Unsolved Murders

Billy Whalley

Age: 10

Sex: male

Date: 11 Dec 1929

Place: Johnston Street, Blackburn

Source: www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

Billy Whalley was run over.

He had lived on Cunningham Place in Blackburn.

He and other children had been playing in the street and catching rides on the passing lurrries.

A motor lurry driver said that he had driven from Montague Street into Preston New Road in his 15cwt lurry and that when he got to his own side of Preston New Road he was overtaken by a motor car that was going at a good speed. He said that after the car passed he noticed the right hand wheels lift up as thought they had gone over something and then continue its journey along Preston New Road. He said that there was a call for the driver of the car to stop but that it did not.

When the Coroner asked the lurry driver if he thought that the motor car driver would have noticed his motor rock the lurry driver said 'I am jolly well sure the person who did it knows he has done it'.

The lurry driver said that he then went to the object in the road and saw that it was Billy Whalley. He said that Billy Whalley was unconscious and bleeding from the face and head. He said that he then carried Billy Whalley to the other side of the road and that he was then taken to a doctors surgery where he later died.

One of the other boys, aged 10, that had been playing with Billy Whalley said that they had decided to have a ride on the back of motor lurries to the top of Montague Street which they had done before and enjoyed. He said that he and Billy Whalley got hold of the back of a motor lurry, but didn't actually jump on, and retained their hold until they got to Duke's brow. He said that Billy Whalley let go first, followed by another lad. He said that some then ran to one side of the road and the rest to the other side of the road. He said then that he saw a motor car coming down Preston New Road with big headlights on it and that it caught Billy Whalley and carried him for about 10 yards. He said that it appeared to have been a six-seater saloon and that it was the left wheel of the car that had knocked Billy Whalley down.

Another 9-year-old boy said that when he had let go of the back of the lurry he had seen the motor car about five or six yards away. He said that when the motorist saw them it appeared to put on speed to get ahead and that it passed over his feet and knocked Billy Whalley down and carry him some distance. He said that after he and other boys ran off down Montague Street.

A garage hand that had been walking along Preston New Street said that he had seen the moto car get past a tram and then turn in behind the lurry and then afterwards cut out to the front of the lurry at about 25-30mph. He said that he then saw the motor car knock down two or three boys and then carry Billy Whalley for some yards and that when he had turned right Billy Whalley appeared to drop of the front of the car which then ran over him.

He said that he and a friend then shouted for the car to stop and chased it some 200 yards down the road. He said that they saw a stationary car and tried to start it in order to chase the car but could not start it and gave up the chase.

The Coroner asked the man that if after having run over Billy Whalley whether the car had accelerated and the man said that it had.

The man described the car as a Morris-Cowley type four seat saloon and was of a yellow-grey colour.

An open verdict was returned.


see Lancashire Evening Post - Friday 27 December 1929, p3