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NEW ZEALAND MATCH AT SWANSEA. SEQUEL HEARD IN THE ASSIZE COURTS. DISTRESSING ACCIDENT TO A GOWERTON TINPLATER. "A SCRATCH TRAIN AND A SCRATCH CREW." ø At the Glamorgan Assizes at Swansea, on Monday, a sequel to the visit to Swansea of the New Zealand football tearr came before Mr. Jus- tice Suttom and a special jury, in the shape of an action for damages for personal in- juries* Plaintiff was David Emns, tin- worker, of 3, Mill-street, Gowerton, who was represented by Mr. S. T. Evans, K.C., M.P., and Mr. Villiers Meager (instructed by Mr. Edward Harris, Swansea), and the defendants, the London and North Western Railway Company, for whom Mr. B. Francis Williams, K.C., and Mr. St. John Wil- liams (instructed by Mr. C. de J. Andrews, Lcmdoc; appeared. In opening, Mr. S. T. Evans said that the plaintiff claimed compensation ior the lose of a leg, sustained whilst a passenger on the defendant company's line on Dec. 30th last, but the only question the jury would be concerned with was the question of liability, because the amount cf com- pensation, in the event of the Company being found liable, had been agreed to. The train in question was a sort of a scratch train for the occasion. The New Zealand match was taking place in Swansea on the 30th of December. For the purposes of bringing men who had nothing better to do—(laughter)—to Swansea, the London and North-Western Railway Company ran a special train from Llandrinded. The cir- cumstances under which they ran it were very peculiar. He believed the excursion, as well as the train, started from Llandrin- dod. It 'eft Victoria Station at Swansea oo the return journey at 11.15 p.m. Plain- tiff had attended the football match with his two brothers, reaching the station in good time for the departure ofThe train. It arrived at Gowerton about 11.30 p.m. and stopped. Plaintiff was proceeding to alight when the train gave a sudden jerk forward, and the reason probably was because the train had previously stopped just a little short of the water tank at the end of the platform. At any rate, the driver wa.s not aa ordinary driver on the London and North Western Railway. He (counsel) had called it & scratch train, and it also had a sort of scratch driver, who, he believed, was a shun- ter at Builth or thereabouts. The effect of this jerk, after the train had stopped, was to precipitate the plaintiff right on to* the rails. Mrjjy other passengers were also thrown on to the platform, but, fortunately, received no serious injuries. There was oiso a scratch guard on the train, for he was a warehouseman from Radnorshire. The train apparently consisted of ten carriages and a guard's van behind the engine, though the company were unable to say exactly, and the platform at the Gowerton Station was an old one and lower than the ordinary plat- forms, whilst there was a considerable curve in the line at that point, and the outer rail was higher than the other. Plaintiff fell on to the line. and nearly all the wheels of one of the carriages went over the left leg. HJ was picked up and conveyed to Swansea Hospital, here, tho le amputated. The "wonder was that plaintiff ever lived. It was a long platform at Gowerton, counsel proceeded, but there was no lamp alight from the waiting-room on the Swansea side, and that was a scandalous state of things. The defence set up was that the plaintiff got out of the train before it stopped, but it was an extraordinary circumstance that other people were also thrown down, whilst it would be shown that one passenger had his knuckles broken by the door suddenly ahunming back against them as he was alighting. PLAINTIFF IN THE BOX. Plaintiff (on crutches) said he was 19 years I of age and behindar at the Fairwood Tin- works. Gowerton. He spoke to coming tc Swansea on the occasion of the New Zea- -Swa.œea match. At Gowerton the wiin stopped, and he proceeded to get out. He had his foot on the footboard when the train gave a sudden jerk, and he fell on to the line without touching the platform across the wheels of the next coach. Plaintiff explained that after he fell he clutched hold of the signal and was able to drag himself off the rails except his Wt leg. Cross-examined by Mr. Francis Williams He was not travelling first class but third class. Counsel asked several witnesses in court to stand up. "Was he in the sama com- partment?" he asked, as each of them stood Tip. "I didnt s»e him," -as the rroiy. Plaintiff further denied that he was stand- ing up against the door of the carriage on the platform side, though there were one or two standing up. I suggest that you proceedtad to open the door before the train stopped at all?—No, sir, I sat down till the train stopped. Was it a violent jerk?—It was enough to chuck me out. anyhow. In Te-exaTnirstion. Mr. S. T. Evans nut it to the plaintiff that he was a teetotaler— that he and his brothers were Rechabites. Mr. Francis William's protested against fibs question, and said there had never been any other suggestion. Mr. Evans said they would see how evi- deasce had been got up on th* other side. Mr. Williams stfll protested, and said the point was brought out to create pre- judice. Mr. Evans: I disagree with you entirely. BBOTHER'S CORROBORATION. John Evans, plaintiff's brother, gave cor- roborative evidence. He himself was thrown by the sodden jerking of the train on to the seats. In cross-examination, witness said he was too excited to count the number of carriages in the rear of the train, but he counted the lamps alight on the platform. He thought there was something the matter, so he counted them. You thought what?—I thought there would be an action, and I counted them. By a juror: The jerk threw him on the cushions towards the engine. LIKE DR. JOHNSON. Samuel Evans, another brother, agreed with the p^-evious evidence. I In answer to Mr. Francis Williams, wit- ness said that he and his brother counted the oil lamps on the piatform together. What made you count them ?—By instinct. Mr. Francis Williams: Like Dr. Johnson touching the pillars i. Fleet-street. (Laugh- ter.) B Witness said that three and not five lamps wert lit. William Williams, tinworker. Gowerton, also agreed that it was a third class com- partment, that it was not overcrowded ex- cept that there was standing, and that the train at Gowerton after it had stopped made a sudden jerk Cross-examined: The train stopped six or seven seconds before it made a jerk. There were only three lamps lit out of seven. He did so because he thought it very important. TTiere might be a call again. Mr. Francis Williams. A what? Mr. S. T. Evans: A well-known phrase, "Call again"—something more would be heard of it. Mr. Williams confessed his ignorance. "I have heard it said," he observed, "there may be a pretty 'how-to-do' about it." Anyhow, you thought you would be ready when you were called again ? (Laughter ) By the Judge: He did not write the num- ber down. ANOTHER CLAIM. Thomas William Davies, annealer, Gower- ton, who was travelling in another car- riage, said the tram slowed up at Gowerton and stopped, "and as I was getting out the train gave a violent jerk and I was thrown on my face on the platform, sustaining a bruised knee and torn Cross-o amined He was a frien' of the Evanses, and he also had a claim against the company. Another passenger got out before him, and was also thrown to the ground. He (witness) bad one foot on the footboard when the jerk was made. Thomas John Davies, tinworker, the pas- senger referred to, gave this version: "I opened the carriage door, and 1 was going to step on to the footboard when the train j gave a sudden Jerk I jumped from the carriage door to the platform and fell." I Cross-examined: He was also a friend of the plaintiff, but had no claim against the company. THE SAME SOLICITOR. Samuel Roberts, labourer, Gowerton, also tell out of the train, ho said, as a result of the violent* jerk. He tore his clothes and broke the glass of his watch. Thomas Holbrcok, collier, Gowerton, ",10 was a fellow-passenger with the last witness, deposed that he was thrown towards tha door, which slammed and broke two knuckles of his left hajid. By Mr. Francis Williams: He had a claim against the company, and had con- sulted the same solicitor as plaintiff- How came you to pitch upon the same solicitor?—I don't know I went to the one that I thought would do me good. (Much laughter). Mr. Evans: He (Mr. Harris) is the clerk to the Rural Council there; that explains it. Further questioned, witness said he counted the lights on the station as the crowd were saying it was a shame there, were no lights. Wm. Beynon, Gowerton, gave similar evidence. He counted the lamps "just for fashion. Mr. Francis Williams: One counted them bv instinct and the other for fashion. (Laughter.) Mr. S. T. Evans asked what witness meant by the expression ? W itness I don't mean anything at all. I only said it. (Laughter.) Counsel tried to get, the meaning in Welsh, but witness scratched his head aid seemcJ unwilling, whilst the court tittered. Benjamin Lloyd, Oliver John, and Thos. Davies, all of Gowerton, gave similar evid- ence, but could giva not reason in cross- i xaminat ion for the train stopping and pro- ceeding again. Dr Abel Davies, Gowerton, was called to the scene of the accident. He did not take, prticular notice of the lights, but there was po* sufficient for him to eee to the plaintiff's in] u-ies. John Thomas, surveyor. Swansea, pro- cured a plan of the station Witness was proceeding to give measurements when The Judge interposed and said he did not want to stop Mr. Evtwrs, but was it not sufficient for the jury to tind whether there was a stop and sudden jerk of the train. Counsel replied that if he failed upon that point bo still said the insufficient light and the state of the platform contributed to the accident.. In cross-eKmination it came out that the of Trade required that present-day r-" atfoTInA> should be tw) feet six inches at .'east- a.bove the rails. The witness was Dot prepared to say that the platform at Cower- trm was higher than 50 per OOTIt. of the platforms on tlie North Western system. At this stage the court adjourned. CASE FOR DEFENCE AT THE ASSIZES. Mr. Francis Williams now opened the for the defence, but first submitted there was nothing to answer regarding the light- ing and condition of the platform at the station, but that the only issue was as to whether the train stopped "and started again, causing a violent jerk. Judge said he could not with draw any- thing from the jury. Counsel then submitted that those two points were simpiy thrown into the case as a. nlewelght." Tiiev had absolutely nothing to 00 with the main issue. He fur- then described as topios of prejudice his earned friend's statements tiiat it was a scratch train and a scratch driver and guard. Tlie train was only a scratch one in that it was made up of different kinds of car- riages, but the rolling stock was perfectly good. As to the driver, he had been in the Company's employ v for 35 years, and had been a driver for 25 whilst he was in re- ceipt or the highest pay given to first-class drivers, except to these in charge of the very fast- e^pre-ses to the North. It was said the guard was a warehouseman from Radnorshire. He did not know where his fnend got that from, though it did not matter if he had been a chimney sweep— I (laughter)—as he had nothing whatever to do with the accident Coming to the evid- ence in the main, counsel pointed out that the young men who had been to the football ma.tch were naturally anxious to get to their homes at halt-post eleven at night, but if they believed the evidence of plain- tiff and his witnesses, it would appear that they were like a lot of women at a mother's meeting and did not move from their seats until the train had come to a perfec* stand- still. That, on the face of it, stamped in- accuracy. What really did h-ppen was this. The train had come into the Gower- ton Station with the brakes ^rubbing," as there is a s11h. gradient at that spot. The driver, thinking the train would not go far enough down the platform, put on a little steam, and the train, without having stop- ped a: all, went a few yards farther on. I There was nothing, however, in the form of a jerk. and it was quite wrong to suggest that the driver wanted to reach the water tank, as that was done about quarter of an hour later. EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENCE. Police Constable Frank Evans, stationed at Gcwerton, stated that he was on the up-platform when the excursion train came ill, from Swansea. The train steamed in at a "walking pace," and before it came to a stop nearly all the doors were opened and several people got out. As the train came along did you see whethr the driver put on a little steam or not?—Yee, he did. Did you see whether it quickened the train or not?—As far as I could sav it did not. W itness was standing close to the engine, and not see any jerking of the tram. Immediately it stopped he was informed there was a man underneath the train. By Mr. S. T. Evans: The train travelled about 25 yards after the steam was put on again. He thought the driver wanted to get to the water tank. which was the teual stopping place- Judge Was the steam put on after the doors were opened ? Witness: I am !10:i quite clear about it. Mr. Evans: Don't you think the doors were opened when the train was coming at its very slowest, and before the steam, was put on? Witness: I am not very clear an it. Verv likely the passengers opened the doors because they thought the train had come to a standstill ?—Very likely. Further cross-examined witness denied ten- ing Mr Harris' clerk that the driver put on full steam, but simply that he put on steam. And then did you say that it jerked very much in doing so?—I said nothing of the kind. I could not say whether it jerked or not Witness would not admit that the train was going sufficiently slow to constitute an invitation to get out. but agreed with plain- tiff's case that onlv three lamps were lit on the station, and that it was very dark. WAS IT THE PLAINTIFF? Jarncs Raymond Watkins, manager of the Grovesend Colliery, and a member of the Ammanford District Council, said he was a fi-st-class passenger on the train, and stand- ing up in the carriage wa6 a young man, who was the plaintiff, to the best of his bdid. though he would not swear to it. Before the train stopped the youth opened the carriage door and jumped out. holding the handle. Then he saw him twist round and fall. The train passed on about the length of a coach and a half. Bv the Judge He did not hear any cry. Further examined There was no stop, and he felt no jerk before the train came to a standstill.







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