fire in Cheltenham, considerable damage done to Thirlestaine Hall
EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE The structure was insured for £10,500, an! Mr.
Player roughly estimates
that replace the structural damage will cost about £4000. The
contents the house were insured £10,000, and although an estimate
the damage is difficult until the valuers have been carefully through
the rooms, it will probably work out at something like £2,500 .
Thast such an estimate is justified may judged by the fact that the
contents of the best rooms, almost entirely destroyed were down in
the inventory for £450 and £350 respectively.
John Player purchased the house in 1909 and built an observatory with
a rounded dome of which was very conspicuous from many parts of the
was due to the existence of the observatory that the fire was
discovered a membr pf the family went uo to the observatory which
commands a complete survey of the broad expanse of roof above the
main block of the building. From the windows of the observatory the
presence of the fire was quickly detected.
saving of the observatory was a fine piece work by fire brigade, and
not unattended with danger for the men had to go through a small
window to get to the outside, and the danger of them getting cut of
by fire was at one time imaginary, for the floor the room in which
the window is situated beginning to smoke it was torn up in places
and found burning strongly beneath. The hose was consequently turned
on it, and the burning beams beneath extinguished. The observatory
itself a structure would have burnt like a matchbox. In it were
instruments valued at least at £500. including a 3-inch transit
telescope, a 6 inch equatorial telescope, and a sidereal clock, none
of which were in the insurance inventory!