A shocking accident, which resulted fatally, happened on Saturday morning at Messrs. Radburne and Bennett’s currier’s factory in Victoria-road, Rushden, to a man named Jim Bennett, of 25 Denmark-road, Rushden.
The accident happened at about 10.15 on Saturday morning, and, although no bones were broken, the injuries were of so serious a character that Bennett, notwithstanding every attention on the part of Dr. H. S. Baker, died during the early hours of Monday morning.
The deceased was a man of very high character, and was greatly respected by all who knew him. He was one of the sidesmen connected with the Park-road Wesleyan Church, Rushden, and rendered good service as a Sunday school teacher. The sad news of the accident and of its subsequent fatal termination caused widespread sorrow. The deceased was a member of the Rushden Cycle Parade Committee. Mr. J. Robshaw Brooke (hon. secretary), on behalf of the committee, wrote a letter of condolence with the family. Throughout the town the deepest sympathy is felt for the relatives of the deceased in their loss.
An inquiry into the circumstances was held at the Rushden Police-station on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. G. Tailby was elected foreman of the jury.
Mr. Kellett, H.M. Inspector of Factories, was in attendance, and Mr. F. J. Berryman, solicitor, London, represented Messrs. Radburne and Bennett.
John Bennett, of 25, Victoria-road, Rushden, currier, identified the body viewed by the jury as that of his son Jim, who lived at 25, Denmark-road, Rushden, and was also a currier in the employment of Messrs. Radburne and Bennett. Deceased was 43 years of age.
Wm. Horace Elmer, employed at Messrs. Radburne and Bennett’s, said that on Saturday morning at about 10.15 he was pulling leather out of the drum, by the door at the side of the drum. The safety-bolt was put in. As witness could not reach all the leather he went to Mr. Bennett’s son Horace to ask what he was to do. Bennett said “We’ll have the drum round,” and pulled the safety-pin out and put the belt on. Witness then heard Jim Bennett shout out and witness told Horace Bennett to throw the belt off. He found deceased wedged between the drum and the stay. Witness had not seen deceased between the time he went to speak to Horace Bennett and the time the accident happened. Deceased had gone out into the yard some time before, but witness did not see him come back.
In reply to the Coroner, witness said he had not done the job before. There was other machinery running in the factory, which would prevent the footsteps of anyone passing the drum being heard.
Reginald Horace Bennett, currier, said he saw the witness Elmer, who told him he had not quite emptied the scouring drum. Witness took out the safety-pin and before moving the belt warned Elmer to stand clear. Elmer was watching witness. Witness moved the belt and the drum began to move. Directly afterwards witness heard a shout and tried to shift the belt, but the belt had stopped and witness had to run to the engine and stop it. On returning witness found deceased wedged in between the drum and the upright. With assistance, deceased was removed to his father’s house next door.
Answering the Coroner, the witness said that he was responsible for the drum. He generally had a look round the drum before starting it, but on Saturday he knew that no one except himself and the lad Elmer were at work on the drum and he did not expect anyone to be near it.
By the Inspector: Witness warned the boy to stand clear, but could not have spoken loudly enough for deceased to hear.
By the Coroner: Deceased’s general work was shaving, at the machine next to the drum.
In reply to the juryman, witness said he thought deceased had gone to the drum out of consideration for the lad Elmer.
Mr. Tailby: don’t you think it would be better for the safety-pin to be on the same side of the drum as the door?
Witness: We are of that opinion now.
Dr. Baker said he was called in at about 10.30 on Saturday morning and saw deceased at his father’s house. Deceased was conscious, but was in a state of collapse and witness did not ask him how the accident happened. There were many contusions and abrasions on the body. The greatest part of the impact seemed to have caught the abdomen and the lower part of the chest, which were very much crushed. None of the bones of the limbs were broken, and the head was not injured in any way. Death was due to internal injuries, and took place at about two o’clock on Monday morning.
The Coroner, in summing up, said he did not think the jury would have any difficulty in arriving at a verdict. The boy Elmer was put on the job for the first time, and the deceased, seeing the leather left in the drum, must have gone to help the boy. It seemed to have been a pure accident, with nobody at fault at all.
The jury found a verdict of “Accidental death,” and expressed the opinion that an extra safety-pin should be provided on the side of the drum where the door was.
Mr. Berryman said he could assure the jury that every precaution would be taken to prevent such an accident in the future. The deceased was a connection of the Mr. Bennett who was a member of the firm, and it was not therefore necessary formally to express their very great regret.
The interment took place on Wednesday in the Rushden Cemetery. The Rev. Benjamin Barker (Wesleyan) conducted the service, the first portion of which was held in the Park Road Wesleyan Church where deceased was a member and a Sunday school teacher for about 20 years. A large number of sympathisers assembled both at the church and the cemetery. The coffin, which was of polished elm, and bore the inscription,
Died July 11th, 1910,
Aged 43 years
was borne to the grave by six of his shop-mates Messrs. F. Croft, J. Stacey, J. Goosey, W. Painter, Reed, and Foskett. Eight representatives of Court Alexandra of the Ancient Order of Foresters, of which deceased was a member, were also present at the funeral. The superintendent of the Park-road Wesleyan Sunday school (Mr. A. Gadsby) and the teachers also followed.
The chief mourners were Mrs. J. Bennett (widow), Mr. Harry Bennett (son), the Misses Evelyn, Connie, and Frances Bennett (daughters), Mr. John Bennett (father), Mrs. A. Mitchell (sister), Mr. Harry Bennett (brother), Mrs. H. Mitchell (sister), Mr. Chas. Bennett (brother), Miss Lily Bennett (sister), Mr. George Bennett (brother), Mr. G. Pasilow (father-in-law), Miss Edith Pasilow (sister-in-law), Mrs. F. Clark (sister-in-law), Mr. Will Pasilow (brother-in-law), Mr. Robert Mitchell (brother-in-law), Mr. Harry Mitchell (brother-in-law), Mrs. J. Barringham (aunt), Mrs. Chas. Bennett (sister-in-law), Mrs. Harry Bennett (sister-in-law), Mr. Jas. Bennett (uncle), Mr. Horace Bennett (cousin), and Mr. J. Radburne. The deceased’s mother, who has not yet recovered from the shock, was not able to attend the funeral.
Messrs. Whittington and Tomlin were the undertakers.
A large number of beautiful wreaths were placed on the grave as follow:-
With love from his broken-hearted wife and family.
With sincere regard from Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs.
In loving memory of our dear brother, from Fred and “Tot.”
With heartfelt sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Darlow.
A tribute of sincere sympathy, from brother, sister, and family, W. E. Pasilow.
With best sympathy, from the officers and members of Court Alexandra No. 6968, A.O.F.
From his loving sisters and brothers, Annie and Bessie, Bob and Harry
With deepest sympathy, from his loving sister Netty.
In loving remembrance and sincere sympathy, from the teachers of the Park-road Wesleyan Sunday school.
With deepest sympathy, from Emma Brooks.
With deepest sympathy, from the neighbours.
“Gone, but not forgotten.”
With deepest sympathy, from Mrs. Elmer.
With deepest sympathy, from his workmates at Mr. Chas. G. Cunnington’s.
In loving memory, Dad, Higham.
To dear Uncle, from Maurice and Edie.
With heartfelt sympathy, from his sorrowing brother and sister, George and Lil.
To Uncle, from Ivy.
In loving memory, from Edith and Nellie.
A token of respect, from Messrs. Radburne and Bennett.