Fire! Fire!


I recently found a letter I had written to Chris (my wife, girlfriend at the time) who was on teaching practice in Cornwall at the time.

There were two things that surprised me, one that I wrote any letters at any time (I truly thought I had never ever written to anybody until the introduction of email), and secondly, that the following event happened and that I have no recollection of it at all.

Apart from the more personal content of the letter that modesty prevents me including, I related this story to Chris:


" ... Rather a fun evening.

Roger Dickson had pushed his bed against the wall this afternoon and left it there.

Unfortunately, during dinner the electric fires came on and, you've guessed it, Roger's electric fire was switched on and his bed was left right next to it.

When we came up from dinner the whole wing was filled with smoke. Roger was rushing around checking all the rooms and his was the last room he looked in.

When he opened the door the smoke just billowed out.

His mattress, sheets, blanket and dressing gown were all smouldering. Mark Edwards, Pete Williams and I were all there trying to get rid of the smoke, etc.

Well. not too much damage done, and all good fun while it lasted ... ".


Just a reminder that during our first years at Killerton, Dennis Thomas managed the electricity bill like it was his own. During the week, the electricity to the mains sockets - and hence the electric fires in all the rooms - was switched on at 7:30 in the morning for an hour, then at 6:30 in the evening until 10.00.



When Jack Goodall took over as Warden in 1971 he and Pat were appalled at the Dickensian control of heat and insisted that the mains should be on all the time. One advantage of this, apart from the fact that we were able to stay warm, was that it became unnecessary to use mains leads plugged in to the light sockets to run record players, and even kettles!