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1879: Workers at Holy Trinity Church badly injured in accident

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Petersfield Express - Tuesday 29 April 1879


On Tuesday morning an alarming occurrence took place at the eastern end of the church, where extensive excavations have been going on for several weeks, both underneath the vestry and the roadway adjacent, the Vicar (Rev. F. J. Mount), backed up by the parishioners and churchwardens, deemed it necessary to lay hot water pipes in the sacred edifice in order to afford necessary warmth and comfort to the numerous congregation.

Cuckfield Holy Trinity Church c2000

It appears that two bricklayers, named Edmund Wells and Frederick Bourne, assisted by a labourer, named Charles Newnham, were in a deep hole, where the boiler was to have been lowered, the former having been employed in punching holes into the brickwork, wherein to affix the tubes.

Shortly after nine o’clock a large quantity of stone fell with a crash, some portion of the debris falling on the head of Wells, and inflicting a very severe wound; his left hand at the back was also badly cut right across, and the skin forced up to the knuckles. Newnham was badly injured in the hip, and appeared in great pain, whilst Bourne, although very much frightened, escaped.

Dr. E. S. Byass attended with great promptitude, dressing the wounds of Wells in skilful manner, and it is hoped both the sufferers will quickly recover.

The accident, we believe, is assigned to insufficient support being given to the upper part of the building, the vestry being a very old structure. The Vicar hastened to express his sympathy with the men. Newnham was subsequently able to work, but the other man is confined to his bed.


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