BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 27 June, 2001, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Railway's first accident victim remembered
memorial
Huskisson's memorial suffered attacks by vandals
A memorial to the first man killed in a railway accident in the UK has been restored.

The stone tablet marks the spot where the legendary 'Rocket' locomotive ran over the Rt Hon William Huskisson more than 150 years ago.

He was hit by the train during the opening of the Liverpool to Manchester railway when he stepped on to the line.

Vandals and the passage of time had taken its toll on the original memorial and a ceremony marked the unveiling of a new stone.

The monument stands alongside the railway line on the site of the former Parkside station near Newton-Le-Willows.


This is a monument to an unfortunate accident which rightly claims its place in British railway history

Mike Cowman,
Railtrack
The original marble tablet bearing a tribute to the memory of Mr Huskisson was crumbling to pieces.

Mike Cowman, Railtrack North West zone director, said: "This is a monument to an unfortunate accident which rightly claims its place in British railway history.

"As such it is fitting that it should be restored and maintained in the same way as any other memorial to a major event in our history."

Sir William McAlpine, chairman of the Railway Heritage Trust, said: "The Railway Heritage Trust has been involved from the start in the lengthy campaign to restore this monument.

"We are delighted that the lead we took in funding a feasibility study in 1998 has resulted in the magnificent restoration work."

Thousands cheered

Mr Huskisson, a well-known MP in Liverpool, was killed on 15 September 1830.

The line's opening was being marked by a procession of eight locomotives, all built by George Stephenson.

monument
Monument to the railway's first accident victim
About 600 guests took part in the event and there were thousands of specators to cheer them along.

Mr Huskisson was a guest of the Duke of Wellington whose personal carriage was drawn up on one railway line at Parkside to review the procession passing by on the other track.

However the pair became involved in a heated political discussion and Mr Huskisson decided to leave the carriage.

In the confusion that followed, Mr Huskisson was struck by "Rocket" which was steaming along at 24mph.

He was taken to the parsonage at Eccles aboard the locomotive "Northumbrian", driven by George Stephenson himself.

Unfortunately, William Huskisson MP never recovered from his injuries.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

04 Jul 99 | UK
Scotsman back on track
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories