Hawkins Genealogy Site
Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal and Western Advertiser Wednesday 04 Mar 1936
Page 4 Column 4 and 5
ENTANGLED IN ENGINE WHEEL.
DISCOVERY AT BURROWBRIDGE.
QUESTIONS AT CORONER'S ENQUIRY.
DUTY OF A JURY.
The West Somerset Coroner (Mr. G. P. CLARKE), sitting at the Taunton and Somerset Hospital on Tuesday, warned the jury, of which Mr. P. ARLIDGE was foreman against adding anything to their verdict, stating that if anyone wished to take proceedings they were not concerned with that; they had to ascertain the cause of death.
The inquest was on the body of Fleetwood BOOBYER, aged 34, of Stanmoor Bridge, Burrowbridge, who died in the Taunton and Somerset Hospital on Friday, February 14th, from injuries received the previous evening in a charging-room belonging to Mr. Edward STOREY, of Burrowbridge, when his clothing became entangled in the spindle of a petrol engine.
Mr. C. B. PARDOE, Bridgwater, represented the relatives of deceased; Mr. Cyril WILLIAMS, barrister, appeared on behalf of Mr. STOREY; and Miss HASTINGS, inspector of factories and workshops, represented the Home Office.
Evidence of identification, given by deceased's brother, Lewis BOOBYER, of Laurel House, Stoke St Gregory, at the opening of the inquest on February 15th, was confirmed by him.
Gerard Session HODGE, house surgeon at the Taunton and Somerset Hospital, stated that BOOBYER had a fracture of the skull extending between four and five inches, and the cause of death was laceration of the brain and haemorrhage.
P.C. DOUGHTY, North Curry, described the charging-room, and said the starting wheel was not protected and there was no guard.
Rowland Austin Nicholas HILL, engine driver at Chedzoy Pumping Station, Westonzoyland, stated that he went to the house of Mr. STOREY, jun., to make enquiries respecting an accumulator. Mrs. STOREY answered the door and said the accumulator was “on charge” and she did not like to interfere with it. Witness suggested that he should go down to Mr. Fleetwood BOOBYER and ask him to take it off charge. He found BOOBYER sitting by his fire, and asked him if he would mind going up to take the accumulator off charge, and he replied that he would. Witness went to see BOOBYER's father and mother, and remained there about 15 minutes, and agreed to meet BOOBYER at Mr. STOREY's. On the way back witness passed BOOBYER's house, and on arriving at Mr. STOREY's, Mrs. STOREY, sen., came out and gave witness his accumulator, which he took and went home. Witness looked into the engine-room as he passed.
In answer to Mr. PARDOE, witness said he suggested going for Mr. BOOBYER because he had let him have an accumulator on the previous Tuesday afternoon, when he called at STOREY's premises. BOOBYER was then standing about in the yard, and was not actually engaged in any job when witness called. BOOBYER could not find witness's accumulator, but lent him another one.
In answer to Mr. WILLIAMS, witness said he had seen BOOBYER and other young men in the yard of an evening, as one always saw young men in a village.
In reply to Mr. PARDOE, witness said BOOBYER was with a man named BOYLAND on Tuesday afternoon. BOYLAND ha previously given witness the accumulator, and when he asked BOYLAND for it he replied: “I have nothing to do with it now; 'Fleet' will get it for you.”
Mabel Elizabeth BOOBYER, of Stanmoor, Burrowbridge, widow of the deceased, stated that she was in the house when the last witness accompanied her husband to the end of the toll-gate and saw him enter STOREY's yard. He had been in the habit of going to Mr. STOREY's place in the evening for about three weeks. It was his duty to attend to the accumulators and “do different jobs.” He worked for a number of people in the district and was also employed by the Drainage Board.
By Mr. WILLIAMS: He was employed by Mr. STOREY, and young Mr. STOREY had paid him some money. Some evenings he was paid 2s for attending to the accumulators and taking them off. During the day of February 13th he had worked on the Lyng road cutting withies. He had just taken a pumping engine for the Drainage Board. Her husband was not going to play in a skittles match on the evening of the accident.
Frank PUCKETT, signalman, of Athelney, stated that he heard Mrs. STOREY, jun., shouting hysterically, and he ran to the charging-room and found deceased entangled in the starting wheel of the engine. His stomach was over the spindle of the wheel and the left side of his face was on the ground. His right hand was in his trousers pocket. Deceased was wearing a mackintosh, which was entangled in the spindle of the wheel. The engine was stopped, but the room was illuminated. Witness released him and rendered first-aid until the doctor arrived.
Charles STOREY, baker, of Burrowbridge Post-office, stated that he was sitting by the fire when he heard something like a tree having been “hit over hard.” He went to see what it was. He could not see anything in the yard, and, the engine having stopped, he went to the charging-house, and found deceased in the position described by the previous witness. Deceased had no right in the charging-room and witness had no knowledge of his being there.
In answer to Mr. PARDOE, witness said the garage was noting to do with him. He owned the property and it was carried on by his son. The charging business did not belong to witness. He had never paid deceased any money.
Edward STOREY, radio engineer, of Burrowbridge, son of the previous witness, stated that on February 3rd and February 10th he had employed deceased for about an hour each evening to help connect the batteries. The engine would not be running, as he only charged Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On the evening of the accident witness was away from home, and BOOBYER had no instructions to go to the charging-room.
When Mr PARDOE was about to cross-examine this witness Mr. WILLIAMS said he gathered from the presence of the Factory Inspector that there was a contemplated possibility of a prosecution under the Factories Act.
The Coroner informed the witness that if the use of the engine was restricted to his father and himself possibly he did not come under the Act, but if he employed anyone for reward it came under the Act, and machinery should be protected.
Mr. WILLIAMS: If any questions are going to be put that will render him liable to prosecution I shall object to any such questions. If the Factory Inspector wants to prosecute the evidence must be got in the ordinary way and not in cross-examination.
Replying to questions by Mr. PARDOE, witness said he was 26 years of age and had carried on business for eight years.
Did deceased ever help you take off the batteries? - Never. On the 3rd February he helped me put the accumulators on charge, and I gave him a shilling to get a drink. He was there about 1½ hours.
Did BOOBYER ever start the engine? - Not to my knowledge.
He might have? - I never knew him try to start it.
Did you ever give your wife instructions to send for BOOBYER? - No.
You know that Mr. HILL went down for him? - Yes, I was away.
Mr. WILLIAMS: Had this man your authority to go into the charging-room when you were not there? - No.
Had he ever been to your knowledge in the charging-room except on these two occasions when you were connecting the batteries? - No.
Did you give him authority to do anything at all in your charging-room on the night of the accident? - No.
Had you any idea he was going there? - No, none at all.
Do you allow anyone to go into the charging-room when the engine is working? - No.
Mr. PARDOE: Do you keep the door of the charging-room locked? - Not when the engine is running.
Miss HASTINGS: You know that under the Factory Act a wheel such as you have got would have to be guarded? - No, I was not aware of that if I was using it.
You know that otherwise fly-wheels have to be guarded? - Yes, in factories and that sort of thing.
The Coroner, having told the jury that he thought their correct verdict would be one of misadventure, made the statement quoted above.
The jury, having retired returned a verdict of “Death by misadventure,” and, with the Coroner, expressed sympathy with the relatives.
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<NOTES: Fleetwood BOOBYER son of Morgan Watts BOOBYER and Lily POCOCK, married Mabel Elizabeth MILLER>