The following contemporary account relating to the construction of the Settle - Carlisle railway appeared on page 3 (column 3) of the December 24th, 1870 edition of the Lancaster Guardian.
ANOTHER FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE SETTLE AND CARLISLE RAILWAY. – Last Thursday a fatal accident occurred on the works now in progress for the Settle and Carlisle Railway. A quarryman named John Balesill1, 56 years old, of Smardale Gill, was accidentally killed by being run over by an engine. Deceased was engaged in quarrying stones for the Settle and Carlisle Railway in a quarry by the side of the South Durham Railway, between Smardale and Newbiggen. On the morning named, he left the huts at Smardale where he lived, about a quarter to seven, to go to his work, and it is supposed that while walking along the railway he was overtaken and run over by a pilot engine which left Kirkby Stephen at half pasts six. However, this may be, his decapitated body was found at ten minutes past seven the same morning. An inquest was held later in the day at Smardale and the jury returned a verdict of “Accidentally killed.”.
- The spelling of surname 'Balesill; may be incorrect as it was difficult to read.
The text quoted above was manually transcribed from a microfiched copy of the newspaper by Mark R. Harvey during a visit to Lancaster Library on July 10th, 2007.