Victorian London - Transport - Roads - Paving - ventilator shafts


Sir - Some months ago Mr. J.G. Hubbard, in a letter addressed to you on the subject of the paving and management of the roads in London, pointed out the danger of the projecting stones placed outside the kerbs of the street refuges, lamp columns, &c. I was a witness this morning of just such an accident as Mr. Hubbard sought to avert, and it occurred at one of the ventilating shafts of the Metropolitan District Railway Company, against which you and the public generally made such strong, but apparently unavailing protests a year ago.
    A butcher's cart was proceeding along the Victorian Embankment at a moderately rapid pace, and when opposite the ventilator near Whitehall-gardens the horse swerved a little. One of the wheels struck full against one of the projecting stone outside the kerb of the ventilating shaft, the motion of the vehicle was suddenly arrested, horse and cart were both thrown violently over, and the man was carried off to the hospital, bleeding from a dreadful wound in his head.
    You may think it well that the public should be aware that such accidents are not only possible, but of actual occurrence.
Your obedient servant,
33, Union-grove, Clapham, Sept. 22

The Times, September 24, 1884