Dagenham Rail Cash - Casualty List

Rail crash in the Laindon Recorder 1958.

Rail crash in the Laindon Recorder 1958.

Two Laindon girls, Ivy Jobson and Brenda Buckenham, both members of Langdon Players, were injured in the Dagenham rail crash in 1958.  They were travelling home together when Ivy sustained a broken leg and head injuries and Brenda sustained two broken legs and a fractured pelvis.  In May they were photographed enjoying a show with their legs still in plaster.

Rail crash report in the Laindon Recorder 1958.

Rail crash report in the Laindon Recorder 1958.

Transcribed below for ease of reading.

Ten people died and 87 were injured in a rail disaster on the Fenchurch Street-Southend line on Thursday 30th January 1958.  British Railways issued the following casualty list of the Dagenham rail disaster which was published in the Laindon Recorder on 5th February.  The dead and the injured.

Dead:-  Mr J Theobald of Rosemary, Sunnyside Gardens, Laindon.  W.J. Sandiford of Sycamore Avenue, Upminster.  Miss Fay Dolties, of Lincewood Park Drive, Langdon Hills. Mrs Marjorie Fruin of Danbury Down, Basildon. James A Taylor of The Elms, Marguerute Drive, Pitsea.  J. J. White of Worthing Road, Laindon.  Mr A Lucas of Albert Road, South Benfleet.  Mr H E Mears of Kilbowie, Topsham Road, Laindon.  Miss Patricia Feddes of Langford Crescent, Thundersley.  Mrs Doris Barkway, Chester Avenue, Cranham.

Among the injured were:-  John Anderson, The Plough, Front Lane, Cranham.  Guard;  W Archer, Richmond Avenue, Shoebury.   Isaac Bloom, Grosvenor Road, Westcliff.  Miss B Buckenham, Mundles Farm, Laindon.  Mrs Bass, Tylers Avenue, Basildon.  Mrs Phyllis Cole, Dry Street, Langdon Hills.  Mrs G Cicking, Walker Drive, Leigh.  Mr R Dunlop, Avondale Road, Vange.  June Franklin, Jobbing Road, Canvey.  Mr S Foreman, Station Road, Westcliff.  Joan Godden, Manor Road, Pitsea.  Mrs Gore, Rectory Road, Basildon.

Mr H J Harwood, Rochmond Avenue, South Benfleet.  Mr S H Hayden, Lymington  Avenue, Leigh.  Mr G Harris.  Ivy Jobson, High Road, Langdon Hills.  Mrs D Knight, Leigham Court Drive, Leigh.  Mr W J Knott, Chalkwell Park Drive, Leigh.  Mr A Mayhew, Wash Road, Laindon.  Miss Brenda Breame, Cleveland Road, Basildon.  Ivy Childs Beta, Basildon.  Miss Corkingdale, Church Road, Laindon.  Mr Charles Dalley.

Mr D Milne, Vowler Road, Laindon.  Mr John Mendes, Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff.  Miss M G Newman, Victoria Drive, Leigh.  Mr J H Palmer, Duncon Drive, Laindon.  Mr F Porter, Pound Lane, Bowers Gifford.  Mr R Palmer Brook Drive, Fobbing.  Mr T E Price, Roberts Road, Laindon, Miss Jean Pattle, King Edward Road, Laindon.  Mrs Diana Raw, Mapleford Sweep, Basildon.  D. Rosenberg, Leigh Beck Road, Canvey, Miss Iris Smith, Spenders Close, Basildon.  Mrs Smith. Standon  Road, Basildon.  Mr Sargent, Avondale Road, Pitsea.  Mr S Spiers, Nelson Road, Vange, Miss I Stewart, Hillcrest View, Vange.  Mr T Syrett, Worthing Road, Laindon.  Mrs Snow Gibbs, Redcliffe Drive, Leigh.  Mr K Valendom, West Crescent, Canvey.  Mr Henry Venables, Devonshire Road, Laindon.   Miss Vincent, Highlands Road, Bowers Gifford. Mr H A Williamson, Keith Way, Southend.  Mr R Weston, Lloyds Bank Flat, High Road, Laindon.  Mrs U Williamson, Arterial Road, Laindon.

Those treated for injuries at Dagenham (East) Station and then allowed to go home were:-  Mr Abbott, South View Road, Basildon.  Mr W Barrs, Belfairs Park Close, Leigh.  G Brown, Rushleigh Drive, Vange.  Mr Downs, Ramsey Drive, Vange.  Mr P W Ellis, Southbourne Grove, Westcliff.  Miss Goosh, Goldings Crescent, Pitsea.  Mr J Lee, Arterial Road, Eastwood.  Mr S E Overton, Anerley Road, Westcliff.  Mr T Windley, Crowstone Road, Westcliff.

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  • I was with my parents in Laindon Memorial Hall having watched The Revellers in action on the night of this crash, and remember a lady coming in to tell everybody about it. Our next door neighbour Bill Bedwell was on one train and was then a station, waiting for transport home, having not getting injured in it.

    By Brian Baylis (22/09/2015)
  • It was a thick “pea-souper” fog that night. I was traveling home by bus from Grays. I nearly dozed off, but came to myself seeing splintered wood, but when I blinked, it was gone. Premonition? I don’t know.

    About 8pm we had a phone call from my brother-in-law Peter Cole, to say he was walking home from Billericay “as there had been trouble on the line (he worked in London). We afterwards found out that because it was foggy, he decided not to travel in the rear of the train, but got a seat half way up the train. After the crash, he and a friend managed to get out of their carriage and found themselves almost on the live rails of the underground. Eventually, they got a train to Billericay and walked from there.

    J.J.White was our next door neighbour, but the police didn’t contact the family until the small hours, so we knew nothing about it. His second son Steve has contributed to this site.

    Mr T. Syrett was an ARP warden during the war.

    By Mary Cole (11/09/2014)
  • Ivy Jobson married Alfred Mayhew in 1970.

    By Nina Humphrey (07/09/2014)
  • Ivy Jobson was the only daughter of F C Jobson one of Laindon’s movers and shakers who can be found in these archives.

    My friend Jim Grindle, late of Douglas Road, tells me “……yes. I did know Ivy Jobson and can picture her very well. She was older than our group, attractive but unmarried, and a leading light in the Langdon Players. She was also on some local committee that organised cultural visits such as a small group from Covent Garden doing an abbreviated opera with just a pianist. We also had Flanders and Swann before they made the headlines.”

    By Alan Davies (06/09/2014)
  • Richard may very well be correct. Perhaps the Laindon Recorder reporter simply failed to state the true extent of the girl’s injuries. I am not familiar with the workings of the National Health programme in the UK today but presumably it is true that time spent in hospital has been drastically reduced over the years. I remember as a seven year old I spent six weeks in St Andrews Hospital in Billericay, some of it in isolation, for scarlet fever. Does scarlet fever even exist today?

    By Alan Davies (09/08/2014)
  • I’m not surprised that Ivy Jobson and Brenda Buckenham spent weeks in hospital. The report says that Ivy suffered a broken leg but she was probably badly injured elsewhere and must have suffered the most terrible shock. I would imagine that the legs of both girls were not merely broken but may have been crushed as well, considering the incredible forces involved.  The massive 2-6-4 tank engine, one of the more powerful locomotives on the London Tilbury and Southend line actually ran backwards straight through the rear of the train into the compartments where the ladies were sitting.

    Considering there were ten people killed and after reading the story of Jean Pattle who suffered severe spinal injuries and was in hospital for months and a plaster cast for a year I think the suffering of Ivy and Brenda must have been very great indeed. The severity of their leg injuries is apparent from them both still being in plaster in May after the February accident. Not just a simple leg break I fear.

    By Richard Haines (08/08/2014)
  • Nina, thanks for these details.

    My mother, Marjorie, was killed in the crash while I was in the Merchant Navy, aged 17. Luckily I was in port in the South of France and Shell flew me home.

    The inquest found that it was an ‘accident’ and no blame was attached to anyone, including British Rail.

    My sisters aged 14 and 7 received an ‘ex gratia’ payment from BR for the loss of our mother £150 for the eldest and £300 for the youngest.  What price a mother?

    By Mike Fruin (05/08/2014)
  • Hi Alan.  There was some further information in the Laindon Recorder on 5th February 1958, in a different column, which I transcribe below.

    (I actually went to see the play ‘On Monday Next’ with my older sister but unfortunately I have no idea who had been Ivy Jobson’s replacement).  


    Crash hits Players’ next production.

    One of the lesser consequences of the rail crash, is that the Langdon Players have lost the services of one of their cast for the production of ‘On Monday Next’, which they are presenting at the end of the month.

    Miss Ivy Jobson, secretary of the Players, who had a part in this production suffered a broken leg in the accident and is in Rush Green Hospital where she is likely to remain for another six weeks.  Miss Jobson should also have taken part in the last Players’ production ‘The Manor at Northshead’ but had to cry off at the last minute through indisposition.

    Her part, then, was taken at a moment’s notice by Miss Brenda Buckenham, recently returned from abroad.  Miss Buckenham was contemplating returning to an overseas appointment in March.  Unfortunately, she was with her friend Miss Jobson, on the ill-fated 6.20 on Thursday.  The girls were taken to different hospitals and Miss Buckenham is now in Oldchurch Hospital being treated for two broken legs and a fractured pelvis.

    All members of the Players and all local residents who have seen the two girls on the stage will wish them a speedy recovery.


    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (05/08/2014)
  • Alan.  On looking through further copies of the Laindon Recorder, I have found the cast of ‘On Monday Next’ which took place at Laindon High Road School on  27th, 28th and 29th February 1958, in which Ivy Jobson should have appeared.  Again it doesn’t give the name of her replacement.

    The Cast:-  Fred Wheeler, Cliff Beckett, Barbara Garrard, Ron Gorton, Walter (Tony) Kneiler, Carole Tice, Kim Buckenham (a new star), Valerie Holmes, Gill Toomey, Philip Lee and Bernard Sibthorp.

    I still vaguely remember bits about the play although I was only 12 years old when I saw it.  It was a farce/comedy about a fictitious repertory company and formed part of the Langdon Players’ 21st birthday celebrations, the group having been formed in 1937. 

    The group’s plans for the following months were entry to the S.E. Essex Drama Festival on March 15th and acceptance to an invitation to participate in Leigh Drama Festival the following week.  The play for these two festivals would be ‘The House With Twisty Windows’ by Mary Pakington, to be directed by Doris Matthews, assisted by Pat White.  The cast would be Betty Grover, Dorothy Matthews, Wendy Stevens, Ron Gorton, Brian Houser, Bernard Sibthorp and Cliff Skudder.

    The production planned for May was ‘We Must Kill Toni’.  The play was about a girl with an inheritance and two men without an inheritance.  This is probably the one pictured in my article, showing Ivy and Brenda watching with their legs still in plaster.      

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (05/08/2014)
  • Nina, one of the things that jumps out at me from the Laindon Recorder articles is the hospitalization time required back in the 1950’s.

    Ivy Jobson is reported as having “suffered a broken leg and is in Rush Green Hospital where she is likely to remain for another six weeks.” Today a broken leg requires up to three days in hospital depending on the severity of the break. The Laindon Recorder goes on to state that ”Miss Buckenham is now in Oldchurch Hospital being treated for two broken legs and a fractured pelvis.” There is no mention of the time in hospital this far more serious injury would necessitate but obviously it would be greater than Ivy Jobson’s six weeks. Today, depending on the severity of the pelvic fracture, the hospital stay might take up to a maximum of three weeks.

    Some of the names of the cast members are familiar. Cliff Beckett was one of two brothers who were heavily engaged in the organization and business end of the group. One of them lived up Windsor Road perhaps on the corner of Balmoral Road. Carole Tice was the older sister (or was it cousin) of the twin girls Barbara and Brenda Tice who lived somewhere in the area of St Nicholas Church. Gill Toomey attended Ursuline College in Brentwood and we often traveled on the same bus. I always thought her very attractive and hoped for an introduction of some description. It never happened. Another of life’s missed opportunities! Phil Lee may have been the Phil who lived over the hill and owned a pre war MG which he seemed to work on for longer periods than it ran. If I have the right Phil he was very enamoured of Joan Hutton (of Tavistock Road), another Langdon Players regular. Cliff Skudder was a year ahead of me at Chelmsford Tech and lived somewhere east of the Fortune along the A127.

    There is a statement that ”Miss Buckenham was contemplating returning to an overseas appointment in March.” This coincides with my memory. As I remember it, Brenda went into journalism and took a job somewhere in Africa. Nigeria rings a bell.

    By Alan Davies (05/08/2014)
  • Both Brenda and Ivy routinely appeared on stage with the Langdon Players. I wonder if one or both were cast in this production. With their injuries they would certainly have had to drop out. Were alternatives hastily rehearsed and thrust on stage? If so it would appear there was a second story. What was the name of the play? Who were the stand ins? How much time did they have to rehearse? What comments might they have about the pressures of learning a part with what may have been so little time? A story the reporter apparently failed to follow up.

    By Alan Davies (04/08/2014)

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