Fire in the Pavilion at Ruxley Lane
One day in August 1988, the postman was making a delivery to the pavilion when he noticed a fire and called the fire brigade. They put out the fire quite quickly as it had not taken hold despite the wooden construction of the pavilion.
It was believed that someone had broken into the pavilion, helped themselves to beer and spirits before falling asleep. When they woke, they lit two fires before turning on the beer taps and leaving. It is thought that the beer, and then the CO2 that was used to drive the beer through the taps, helped to limit the spread of the fires.
Two fires were lit, one outside of the bar which, apart from burning through the floor, did not cause too much damage:
The second fire was inside the bar and caused extensive damage to the fixtures and fittings, beer coolers and to bar stock:
The soot from the fires also filled the main hall of the pavilion and the kitchen. As all crockery was on open shelves, a working party worked hard to wash the kitchen and everything in it to be ready for the weekend’s cricket, which went ahead as usual.
If you were part of that working party or have any other recollections of this incident please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like to add any further information, anecdotes or recollections.