South Yorkshire Times October 13, 1956
Explosion in the Vicarage
Two Injured In Denaby Mishap
An explosion which rocked the empty vicarage adjoining all Saints Parish Church, Denaby, on Monday afternoon, resulted in two men being treated for injuries at Denaby Fullerton hospital.
One of the men, Mr. Earnest Sheldrake (46), Crookhill Road, Conisborough, shop manager, employed by Denaby Co-operative society and vicars warden at the church, was detained and last night was stated to be fairly comfortable. He is suffering from burns and shock. The other man, Mr Henry Weaver, former employed by the N.C.B., Doncaster Road, Denaby, was allowed to go home after treatment. The two men were in the cellar to turn off the water when the explosion occurred. Burned about the face and shocked they rushed out of the building together and Mr Sheldrake drove both of them in his car to the hospital.
Doors and windows at cellar and ground level of the vicarage were blown out and part of the cellar ceiling and adjoining wall were knocked down. People from neighbouring houses ran from their home on hearing the explosion and a call was put into Denaby police. Mr. Weaver said afterwards: I think Mr Sheldrake must have clicked on his lighter. He was more affected by the explosion then I was!
A small fire which occurred at the origin of the leak was dealt with by Mexborough and Conisborough Brigades. The vicarage had been empty for five weeks since the vicar, the rev. A. B. Roebuck, left to become vicar of Swinefleet near Goole. Mr Sheldrake is an official of Denaby United football club.