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Northampton Mercury, 25th May 1900, courtesy of Jon Abbott
Nellie Warren
Cycling Fatality at Ringstead

A painful sensation was caused in the village of Ringstead on Monday afternoon by a cycling accident, which resulted in the almost instantaneous death of a young woman named Nellie Warren. It appears that the deceased, who was a machinist, aged 25 years, had been enjoying half a day’s holiday granted by the firm on which she was employed in celebration of the relief of Mafeking. In company with other friends, she hired a bicycle, and proceeded up the Raunds road for the purpose of learning to ride. Deceased left her companions at the top of the hill, and mounting the machine, proceeded down the steep incline. Being only a learner, deceased had not full control of the machine, and when at a narrow part of the road met one of Messrs. Campbell Praed and Sons’ brewer’s wagons laden with mineral waters. How the accident really happened cannot at present be gathered, but the poor girl evidently crashed into the side of the vehicle, and he head coming into contact with the brake-block, she received such terrible injuries that death was almost instantaneous. Her horror-stricken companions at once picked the body up, and assistance being obtained from the village, the body was removed to the deceased’s home.


The inquest was held at the Swan Inn, Ringstead on Tuesday. Mr. J. Perry was chosen as foreman of the jury, and the following eveidence was adduced.—Albert Hankins, step-father of the deceased, identified the body. Deceased was 25 years of age, and had recently been learning to ride a bicycle.—Charles Underwood, a currier’s labourer, stated that on Monday afternoon he, with Mr. Barwick, was driving a wagon containing mineral waters from Ringstead to Raunds. When ascending the hill leading out of the former parish he saw deceased coming down the incline on a bicycle. Witness, who was only going about 3½ miles an hour, pulled up because deceased was on the wrong side of the road, and appeared to be steering directly towards the wagon. Deceased crashed into the vehicle, and witness and his companion at once jumped down, finding deceased very much injured about the head. A strong wind was blowing behind the deceased, and the machine appeared to be quite beyond her control. Witness could not say whether the deceased caught the fence or the wall, but as soon as she touched the vehicle she cried “Oh!”—James Major, whitestone labourer, Ringstead, stated that he saw the accident, being at the side of the wagon at the time. The vehicle was only going about 4 miles an hours, and the driver, who was perfectly sober, was on the right side of the road. He heard a crash, and saw deceased lying on the ground.—Mr. Joseph Bird, surgeon, Thrapston, deposed to being called to see deceased on Monday afternoon. On reaching the house of the last witness he found his assistant already in attendance, but death had ensued almost instantaneously. The injuries to deceased’s head were consistent with her having collided with a heavy vehicle.—A verdict of “Accidental Death” was returned, the Jury calling the attention of the Parish Council to the state of the iron fence at the scene of the accident, which they considered needed attention.

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