Category car death

Britain’s first known car fatality

It happened on Monday 17th August 1896 when Bridget Driscoll was knocked down by Arthur Edsell who was reportedly driving at 4mph. The Morning Post’s report on Friday 21st tells us that Mr Percy Morrison held an inquest at Penge on the body of Bridget Driscoll, the 44 year old wife of a labourer of […]

The day that Eddie Cochran died

This year – 2017 – Easter Sunday falls on 16th April.    In 1960, Easter Sunday was on 17th April – the day this then teenager, and many others across Britain and beyond, remember as the day that Eddie Cochran died.  His death, in St. Martin’s Hospital, Bath, came as a result of injuries sustained in […]

Today in 1934 was the day that driving tests began in Britain

UK driving licences were introduced by the Motor Car Act of 1903 but no test was required! In the late 1920s and early 1930s the appalling number of deaths on the roads of Britain was causing considerable concern to the Government and the public. In January 1934, The Times newspaper reported on the ‘slaughter on […]

It’s best to drive carefully

Can you trust what you read?  No – don’t answer that!  I was reading through my Chambers Book of Days’ – dinner was a while yet – when I came across an entry that told me that, on  Saturday 25th February 1899,‘The first driver to die in a car accident was one F R Sewell, […]


‘Have you made your will yet?’ is a question most of us have been asked at some time or other. People are often surprised how many people in past years made wills – almost as a final farewell to the world. For the family, local and social historian they can be a goldmine of information […]


Over the past 20 years or so I have been involved in researching my own family tree as well as leading many one-off and malti-session courses on family history research. A recent conversation with one of my past ‘customers’ has prompted me to post this very British story to the wider world:- Unfortunately, most of […]

Crime; a failed execution; Rural descriptions by a Vicar and a Rant by a Politician; the first Fatal Car Accident; 19th century disaster at sea; Trouble in Fleet Prision and, to close, the founder of the Methodists and ‘an end and a beginning

Monday 22nd February 1886: Over the years petty and personal crimes were recorded, often in some details, in the newspapers so I thought we’d take a little stroll through entries in this day’s papers. It is worth mentioning that £1 in 1886 would be worth around £100 now. The Hartlepool Mail reported: ‘Theft at Ryhope’ […]