The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874

Heroes, Victims, Survivors

Phyllida Scrivens

Date Published :
May 2023
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
32 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526764027

Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 256
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526764065

Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-OrderPages : 208
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The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster of 1874 is the third title from Norwich writer and biographer Phyllida Scrivens, who lives less than half a mile from the site of the fatal collision.

At Norwich Station on 10 September 1874, a momentary misunderstanding between the Night Inspector and young Telegraph Clerk resulted in an inevitable head-on collision. The residents of the picturesque riverside village of Thorpe-Next-Norwich were shocked by a ‘deafening peal of thunder’, sending them running through the driving rain towards a scene of destruction. Surgeons were summoned from the city, as the dead, dying and injured were taken to a near-by inn and boatyard. Every class of Victorian society was travelling that night, including ex-soldiers, landowners, clergymen, doctors, seamstresses, saddlers, domestic servants and a beautiful heiress.

For many months local and national newspapers followed the story, publishing details of subsequent deaths, manslaughter trial and outcomes of record-breaking compensation claims. The Board of Trade Inquiry concluded that it was ‘the most serious collision between trains meeting one another on a single line of rails […] that has yet been experienced in this country.’

Using extensive research, non-fiction narrative, informed speculation and dramatised events, Phyllida Scrivens pays tribute to the 28 men, women and children who died, revealing the personal stories behind the names, hitherto only recorded as a list.

About The Author

Phyllida Scrivens lives with husband Victor in Norwich, Norfolk. In 2016, aged sixty, she achieved a life-long ambition when her debut biography of a Kindertransport boy, 'Escaping Hitler', was published both in the U.K and in America. Her research fostered a keen interest in the civic life of Norwich, resulting in her second book. Phyllida has an MA in Creative Non-Fiction with Biography from the University of East Anglia.

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