|Article from Evening Telegraph 12 May 1961 transcribed by Sally Crane
Books, desks set alight in old school
Burton Latimer police were today searching for the “firebugs” who yesterday set fire to piles of books, desks and paintings and almost burned down the centuries old
Firemen who raced to the school last night after passers-by raised the alarm found a scene of chaos, with black smoke filling three classrooms, blazing pictures on all walls, musical instruments strewn on the floor and drawers and cupboards ransacked.
One of the teachers,
It was shortly before seven yesterday evening when
He ran past the building to the house of
“All the taps were running and black smoke was everywhere,” she added.
She said that a “few coppers” from the teachers desk, a set of keys and the lock from the coal bin were missing.
She guessed that it was the work of children, and that they had climbed into the building through a small broken window at the back.
Freshly painted pictures had been added to the blaze and all round the walls. The pictures had been lit where they hung.
She said that when she came to the classrooms there were spent matches littering the floor, among the other debris.
As the school was being cleaned up this morning the rector, the
“It is a very serious matter, and I am leaving it entirely to the police”, he said.
“If the fire had not been spotted when it was it could have done untold damage”.
Today the 26 children in the infants’ section of the church school were crowded into the two least damaged classrooms and education was taking its normal, if inconvenienced, path.
“We investigate every fire as a matter of course”, explained the sergeant.