“Tighten My Handlebars”

These may have been the last words spoken by George STEVENSON, 14, on the evening of May 4th 1904. The people gathered by his bedside agreed that, in a brief moment of consciousness before he died, he was addressing an older brother.

In 1901 George was living with his parents, two brothers and two sisters at Number 1, The Beach, Foreshore Road in Filey. He had a job in Hunmanby and was pedalling home from work when he rounded a corner and ran into a pony that was pulling a cart belonging to Joseph DANBY of Old Hall Farm. Francis MALTBY, a labourer, was a passenger in the cart. With a strong following wind, the boy was “going at a fair pace”. Newspaper reports indicate that George was on the wrong side of a road wide enough for two carts. Those final words, uttered most probably to James, 16, suggest a mechanical fault had resulted in the fatal loss of control.

Farmer Danby conveyed George to Filey and a doctor was called. At the inquest, held at the Horse Shoe Inn, Hunmanby…

Dr FORSTER said the shaft of the trap had apparently struck the deceased in the chest, rupturing a lung, and causing other serious injuries, as the skin was not broken, only scraped…

The cycle which deceased had ridden was brought into the room, and showed how fearful the impact was.

The jury returned a verdict of “Accidental death,” exonerating Mr Danby from blame.

The father of the deceased rose and thanked Mr Danby and Dr Forster for the kindness they had shown his boy, and, much affected, Mr Danby deplored the accident.

Hull Daily Mail, 5 May 1904

In 1911, the Stevenson family was living in the same home on Foreshore Road. Henry had married and moved away. Jane had married too but was at the house on census night with her one-year-old daughter, Isabel Stevenson ROBERTS. Older brother Thomas Edward, 33 and single, had moved back in with his parents. Sister Mary Darnton was also unmarried. She is remembered, with George, on the restored stone in St Oswald’s churchyard.

Newspaper reports, birth and burial records agree that George was fourteen when he died. Richard Jesse Stevenson noted on the 1911 census form that he had been married 42 years, and that only one of his thirteen children with Mary Darnton HULLOCK had died. Find the family with ten children on the FamilySearch Shared Tree.

Sand 39 · A Fleeting Impression

Filey Sands

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