183 children crushed to death and smothering baby girls

>>  Thursday, October 25, 2012

I heard for the first time recently on a documentary about the Victoria Hall disaster.  In 1883 at a theatre in Sunderland 183 children were killed in a crush in a stairwell.  The doors at the bottom of the stairwell opened inwards, they were partially bolted and as children rushed down the stairs to get a 'prize', more and more children were crushed to death. Despite what we often think about the past, life was not cheap then either and there was a public outcry, donations for the families and a change in the law for public building to have a minimum number of outward opening exits.  This is a sorry story that has touched me greatly and should be remembered each time we cry 'it's health and safety gone mad'.

It doesn't matter though whether the loss of a child is 183 or 2, thinking about Addy and how the loss of her 2  very young Aunts to whooping cough and double pneumonia in 1925 is still having an impact on her life today.

Knowing that any loss of a child is a tragic thing, that must make us even more heart broken for these women who will suffer that heart ache, sometimes voluntarily, because their child is a girl.  I read a few 'how could they?' scathing comments and wondered indeed, how great the pressure must be on them, how dreadful their circumstances and how heavy the cross is that they bare their whole lives as a result of it.  I'm so lucky I didn't even have to consider whether the sex of my child mattered beyond pink or blue.


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