The Stainland Boiler Explosion
John Bottomley

John Bottomley was a local poet.

Around 1895, his

The Lifeboat Crew and other Recitations

was printed by John Lindley Edwards and included this poem about the Explosion which occurred at Holme Mill, Stainland on 23rd May 1895

Not far away from Stainland Town,
There stands a place of great renown.
Where a sad accident occurred
On Thursday May the Twenty Third.

Close by the lovely Blackburn Brook,
In a serene and shady nook,
There stands a mill, well worn with age,
Amongst the trees and foliage.

The mill is owned by Mr. Shaw,
A man who many people know,
The place is not so large, 'tis true,
He found employment for a few.

The sun shone down with mighty power
All through the usual dinner hour;
The birds sang out their merry lays
On one of Summer's brightest days.

The hands were waiting to begin,
Some went outside, and some stayed in;
Five sat them down upon the ground,
To list to Nature's joyous sound.

Then came a horrid sudden crack,
The boiler burst with such a smack,
The walls fell down with such a thud,
Which echoed in the silent wood.

Down came the chimney with a crash,
The windows brok with such a smash,
The soot and smoke flew in the air,
The wood and stones flew everywhere.

Where were the five, alas, alas,
The five who sat there on the grass,
The walls fell down with them beneath,
And all met instantaneous death.

There, there they lay beneath the stones,
With bruised heads, and broken bones;
When they were found, and brought to light,
It was a sad and solemn sight.

The news soon spread that they were killed,
Their happy homes with grief were filled,
Hearts filled with joy not long ago,
Were plunged in sorrow and in woe.

Without a moment's warning, they,
Were called to realms of endless day;
Were called to dwell with Him above
In that dear land of light and love.

They left their friends on earth to mourn,
That they so soon from them were torn,
Their stay on earth was only brief,
They went and left their friends in grief.

Thousands have been to view the spot,
The scene will fail to be forgot
By those who went to see the mill,
The scene will haunt their memory still.

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:24 / 24th May 2021 / 4243

Page Ref: QQ_164

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