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Author Topic: Woman killed after being hit by Cardiff-London train - 22 May 2012  (Read 30587 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« on: May 22, 2012, 08:58:00 pm »

From WalesOnline:

Quote
A woman was killed today after being struck by a train travelling from Cardiff to London.

The First Great Western service from Cardiff Central to London Paddington was delayed following the fatality, which is not being treated as suspicious.

Shocked passengers on board the 10.55am service were stuck for hours as emergency teams surveyed the scene.

The incident happened at about 12.18pm on the line near Alderton, Wiltshire, and the service resumed at about 3.30pm.

Dr Philip Dixon, director of education union ATL Cymru, was on the train when it hit the woman. He said: ^I heard something coming up underneath the train, then the breaks slammed right on and the train came to a halt right inside a tunnel.^

Some passengers complained of overheating as they waited for the train service to resume.

A First Great Western spokesman said: ^The train staff on that train did all that they could to help the passengers stuck on board and were giving out water free of charge. Passengers were seen to on arrival into Swindon. It^s obviously very dangerous to take passengers off a train on a live railway.^

British Transport Police said officers were working to establish the identity of the woman and prepare a file for the coroner. A police spokesman said the fatality was not regarded as suspicious.
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
John R
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 10:58:34 pm »

I would argue with the comment that "it's obviously dangerous to take passengers off a train on a live railway". After all, the line was closed,  so if the conditions were that unbearable then it should have been possible to do safely.  Though I somewhat doubt that the conditions were as extreme as those endured in the channel tunnel a couple of winters ago, and I suspect that given the location, cause of the delay, and inconvenience to passengers, evacuating passengers would have made matters a lot worse. 
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2012, 11:03:44 pm »

From Kingswood People:

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School communities in Kingswood and Cadbury Heath in shock after death of popular teacher

A teacher who taught at The Park School in Kingswood for many years died after being struck by a train near Chippenham this week.



Judith Bleach, 44, a married mother-of-two and the associate head at Parkwall Primary School in Cadbury Heath, was killed on Tuesday after being hit by the 10.55am First Great Western service from Cardiff Central to London Paddington. Her death is not being treated as suspicious.

Parkwall was closed on Wednesday following the news and flowers and cards of remembrance have been placed around a tree inside the school gates.

In a letter to parents, executive headteacher Mark Dee, who is also headteacher of The Park School, said: "I am very sorry to have to tell you the tragic news that our associate headteacher Judith Bleach died suddenly on Tuesday. This is truly shocking and our thoughts and love go to her family at this terrible time.

"Judith was an exceptional teacher and headteacher who had such a passion for learning and working with children. She will be deeply missed by her colleagues and children both here and at The Park, where she also worked."

He said that members of the clergy and also educational psychologists were advising and supporting children, staff and parents. A special remembrance assembly has also been held.

Parkwall received a "good" rating from Ofsted inspectors in February 2011, who highlighted the school's "exceptional commitment to pupils' care, guidance and support". They also said the leadership had "given the school a clear direction and purpose".

The train was delayed for several hours following her death at around 12.18pm on the line near Alderton, which is not being treated as suspicious.

British Transport Police said a file was being prepared for the coroner into the death of Mrs Bleach on the line at Alderton at abnout 12.18pm on Tuesday.
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
bignosemac
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 10:45:06 am »

From The Post (Bristol):

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Suicide teacher "lost confidence"

AN inquest heard how an "outstanding" teacher crouched in front of an inter-city train and waited to die because she feared she was not good enough at her job.

Married mother-of-two Judith Bleach, 44, committed suicide on the day she was due to attend an inter- view to complete her headship training, after "losing confidence" in her own ability.

Instead of boarding a train from Bristol to Birmingham the talented teacher from Henleaze drove 22 miles in the opposite direction, stopping at a lay-by near a train tunnel.

She parked her Fiat Punto ^ locking the doors, but leaving a window open. The coroner was told that Mrs Bleach got over a fence, walked up an embankment and wandered onto the train tracks.

The delayed 11.32am First Great Western train travelling from Bristol Parkway to London Paddington struck her just before a tunnel in Alderton, Wiltshire, on May 22. Her body was identified from fingerprints matched to those taken from a wardrobe door at her home, the inquest in Salisbury, Wiltshire, was told.

Executive head teacher Mark Dee, of Parkwall Primary School, Cadbury Heath, Bristol ^ where Mrs Bleach worked ^ said she was viewed by all as "outstanding" in her profession.

Giving evidence at the inquest he said: "I had known her for about eight years and she was excellent at her job. She would have made an outstanding head in her own right.

"She worked hard and was popular with staff, pupils and their parents."

Mr Dee added: "I saw her on the Monday (the day before her death) and she was a bit nervous about the interview.

"But she would have passed it with flying colours. It was just a formality.

"There was nothing fundamental (to cause me alarm)."

The associate head teacher left two suicide notes in her car. One for her husband Matthew and the other to Mr Dee.

Mr Dee said: "From the tone of the letter it appears that her confidence had gone.

"I do think there were also some personal issues in the background, which contributed to this."

The wording of the notes were not read aloud during the public hearing. A map of the tragic spot was also found open in her car.

Train driver Brian Nugent had noticed Mrs Bleach near the track and sounded his horn.

He said in a statement: "I saw a woman walk from left to right. She would have been about seven or eight seconds away. I sounded the horn. She then crouched in a foetal position."

The coroner heard that the brakes were applied, but it was impossible to avoid her.

A post-mortem examination showed that Mrs Bleach, of West Croft, had suffered multiple head and body injuries due to a collision with a train. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

Her husband Mr Bleach, a bookkeeper, said he had no concerns about his wife as she left for the interview on the fateful day.

"She left the house at about 8.20am," he said. "She was smartly-dressed and had the papers she needed for the interview with her."

Mrs Bleach had been due to board a train from Bristol Parkway at 9.10am with her interview set for 11am.

It was the final part of her headship training she had started in September last year.

Wiltshire assistant deputy coroner Ian Singleton recorded a verdict of suicide.

"She voluntarily positioned herself on the railway line in a crouching position," he said.

"She collided with a train travelling from Bristol to Swindon at 110mph, a mile from Alderton tunnel in Wiltshire.

"I record that Judith Mary Bleach took her own life."

^ Most people who are thinking of taking their own life have given warning signs beforehand. These feelings do improve and can be treated.

If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 08457 909090 day or night.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 08:54:01 pm »

From the Bristol Post:

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"She would have been proud" - School which lost teacher to suicide gets improved Ofsted rating


Judith Bleach died in 2012

She would have been proud.

That is the sentiment of executive headteacher Mark Dee, after his school received an improved Ofsted rating four years after the death of a popular teacher.

Former associate head teacher of Parkwall Primary School, Judith Bleach, committed suicide in May 2012 after "losing confidence" ahead of a interview to complete her headship training, an inquest found.

The 44-year-old mother-of-two had walked in front of a train travelling from Bristol Parkway to London Paddington, and she was hit near a tunnel in Alderton, Wiltshire.

An inquest heard she had left two suicide notes in her car.



Her death shocked the school community. Eighteen months later in 2014, an Ofsted inspection team decided to drop the rating at the school to "requires improvement", with the pupils' achievement not meeting the targets set.

But the team at the school rallied, and saw it climb back to a "good" rating after an inspection by the watchdog last month.

In her report, lead inspector Tracy Hannon said the school has seen huge improvements and pupils were doing well in school.

She wrote: "Talented senior leaders' clear guidance and support for teachers have been effective in raising the quality of teaching, learning and assessment in the school. Teachers have good subject knowledge. Their successful teaching of basic skill has led to pupils becoming successful readers, writers and mathematicians.

"The staff team works tirelessly to remove any barriers to learning for pupils. As a result, disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs make exceptionally good progress.

"Pupils are enthusiastic learners. They are very respectful of their teachers. Pupils' positive attitudes to learning contribute to the good progress they make. Pupils' actions demonstrate that they clearly understand the principals of modern British values."

Executive headteacher Mark Dee, who worked with Mrs Bleach before she died, said she would have been proud of the school's achievements. "There is no doubt how much of an impact her death had on the school community," Mr Dee said. "When you read the report in 2014, you can see it really affected us. It did come as a shock.

"When a very popular member of staff ^ the leader of the school ^ dies in such tragic circumstances, it will affect anyone connected to the school. But we've worked hard and everyone has pulled together to get us back to where we were, when Judith was still here. She is remembered fondly by many of us, and was hugely popular here."

He praised his staff, pupils and parents for working together towards the improved rating. "I'm happy with the results. It has taken a while and there is no question we're going to keep improving," he said. "It is testament to the hard work done by the staff here, who have worked tirelessly to ensure the children do well. You cannot ask for more from them. The pupils are also enthusiastic about their learning, and they are a real joy to work with."

Ofsted also praised the school's work with disadvantaged students, of which the school has double the national average.

The report read: "Pupils are proud of their achievements. They take great pride in their learning. This is reflected in the high-quality of handwriting and presentation in their books. Governors hold leaders to account well and help to ensure that extra funding is used effectively to raise standards."
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 09:03:30 pm »

Rather unusually, I'm going to reply to my own post here, simply to pick up on a point of her English grammar with the Ofsted lead inspector Tracy Hannon, who wrote in her report, "Pupils' actions demonstrate that they clearly understand the principals of modern British values."

They are principles, not principals, Tracy.  Roll Eyes Shocked Lips sealed

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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Merthyr Imp
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2016, 09:28:25 pm »

Who inspects the inspectors?
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2016, 09:29:55 pm »

Hmm.  Roll Eyes

Having found the actual report, on the Parkwall Primary School website, I see that the correct spelling was used in that report.

So, it's the Bristol Post journo who doesn't know the difference.  Shocked

My apologies to Tracy Hannon.  Embarrassed
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
bignosemac
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 09:48:54 pm »

Who inspects the inspectors?
   

Or, if one prefers the Latin: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2016, 12:27:38 am »

Who inspects the inspectors?

Or, if one prefers the Latin: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Hmmm, again.  Roll Eyes

Coincidentally, from the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page):

Quote
Sats spelling test was on practice paper

A Sats spelling test due to be taken by half a million seven-year-olds in England next month was accidentally published as a sample test months ago.

The error was discovered when a school running an official trial of the new national spelling test saw that pupils recognised all the words being tested.

Teachers then found the exact same test was among practice papers on the Department for Education (DfE) website.

The government said it was a "serious error" and was investigating.

Around half a million of the test papers are already with schools, in sealed envelopes, in preparation for Sats tests in the first week of May.

Tests and assessments are taken by every seven-year-old and every 11-year-old in the country, and the results are used to hold schools to account.

However, the spelling and grammar test results are not used to rank the schools.

The DfE publishes sample papers via its website and schools - or parents - are free to use them to help their children gain useful practice in the run-up to the tests.

A school in south-east England, which did not wish to be identified, was one of a number taking part in a trial of the new paper.

The teacher who spotted the error, Charlotte Smiles, said: "One of the children who was sitting the spelling test that we were giving them kept saying 'I know this one, and this one'. He appeared to know what was coming next. One of the teachers asked him if he had seen this test before and he answered in a bit of a coy way. Because of the way this child was behaving, I went and checked on the DfE website and I found this exact test published as a sample paper. It's actually been there since January 26."

She said the DfE finally admitted the error after a number of telephone calls. She added that there would not be enough time to rewrite the papers.

Russell Hobby, leader of the National Association of Head Teachers, told the BBC: "This is a serious error that has compromised the integrity of the spelling, punctuation and grammar tests for Key Stage 1 children this year. As things stand, these tests can have little value because there is no way to know how many children will have already used this test for practice."

The DfE said it had now removed the sample paper from the website. It stressed that the results of this test were not collected nationally but said it was "deeply regrettable it had happened".

It added: "Fortunately, this is a Key Stage 1 test which is provided to schools to support teacher assessment judgements. We ask if anyone has seen the material that they do not share it further so the test remains helpful for those teachers who have to yet use it with their pupils."
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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