
There is a commemorative plaque for the engine driver Ludovic Berry at the Travelers Caravan site, which is signposted off Bickershaw Lane. It's on the left going towards Bickershaw. Here's the link to the page on Wiganworld. http://www.wiganworld.co.uk/stuff/past1.php
I remember this occurring, I was eleven years of age. They never recovered the engine driver’s body. A service was held where this tragedy occurred . The bake man tried to apply the brakes, on some of the twelve wagons, to no avail.
There were two sister engines. One was Dorothy, I cannot remember the name of the other one.
Thanks to all on the comments. Been a great help and looking at the story from yesteryear. Have looked at my Fathers diary for the period (I was born days later at home before war ended) and he was travelling to Tyldesley from Wigan each day by train so I guess it was the talk of the compartment the following morning but no mention in the diary. After the current world crisis is sorted and we can move freely again, a trip over to the area is beckoning.
Last night I remembered what the other pit locomotive’s name was. It was DELIA. There was DOLLY, DOROTHY, and DELIA..
Let me know when your going Barrie, when all the giddiness stops I'll have a ride over with you. I believe the plaque is in undergrowth near a travellers site. Wouldn't mind a look at what, if anything, is left of the old Maypole site whilst we're over that way.
When the time comes for your visit to the site of the once Maypole Colliery. It may be appropriate to visit the memorial monument in the Parish Church cemetery, where all of the victims of the 1908 explosion are laid to rest. Their names are inscribed on the monument. The church is on on the very sharp bend, opposite the council offices.
the old maypole site is a housing estate now . The church has some maypole memorabilia on display as well as the memorial .
There is a very good book, with very detailed contents that I had many years ago. ‘ Diary of a colliery disaster’.ISB number.9500 280 88. May be obtainable on the internet.
Correction ISBN code 0 9500 280 88.
Having looked on the internet, it would appear that this book is out of print. Wigan Heritage Centre may hold a copy.