The Shirley Village Archive

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - 23 October 1925 (Document)

SHIRLEY MILL FARM FATALITY.
INQUEST STORY.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Albert. Wymer. aged 19. who fell into a revolving water-wheel at Shirley Mill Farm, were investigated last Thursday by Mr. F. E. Moult (Deputy Coroner).
David Murray Davies, of Shirley Mill Farm. Brailsford. said that there was a water-mill on the farm, which was used for grinding corn. Deceased had been in his employ since August, and on Tuesday, together with two other men. was engaged with witness in crushing light oats for cow food. Witness was working on the second storey, and another man was below catching the oats. Deceased was on the top storey, and his duty was to pour the oats down the chute and to raise bags of oats for the chute by means of chain from the ground floor. Witness did not see deceased leave the top storey, but heard Gamble shout for help. ran downstairs and found deceased pinned in the wheel, which had stopped. The doctor was sent for. but life was extinct. Before the wheel was started witness distinctly told all the men to keep away from the wheel, and explained how dangerous it was when in motion. The millwheel was used very seldom, hut was proper working order. When it required oiling the proper way to oil it was to get at it through a door at the far end of the millhouse, and it was not necessary to oil the wheel while it was working.
Simon Gamble, of Wyaston, whose duty during the milling operations consisted of raking leaves off the top of the dam. said deceased came running out of the mill and said was going to oil the wheel. Witness said. “Be careful,” but had his back to him and saw no more till he heard him cry out. He looked round and saw him in the wheel. He had presumably entered the opening from the bridge, intending to climb down to thp axle, and had evidently stumbled and pitched into the wheel. This method was not the usual or proper way of getting to the wheel.—Replying to Mr, A. R. Flint, who represented the farmer, he agreed that Mr. Davies had warned them all before operations started.
Death, which was instantaneous, was due fracture of the skull.
In returning a verdict of “Accidental death." Mr. Moult expressed the opinion that a gate or bar should put up across the opening to prevent anyone in future entering or falling into the space between the bridge and the wheel.—Major Harding, on behalf of Sir lan Walker, and Mr. Flint on behalf of Mr. Davies, expressed their sympathy with the relatives of deceased, and on undertaking was given that the Deputy Coroner’s recommendation should carried out.

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