19-08-04 Hampstall Disaster of 1919
Report by Francesca, a Member of Astley & Dunley History Society (As seen on TV)
HAMPSTALL FERRY DISASTER
On 4th August 1919, nine people; two men, four women and three children, drowned while crossing the River Severn at the Hampstall Inn, Astley. There were seventeen people standing up in the punt which acted as the ferry boat and when the steamer, ‘May Queen’ went past, the wash swamped the boat and it overturned.
On Sunday 4th August 2019, residents of Astley and other interested people gathered at The Hampstall Inn, to remember those who drowned a hundred years ago. After an account of the disaster had been read, the plaque and information board were unveiled by Fred Greenhow and Terry Matthews. Prayers were said by Rev Mark Turner and roses were thrown into the river in remembrance. Finally a poem written by the poet laureate of Wednesbury was read out.
Introduction to the event by Clare Badham.
The unveiling by Fred Greenhows the grandson of Ellen Greenhow who rescued five people from the disaster; Terry Matthews the grandson of the brother of Harry Matthews, one of those who drowned.