On Friday 17th August 1956 13 years old Mike Morant and his 9 years old brother were train watching at the country end of platform 4 at Bournemouth West station and were alarmed to see an entire train descending the bank from the carriage sidings at speed and with no locomotive attached. The stock hurtled into platform 6 followe by a thump as it ploughed into the stock intended for the 11.34 service to Southampton Central at the twn end of platform 6 which was propelled through the platform end and into the parcels office. The runaway stock was the 13 coach formation intended for the 11.16 service to York/Newcastle which had undergone some minor maintenance but the crew allegedly forgot to apply the handbrake and a kiss to the buffers by the train engine was sufficient to set this entire incident in motion. Quick reactions from the yard staff and the signalman prevented what might have been a worse scenario. The wrecked Maunsell coach is 3783 which formed part of three coach set no. 330 but at the time of writing the identity of the ‘van’ which was also destroyed in the crash isn’t known.
[Photo taken by Mike Morant]