Barnsley Chronicle – Saturday 13 August 1887
Fire in Wombwell Wood.
On Sunday last a fire was discovered in Wombwell Wood, which, had it not been seen at an early stage, might have done very great damage. The wood is strictly preserved by its owner, Mr. T. F. C. V. Wentworth, of Wentworth Castle, Stainbro’, and it was one of the keepers, Richard Brown, who first saw smoke rising about 200 yards from Wombwell Main Reservoir which is in the wood. This was about ten o’clock in the morning.
Hurrying to the place he found a fire burning amongst the grass and underwood, and raising alarm an attempt was made to extinguish the fire by carrying water in buckets. It soon became evident that this would of no avail, and messengers were dispatched for assistance. The Womb well Main Fire Brigade under Mr. Jos. Oxley, and the Womb well Brigade under Mr. John Robinson, clerk to the Local Board, were soon on the spot, and there were plenty of miners and men employed about the mines ready render assistance. Pumping began, and large quantity of water was thrown on and about the fire, which by about half-past seven o’clock in the evening was extinguished. There was a slight difficulty with regard to the Wombwell engine, in consequence of there not being horses handy, but it nevertheless got to the place within an hour.
After the fire had been to all appearance extinguished, it was deemed prudent to keep the engines work in consequence of the very dry condition of the turf and the general surroundings, and men were left with the engine during the entire night. Happily, however, there was no further outbreak. About an acre of the underwood was burnt, but the damage the timber cannot as yet be estimated. Hundreds of people assembled at the scene of the fire, and P.S. Williams and P.C.’s Kilner and Harnwell did good service in beeping back the crowd and otherwise.ea
The cause of the fire is unknown, but seems there are footpaths near the reservoir, and the fire had begun near one of the footpaths, and Mr. Wentworth’s head keeper, Mr. E. Cherry, after examining the place, came to the conclusion that some passenger must have thrown down a lighted match, and thus commenced the conflagration. .