Tuesday, August 02, 2011

R.I.P. Claudius: Thrupp Fire

For some time I have been driving to work on my Suzuki 650 Motorcycle (vstrom). Recently I noticed that I have a new friend that travels with me faithfully. Claudius the spider. Claudius has hung on for dear life as we have battled through all sorts of weathers and finally found a calm quiet spot below my left handlebar embedded in the fender.  I would check to see whether Claudius was there before I set off and would be delighted to see him when I returned.  Sadly Claudius has passed away.

I was asleep (for a change) and was suddenly awoken by something which was followed by several bangs, nothing like gun shot, a lot like explosions.  I got up, put on a jacket and opened my front doors to see a fire. A car in the lower car park in Thrupp was alight.

The fire brigade were called and I went over to the lift bridge with Dave and Ian where Lillian joined us.

The fire was raging:


The lights of two fire engines were flashing


The car was next to my bike which was next to another car. All three are burnt out wrecks.  IMAG2200 On the other side of the fire-starting car was a 4x4 which is badly burnt down one side.

I will never know if Claudius made it out in time, but I suspect that buried deep in the ghost of place called home (the corner below my handlebar) will lie the ghost of Claudius. I hope it was quick.


I didn’t find waking up suddenly to explosions and seeing the car park on fire, not far from the boats, that pleasant an experience, nor being cut off from my boat. I am so pleased my neighbour Ian was there and also Dave (who is the retired warden of the area). As we stood on the lift bridge watching the fire rage unable to return to our boats I was reminded how quickly fire takes hold of even the most tranquil places and how stunningly amazing the fire service are. The things the fire service do are amazing.

It is suspected that this is not arson by an electrical fault.

Irritatingly I have 300pounds excess but also my top box was on the bike with my helmet, electric heated gloves and my lock. All of which mount up.

Mark Paris will tell you that I am very good at what he calls Bonesisms.  Apparently I always come out with something. So, let me share with you last nights:

The fire engine is 8tonnes. The lift bridge limit is 7tonnnes so they had to stop short of it.  As they unravelled their hoses I turned to Lillian and said ‘is there a fire hydrant here then?’ to which her reply was ‘ no… there is an entire canal’…


Anonymous Lucy said...

Oh poor old Claudius. I had a couple of ladybirds who hitched a ride on my motorbike for a while, it's easy to grow attached ;)

Bad luck losing the gear though, hope the insurance comes through swiftly.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Halfie said...

How awful, Bones, but as long as no-one was hurt ...

I hope you can get a replacement steed soon.

Did the fire brigade evacuate all the boats, then? Just wondering why you weren't allowed back.

2:07 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

The fire cut us off. I walked from my boat past the fire to unlock the gate (the fire engine were too heavy to go over the bridge as it happens) and by that time it was too dangerous to go back. Things were exploding left right and centre!

2:10 PM  
Blogger Halfie said...

I should have expressed sympathy for the (probable) loss of Claudius too. Please take this as that.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Halfie said...

I bet the firemen would have told you off for getting too close to the action!

2:11 PM  
Blogger MortimerBones said...

I am told that spiders are sensitive to heat so I am hoping Claudius found a new home before it all got too hot.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to read this blog. How horrible to lose your bike and possessions in such a way. I sure hope the insurance is settled very quickly.
It was such a nice day up til then! It was great seeing Maffi, you and the dogs.

4:51 PM  
Blogger BigJohn said...

Bye Claudius. Hopefully he did a runner. Will you put up LOST posters just in case?

If you have a boat contents insurance, will they cover your extras?

5:18 PM  
Blogger A Rival Wild Pyramid said...

My commiserations for Claudius and the bike ;( at least you've still got several more method of transport (and some more Claudiuses to hold a lookalike competition for the next pair of handlebars).

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Add me to the book of condolence, for the wicked bike and the wee beastie, in whichever order is appropriate.

10:05 AM  
Blogger gbl said...

So sorry to hear about the bike Bones, not so sure about Claudius!
Hope you manage to get a replacement soon. Petroc

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Malcolm said...

Hi Bones

So sorry to read that you lost your bike and possessions in a fire, it must have been a shock. I hope your insurance claim is settled promptly and to your satisfaction.

My condolences regarding Claudius.



7:05 PM  
Anonymous Philip--Chota Memsahib ll said...

Bad news about the bike Bones as insurance never really makes good the loss--and I should know

I am sure Claudius will make contact on the world wide web

Chin up


7:31 PM  
Blogger Miss T said...

Surely the excess isn't an issue, as it's the car owner's insurance company that should pay out...or do you know that they don't have insurance?

RIP Claudius...

5:47 PM  
Blogger eeyore said...

Oh Goodness! How can you be worried about a spider when your bike has gone up in smoke! I am still grieving for my MZ250SE that was stolen in 1994!

Sorry also to take so long to catch up with the news. Just too long away from the boat and the blog!

6:55 PM  

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