Shock lightning hit on Isle telegraph pole blasts home

The phone socket which blew at Tom Thackray's house after a lightning strike. Picture: Andrew Roe
The phone socket which blew at Tom Thackray's house after a lightning strike. Picture: Andrew Roe

Renowned Isle craftsman Tom Thackray got a huge shock when a bolt of lightning hit his home as stormy weather lashed his village.

A telephone box was blasted from his wall and the 77-year old, of Tindall Bank, Haxey thought his entire cottage was to explode as it filled with smoke in the early afternoon.

He said: “I was sitting watching television when there was this massive bang. Smoke appeared from nowhere, or so it seemed...I was frightened to death!”

After checking each room carefully for any sign of fire Mr Thackray decided not to try and move his wife, who was undisturbed but ill in bed upstairs, then he got another shock when he stepped outside his property.

“A telegraph pole that stands close to the cottage was splintered in to shreds,” he said. “Apparently another one went at Marsh Lane, Misterton, too, and left a whole road with no power.

“I honestly thought the house would go....the smoke and the smell was terrible. The telephone line was frazzled all the way down the lane and anything that had been plugged in was rendered completely useless. Thankfully the insurance company have been great so far.

“We can laugh about it now because no-one was hurt. But the shock at the time was tremendous. I didn’t know how to react or what to do. I called my daughter on the phone and she told me to get the emergency services out, but once I realised what had happened to cause the smoke and the explosion I felt reassured that nothing else would be affected.”

As no actual fire occurred Mr Thackray decided not to alert the fire service but carried out a thorough check and ventilated the house well.

He added: “It’s a wonder no-one was hurt. I found a splinter from the hub box in the next room. Most of it just disintegrated. There was a two-foot black ring left all round the house. It was hard to take in.”

The semi-retired septuagenarian has a workshop close to his cottage where he makes and restores Windsor chairs and other furniture, and teaches the traditional art of furniture making to students who come from all over the world.

His daughter Barbara Langton said: “We couldn’t believe the extent of the damage. There’s just a stub where the telegraph pole was.

I took photographs of the wreckage. it must have been a powerful storm.

“Dad was completely shocked but it all happened so suddenly. And the smoke was everywhere.”

“He panicked a bit but so would anyone in the circumstances. Unbelievable.”