And The Surrounding District

Midsummer Farm 3

On 13 February 2008, the house and barn burnt down. A barn full of straw and the house next door were damaged as fire tore through farm buildings.

"Firefighters were called to the barn fire at Bradfords Farm, Castlemorton, near Malvern, at 9.30pm last night. Three fire engines from Upton-upon-Severn and Ledbury attended the blaze in a 10 metre square barn containing 80 tonnes of straw and 40 cattle. No people were injured in the incident, firefighters confirmed this morning. The barn was attached to a house which was reported to be "severely damaged" in the fire. By 12.17am today (14th) crews were damping down the fire and an investigation into the cause is ongoing."

15 February 2008: The fifth generation of a family to live in a Worcestershire farmhouse watched as it burnt down, leaving them homeless.

The blaze started at 9.30pm on Wednesday in a barn attached to Bradfords Farmhouse in Castlemorton, near Malvern.

Yesterday morning a bomb disposal team was called to remove two old war shells, each one metre high, discovered close to the house.

Faye and Ian Priday and their children James and Alexandria fled the burning house with only the clothes they were wearing, although 15-year-old James did manage to save his schoolwork. As firefighters battled with the flames, the farming couple had to tend to one of their 130 cows in a nearby shed who was giving birth.

"You have just got to keep optimistic, there is no good saying what if?'," said Mrs Priday.

"I am looking on the bright side, nobody was hurt, the cattle are fine, and summer is on its way so the better weather is coming."

Mrs Priday has lived in the house since she was born 45-years-ago, her parents lived there, so had her grand-parents and her great-uncle. She moved out when she married and the couple moved back seven-years-ago with their four children - Victoria, aged 21, Elizabeth, 20, James and Alexandria.

She described the moment the fire started.

"We just had a black out when we were watching television," she said. "It was just like a power cut, and the next thing we knew there were flames. We never smelt smoke. I just thought get the hell out. It all happened so quickly you just go into auto-mode. We shouted for the kids to get out."

Mr Priday, aged 45, attempted to tackle the flames with a garden hose while calling the fire brigade.

"It was just exploding, the heat was quite intense," he said.

It took fire crews from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service two hours to put the fire out, and at one point they had to call for water carriers to back them up. They believe the fire was caused accidentally by an electrical fault in the barn. The house has been declared structurally unsafe and a crew was still at the house yesterday (Thurs) dampening down. The couple spent the night in a caravan opposite the ruins of their house, with their two younger children James and Alexandria, who still live at home. They are now contemplating where to live as they need to remain near the farm to look after the cattle, 40 of which are about to calf.

"We will re-build the house if we have to," said Mrs Priday. "It would not look right without something here."

In December 2011, bought in auction by Nigel and Janet Donohoe for £440,000.

In 2012, a completely new house was built.