The following report appeared in the Herts and Cambs Reporter and Royston Crow on 28th May 1886:
On Sunday morning last a very heavy thunderstorm passed over this district, and about half past eight o’clock the village was considerably distrubed by an alarming flash of lighning and peal of thunder and by the results which followed. It was noticed that the lightning struck directly downwards on a large barn in the occupation of Mr Thurley, publican and small farmer. The lightning as it entered the roof of the large barn appeared as if it had almost cut it in two and immediately afterwards the thatched roof and the building burst into flames, and notwithstanding the heavy rain which was falling it soon became evident that it would be impossible to save the building. Some of the contents, farm implements, etc. were hastily removed but some others were destroyed. The Melbourn fire engine was sent for and this with a hand engine from Mr Mortlock’s did good service in protecting surrounding property, so that the fire was eventually limited to the barn which was struck.
The affair caused a great deal of consternation in the village and a large number of persons turned out to witness the occurrence and to assist in checking the fire.
We understand that Mr Thurley’s loss, which is considerable, is not covered by insurance.