The unique thoughts of our Denis

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THE sun was shining brightly when I visited the train and tram crossing on the border of Hucknall and Bulwell last Saturday afternoon.

The sky was blue, with not a cloud to be seen, and there was not a breath of wind.

No-one could have guessed that there had been a terrible tragedy at the same scene less than three days before.

Thirteen-year-old Lindsey Inger, who lived a short distance away on Longford Crescent, Bulwell Hall Estate, died after being hit by a tram.

Then, however, my eyes caught sight of about 50 floral tributes on the Nottingham Road, Hucknall side of the crossing. Touching messages with the flowers included ‘Rest in Paradise’ and ‘Keep Shining down on us, Princess’.

Also on view were a number of candles which had been used in an emotional farewell to Lindsey by family members and friends the night before.

More than 50 people turned up and some of them released Chinese lanterns into the sky.

On the night of the accident, I had been to see a show at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham city centre.

At the end, I walked to the nearby tram stop for the journey home to Bulwell. When a tram arrived, I was surprised to find that it was only going as far as the Moorbridge stop instead of all the way to the Hucknalll terminus.

At first, I wondered if there had been a repeat of a fire in a signal box which affected the tram and train lines between Bulwell and Hucknall the previous weekend.

But I also experienced a strange and awful sensation of deja vu. It crossed my mind that it was almost exactly four years since Jean Hoggart (65) and her seven-year-old grandson, Mikey Dawson, both of Hucknall, had died when they were hit by a train at the same crossing.

My worst fears were realised when I got home and heard about the accident to Lindsey on the BBC Radio Nottingham news.

As a non-driver, I have used this crossing for nearly all my 57-plus years with the Dispatch to cover meetings of Bestwood Parish Council and report on stories in the village.

Initially, I travelled from Bulwell, where I live, to Bestwood on the old Makemson Brothers buses. But I then got into the habit of catching a Nottingham City Transport No 44 bus to the city boundary and walking the rest of the way via what many still call the Bonemill crossing.

I paid another visit to the crossing on Tuesday evening and found that as well as all the flowers laid there, a white T-shirt with the words ‘Rest in Peace’ was now to be seen.

Three candles had been lit and I suddenly noticed a young man next to the crossing gate.

I said to him “It’s so sad what happened, isn’t it?” but he did not reply.

He was conducting his own personal vigil and words seemed superfluous.


Former Dispatch

chief reporter