His five years of railway building was exciting and extraordinarily busy, but in 1866 everything crashed spectacularly……..
His plan for the cost of the Machynleth to Barmouth Railway was very, very low, because he hadn’t realised that at Aberdovey the railway would need so many tunnels. But the workers have to buy goods and services, and the people that provide those goods and services demand money, and on February 5th 1866 so many people wanted money he was forced to declare himself bankrupt.
We meet Thomas again, he looks deep in thought….
“I still yearn for greater things, I have organised two demonstrations of gunpowder blasting at Llanymynech quarries, I invited local dignitaries and important people to watch the explosion. The first experiment took place on 17th September 1867, with one and a half tons of gunpowder. An immense mass of rock was brought down, weighing about eight or nine thousand tons, and about half that amount was loosened. But this wasn’t enough for me …….I wanted an even bigger experiment, using electricity to set off the explosive, and six and a half tons of blasting powder.
We meet an eye witness of the explosion on the 11th March 1868 and described the result -
“A few minutes after three o’clock, Mr Savin gave the final signal for the explosion, which, it is almost needless to say, was instantaneous. The effect was terrific. The huge rock was burst from base to summit with tremendous force, and poured down, with a fearful roar, on to the floor of the quarry, the dull thunder of the explosion causing a tremor to pass through the rock. Some of the debris fell at an immense distance, a portion of the tramway bridge was destroyed on the Oswestry road, beneath the rocks, and a large quantity of powder was carried over a mile distant. The noise of the explosion was distinctly heard at Welshpool, ten miles away.”
We see someone who looks upset, unhappy, angry…..
“ I knew that explosion four years ago would be a bad idea…….I know it was a smaller explosion, but it had deadly results. A piece of rock landed before me as a walked along the west side of the quarry. Us locals call it Cooper’s rock…….. The dangers that the quarrymen had to face were…were…..just awful. That man was greedy, he just wanted to be bigger and better and didn’t care about us, the local people and the men who worked those quarries”
Thomas Savin went to court for the explosion, in our story, he was found guilty.
The rise and fall of Thomas Savin
Here are just some of the wonderful biographies we have written about Thomas Savin.
This is the blog of Daffodils Class (Year 2 and 3)