Back almost 150 years to the day, waggoner's boy Eli Meakin was working on Mr Meakin's farm at Whitgreave. It was normal for him, as on this day, to work the threshing machine pulled by two horses. Whilst turning the horses, it was necessary to step over a horizontal shaft. No witnesses saw what happened next is unknown, he either slipped or perhaps his clothes became entangled in the machine, for it was not until someone noticed the horses were stationary did anyone investigate. Young Eli was found trapped between the cog wheels. Others helped to free him quickly but the injuries to his chest were severe and the boy died shortly afterwards.
A verdict of accidental death was recorded at the inquest. However, the coroner issued a notice saying the wheels were unprotected and dangerous for any driver, while the rods were at such an angle as to make them liable to cause injury. He insisted Mr Meakin made the machine safe before anyone would be allowed to operate the thresher again. The farmer agreed and nobody blamed for the incident.