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From the Sussex Express, 28th August 1877


We regret to state that another agricultural fire - the fourth which has occurred in this neighbourhood in a period extending over about two months - took place on Saturday evening last. It appears that in an open field, near the farm-house occupied by Mr Newington, at Glyndebourne, had been built three stacks, one of wheat, and one of beans, the third being a hay stack. The centre stack, the wheat stack, was supported by a wooden 'shore'. During the thunderstorm of Saturday evening this support was struck by lightning, and splintered into fragments, the electric fluid communicating with the stack, which it set on fire. No sooner was the mischief discovered than a messenger was despatched to Lewes for the Volunteer Fire Brigades, Captain Duplock, of the Borough Brigade, was quickly at the engine-house, and was soon followed by Firemen Pelling and Parker who, with the assistance of several persons who had assembled, got out the engine and fetched the hose, which was hanging in the lofts of the Star Hotel stables. Lieut F Davey and the remainder of the members rapidly mustered, and the engine being horsed by the Messrs Cox, of Station Street and Fisher Street, dashed off for the scene of the conflagration, in South Street passing the Cliffe engine (that brigade having mustered in full force under their Capt and Lieut Messrs B Thorpe, senior and junior). On reaching the farm it was found that, unfortunately, there was a very short supply of water (although the rain was pouring down in torrents), and every drop that could be obtained having been used up, water carts had to be despatched to the residence of the Right Hon the Speaker, at Glynde Place, where water was supplied as quickly as possible from the reservoir, but it of course could not be obtained in sufficient quantities to enable the engines to be worked with effect. However, it was useful to the firemen in their attempts to save the two adjoining ricks, which were kept covered with wet rick cloths, the members of the brigades being ably assisted in their endeavours to prevent the flames extending to these stacks by men employed by the Speaker, and the member for Lewes, William Langham Christie, Esq, MP. Fortunately these efforts were crowned with success, and both the bean and hay stacks are uninjured, although all attempts to save any portion of the wheat stack were unavailing, the fire burning itself out about one o'clock on Saturday morning. The brigades then returned home, the men being literally soaked to the skin, after being exposed in an open field for several hours to a perfect torrent of rain, accompanied by almost a hurricane. We believe that Mr Newington was injured.

Listed under the Topic: Farming

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