Taunton Courier 17 Jun 1936 Fatality at Burrowbridge Police Court Sequel inc Charles STOREY Edward STOREY Fleetwood BOOBYER and Walter John BOYLAND

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Taunton Courier. Bristol and Exeter Journal and Western Advertiser Wednesday 17 Jun 1936

Page 4 Column 7 and 8





A fatal accident at an electrical station at Burrowbridge in February resulted in charges under the Factory and Workshop Acts being preferred against C. Storey & Son, of the Post-office, Burrowbridge, at a special sitting of the Bridgwater magistrates on Thursday.

The first charge was that on February 11th the factory was not kept in conformity with the Act of 1901 in that the occupiers unlawfully failed to securely fence certain parts of a Lister petrol engine, namely the fly-wheel, projecting crank shaft and key.

In the second charge it was alleged that on 13th February owing to the same parts of the engine not being securely fenced one Fleetwood BOOBYER was killed.

Miss A. W. HASKINGS, district inspector of factories, prosecuted, and Mr. Cyril WILLIAMS, barrister, of Bristol, appeared for the defence. Mr. Cuthbert B. PARDOE watched the case for deceased's relatives.

Miss HASTINGS, in opening, explained that at Burrowbridge there was a building which comprised the Post-office, a bake-house, and a yard in which there were various sheds. Three of the sheds were used for the electrical business. The most important shed was the one containing a 5h.p. engine driving a dynamo, and in which were a number of wireless batteries. Adjacent to it was another shed containing 35 storage batteries, which were always in circuit, and there was another shed in which 60 batteries could be charged and in which cycle repairing was done. The question arose as to who were the occupiers of the place, and she had charged C. Storey & Son, as there were only Mr. C. STOREY, senr., and his son, Edward STOREY.


On February 11th, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 6.45 p.m. to 10 p.m., a man called Fleetwood BOOBYER was employed in the department in connecting up the wireless batteries. During the time he was there the engine was running and there was no guard for the fly-wheel and crank shaft end.

Two days later BOOBYER went to the charging station in consequence of a man named HILL calling at his house. BOOBYER was only partially employed there was he had been cutting withies during the day. He went there at about 7.15 p.m., and about 7.40 p.m. a noise was heard in the STOREY's house. They rushed out and BOOBYER was found entangled by his clothing in the shaft-end and fly-wheel. His injuries were such that he died next day in hospital.

Mr. WILLIAMS pointed out that his contentions were that S. Storey & Son were not the occupiers of the place in question, that the place was not a factory, and that BOOBYER was not in the employment of either of the defendants. There were two businesses, the battery charging station being carried on by Edward STOREY.

Miss HASTINGS gave evidence in support of her opening statement, and stated the plant generated electricity to light the bakehouse, Post-office, and school, and for a number of wireless batteries. Mr. C. STOREY told her that he had nothing to do with the charging plant, and that the partnership was dissolved about three months previously, when his son ceased baking owing to ill-health.


The son, Edward STOREY, corroborated his father. On February 25th, when she visited the place there was no guard for the fly-wheel and projecting crank shaft end. There was always very great danger there because the fly-wheel was in a direct line with the door. The cost of guarding the parts would by <sic> trifling, only a few shillings.

In reply to Mr. WILLIAMS, Miss HASTINGS said Edward STOREY had never denied that it was his business, but the father had always said he had nothing to do with it.

Percy E. SHAPLAND, an inspector of Factories, of Imen's-avenue, Bristol, corroborated the evidence of Miss HASTINGS regarding the machinery.

Thomas PREDO, insurance agent, of Old Priory, North Curry, stated that on February 11th he called at STOREYS' premises and Fleetwood BOOBYER brought out the tools for him to tighten the wheel of his motor-cycle. He later returned and left his machine there after a conversation with BOOBYER. In the evening he went there with two companions, and BOOBYER was still there connecting up batteries. Witness saw the fly-wheel and end of the crank shaft were exposed, and pushed Mr. DARE back as his coat was flapping and witness thought he might get drawn into the fly-wheel.

Gerald C. D. DARE, Squires Garage, North Curry, baker, and Horace BOARD, gardener, of Windmill Hill, North Curry, corroborated PREDO's statement.

Walter John BOYLAND, engine driver, of Hookbridge, Stoke St. Gregory, stated he worked at the charging plant at odd times up to 25th January, and Fleetwood BOOBYER took his place.

Roland N. A. HILL, engine driver, of Chedzoy Pumping Station, stated he went to Fleetwood BOOBYER to enquire about his battery, and subsequently the battery was handed to him by Mr. STOREY, senr., who said his son had asked him to do so.

Morgan Watts BOOBYER, bricklayer, of Windsor House, Burrowbridge, father of Fleetwood BOOBYER, stated he saw Edward STOREY give his son a drink and some silver at the King Alfred Inn on the 11th February.

At this stage the Court adjourned for lunch.


Frank BUCHETT, signalman, of Athelney, gave evidence of seeing BOOBYER entangled in the fly-wheel, which was unguarded, and of assisting in releasing him.

Lewis BOOBYER, general dealer, brother of deceased, stated that about a week before the accident he saw his brother attending to the batteries and other things at the STOREYS' premises.

Mabel Elizabeth BOOBYER, widow of deceased, of Stanmoor Bridge, Burrowbridge, stated that when deceased came home on the night of February 11th he gave her 2s.

William E. UNDERHILL, of East Lyng, excavator driver, stated two nights before the accident he saw BOOBYER in the STOREYS engine room while the engine was running. A week previously he saw BOOBYER in the yard.

Walter WINCHESTER, withy worker, of Stathe, stated on the Monday before the accident he saw deceased taking a wheel out of a bicycle in STOREYS' yard. Deceased put a glass in witness's bicycle lamp.

Edwin CORNISH, of New-road, Othery, general labourer, stated he saw BOOBYER at the STOREYS' premises on a number of occasions a week or fortnight prior to the accident.


Mr. WILLIAMS submitted there was no case to answer against C. Storey & Son, and protested against such a charge being brought when every investigation had gone to prove that it was the son's business and not the fathers.

The Bench ruled that there was a case to answer.

First Edward STOREY stated that the electrical business belonged to himself and his father had no connection with it. In support of his statement he produced his bank book.

Similar evidence was given by Charles STOREY, the father, who also stated his son had no connection with the baking business.

Mr. WILLIAMS contended that the place was not a factory and that BOOBYER was not in the employment of either of the defendants.


The Bench decided that the premises were a factory and fined defendants £5 in the first case and £30 in the second, with special costs of £8 5s. The Chairman (Mr H. T. DANIEL) said the Bench hoped the Home Office would see fit to apply the penalty to the benefit of the family of the deceased.

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<NOTES: Fleetwood BOOBYER son of Morgan Watts BOOBYER and Lily POCOCK, married Mabel Elizabeth MILLER

Mabel Elizabeth MILLER daughter of Ernest Miller and Ada Rose CLEMENTS, married Fleetwood BOOBYER

Walter John BOYLAND son of Henry BOYLAND and Alice LOMAN, married Grace BOOBYER>