An Early Car Crash in Station Road, Hadfield

Hadfield car crash
Hadfield car crash

Just before midnight on 17 June 1913 a car failed to negotiate the right turn from Salisbury Street, Hadfield, and crashed into number 115 Station Road, a draper's shop.

The Glossop-dale Chronicle and North Derbyshire Reporter of 20 June 1913 reported the accident as follows:


Men Hurled Through Window.
Elderly Man Seriously Injured.
A Ghastly Scene.

A very serious motor accident caused much excitement at Hadfield on Tuesday evening. About ten minutes to twelve the residents of the upper part of Station Road were startled by a terrific bang and crash in the main thoroughfare, and those who had not retired were confronted, upon rushing to their doors, with a terrible spectacle. The shop window of Mrs. Parker, of 115, Station Road, and which only recently had been tastefully set out with blouses, collars, laces and other goods dear to the feminine heart, had been smashed in by a motor car which lay overturned on the pavement below; inside the window were two struggling and bleeding men, and extricating himself from the vehicle was another man who also was bleeding from cuts about the face. Amidst the cries of alarm could be heard earnest appeals to “fetch the doctor, there's a man bleeding to death,” but such requests for assistance were almost unnecessary for Dr. Bollans, who lives close by, was promptly on the scene, together with his wife, Miss Hill, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Booth (the proprietor of the pork shop next door to that where the accident happened), Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Parker Miss Dorothy Nuttall, Mr., Mrs and Miss Jakeman, Mr. and Miss Brooks, Mr. and Mrs. Storey, Mr. Walker, and other shopkeepers in Hadfield's principal business street, all anxious to render what assistance they could to the sufferers from the mishap. Having found that none of their sex were mixed up in the smash most of the ladies withdrew, for the spectacle was a gruesome one in the extreme. Blood streamed from the window; and the wrecked motor car, mixing with the petrol which had been turned off from the car for fear of an explosion, causing the scene of the occurrence to be, in the words of one of the helpers, “more like a slaughterhouse than anything else”.

By the aid of the willing band of helpers, some of whom were clad only in their night attire, the injured men were all taken into adjacent premises, where their wounds were attended to by Dr. Bollans. Two of them were housed until the next morning, but one was so seriously injured that he had to be taken in a taxi-cab to Wood's Hospital, Glossop, for treatment. It seems that the party who met with such a terrible experience had been on a drive around the Snake district, returning by way of Glossop, and intending to take the Woodhead Road to Huddersfield. In the front of the car were seated the owner, Mr. Hubert Thorpe, stockingette manufacturer, of Park Head, Cumberworth, near Huddersfield, and Mr. Jonathan England, of Spring Wood, New Mill, near Holmfirth; the back seat being occupied by Mr. Joseph Roebuck, of the Victoria Inn, Hepworth. Mistaking the turning off Hadfield Road, the car came down Salisbury Street, dashed across Station Road, and struck the pavement broadside. The car was not of the newest pattern, and it is surmised that the brakes may have failed to act. Messrs. Thorpe and England were pitched through the plate-glass window, and they were doubtless saved from being thrown through a second window on the shop side by a strong blind. Mr. England, who is about seventy years of age, was the moat seriously injured of the two, being badly cut about the head and face by the broken glass and losing a great quantity of blood. When helped by Mr. Booth from the window he was found on a heap of debris in the window, the second window being only a few inches behind the blind which had saved him from further hurt. Mr. Thorpe’s hand and arm were cut, and Mr. Roebuck, who, after a time, was able to scramble from the disabled car, sustained injuries, though not of a serious character, to the head and face. The car lamps were precipitated into the road by the force of the impact.

Naturally the accident caused a great sensation in the district, and Station Road was filled with excited people until after one o’clock. Many of them had been enjoying the cool of the evening at their doors after the tropical heat of the day; sleep was banished by the grievous sights they had witnessed, and for a long time they remained excitedly discussing the affair, and the providential escape from being instantly killed of the three gentlemen. The floor of Mr. Booth’s shop was covered with blood, which also saturated drapery goods in Mrs. Parker's shop window, and found its way down the pavement into the roadway where it mixed with the petrol. The blood-bespattered car remained in the roadway until about ten o’clock, when it was removed to a motor garage at Glossop for repair. The condition of Mr. England was, at that time, reported to be rather critical, but the other two men were able to proceed homewards.

On inquiry at the Hospital this morning we were informed that Mr. England was a little better, and so far was going on quite satisfactorily.


It appears that the Joseph & Susanna Parker had not been in residence at number 115 very long as it was empty at the time of the 1911 census (the Parkers were living at 1 Cross Street, Hadfield) and is not mentioned in the Kelly Directory of 1912. How long Susanna ran the drapery business for is unknown but in the 1921 census she was recorded as running a confectionery and tobacconist business at number 115. The business is listed in the 1925 directory but the Parkers had sold it by the time of the 1932 directory and had moved to 3 South Marlow Street. Susannah Parker died on 4 March 1945 and Joseph on 9 December 1954.

Henry Booth (born in Germany about 1867) and his family had been in business in Station Road for far longer. They were recorded at number 119 in the census of 1891 and the Kelly Directory of the same year but had moved to number 117 by the time the Post Office Directory of 1895 was published. The business is listed in Kelly's Directory of 1936 as being run by the son of the family (Charles) Leonard Booth.

Jonathan England, born 16 November 1845, of Spring Wood, New Mill, Huddersfield, died on 2 December 1915.
Both Hubert Thorp, born 20 July 1871, and Joseph Roebuck, born 22 August 1878, were living at the time that the 1939 Register was compiled.

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Last updated: 10 May 2023