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Family History Society

Rick Fire

Fire! Fire!

Fire Engine

What a co-incidence! 

I was browsing through the British Newspaper Archive when I came across an article in the Western Gazette for 30 July 1927 about a rick fire in Nether Compton. As I read through the article I realised that I have four photographs amongst my family collection that were taken on the same day and which now illustrate this long ago event:

RICK FIRE. YEOVIL BRIGADE’S “GOOD TURN” TO SHERBORNE. While Sherborne Fire Brigade were enjoying their annual outing on Saturday the Yeovil Brigade did them “a good turn” by responding on their behalf to a call in their area, a summons being received at 3.00p.m. to a rick on the holding of Mr. R. H. Vaux, of the Griffin’s Head Inn. The rick, containing 15 to 16 tons of hay was in a position adjacent to some stone and tiled outbuildings, beyond which was the thatch-roofed inn. The Brigade under Captain G H Hobbs found on arrival that a number of helpers had done good work in keeping the fire in check by means of a constant succession of buckets of water. A plentiful supply of water for pumping means of the fire engine was obtained by damming a small stream and after about an hour of strenuous work the Brigade had subdued the outbreak to such an extent that they were able, with the aid of farm workers and other helpers, to cut away the burnt part the rick. This was spread out. and further minor outbreaks of fire within it were extinguished as they occurred. The fire had gained hold to a depth of about 3ft., but roughly two-thirds of the rick was saved. What breeze there was blew in the direction of the inn which would have been in considerable danger had the wind been -strong. It is suggested that the fire was caused by children playing with matches.

Hayrick fire
Fire Engine
Fire Engine

What a thrill for me to now unite the newspaper report with photographs and how interesting that a fire was clearly a village spectator sport.

Barbara Elsmore

November 2021

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