Introduction

Hi and welcome to my site.
Cheshire is full of weird and wonderful stories of the supernatural, local heores and the mysterious.
I will take you on a tour as I look deep into the Cheshire that lies underneath the wonderful countryside and find the secrets that still hide there.
What magic and long lost secrets will we find?
So, sit back and enjoy my journey. This is a land of Magic, Knights, Dragons, Wizards, Witches, Boggarts, Murder, Ghosts and Old Forgotten Knowledge.


I would love to hear your stories as well. So if you have anything you would like me to look into and find information out, please let me know.

Monday, 5 April 2010

TRADEDY AT OVER, WINSFORD

FIRE AT THE MILL

On Wednesday October 28th 1874, the skies above Over were ablaze as a fire broke out at a Cotton Mill. Flames leapt hundreds of feet into the evening sky.

The fire started about 5pm but by the time volunteer fireman arrived, this large mill (180 feet long, 90 feet wide and six storeys high) was almost destroyed.

Over Cotton Mill was a spinning and doubling mill, built five years earlier and was owned by Messrs Abraham Haigh and Sons. Head of the family firm was Mr James Haigh of Over Hall. More than 300 people worked at the mill, many having moved from Lancashire to work here.

The fire started in the spinning room on the fourth floor. A spark caused by friction from the machinery. There had not been any appliances to fight the fire in the mill, no prearranged fire drill or buckets of water kept by the machinery. These simple things like a bucket of water next to the spinners may have stopped the spread of the fire. No Health and Safety in then days.

Most people escaped with no injures but, as you can imagine, some people were burnt or suffered smoke injures. In total eight people did lose their lives.

Five workers had been found 12 hours after the fire started. The grim discovery of their charred remains were made by two Tarporley firemen. The other three victims died infront of the watching crowd.

Harriet Whitehurst and her three month old son had been trapped on the fourth floor with her daughter, Margaret, who was 13 years. They had first tried to escape down the staircase but had been overcome by the fumes. Knowing they were stuck, Mrs Whitehurst looked out of the fourth floor window and saw a large water tank below. She shouted to her daughter to jump and she landed safety in the water. Leaning out of the window with her baby in her hands, she let him go but before she could tell if her son had landed in the water, she too jumped. Sadley Harriet and her son, Thomas, crashed to the pavement in front of the stunned onlookers.

A few minutes later, the crowd watched as another woman burned to death, caught by her clothing on a rail 60 feet above them.

An Coroner's inquest was held at a local pub, The Wheatsheaf on Friday October 30th 1874. The verdict was accidental death on all the victims but the coroner, Mr Churton, said that it would had been wise for the mill owner, Mr James Haigh, to have kept a small portable engine on the premises.

The victims were buried in a common grave at St John's Church, Over. They were ....
HARRIET WHITEHURST .......... age 34 and her three month old son, THOMAS, of Factory st
MARTHA ANNE GOULDING .... age 15 of Factory st
MIRIAM WHITEHURST ............ age 23 of Factory st
CATHERINE MOUNTFIELD ..... age 17 of Over Lane Terrace
ELLEN FLETCHER ...................... age 18 of John st
ELIZA HINDLEY .......................... age 16
JOHN TIMPERLEY ...................... a married man of Factory st


Over the years, stories have grown regarding the site of the mill. Tales of screams heard and the smell of burning have been reported. Dark figures have also been reported. The figure of a woman has been seen, perhapes Harriet is looking for her son.

No comments: