Reply To: The Tunnel

Frontpage Forum People & Places of Wolverhampton The Tunnel Reply To: The Tunnel




All very interesting Billy. I suppose one question would be, “was the Manly Arms around in the mid 1800s?” I suppose it’s possible that Enoch and his family were in “digs” there.

The Elwell family seems to be quite a big one. Bilston, Sedgley, Wolverhampton, and Cheslyn Hay all have them. My own interest is of the Heath Town family of Enoch and Sarah of Wolverhampton Road, Heath Town.

Enoch, my Great, Great-grandfather, came to a particularly horrific end, when a boiler he was working near at the Lanesfield Ironworks exploded, killing him instantly. A newspaper of the time stated that he was “dreadfully burned”. Also killed was one John Shorthouse, the boiler fireman, whose body was “shockingly mutilated”.

Even though the boiler had been examined  and found to be “not in a sufficiently good condition for assurance” and that although it was originally designed to work at 32lbs pressure per it had been repaired so many times that  it was recommended that the pressure should not exceed 20lbs per sq in, it continued to be worked at full capacity. The inquest ruled that the owner, Mr H de Simencourt, was not under any obligation to adhere to the recommendation  of the Inspector Midland and Steam Boiler Inspection and Assurance Company, and had simply used his discretion to carry on using the faulty boiler. The jury at the Inquest returned a verdict of “Accidental Death” on the two unfortunate fatalities. I dare say neither family received any form of compensation for their losses. Enoch was only in his early thirties when he died leaving a wife and family to fend for themselves. He is buried in Holy Trinity churchyard.