Intersection of Grey Street and Maitland Street
Reg Quick witnessed an accident near the intersection of Grey and Maitland. This story comes from the London Public Library’s Oral History Heritage project.
I even saw, not a particular friend of mine, but Harry Brown I saw him get run over with a train and killed at Maitland. When we were kids, we used to catch on the train, there used to be a Michigan PM railway, before it was electrified. It was the old PM trains, and the Michigan used to have a train that’d come over from St. Thomas that used to always come to the London at five minutes to five, I think it was the time. And then us kids would get out of school at half past four. Of course, it would come through the yard slow, y’know? Well, at this particular time, I used to grab it and run it around to Colborne Street or someplace, y’know? It was a mixed train, there’d be a couple passenger cars and a half-dozen freight cars and, y’know, not long trains.
I had a paper route by then. And I had two customers on Grey Street just over the tracks. I would come down and then I would start papers on Grey Street between Wellington and Waterloo. Gradually work around and drop some around Colborne Street and so on. So this train come in this night and I was then on the outside waiting for the train to pass and the kids were gathering on between Grey and Simcoe Streets catching on. This young Harry Brown, he grabbed the passenger car rail and his hand slid down and his legs snapped, cut off a leg…Well, I was scared so I run and got rid of my papers fast as I could, but then I suppose I somewhere talked something about it.
So, anyhow, I ran home and then I began to wonder what’s happening and I guess I worked my way up, back up somewhere and they had taken him to Roundtree & Founders Grocery Store at Grey and Maitland, just above the…west of the tracks, y’know, taken him in there, but anyhow of course he died. But that’s one of the experiences, y’know?
So, the first thing I knew I was called out of the school room at the school and it was somebody from the police department or somebody. They’d given me a subpoena to appear at the inquest. As it happened, I was the only one that actually saw him. Course, I was bragging, showing all the kids. The subpoena official outback. But then when the night come on, that time we got scared. Anyhow, the old police station was on Carling Street, just west of Richmond where the London Printing buildings come up to there now. So I had to go to the police court and give my testimony at the inquest. My father took me up there so I had a little support that way. I do remember that, but it turned out that I was the only one that actually saw.