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1913: Wasp sting likely cause of 'Heath carriage smash

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Brighton Gazette - Saturday 30 August 1913

HOVE LADY'S NARROW ESCAPE Haywards Heath Carriage Smash.


The sting of a wasp was the supposed cause of an accident which occurred at Haywards Heath on Thursday afternoon, and which might easily have had a most disastrous ending. A Hove lady, Miss Ethel Chance, with two maids, Esther Jolly and May Turner, were being driven in a landau from Calbourne to the Haywards Heath railway station on the conclusion of a month’s holiday visit.


When passing along the Broadway, the horse made a sudden plunge and bolted down Perrymount-road. The driver, named Holmes, pluckily clung to the reins and endeavoured to steer the runaway through Commercial Square and down the Mill-road, but it swerved in the square, and turned directly towards the Burrell Arms Hotel. The horse ran over the pavement, and a wheel of the vehicle struck the corner of the building with great force. The wheel was shattered, the horse fell, und the carriage overturned.



Holmes was thrown over the horse, but luckily he fell clear of the building, and escaped without serious injury. The three occupants of the carriage were also thrown out on to the pavement. Miss Chance and the maid Turner escaped apparent injury, but the other maid, Esther Jolly, was cut and severely bruised about the face. They were taken into the hotel, where they received every attention, and medical aid was summoned.


Although no bones were found to be broken, Miss Jolly was badly shaken, and was not in a fit condition to leave the hotel the same evening. The carriage was considerably damaged. The driver Holmes sustained a bruised hand, but it is considered marvellous how the party escaped more serious personal injuries in such a smash up.


Jill HarwoodEthel was 46 and the daughter of a retired civil servant, Ethel Jolly was 32 and cook to the family, while May Turner was 25 and the parlourmaid. There's not enough detail to trace Holmes, the carriage driver.

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