Cottenham Ablaze, An Historical Record 1676 to 1936, by Francis Garrett
Published by the Cottenham Village Society, 28 pages. A5 size booklet (N4693)
From the preface: Fire was the terrible element of Cambridgeshire when houses and buildings were timber framed, with farmyards containing a large number of stacks. In this booklet are details of 34 fires at Cottenham, a large village six miles from Cambridge on the edge of the fens. Many of the fine farmhouses built there in the mid 19th century were from the proceeds of the insrance monies.
Of the 16 fires mentioned during the period 1847 to 1855, 12 were thought to have been due to incendiarism. When an arsonist set light to a stack, hovel or barn, he often started a blaze which the primitive fire fighting methods could not control and it could devastate a whole area.
The chances of detection of the culprit were remote. The farmers were usually insured but the poor labourers often lost all they possessed...
Condition of the booklet is generally excellent. The cover is clean and tidy, the staple spine is intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound