Victoria Hall Disaster Toy Rocking Horse

Contributed by Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

Victoria Hall Disaster Toy Rocking Horse

This was one of the toys given out as prizes at the end of Mr Fay's magic show at the Victoria Hall in Sunderland on June 16 1883. It was given to Emily Steel of Gray Road in Sunderland on the day of the disaster. A boy grabbed it and got away with the front legs and rockers. The disaster came about because at the end of the event prizes were thrown out to the audience. The children in the upstairs gallery, anxious not miss out, ran down the stairs only to be stopped at an inward opening door bolted a few inches open. A few of the first children down squeezed through the gap but those following became crushed against the door which could not now be opened from the other side. 183 children were crushed to death. The whole nation was affected and Queen Victoria was moved to make a donation to the disaster fund. Following an enquiry into the disaster emergency exits are required to open outwards.

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  • 1. At 14:37 on 20 March 2010, darnold2 wrote:

    I am undertaking research into the Fay's (Alexander and Annie). Any information pertaining to what happened to them after (or prior to) this incident would be greatly appreciated.

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  • 2. At 22:58 on 31 May 2010, mickpickering wrote:

    I have spent 4 years researching the people involved in this terrible event. Anyone with a specific enquiry about the victims, their families and the major players in the drama are welcome to contact me.
    Already sent an e mail weeks ago re The Fays. But had no reply. Like to try again? Perhaps the Sunderland Echo got your e mail address wrong!!!
    Mick Pickering, Sunderland.

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Victoria Hall Disaster, 16 June 1883


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