Passenger's story of tram crash


Some remarkable facts were revealed in the story of injured passenger Miss Kate Brandham, of 390 Hitchin Road, following the tram crash on Thursday, December 28th, 1916.

She said: "I was going to work [Messrs F. J. Elliott & Co, hat manufacturers, Guildford Street] and got on the car at Round Green. I sat on a seat on my right towards the back of the car. There were a good many people in the car then, and Mrs Wooding [a High Town Road grocer's wife] got in and sat in the middle of the car.

"We were all somewhat alarmed at the speed at which the car travelled down the hill from Round Green. The car went very quickly - quite double the regulation speed, I am sure. We reached the top of Midland Road all right, and there a number of passengers got out.

"A remarkable fact is that a woman told me she dare not go down Midland Road in the car after its rate down the first hill. But I said I had paid my fare, and I would remain in the car. I wish now I had followed that woman.

"Well the car started quite nicely at the top of the hill, and it gathered speed towards the middle. Then it seemed to give a lurch or jump forward, and we were all terribly frightened. We dare not move then, for the car was dashing down the hill. We could not jump out.

"It was over in a few seconds. I have a recollection of the driver trying to get the car round the turn, but of course it was hopeless. The car jumped clean into the bank. We screamed, and then all I remember is the crash and being flung to the other end of the car.

"I lost consciousness, and when I came back to my senses I was on my back and bleeding from the head. I was in great pain and seemed to be pinned down with my feet in the air. I am badly cut and hurt about the body.

"I was pulled out by some soldiers and, after being taken to the hospital, came home."

[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: December 30th, 1916]