27 JANUARY 1956, Page 33


Farm fires advertise themselves across the surrounding countryside as a rule, and most of the cases get no more than a paragraph in the local paper, although they are nearly all per- sonal disasters of varying seriousness that mean hard work brought to naught. I hive read with sympathy of the anxious days Derbyshire and Yorkshire farmers have been spending over the activities of a tire-raiser, for I can remember a similar thing happening when I was quite small. The fire-raiser wasn't caught and perhaps he didn't exist, but the scare took place about the same time of year as the present one when every ton of fodder is considered against the Prospect of a protracted winter. Today, even with pumped wells and electricity, few farms are equipped to deal adequately with a major fire. When a rickyard goes up, the fire can rarely be subdued by a few gallons of water carried in buckets.