Moving Stories - Workshops and Performance

Workshop 3 - Andrew Marvell Business and Enterprise College

In the 1920s Paragon Station would have been buzzing with commuters travelling to work, holidaymakers setting off to places like Withernsea, Bridlington or Scarborough and fish vans transporting produce from the docks to inland towns and cities.


It was on one of these busy mornings that catastrophe struck when the Withernsea and Scarborough trains were accidentally set on the same track heading straight towards each other.


To discover how this crash took place, year eight students from Andrew Marvell Business and Enterprise College explored the accident report, followed the trial through various newspaper articles, examined photos and film footage and explored the role of a signalman, to understand how the two trains ended up on the same line.


Click on the interactive to listen to a signalman describe life in the signal box and watch film footage to see them at work.


Following the trial through newspaper articles (available on microfilm at Hull’s local studies library) students discovered that the crash was accidental. Although the signalmen were thought to have acted hastily on this tragic day, resetting the track too early and pulling the wrong lever causing the trains to head towards each other, they were not charged with murder or manslaughter.


To commemorate the tragedy, students recreated the events leading up to the crash, investigating who was travelling on the trains, where they were going and how the signalmen might have felt in realising what had happened. Objects such as a signalman’s lamp were explored and costumes from the 1920s were examined to help create a fuller picture of what working life was like.


Have a look at the interactive to watch film footage of the two trains being pulled apart near Paragon station after the crash.

Can you improvise a scene in which reporters are interviewing witnesses to find out what went wrong?


Can you imagine what it would have been like to see a train heading straight towards you and how you would have reacted?

Document icon Learning article provided by: National Railway Museum | 
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