In tidying the office we came across an account of an early traffic accident, involving John Talbot Clifton and his sleigh in January 1892, as written down by the Lytham Times. We know he wasn’t the most careful of drivers, but this one seems to be just a matter of bad luck.
Alarming sleigh accident at Lytham
Narrow escape of Dr. Fisher and others
A genuine chapter of accidents happened at Lytham on Tuesday last, the facts are as follows:- About half-past twelve on Tuesday morning Mr. Clifton, Miss Christine Fisher, and Mr. Charles Atkinson, of Singleton, were driving near Warton in a sleigh belonging to Mr. Clifton, when, as the bridge near the Green Drive was being crossed, the sleigh from some cause went down on its side, the leader of the fine tandem harnessed to it turned suddenly round, and Mr. Atkinson and Miss Christine Fisher were thrown out on to the road. Fortunately neither was hurt, Mr. Clifton then got out and took away the leader, the upshot, however, being that in the absence of all three from the sleigh the remaining pony bolted and dashed off towards Lytham. On arriving there it dashed into a spring cart belonging to the Clifton Arms, Warton which was standing opposite Mr. T. Pemberton’s (butcher’s) shop. This vehicle the sleigh struck and overturned, two panels of the cart being broken, the springs strained and the harness damaged. Very luckily no one was in the cart at the time. Dr. Fisher’s Victoria was standing by Mr. Crozier’s shop, Dr. Fisher being in the carriage and the coachman on the box. A well-intentioned effort to stop the runaway caused it to swerve aside and the sleigh to come into violent collision with the phaeton. Dr. Fisher was flung out on to the pavement and rendered temporarily unconscious, blood flowing from a cut on the back of the head. He was at once picked up, and carried into Mr. Crozier’s where he soon recovered consciousness, and the hurt was found to be happily only slight. The coachman had managed to retain his seat and thus escaped unhurt. The hind wheels of the phaeton were, however, torn away, and other damages sustained. The career of the runaway had come to a close almost immediately after the accident. Rushing up Church Road, it attempted to turn the corner of Agnew Street, got on to the pavement, struck the wall, and fell, where it was picked up by Mr. Mason, who was by at the time. Beyond a scratch on the nose the pony seems to have sustained no injury; the sleigh a vehicle of very light construction, was however utterly wrecked. Dr. Fisher, we are glad to be able to add, rapidly overcame the effects of the shock, and indeed was able to resume his customary rounds in the afternoon. Most heartily is he to be congratulated on his very narrow escape, also are those who were concerned in the first accident to the sleigh.