Episode 36

Saving The Flying Dutchman

In 1876 John died while saving the express train, the Flying Dutchman, from disaster. It was a split second decision that would, not only change the lives of his friends and family, but also bring up questions in Parliament.

I wasn't able to include this in the show but here's a poem written about John Chiddy at the time.


With roar of whirlwind wheels

The flashing train flies by

No shock the traveller feels

He hears cry

Nor starts, nor holds his breath,

Nor wonders, nor looks back ;

He saw not what dire Death

Couched iv his track.

But one man saw and stayed not,

One man sprang forth to save,

And for their lives who prayed not

His own life gave.

The train bore on In thunder

The travellers on their way:

Beneath them, clov'n asunder,

Their saviour lay. more his life-drops wet

The iron pathway's side :

The iron folk forget

For whom he died.

Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams - Thursday 07 December 1876


This podcast has been specially edited from a Bradley Stoke Radio show in Bristol, England. 

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Shepton Mallet Journal - Friday 07 April 1876

Reading Mercury - Saturday 22 April 1876

Bristol Archives


Find My Past

Kingswood Museum


Sound Effects by zapsplat.com

Intro music by The Model Folk 


About the Podcast

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The BackTracker History Show

About your host

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Alice The Backtracker

Hello there! My name is Alice and this is The Backtracker History Show Podcast where I ask you to join me on a meander down through the archives to find out more about the people, places and events from the past.

From tales of pirates and privateers to murderers, tragic accidents to war time escapades, this podcast has it all.
The show is originally aired on Bradley Stoke Radio, in Bristol, England, before being released into the wild in the form of a podcast.

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