Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Adelaide Arcade: Part Three "Beadle-Geist!"


Please be warned, this Article features graphic content and is not suitable for those with a good imagination and a weak stomach!


  Last week we learnt about the tragic circumstances of the death of Mr Francis Frederick Cluney at the Adelaide Arcade in 1887.
 This week we are going to feature some of the graphic details of his death as reported in various newspapers around the country.
As you will see the newspapers don't all have the same information, so one has to assume that somewhere along the lines of communication, details were misheard or exaggerated for effect.
In our times, such gruesome reports would not make the newspaper, but as we know, they are easy to find online.
Our first report is written some time after the accident, August 6th, and comes from the “Territory Times” newspaper. (Northern Territory Times and GazetteSaturday 6 August 1887 - page 3)
  It is as follows:


“It took all the strength of six men to drag the fly-wheel back so as to extricate the body of the unfortunate victim. The engine has two fly-wheels parallel to each other and about 4 feet apart. The body was found with the head and shoulders jammed in between the right fly-wheel and the body of the engine. The upper part of the man's head was smashed to atoms, the fragments of the skull being' scattered upon the floor and the engine. The head disfigured beyond recognition, and one foot was torn off. No one saw the accident, and the unfortunate man seems to have been killed almost instantly by the revolving fly-wheel, one of the spokes of which smashed the skull. As far as can be judged Cluney must have fallen accidentally against the inner edge of the fly-wheel, which is five or six feet in diameter, and was then jammed against the engine, his body checking the machinery and causing the extinction of the light”


The South Australian Register reported a slightly differing account to the Territory Times. The S.A. Register account is almost identical to that which was printed in the Advertiser, of which one of its workers was a witness to events and helped remove the victims body from the machinery.

South Australian Register - Saturday 25 June 1887
“Dr. B. Poulton said he examined the body of deceased in the engine-room at the Arcade shortly after the accident. Found the skull fractured in many places, and about one-third of the right side wanting. The right arm was broken in several places, and attached to the trunk only by the skin. The ribs on both sides of the upper half of the chest were shattered in many places. The breastbone was fractured, and the walls of the chest were driven back inwards towards the spine. The left shoulder was fractured. The cause of death was laceration of the brain and a rupture of the lungs, blood vessels, and organs in the chest. Death must have been instantaneous on receipt of the injury to the brain and chest. Such injuries would readily be caused by deceased coming into contact with the machinery in motion. “


 I imagine someone, somewhere, right now will be criticising me for posting such graphic descriptions of Mr Cluney's Death, wondering about my motives for posting such details.
 It's quite simple really, the first reason is to highlight the fact that you cant always believe what you read, as noted in the description printed in the "Territory Times", Mr Cluney's foot had become detached, as of yet, I have found no other report of such a thing happening,  even in the coroner reports! 
Was it a case of misunderstanding? 
A communication error?
 Or was it simply sensationalising an already grisly death that had over shadowed other national stories? 

We will most likely never know for sure, but it does highlight the need for researchers to correlate the facts they print, double check, cross reference and make those references available for all to read, publicly and clearly to validate statements made online, on tours, or in books.

The other reason for posting it brings us back to the Adelaide Arcade Haunting, since his death in 1887, Mr Cluney has often been seen wandering around the Adelaide Arcade building. Shop keepers have often seen him, with one former employee at the Arcade stating in an 2010 interview that he had seen Mr Cluney on more than 20 occasions He was quoted as saying
“He sticks to the roofspace of the Arcade, so few people actually see him these days,”

Now my interest here is how Mr Cluney would appear to people, would he be the mangled mess after the accident which caused his death, or would he be the British Army uniform wearing Beadle that so many people had high regard for?
Police in uniform for the 125th year
 celebrations at the arcade
As many of you know, there are no rules when it comes to the paranormal, so it is possible that he, at times appears to people in both forms. Even more interesting is the fact he is seen on the upstairs landings, which were not present in his time, but built many years later. Can ghosts walk where we walk?

Or would he be limited by the physical world in which he lived in his day? We have all heard stories of ghosts walking through walls, only to be told that once there was a door way in that spot, or the wall never existed, leading many to think that ghosts are limited by the physical properties of the world they knew in life, but as I said before, there are no rules when it comes to ghosts!

It is also said that Mr Cluney does not like loud aggressive people in his arcade, that it makes him angry and he makes his presence known, I am not saying you should go test this speculative theory, but it does seem interesting in light of events just before his death.
Another rumour is that speaking of electrical devices, or electricians doing any work in the Arcade brings forth Mr Cluney's ghost, I myself have had a story related to me, from a very reputable source in the air-conditioning trade, of one such an encounter.

Figure in the first few seconds of the "Adelaide Arcade Ghost"
 video found on youtube
A contractor was doing some work on the ventilation system when he was tapped on his shoulder, turning he saw no-one was there, turning his attention back to what he was doing, he noticed something moving out the corner of his eye, and when he turned to look at it, saw a hammer floating in the air. I am not going to name the person, as anonymity was promised, but it was enough for him to leave his work and swear to never return, sending another work mate up to collect his tools!

Is this a ghost entering a shop in 1972?




One would have to believe Mr Cluney would be instantly recognisable as a spirit with his English Military uniform, but there are, as of yet, no really descriptive representations of his look from reports to date.
Although it is said that sometimes he is seen with a woman... who could she be? What of the other ghosts said to roam the Arcade? A child is said to be heard, could this be the Byron child, who died of asphyxiation in an upper room, or could it be Florence Horton, murdered at an entrance way by her husband?

It will be interesting to note if Mr Cluney is now seen wearing his distinctive uniform in future reports after the publishing of this blog!



Next week we uncover another intriguing arcade story in
 “Madame Kennedy”







Territory Times Report:

South Australian Register






© 2012 The Haunts of Adelaide
written and researched by
Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net




All content on “The Haunts of Adelaide” site, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012


All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Adelaide Arcade: Part Two: "The Beadle"



The Adelaide Arcade
 Part Two: The Beadle 




Welcome to part two of our Adelaide Arcade series, this week we begin to look at the most grisly of accidents to occur in Adelaide in the late 1880's, 1887 to be exact. 

Adelaide Arcade, Rundle Street (now Rundle Mall), south side
We read in last weeks blog about the engine room that housed the gas turbine that powered the lighting of the Adelaide Arcade.    The engine would be switched on at approximately 5pm, allowing the Arcade lights to come on at 5:15 pm nightly, this job was entrusted to Engineer Harcourt, on occasion the Arcade Beadle would help start the gas engine. 

What is a Beadle I hear you ask? 

A Beadle, sometimes spelt Bedel, is a title with it's origins in the Church, it was generally used as a title of a lay official of a church or synagogue. The name eventually found its way into the English education system to represent administrators of prestigious universities. 
Beadle was also used to represent security guards at an upmarket Picadilly shopping precinct in London, and this is where the term used in Adelaide Arcade is applied to its very own “Beadle” Mr Francis Frederick Cluney. 
Rundle Street (Now Rundle Mall) 1888

Mr Cluney, at the time of his employment at the arcade, was already in his late 50's and an ex-serviceman of the British army, having fought in the Crimean War. His efforts for the Queen found him in good graces and he found himself admitted as a “London Commissionaire” a privileged body that only admits soldiers of the highest character class to its order. 

Francis dressed in his military uniform when acting as Beadle for the Arcade, in our modern era his job can be equated to a security guard. 
Mr Cluney's uniform may
 have looked something like this

It is said by all accounts he was a very popular man, warm and caring, and very well liked by all shop keepers and shoppers in the Arcade and around Rundle and Grenfell streets. 

On the evening of his death on Tuesday, June 21st 1887, Francis was going about his duties as per usual. A group of young men were causing him some problems at one end of the Arcade. A larrikin had broken a picture frame at Mr William N Tattles photography shop. Mr Tattle and Mr Cluney chased the offender down to make him pay for the damage, this was some 15 minutes before the lights were extinguished in the Arcade. 

Mr Cluney is reported to have said to Mr Tattle “If the Larrikins keep going on like that I will do as I did last night and put all the lights out” 
Adelaide Arcade viewed
from upper level at Rundle Street end
On returning to duties at the Arcade after helping Mr Tattle, Mr Henry Harcourt, the arcade engineer informed Francis he had to leave to set up a display at the “Exhibition” just down the road, and planned to be only about 15 mins, this was at approximately 5 minutes past 8pm, and if there were any problems He asked Francis to turn the gas turbine off, like he done many many times before. 

It is not known exactly what happened in the next 10 minutes. Did Francis enter the engine room to check on the gas turbine and slip on the hard wooden floor as suggested by one newspaper, or did one of the “larrikins” return to “touch him up” and accidentally push him into the turbine, or was there another reason why? In a few minutes after Mr Harcourts departure, Francis Cluney lost his life!

At 8:12 pm, Mr Walter C Sims, machinist at the Advertiser office was walking through the arcade when he noticed all the lights go off. He saw a younger gentleman, named “Horne” coming out of the engine room shouting “ There is a man killed!” 
Mr Sims entered the engine room with a Police officer and recognised, by the unique uniform, the body of The Beadle. 
Mr Sims sent the constable to the Exhibition to retrieve Mr Harcourt. 

Mr C.A. Home's evidence verified the statement given by Mr Harcourt, as was recorded at the commission into Francis Cluney's death as follows: 

“C. A. Home said he was at the Arcade at 8.15 on the evening of the casualty. His attention was first called by the lights going out. Went to the engine-room, the door of which was opened. Saw deceased jammed up in the engine, and gave the alarm. W. C. Sims, machinist, gave corroborative evidence. Previous to the extinguishing of the lights the larrikins were not very noisy” 

The lights had extinguished due to Mr Cluney's body being wedged in the machinery. Mr Sims stated;
“The cause of the stoppage of the engine was the body being so tightly wedged in between the wheel and the engine. There was a good deal of gas burning, which might have had a serious result if it had caught the gas-bag in the engine. Thought it possible that deceased might have stooped to get under the belt, and that in straightening himself up he might have slipped and fallen into the fly wheel.” 

Other descriptive evidence was given at the commission, including that of Mr Cluney's Son-in-law Edwin Burnett 

As reported in  The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889, Saturday 25 June 1887, page 6:)
“Edwin Burnett, stationer's assistant, said deceased was his father-in-law, and 59 years of age. He had been in the army. He left a wife and seven children, the youngest 7 years old. His life was not insured, nor was he a member of any benefit society. He had left nothing for his family. He was annoyed at the number of larrikins in the Arcade at night,and that so much extra work should be thrown upon him in this respect. He had no knowledge of machinery, but was used to going into the engine-room.” 

Photographer: John Gazard. 1924
Looking West toward King William Street, a remarkably uncrowded Rundle Street (between Pulteney and King William Streets). Adelaide Arcade can be seen on the left.
A very descriptive account of the grisly details of Mr Cluneys death were printed in local news papers at the time... 

Next week, we will publish those details as well as some of the ghost stories associated with Mr Francis Cluney at Adelaide Arcade... 


Next Weeks Blog:
 Adelaide Arcade - “Beadle-Geist!”

© 2012 The Haunts of Adelaide
written and researched by
Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “The Haunts of Adelaide” site, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012

All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Visit the State Library of South Australia to view more photos of South Australia

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Adelaide Arcade: Part One - " A History"



The Adelaide Arcade
Part one: A History


In 1885 Adelaide was a bustling city, boasting numbers upward of 150,000 residents in the only “free” colony of Australia ( South Australia was not settled by Convicts, rather it was seen as a “Utopia” of sorts, for the wealthy and free settlers). 

The sealed streets were lined with Gas lamps, there was a postal service, newspapers, theatre and horse racing. 

On December 12th 1885 Adelaide Arcade was opened on Rundle Street, boasting 50 stores, with 50, 000 square feet of space, Turkish Baths, electric Lighting, upper and lower floors, ventilation and a unique parcel delivery system. 

The stone entrance was built from marble quarried and carried from Kapunda, and ornamental cast Iron was bought from Fulten & Co. Panels of glass were transported from England, and special ornate tiling was used to line the floors of this grand structure of, what was at the time, a progressive and very modern design of architecture. 

The idea for the shops was to have a ground floor area displaying wares and goods and an upstairs room for working and or storage. At the time, each shop had its own internal staircase. 

Governor Sir William Robinson
The building was officially opened on the 12th of December 1885 by Governor Sir William Robinson. 

Adelaide Arcade was one of the first buildings in Adelaide to be lit totally by electric light. In 1885 it was also announced that “Gays Arcade” would be joining Adelaide Arcade to Twin street, the design was drawn by architect James Cumming. 

The opening day of the arcade caused quite a flutter in the city streets, 60, 000 pounds had been spent to build the Arcade, in a time of high unemployment, many of the lower classes were not accepting of this, and thought to cause an uproar at the opening ceremonies. 

The gates were locked at either end as dignitaries and officials dined, hungry people and the unemployed lined the gates, watching the officials eat and drink Champagne, a stir was beginning through the hungry crowd, but before a riot began 70 officers from the Adelaide police force arrived and moved the potential rioters on, this, however, did not stop the Governors car being pelted by stones as he drove away after the function. 


The electricity used to power the lighting of the Arcade came from an on site power generator, a large engine, located in what is now The Manhattan Dry Cleaners at shop 9. Each shop was also fitted with a gas lamp for emergencies, and had heating a cooling ventilation 

There is also an underground section which is currently closed off, that was used as a tea room. 

The building was lit by sixteen lamps hung along the centre of the promenade, and one at either end, over the entrances. 

Of the gas powered electricity generating machine this was stated in “Adelaide observer, 19 December 1885, p. 33 ” 

“The engine Room is well worth the visit. Here there is the dynamo which works the electric light. In the centre are the soft-iron magnets and the thousands of coils of wire so beautifully placed in relation to each other that the slightest current engendered in the wire shall immediately accumulate over and over almost ad infinitum. The soft Iron magnets do their part by reason of the positive and negative poles in their mutual attractive force creating electricity. The current before passing on to the insulated wires branching off to the sixteen lamps has to pass over a little bridge of thin platinum.” 

This kind of technology was brand new at the time, with no electricity available on demand like we are used to in modern times. 

The wheel of the gas burning engine turned at 121 revolutions per minute whilst the body of the engine was bolted to the hard floor. 


Some of you may be wondering why I am describing this engine in such detail, it is because of a death which occurred within the engine room two years after installation, a death we will be looking at in part two of this blog next week, entitled “ The Beadle”, a man who could well be haunting the Adelaide Arcade!

© 2012 The Haunts of Adelaide
written and researched by
Allen Tiller
www.eidolonparanormal.net


All content on “The Haunts of Adelaide” site, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012

 All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photo's used here on this site are sourced from The Sate Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Woodside Ghost - 1896





“Thomas Meddal I claim you!” came the scream from the spectre that had just emerged from the Wesleyan cemetery on the Inverbrackie road in Woodside, a small town in the Adelaide hills.
  One would expect that the next word uttered would be a shriek of fright, or an expletive as the victim either fainted, or ran away, but no, in this case the victim, local shoe maker and poet, Thomas Meddal's reply to his spectral assailant was simply “Take me then!”, which was soon followed by a hefty beating on the ghost by the stick Thomas carried with him whilst he walked under the moonlight!
In the scuffle that ensued, the poor ghosts white shroud came off, one would expect to see, as the sheet fell, nothing, instead, a local man stood before Mr Meddal, someone known to Thomas.

The Ghost, now identified as Mr. A Rudd, scrambled out of hitting distance of the stick, and ran into the night.
Mr Meddal, after gathering his belongings made his way to the local constabulary and reported the bizarre practical joke, identifying Mr Rudd.

Now this was not the first instance of the “Ghost of Woodside” making a late night appearance in the town, there a stories told, one by an ex-police officer, Inspector C. Le Llevre, in local Adelaide news paper “The Advertiser” of the ghost holding people up to scare them (one story even hinting at robberies, but this can not be corroborated as truthful at this time.)

Mr Rudd was soon summoned to the local courts, charged by the police for being “Idle and Disorderly” and for “unlawfully disguising himself with a white sheet” intending to scare or cause harm.
Presiding Judges, Mr H. Swan S.M. And Mr R.W. Kleinsxhnidt and Mr P Keddie ordered that Mr A Rudd pay 10s and also court costs which amounted to £4.5s ( 4 pounds 5 shillings) about $8.50c when converted, which in 1896, would have been a fair amount of money.
Wesleyan Church and Cemetery Woodside
When walks past the Weslayan Cemetery in Woodside now, on a moonlit night,one has to wonder if any spectres seen is that of Mr A Rudd, waiting to play a joke on unsuspecting passers-by, over a hundred years later!

The Haunts of Adelaide
© 2012