BEA Dakota G-AHCY, looking towards Dovestones Reservoir.

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BEA Dakota G-AHCY, looking towards Dovestones Reservoir

I don’t often visit civil crash sites, but this one was on the way back to the car from another site I’d visited, one of five sites on the moors around the Chew Valley.

19th August 1949, BEA Dakota G-AHCY crashed on Wimberry Stones Brow above Dove Stones Reservoir in Saddleworth on its final approach to Manchester Airport having flown from Belfast.

The aircraft was descending through cloud on a radio beam but the pilot Captain Pinkerton had failed to make a necessary turn and was some ten or so miles from where they needed to be, flying over the Pennines near Oldham. 21 passengers and all 3 crew members were killed in the crash. There were 8 survivors.

The names listed below are gathered from 3 sources. There are minor differences between all 3 lists.
EDIT 12 Nov 2015, please see comments confirming the names of Mrs Barclay and her daughter.

Crew killed;
Captain Frank Wortley Pinkerton (Pilot), First Officer George Holt (Co-pilot), Radio Officer Richard Willis Haigh (Radio Operator)

Passengers killed;
Mr Willie Ashton, Mrs Sarah Marguerite Baird, Mrs Elsie Barclay, Miss Jean Barclay, Mr Cyril Beanstock, Mrs Dorothy May Brimelow, Mr Derek Harry Clarke, Mrs Margery Davis, Master Roger Alan Evans, Miss Bridget Anne Farrell, Mr George Stephen Gisby, Miss Ivy Gwendolyn Jones, Mr Hubert Stanley Lea, Mr Henry Brice Prestwich, Mrs Joan Prestwich, Miss Elizabeth Anne Prestwich, Miss Jane Caroline Prestwich, Mrs Elizabeth Schofield, Mrs Beatrice Elizabeth Sydall, Mrs Edna Vickery, Master David Vickery.

Passengers survived;
Mr Arthur Frank Vickery, Miss Kathleen McMahon, Master Stephen Evans, Mrs Ruth Evans, Mr Horace Evans, Mr Robert F. Ashton, Master Michael Prestwich, Mr Christopher Watt.

This old Dakota was formerly an RAF aircraft (KG348).

Below; Undercarriage leg further down the slope.

Captain Pinkerton had flown Lancasters during the war. On a raid to Berlin in March 1943, Lancaster W4858 was hit by flak, and a couple of hours later while over Holland, Sgt Pinkerton gave the order to abandon the aircraft. Most of the crew survived baling out, but Sgt Pinkerton alone managed to evade capture.

8 second British Pathé clip showing the crash site

113 comments on “BEA Dakota G-AHCY, looking towards Dovestones Reservoir.
  1. andyholmfirth says:

    Gorgeous view,Ian.I don’t know if there was an airshow or something like that in the area on Sunday?We saw a rather large,lumbering world war II bomber fly over Holme Moss.Like a Lancaster with the funny tail.It was going so slowly as it turned I couldn’t see how it could stay airborne.Just made me think of all these sites and the people lost.

  2. Tony-H says:

    A fascinating story, and I’m amazed that anyone survived that crash. I’m not even sure that passengers wore seat belts in those days.

  3. Gary Shield says:

    Fantastic and fascinating as always Ian.

  4. Tech Owl says:

    Wonderful info as usual Ian – it looks like a very nice place now. All the other bits and pieces like the undercarriage you found I guess are relatively few. Interesting shot of the area framed – nice balance!

  5. ​favourite waste of time​ says:

    gorgeous spot — the colours in this are so great and I love all the wild flowers in the foreground..

  6. Keartona says:

    Now why do I never go to this place being only a few miles away!

    • Chris Dronsfield says:

      It’s a hell of a walk up that hill to the crash site! I’m from Stockport so it’s not all that far to travel for me, but the uphill walk really does put me off visiting this crash site!

  7. ribizlifozelek says:

    Tragic story and great shot.

    1-2-3 History

  8. richardr says:

    All RAF captains should have names like Pinkerton really.

    1-2-3 History

  9. redrocker_9 says:

    Such a loss, but a gorgeous shot

  10. vg92 says:

    Sad story – brilliant picture.

  11. Kingsdude/Dave says:

    Also saw the Lancaster flying over Blackburn on Sunday – it had been doing a flying display over Blackpool and I think was then on its way to Uppermill ? Also saw the Red Arrows about half an hour later to the west of the M6/M61 junction.

  12. Deputy Don says:

    The BB Memorial Flight of which City of Lincoln is part is due at Eastbourne this weekend. What’s more, they’re rumoured to be giving Kenley a buzz on the way back to their base on Sunday, so I’ll be sure to be there!

  13. Corwin's Trumps says:

    The photo would be notable for the spectacular landscape alone.

    Seen in 1-2-3 History (post 1, comment on 2, view 3) (?)

  14. pasujoba says:

    Fantastic spot Ian , beatifully captured , well worth visiting I,d say .

  15. greg75uk says:

    sad & fascinating story of these sites. lovely shot & view.

  16. f0rbe5 says:

    Interesting story; beautiful view. Seen in 1-2-3-History.

  17. anna wilder says:

    brilliant capture & history, Ian.
    Really makes me want to visit this place!

  18. Pleasureprinciple2012 says:

    This is a beautiful shot in its own right but to then throw in the Dakota story shows that the landscape can be deadly as well. We tend to forget that aircrashes didn’t just stop because the war finished but were a regular occupational hazard with war weary aircraft.

  19. Survivor1949 says:

    I have not been at that site for 60 years- I was one of the 8 survivors. Still flying- I had a brother who was killed

    • annemarie says:

      mrs barclay was my grandad’s mum nice to see the site

    • Sally King says:

      Firstly, I am so sorry that you lost your brother in this plane crash and I can only imagine how terrifying and traumatic this must have been for you. I have just been sent this article following some family research into the Prestwich family who were also on the flight with you and while this article was posted more than 11 years ago, I felt I would like to get in touch in case there is anything you would like to tell us, without upsetting yourself, of course. With warm regards, Sally King

    • Gemma Lewis says:

      My great-aunt and her 2 year old son didn’t survive unfortunately but her husband did.. Edna and David Vickery and her husband was Arthur Vickery. Such a terrible tragedy.

  20. Ian D B says:

    [] Survivor1949

    Great to hear from you!

    Click here and scroll down for a photo of Survivor1949’s family.

    • A Marshall says:

      Did you have contact with Survivor1949 in 2009?

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Oliver, sorry that link appears to be dead, not sure if it is permanent or temporary. You could try to contact Dave Earl who is an aviation researcher, he had the copy. However, I have no contact details for him. I have searched for that photo without success. Also I tried to contact Survivor1949 but without success.

  21. jr55 (John Richardson) says:

    Nice work Ian, beautiful picture of a very tragic spot.

  22. tadge o' delph says:

    Jolly nice shot!

  23. westburygarden says:

    Hi Ian,
    This is interesting, my Mothers first husband was the pilot Frank Wortley Pinkerton

  24. Ian D B says:
    Thanks for that, good to hear from you. I believe he used to go walking on these moors?

  25. westburygarden says:

    I could not confirm this as my Mother died in 1980, she was pregnant and with my 2 year old other half brother when Frank died
    Very little knowlege on this side, not even a correct photo

  26. Ian D B says:

    Still good to hear from people with a connection, it keeps their memory alive. I don’t know why that’s so important to me, but it’s partly what keep me visiting and photographing these places.

    There’s a photo of Frank Pinkerton as published in a local newspaper at this site

    Thanks again for your comments.


  27. shutterbug_iconium says:


  28. podgygazza says:

    my dad worked at greenfield paper mill at the time and was among the people who helped the survivors down he told me a few things he saw like a farmer going through peoples belongings the smell of burning flesh he saw two girls he said looked like twins,dead untouched by the crash he said they looked just like they were sleeping he also told me of a man who he helped down who had a briefcase handcuffed to his hand and when managed to get him down he died. also he said that one of the survivors died in a railway crash later on .anyways it was my dads story to me and i believed him

  29. Ian D B says:

    [] podgygazza
    Apologies for the late reply, but thank you for adding those details. Always good to hear accounts from people who were there at the time, or passed on their stories.

  30. annemarie says:

    it was mrs elsie barclay (holt maiden name) and jean barclay her daughter they flew home early for a sunday school trip my great grandad was still in belfast he was a ship designer i have the local paper story somewhere

    • Ian D B says:

      Anne Marie, I have amended the record above. It’s good to get these details corrected. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  31. Alan Haigh says:

    I am the grandson of Richard Willis Haigh who was radio officer on the flight. I have an original copy of the Liverpool Daily Post and Liverpool Echo from Saturday August 20 1949 both of which carry front page spreads but mis-spell his name as R W Haig.
    R W Haigh had been a radio officer as part of the Atlantic Bridge (RAF Transport Command Ocean Ferry) throughout the war delivering aircraft from Canada to the war effort.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Alan, thanks for your visit and for adding these details to the story. Just checked I had spelled your granddad’s name correctly!

  32. Anne Addison says:

    I visited your web site today after a memory was stirred of the horrific crash. A report in today’s The Independent is of a man found dead close to Indians Head. Apparently he was dressed smartly, so far unidentified. Just made me wonder if he was on a pilgrimage. I used to live on Chew Valley Road, Greenfield and remember watching all the ambulances go by. Later I used to do a bit of rock climbing in Chew Valley.

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks for adding this Anne. Sad to read of the man found dead on the hills. Hope his identity will soon be determined and his family told.

  33. Lynn Hague says:

    Prompted by the story in the news about the unidentified gentlemen who may have been on a pilgrimage to the crash site, I too have found my way to this article today.
    I hope the people investigating the gentleman have access to all of the valuable information in your very interesting article, particularly the names of the survivors and family of those who died. It does seem like a link to the crash could be a possible explanation.
    Although we knew nothing of this tragic plane crash until today, Dovestone Reservoir is a very poignant and special place to us as we have a memorial tree dedicated to our late son in the Life for a Life Memorial Forest, the tree is overlooked by Indians Head. We will give an extra special thought to all of those involved in this tragedy on our future visits.
    We feel a kind of peace up there that we hope this poor gentleman found. RIP x

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks Lynn, I had wondered about the ‘well dressed man on the moors’ and whether he had been identified. You never know, there could be a link to the crashed Dakota and his family. No more news then as to his identity?

      Thank you for sharing that about the tree dedicated to your son. I didn’t know there was a Life Memorial Forest there. Just had a look at the Dovestones forest, took me a while to find a map showing it. It is a beautiful idea. I too shall spare a thought for those remembered in the trees next time I am up on these moors or driving along the Holmfirth Road.


    • Anne-marie Barclay says:

      Hi I have just emailed the link for this site to gmp they may already have it but just in case

  34. Lynn Hague says:

    Thank you Ian
    No more news on the gentleman’s identity, but the investigators seem to be seriously looking in to this possible connection. This is the latest report from the Manchester Evening News.
    This report sadly mentions that one of the young survivors of the Dakota crash, Michael Prestwich, later died at the age of 12 after a train accident. How dreadfully tragic.
    I noticed earlier in the comments on this page there was a comment from a survivor of the plane crash, (member; Survivor1949). It would be nice to hear from him again and to confirm he is well.

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks for the link, just been taking a look. I guess the police will be looking at whatever they can to determine his identity. Could have had another connection with the crash, or could even have been a coincidence… It is very odd. People commenting on these pages do get emails telling them when people add comments. At least, I think they do?

      This is a lovely corner of the Pennines but it is a place of sadness. Mostly I photograph and document military crash sites, but there are a few civil crash sites covered in these pages and visiting them is different to the others. For one thing it could happen to any of us. But also because these were civilians, families, kids and so on. People not purposely taking risks as a matter of duty but just going about their business.

  35. Lynn Hague says:

    Hopefully the police will continue until this man is returned to his family.
    It is very special work you do. It’s nice to know someone is keeping those memories alive. As I said we knew nothing of this tragedy until we saw the piece regarding the unidentified man, and upon investigating your page was one of the first links that came up. It’s been a real eye opener about a place we THOUGHT we knew.
    Thank you very much.

    PS, I can also confirm that I have had emails notifying me of comments, but it is a tick box option, so some people might not.

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks Lynn, is a worthwhile thing to do, I think.

      Last night I was on TV (for the first time ever!) on BBC Yorkshire. It was a feature on people who remove wreckage from air crash sites and sell it online. It is on iPlayer if you are interested – about 13 minutes in, between the story about ISIS and the one about wine tasting.

      Thanks too for confirming that you get a heads up when someone comments! If the police needed to contact anyone on here, email addresses are visible to me.


  36. Lynn Hague says:

    Thank you for the link Ian. We have just watched the report. Congratulations on your TV debut.
    It’s a very sad state of affairs when people effectively grave rob for the sake of a few pounds. Hopefully reports like this might raise awareness and make them think twice. Great job.

  37. Andy Marshall says:

    Are you aware that if it were to be Stephen Evans he has commented on this page in 2009 as survivor1949? I have traced his family (parents Ruth and Horace, commonly known as Jim) to Norfolk at the time of the accident.

  38. Lynn Hague says:

    I mentioned survivor 1949’s comment last night in this thread Andy.
    That could be really useful information for the police.

    Ian, maybe as the admin of this page you could pass on the details of survivor1949, last known email address etc, and they could check it out?

  39. Lynn Hague says:

    Looking back at earlier comments, Anne-Marie Barclay also said that she has emailed details of this page to GMP.

  40. Oh 'ell too says:

    It appears he posted using his real name on this site at around the same time

  41. Anne Maguire says:

    Dear Ian, I have been following the story of this tragic gentleman. Just found this now in Manchester Evening Herald. You may have read it already.

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks Anne, that’s that solved at least. Still remains a mystery as to who the man is. Fingers crossed the police will be able to identify him soon.

  42. Lynn Hague says:

    Thankfully Stephen Evans (Survivor1949) has been ruled out of this investigation, he is alive and well and has spoken to detectives today, according to the Manchester Evening News.
    Professor Stephen Evans, 72, he currently lives in Southampton and works part-time at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

    The identity of the well dressed gentleman remains a mystery.

  43. Patrick Ashton says:

    My father, Robert Frank Ashton, was one of the survivors. He told me he was seated by a wing and thrown out as the wing was torn off. At the time of the accident he was helping Henry and Joan Prestwich by looking after young Michael Prestwich on his knee. Michael, the only surviving Prestwich of the family that otherwise all died in this tragic event, was also thrown out as the wing broke off. He also told me of the fate of poor Michael who subsequently died in a train accident. My father spent over nine months in hospital recovering from his injuries.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Patrick, thank you for sharing that. A hellish thing for your dad to live through. It’s good to remember those who were on G-AHCY. Until reading of the unidentified dead man on Saddleworth moor, most people were unaware of this plane crash.

    • John Dedman says:

      Thank you Patrick. I am interested in this tragic story ever since I read about the man who died near the air crash site. It seems as though Michael Prestwich survived the crash because he was with your father at the time. Sorry to hear that your father spent a lot of time in hospital recovering from his injuries. Could you let me know, please, if your father ever told you the details about the train accident Michael was involved in. I have tried to find out how Michael Prestwich died in the train accident to no avail.

  44. John Dedman says:

    Just been reading about the sad story of the Mystery Man, now nick-named Neil Dovestone. After the area he was found near. I would like to know more about the other survivor of the plane crash called Michael Prestwich. Tragedy that he was killed in a train accident when he was 12 years old, September. 1959, registration Birmingham. I have been looking at train accidents but cannot find the one Michael was involved in. Any one know the details, please.

  45. John Dedman says:

    Just found out that Michael Bryce Prestwich was killed at Birmingham New Street Railway Station 24th September, 1959, age 12. From will he left. On find a On his way to/from Stouts Hill,School, Cotswolds. He probably had an accident whilst changing trains.

  46. Jack Massey says:

    Is there any plaques or other memorabilia at the crash site?

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Jack, no there’s nothing at the site, no memorial etc, at least there wasn’t the last time I was there. Just the undercarriage leg further down the slope.

  47. Jack Massey says:

    Hi Ian, any idea why the undercarriage leg has survived?

    • Ian D B says:

      No, it’s odd because the site was thoroughly cleared by the BEA after the crash. Undercarriage bits are often the last things to be nicked from crash sites by souvenir hunters because they are so heavy, but given the rest of the aircraft was lifted off at the time, I don’t know why it remains. Maybe it was overlooked at the time, being so far down the slope from the impact point?

  48. John Dedman says:

    I found out that Michael Prestwich was cremated at Altrincham crematorium on the 29th September, 1959. But I cannot find out where his family ( Henry Bryce Prestwich, Joan Prestwich, Elizabeth Prestwich, Jane Prestwich are buried/ cremated). Does any one know? It seems strange that there is not an obituary notice in the newspapers of the time 1949. Henry Prestwich was quite well known as a motor racing driver in the 1930s. In Ireland too. Henry and Joan were married in County Down as far as I know. There is a memorial plaque to the Prestwich family at Swettenham church including Michael Prestwich who died in train crash ten years later. The family lived there at the time of the plane crash. There is also a memorial plaque to Michael Prestwich at Uley parish church. He attended Stouts Hill school 1955 -1959.

    • Ian D B says:

      thanks for adding this John.

      • Anne Addison says:

        The Prestwich family lived at Swettenham Hall, Cheshire. There is a private chapel NorthWest of the Hall. The Hall is in the hands of English Heritage. I do not know whether the family are interred there. I do know that the very pretty Church St Peters, Swettenham has a plaque commemorating this family in the nave. Above it is another plaque of a ? Violin, I think. It would seem logical that this tragic family are buried at one of these locations. I hope this is helpful

        • Ian D B says:

          Thanks Anne

        • John Dedman says:

          Thank you Ann. I will try to find out if the Prestwich family are interred in the private chapel.Vicar of Swettenham chuch says Prestwich family not interred in the churchyard there. There is no trace of their burial/cremation 1949 online. Except for son Michael Prestwich cremated 29th September, 1959. Altrincham.

  49. John Dedman says:

    I have done some furtherinvestigation. I am interested in who the Mystery Man is found dead on Saddelworth moor, 12th December, 2015. Certainly is a mystery. Strange thing I found out. The coroner for the deaths of Henry Bryce Prestwich and family Saddelworth air crash, 1949, was the same coroner for the inquest of Michael Prestwich, killed at Birmingham New Street railway station, 24th September, 1959. Perhaps the Prestwich family killed in air crash, 1949, could not be identified. So only the coroner could issue a death certificate for all four of them. And possibly the same happened in the tragedy of the son, Michael Prestwich. Perhaps his body couldn’t be identified.

    • Oliver Franks says:

      Oops my mistake was looking in wrong date range.

      • Oliver Franks says:

        Wait…I looked in the right date range, and I even zoomed in. John “Dedman”…can you please confirm your claims re. Prestwich’s death in 1959? Because there is NO mention of it in the government website, as you claim. And then you start going on about Pinkerton.

        Stephen? If that is even your real name?

  50. Jack Massey says:

    Am planning on visiting the crash site in the next couple of days. Does anybody know a grid reference for it?

  51. john dedman says:

    Mystery man still not identified as far as I know. Saddelworth moor. Pilgrimage to site of air crash 1949. Doubtfull.Found newspaper clippings of tragic death of Michael Prestwich at Birmingham New Street railway station 24th September 1959. Ran after train pulling out of station. Tried to open door of train but slipped and fell between gap killed instantly under train.

  52. john dedman says:

    Michael Prestwich was 12 years old. 1959. He survived the 1949 air crash at Indian’s Head Hill Saddelworth. Not injured at all. His father Henry Bryce Prestwich and mother Joan Prestwich nee King and sisters Elizabeth Prestwich and Jane Prestwich killed in air crash 1949

  53. john dedman says:

    Michael Prestwich cremated at Altrincham cremetoriom 29 September 1959. Still have not found where his family were interred.

    • Chris H says:

      I am still convinced that the mystery man has a connection with the air crash. He had to ask directions to Indian Head and therefore was not familiar with the area. Does anyone know any history on Kathleen McMahon. She was a surviving female passenger. Could she have been pregnant at the time of the crash? I can find no mention of her in any investigation and have painstakingly researched her whereabouts.

    • Phyllis Thomson says:

      I believe the twp year old found alive at the crash scene went to his grandparents? He was sent away to a private school when he grew up and was returning to school after time at home. I read in a newspaper at the time that he fell between the train and the platform and was killed instantly.
      Also the plane did not crash at Whimberry Rocks ie Indian’s Head because I was playing up there hours after the crash. The Rescue services were all up there but not on Indian’s Head. The site was across the valley. I was 10 at the time and myself and my Cousin used to use Indian’s Head to learn how to climb. We visited there very regularly and did not know there had been a tragedy on the day we viaited. Bus from Oldham !

  54. john dedman says:

    Hi Chris H. I like you have gone back to thinking there is a connection with the unidentified man and 1949 aircrash. Kathleen McMahon as you say was a survivor of the air crash. I assume you are saying that the mystery man could be Kathleen’s son. I just am sad that no-one has undentified him so far. I am interested in your idea.

  55. john dedman says:

    Looking up births on free bmd…..after Chris H’s post… but there are many McMahon 1949 births. Whilst searching I thought I’d check victims . . .found that Frank Pinkerton ( pilot who was killed in aircrash) wife had a baby in 1949 after her husband was killed.

    Births Dec 1949 Pinkerton Richard W 

    Maiden name Harding Bristol 7b24  

  56. john dedman says:

    Marriages Sep 1945 Pinkerton Frank W 

    Maiden name Harding Weston 5c1206  

  57. john dedman says:

    Trying to find out what became of Richard W Pinkerton…cannot find a marriage…except 1974 of 2 Richard A Pinkerton

  58. john dedman says:

    Marriages Sep 1974 PINKERTON RICHARD to


  59. john dedman says:

    Marriages Sep 1974 PINKERTON RICHARD A 

    Maiden name JACKSON KETTERING 72842  


    Maiden name WOOD WALTHAM/F 15939  

  60. john dedman says:

    Found out what became of Frank Pinkerton’s son born 1949….he grew up to marry Janet Dagger 1973. As Richard W Pinkerton-Hiron

  61. john dedman says:

    Marriages Sep 1973



    NORTON 7C1236  

  62. Andy says:

    Check out the surname Pinkerton-Hiron in Taunton. It may be that the wife remarried.

  63. Oliver Franks says:


    Where did you get the names of the deceased in the crash and do you have their ages? Thank you.

  64. Stephen Morrin says:

    Just a few notes re the G-AHCY accident. I am an aviation historian and author, best known for my books on the Stockport/Winter Hill/Munich accidents. Some years ago I did some research on the Dakota crash of 1949 and interviewed a family member of Stephen Prestwich (R. H. Preatwich from Macclesfield)in 2002. He says that: ‘With the loss of both parents he was brought up by relatives in Hale Barnes. In 1960 (that is the date he gave me)he was returning to his boarding school near Stroud when his train briefly stopped at Birmingham. Michael took this opportunity to leave the train to buy crisps and a bottle of pop from the station kiosk. As he retraced his steps the train started to move off. In a panic he tried to jump on board, but with both hands full he slipped between the carriage and platform and was killed instantly.’ Those are his exact words and he gave Stephen’s age at the time as 13, but that may be his error. I have amassed quite a bit on this accident over the years, including press reports/accident report etc. My intention is to add this story to a future book called ‘Airliner Down’ but that is for the future as I am just finishing a second book on the Stockport air disaster for publication next year on the 50th anniversary. Also working with a TV production company on a documentary on same to screened also on the 50th. I hope this information is of help.

  65. James Curtis says:

    Hi Ian,

    Is the location of this crash site easy to find and have you got coordinates for it? I’m going up to visit the site on Sunday with my dad who used to live in the area as a child and wanted to visit it.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi James, grid refs are;

      impact site SE 01556 02451
      undercarriage part SE 01494 02686

      There’s nothing to see at the impact site, however. Apart from the view of course.

  66. Whilst pre my birth, Bryce Prestwich was my father’s brother. The air accident was indeed tragic and the subsequent death of Michael must have been so painful for my father and his sisters. My father passed away in 1989 but it has been really only in recent years I have learnt more about the tragedy. He never chose to speak about the incident.

  67. Anne Maguire says:

    Hi Ian. I just read today that the mystery gentleman found on Saddleworth has now been identified after some painstaking detective work. May he rest in peace.

  68. Linda Heley says:

    I was in the garden with my mum and dad. I was 8 years old then. It was late morning and the hills were covered in mist. My dad was at home because it was Saddleworth Wakes holiday and the woollen mills were shut. We hears this plane coming; it was so loud that it roared almost overhead. ‘My God! that’s low,’ my dad shouted, ‘It’s off course’ [we weren’t usually under a flight path] Then there was a huge, dull thud, followed by silence. We knew that it had crashed. My dad ran into the lane to see if it had hit Bentfield Mill [off Chew Valley Road]. He came back and we went upstairs into my bedroom. Soon the ‘all clear’ siren went at the fire station and fire engines rushed along Mamchester Road. When the fog lifted, I could see the aircraft burning on the hillside, It was like a huge red cross. It burned all night. I was frightened by it, I vowed that I would not fly and didn’t until I was 70 years old. That was my only flight and I still have vivid memories of that burning aircraft to this day. I am now 77.

  69. L HELEY says:


  70. Anne Addison says:

    Jabez Baths, a well loved and beautiful waterfall tumbling down Chew Brook, Greenfield. Locals and others from nearby towns used to picnic, swim and paddle on summer days. It was consumed by Dovestones Reservoir.I used to walk there with my family as a child.
    I understand the Hebrew meaning of Jabez is pain, trouble or sorrow. A bit ironic !
    Photographs can be seen online on the Saddleworth Museum site, tales of Jabez Baths.

  71. Patrick Dawson says:

    Like Linda Heley I remember the crash . The hillside where it crashed was called ‘ Misery ‘ locally because it never gets the sun . I could see the accident from my home which was high in the hills and it looked just like a sleeping moth . Very sad .

  72. Maureen Paton says:

    Seeing who survived, and who died. All lives are valuable, but there was one family, Prestwich, losing 4 lives and the young son survived and lost his mum and dad and two siblings, how sad. My father was a Fitter Engineer in WW2 and he repaired Dakotas. These planes were so invaluable during WW2, and then put to use after the war, used for BOAC commercial travel. Very tinny and rattly.

  73. Jerome McCormick says:

    Hi, lovely ,respectful aircrash website. It was very interesting to read the stories of so many innocent victims who died in that lonely spot.Thanks, and I look forward to checking in again soon.All so nicely written.

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