When researching the Needingworth Fire of 1847 I went to Ipswich Records Office to have a look at the records for the old Suffolk Fire Insurance Society. Many property owners in Holywell and Needingworth were insured with the Suffolk, and among the papers were hand-written notes of who and what was insured – probably by the local agent in St Ives. I have yet to process these, but hope to have the images and the transcriptions on the website eventually.
However one of the more interesting facets was that the Suffolk accounts and reports talk about the
Needingworth Hurricane rather a fire. This is not too surprising as although there were many local fires in the 19th century, what made the Needingworth one so destructive was the extreme wind.