Letter from Charles Dickens regarding accident on the Great Western Railway


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Letter from Charles Dickens regarding the accident on the GWR near Hanwell Station in December 1869.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Letter, Charles Dickens to Mr Kingett, Superintendent of the Parcels Department, regarding an accident around Christmas 1869. Letter and envelope mounted on cardboard with original object label from Museum of British Transport at Clapham

In the Christmas week of 1869, a horsebox laden with parcels from the Hereford district caught fire between Gloucester and Reading. The parcels were destroyed and the owners compensated. Mr Kingett wrote to the senders, one of whom was Charles Dickens, explaining the circumstances and apologising. Dickens replied that he understood that the accident was "unavoidable" and that he "took the loss with unbroken good humour towards the Great Western Railway Company."

Dickens signed the letter with his customary flourish, and the envelope bears his stamp.


Archive Collections
Object Number:
letter - correspondence
  • visual and verbal communication
  • correspondence
British Rail, Clapham

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