top of page

1926: Collision in London Lane caused by dangerous driving

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Mid Sussex Times – Tuesday 27 July 1926



Helen Edith Cowan Lady of Lower Beeding, was summoned for driving a motor car dangerously at Cuckfield on the morning of July the 2nd.

Evidence was given by Owen Manvell, Steeple Cottage, Haywards Heath, a chauffeur, who said he was driving a motor car along Broad Street, Cuckfield, about 11:15 AM at from 12 to 15 miles an hour. There was another car in front of him about 12 or 15 yards, being driven by a gentleman with a lady seated by his side. The car was travelling towards Cuckfield, and was going a trifle slower than what witness’s car was proceeding because he was approaching a corner.

London Lane c1910

However, when he was practically up to London Lane corner the defendant, in a car with another lady passenger cut around the corner into the middle of the road at a speed of between 20 and 23 miles an hour. She swerved over onto her wrong side of the road and struck the car which had been ahead of the witnesses all the time, with the result that both wings of his, the running board and the front hub were damaged.

After the collision the defendant’s car crossed the road, mounted the pavement and hit a wall. Then it came to a standstill.

PC Webb, of Cuckfield, said the road was 27 feet wide, and there was a skid mark eight feet from the near side of the road going from Haywards Heath to Cuckfield. It was 15 feet in length. The accident had happened within the 10 mile speed limit in the village.

The defendant rather nervously addressed the bench and said that just prior to the collision her speed, according to her speedometer, was 10 mph. She had to drive slowly as she had a lady in the car whom she was conveying to the Haywards Heath Hospital for treatment, because she had sustained a fractured arm the previous day. Miss Fanny Elizabeth Berkshire, the patient in the defendant's car, gave evidence as to the slow speed of the car.

The bench found the case proven, and fined defendant 30 shillings, including costs.



bottom of page