See Miscellaneous Papers M.P. 6866 M (held at the Local Studies Library, Sheffield Central Library) for newspaper reports on the incident and the inquest. Photographs and reports donated by Mr Vin Malone.
Southern and Richardson were cutlery manufacturers. The man in the top hat and frock coat in front of the boiler is owner of the firm Mr Samuel Gray Richardson. The power for driving the grinding wheels and other machinery in the works was provided by a large Lancashire boiler, built between two blocks of shops. The boiler was due to be dispensed with and a powerful gas engine had been purchased to replace it. A leakage into one of the flues, however, was follwed by an explosion, the effects being felt in two directions. Seven men and boys were killed in the explosion: -
Harry Dickinson, caretaker to the firm, aged 55
William Ward, aged 27, 8 court, 1 house, Bath Street
Herbert Arthur Lickfold, aged 24, until recently in the employ of Messrs Hattersley and Davidson
Albert Wharton, aged 15, 71 Burnt Tree Lane
John Whitehead, aged 54, 26 Shepherd Street
Frank Anderson, aged 15, 4 court, 3 house, Burnt Tree Lane
John Ellis, aged 40, carter, in the employ of Messrs Doncaster and Sons.
An inquest was held, the result being a verdict of accidental death in relation to all the victims, who had all died as a result of the injuries caused by the explosion, which itself was caused by a defective water gauge. No person was blamed for it.