News travels quickly in a small town and within the hour almost everybody knew of the disaster.

Edith Downes heard about it in Maggy’s shop and refused to believe that such a thing could happen.

Harold Duxbury heard it in the weaving shed at Bankfield Mill. Work practically came to a halt as the shocking news passed from weaver to weaver in the mouthed words and hand signals which they communicated above the deafening clatter of the machinery.

Rumour also travels fast. Very soon stories got about that all the fifteen men were safe.

Nobody knew what to believe.

In homes all over the town the agonising wait for news of a loved one began. In a small community where everyone was known, as well as wives and families, the whole town felt involved.

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Copyright © Ken Wilson 1981