Serious Damage in Farm Fire At Conisbrough – Three Stacks Lost (picture)

June 1957

Mexborough & Swinton Times, June 1st 1957

Three Stacks Lost
Serious Damage in Farm Fire At Conisbrough

Three fodder stacks were burned down, and extensive damage was caused to farm implements when a fire, causing damage estimated at £1,000, broke out in a stackyard at Manor farm, Conisbrough on Saturday morning.

Improvised attempts to quell the blaze were made by farmworkers before fire machines from Wath, Mexborough, Maltby and Conisbrough arrived on the scene.

When the brigade arrived (at about 10:30 AM) they found all three stacks in a steady blaze. Flames and smoke from the fire could be seen from the bottom of Clifton Hill, about ¼ of a mile away.

Away on his milk round at the time of the fire was the 61 years old farmer Mr Richard Harrison, who hastened up Clifton Hill in his van when he saw the billowing, windswept smoke. “When I saw the flames I left off delivering milk immediately”, he said to our reporter.

According to farmworkers the fire started on the ground at one end of the yard. The fire was spotted at about 10:15 AM when workers saw straw blazing near a tractor. Six farm boys and a milkmaid tried to stamp the fight out, and water buckets were brought from the farm. In an attempt to save the tractor 23 year old Clifford Harrison, son of the farmer, sprayed the machine with a foam extinguisher. Clifford also rolled over the smouldering ground to keep the blaze under control, and sustained scorched shoulders and hair. His cap and clothing were soaked with extinguisher foam

Tractor driver was Cliff’s brother 25 year old Len Harrison. “ I tried to drive it out, but the flames surrounded it in no time”, said Len.

Caught in the blaze were farm carts, which were gutted, saved from the fire by an orchard, which acted as a natural firebreak, was a large Dutch barn.

A stack of corn was probably the most serious loss to Mr. Harrison.

By about midday the Fire Brigade had stopped any threat of the fire spreading.

A Fire Brigade official told a “ South Yorkshire Times” reporter that there was one hydrant near the farm. Other machines were using water which have been pumped up from the bottom of Clifton Hill, about 300 yards away.

Mexborough brigade was called out again on Sunday when further smouldering was reported.