Stephen Knight

Date published: 01/09/2015
© Newbury Weekly News



                                                ACCIDENT AT TOWN HALL


                                                FLAGPOLE SNAPS, CEILING FALLS


An alarming accident happened at the Town Hall on Friday.  The flag had been hoisted half-mast in respect to the memory of the late Alderman Knight.  Shortly before noon the pole snapped in the middle, and came crashing down on the roof.  Fortunately the rope held, and the broken half of the pole was stayed in its downfall. It dislodged a number of tiles, which clattered into Mansion house street, several passers-by having narrow escapes.


In the afternoon several men of the Surveyor’s staff went up into the roof to take down the remaining half of the pole and repair the roof. During the operation one of the men stepped on a beam, apparently substantial and strong.  But no sooner had his foot touched it than the beam disappeared through the ceiling, and the man had to cling for his life to the nearest support. The beam, in falling carried away a big portion of the ceiling at the western end, and a heap of plaster and wood fell on to the Town Hall floor.  A dense cloud of dust arose, and the men up in the rafters for a time scarcely knew what had happened.  Subsequently it was found that the fallen beam had rotted in the joints, the result of rai n coming through the roof at the point where the flag-staffed projected.  The pole, which was fifty feet in length, and this had also unaccountably rotted in the centre.  Fortunately there was no injury to life or limb, but the damage to the hall ceiling is serious.  The break occurred just where an elaborate heraldic design had been placed, and as it probably means the renewal of the whole ceiling, as well as to repair to the roof-timbers, considerable expense may be involved.


The hall was erected in 1742 and various repairs have been necessitated to the roof from time to time.  It will not be available for public gatherings for a couple of months.


Newbury Weekly News January 1908



Stephen Knight aged 74 died March Q 1908 Newbury

Sources:Newbury Weekly News January 1908

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