|Gill Hollis 2007
Leonard Percy Frederick Collins
Just after mid-day on the 21st November, 1911, Mr. Leonard Percy Frederick Collins, of Gladstone House, Griffith Street, Rushden, was travelling from his factory in Grove Road to the factory of Messrs. Sanders and Sanders, Spencer Park. He was riding in his trap accompanied by his groom/handyman Walter Moore Stringer of 11 Glassbrook Road.
They had negotiated “Ward’s Corner”, which was one of the most dangerous spots in Rushden for traffic, and standing outside the shops of Mr. Charles Robinson (newsagent) and Messrs. Meadows and Rattley (fish merchants) was a four wheel trolley belonging to Mr. Jesse Quick, green-grocer, of Rushden.
A wheel of Mr. Collins’ trap caught Mr. Quick’s trolley, and the trap was turned over throwing Mr. Collins out. Mr. Stringer climbed out unhurt. Mr. Collins was thrown out with great force and hit his head on the kerbstone between the shops of Mr. Wheeler (butcher) and Messrs. Horsley (corn merchants), fracturing his skull. It was obvious that Mr. Collins’ injuries were serious and he was taken into Mr. Robinson’s shop and placed on a couch in the sitting room.
Nurse Tenney was soon on the scene, but both doctors were out. Dr. Owen, who was Mr. Collins’ own doctor, was visiting Mrs. Collins at the time, because she was unwell, but Dr. Greenfield arrived after about 10 minutes. Mr. Collins was carried to his home on a stretcher and at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon he died. He was 36 years old and left a widow and six young children.
The inquest was held on Thursday 23rd November at the Waggon and Horses, before the Deputy Divisional Coroner, Mr. J. C. Parker, and evidence of identification was given by his brother Mr. Henry Collins, of 25 Crabb Street, Rushden. Evidence was also given by Mr. Stringer, Mr. Quick and Dr. Greenfield.
A verdict of “accidental death” was returned.
The funeral was held on Thursday afternoon and was one of the most impressive ever seen in Rushden. The service was conducted at the Park Road Baptist Church by the Rev. H. J. Horn (pastor) and the Rev. W. F. Harris (former pastor). The full choir was in attendance and there was a congregation of over 1000 people.
The principal mourners were:-
Second carriage - Mr. William Collins (uncle), Mrs. Keep (sister-in-law), Mrs. Joseph Tompkins and Miss P. Tompkins (sisters-in-law).
Third carriage - Mr. T. Tompkins (brother-in-law), Mrs. Stringer (aunt), Mrs. Henry Collins (sister-in-law), and Master Fred Collins (nephew).
Fourth carriage - Mr. And Mrs. Joseph Farey (friends), Miss Hilda Collins (niece), and Mrs. Payne, Northampton (friend).
Fifth carriage - Messrs. F. Sharwood, A. J. Potton, B. Coe, and W. W. Smith (friends).
Sixth carriage - Mr. G. Selwood and Mr. F. Ballard (executors), Mr. C. R. Claridge (solicitor).
Messrs. J. T. Colson (Higham Road), F. Corby, F. Cowley, James Sykes, and D. Darnell, deacons of the Baptist Church.
Rev. J. Bates (Ringstead), Mr. S. Pettit (Stanwick), and Mr. Herbert Lack, Rushden and District Sunday School Union.
Rev. J. H. Lynn, Rushden Free Church Council.
Messrs. Thos. Hooper and J. Cook (Brotherhood), Edgar Harris, J. Dickens, W. Hardwick (Sunday School teachers), J. T. Bettles (Band of Hope).
Messrs. B. Vorley and W. Desborough (District Band of Hope Union).
Then came the factory hands, including Mr. Durham (York Road branch), Mr. Percival (Denmark Road branch), and a large number of male and female employees.
Among the congregation in the church were Mess. John Claridge, F. L. Heygate, Putnam, Nunley, J. F. Knight, Amos Cave, C. L. Bradfield, John Sargent, A. H. Dickens, Arthur Cave, A. Gadsby, B. Ladds, J. S. Mason, W. B. Sabders, W. Horrell, G. Bayes, C. G. Cunnington, J. Austin, J. S. Clipson, F. Darlow, Robinson, Geo. Willmott, C. Green, H. Sechington, Wm. Claridge, G. H. Parkin, S. C. Brightwell, H. Brawn, C. H. Knight, Jos. Knight, Wm. Knight, J. Bland (Chelveston), and very many others.