The next day, after telling his mates about the previous night’s mystery, a good laugh was had by all, but he could not find a logical explanation for the events and still could not get the matter out of his mind. A few days later he found himself working with an old-hand who’s father had worked for British Rail many years before, and when he recalled the sight he had witnessed the other evening, he was told: ‘Oh…that'll be old Binns Bancroft you saw….he sometimes appears, and has a look around!’ When he queried whether this was some sort of a joke the old-hand shook his head and said ‘Oh no…Binns Bancroft thinks he still works in the yard!’
The old-hand then told the story of how Binns Bancroft was a coal merchant in Haworth, in the 1880’s. His premises were located in the goods yard across the road from the railway station so he didn’t have far to go to pick up his coal supply. When the coal was shunted into the yard Binns was always there to help, with his shunting pole in his hand, and when the wagons had discharged their load, Binns would drive his horse and cart into the yard and load up for his local deliveries. He liked to be in the yard when the coal arrived, and would always try and direct operations for shunting the wagons, shouting and bawling instructions to the engine driver and guard. They always regarded him as a damn nuisance, who did nothing but get in the way and caused many anxious moments for them as he darted in and out between the wagons. They feared for his safety, but he was always there, waving his pole, and they could do nothing to keep him away from the station.Then one winter’s day in 1882 Binns was supervising operations at the station as usual, as the coal wagons were shunted into Haworth goods yard. He was waving his pole and bellowing instructions as usual to the guard who was trying to understand his shouts in the high wind. Binns was a little hard of hearing, so his replies to the guard and driver were also difficult to comprehend, so it was not surprising that disaster was about to strike. Binns was moving in and around the wagons when, failing to heed the warning shouts or maybe because he did not hear them, he was caught between two coal wagons and had the life crushed out of him.
|Haworth Goods Yard & Shed|
For the full story about the accident and subsequent inquest, please look at my earlier article entitled:
"Accident at Haworth Station - 1882"
|Haworth Station in the 1880's|