Pain Among the Coprolites in Sandy
Coprolites are fossilized dung. In parts of the country they were dug out and ground up for use as fertilizer on the fields. They were particularly common at Potton and Sandy and an industry sprang up to extract and grind them. Newspapers record how dangerous a job it could be - both extracts come from CRT130Sandy27.
"ACCIDENT: On Monday, the 2nd inst [January 1865], as William Smith was employed in driving a horse with a water cart for the Coprolite Company, on the estate of Arthur Peel Esq., to and from the Heath and No. 1 Mill, he fell before the wheel and was forced along the ground some distance before the wheel passed over him. He was much bruised by the wheel going over his shoulder and chest, and was picked up almost insensible. Medical assistance was quickly procured, and he was removed in a spring cart to his home at Stratford, where he lies in a precarious state".
"ANOTHER ACCIDENT ON SANDY HEATH: last week we announced a sad accident to a man named Smith. Now we have the painful duty of recording another. On Wednesday, the 11th inst., as George Bonus, of Potton, working for the Coprolite Company at No. 3 Mill, was passing under a spindle worked by a steam engine, the spindle caught the 'slop' he was wearing, and he was whirled round it, his head being drawn close to it, and the poor fellow was turned over and over, his heels being at one moment in the air, and the next beating with great force on the ground. In this way he was turned round several times before the engine could be stopped; indeed, so tightly was he bound, that his neckerchief and slop had to be cut off to release him. He was immediately removed to his home at Potton, and medical assistance being procured it was ascertained that one arm was completely smashed, and he was otherwise much injured. He has recovered consciousness, but is still in a precarious state. The poor man buried his wife about three weeks ago".