AFFLINGTON - is basically what was a very small hamlet a mile south
of Corfe which presently exists as little more than Afflington Farm and Afflington Wood.
Domesday mentions it as the Manor of Alvronetone and held by Aelfrun.
Near to the existing farmhouse are settlement remains. It would have had a fair and
market in the time of Henry III. By the early nineteenth century it had a 'large'
population of about 50.
Afflington Bridge - carries the A351 Corfe to Swanage
road over the Swanage Railway line. It has been the centre of attention as the
site of 2 recent road accidents:
13 September 1999, 2:15pm
A 62 year old motorcyclist, riding along the A351 Corfe - Swanage
road towards Harman's Cross, for reasons unknown left the busy main road at Afflington
Bridge and dropped 30ft. to the cutting and railway line below.
It is uncertain whether he just rode off short of the bridge wall, touched
the wall and toppled over, or had stopped and toppled over the wall leaving his bike
on the edge of the embankment.
A four coach train hauled by 1927 SR S15 class No. 828 'Harry A Frith' was
travelling Swanage to Corfe and the crew spotted frantically waving bystanders on the bridge,
some of whom had scrambled down to help the man.
The train stopped and while first-aid was administerd by railway staff,
trained to deal with such emergencies, an ambulance was summoned.
Because the location is not easily accessible for the lifting of injured
persons, the man was stretchered on to the train and taken to Norden where he was
transferred to an ambulance and on to Poole Hospital. His injuries were quite severe
and he spent some time in intensive care.
It seems there was some confusion by the ambulance service who were at one
point uncertain where they would collect the victim.
Police were interested to hear from the driver of a blue/grey car
apparently in front of the rider when he left the road.
Reportedly in the local press the man was very badly injured and in
hospital for some time, any further information as to who he was and how he is now,
is not forthcoming.
15 June 2002, 2 - 3am
A Swanage to Corfe train had to make an abrupt stop short of Afflington
bridge at 10.05 am when the crew saw some debris on the line ahead.
On closer examination they found the dead and injured victims of a road
traffic collision trapped in their car, a 4-door Peugeot 309
The emergency services were called and the road closed for most of the day.
The couple, apparently from Leamington Spa, were thought to have been
trapped in their car in the 30ft deep cutting for more than seven hours, since possibly
The man was dead, and the woman, apparently his wife, had sustained
serious neck and other injuries. She was transported to Dorchester Hospital by Air
The wreckage would not be visible to passing traffic and if there were
no rail traffic it could have remained undiscovered for a lot longer.
The vehicle had left the road short of the bridge, driven through a hedge
and stopped at the bottom of the 30ft. cutting partly on the line.
The driver of the engine, Battle of Britain class Pacific No. 34072 257
Squadron, was celebrating his 40th birthday that day.
Accident investigators are investigating how the car came to leave
the road at the bridge and plunge down the cutting. The car was travelling east
A local rector, the Rev. Robert Watton was on site, and on television,
later in the day expressing his long standing concern about road safety at this local
Whilst Afflington Bridge is very flat, the accident was misreported
nationally as having been on a hump-backed bridge.
There seems to be no knowledge of the names of the driver and passenger,
the present medical condition of the woman, and why did they leave the road.
One has to make the observation that the car left the road before the
bridge, hence the bridge was perhaps not a contributory factor in what was an horrific
accident. The car could have left the road anywhere, it was unfortunate that here was
a railway cutting where anywhere else could have been just a field.
County Council officials are reportedly committed to installing safety
barriers at the bridge in September 2002. This bridge is apparently one of 10 needing
Further information (March 2003):
The couple involved in the terrible accident were a Mr John (age 63) &
Mrs Jennifer Draper, they were on their way to a holiday caravan site.
It is now reported that Mr Draper was not wearing a seat belt at the
time of the accident and died as a result of his injuries. His hands were still
on the steering wheel at the time of the accident. His wife suffered severe neck
and other lesser injuries.
Reports tell us that Mr Draper had had a heart condition for some 12
years and was also suffering with osteoarthritis, but, the reason for the accident
could be one of several, they being: a dizzy spell, losing conciousness,
falling asleep, loss of attention.
We are also told that the car had slowly drifted off the road rather
than suddenly veering off, as might have happened for instance if a tyre had burst.
Afflington Bridge is part of a straight and flat section of road and
this accident could have occurred before, on, or after the bridge. In fact such
an accident could have happened anywhere, so perhaps we should have barriers along
every stretch of road in the country because, "Accidents will happen", as demonstrated
by the pictures opposite, of an accident just 3 miles nearer Swanage. (Jun.2004).
What was a bridge built from Purbeck Stone and blending with it's
environs is now two hideous concrete monoliths.
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