The First Station Master at Scholes Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page

The First Station Master at Scholes

From the Barwicker No.101
March 2011

The census of population has been part of life every 10 years since 1841 (apart from 1941 when it was suspended because of the war). From it we can learn a great deal of local history as well as family history. It has one major limitation in that the information in the census is withheld from the public for 100 years. The 1881 census tells us that the first Station Master of Scholes was Oliver Outhwaite. In every publication we can find, including our own article on the railway at Scholes in edition 85, he has been recorded as William Outhwaite. How this error crept in to general local knowledge we are unsure, but it is known that it was created at some time before the 1881 census was available.

We are grateful to have this error drawn to our attention by Oliverís great-great grandson Simon Parker of Cambridge who spotted our article on the internet. By using the 1891 census we can prove that he really was called Oliver as we find that he had been moved from Scholes to take charge of the station at Ulleskelf. He doesnít appear in any more censuses as he died as a result of a railway accident in 1897. Simon has sent to us an account of his death which was published in the Malton Gazette on Saturday 17th July 1897 and a photograph of his grave. The article, which describes events in more graphical detail than would be acceptable nowadays is set out below.

A sad accident happened at Marishes Road Station, on the Malton and Whitby branch of the North Eastern Railway, on Wednesday afternoon, the station master, Mr Oliver Douthwaite [sic], being knocked down by the express train leaving Pickering at 2.40, and literally cut to pieces. It appears that the stores train was approaching from Malton. Deceased saw this, and expecting it would call at his station, went into the office for the key, and was about to cross the line as the stores train was pulling up. Evidently he did not notice the express coming in the opposite direction - though there is a straight run for a considerable distance - and this seems to have struck him as he entered the fourfoot. A boy named Frank, son of the signal man, who was in the cabin with his father when the express came up, saw the deceased attempt to cross, and called his father's attention, but the next thing they saw was the deceased's hat flying over the top of the express. The body was picked up some 36 yards from the crossing, terribly mutilated. Both legs were broken, and his left arm was picked up in the sixfoot some 23 yards nearer the crossing. A short distance from the body was deceased's watch in a crushed state, the hands standing at 2-49. The express was due at 2-50 p.m. It is somewhat singular that some matches and a lead pencil which were in the unfortunate man's waistcoat pocket were smashed to pieces, his whistle was strangely doubled up, and the cash he carried in his trousers pockets had to be extracted from the linings below the knee. The driver of the express, Christopher Holliday, of Whitby, pulled up the train with all possible speed. Information was at once despatched to Pickering, and Dr. Robertson, accompanied by Mr. Pickup, the stationmaster, were soon on the scene of the accident. Deceased, who was 66 years of age, was formerly stationed at Ulleskelf, and some 3 or 4 years ago married a well-known Pickering lady as his second wife. The greatest sympathy is expressed with the bereaved wife and family.

Oliver Outhwaite's Grave

We are very grateful to Simon Parker not only for supplying this detail on the first Station master but for helping us to put a piece the local history record straight.


Back to the top
Back to the Main Historical Society page
Back to the Barwicker Contents page