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The Old Baginton Hall

Baginton Hall - The Great Fire - Page 2


Some alarm was occasioned by the constant explosion of the contents of a case of cartridges stored in one of the basement cellars. It shot up through the flooring with a loud report, shattering the burning timber into a shower of sparks. One of these explosions blew out the glass in a gable window, and the fragments struck Captain Thomas in the face, severely cutting his cheek. He was attended to by Dr Pickup and resumed duty with his face bound up with sticking plaster and a white pocket handkerchief.

Mr W S Armytage, the tenant of the Hall, was met with frequently, now in front, now at the rear, urging on the men, and directing the disposal of the goods that lay about the grounds.

At twenty past twelve, the Stoneleigh Fire Brigade who had heard the news at twelve o’clock, arrive with the manual engine from Stoneleigh Abbey, accompanied by Mr. H. Donne on horseback. Mr Stainton, the horse steward at Stoneleigh Abbey, also came to render assistance. They proceeded to the pool and, directed by Mr. Flint, ran out their hose. Ten minutes later the Kenilworth Fire Brigade with their manual drove up in command of Captain Dr. Atkinson. The combined force of the two manuals was, however, not sufficient to send the water over the hill that lay between the pool and the burning building. The Coventry old manual engine arrived, this, taking up a position at the rear of the Hall, and fed by the Stoneleigh and Kenilworth manuals managed to throw a second jet on the flames. Members of the various brigades drove to the scene in cabs and cars and traps and joined their comrades, while arrangements were made for relays of men at the manuals. Mr Pryce arrived and took charge of the Stoneleigh Brigade who were doing good service at the pool by the side of the powerful ‘Merryweather’ The efforts of then firemen were directed to saving the conservatory, which formed the wing of the Hall and in this they were successful.

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