Margaret Lewis was born in1832 in Defynnog, Brecknockshire, and spoke fluent
In 1851, she was working as a scullery maid at Cyfartha Castle (Merthyr Tydfil) for the
Ironmaster, Robert Thomson Crawshay (here is a photo of the castle).
Margaret married Matthew Berryman, and lived at 55 High
Street, Cefn Coed. Later, she lived at `Laburnum', a large house in Cefn which her son
Edward had purchased.
On May 16th 1874, Margaret was injured in a train accident at Merthyr Tydfil Station.
The following is a transcript of a newspaper report on the accident:
From The Merthyr
Express, Saturday, 23 May 1874
FRIGHTFUL COLLISION AT THE GREAT WESTERN STATION, MERTHYR
people were injured in "one of the most destructive collisions which had ever
happened in this part of the country".
The goods train to Swansea left Merthyr Station on this Saturday afternoon pulling 25 coal
wagons. As it passed safely into the tunnel, the Brecon and Merthyr passenger train passed
over the junction into the Station on its way to the terminus.
But in the tunnel, 4 heavily laden coal trucks became uncoupled from the rest of the train
which was steaming ahead and couldn't stop immediately.
Quickly, the railwaymen felt their way back through the pitch-black tunnel. The 4 trucks
came to a stop on the tunnel hill and began to roll backwards despite the attempts of the
railwaymen to stop them.
The guard put on the brakes in his van, which was still attached to the runaway trucks,
and leapt off as the trucks came back out onto the open. As the trucks rolled down the
track they picked up speed all the time, thundering over the viaduct at a speed of 30 or
It was all too quick for the passengers on the Brecon train.
Before they could do anything, the trucks crashed into the back of the third class
carriage, virtually destroying it.
The trucks crushed most of the other carriages and took off the platform roof.
"Many people rushed to the scene. The wounded were crying for help. Doctors came.
Women were lying in the pools of blood, faces blanched with terror and fright", the
Express report described.
A more detailed article in the same newspaper adds:
.Mrs. Berryman, Cefn, had severe internal injuries,
amongst the rest a fracture of the pelvis and fibula
Merthyr Station, 1940s