Policemen were often involved in fighting local fires. From the family collection, the photograph below is of a fire at Burstock Grange, near Broadwindsor taken in 1921. A terrible fire destroyed the thatched roof on the farm house. Due to this fire, today only about a third of the farm house remains thatched. I haven’t had time to research more but I thank the Facebook group ‘Memories of Bridport’ for helping me identify the location of the photograph and Andrew Frampton who confirmed his family have farmed there since 1912.
Fires at the Village of Loders
While I didn’t find the Burstock Grange fire in the Bridport News, local police where mentioned in connection with two fires at Loders.
On Friday evening on 24th June 1921 Mr Harold Bishop’s barn at the village of Loders , a few miles from Bridport, caught fire. The villagers under the direction of P.S Bown and P.C. Joner throw buckets of water on the burning thatch and saturating the roof of two cottages standing within 20 yards of the barn, the fire brigade arrived from Bridport and with the help of the villagers saved the cottages but the barn was gutted.
A further outbreak of fire occurred in the village on Tuesday evening, resulting in the total destruction of three cottages, the property of Mr. Harold Bishop. The fire started in the roof of the middle (unoccupied) cottage in a row of thatched cottages. The villagers helps remove the contents of the other two cottages, occupied by Mr. Crabb and the elderly Mrs. Barbridge. As on the previous occasion valuable assistance was rendered by Sergeant Bown, of Bridport, and P.C. Jones. We understand that the barn and cottages is insured.
It is possible that this barn and cottages were at Yondover Farm, Loders. There is nothing in the report that suggest anyone thought the fires were suspicious, nonetheless I can imagine the local gossip!
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References Quotes in Italics:
Ref: The Bridport News 1921 July 1st