Danger – always present in varying degrees but rarely thought about.
Being alive is dangerous
Crossing the road is dangerous
Driving a car is dangerous
And a hundred years ago driving a horse and buggy could be dangerous.
Here is a photo taken on the occasion of the wedding of Garnet Waldemar Fricke and Ida Kirk at Maryborough in 1923. There was someone missing from the wedding.
The bridegroom, Waldemar Garnett Fricke ( 1881-1940) was the baby of his family and the eldest of the family had been a brother Charles Frederick Henry Fricke, born in 1865.
But one day in October 1911 Henry was trotting along Bucknall Street in Carisbrook , in Central Victoria, driving his horse and buggy with Mr Bruhn, a former Mayor and a butcher, as his passenger, Garnett was a farmer and the pair of them had been visiting Mr Bruhn’s farm. They came to a railway crossing which was about 100 yards from the Railway Station and were looking at the Melbourne bound train which was standing at the station. But they failed to notice that the train from Melbourne, travelling in the opposite direction, was nearly upon them until it was too late.
Newspaper reports tell how the train crashed into them. Bruhn was thrown over the fence of the railway line and was cut about the face and bruised on the chest. Henry was thrown under the train and had his legs nearly severed. He died a few hours later after having been taken to the Maryborough Hospital.
This is an example of a four wheeled buggy used in Australia
In November the coroner heard from witnesses who gave conflicting evidence about the train’s whisle being sounded. He brought in a verdict of death by the culpable neglect of the driver and the fireman who were charged with manslaughter and were sent for trial.
Then in December a Nolle Prosequi was issued, i.e. the case of manslaughter would not go ahead possibly because of the difficulty of proving the case. I believe this is not the same as an acquittal and the case could have been re-opened in the future.
You can see how it was a single line track but originally there was a short piece of parallel track so that two trains could pass. On the day of the accident one train was in the station waiting for the other to pass.
You can see the two railway buildings, one each side of the line, towards the bottom left of the image. The platform is the upper building.
A cautionary tale for any era. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted when driving. It’s too dangerous.
Now I’m off to see who else has been living dangerously in the danger-themed week at Sepia Saturday