Neglect charge after chimney fire

The new trackbed for the Horndean Light Railway looking south across the bridge over Southwick Hill Road, Cosham, about 1903.

NOSTALGIA: Ready and waiting, the shiny new tracks climbing Portsdown Hill

Have your say

On this day in 1895 Mary Cotten, of 19 Clarendon Road, Buckland, found herself in the dock of Portsmouth’s police court.

Twelve days earlier she said she had been lying in bed when her chimney caught fire.

It seemed that wood had been put on the fire and a spark had ignited the soot.

As the chimney had not been swept for 18 months, she was charged with neglect and fined – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.