A fire, which ultimately destroyed thousands of pounds worth of grain, feeding stuffs for cattle, buildings, and machinery, broke out on Tuesday, on Manor Farm, Yelden, the residence of Mr Hawkey. So completely was the produce burnt out that the owner had nothing on which to feed his cattle, and he had to send the animals to Wellingborough market on Wednesday to be sold. Happily there was no loss of life by the fire, either of human beings or the stock.
Mr W Robinson noticed the fire at 5.15p.m., and informed Mr Hawkey. Mr Tom Clark, of “Wellingtonia,” Rushden, who happened to be near, motor-cycled to Rushden to inform the Fire Brigade. The following turned out very promptly: Engineer C Green, Firemen J Whiting, L Britchford, H Payne, C R Timpson, J Wooding, and A Jaques, together with the G Deane, C Hobbs and F Garrod, of the Co-operative Fire Brigade. Valuable assistance was rendered by Ptes. J Homgen and J Lamham, of the labour Corps.
In spite of a plentiful supply of water, little could be done besides localising the fire owing to the advance it had made. Much praise is due, however, for the very hard work done all night long by the firemen, who had been unable to extinguish the fire by daybreak.
Practically 100 tons of hay was totally destroyed, also 18 stacks of wheat and two tons of peas. Other things destroyed included: A tractor, two binders, three grass mowers, two horse rakes, one manure drill, two hay turners, two horse hoes, chaff box with pipe, and a threshing drum, many being new. There was also destroyed a chaff shed, a horse shed, an implement shed, a granary, cattle shed, and a building 24 yards by 18 yards. Iron sheds 44 yards by 44 yards were damaged through being made red hot. There were saved four stacks of seed clover and peas. The damage is partly covered by insurance.
Capt. F Knight and Second Officer G R Turner were unable to attend through being out of town.
The cause of the fire is not known, but a tractor had been in use not far from the place where the fire was first noticed. Some suspicion also rests on the German prisoners who were working close to the stacks only about an hour before the fire.