Leah Owen

Black Sheep Sunday – Vera Dawson (nee Mills)

Raymond Dawson is my 1st cousin 1x removed. His parents are Harry Dawson and Leah Owen. Our common ancestors are James Dawson and Emma Buckley – my great grandparents.

Raymond was born on 15 November 1923 in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

Sometime in the September quarter of 1952 Raymond married Vera Mills in Nelson, Lancashire.

About six years later Raymond and Vera appeared in The Nelson Leader on Friday 19 September 1958 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).

Vera Dawson - Nelson Leader 19 September 1958.png

Man Struck by Car “Thrown in Air”

LEARNER DRIVER IS FINED AT NELSON

Because the pavement was overgrown and not fit to walk on at a point in Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, two couples were walking in the roadway at 10.40 p.m. on Saturday, June 28th. The two husbands were walking together and their wives were some distance behind.
Prosecuting at Nelson Magistrate’s Court on Saturday, Superintendent J.A. Lancaster alleged that the man on the outside, Ronald Howarth, a shop manager, of 137 Cleaver Street, Burnley, was struck from behind by a car, “thrown in the air,” and fell on the bonnet striking his head on the windscreen, which was shattered.
The learner driver of the car, Vera Dawson (35), of 2 Oak Villas, Edith Street, Nelson, was find £5 with £5 7s. 5d. costs and had her licence endorsed for driving without due care and attention. Pleading “not guilty,” Mrs. Dawson told the court that she thought she had passed the two men safely. Mr. Howarth suddenly seemed to turn into the car.
Mr. Howarth, who said he was walking close to the pavement on the outside of Mr. John K. Probert, of 246 Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, told how he was struck from behind. “The next thing I remember was picking myself up off the road,” he said. He was taken to Victoria Hospital at Burnley, where he received treatment for lacerations to the back of the head.
Mr. Probert, who also gave evidence, said it was impossible to walk on the pavement on the near side of the road, and that there was no pavement at all on the other side. He saw a bus approaching up the hill towards them, and then the first indication of anything behind them was “a bump – a crash.” Mr. Howarth was carried by the car from five to 10 yards and dropped into the gutter by the side of the road. The car carried on for quite a distance beyond the point where the accident occurred, probably 20 yards.
Both witnesses agreed with Mr. J. Parry (defending) that if they had been obeying the Highway Code they would not have been walking on that side of the road, but pointed out that there was no refuge at all on the opposite side.
Evidence was given by both wives. Mrs. Howarth said that the car had gone round them, but had not pulled out far enough to get round her husband. She could see there was going to be an accident and shouted, but her husband did not hear and he did not move at all.
Mrs. Probert said that Mr. Howarth seemed to be lifted up on the bonnet of the car. She did not hear the car’s horn sound, and saw no reason why the car should not have pulled out.
Inspector T. Lunn told the court that, facing in the direction of Nelson, the nearside footpath at that point was overgrown and that it was not possible to walk on it.
In a statement by the defendant, which was read in court, she said that because an oncoming bus was level with the men she could not swing out very far. As she passed, one of the men seemed to “step out” and she heard breaking glass.
She told the court that she thought she had passed the men safely, and had no recollection of bringing the car nearer the side of the road after passing the ladies. Asked why she had travelled so far after the accident, she said she thought she had touched the accelerator instead of the brake. She had been startled by shattering glass. Mrs. Dawson, who had been learning to drive for three weeks at that time, said she had only taken over control of the car a few yards before the accident, was only in second gear and travelling between five and 10 miles per hour.
A statement by her husband, Mr. Raymond Dawson, who was in the car with her, was also read. In it he said that as the car drew level with the men the outside one “appeared to turn out, pivoting towards us.” In court, he said he thought the car was safely past until the man appeared to half turn and hit the windscreen with his shoulder. He saw no reason to interfere with his wife’s driving until the accident had happened and she put her foot on the accelerator.
On behalf of his client, Mr. Parry submitted that the people walking in the road were not obeying all the rules laid down in the Highway Code and were apparently making no effort to see if there was any traffic coming behind them. He maintained that there was sufficient conflict of evidence to justify the case being dismissed.