Fire guts Westleigh farmhouse
After a young married Westleigh farmer had been awakened at 5am on Sunday by the crackle of flames and had found an adjacent bedroom ablaze, his wife and their three year old son escaped in their nightclothes. The farmer, Mr A N Wooldridge, had time to pull on only a pair of trousers. The thatched farmhouse, known at Ashridge West, was completely gutted.
Bideford firemen arrived to find that part of the roof had already collapsed.
Mrs Wooldridge and her son, Stewart, were provided with shelter at a nearby farm. Later they moved to stay with relatives. Mr Wooldridge, who is also employed in a local shipyard, is staying in the district so that he can care for the stock.
The full Gazette article is dated 6 February 1959