Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 10:48 UK

Historic inn struck by fire again

The damaged roof at the Blue Anchor, East Aberthaw
The structure of the roof was not badly damaged

A 14th Century thatched-roof pub which was ravaged in a blaze five years ago has been hit by another fire.

Five fire crews were called to the Blue Anchor Inn in East Aberthaw, Vale of Glamorgan, on Sunday night.

It is thought an ember from a log fire caused the fire, which destroyed about 30% of the thatched roof of the listed 600-year-old building.

However, there was no major damage and the pub was opening as usual, with the kitchen re-opening by this evening.

The fire broke out at about 1922 BST and was put out just under three hours later.

Crews from Barry, Llantwit Major, Ely and Cowbridge attended the incident.

In 2004, the pub, built in 1380, was forced to shut because of a blaze.


A blaze in 2004 ripped through the pub forcing a large refurbishment

Richard Coleman, son of the manager and grandson of the owner, said of the fire "it's sheer dumb luck".

He added: "I can't believe we've had a second fire in five years."

Mr Coleman said the alarm was raised by a neighbour, who spotted smoke coming from the thatched roof.

A member of staff working in the bar but was unaware of the smouldering roof until the alarm was raised.

John Coleman, the owner of the pub
Pub owner John Coleman, 86, getting ready to reopen the Blue Anchor on Monday

A log fire had been burning inside. Mr Coleman said: "The fire assessor said logs can send up an ember, which can lodge in the thatch.

"It's definitely not the chimney, it was relined all the way up with five inches of concrete."

The contractors, who worked on the rebuilding in 2004, were back assessing the size of the job this time but little or no structural work is expected to be needed.

The Blue Anchor was originally a focal point for the once-thriving trading port of East Aberthaw when the area was more important than either Cardiff or Barry, and was busy enough to justify a Customs and Excise presence.

The pub had a tobacco drying shed, suggesting that leaves of the lucrative plant were shipped over from America.

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