The Portsmouth Evening News reported on 19th March 1915 that: ‘This morning a serious accident, resulting in the death of one woman and serious injury to another, occurred in Lancaster Road, North Kensington.
It appears that a large portion of the coping attached to the fronts of No’s 56, 58 and 60, Lancaster-road suddenly collapsed, and fell upon a Mrs Stone who was killed, and a passer by named Miss Storey who was injured.’
The Dundee Evening Telegraph also reported on the incident and claimed that it was the result of a gale and: ‘Police and firemen were summoned, and commenced searching the debris. One of the occupants, a woman named Mrs Stone was found to have been killed whilst a young girl named Miss Alice Storey had to be taken to hospital as a result of injuries sustained. The other occupants were rescued, their injuries being slight.’
However the following day the Liverpool Echo reported that: ‘Neighbours state that a loud explosion preceded the fall of the houses.’
The Daily Mirror article concluded with this:
‘A remarkable story of a cat’s warning was told by Mrs Geron, who lived in one of the houses. She states that shortly before the accident her cat ran about the room and tugged at her dress as if to draw her away. Then the cat ran downstairs, and before Mrs Geron could catch it the accident had occurred.’
The above pics have been taken from the Daily Graphic and the text reads:
‘During the high wind yesterday morning a great mass of masonry fell from the roof of three houses in Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, and a woman named Ellen Stone was killed. Several other people were injured. The photographs show the scene of the accident and men searching among the debris.’
My thanks to Colin Woodley who did much of the legwork, uncovering further material for this article. He also has a family link to Lancaster Road.
His Dad was living at number 286 and by the 1911 Census the family had moved on to number 254 and probably witnessed the aftermath of this tragedy. They remained there until about 1918 before moving to 99 Latimer Road.
During this period Colin’s Grandfather was sadly killed fighting in Gaza in 1917 and a year later his brother died in Arras, France.
“My family was changed forever by these events and my Nan received her husband’s War Medals whilst living in Latimer Road. I still have the original envelope they were sent in and the medals.
As my father was an R’s fan, it is quite possible that other members of the family were also Rangers supporters at the time.”