On 16th September 1873, as the 16-cwt foundation stone was being laid for St Matthew's Church, Lightcliffe, a timber guy and the cast-iron supports of the crane broke as the stone was being lowered, causing the stone to fall down on to a platform packed with spectators.
There were no fatalities, but 8 or 9 people were seriously injured – with cuts, bruises and broken limbs.
Many people, seeing the guy falling, ran out of the way.
The ceremony was completed after the injured had been taken away.
The accident was caused by a flaw in the casting of the ironwork of the crane – made by Charles Heward Broughton – which was found to be full of flaws and holes, many of which had been filled with clay and painted over to look like iron
See C. E. Fucigna, Lightcliffe Vicarage, St Aidan's Mission Church, Bailiff Bridge: War Memorial, St Matthew's Church: Stone-laying accident , St Matthew's Church, Lightcliffe: Graveyard, St Matthew's Church, Lightcliffe: War Memorial and Watkinson Almshouses, Lightcliffe
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Malcolm Bull 2015 /
Revised 18:31 on 10th August 2015 / ww_114 / 6