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From the Sussex Express, 20th August 1867



On Saturday afternoon Mr Thomas Stapley, of Firle, had occasion to send a number of beasts from one part of his farm to another, and was assisting his man in taking them there, when an unfortunate accident occurred resulting in the destruction of several valuable animals. The Hastings line had to be crossed on the level at what is known as a farm crossing, and as no train was to be seen, it was doubtless thought there would be time to get them over, but either some difficulty occurred from the obstinacy of the beasts, or the train was much nearer than it was supposed to be. At all events, before the line could be cleared, along came the 2.5 fast train from Hastings, and cut its way through the living mass, killing no less than five, some of which were dreadfully mutilated. The scene presented after the train had passed was truly sickening - the metals and ballast were bestrewn with flesh, brains and pools of blood, and the engine and many parts of the train much bespattered. Of course, the passage of the train over such obstacles was not unfelt by the passengers. The engine, which at the time of the accident was going at the rate of 40 miles, went up and down as if going over a number of hillocks; finally it became uncoupled, and ran on to Glynde station. The main body of the train was brought to a standstill at a short distance from the scene of the disaster, and the hind break [brake] having also become uncoupled, stopped below the train. Mr Reeves, the station master at Glynde, returned with the engine, and with much less delay than might have been expected, the train resumed its journey, no one having sustained any bodily injury.

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