1884: High drama mid-viaduct


Opening sequence from video below

On Friday Mr Labouchere's staghounds, from Warnham, Surrey, came sweeping across the country in pursuit of hind, passing by Slaugham, Staplefield, and Sydnye to the railroad above Haywards Heath, where the hounds brought it to bay the centre of the Ouse Valley viaduct. the deer making an attempt to clear the parapet. But it was lucky it failed, as the fall would have exceeded 100 feet, and killed it on the spot.

Several gentlemen dismounted and climbed up the bank to the rescue, group of hounds and hunters with the deer, being placed in a dangerous position should a fast train come down the line, the curve at the north entrance of the viaduct rendering it impossible for the driver to see them in time to pull up.


As it was, no down train was at hand, but before the deer was secured the 2.30pm train from Haywards Heath hove in sight, the driver of which, observing the signals waved by the hunters, slackened speed and brought the train to a standstill, giving time for them to secure the hind, which was taken away to a neighbouring barn and locked up, the gentlemen liberally remunerating the labourers who came to their assistance


Mid Sussex Times, 18 November 1884

Video: by Mossie Fly whose description is as follows: This viaduct is amazing. It was built in 1839 by bringing all the materials down the River Ouse . It is roughly 96 feet high and 1500 feet long and took over 11 million bricks to build. I had to time the video between the train time table, but still gave enough time to capture this. https://youtu.be/wrgGFxNY6MM


Contributed by Malcolm Davison.



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