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The Yorkshire Gazette,Saturday 7th February, 1931, page 12





The house was full of rare old oak. At the time of the outbreak there resided in the hall Major and Mrs J.E.D. Shaw, their two children, Peter and Adela, and the staff numbering about 20.

The outbreak occurred in a room on the first floor in the old portion of the building which was used by Major Shaw as a study.

The fire was discovered shortly after 4 o'clock, by a maid, who heard the telephone ringing. She immediately aroused the footman, who informed Major Shaw. Immediately on the discovery of the fire, Mrs Shaw motored to Kirkbymoorside where she informed the police, and the Pickering and Malton fire brigades were summoned.









Major Shaw organised the staff of servants with the aid of a small motor pump which was kept at the Hall. Fortunately there was a plentiful supply of water both from the fish pond near the Hall and in the River Hodge

Shortly after 5 o'clock the Pickering Fire Brigade appeared on the scene, followed by the Malton fire engine a few minutes later. . . . . . . the fire gained ground . . . . by six o'clock the spot was a blazing inferno.

The household staff and outdoor staff, together with many willing helpers from the neighbourhood, worked hard in clearing the lower rooms of furniture and valuable paintings. They were taken to a safe place, and included valuable vases, suits of mail and pictures.

The helpers worked hard until, owing to the dangers from falling masonry, they had to be withdrawn.

Classroom Activities

  • The 'Great Fire of 1931' was read to the group and the photographs were enlarged and examined.
  • Everyone was given a sticky label with their character's name.
  • A simple sequence of events was then put on the board.
  • After the drama the piece was re-read and children were invited to comment about what they had done in the drama and to compare it with what would happen today.


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