On this day: the Bray Head railway accident

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On the 9th of August, 1867 sudden subsidence at Brandy Hole Viaduct caused a train to derail.

The location of the disaster was Bray Head, County Wicklow, Ireland. Four people died and twenty-five were injured.

The report into the disaster was published a few weeks later, and can be found in full HERE.

“The train to which this accident happened was the up train leaving Enniscorthy for Dublin, at 6.30 a.m. It consisted of an engine and tender, six carriages, of which the first was fitted with a break, and a guard’s break van. A porter acting as guard rode in this van at the rear of the train. It left Delgany about its proper time, 9.5 a.m., and was travelling slowly round Bray Head in obedience to orders which had been given to all drivers, and had nearly reached this wooden viaduct (called Brabazon corner in the details supplied by the engineer (the late Mr. Brunel), previous to the opening of the line in October 1855), when the acting guard says he got a knock in his van, looked out of the window, and saw the carriages hopping on the rails, and then he put on his break.”

On this day: the opening of the Queen Victoria Building

Designed as a marketplace, the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia opened on the 21st of July, 1898.

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The building was designed in Victorian Romanesque style by Scottish-born architect George McRae, and constructed between 1893 and 1898.

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More than a thousand guests attended a ball on the night of the building’s opening, where Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Matthew Harris, gave a speech.

The Sydney icon survived twentieth-century discussions of remodelling and even demolition, and today is a popular tourist attraction and shopping destination.

On this day: the St-Hilaire train disaster

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On the 29th of June, 1864, a train in Quebec, Canada fell through an open swing bridge and into the Richelieu River.

The worst train disaster in Canadian history, it is thought ninety-nine people died in the crash. The majority of people on board were European immigrants.

The investigation placed the blame for the disaster on Grand Trunk Railway, as the train failed to acknowledge stop signals that would have prevented it from falling through the bridge.

On this day: Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee

Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee on the 20th of June, 1887. This photograph is of Regent Street in London decorated for the event.

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View down Regent Street looking north and showing the decorations for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Queen’s Birthday

Today is our holiday for the Queen’s “official” birthday (though not her actual birthday). The tradition of celebrating the British monarch’s birthday around summer began with King George II in 1748, largely to ensure fine weather for the occasion.

The Queen in 1959

Queen_Elizabeth_II_1959 Queen Elizabeth II Vladimir Tiara, Queen Victoria Jubilee Necklace, the blue Garter Riband, Badge and Garter Star and the Royal Family Orders of King George V and

On this day: work on the Uganda Railway begins.

This image was taken on the 30th of May, 1896, when construction on the Uganda Railway began.

The project was started in British East Africa, and many of the workers were brought over from India. Several thousand chose to stay on in Africa after the work was done.

Despite its name, the railway was in in what is now Kenya, with Uganda being the destination.

Uganda_railway_first_work First day of work in the Uganda railway, 30th May 1896.