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Driver’s Escape when Lorry Fell in Canal at Wath

February 1958

South Yorkshire Times February 8, 1958

Driver’s Escape when Lorry Fell in Canal at Wath

The driver of a five-ton lorry had a narrow escape from drowning when his vehicle fell into the Dearne and Dove Canal at Wath on Dearne on Friday.

Henry Webb, who is a married man with three children. And lives at Rose Place, Wombwell was driving a lorry carrying washery dirt from Manvers Colliery for use on reconstruction work on the bank of the disused canal near Wet Moor Lane. When the vehicle was reversed on the bank to dump its load, sleepers used as a ramp gave way and the heavy vehicle slipped backwards towards the water. Luckily. Mr. Webb had opened his cabin door to see where he was reversing and he was able to swim clear as the cab slipped below the surface. He was aided in his escape by the fact that he had a short time before taken off his heavy duffle coat. This enabled him to swim freely in his overalls.

Three men employed by the British Waterways Executive, who were working on the bank, went to the aid of Mr. Webb. They were: Leonard Simpson of Carnley Street, West Melton: Harry Stephenson. The Crescent Conanby: and Arthur Nuttall of Walker Street. Swinton. When the mishap occurred Mr. Webb was taking the washery muck to these three men at the end of the ramp. In the bad visibility, due to the fog, they noticed that the vehicle had stopped and thought the driver was tipping his load there but unfortunately the lorry disappeared into the water and turned completely over. The three Waterways Executive employees were about 90 yards away and immediately rushed to the rescue.

Bottoms Up! This was all that was to be seen in Friday morning’s fog of a lorry which finished upside down in the canal at West Melton. The bank gave way while the lorry driver, Mr. Henry Webb, was reversing the vehicle. He escaped.