Rue de la Préfecture, St-Étienne - postcard

St-Étienne - postcard scan 1 main image

Raymond Henri, in his monumental biography of Vélocio (Paul de Vivie), dates this particular hand tinted image as being from April 1930. It shows the Rue de la Préfecture (now called the Rue Charles de Gaulle) in St-Étienne. The large building on the right is the Préfecture itself. You can see tram lines on the road.

Raymond Henri relates the events of 27th February 1930 as follows (the abysmal translation is all my own work/fault):

"(Vélocio, aged 76,) crosses the paved courtyard (of the Préfecture) and passes through the vast arch into the Rue de la Préfecture, a main artery of the city which carries a good part of Saint-Etienne's traffic. For safety, because of his poor eyesight, he is on foot, wheeling his bike. He crosses the street before getting on his machine. Opposite, two cars are parked in front of the Post Office; on the left, a tram arrives, sees him and slows down. Vélocio crosses the rails, and is now out of the tram's way; the tram driver accelerates a little to reach his stop at the Préfecture. Suddenly a car comes from the right, from the Place Marengo, speeding passed the vehicles stopped against the curb. Surprised by the appearance of this car from behind the parked vehicles, Vélocio recoils suddenly. He is struck on the left arm by the tram's handrail, and is thrown backwards to the ground. His head violently hits the cobbles. His skull is fractured. Vélocio lies there inanimate."

Vélocio never recovered and died on the 4th of March 1930.